For many months now we’ve been working hard putting together plans for the Haslemere Classic Car Show and now it’s been and gone in the blink of an eye. The show took place last Sunday the 25th May at Lion Green in Haslemere. We were sooooo lucky as in the middle of a rather wet spell we managed to have the only sunny day over the bank holiday weekend.
Mario who has been used regularly over the last few months to promote the show was put on display on the green the day before while we measured and marked out all the pitches for stall holders and cars.
Sunday morning dawned dry and bright and everything was packed into Mario and taken to the Green, where we set up to welcome and register the classics who had signed up to go on the ‘tour’. This drive round the local countryside attracted nearly 90 cars. After arrival the entrants had breakfast and a natter, put on their tour plate and had their first look at the route. This is given as a series of tulip’s – these pictorial instructions are named as they were first used on Dutch rallies in the 50’s.
By 9.30 the cars were starting to leave on the 60 mile drive. This years route followed a figure of eight, first going East of the town through Hambledon, Dunsfold, Alford and Kirdford before arriving at the picturesque Stag Inn at Balls Cross for a welcome coffee stop. This lovely pub is our ‘regular drinking spot’ and the entrants were warmly welcomed and had another opportunity to swop motoring stories. The route continued to the South through Fittleworth, West Chiltington, Wisbourgh Green and then back via Kirdford again and Northchapel to arrive back on Lion Green for the show.
The tour first went through the town centre of Haslemere, round the Town Hall, looking rather splendid with it’s recent new roof.
While the tour had been taking place, the Green had been a hive of activity with all the stalls arriving and setting up and the show cars started to arrive and park up. Mario was first in the queue with prime place outside the show HQ tent.
The whole feel of the day is that of a traditional vintage fete and the stalls we have reflect that, with a mix of art and crafts meet farmers market. We have hot food vendors and the WI serve Cream Teas while the ever popular George Regis Jazz Band entertain the crowds.
Introduced last year was the ‘Bake-Off’ competition and we were totally overwhelmed with the number and quality of the entries from adults and children. The judging panel consisted of Michael Nicholson OBE, ex ITV war correspondent, Haslemere Town Crier, Christian Ashton – who loves cake! and Trevor Cruickshank, award winning cake designer. There was much deliberation and tasting of a lot of cake! The winning adult received a K-mix mixer from our supporters Kenwood and there were lots of other prizes too.
Lots of our stalls sell vintage and retro clothing and homewears. The big event of the day is our Best Dressed Car and Driver Competition where entrants are encouraged to dress in period to match their cars. Everybody has a lot of fun and the winner gets tickets for a day at The Goodwood Revival donated by our Vintage Partners – Costume Hire Direct. After some serious pondering by James and John the decision was made and this years winning combination was Rigby and Charlotte Andrews, dressed as a period Chauffeur and his elegant lady not forgetting Norbert the pug in their Daimler EL24 Light Limousine.The other big competition of the day is the ‘People’s Choice’, this allows all the visitors at the show to vote for the car they would most like to take home. This years vote was won for the second year running by Rod Ayres from Walton-on-Thames but this time with a different car – an unrestored Triumph Stag which looked like new. Rod also won a pair of tickets to the Revival from show supporter Walter Heale of Historic Motor Car Storage. Two runners up prizes of Vouchers from American parts supplier Rockauto were awarded to Geoff Moss from Liphook in his newly restored Ford Cortina 1600GT and Mark Burch from Havant in “Hector’ a 13 window deluxe splitscreen VW camper.
We had a amazing array of cars dating from 1913 up to the 70’s and a great enthusiastic group of people who turn up with them and display them for others to enjoy. Local business’ support us by offering prizes and taking ads in our programme which we sell on the day to raise money for the show. From our point of view the only downside is we really don’t get the time to look at the cars and talk to the wonderful and interesting people who turn up.
Putting on an event like this is a huge amount of work and we always go through spells of ‘never again’ but it is very satisfying to see it all come together and see people from our town and far and wide all enjoying the spectacle. We get some amazing comments from people and that all makes it worthwhile, I’ve no doubt this time next year you will be reading a report on the 2015 Haslemere Classic Car Show!