Sleaford Vintage Vehicles Rally to Sleaford Classic Car & Motorcycle Show.
It all began in the summer of 1993 when a small group of Boston Classic Car Club enthusiasts sat down over a pint of beer and sandwiches and decided to display a few their treasured classics in the Sleaford Market Square. At that time, very little organisation was required, clearance from the local District Council for the use of the Market Square car park for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon was all that was needed; the club members would provide the cars and public reaction would determine the future development of the concept.
The first show went ahead on the first Saturday in September 1993 when slightly less than the planned fifty cars were displayed in the Market Square car park. The public reaction was magnificent, the enthusiasm of both classic car owners and visitors alike exceeding all expectation.
A second show was organised the following year, achieving a similar positive public response. This inevitably led to some head scratching as to how improvements could be achieved in planning future events. During the early part of 1995 North Kesteven District Council was developing a programme of events aimed at encouraging residents of the outlying areas to visit Sleaford to see what the town had to offer.
An officer from North Kesteven District Council was appointed to co-ordinate the 1995 and subsequent events. It soon became clear that any further development would require more space. Arrangements were therefore made to include the Eastgate car park as part of the venue and open up the car entries to enthusiasts outside the membership of Boston Classic Car Club.
For the next three years, up to and including the 1998 event, the entries of historic and classic cars increased greatly and the welcomed inclusion of historic and classic motorcycles added a much wider interest for all. Planning of the 1999 event was to bring about more significant changes which would further develop the enthusiasm of the public to come into Sleaford.
THE 1999 EVENT
Following an extremely successful, yet depressingly damp, show in September 1998 a decision was taken to transfer responsibility for organising the 1999 and all subsequent historic car and motorcycle events from the District Council to a group of local historic/classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts.
As a result, a team of six enthusiasts together with two District Council officers accepted the challenge and began work early in January of 1999.
Whilst changes made to an existing organisation are not necessarily always for the better, there is no doubt that new brooms do make a difference when organising events of this type. District Council officers gave us an excellent foundation by arranging sponsorship with local businesses and other commercial organisations. That initial effort provided the necessary finance to procure equipment essential to putting on the event, basic weather protection being a "must" following the experience of the 1998 event. Changes to the management of entrant’s vehicles on arrival, entrant plaque design and the improved display of trophies all combined to provide the basis for what would be a highly successful 1999 event.
By the end of August everything was in place, all that was needed was some good sunny weather on the day. Our prayers were answered when the day came, it being one of the hottest and sunniest of the year. On display were 170 historic cars in the Eastgate car park and more than 60 motorcycles in the Market Square. The number of enthusiasts and visitors had increased from previous years and all reports following the event indicated that by far the majority had enjoyed a wonderfully satisfying day and could look forward to the Millennium event the following September.
THE MILLENNIUM EVENT 2000
Planning for the Millennium event scheduled to be staged on Saturday the 2nd September 2000 began in earnest with a meeting in November 1999. There were a couple of changes to the composition of the Committee. Notably Bill Rogers and Charles Nunn joined the team with the specific aim of improving the motorcycle display.
On the down side, we lost Harry Thorpe who had responsibility for the parade through the town. This aspect of the event formed part of the opening ceremony and acted as a taster, hopefully encouraging shoppers to visit the event once their money has been well spent. Free admission for visitors remained a key element of the show and this continues to be the case today.
No significant changes were planned for this year; however, as well as the cars and motorcycles we would again have the Sleaford Concert Band perform for us on the Eastgate Green. Live music on site remains an integral part of the show to the present day
The 2000 event was a tremendous success, the weather was kind and nearly everything went according to plan! With the newly established Farmer's Market also taking place the town was really buzzing.
Since 2000 the events have continued to grow in stature and popularity with a very healthy list of entrants, sponsors, trade stands and excellent public support.
For 2017, the event has been renamed the Sleaford Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, to reflect the ever-growing proportion of classic vehicles, as in comparison to true historic entries.
A new committee has been formed, headed by Chairperson Mary Sanders. Mary and her team are all committed classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts who have been involved in the events, in one guise or another over many years.
This year will see the return of Miller Magic, playing 2 sessions, entertaining all those attending the show with a lovely range of classic tunes in keeping with the show – back by popular demand having made their debut in 2016.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary show the committee are delighted to have a fly past in the afternoon of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s, Supermarine Spitfire
Now firmly established as one of the county's most popular and free to view, classic vehicle events, and the future of the show looks extremely bright and promising and on behalf of all those involved in the show, we welcome you and hope you have an enjoyable experience.