July 25th 2016
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Swaton Vintage Day and Country Fayre, 2016
Roy Workman encounters flying eggs, giant tortoises, a James Cadet and a self-starting Velocette. And sidecars. Lots of sidecars...
This annual Vintage Day and Country Fayre was held on 26th June at the park in Thorpe Latimer, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. Over 400 vehicles were due to be on display but the predicted inclement weather put a few owners off and there were a couple of gaps in the ranks.
Luckily I had a dry ride to the showground and a lot of straw had been laid down in the entrance to the field as the ground was still soft from the previous week’s rain. Some vehicles still got stuck but a Land Rover managed to pull them out. There was strict control of vehicle movement on the field, which was loaned by a local farmer, and the vehicle parades were called off to avoid serious damage to the grass.
I like to get to these events early, and for the first time at this show they had security wrist bands that had your parking place number written on them. This took the pressure off Joss Bourne and his team of helpers, who were seeing the motorcycles to their allocated spots. One of the early motorcycles to arrive was a James Cadet. My first motorcycle was a James Comet and this had the same frame but fitted with a smaller 98cc engine. The Cadet was a 150 and had the advantage of three gears, where the Comet had only two gears operated from the handlebars by a lever.
The motorcycles steadily flowed in - a nice mix of all ages and styles. One Velocette single arrived and parked up, but needed to move place, it started effortlessly using an electric starter - an easy way to fire it up!
Being a sidecar man I was happy when a dozen outfits turned up. Some trikes also arrived, so there were plenty of three-wheelers mixed in with a good range of solo machines, some quite old , and a nice age range through the years up to the current models.
As well as motorcycles there are displays of classic cars, tractors, commercial vehicles and stationary engines at this show. Also on site was a beer tent supplied by a local brewery; this was so popular that it sold out of real ale! A tea bar had a nice range of cakes, and a hog roast proved popular. There were other refreshments as well - a nice choice of food outlets.
A craft tent, trade stands and exhibitions, together with children’s games and a free climbing wall were all things to visit and try.
The World Egg Throwing Federation was formed in 2005 and now has interest from all over the world, with egg throwers sharing its aims in over 35 countries. The registration for the games starts at 11am, with the first game starting at 1pm and egg throwing going on until 4pm. These were enthusiastically supported by the large crowd with load roars which could be easily heard on the other side of the field. Warning signs for flying eggs were plentiful on the perimeter of the range…
Amongst the 30 stationary engines was a carousel organ powered by a stationary engine playing a selection of tunes. This organ had played on Skegness pier for many years in the 1950s and 60s, before being restored and mounted on a trailer. The was also a novelty dog show, with several different categories. Other highlights included a Hurricane flying several times over the field, and you could even have your photo taken with some giant tortoises.
This is a good family show with something for everybody, and three different bands playing during the course of the day. All in all a well organised day, and we were lucky that the weather was kind. The organising team have raised about £8000 for local, national and international causes. All exhibiters get a free commemorative mug which is a nice touch.
For details of next year’s event see www.swatonvintageday.com
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