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17th July 2013

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Swaton Vintage Show 2013

Roy Workman is particularly keen on sidecars and three-wheelers and found plenty at this annual event to keep him entertained, alongside the displays of classic two-wheelers and other vintage vehicles...

The sun shone on my ride down to the show near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. On the trip I spotted a red sports car catching me up; he stayed behind me until we passed the speed camera, and then the Ferrari overtook me and disappeared from view quite quickly!

The show may be called the Swaton Vintage Day and Country Fair, but it is actually held in Thorpe Latimer, the next village up the road. The show was well signposted and the site was easy to find. Jonathan (Joss) Bourne has run the motorcycle section for some years now, and he had already turned up on his BSA B40. On Saturday he and two friends had put out the pegs for standing room for the 60 anticipated motorcycle entrants to the show. The area allowed for bikes this year was larger than last year, and Joss was able to put all the motorbikes and sidecars together at the back of the field.

A sheep in wolf's clothing?...

I was there at just gone 8am. This gave me a good chance to get decent photos before the field got too crowded. A friend, Dave, brought the first outfit of the day and he was already there when I arrived. He comes well equipped for the day, complete will a huge sun shade. One of the first bikes to turn out was a Royal Enfield Crusader Sports, a machine which was originally owned by Geoff Duke; the Enfield was presented to him by the factory. Another bike which caught my attention early on was a look-alike Honda race bike. It was very well done, complete with four exhausts, racing saddle and a handmade aluminium fairing. However this bike was a 'sheep in wolf's clothing' if ever there was one!

Was Phil Read making public appearances back then?...

Somebody had brought in a large display of racing programmes, with many dating from the 1960s, and quite a few of them were signed. Peter Williams, Chris Vincent, Derek Minter and Phil Read were just some of the famous names on these programmes.

Sidecars on now...

Mike Wadsworth, of the Federation of Sidecar Clubs, put up the Fed's banner on the perimeter fence (see ). Doing this put a something of an unexpected spring in his step when he discovered that the top row of the fence was electrified. As Mike said later, if his bike got a flat battery, he would connect it to the fence!

This Crusader 'sports' a Ducati seat...

Some members of the South Yorkshire Sidecar Club also turned up. They had brought their marquee and it was erected here for the first time, and it proved to be a great success.

The show had over 400 vehicles booked in and these included vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, tractors, commercials and stationary engines. There was a beer tent (selling local real ale), a hog roast, refreshments, craft tents, trade stands and exhibitions, together with a climbing wall and children's games. On top of this there was terrier racing - bring your own dog and you can race it.

The British Two Stroke Club brought their display of disembodied legs...

The World Egg Throwing Championships take place here; this can get messy because most of the eggs are raw. This year saw the return of the egg trebuchet, based upon weapons used years ago during sieges. Teams came from Belgium, Holland and Japan to take part. Participants and spectators alike were assured that no hens had been hurt in this competition, and that all the eggs were well past their 'use by' dates!! For more details see

SOme Matchlesses, yesterday...

The vehicles continued to arrive, and with the AJS/ Matchless Club having a ride out here this added another 20 old motorcycles. I counted approximately 120 bikes on display, including a dozen outfits; there were also some trikes - so three-wheelers were well represented.

During the parade of vehicles, the Lancaster aeroplane appeared over the showground, and the commentator tried to get us to believe that the show had organised this for us; however the huge local air show at Waddington is on the next weekend.

Too much blue?...

The weather was good and the spectators poured in. The live band was good.

At the end of the day Joss was speaking to a couple about to leave on their bike. They told him that they had learned about the show on the internet and had ridden down from Liverpool on a day trip.

Hmmm... Interesting...

Overall, it was another well-organised show. Apparently everything sold out, and all the hog roast and all the food went. The money raised goes to national and local charities. A couple of friends who had not been before were impressed and said that they would come again next year.

To make my day complete I had a phone call in the evening telling me that I had won third prize in the raffle, and that 25 would be winging its way into my pocket!


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