Sidecarland

2018 Sleaford Show

by Roy and Chris

Recently I attended the annual Sleaford Classic Car and Motorcycle Show. This is an easy show for me to visit as it is only a ten-minute drive from my house to the show ground. As usual, you want good weather for these outdoor events, and we got lucky that it was a lovely dry day, quite hot but with a cooling breeze so you did not melt. This was the 26th one of these shows so the organisation is finely honed by now. Arriving at the signing-in point I spotted several different motorcycle magazines up for grabs so I took one of each. I was shown to my allotted space, and Bob Carrot turned up with his outfit a few minutes later. This made a grand total of two outfits on display!! Bob first introduced me to this show in 2008, at which time he was on the show committee and he was looking for more sidecars to display.

The show followed its regular format with free entry to the public. Exhibitors get a free programme which allows them the right to vote on the eleven different classes of vehicles on display. Talking to one of the organisers I was told that the show was over-subscribed this year; this just goes to show how popular this event has become. Quite early on one of the organisers came round to tell us that bacon rolls were available; this was handy, as some exhibitors had come a fair way and a bacon roll and a cup of tea were most welcome. The show opens to the public at 10.30 am.

Something new for this year were a few old buses and coaches from the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society, and these gave free rides from the railway station to the show ground – this was most welcome and something extra for people to enjoy.

Motorcycle crash helmets were put in a cycle store if you did not want to carry them around. Mitch Elliott, who is the BMF’s regional chairman for the Midlands, was setting up his display. He told me that he is thinking about getting a sidecar again to put on one of his motorcycles so that he can carry more gear than on a solo, and so that his dog can come to these shows and events that he organises. Apparently he used to own a Jawa outfit previously. I told him to check out our club web-site.

Itchy Fingers, a five-piece band, were excellent and played two sessions of country, blues, western, swing, folk and ragtime music. Some of the music they had written themselves. Christine, one of the organising team, hopes that the band can be persuaded to return again next year. Something that surprised me was that all the members of the band are bikers. The lead singer spotted that I was into sidecars because of the shirt I was wearing. When the band were having a well-earned rest music was supplied by Lincoln City Radio, which kept up a good selection of tunes.

I noticed a couple looking at my outfit and they told me that they have a BMW/ Squire outfit. I have seen this outfit about locally but I’ve never spoken to the owners before. The couple tour both at home and aboard, so I told them to check out the “Sidecarland” web-site. Their sidecar is the model with the roll bar; the owner thinks that it is early 1970s. The screen seems a lot farther forward than on my sidecar.

There was a great display of motorcycles. One that caught my eye was a 1938 Triumph Speedtwin. I had a 1939 model of this complete with a box sidecar which cost me £10 back in 1960. The model on show had a period fitting – this was a wandering lamp (light bulb) fitted into the tank – very useful if you broke down during the night.

Sleaford R C Raceways (a local club) brought along some 1/10th scale radio-controlled model cars. They had a circuit set up. A friend of mine, Matt, was one of the chaps involved with this and he explained about the different classes. This looked great fun and fairly cheap to get involved in. This was the first time that radio-controlled cars have had a circuit at this show.

Various food outlets did well. It was lovely weather – just what any outdoor show wants, with a great selection of cars and two wheelers from the very early to fairly new, with plenty for visitors to look at. The visitors are an important part of this show because they may vote for the vehicles in the various classes if they have purchased a programme (for a £1) or if they buy a ticket for the raffle they get a programme free. Being in the centre of town lots of people wander through to have a look.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight came up trumps again when the Lancaster flew three times over the show; the plane was very low and you could wave at the pilot!!

The main presentation of awards for the class winners took place in the late afternoon. I got lucky and my outfit picked up second place in my group, which was for motorcycles from 1987 onwards.

This was a great show, nice for the locals. A friend told me that it is the only show that he can attend and not have to put any fuel in his car!! The show is well-supported by local businesses and a dedicated group of volunteers, all very interested in classic motoring and motorcycling. Well done to everybody and don’t forget all the visitors who help make the show a success.

Next year’s show is on Saturday 7th September 2019

See their web-site:   www.sccms.co.uk