Henham steam rally forced into liquidation

Henham Steam Rally. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Henham Steam Rally. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

The Beccles-based firm behind the Grand Henham steam rally has been forced into liquidation after not having enough funds for an injury pay-out.

The Grand Henham Steam Rally is a popular event for all the family Picture: Mick Howes

The Grand Henham Steam Rally is a popular event for all the family Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Henham Steam Rally Trading Ltd was wound up at London’s High Court on Wednesday, July 8, over its inability to meet a damages pay-out to a Colchester man.

The firm currently owes £76,160 to 55-year-old Duncan Pittock, who brought forward the proceedings to have the company compulsorily wound up because it cannot pay what it owes him.

Mr Pittock, the owner of an engineering business based in East Mersea near Colchester, had successfully sued the organisers of the Grand Henham steam rally for damages after an accident he suffered on September 23, 2015.

At a hearing before the High Court’s Insolvency and Companies Court, judge Mark Mullen granted the winding up petition.

Jane Clifford was among the visitors to the Grand Henham Steam Rally to try out the public steering

Jane Clifford was among the visitors to the Grand Henham Steam Rally to try out the public steering sessions on the opening day in the Len Murray Arena. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant


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A winding up order forces an insolvent company into compulsory liquidation, a process in which the court appoints an official receiver to liquidate a company’s assets in order to repay creditors.

At an earlier insolvency hearing, Mr Mullen’s barrister Samuel Hodge said a judge had awarded Mr Pittock the damages, including interest, on March 10.

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He said Henham Steam Rally Trading Ltd’s solicitors - Machins of Luton - had twice confirmed, in January and May this year, it was unable to pay the fee.

The barrister told the judge: “They confirmed that the company doesn’t have the funds required to satisfy the judgement debt.

The 44th Grand Henham Steam Rally. Pictures: Victoria Pertusa

The 44th Grand Henham Steam Rally. Pictures: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

“An email sent on May 13 says ‘We don’t know how we can make it clearer than we already have done that our client doesn’t have the funds to settle the judgement.’”

Mr Hodge added: “As early as January this year, there was an email saying it didn’t have the funds to pay - before the judgement debt was entered.”

Granting the wind up order, Judge Muller said the company made it clear it was unable to satisfy the judgement against it, adding that the company’s financial position was “not Covid related”.

But he added: “Even if Covid has had some marginal effect on its finances the debt would have remained outstanding.”

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