16th February 2011
January is a brave time of year to put on a bike show. It's also a fairly brave time of year to attend a bike show, too. Roy Workman wore his snuggly RC sweatshirt to keep the cold at bay...
The Springfield Bike Show is held in January. The venue is alongside the Springfield Shopping Centre, at Spalding, Lincolnshire. It is quite easy to find as the shopping centre comes up on the brown tourist road signs. Arriving at the show on Saturday the first thing that I heard was the sound of the Wall of Death motorcycles being warmed up. You could see their progress around the wall from the outside because the boards were flexing as the bikes went round. Last year they did not make it to the show as the weather was really bad.
The show is held mainly inside. There were some traders and food outlets outside, but it was a bit cold for them. This is a nice show and it is very good for classic bikes, with about 60 on display, There are several dealers there and numerous trade stands, as well as club stands
I was told this by Malcolm Collins, who was standing by the machine. His Perret BSA grasstrack bike was close by. Malcolm won the 1997 250cc vintage grasstrack championship on this machine.
I met up again with Dave Bryant, who organises the classic section. He had hoped to gain more space for exhibits than he had last year. He has offers of more bikes but he just needs more space. Everything was going OK until, at the last moment, the show's organiser said that he needed some space for another trade stand. Dave has a bit of a problem as there were another half a dozen bikes due in on the Sunday - but this is a good problem to have. Many shows struggle to find interesting bikes to fill their halls.
Dave is a keen classic enthusiast himself, and is hoping to find time to rebuild his Norton Commando in the near future. It has been in pieces for quite a while…
Ken Perch, who last year had a Norton outfit on display, this year had a 1947 plunger Norton racer on display as well as a Rickman Metisse. The Norton comes with a lot of Isle of Man history. He got a finisher's medal for 1949. Ken got lucky at a show when he was approached by a chap who had most of an engine to fit the Norton, if Ken was interested; Ken went and got the engine, together with a complete plunger rear suspension and a few other bits which are all useful spares for his bike.
The Royal Enfield Club had a stand in the hall with several bikes on display, including a 1921 two-stroke. The next stand was run by author and adventurer Gordon May; he had a lot of Royal Enfield-related stuff on offer, including his book 'Overland to India', which tells of his 8400 mile trip on a 55-year old Enfield motorcycle. I'd met Gordon before at a Watsonian-Squire open weekend, just before he set off on that trip, in fact.
Lincolnshire Road Safety had a nice display, and were doing various training courses. They were also giving away free fluorescent jackets and back packs.
This is not a large show but there is a lot of enthusiasm put in by dealers, clubs and riders' organisations, together with trade and clothing stands, with tyres, helmets and bikes for sale, and, of course, the people who display their machines. For me the Classic Hall for is the centre of my interest but those interested in racing will have wanted to see the special guests like Steve Plater, Jamie Whitham and Peter Hickman.
The show is well worth a visit especially as it is held early in the year. Worth braving the weather to attend!
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