Disaster was averted at the 38th Distington Vintage Rally when two dogs were rescued by first aid professionals after being left alone in a roasting hot car.

One dog had been spotted alone in the car and organisers made several tannoy announcements at Sunday's event urging the owners to return. Fearing that the dog would overheat, Steve Wilson and Margaret Light from First Aid Associates decided that they had to do a rescue and managed to get through a crack in the window to open the door. When they looked in the car there was another dog in a cage in the footwell.

Steve said: “There were two dogs. They had put water down, but next to the cage, so it couldn’t even get to the water. The dogs were shaking with the heat.”

Margaret said: “The fact is the car was like a metal greenhouse.”

They took the two Jack Russell type dogs to their first aid tent and eventually met the owner, who came to claim them an hour later. He told them he thought they would be ok as he had left the window down a crack. The police and RSPCA were notified of the incident.

Families flocked to the rally in their thousands to soak up the sun and enjoy the day. The rally is one of the largest in Cumbria and people travelled from near and far to visit all things mechanical.

In addition to tractor, motorcycle and car parades, there was music provided by Langholm Pipe Band and Cockermouth Ukuleles, a free for all tug o’ war, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, pony activities and archery.

To amuse the youths there was a fun fair, with inflatable slides, bungee jumping, big wheel and simulator.

There was also plenty of stalls, a craft tent, food and drinks vans, model crafts and woodturners.

Chris Constable was showing his 1967 Plymouth Belvedere station wagon, of which there are only two in England and only three and a half thousand made altogether.

His car was driven over from the Moshers Mopar workshop in Southern California. Chris has enjoyed using the car for the last six years, but is ready to sell now. The car is insured for £17,000.

Chris said: “I think my love of American cars originated from watching shows such as Starsky and Hutch and Dukes of Hazzard.” He was also enjoying the opportunity to have a catch up with other enthusiasts.

Carol and Paul Derrington had travelled to the rally from Carlisle. They said: “We used to live in the west and have been coming for years with our son. My husband used to show an MGB and MG Midget. He exhibited them for about five years. It’s a great event to come to.”

Lisa Hodgson, of Moresby, was visiting with grandson Rex, two, and said: “We’ve come today because my grandson loves steam engines, bikes and cars.”

Jim Rudd, from Beckermet, was showing his Burrell Road locomotive. He has been showing at the rally for at least 10 years and said: “It’s marvellous, the weather is very good and there are lots of people with their families all enjoying themselves. “What more could you want?”

Jan Heaslip, from Animal Concern West Cumbria, was talking to people about volunteering. She said: “We’re always looking for volunteers, anyone interested can contact us through our website.”

Meanwhile Jade Courty, dressed as ‘Tom’ was promoting the Cats Protection stall.

In the craft tent friends Vanda Renwick and Heather Connolly had travelled down from Dumfries to display their crochet and knitting work. Heather said: “We saw the event on Solway crafters site and it has definitely been worth coming. We’ve met different crafters too, it’s been lovely. We’ll definitely come back, there’s something for everyone here.”

More photos from the rally to come on our website.