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21st October 2009

2009 Sleaford Historic Show
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The audience select the concours winners at this event. Roy Workman watched as RC prizes were handed out to a smart vintage Beesa, a handsome Mk3 Commando and an outrageous Triumph outfit...

The Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show is an annual event, held in the grounds of St George's College in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. The advantage of this venue is that you have hard-standing and all the facilities of a sixth form college. Show exhibitors get a 'goody bag' containing information and offers, together with a commemorative plaque and a couple of voting slips for you to mark with your choice of vehicle.

Army cadets were on duty at the entrances to make sure every thing went smoothly with the comings and goings. They also had a supply of programmes for sale. Exhibitors needed to get their vehicles in place by 10am, because the show opened to the public at 10.30 am. Entrance to the show is free; however, as a visitor, if you wished to vote on the vehicles on display then you needed to purchase a programme, and these cost £1.

If they gave FERC awards... Jim Nealy's 1921 BSA model H2

With over 200 vehicles on display in eleven sections there was plenty to choose from. There were 70 motorcycles on display, the oldest one being a 1921 BSA H2 model and there were three more 1920s machines to look at. The motorcycles were split into five groups; pre-1950s, 50s to 60s, 1961-1970, 1971-1985 and 1986 onwards. Motorcycle combinations and trikes were judged in their appropriate bike-year class. There were several newish Royal Enfields on display, and the Royal Enfield Owners' Club had an area as well. I voted for them in the Best Club Stand section.

Pre-war Triumph and BMW

Bob Carrott, who won the sidecar section last year, left his outfit at home this year and turned up on his solo BSA. He told me that he felt that he might only get a few votes this time as the bike was not at its best.

Proud owner... Peter Evans' 1975 Mark 3 Norton Commando
Nortons on

The voting slips had to be returned by 2pm; this enabled the votes to be counted before the prize-giving ceremony, which took place just after 4pm. Some of the motorcycle winners received special subscriptions to the monthly RealClassic magazine for their efforts, and they were: Peter Evans from Kings Lynn with his class winning 1975 Norton Mk 3 Commando; Jim Nealey of Ruskington with that attractive 1921 BSA model H2, and David Wood from Newark with his smart 1960 BSA A10.

David seems to have won an ice cream cornet... David Wood's 1960 BSA A10
BSAs on

There were six outfits and four trikes on show. Mike Hardy was another RC award-winner with his Triumph / Merlin motorcycle combination*. He told me that he was delighted with his win and doubly so because Chris Vincent, the sidecar racer, presented the trophy to him and they had had a good a chat about sidecars.

Can't see where the bike ends and the sidecar starts... Mike Hardy with his Triumph / Merlin motorcycle combination

I later caught up with Mike Hardy and his wife, Chris, at the end of the show. They were delighted with the result and Chris hoped that her photos had come out all right. Mike was especially pleased that Chris Vincent had been there to present the trophy to him. Their trophy was sponsored by a local firm called Scriminger, who specialise in BMW motorcycles. I wish that I had known about them when I had my BMW outfit! They seem to be very good, and Mike and I have been invited along to their open day, when they move to their new premises later this year.

From the ridiculous to the sublime?...

As well as the vehicles there was a display of stationary engines. The Newark Radio Controlled Car Club had taken over the tennis courts and had laid out a track with lots of racing models chasing around the track. This drew quite a crowd of spectators. You definitely would not go hungry at this show, as there was plenty of choice for reasonably priced food and drink.

You can make your own 'diplay of stationary engines' joke...

Another extra to the show was the craft fair. Wandering around here I found an automotive artist; he does this part time and his work was to a very high quality.

This is a very well-organised show and is well worth a visit. It is usually held on the first Saturday in September, so put it in your diary for next year. For further info see


*And we have a full feature on this bike in the pipeline. Come back in a couple of weeks to read it…


Sidecar outfits on Right Now...


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