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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Thursday, 29 July 2010 12:30 UK
'Classics on the Common' car rally arrives in Harpenden
Classics on the Common in Harpenden
An estimated 10,000 people attended the rally

The biggest classic car meeting of its kind in Britain has taken place in Harpenden.

'Classics on the Common' was the brainchild of car enthusiast Peter Madden and John Tibble, the landlord of The Carpenters Arm's in Harpenden.

Starting in 1994 when the pair organised an impromptu picnic and 25 cars turned up.

Pleased with their success, they organised another one the following year with 125 participants.

In pictures: 'Classics on the Common'

By 2003 over one thousand cars were attending the event which was by now spilling over onto the roadside and verges for a half mile radius.

Now organised by the Harpenden Village Rotary Club , the rally involves more than 1200 classic car enthusiasts driving to Harpenden from all over the UK and beyond to display their lovingly-maintained cars, vans, buses and motorbikes, with an estimated 10,000 visitors going along to take a look at the vehicles on show.

Classics on the Common in Harpenden

David Law, from Harpenden Village Rotary Club, told BBC Three Counties about the steps taken to reduce traffic congestion in the town during the rally:

"We opened the event an hour earlier than usual in an attempt to spread the load a bit and that does seem to have worked.

"It was extremely busy, but we had great help from the police and our own stewards on duty to make sure the congestion was kept to a minimum," said David.

'Classics on the Common' is a non-profit event, which gives the organisers an opportunity to raise funds for local charities. This year the main charities being supported were Herts Air Ambulance, Herts Actions on Disability and the Rotary sponsored Shelter Box

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