VJMC 25th Anniversary Show, Uttoxeter, July 2007
During the Stafford 2006 show, George Beer from the VJMC had asked us if we wanted to book a stand at a big new show they were planning, to celebrate their 25th anniversary. We said 'yes' straight away, and when he asked how many bikes we wanted to take, Darin blurted out 'ten' ! Ah well, it was nearly a year away, we'd work something out before then...
It had always been our intention to get other people involved and as the forum developed, it became useful for stirring up interest and encouraging volunteers. Three people jumped in almost immediately : Fred Castor said we could have his gorgeous R1-Z special, Tom Macintosh said he'd bring his rare Suzuki Wolf along, and Andy Bolas offered us pretty much anything we wanted from his amazing collection. We started thinking about a theme for the stand and fairly quickly we ended up with a plan to show off a pair of 250's from each of the Japanese manufacturers.
Tim's TZR chose itself again (basically because that's all he's got...) and he also took one of his KR250's. Darin took the MVX again because we don't know anyone else who's got one, and brought along his recently-acquired RG250 Gamma Mk.3 too. We asked Andy Bolas to bring his NS250R TT proddy-racer which he kindly did, and then we just needed another Kawasaki. As luck would have it, Andy Birtles had just sent in some pictures of his mint KR-1S so we put him on the spot and he said 'yes'.
That's only eight bikes though isn't it ? Well, yes. We also wanted to display a couple of mini-bikes if we could find some. A post on the Gag Bike Forum saw Andy Peirson offer us his tuned YSR80, and then Sara (Tim's wife) snapped up a NSR50 on Ebay and brought that along too.
Before the show, we'd been a little concerned about our allocated location in the Paddock Pavilion, well away from the main hall and most of the other stands. And it's fair to say that we didn't get as many visitors as we'd like, not helped when the Staffordshire Fire Brigade parked their massive truck outside, effectively blocking us off from view. But the VJMC spotted the problem and moved the fire engine somewhere else for the second day, also erecting barriers and signs to try and divert the public into our stand. This was only partially successful and was the reason that Tim volunteered his TZR for the Sunday sound-off, in a desperate attempt to attract people in our direction.
What's the sound-off ? Well, a handful of assorted bikes were brought out into the parade ring and fired up. Tim went first, preceeded by a very brief interview over the tannoy, and luckily the TZR fired up 3rd kick and didn't disgrace itself by losing all its oil, or worse. But even with the dry clutch jangling away, there was no way it could compete with some of the unsilenced streetfighters and pukka race bikes that followed it. You'll be able to hear it on here soon, just as soon as we work out how to do it...
But we can't complain. The weather was fantastic all weekend, the people friendly and helpful, and we met plenty of 2-stroke fans who hadn't been aware of us before then but went away clutching a business card and a promise to join in on the forum and offer their bike for display next time. And the VJMC judges obviously knew where to find us - not only did Andy's KR-1S receive a 'Highly Commended' rosette, but we also won 3rd place for Best Club Stand overall. Not bad for only our second show eh ?
Thanks to Sara and Chell for helping out all weekend again, and to Andy, Fred, Andy, Tom and, erm, Andy for bringing their lovely bikes along. Thanks to Kar from PB magazine for giving us a little advance plug, Jim from Classic Bike for coming to check on our progress, and our two biggest fans Hans and Alfons for coming all the way from the Netherlands just for a Diff'rent Strokers T-shirt. Not forgetting the VJMC for inviting us in the first place and helping things go as smoothly as possible of course.
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