Once again the NEC had asked the ROC back to display some more cars at the Classic car and bike show. So after Mark and Sue had thought about the cars that should be displayed this year they started asking folks if they would like to display there car there. As the theme this year from the NEC was “My dad had one of them” they asked me if I could get Old Red (a 1949 Reliant 8cwt van) from the BCLM. So once it was sorted and we knew just what cars were going I then set about working with Mark to put some lighting and pictures both moving and still onto the stand. The one car was Ron and Alison Biggings’ Bond Bug that was used in the series Wheelers Dealers so the large screen was used to show that program of the chaps doing the bug up. We then used the 20” touch screen to display our web site so that people could explore the world of Reliant and also it helped to answer questions for people. Adam Turpin brought his Rebel down as did Phil Hallam his Green Rebel, David Bowlas put his stunning Scimitar Coupe on the stand. We also had a Fox on display from Keith and Glyn Gittus and Michael Rowley his lovely Kitten. So the day came and all the cars were set up on the stand to look good and let people get around them John White set up the shop at the back of the stand and we were ready for three hard days work.
Friday morning and it was a nice gentle start then we heard the bongs on the speakers and the whole place fell silent to honor those that had fallen so we may be free it was very strange hearing the place so quite with so much there and so many people about, after the two minutes things were soon back in swing and we spoke to hundreds of people on the day explaining the history and the cars as well as who the club was to all the people that came on the stand. It was a long day and at the end we were glad to be going home for a rest. Saturday soon came and Kirsty and I were there at 8 soon followed by the rest of the team ready for the longest day as the show was open from 9am to 7pm. We had some extra help come on the stand from Peter Huggings and Mr Rowley and his family, Elvis brought us some copies of his new book as we had not received the clubs copies from the publishers and been asked by four people the day before if we were selling any copies. As we had more help on the stand it meant we could get better breaks and a chance to have a look at all the stuff that was going on. So aimed with the camera Kirsty and I set off for the bike section first to have a look in there. There never seemed as many bikes as last year but those that were there were well worth looking at and once again I fell in love with the Harley V Rod. Time soon passed looking at these wonderful machines and so we headed back to the stand for some food and to help out some more. It was great meeting all the people coming onto the stand the new members that we gained from the day as well as those that had never understood Reliant and went away with a different view to what they started with. We were very glad when the speakers announced that the show was now over as it was time to pack up and go home. So Sue suggested we all meet at the pub and have a good meal and drink to chill. Now who could say no to a great idea like that so off we went.
Sunday soon was here and not because of the beer and on the last day we were all ready to go. The show opened and soon the stand was buzzing with people asking questions and looking at the cars and trying some of the cars out for size and parting with there hard earned pennies. Mark gave me orders that I must get off the stand so Kirsty and I went walk about. As we got to the Peter James stand I waited to meet Sir Sterling Moss and then we carried on looking at all the wonderful machines that were there. From film classic to cherished cars they were all there. The icing on the cake for the week end though as was at the close of the show and the sounding of all the horns across the six halls the Wheelers Dealers team came up to our stand to meet up with Ron and his bug again and pose for some pictures before heading back a great end to a great week end.
A special thanks must go to Sue and Mark Cropper for all there hard work though out the year in helping give the ROC such a good name and sorting out getting us into the NEC show.
Also thanks to Ron and Alison Biggings , Phil Hallam and Brian Marshal and Mel and Adam Turpin who at great expense traveled long distances all for the love of Reliant cars so we would have a great display.
And closer to home David Bowlas, Michael Rowley and Keith and Glyn Gittus and the BCLM
And of course our man in the shop John White
And last but by no means least all the members that came and helped us on the stand though out the four days.
Right am off now for a good rest and a drink
Geoffrey Payne (Birmingham Branch)