26th September 2014
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Sleaford Historic Vehicle Show, 2014
This friendly Lincolnshire event attracts two and three-wheeled classic bikes, more recent retros and even the odd scooter. Roy Workman reports...
The Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show (to give it its full name) is held in this Lincolnshire town's council car park in the Eastgate area. This is a convenient spot, just a short walk to the town centre with its cafés and bars. Usually on this weekend a farmers' market is also held in the Market Square, with several stalls selling local produce including ostrich meat! If you stroll off in the opposite direction along the river bank, you soon come to the old watermill which is also well worth a visit.
I woke up on Saturday and looked out of the window - it was misty. I am lucky because I live close to the show site so it did not bother me too much. However some of the riders told me that they got fairly damp on their journeys. This year the Sleaford Show celebrated its 22nd year, and it is well-organised with helpful stewards. There is free entry for the public to come and view. However if they want to vote on the 'Best in Class' award then they need to buy a programme which costs £1, inside which there is a voting slip.
From 8 o'clock on there was a steady flow of display vehicles arriving, and at 9.30am a cavalcade of vehicles arrived having driven through the town. This year the exhibits were more spaced out than usual, which helps you to look more closely at them. Unfortunately the weather could have been better, as the predicted hot weather did not materialise. I felt that this led to some vehicles not turning up on the day. The sun did not shine all day and at times it was quite overcast; this meant that the hot food stalls were kept busy. Last year it was red hot and the ice cream vans had a great day.
Talking to a steward, he said that if all those who had pre-booked had turned up all the spaces would have been full, but there were several gaps. This helped those arriving on spec to display their vehicles, as they were allowed in provided they could show a current vehicle insurance certificate.
There was a good show of motorcycles, including some of the regulars, like the 'Geoff Duke' Royal Enfield presented to Geoff by the factory. I would guess that 60 / 70 bikes were on display, including a small display from Oliver's, a local motorcycle shop. More motorcycles were parked outside the showground in the road opposite.
I spotted an new Indian motorcycle which had been ridden in by Roger Jones who was wearing a RealClassic Rider sweat-shirt. We had quite a nice chat about the machine. He has recently had new tyres fitted to the bike, and he said that getting the back wheel out takes a little while. However, this is a lovely, classic-style machine and it proved to be quite a draw, with a lot of interest show in it.
As well as the exhibits there were various trade stands and food outlets. The Lincolnshire Hospitals Band, showed up again this year. This is a large brass band playing a mixture of well-loved tunes. They played two 45-minute sessions and they were very good. Appropriately the last tune they played was The Lincolnshire Poacher. The band really seemed to enjoy themselves, and the conductor also had a sense of humour.
The voting slips had to be in by 2pm, to give the stewards time to work out the winners and at 4pm the trophy presentations took place. The lady doing the presenting had a bit of a fight with a dodgy microphone, but she managed to perform her task with aplomb. As well as trophies, the winners of the motorcycle groups won some other goodies including RealClassic subscriptions. One of the bikes to take an RC award was an Enfield Bullet, while another was a 1977 Kawasaki KH250.
Another great show, well organised and situated in a central spot in the town. On the voting slip it had a space for comments on how to improve the show for next year so I wrote 'more sun please!'
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