Croydon’s Mars lander space scientist remembered at vehicle show

Vic Sullivan, Val Barnes, Malcolm Ralph, Paul Martin, Zoe Martin and Steph Ralph, with MG B Roadster

Vic Sullivan, Val Barnes, Malcolm Ralph, Paul Martin, Zoe Martin and Steph Ralph, with MG B Roadster, Morris 1000 and Beagle 2 Mars Lander - Credit: Archant

When you think of classic vehicle shows, images of Aston Martins and VW Beetles spring to mind, not landers destined for Mars.

But organisers behind the Croydon Classic Vehicle show have booked in the 2003 Beagle 2 Mars Lander prototype and the 2018 Airbus EXOMars Rover prototype for their annual event.

The Beagle 2 holds special significance for the village. Colin Pillinger – who lived in Croydon, together with his wife Dr Judith Pillinger – worked on the project to send it to Mars in 2003 as the principle investigator.

Sadly the scientist died in May last year, just months before it was discovered that the ‘lost’ Beagle had been found on Mars.

The proceeds of the show, to be held next Sunday, June 21, will be used to help restore the medieval church of All Saints and the village hall reading room.

The Father’s Day special event will be held from 12 noon until 4pm and is expected to attract 100 of vehicles from Peterborough to Hatfield and beyond.

The event isn’t just for dedicated petrol heads, either.

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There will be lots of stalls, games, food, parades, artwork, live music and unique Mars mission cartoons for all the family.

Event organiser Malcolm Ralph said: “The village has a very small population of about 220 in total so mounting a show of this kind means all hands to the pump.

“We are very grateful to all who turn out from the wider area to support the event and who make it a success.”

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