Then there is the preparation on the Friday before, with David and myself reminding the owners of the business park again of our event and not to park out front, but still on the day there are cars not where they should be! At around 5 o’clock other helpers turn up to assemble our makeshift theatre on a trailer complete with a lovely TVR club backdrop this year, assemble tents, blow up balloons – for guess the number of balloons in Terry’s Tuscan - put up road signs and generally tidy up the business park, we finally depart at dusk.
We make a very early start on the day itself, with David, Neil, Ollie, Mark and myself turning up at seven to open up for the traders to arrive. It’s organised chaos for a few hours! Although you might think you have all bases covered there is always some last-minute hitches that have to be sorted out on the day, which visitors hopefully don’t see. After the event tiding up meant David and myself didn’t get to leave for home until 7.30pm – just in time for a strong G and T or whisky in the case of David.
One of many highlights was Ben Coombs starting off on his latest adventure – Eagle Rally to Bavaria. They topped up with food from our cake stand just before they set off.
After a lot of agonising the we judged the best car in the show to be a yellow Vixen, owned by Neil Sangster from Bristol for 31 years (that’s right, 31 years). He had just fitted a Ford Zetec engine and gearbox and the installation looked so professional it could have come direct from the factory. The runner up was Glyn Storey from Brecon, who has owned his very early Griffith for 18 years, keeping it in very original condition - no respray with a lovey patina to the burgundy interior.
Once again, thanks to our professional auctioneer, Richard Newsome, who donates his time free. As ever, he did a splendid job of getting people to bid and encouraging the bidding upwards.
My highlight was crashing into a group photograph from a member who had come from Belgium – Stephane De Smedt - staying with some members in Bristol. He wins the distance most travelled.
Junior star of the show was Mark Harris’ daughter Imogen, who helped out in our regions tent by folding all the tickets for the raffle - nearly 5,000!- and looking after two dogs that Belinda had brought along - Dot and Dan.
Last years total of £2,600 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance will be exceeded, but it will take a few weeks before a final figure can be released as there are a number of bills to pay. Well done and thank you to all who helped out on the Friday or Saturday, too many names to mention and those who attended and kindly donated, not forgetting our traders/members who contributed to our raffle or auction. Finally, a big thank you to Steve Guest for bringing the TVR van down along with some lovely back drops for our stage and various other bits and pieces to make the day go smoothly.
See our gallery - pictures taken by Art Tatchell Devon RO.