Ormskirk Motorfest 2011 was a roaring success

Ormskirk was transformed from market town to motor city and photo-journalist Ian Bennett was there to record the day

Known more for its ancient market than any obvious automotive connections, Ormskirk is decidedly not Monte Carlo.

But a few miles down the road, the members of Aintree Circuit Club saw it all in a different light. What they realised was that by replacing the market stalls in Ormskirk’s wide pedestrianised streets with cars and motorcycles and then closing the recently resurfaced ring road to create a one mile parade circuit, Ormskirk could actually be an ideal venue.

Three years later their ambitious plan came to fruition as the Ormskirk Motorfest. In the intervening time there passionhave been a few mountains to climb, but the display cars list became oversubscribed weeks before the event and, come the big day, Ormskirk was buzzing with visitors - lots of them.

Ormskirk attracts up to 3,000 shoppers on a good market day, yet 15,000 visitors enjoyed Motorfest. Local traders benefited too, some supporting Motorfest as sponsors while others simply opened their doors to extra business.

Although some cars travelled long distances, the majority were based locally. A 1915 Model T Ford owned by David White of Halsall was the oldest car in the show, while the most unusual was possibly a 1963 Heinkel bubble car brought from Burscough by owner Roy Butterworth.

The historic motorsport and racing motorcycles displayed in the town centre had almost disappeared under a wealth of people by the time the event was officially opened and it was the same story for the classic cars and road bikes displayed in Coronation Park

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The print version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Lancashire Life 

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