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20th January 2014

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2014 Newark Winter Classic

The first show of the season survived deluge and downpours to deliver five halls full of classic roadbikes and racers, sidecars, scooters and evening entertainment. Roy Workman reports...

This is the first major classic show of 2014, an early show held on the first weekend in January. perfect if you need a good excuse to get out of the house and go to the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire. This is the third time the winter show has been held here. I went on Saturday, and it was raining steadily. Walking onto the showground the first stand you came across was the Harley one - a nice display of bikes, all looking very wet! Somebody would have a nice job drying them off later.


Luckily a lot of the show is under cover in several halls. I wandered into the nearest hall which had a nice display of bikes from classic to custom, together with some really good club and trade displays. Bikes varied from very early British veterans through the classic era, including displays from the Gold Star and Douglas Clubs, all the way to later superbikes on the VJMC stand and muddy Yamaha trailbikes.


There were several outfits on display here; most were off-road type; however two road-racing outfits - one a Vincent and the other a BMW airhead - were on show. Leaving this hall I wandered through the large marquee 'hall'. This is a permanent covered open-air stand with hard-standing. The traders here had it better than those out in the open air - a lot of those traders sat in their vans waiting for the rain to ease off.


In total there are five under-cover halls; these had hot-air heaters trying to keep them warm. The Stanley Sheldon Hall was devoted to scooters, and there were some unusual models on display, including a Durkopp Diana. This was a 1955 model, but it was fitted with electric start. I've travelled several times on these machines. As an extra interest a Durkopp sewing machine was also on display!


An NSU Prima was on display; a couple travelled to Australia on one back in the 1950s, and a book has been written about the journey (check Amazon for 'Two-Up by scooter to Australia'). There were some excellent club displays, and on talking to some of the exhibitors they felt that the show was busier than in previous years. It is obviously beginning to get known.


I caught up with Jim D'arcy; he formerly ran Charnwood Classic Restorations, a firm that specialised in sidecars. Jim has semi-retired, and he and a friend had some machines on display at the show.

Amongst the autojumble there were some nice machines for sale, including a 1950 Triumph Tiger 100; this looked to be in a nice condition. There were plenty of food outlets; hot food and drink was a very welcome must on the cold and wet day. Weekend camping was also available, for those feeling brave enough to endure the elements, at the Showground.

Marshall and Plater Roger Marshall and Steve Plater. Cheer up, lads...
650cc Triumphs on Now...

One of the highlights of the weekend were talks given on stage by guest of honour Roger Marshall, the successful 1980s racer. He was 12-times British champion, Honda and Suzuki works team rider. These talks were with the former TT winner Steve Plater and were very interesting, covering some of the rich history and the future of racing in the East Midlands, and Marshall's current involvement as a steward in BSB racing, as well as recollections of his time riding alongside famous names like Joey Dunlop and Wayne Gardner.


Roger Marshall also presented the show's awards - given to the best of restorations, displays and club stands. Graham Holloway's 1955 Triumph T110 was selected as the Best In Show bike; Tony Cookson's 1956 Triton café racer picked up the Best Restoration award, and Garry Kendrick's 1978 Ducati Hailwood Rep was chosen as the show's premier private entry.

Saturday evening's entertainment started at 7pm and finished late. The entertainment consisted of a DJ followed by a band then the DJ again and so on.


This was a well-organised show, mainly held in five halls, with lots of trade and club stands; being indoors was useful in January, especially when the hot air heaters got going. An ideal location for a winter show, and well worth a visit.

Details of the next ClassicBikeShows are available here. Photos by Roy Workman and Joe Dick


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