Thousands roll up to enjoy classic cars at Lulworth Castle charity show

Purbeck’s most picturesque motor show is set to beat all records after the sun shone on Lulworth Castle – and thousands of classic car lovers rolled up.

More than 250 jaw dropping vehicles were on show at the Dorset Blind Association Motor Show on Sunday 21st May 2023, attracting an estimated 4,000 people and expected to raise far in excess of the £15,000 collected for the charity in 2022.

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Classic and modern cars filled the grounds of Lulworth Castle

Estate is the perfect setting for unique event

Entry to the only motor show held on the Lulworth Estate was free, although the proud owners of cars on display paid an entry fee and spectators were encouraged to make donations to the Dorset Blind Association.

A raffle with prizes donated by Dorset businesses including lunch at Rick Stein’s restaurant also raised funds for the charity, as did a showground of artisan stalls selling local produce and handmade goods.

James Weld, owner of the Lulworth Estate and president of Dorset Blind Association, generously donates use of the grounds to provide the perfect setting for a unique motor show, and following a break forced by Covid, it is now back in its springtime slot on the calendar.

Dorset Blind Association trustee Lynne, in pink, with members of Dorset’s Rock Choir

“We are often a forgotten charity”

Dorset Blind Association trustee Lynne said:

“We are often a forgotten charity, as we don’t have the draw of a hospice or a children’s charity and are seen as being just for old people – but we are so much more than that.

“The need for Dorset Blind Association’s services are always increasing and with the number of people living with visual impairment due to hit 35,000 in the county, the demand is high.

“We hope that the money raised from this event will help to raise vital awareness in the local community for sight loss – we support more than 1,000 visually impaired people every month, with five community workers to cover the whole county, and around 300 volunteers to help.

“We have seven shops in the county and are about to open an eighth – we are getting bigger all the time, and as well as going into people’s homes to provide support, we also run social clubs, coffee mornings, and entertainment, all of which needs to be paid for.

“Our aim is to help people come to terms with serious sight loss and still live happy lives, helping them to reduce loneliness and isolation.”

Setting off on the tour of Purbeck villages before the main show opened

Some of the engines needed a little time to cool down afterwards

Growing numbers of younger people affected

Moira, of the charity’s working age group, who helps to look after a growing number of younger people suffering from sight loss, said:

“We want to help them maintain social contact and support each other to cope with sight loss, through drama projects, sculpture, song writing, a driving day, boat trips and lots of different activities.

“The perception of the Blind Association may be of elderly people, but there are many in middle age and several who are young and we are very much about encouraging people to support each other.

“If they can access technology it can really transform their lives, there are apps which turn text to speech, or will take photos and read information out to you, which can be a godsend for people with sight loss.”

Technical expert Adam helps support the sight impaired to stay online

“So much of their world is online”

Dorset Blind Association technical expert Adam is sight impaired himself following a car accident and also from brain surgery to remove tumours.

Adam said:

“If people have problems with their mobile phones, tablets or laptops I will do site visits with Moira – for some people it is as simple as making their font bigger, though others need more specialised knowledge in how to use features which help those with impaired sight.

“In today’s world, especially for younger people, so much of their world is on their mobile phone or online that if they can’t access it they feel that they have lost a huge part of their social lives.

“There’s a growing number of people who are affected, and if I can make it a little bit easier for them to access that information, I feel like I have done a good job.”

Brass band Gugge 2000 help to entertain crowds at the car show

A 20-mile tour of Purbeck villages

Event entertainment on the day was provided by 200 members of the Dorset based Rock Choir, brass band Gugge 2000, the Land Girls and children’s entertainer Krazy Kev, along with circus workshops.

Owners of 275 classic and super cars, motorbikes and other motor vehicles gathered for an initial 20 mile tour of Lulworth and Purbeck villages before coming back to park in front of Lulworth Castle and enjoy picnics in the grounds of the estate.

Cars of all ages, from Jaguars to Ferraris and from Austin tourers to Lamborghini supercars were represented, including club stands from the independent Porsche Enthusiasts club and the McLaren owners club.

Kit cars turned many a head at the event

It was a perfect day for convertibles in the May sunshine

A classy Austin model brought back happy memories for many

“Our favourite event in the calendar”

Fred Potter, who drives a Porsche R26 said:

“We have attended the Dorset Blind Association Motor Show at Lulworth Castle for many years and is without doubt our favourite event in the calendar.

“Displaying our car in front of the castle is a unique opportunity and we love the atmosphere, plus it’s all for a great cause!”

Having arrived at the show, a picnic in the park grounds was essential

This aptly named Sunbeam attracted a lot of attention

Super fast super cars were among the stars of the show…

But proving that bigger is not always better, this Fiat featured in many selfies

Helping others live a more fulfilling life

And Gary Neild, chief executive officer of the event’s main sponsor Blue Sky Financial Planning, added:

“We admire the Dorset Blind Association team for their immense passion for how they can help others live a more fulfilling life.

“Whilst we operate in a different sector, this resonates greatly with us at Blue Sky, as our main emphasis is focussed on what we cause and how we make people feel. A natural partnership I would say!”

Further information

  • Follow the work of the Dorset Blind Association on their website
  • Learn more about the history and heritage of Lulworth Castle online

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