Classic Car Show NEC 2008
Wednesday night we spent in Barnsley with Chris and Keith Haigh at their very nice ‘B&B’ with the singing toilet cistern!! Sorry you two only joking! We had decided to get a really early start Thursday so we were up at 4.45am to a full English breakfast before we set off.
We arrived at the NEC with the Barnsley Minors van at 8.30am. Hall 3 was almost deserted at this time so we unloaded all the van contents in record time on to our marked out pitch.
By around 10 o’clock all the other helpers had arrived to construct our Morris Minor Stand which this year had the theme ‘Launches’ – this was to run with the 60 years theme, the first MM rolled off the production line in 1948 at Cowley………
Around 4pm the display Minors and their owners/drivers started to arrive, we had some crackers this year, the weather was really wet so there was a lot of leathering off being done! We had ‘Floppy’ on the stand. For anyone who doesn’t read Minor Matters Floppy was part of the Mad Odyssey Team that drove over 11,000 miles from South Africa to the National Rally this year. Her owner Brian Clarke along with Floppy also took part in the Lord Mayors Parade last weekend.
By 7.30pm all was complete on the stand so we went off to the hotel to check in and have a much needed glass of chilled and dinner.
It was an extremely busy weekend for our stand, MM visitors from all round the globe called in to have much needed refreshment and rest their feet at our hospitality corner which was always buzzing……..Chris H, was the hospitality manager and along with my Chris and me as the willing apprentices kept things rolling along on ‘oiled wheels’.
Keith Haigh had brought along an MM engine in its naked form so all working parts were visible it was a wonderful thing of shiny chrome and metal. This display was a great hit with everyone and caused so much interest people were queuing to have a look and to talk about it…….
We had scalectric track with racing Morris Minor models, this was a great hit with the younger visitors to the stand and the models were whizzing around for most of the weekend. Hopefully we may have some up and coming new Club members!
The South African display with Floppy was opposite our hospitality corner, there were information boards with the route that the Mad Odyssey team had taken and lots of information. Brian was on hand to answer any questions and to be quite honest people were just amazed by this incredible journey…..
The Katy car (Marie Curie) along with Dave and Janet had an exceptional weekend taking well in excess of £2000! Jim Clarke from Barnsley Branch was an absolute star doing his ‘Barrow Boy’ impersonation to help raise these funds, everyone with the car did their bit but Jim was by far the most entertaining……..we had to keep supplying him with liquid refreshment to keep him from going horse!!
Sunday afternoon was party afternoon and saw everyone manning the stand dressed in their best bib and tucker. James Bond DJs and slinky evening wear with all the ‘bling’ we could carry!!
Doreen McKenzie had made a super cake in the shape of a Morris Minor saloon donating its 60th Birthday, to go along with the cake there were glasses of Champagne all round.
Brian Clarke won an award for the Best Rally/Run of the year and the Katy Team Dave and Janet were put on the MM shield for their outstanding contribution.
The show closed at 5.30 and it was all hands on deck to take the stand apart.
We were staying over until Monday so even though things were hectic there wasn’t the long drive home to be faced Sunday night.
The next morning after breakfast we made our way to MM Head Office in Derby to unload all the stand ‘props’ and have a welcome cup of coffee with Liz and Ann who man the Derby office – we discovered something really strange here as we found out that Ann’s daughter only lives 2 miles down the road from us on the outskirts of Driffield and she is a partner in a Bridlington vets practice. Small world!!
All in all it was an amazing weekend………….