WITH the sun shining, and locomotives at the ready, hordes of people visited the Viables Craft Centre, in The Harrow Way, for the annual miniature steam gala.

Organised by the Basingstoke and District Model Engineering Society, the event held across the weekend of April 8 and 9 displayed fully operational traction engines at work as well as allowing guests to take a ride on the miniature railway around the site.

Now in its seventh year, the steam gala welcomes people of all ages to experience the smells and sounds of real working steam engines.

Member of the model engineering society Mick Lowe said the whole weekend was a great success with the event seeing its highest number of visitors to date.

He said: “Everyone who came seemed to be really happy and you could see families walking around with smiles on their faces.

“It is one of the first steam rallies of the year, so it is not just local people who come along and enjoy the working of the traction engines on display.

“Throughout the years we have found that more families come to enjoy this weekend and other stalls and shops and Viables always seems to help with business.”

Across the weekend there were more than 20 miniature traction engines on display and trips on the miniature railway running all the way up until 4pm on the Sunday.

The event was a donation entry event, with all the money going back into the model engineering society to help organise future events.