ONE OF Hampshire's biggest summer shows gets under way today<FRI>.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show, formerly the Netley Marsh Steam Rally, over the next three days.

The show was first held in 1971 to raise funds for nearby St Matthew's Church, which was in urgent need of repair.

Originally called The Puff-in, it started out as a one-day event but is now a three-day attraction which raises thousands of pounds for charity in the Netley Marsh area.

This year's entertainment includes action-packed displays by the Galloping Acrobats, a stunt team who perform a raft of gravity-defying tricks on horseback.

A children's entertainer called Fiery Jack is also taking part.

New Forest Post:

A show spokesman said: "There are many different events happening throughout the day in our two arenas, where the public will be able to see the exhibits and attractions as well as getting hands-on with the steam engines in our public steering event.

"We also have a very large craft and food marquee, A bigger street market area and a massive funfair.

"This year marks 60 years of the Mini and we're holding a large display in our car section, where there will be Minis built between 1959 and 2019.

"We're also looking forward to welcoming newly-built replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which will be making one of its very first outings.

"We have falconry displays in the small arena, where the public can handle the birds as well as joining in with the activities."

New Forest Post:

Held at Meadowmead Farm in Ringwood Road, the show also includes ferret racing, a climbing wall and an axe-throwing contest.

The spokesman said: "We have Jez Avery’s Stunt Show for the first-time, providing displays in the main arena on all three days. It's the furthest south Jez has ever performed, so this will be a big draw.

"We also have a great line-up of live music, including Davey Jones Locker, The Pop Pickers and The Underdogs, along with fireworks provided by the award-winning Selstar Fireworks on the Friday evening."

Gates open at 9am each day with arena activities starting at 10am finishing at 5pm. The bar, funfair and live music continues until 11pm.