Kids Corner: Firing on all cylinders, prepare to get all steamed up

If you like Thomas the Tank Engine, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, coupled with some vintage fire trucks, glammed up with 1940s-style fashionistas, Græsted is the place for you from May 14-16.

This year the rally will be firing on all cylinders to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Vintage displays
Proud owners of 300 unique working vintage vehicles of all shapes and sizes will show off their wares. The showground has a program of different activities including motorcycle shows.

There will also be a large flea market, where alongside the usual treasures you’ll find all kind of rare spare parts and interesting nuts, bolts and no doubt gearstick knobs too.

Special retro treats
A coffee tent decked out as if it’s the 1910s will keep the crowd caffeinated and the large re-enactment show will bring World War II to life … and death (though they’ll only be pretending).

Food stalls selling retro snacks sound tasty, along with stationary and ‘glowing head’ engines – reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Knight Bus. I should point out that I am running on fumes today and that’s a fancifully literal translation fuelled by a weekend of partying late at Fuld Effekt hip-hop concerts and holding a birthday at the cottage!

Back to the point
The rally lasts all weekend, from Friday until Sunday. For overnight stays, you details about ‘nostalgia camping’, and other accormodation, you can find on the website (though you’ll need a dictionary!).

On Sunday there will be more than just swing boats. From 14:30 in the music tent there will be swing dancing accompanied by Daisy Belle – three UK singers billed as the next Andrew Sisters – entertaining the audience with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and other firm favourites.

Roger Berg’s Big Band from Sweden will also be taking to the stage, and Danish swing dancers will be sure to turn out in force and in costume to kick up their heels.

Getting our ball bearings
All these activities … on 35 hectares of land – plenty of space for little ones to let off steam too! Public transport will get you there, including ‘lokalbanen’, the nearby vintage railway (get off at Græsted Station, not Græsted Syd).

For more details look for the tab ‘find vej’ under ‘praktisk info’ at or consult



Tickety boo online sales
Admission for a whole day at the rally is 100 kroner for adults and 20 kroner for children, or alternatively 240 kroner for all three days. I went to the Græsted Rally several years ago, and it was great fun.

I actually joined in, parking Josephine – my Morris Minor – among the exhibits. Sadly, after finally running out of funds and patience trying to keep her ON the road and OFF the blessed car park – where she spent most of her time refusing to budge – I took her to the rally to find her a new home. She needed a garage not a tailor-made anorak that I had to strap under her tummy – not easy, if there was even the slightest bit of wind. And if she was wet, it wasn’t easy to towel her dry first – especially if it was still raining.

Minor problems and majorly dodgy dynamos
I bought Josephine from a flight mechanic who boasted about how he had replaced all the electrics himself. One thing after another conked out until a fateful trip to a family birthday in Copenhagen when her radio came on halfway through the journey and started ticking alarmingly.

A few minutes after parking Josephine, the ticking time bomb, we turned around to see clouds of acrid smoke billowing up the street. Poor old girl. Luckily someone had realised she was a lady in distress, had called reinforcements and a fire engine came careering into view.

Old flames
After the fire incident, she was patched up once again but really needed a new loving home. Græsted Rally was where she found her happy ending.

A mechanic facing retirement wanted a project and his wife fell in love with Josephine at first sight. He paid for Josephine, took a quick look under her bonnet and replaced a little thingamajig.

I’m not joking, she purred off down the road and out of my nightmares for ever. No more night sweats about rust. Now I just enjoy vintage cars owned by other people at shows like Græsted Veterantræf.

I still sometimes wonder which airline that flight mechanic worked for.