Show Report Smallwood – May 2017

I must admit that we have never considered going to this show before until Chairman Mike suggested it, and I’m really glad that he did, it is superb.

I was taken completely by surprise at the scale of this show, it is truly massive! There is a lot going on, and a great deal to do. Not too dissimilar to the Tatton shows, but with even more going on to keep us entertained.

There is a Main Arena in which various activities take place. And this time the schedule included a parade of some of the cars, tractors, an agility dog display (this was really thrilling, some of those dogs can really fly!), a falconry display, emergency services and dancing diggers (what?!) We didn’t spend a great deal of time at the arena so it is possible that, due to the strong winds, some of the scheduled events may have been cancelled or replaced such as the falconry. The show is that large we didn’t wish to loiter in one place for too long and miss out on something, so much to do and see.

We just had to keep moving as this show is that large we would have been sure to miss something, as although this is actually a three day show, we just visited on the first day, the 27th May. Our very own Mark with his outstanding 3.0S took part in the aforementioned Main Arena parade and his car looked great in there as expected, although to say the announcer didn’t have an extensive knowledge of Capri’s would be a slight understatement, even describing it as the wrong model (‘and now we have another Laser’) at one point. Well done Mark for your tactfulness!

Those who decided to not come to the show really missed out. But still, on our stand on the Saturday we had the custom painted golden Mark 1, 2.0 Laser, 3.0S and 2.0S

As this is a three day show, camping is available also, which is something we shall certainly consider for next year as I think that Mike is considering this for the club too. It will be a great time for us all if so. It is a lovely area and for those who do like to stay over at the shows then this is a must really as those of this type do seem to be quite scarce, the majority typically lasting for just a day.

It was sunny and hot for the vast majority of the day, although the Heavens did open up on occasion. Not a problem though as this show has many areas to take cover, including a large marquee with food and drink available, a very good selection too from various vendors.

One thing which struck me was that the entrance/approach to the show was so quiet, deserted almost, that you might think that you have taken a wrong turn somewhere. It is only when you arrive at the gate so to speak, that you would realise that you are there after all. In contrast to this the Tatton shows for example can have traffic tailing back for what seems like miles, and could well be. So I have no idea how they achieve this and whether it is good luck or good management, but either way it was excellent. A real treat to not have to watch the temperature gauge rising at a worryingly rapid rate (try saying that three times quickly) as you wait for an age trapped within a plethora of classic cars.

There was a vast array of commercial vehicles, and probably the largest gathering of military transport which I have seen which included some of the more unusual types as well as a tank. Even if they are not usually your thing, they were still wonderful to look at, and these as well as the various other vehicles scattered throughout the show such as motorcycles, heavy duty off roaders, traction engines and steam powered devices all meant that there was something to wonder at with every turn. Along with the many stalls, autojumbles, crafts and fun fair.

If, like me, this isn’t a show which you have been to or considered before then I hope that you will give it some thought for next time. It really is worth a visit.

Hopefully we will see you there!

Paul.