Shropshire Star

Wellington comes alive with roaring engines as hundreds turn out for scooter celebration in the sun

Wellington was alive with the sounds of engines and the smell of two-stroke oil on Saturday, as hundreds of scooter fans gathered for the town's second Italian Scooter Festival.

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Wellington town centre was filled with scooters of all types, from rare to current models

The Italian AutoMoto Club joined forces with Love Wellington and the Wellington Rotary Club for a second year and filled the town centre with scooters old and new.

Enthusiasts, riders and casual onlookers turned out in their hundreds to take in the wonderful spectacle in the sunshine.

Wellington town centre was filled with scooters of all types, from rare to current models

Sally Themans of Love Wellington said: "Last year was a great success, but we held it on a Sunday so as not to cause too much disruption.

"But there's a real appetite for it here in Wellington - we thought this year, let's just go for it! And it's perfect, it's a wonderful day, the sun is shining.

"People are using the market and really seeing what the town has to offer."

The square was full of scooters, riders and onlookers

David Morris, director of the Italian AutoMoto Club, said they were thrilled to be back in the town: "Last year we ran it late in the year and it was quite cold so we were very pleased to be able to hold it in the blazing sun.

"Some of the riders came from quite a distance, some from Birmingham. So news about the day is getting further and further afield. Next year I expect we'll have even more participants."

After filling the square and spilling out to many of the side streets, the organisers hope next year will be bigger than ever.

With the weather predicted to be glorious, and a massive response from scooter fans, the organisers reached out to Wellington Rotary Club for help with marshalling the event.

Members of Wellington Rotary Club were on hand to marshal

"We couldn't have done it without them," David explained, "With the number of visitors and participants we had, we would've been stuck. I can't thank them enough.

"Events like this are so important to high streets and we're so pleased to support Wellington. So many people today that might not have visited the town for many years said to us how surprised they were by the sheer 'buzziness' of it all.

"Lots of people were amazed by the market and said how innovative, friendly and upbeat the town was."

Telford friends Col Welson and John McKee turned out to see the scooters

One couple, visiting from Wolverhampton, agreed.

Peter and Lynn Hughes, both 60, were amazed by the development of Wellington over the last few years. Lynn explained: "It's lovely, a really beautiful town. It's got a lovely community feel, everything's all together."

Christopher Blewer rode down from Halesowen

Christopher Blewer rode from Halesowen on his mirror-adorned 2016 Vespa PX125 for the event.

The 55-year-old had previously been into bigger engines, but had hung up his helmet after losing a friend in a motorbike accident.

After a decade off two wheels, he borrowed a scooter from a friend and never looked back.

He said: "It's an amazing community, everyone's really friendly and the atmosphere is always fantastic.

"Today has been a great day, really good. It's nice to see everybody out and smell the two-stroke in the air."

Friends Mike Jones and Jerry Kurek from Shrewsbury turned out with their scooters for the day

Retired friends Mike Jones and Jerry Kurek agreed.

The pair, who travelled from Shrewsbury, both had scooters in their youth and returned to the scene recently after reconnecting.

Mike explained: "It's a very social thing. We're both retired now so we've got the time to use.

"We've just come back four days in Wales, two days in Tenby and then we rode up the coast to Aberystwyth."

French bulldog, Winnie and Pomeranian, Freda rode along for the day

A man who gave his name as Tom, who travelled from Wales for the event, has been touring the length and breadth of the country over the last 18 months with his two dogs, Winnie and Freda, on the back of his Honda.

Tom explained: "Their carrier has a cover, but I never use it because they don't like it. They prefer to feel the wind in their fur and love looking where we're going.

"Everywhere we go they get attention and they love it. People take photos of us while we're riding and every time we stop they get lots of fuss. They're good as gold."