ONCE a year it’s permissible to belch thick black smoke across the East Lancashire countryside.

And thousands of supporters of Chipping Steam Fair wouldn’t have it any other way.

What began in 1998 as a village hall fundraiser, the brainchild of Mary Harrison, now fills the bank holiday weekend.

Crowds may have alternately baked - then dodged torrential downpours - but spirits never flagged this time around.

Around 185 tractors assembled for one of the major parades on Saturday.

And visitors could marvel at machines which could do everything from sharpen saws and test drains, to performing road-rolling duties and powering sawmills.

Cllr Stuart Carefoot, Ribble Valley’s deputy mayor, who lived locally for more than 30 years, said: “I just love all the little details of the machinery, the cam shafts and the internal workings of the machines.

“You can spend a good few hours just going around everything and enjoying what’s on offer here.”

Children’s art competition winners included Jack Jarvis, Eden Donnachie, Olivia Platt and Olivia Airey, who produced colourful representations of the show in progress.

No fewer than a dozen main trophies, for the best mechanical and tractor offerings, were also competed for and an entertainments marquee provided music until late.

Beforehand Bill Bowker, fair chairman, said: “We are so fortunate to have a very talented and dedicated group of volunteers.”

The fun continues today at Green Lane showground.