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23rd September 2015

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Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show

For the 23rd time, this annual classic show was held in Sleaford town centre. Roy Workman took his sidecar outfit along...

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning and looked out of the window only to note that it was raining hard – just what you need on a show day! Luckily, an hour or so later it had eased off and I had a dry ride to the show. As I rode onto the site an Indian Chieftain motorcycle was parked up at the entrance, and when I booked in there were several boxes of motorcycle magazines which were free for entrants.

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show

Several vehicles were already on display. A new firm to the show was RP Motorsport, who came from Grantham. They brought along a mixture of six machines, including a CBR600 and a smaller CB 500. Both of these machines are raced and the rider, Chris Ridealgh, was on the stand. Also on this display were a couple of mopeds.

Unfortunately Gary Horspole, our local sidecar racer, was unable to come to the show as he was away working in Holland, but his family were here, setting up their stand at the show. Another entrant brought in a few 50cc racing motorcycles. These were very quick, and in 1962 the first 50cc TT was held on the Isle of Man. One of the national motorcycle press magazines at that time ran a competition to guess the average race speed. (Amuse yourself by trying to work out what it was…)

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show
Sidecars on Now...

Road-going outfits like mine had our places marked out in the car park. Although the programme said that there were six outfits booked to appear, only three turned up. Apart from mine, the other two were a BMW / Steib and a newish Royal Enfield / Watsonian. Bob Carrot, who introduced me to this show, usually turns up with his outfit. However, this time around he arrived on a 1955 Matchless G3. He bought this bike four years ago as a rusted basketcase, and he was pleasantly surprised to find that the engine was in quite good condition. He has since rebuilt it and made quite a nice job of it.

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show

There was a nice selection of motorcycles to look at. One, a Moto Morini, had a nicely-made aluminium race fairing, and the owner told me that it was quite light and fitted like a glove. This bike sounded good on the move.

Something a little unusual was the Town Crier arriving in all his regalia riding a large trike.

The show opens to the public at 10.30. and the organisers like the entrants to be in place by 10am. Entry is free to the general public; however if they wish to vote for any of the vehicles then they need to buy a programme at the cost of £1, the voting form being in the programme.

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show

I wandered off for a big breakfast in one of the local cafés. I timed it so that I would be back in time to hear the Lincolnshire Hospitals’ Band play the first of their two sessions. This is a large brass band playing a mixture of popular tunes. The band had a little problem with the wind – the marquee needed sandbags to be placed by the legs to stop it moving in the breeze! So umpteen pegs were needed to keep the sheet music in place on their stands. At one time they played the Dambusters March and several young children marched up and down to the music…

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show

Wandering around the show I spotted a BMW Isetta bubblecar; this was a replica. Having owned one of these many years ago, it caught my eye. This one is somewhat quicker than mine. It is fitted with a Honda 250cc engine and turns out 45bhp. This Isetta is raced, and there were pictures showing it chasing an AJS girder-forked outfit through a corner at Mallory Park. Other photos showed it on two wheels at times whilst it was being pushed hard.

Sleaford Historic Car And Motorcycle Show

The voting slips had to be in the box close to the tannoy system by 2pm. The guy running the tannoy kept a nice selection of period music going for most of the day. The trophy presentations began at 3.30, and there was a good crowd watching this and applauding the efforts of the restorers and owners.

Many thanks to the team who worked hard to organise the show. As usual, it was well worth going.



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