A FINAL countdown has begun to a major annual charity fundraiser.

Just weeks now remain until this year’s Bronte Vintage Gathering (BVG), which coins-in cash for Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands.

The extravaganza, on May 12 and 13, will be the 20th organised by the small team of volunteers.

And since it began, the event – together with others staged by the same group – has raised a staggering £409,000-plus.

The BVG – held at the showfield in Haworth Road, Cullingworth – began as just a display of tractors, attended by a few exhibitors and enthusiasts. But now the event, held over a weekend, offers a massive range of family attractions and draws thousands of visitors from across a wide area.

“I’m delighted and really proud that the event has reached this anniversary landmark,” said the group’s co-secretary, Trish Wood.

“I can’t believe it has come such a long way since those early days, when there were about half a dozen tractors on show. And the amount raised is fantastic.

“Apart from one year when it had to be cancelled due to the foot and mouth outbreak and another when we were forced to halt the event after the first day because of atrocious weather conditions, it has never missed.

“There’s only a small group of us and it’s a real team effort.

“We’re still on with finalising things for this year’s event, but we hope it will be a bit special to celebrate the anniversary. The first BVG was actually held in 1997, so we’re also coming of age!”

Attractions lined-up for this year’s gathering include some new ones and plenty of old favourites. Camel racing will be making its debut.

Popular returnees to the arena will include a sheep show, terrier racing, a dog agility show and SMJ Falconry. Also on offer will be a fairground, an RAF flypast, bouncy castle and slides, donkey rides, an Old Spot beer tent, food and trade stands, a crafts marquee and clay pigeon shooting.

Exhibits will include cars, commercial and military vehicles, motorcycles, stationary and miniature steam engines and tractors. There will be a collectors’ and machinery auction at 5pm on the Saturday, and live music that night.

Plus an auction of donated goods will take place at 2pm on the Sunday.

Activities will begin at 10am both days.

Bookings can still be made for trade stands and craft stalls.

For more details about the BVG or to get involved, visit bronte-vintage-gathering.co.uk or the Facebook page, e-mail enquiries@bronte-vintage-gathering.co.uk or call 01535 275535.