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September 14th 2016

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Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show

A regular event on Roy Workman’s calendar, this year’s Sleaford Show featured scooters, a Ural outfit, racing sidecars, stacks of classics and even a trio of Sinclair C5s...

This was the 24th time this event has been held, in early September, at the local council office car park. This one-day show usually attracts about 80 cars and approximately 50 motorcycles. Luckily the day started bright and sunny, and I was one of the first to arrive. Someone I know from the Federation of Sidecar Clubs, Robert, followed me in, riding an old Ural outfit previously owned by marque specialist David Angel of F2 Motorcycles. Robert had had a good run to the show from Grimsby.

Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show

The position of the motorcycle display had changed from the last couple of years. Vehicles arrived steadily, but initially were a bit a thin on the ground because there was an organised ride-in from a local garden centre. I was told that local radio and TV were at the garden centre to record this event. The arrival of the ride-in gave a boost to the numbers of vehicles on display. There was a nice mix of cars and bikes. There were 11 classes on display, ranging from pre-1957 to 1987-onwards, including motorcycles and motorcars.

Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show

In the end there were six outfits on display, including a Lambretta outfit ridden by David; his outfit is very distinctive, being painted in yellow and green. He told me that he used to race scooter outfits in the 1970s. Steve, a friend, turned up on his Harley outfit, only to be turned away at the gate as he has not booked a place!

This show is different in that you have to pay to display your bike or car. I paid a £4 entry fee for the outfit, and I believe that it was £5 for a car. Visitors get in free unless they wish to vote for the exhibits, in which case they then have to purchase a programme for £1. The voting slips had to be in by 2pm to allow the organisers time to calculate the winners. Steve parked his Harley in a lay-by opposite the show, as did some other riders. The advantage of parking here was that you could ride off before the show officially ended…

Our local sidecar racers, the Horspole F1 Sidecar Racing Team, had their outfit on display. Between father Mick and son Gary they have over 50 years’ experience of sidecar racing. Both have had several podium finishes in Isle of Man TTs and Gary has been British F2 champion twice.

In the town, a few minutes away, the town square had a Farmers’ Market on, with lots of local produce on display. There are plenty of places to eat pretty close to the show, only a few minutes’ walk from the square - the choice is yours. Leaving the show, if you walked the opposite way along the river tow path for ten minutes, you came to Cogglesford Watermill, which is open most days in the summer, where they also do teas and coffees and light snacks. The mill is well worth a visit and if you wish you can go upstairs for a look around.

Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show
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Rain had been forecast for midday, but it arrived a little early. It was not too bad a problem at first; however it was pretty heavy later on in the afternoon. I have attended this show for many years now and the weather has always been reasonable - it has not rained for several years. There were a few spaces in the car park; the weather forecast may have kept some exhibitors away, but there was a nice display of two and four-wheeled vehicles.

Music this year was provided by Miller’s Magic, a concert band; they played for two sessions during the day, and the music was very nice. The site tannoy played a good choice of recorded music when the band was not playing.

There was a selection of stands, including trade stands, RoSPA and Sleaford Lions, who kept the bacon and sausage rolls going, plus there were other refreshment opportunities on site. I felt sorry for the ice-cream vendor, because the weather was not the best for him. Butlers, a local electrical firm, had brought along their collection of three Sinclair C5 electric vehicles. These were driven around the car park and were surprisingly quick - it was interesting to watch them.

Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show

At 3.30pm the prize draw took place, followed by presentation of the trophies. I believe that this year over 30 trophies were awarded. Extra gazebos were put for the exhibitors to stand under in the dry whilst waiting to see who had won first and runner-up awards in each of the sections.

Another nicely-organised show - well done to all the helpers.

Next year’s show, the 25th, will be on Saturday 2nd September 2017.

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