Sidecarland

Swaton Show 2018

by Roy and Chris

This is a local one-day show. And for me it has the advantage of being only a few miles from home. It is well-organised, with over 400 vintage and classic cars, motorbikes, Land Rovers, trucks and, being a country area, tractors and stationary engines. One of the highlights of the show was the 14th World Egg Throwing Championship; this takes place at the show every year.

I arrived early, as usual, and was greeted by Joss Bourne; he has organised the motorcycle section for many years now. His mother feels that the show has been going for approximately 25 years now. This is the third field that it has been held in, having gradually outgrown the previous two fields. When Joss and his friends first saw this field they thought that they would never fill it, but they did.

The motorcycles steadily flowed in, and about 10 outfits turned up, the most popular make being the Ural. One of these riders was Jan from the South Yorkshire Sidecar Club, with Mike Wadsworth turning up on a solo later on.

Just over 60 bikes were booked in this year; however Joss had plenty of riders phone up too late to be sent passes, so they just turned up on the day, so this pushed the total motorcycle numbers up towards the hundred mark… One bike that I had not seen before was a Raleigh moped;

this was used by the Police for running around the north Lincolnshire villages in the later 1960’s.

The show opened to the public at 10.30, with Terrier Racing an hour later, followed by a novelty dog show. A steel band got the live music going. There was plenty to look at; as well as the vehicles there were stationary engines – these are interesting to watch. The earliest one listed in the programme was dated 1910, with several from the First World War period. The craft tent was busy with displays, including models of early tanks built by the firm of William Foster in Lincoln, which were first used in the 1914 / 18 war.

It was a very warm day, so the bar proved to be very popular, as was the tea tent, which sold a selection of cakes, scones, etc. People were bringing in cakes and buns to be put up for sale. Outside on the field there were lots of trade stands and exhibitions and more choices of refreshments, plus – for the youngsters – children’s rides and games.

I heard a familiar noise and looked up to see the BBMF Lancaster flying back to its base at Coningsby. The Dakota plane, from the same base, did a flypast over the show later in the day.

The World Egg Throwing Championship started at 2.00 pm and lasted for the afternoon. This was great fun and was keenly fought; the trebuchet threw the eggs a long way and they can be travelling at up to 120 mph!!   Two New Zealand throwers set a new world record distance of 93.6 metres, breaking their own previous record of 85.96 metres.

New this year was a chap carving pieces of tree into various shapes with a chainsaw. He was very good and did a quick carve (30 minutes) making a flower, complete with leaves, which he then auctioned off. He said that he would be happy to come back next year.

The “Three Blokes” group played popular tunes during the afternoon, and they were very good. The weather was kind and really warm. The show ended with a prize draw. The organisers expect to have raised over £8,000 on the day and this will be donated to local and national causes.

Well done to all the people who organise the show and all those who man the stands. This show gets better every year.