2018 FLICKR SHOW IMAGES
After many months of soul searching & lengthy discussions with Marshals & close friends, I'm sorry to inform you all that the 2018 BOXING DAY PRE 1976 CAR & BIKE MEET was sadly the last...
For 17 years the event has been a huge part of my life, I have spent most of my holiday time in those years organising & promoting it & thrown a small fortune at it ... with absolutely no regrets whatsoever. What started as a very small gathering has grown & grown into a hugely successful event & it's been great to give a little back to my birth town ( & place of work ), to give my fellow classic vehicle owners a fun event to attend in mid winter & of course, to also raise over £40,000 for charity. Last year's event, both in numbers & in quality of vehicles was astounding, as were the spectator numbers & the amazing £9000.32 collected for PROSTATE CANCER UK. Such was its success, that I don't think I can ever better that day or perhaps even equal it & as a favourite saying goes, "nothing in life is forever". With the various running issues the event has, I cannot help but fear my very good luck with it is coming to an end & unlike so many fading pop stars & sports personalities, who go on beyond their best, I have decided to "quit at the top" rather than see the event go downhill.
It's been amazing over the years watching families, sometimes 3 generations, enjoying the event & my luck weather wise has been astounding. I've met some truly wonderful people but have also been abused by my fair share of not so wonderful people!! I've seen some truly amazing vehicles, a variety of such that is rarely seen at events, but these last few years I've found myself unable to see much at all, due to my parking & traffic control duties on the day. With just 6 marshals to cover all the ground & issues we get on the day, there are simply too few of us & finding willing volunteers, with a good classic car & bike knowledge, gets harder each year. On top of that we outgrew the current site many years ago & there simply isn't a larger / better one around. Aldi stated early on in 2018 that they may be opening Boxing Day 2019 & whilst they possibly may not now open this Boxing Day, that day is undoubtedly coming & the loss of their car park & / or the loss of one or two of the others car parks, due to the proposed redevelopments of both Crosfield Hall & the Bus Station, will make the running of the event an impossibility.
The numbers of vehicles the event attracts & the overspill of vehicles into the town, has been a great sight to behold but those huge numbers have also made it all become unmanageable & trying to stop visiting spectators ( & some exhibitors ) from ignoring the very necessary "Disabled access" / "Residents Only" type signage is impossible. Every year that I solve such a parking problem, it just moves that problem 50 yards down the road the next year, to the point that I spent most of last year's show around the corner, away from the event, unable to see absolutely anything, due to having to deal with such issues. That inconsiderate parking has sadly resulted in a lot of complaints & grief thrown in my direction in recent years & it's been made very clear to me, on numerous occasions, that many close proximity residents "hate" the event!... so to be honest it's just not much fun running it anymore.
The above reasons & a fair few others, the death of 4 friends in 2018 ( all similar age to me ), my Dad's cancer returning this year ( now thankfully in remission ) & some health problems also for me, have all influenced my decision & made me take a look at life differently. Many close to me & customers of mine, may have noticed I have avoided the subject when asked "is it on this year?" & the truth is I have been weighing up the pros & cons all year long, to-ing & fro-ing with my decision & simply not wanting to announce anything until I was 100% certain.
Sadly the cons far outweighed the pros & that tough decision is now made. I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the various marshals that helped me over the years, without them the event could not have functioned. THANK YOU to George Hadzidimitriou of G & J catering, for supporting us from the humble beginnings & always being super reliable, friendly & SO generous to our charities. THANK YOU to my cousin Matthew Rogers for his invaluable help. THANK YOU to Andy Windibank for all of the brilliant show videos over the years & THANK YOU to each & every one of you that has supported the event, it's charity collections & at times of difficulty, supported me also! I appreciate it very much & will always have very fond memories of it & I hope it provided all of you with some fond memories too.
I have already informed all the national car & bike magazines of the event's demise & will now be informing all the car clubs etc, but if you would please be kind enough to also share this around as much as you can, I'd be grateful. Your doing so will hopefully help get this news out to as many people as possible, so that no-one has an unnecessary & disappointing journey to Romsey this Boxing Day. Thank you, Steve B