Raby Reminisces- Another classic car rally.

To celebrate Raby’s Classic Car Show returning for another year this Sunday 30th, we’re taking a look at a gathering of car aficionados which took place over 100 years ago.


On August 31st 1907, the North-Eastern Automobile Association met at Raby and the Teesdale Mercury reported on the event:

‘Lord and Lady Barnard were ‘at home’ at Raby Castle on Saturday afternoon to members of the North Eastern Automobile Association.’

‘The meeting was favoured with very fine weather, and a company numbering over 600 ladies and gentlemen had a pleasurable opportunity of visiting the castle and its park.’

One of a series of photographs found in the collection shows the association alongside the Lord and Lady Barnard, positioned in front of the castle.


Classic Car Show Raby Castle










‘In the park, close by the browsing deer, was a collection of nearly 100 cars of all makes and sizes.’

Cars were parked up inside the parkland for a photograph which highlights the interesting transition between carriages and motorcars. Changes in technology saw carriages and carts being used more for leisure than transport, as motor vehicles quickly became popular at the turn of the 20th century. The 9th Lady Barnard’s pony cart, pulled by a donkey and used regularly for trips around the parkland, is in prime position in front of the displayed cars. You can see this cart hanging in the lobby of the Coach House, nestled within our new retail space.

Classic Car Show Raby Castle

Classic Car Show Raby Castle













Awards were handed out to the winners of trials held the month before, which included events such as ‘hill climbing trials’ for cars and motor bicycles, and a ‘Newcastle to Edinburgh Reliability trial’.


Lord Barnard, in a speech thanking attendees, spoke of his opinions of the motor car:

He was a convert to the utility of motors, and whatever people might say against them… he was perfectly certain that they were a permanent institution in this country. They had already proved themselves too useful to be ever thrown aside.’

His predictions proved correct!


Raby’s first motorcar was said to be a Fiat purchased in 1905, driven from the agents to the castle by Ernie Pettit, who then held the post of Chauffeur at Raby for around 45 years. What followed was a succession of cars which were used frequently by the family and were stored and maintained in the Garage within the Stable Yard, which is now our new education space. This image shows some of Raby’s motorcars outside of the garage with members of the workforce.

Raby Castle Classic Car












We just hope the weather is as fine for our Classic Car Show as it was in 1907!

Classic Car Show Raby Castle
Classic Car Show Raby Castle
Raby Castle Classic Car

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