The Grand Folkestone
The Grand is a magnificent suite hotel on The Leas in Folkestone
"indisputably the finest marine promenade in the world"



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Airshow Rally 12th September 2015 Programme

This is a special event to coincide with an air display marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, happily also marking the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch.
Folkestone Herald re 12.9 airshow 10.9.15
Folkestone & Hythe Express re 12.9 airshow 9.9.15

Oldtimer Rally 2016

Below is a resume of our traditional annual Oldtimer Rally on The Leas in front of The Grand in Folkestone on August Bank Holiday Monday, next year on August Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2016.

Next year we are hoping to be allowed to reinstate a parade of cars along The Leas as we used to do many years ago; also, we are planning to have specifically designated locales for clubs and specific interest groups, and the entry form has been adapted to facilitate this.

For a rally entry form to download and print,click here

Those not on the internet can obtain a paper entry form by sending a Stamped Addressed Envelope to the Secretary, Eileen Watling, Lynsted Cottage, Farthing Common, Lyminge CT18 8DH.

If you have not already signed up for email alerts for periodic updates, please click here


Our annual Oldtimer Rally on The Leas in front of The Grand in Folkestone, which attracted nearly 400 entrants last year including a Continental contingent, is as ever planned for the late summer bank holiday; Folkestone Town Council traditionally sponsors the entrants’ plaques and prizes.

This year's rally, like last year's, was rather wet, although warm and windless, though in all the previous almost 40 years we#d enjoyed Folkestone#s traditional sunny weather! Even so, approaching 200 entrants turned up and a surprising number of spectators turned up during a respite in the weather between 2 & 4pm, during which we finalised the judging and the mayor presented the prizes.

Links to the entry form and the rally programmes for recent years are near the top left of this page.


Oldtimer‘Oldtimer’ is the modern Continental English for ‘classic car’.   Car rallies have been held here at least since 1896;  the first one marque car rally ever was held here in 1933, for Rileys (one of the Riley brothers lived locally);   in 1964 there were more Rolls-Royces per head of population in Folkestone than any other town in the world, and in the 70s the rally became established as the Rolls-Royce Parade.   In the 80s & 90s it became part of the local authority sponsored Shepway Airshow,now lately resuscitated but earlier in the summerwith its own separate rallies.




Oldtimer RallyIn the 21st century it has reverted to its roots as the Oldtimer Rally – a good day out for participants and anyone else who wants to come and have a look and enjoy the atmosphere.


Its situation, on The Leas in front of The Grand, is probably one of the finest such spots anywhere in the world, with a backdrop of majestic late Victorian and Edwardian buildings and views across the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel to France on clear days.   And clear days they usually are – since the summer heat waves of the mid 70 there has almost invariably been fine weather on the day of the rally - save for the last two!



Oldtimer RallyShould it rain, The Grand’s Palm Court, a glazed terrace overlooking the rally site, couldn’t be a finer retreat, and was well put to the test these last two years.   As can be seen from the links from this page, refreshments and meals are readily available there and in the adjacent accommodation which also contains rooms and apartments for those who wish to make more than a day’s outing for the annual occasion.



Oldtimer "Airshow" Rally
Saturday 8th June 2013


Although 1913´s Airshow was cancelled due to insufficient funding, Folkestone Town Council and Shepway District Council (SDC) decided jointly at the last minute to pay £12,000 to secure a Red Arrows display on the intended "Airshow" date, Saturday 8th June.

SDC agreed that an Oldtimer Rally could be arranged on The Leas in front of The Grand to coincide with the revised display, and despite the short notice of just eight days over 40 cars came, on what was, as ever, a glorious day.

The Red Arrows gave a magnificent display lasting nearly half an hour; according to an ex RAF display team member present, it was the finest display he had ever seen - very much helped of course by our magnificent vantage point 150 feet above the sea facing south over the Channel which enables the team to fly level with the spectators and being over water to indulge in spectacular dare devilry right under their noses.



----------------------------Press Coverage --------------------------------

Folkestone Herald 3rd September 2015

Folkestone Herald 28th August 2014

Folkestone Herald 29th August 2013

Kentish Express 23rd August 2013

Classic Cars Weekly 19th Sep 2012

Kentish Express 30th August 2012 Oldtimer

Folkestone Herald 6th September 2012

Below is a clip from a video taken at the 2010 rally:

Chairman Michael Stainer
Secretary Eileen Watling