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18th September 2013

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Sleaford Historic Car & Motorcycle Show 2013

At the Sleaford Show, the public decide which classic bikes win the prizes. Roy Workman enjoyed the event and cast his own votes...

This was the 21st show held in Sleaford, and for the third time the show has been held in the Council offices' car park. I arrived just after 8am, the idea being that I would have more space to photograph the machines as they pulled in. This year the motorcycle section was at the far end of the car park; there was a downside to this because we were in the shade most of the day…

Early, shady start...

The vehicles turned up steadily and were shown to their relevant parking areas. The show opens to the public at 10.30 am and entry is free; however, if members of the public wish to vote for the different classes of vehicles then they need to purchase a programme at the cost of £1. Exhibitors get a free programme!

The weather forecast was not good, and this may have affected the attendance. Talking to one of the organisers I was told that all of the exhibitors' parking spaces should have been full. However, several cars did not turn up, although the bikes were spilling out of their designated area. The motorcycle section had nearly 60 bikes on display, with a further 20 parked outside on the grass bank opposite the Council's car park. These included an Ariel Leader, a Velo single and a BMW Isetta. Several outfits were also on display in the car park.

I got talking to Steve, who used to work on our machines. He now works for Scriminger Engine Developments; this firm are specialists in BMWs and classic racing sidecars. They also build BMW café racers and these look very nice. Steve told me that they are busy all year round, and that have four years' work to do. He said that as soon as they finish one machine another one arrives! This is obviously good for business.

Classic BMWs on now...

With the show now being located more in the town centre, I wandered over to the café in the town square for breakfast. There was a farmers' market taking place in the square, which gave visitors to the show something else to look at too.

Get 'em while they're hot...

Arriving back at the show, the Lincolnshire Hospital Brass Band were just starting to play their first session; this was a full size band and they were very good.

Talking to a different Steve, who runs Olivers, another motorcycle dealership in the town, I was the first person to correctly guess the engine size of a Honda on display. Olivers had several older machines on display with prices on them. This proved to be a good move as they sold two of them during the day…

I wandered around voting for my choice of best vehicle in each class; these votes had to be in by 2pm.

Get 'em while they're hot...

The band later played their second session. The wind had stirred up a bit by this time and the conductor had his work cut out trying to keep his music steady. At one time the marquee in which they were playing nearly took off. The conductor tried to keep a tenuous link going between the music and a make of vehicle, and his comments had both the band and the spectators laughing.

The weather stayed dry - not quite as warm as last year, but it was very pleasant. There were plenty of food outlets, ice cream stands and several charity stands - on one of these I got lucky in a raffle and won a Garfield stuffed toy.

An AJW, yesterday...

At 4pm the presentations started. The motorcycle classes started with Class G, pre-1957, and this was won by a 1922 AJS. The second in class was an AJW Flying Fox. You do not see too many of these bikes; maybe twenty years ago I was at a bike show and saw a small group of these machines, and on talking to the chap standing close by, he turned out to be the manufacturer's son. It was nice talking to him.

An AJS, yesterday...

Class H motorcycles (1957-1964) was won by a Triumph Tiger 110, and Class I (1965-1972) was won by a Triton. Class J (1973-1986) was won by a very smart Lambretta scooter. Class K (motorcycles from 1987 onwards) was again won by Robert Chapman, an octogenarian, with his Ural retro outfit. Robert won Best in Class and he later also picked up the Best in Show award - this happened last year as well. He took a lot of stick for winning again, with comments like 'you will need to strengthen your sideboard to take all the weight.'

Blatent product placement...

The winners also received magazine subscriptions - including ones donated by RealClassic.

Once again, this proved to be a really good local show for classic vehicle enthusiasts. Well done to the organisers and all the vehicle entrants, and also to the public who came and looked. More at www.shcms.co.uk

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