9th November 2012
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Sleaford Historic Motor Show, 2012
Roy Workman enjoyed a rare dry day out at the excellent Sleaford Show, in company with 80 or more interesting old motorcycles...
Sleaford held its end of season 20th Historic Car and Motorcycle Show in the Council Offices' car park. This venue offers hard-standing for all the vehicles, and it means that the show could go ahead unlike some events this year which had to be cancelled because of soft ground.
For visitors to the show admission is free; however, for £1 you can purchase a catalogue of the display vehicles and this includes a voting slip so that you can vote for the best in class, etc. The vehicle entrants pay £3 for their first vehicle and £2 each for any further vehicles that they want to display. This year there were 11 classes in total.
I like to arrive early at shows; this gives me more time and space to photograph the machines, with fewer people milling around. Last year at this site the motorcycle section was a little crowded. However, it was much better this year and the bikes were allocated an extra eight car parking spaces in the main car park. This could have been the influence of Bob Carrott, a Meridan Triumph owner, who helps to organise the show. He told me that there were fifty bikes booked in, including five motorcycles with sidecars.Best in Show winner, R Chapman's 1968 Chiang Jang 750 and Sidecar
When I arrived there were already a few motorcycles on display. One chap had brought along three of his bikes, and he was setting up his display. His bikes were the Royal Enfield 250 (which he had bought from Geoff Duke), a nice 1964 Honda 124cc (this machine produced 15bhp and had a top speed of 80 mph), and last but not least an Itom 50cc racing machine, which was capable of 74 mph. I can remember these and similar machines racing at Brands Hatch - they sounded like a swarm of bees going around the track!
The first 50cc TT race was held in 1962; there was a lot of interest at the time in these little machines. The motorcycle press even ran a competition to guess the average speed of the winning machine. The winning machine, a Suzuki ridden by Ernst Degner, averaged just over 75mph for the two laps of the circuit! The Honda 50cc racer in 1962 produced 10bhp with a top speed of 87mph, which made it a bit quicker than the Itom.Winner of the George Allen Memorial Cup, Pat Winter's 1928 Sunbeam 8
A motorcycle business called Olivers has recently relocated to Sleaford and I got talking to Steve, who owns the firm. They sell bikes of all ages. Riding past the shop one day I spotted a Capri scooter with a price ticket on it; there can't be too many Capris on the road these days… Steve also buys older machines and restores them in the quieter winter months and then he sells them on. He currently has a Royal Enfield Flying Flea and a 1961 Bullet in stock.
I counted 60 bikes at the show with another 20, including a customised Velocette, parked on the grass verge opposite the show entrance.
The weather was good the sun shone all day. This certainly helped to bring in the spectators. There was a selection of trade stands, and the usual refreshments stalls selling burgers, chips, hot dogs, cakes, etc; hot and cold drinks were also available. The ice cream sales were slow to start with but as the day drew on and the heat built up they got very busy.
There were three bands playing at the show; the first band was Steppin' Stones, who played for an hour with a mixture of English and Irish folk music. This band was followed by the Sleaford Ukulele Orchestra, who also played a nice mix of music. In the afternoon the tunes were supplied by the Lincolnshire Hospitals' Band; this is a large brass band playing a mixture of popular tunes and requests.
The voting slips had to be in by 2pm, to allow the officials time to work out the results.Winner of the 1957 -1964 Motorcycle class, David Burrell's 1958 Triton 650
There was a good selection of vehicles to look at. The oldest car - a Clement Bayard - was made in 1911. It sounded good! It was a large car, but not as big as a Buick. This was a late entrant, and as it was 8 foot wide and 20 feet long it was parked up with the vintage lorries. It certainly gave you something different to look at. There was also a section for commercial and agricultural vehicles.
There was quite a lot of interest in the sidecars. I passed out several Federation of Sidecar club flyers, and with most people visiting the show being local it might help Tri-Anglia Wheels, our local club, to gain a few new members.
The trophy presentations were well supported, and, being a sidecar rider myself, I was particularly pleased when Dave, with his Royal Enfield, outfit, won an award. Robert, who had recently purchased the latest model Ural with sidecar, picked up two awards. Considering that there were only four outfits on site the sidecars did well to pick up three awards overall.
Another well organised show.
The next Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show is scheduled for Saturday 7th September 2013: see www.shcms.co.uk
For the Federation of Sidecar Clubs see www.fedsidecarweb.com
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