NEARLY 70 classic cars will descend on Kempsey this weekend, causing concern among villagers.

However, the organiser has given assurances that the 'Summer Trial' through parts of the village will not cause disruption or any issues and is tightly regulated.

The three day event begins today (Friday) and ends on Sunday, reaching Kempsey on Saturday afternoon.

The start and finish is the Stratford Manor Hotel with various stops along the way, including Upton Snodsbury and the Wheelbarrow Castle in Radford.

A woman, who declined to be named, said at last year's event a girl, aged around six, was thrown off her pony in Broomhall Lane after the animal became startled by the sound of the engines but fortunately was not hurt.

She added: "She fell on the ground, bless her. She was very shaken, very upset.

"The two ponies went berserk with the noise of the old cars. The pony shot off up the lane. I was lucky enough to catch it." The ponies were put in a field until they calmed down.

A resident, who declined to be named, said: "This could have a major impact on the A38 at the start area as vehicles will be arriving from Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb and could back up on the A38 before and during the 70 minutes of the start.

"Although I am personally non-committal regarding this event, various residents have expressed concerns and I would be grateful of re-assurance that the authorities are fully aware of this event and some of the potential black spots and blind junctions.

"Although the organisers have stated that all speed limits will be adhered to – most of the lanes in our county have 60 mph speed limits but it is not the speed but what is round the corner.”

Organised by Hero Events, it will involve 67 cars including Aston Martins, Morgans, Bentleys, Porches, a Dodge Senior Six, a Jaguar XK140 DHC and a Triumph TR4.

The route includes Broomhall Lane, Holdings Lane, Brookend Lane, Old Roman Road heading South and Bestmans Lane. Drivers then head onto Draycott Lane, up to Kinnersley Road, through Kerswell Green, into Birch Lane, west towards the A38 and on to Severn Stoke. .

The classic cars will turn left towards Kinnersley, along Church Lane and over the M5 motorway bridge to Dunstall Common.

The aim is for drivers to get to locations along the route at the correct time which is monitored by marshals.

Guy Woodcock, clerk of the course, described it as a ‘regularity event’ and said it could not be termed a ‘car rally’.

The cars are not supposed to exceed 30mph at any time with each car leaving at a one minute interval to avoid disruption.

In some places the speed is limited to as low as 15mph. Those who do not obey the rules can be served with penalties or even excluded altogether.

He said all the speed and test events would be on private land, including Throckmorton and that 2,500 letters had been printed and delivered door to door to people living along the 350 mile route.

He said: “This is not a race. It is not a speed event. What we do we do properly and within the bounds of the law and try, wherever possible, to limit disruption to the local residents."

Next year the event is moving from Worcestershire to the Peak District.