Monday, July 13, 2009

Birdingbury Country Show

KMBC Stand
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker

Months ago, this seemed like a good idea - take a stand advertising the model boat club to Birdingbury Country Show. Spend a couple of days showing off some model boats and hopefully pick up a few new members. I've been to Birdingbury a couple of times before and it is a fantastic show. In a tiny Warwickshire village you find an event to gladden the heart of anyone with an interest in things mechanical. Tractors - they've got them by the hundred. Enormous lorries - plenty. Tanks - enough to see off nearby Southam if they are up for it.

The weather didn't look too promising in the week before the event. Worse, I wasn't doing well getting help from other club members. OK, so I have plenty of boats to show but for a proper display you need variety. What we did have was my campervan, an awning with a few holes in it and a paddling pool.

Half past eight on Saturday morning we arrived and set up. The space was easy to find and in a rare moment of driving skill, I reversed the van straight into it.The ground looked flat as was nice and dry. Our awning went up and the holes were fixed with gaffer tape. Finally the pool was inflated. Slowly. Much slower than we expected. And then we tried to attach the hosepipe to the nearby tap and realised I'd forgotten the connector. We also had to share it with those wanting to fill up jerry cans for radiators and caravans.

Pete Jnr solved the tap problem with some more tape but even so the water came out slowly. After an hour we got enough to give about 6 inches depth in one corner and an inch in the other - the ground was less flat than we thought - and we called it a day. My plan was to moor a couple of boats rather than sail a lot so what we had would do for that.

Saturday was most notable for the rain. The Gods had obviously decided we needed even more water ! Sadly the morning was wet. After lunch though things brightened up and a few people turned up to look at the displays. We handed out a few leaflets and chatted a bit and were quite pleased. Pete's radio controlled duck was a great success with the crowds, "swimming" around and quacking !

Sunday was a different game. The weather had sorted itself out and the crowds flocked. More and more people turned up and we discovered many closet boat modellers, including a the man who owned the fairground organ that entertained us all weekend. He is building a Dido class battleship but didn't have a lot of time in the summer as the organ was off to Germany the next week and it's quite a trip in a tradition British 4 axle lorry !

I could of course ramble on about the extensive displays but you'd be better off looking at my photos taken during the weekend.

Highlights: Friendly people. Huge vehicles. Battle of Britain Flight with added music.

Will we do it again ? If possible, yes. You learn a lot from the first attempt. Next year we'll start filling the pool earlier. More boats are needed for the display - 6 isn't enough, we need to be well into double figures. Another duck would be useful too so perhaps that's another project for me !

Official Birdingbury show website

No comments: