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2015 SHOW REPORT
After the Southern Echo wrongly printed the starting time as 6a.m not 9a.m, I arrived an hour earlier this year to get set up, at 4.30a.m! The awful rain of Xmas day had thankfully disappeared and a windy but dry morning ahead of us. Vehicles soon started rolling in, one car park was soon full and we started to fill the 2nd of our 3 car parks. Once again the show was already living up to it's reputation of being one of the most eclectic shows of the year and all sorts of weird and wonderful vehicles were working their way into the car parks.
The relative quiet of the morning was soon disturbed by the glorious sound of celebrity chef James Martin turning up in not 1 but 2 of his Ferraris
( a Daytona and a newly acquired 275 ) along with a Mini Cooper he owns - Paddy Hopkirk's 63 ex works Cooper. James emailed me a few years ago asking if he could come along to the event and bought 2 cars along and then did the same again just before this Xmas. The noise from those Ferraris put a smile on many a face amongst an already large crowd of spectators.
The time was now 9a.m and we were already struggling to find spaces as more and more vehicles descended on Romsey and between 9a.m and 10a.m we had to turn away just shy of 100 eligible vehicles on top of the ineligible vehicles that still tried to gain entry ... despite the very clear vehicle classifications on the website and all pre show press. My job for the day was to be the "bouncer" on the Classic Bike area, an area that has for years, seen many bikers on modern sports bikes, barge their way into and hence provide a car park not dissimilar to any other motorbike park in any town throughout the year! I heavily publicised that this year I was not going to allow this to happen and with new banners on all gates, making classifications clear, I have to say many modern sports bike owners still tried to gain entry BUT they took the refusal well ... perhaps a sign that they knew they shoudn't be there. The result was a cracking display of Pre 76 Bikes and some pre 86 Yank / custom bikes like the event has never witnessed before. Next year I will be doing the same, so please remember guys, if it ain't Pre 76 Euro / Pre 86 Yank / Custom, it ain't gonna get in :-) Same applies to cars ... we're not being elitist, we have an oversubscribed event, with an incredible array of visiting early classics, with space at a premium and henceforth no room for modern classics / sports bikes etc ... NOT personal.
My team of 5 volunteer Marshalls did a brilliant job as always and I was pleased to see so many people go up and thank them for their work and to also donate to their charity tins, without those 5 guys, there wouldn't be a show. With the FULL signs up from fairly early on, as one early bird would leave we would then let the later new arrivals in, this seems to attract the crowds to the roadside each year as a static show becomes a mobile one, with some brilliant sights and sounds of all vehicle ages and descriptions, travelling in both directions of the road. In no time 12.30 seemed to have arrived and vehicles were leaving for home and us 6 Marshalls soon congregated, chatting enthusiastically about what we'd seen ... and missed ( more of the latter sadly for us, as we probably only see 10-20% of the vehicles ). Time for the tidy up and once again very little rubbish to pick up ( thank you folks ) and all the many signs, barriers and 30 charity collection tins to pack away.
Check out this year's photos kindly supplied by Andrew Meaton, Sam Evans, Steve Favell, Nigel Taylor, Mark Rumble, Ben Osman, Chevy Rick, Dave Hillary, David House, Debbie Harfield, Matt Rodders Starks, Mike Johnson, Ruth Roman, Tracey Jhugroo ( & a few from yours truly ) here on our new flickr page ( see link below ). You'll find 3 pages of photos, showing the incredible array of vehicles that the event attracts, averaging 6 -700 cars and some 200 plus bikes. More than enough proof to the doubters, that the year limitations are very much needed and that they DON'T stop people from "coming along and supporting the event"......
Thank you once again to all of you who bring vehicles out in the middle of winter, to my 5 brilliant Marshalls, my cousin who helps me no end shifting the equipment around and to those of you that visited our little do and gave generously to our charity, PROSTATE CANCER UK. The total raised this year was £3879.78 plus £131.25 in Gift Aid from the JustGiving page, THANK YOU everybody.
Happy Classic Motoring, Steve B.