2019 Show Review

Show builds on previous success

Many thanks must go to all of the show entrants, Classic Car Clubs, Trade Stands, Caterers, Sponsors and other show supporters, who helped to make the 2019 show a resounding success on the day. Without this support we, as organisers could not bring forward such a warm and friendly event, that is a real credit to Sleaford and the surrounding area.

As always, the support of North Kesteven District and Sleaford Town Councils continues to perform a vital role in putting the show together and the help provided by the NKDC caretakers on the day ensures we have a high quality location providing excellent and accessible facilities. Further thanks must go to “Itchy Fingers” who provided great musical entertainment for the second year running and we very much hope to see them again next year.

Moreover, our appreciation of visitors, who turn up in such large numbers to visit the show, is a testament to the quality and variety of classic cars and motorcycles displayed for all to enjoy. This year saw the first outing of our new, branded, “Show Control” gazebo. This certainly created a strong focal point for entrants and visitors alike and very much helped to streamline the administration of the event.

Once again, we were fortunate to have a fine, if slightly blustery, day for the show, but thankfully the rain held off and everyone was able to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of one of the best classic car and motorcycle shows in the area. We were especially pleased to see a much larger contingent of two wheeled entries this year, up by almost 20% on last year and entries ranged in date from 1914 to the present day. The cars on display also spanned an impressive period of motoring history, from a 1923 Renault, to a very different, 2017 Ford Mustang. Something, I think you will agree, for all tastes to enjoy.

Whilst the day can be regarded, judging by the feedback we have received, as a resounding success, there were nevertheless a few disappointments, that could have made the day even better. It was regrettable that due to the blustery conditions, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight remained grounded at RAF Conningsby and were not able to entertain us with a fly past of the Lancaster Bomber. This was a highlight of last year’s show and we will be doing our very best to ensure that they will be back to entertain us all in 2020.

In addition to this we had some last-minute cancellations of trade and catering stands which resulted in a lesser variety in the catering on offer, despite our efforts to find substitutions. We were able to allow more space for individual Trade Stands, who did attend and they stepped up to the mark providing larger displays, but again the variety was, unfortunately reduced.

From an organisational point of view however, the biggest disappointment was the number of pre booked car entries that failed to show up on the day. In the week prior to the show we had fulfilled the maximum number of entries that can be accommodated on the show site and we had a healthy reserve list of potential entries, should we receive the inevitable late cancellations. As experienced organisers, we always expect a few “no shows” on the day, due to various “personal or mechanical” reasons. In planning for this we will “overbook” entries to a small degree and also advise anyone remaining on the reserve list to contact us on the day to see if we have space.

Of the car entries booked this year we had in excess of 15% “no shows” this was very disappointing indeed, particularly as the weather forecast had been good for the whole of the proceeding week. Even more disappointing is that in the days before the show we had been turning down request to enter, due to the healthy entry and reserve list numbers. On the day this resulted in significant gaps in the car displays and some very disgruntled potential entrants, who we had turned away only days earlier.

This distracts from the ambiance of the show that we try very hard to achieve, both for entrants and visitors alike. We will be looking very carefully at our entry policy and processes in the run up to next year’s show, to try to prevent a recurrence of this year’s problems.

Despite these disappointments, we are very much looking forward to bringing you the 28th Sleaford Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in 2020. Hopefully we can resolve these issues and the show will be even more enjoyable for everyone who comes along, in whatever capacity. Make it a date in your diary:

28th Sleaford Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

Saturday 5thSeptember 2020

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