After many months of planning and preparation the day arrived. Charles transported four of the bikes for the stand plus Jon & I and a box of photos and general stand paraphernalia to the Royal Bath and Western Show Ground where we discovered that fortunately for us due to a trader cancelling their pitch we had double the amount of space to fill.
With military precision, the Classic Crew set about positioning the tables for regalia and membership along with the 6 classic bikes in our now spacious stand. We then set up the newly purchased HOC tv screen -thanks to Zoe & Tony (available to borrow from Events Material) and check the photo display was working properly. Having done that we assembled all the photos and info on the early years of the HOC plus some current photos on the walls. The last thing to be sorted was the ‘tea trolley’ complete with Ian Jeffersons kind donation of a new kettle and everything that you need for hot beverages!
That evening the gang all met up for a team dinner at a nearby pub for a great meal and a lot of chat before having a relatively early night.
On Saturday we arrived in good time to put the finishing touches to the stand before the doors opened. I believe the first membership was sold before the show was officially open. It was a manic day and we chatted to so many lovely people who were genuinely interested in the bikes on display and the club in general. Regalia was doing a brisk trade and Martin’s little CB125S was photographed for an article in a classic bike magazine. Dave Thomas’ little yellow NCZ 50 Motocompo (especially designed to fit neatly into the boot of a Honda City car) and his SS50 drew a lot of interest as did Charles’ C50 and OTO the CB400/4. We also had a visit from Sheonagh Ravensdale the BMF Comms Manager who has had an interesting biking life and I will try and get her to write something for Golden Wing. Before she left she took a photo of the Classic Secs for use later on. We also had a visit from Gerry and Hazel who brought the Honda D Dream to Sammys last year.
Many HOC members popped in to see us and hopefully we remembered to offer all a hot drink and biscuit as it was bitterly cold (outside and in) It was lovely to have such good support. So good to see Erica and Gerald too—a big effort for them and in such chilly weather.
We eventually made it to the end of the day and retreated to our base in a converted barn for a fish n chip supper and a chat about the day. We had to ask Sarah to bring more Classic Badges and caps on Sunday as we were running low. We also needed more membership forms urgently which Ian Jefferson & Sarah worked hard to provide – for which many thanks.
Sunday dawned equally as cold as Saturday, and we made sure we were wearing a few extra layers to counteract the Arctic chill in the hall. Sarah and Chloe made such good time that they joined us for breakfast in our barn
It wasn’t quite as busy as Saturday, but we still were kept fully occupied with loads of show goers asking questions about the bikes on display and the club. More lovely HOC people came along and had a chat and a cup of tea and helped out too. There was a lot of good-natured banter all weekend long.
All in all—it was a really fun show with a fantastic team spirit on the stand and I think we represented the HOC (GB) and the classic side too extremely well. We have learned a few lessons and have a list of things we would like to acquire to make future shows even better !
Special thanks to the Classic Secs and the Classic Crew. Also special mention to Charles for his van driving skills, Ian J for buying us a kettle and bringing along everything needed to make tea and coffee, Andy Smith for all his help, Dave T for bringing his bikes and being a font of useful info and for fitting my left and right handed side grab handles along with Steve C, Dan for braving the wind tunnel to sell regalia, Keith Hopkins for appearing to help when he wasn’t needed on the VJMC stand, Kevin & Bike Wanderer & Chris from Gloucester, and the lovely Murray from deepest South Wales and everyone who came to see us – sorry if I have missed anyone out..