A bumper turnout of enthusiasts and their prized vehicles at Carcruise meet in Blackburn

First published in This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

HUNDREDS of petrolheads descended on Blackburn town centre to show off their prized modified veh-icles at a Blackburn Car-cruise meet.

Around 400 ‘pimped-up’ cars were on display, on the car park outside Halfords and Maplin.

“It’s not about racing, or being dangerous,” said org-aniser 21-year-old Connor Houghton. This is a static meet, so it’s not even about driving. People come here to meet other people and show off their cars.”

Connor doesn’t work, but spends his time organising meets, and puts his own money into promoting them and making them enjoyable.

“We have competitions like show and shine, which sees a prize for the shiniest car. They’ll win like a car kit, or something I will buy with my own money. I also pay for all the banners and the signage which I put up around town, so that people visiting know where they’re going.”

Dave Newell, a Blackburn tutor, has had his Sierra RS Cosworth for 3 years. “It’s probably cost me about 25 grand to get it looking like this, and I spend hours pol-ishing it and maintaining it.

“I’d always wanted one and now I have it, I’m going to look after it. It is a lot of money, but I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, so this is what I spend my money on.

“My girlfriend thinks I’m a bit mad.”

But not everyone in the area on Saturday night was as excited as the car enth-usiasts. A member of staff in nearby Burger King said the meet had made her ner-vous. She said: “When you come to work and see all this, you just think, oh my god. What is going to happ-en? They say they are sensible and aren’t going to drive like idiots, but they are only young lads and they have fast, fast cars.”

Connor said he and town centre sergeant Nick Ever-ett had worked together in the run-up to hosting the meetings, and there was a police presence at every event. He said: “You can always get some idiots that show up and want to ruin things, but that’s the way it is for everything, really.

“All we want to do is meet up and see who has the loudest soundsystem, who has the shiniest car, and how creative people have got with their cars. We all know each other, we’re all friends and it’s a proper com- munity. And you don’t find much of that these days.”

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