The sky was blue (makes a change from all the rain, cold, snow and ice – preventing even the most hardy of motorcyclists from venturing out onto their machines), and the weather forecast was dry, sunny and bright! It was time for the much-anticipated Carole Nash Bristol Classic Motor Cycle Show, returning for its 33rd year at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet Somerset.
With as many as 20,000 classic bike fans expected, and over 600 motorbikes, dating back as far as the 1904 Humber Olympia Tandem – interestingly the passenger sits on the front – to the more modern classics. It was inspiring to see so many precision-made engines on show, together with myriads of people discovering, discussing and debating about motorcycles of days gone by, all carefully arranged, carefully polished and carefully tended by their owners or associations or clubs inside the main halls. Outside, a plethora of trade stalls (over 300) selling wares to keep you safe and warm and seen, and for your beloved bikes all types of nuts, bolts, spanners, engines, exhausts and paraphernalia to keep it ride-able and roadworthy.
Sammy Miller was the guest of honour, a 78-year-old racing legend from Northern Ireland who regaled his audience with story after story – sadly he was not able to be present at the 3pm showing on Sunday due to ill health. Get well soon sir. Sammy also has an amazing museum which houses, protects and preserves some of the world’s most rare motorcycles…. and they’re all runners!
Whilst pottering around the stalls, the throaty roar of the Norton Domiracer 500cc (replica) could be heard across the showground! It was being revved (and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowds) by Chris Hawksley. I had the pleasure to speak with him about the fire which destroyed the bike and about his passion to rebuild it.
I love these old classic motorcycles, they are special and need to be kept safe. My first date with my husband was on a 1972 Norton Commando … happy memories!
Here is a list of future Shows this year :-
The 33rd Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show, February 16-17 2013
The 33rd Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show, April 27-28 2013
The Carole Nash Great Scottish Bike Show, May 11-12 2013
The Carole Nash Newark Bike Bonanza, June 22-23 2013
The 20th Carole Nash Eurojumble, September 6-7 2013
The Carole Nash Big Kent Bike Show, September 28-29 2013
The 20th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, October 19-20 2013
The International Dirt Bike Show, October 31-November 3 2013