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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Shetland Classic show - June 2008

Ok, let's see how this works. I think I'm going to prefer the slide show method, as trying to arrange 35 pictures in a neat and orderly manner seems nigh on impossible unless I've got 78 years to waste sitting in front of a computer. I feel an apology is due to the guys and girls who organise the wonderful bi-annual Shetland Classic vehicle show, as I was hoping the report would have made it into print long before now. I hope this will suffice. Captions are below and as always, your comments are welcome. In fact I might pop the pics into a slide show and run it at the same time - then you can let me know which is best for you.

The Shetland Classic Motor Show happens every two years, mainly because it is so huge that the organisers can’t possibly cope with running it each year. With exhibits ranging from an 1860 Brown & May portable steam engine to a variety of modern day vehicles, and including classic cars, motorbikes and bicycles, trucks and tractors this is an occasion when I can say with complete conviction, that there really is something for everyone. Must give a mention to Tony Perkins who rode his 1938 Rudge Ulster from Worcestershire to the show to raise money for charity, after the bike had only been back on the road for a couple of weeks.

1 – As well as the show, the Shetland trip was part of Cubbie’s Counties, so here it is at Skaw, the most northerly inhabited area in the UK.

2 – When you go to Shetland, you’ve got to camp, and the Clikimin site is most accommodating with beautiful views across the loch, well, when it’s not dark, or raining. And when the midgies aren’t out.

3 – A regular visitor to the island, Peter White’s 1959 Tiger Cub

4 – Mike McGlashan from Aberdeen relives his hooligan days with his recently restored RD250LC. He reports that the roads on the island are ideal for this kind of bike.

5 – Enter the show and you get a funky laminated display card for the bike, a programme – you need one to make sure you know what all of the 700 exhibits are, information on facilities for exhibitors, and a mug to add to the collection.

6 – Rob Jenner does the honours at the start of day one. He was one of the instigators of the show back in 1990, when they had 12 cars and 30 bikes spread between a tent and a wooden hut.

7 – The local Land Rover club decided it would be a good idea to strip a Landy from its chassis and rebuild it on a new one. All in two days.

8 – Triumph Junior and Rover TT Sports both from 1922

9– The Rudge club are regular supporters of the show, good to see so many on
the island

10 – The Landy Boys again

11 – Dean Mitchell became the owner of this 1946 Ariel W/NG in 1977, when he accepted it in payment for a job he did on a croft. The guy played a smart move though, and only handed over the log book when Dean had got the bike back on the road - three years ago. He says it might only be a 350cc but he has fun joining in on the classic runs on fine sunny evenings, and although the other guys may be faster, they often have to stop to fix things or pick bits up off the road! The mudguards, you may be aware, are supposed to be black, but ended up being colour matched to the tank by mistake – I think they look good in red! The previous owner is now wheelchair bound but still thoroughly over the moon that his old bike is back on the Shetland tarmac once more.

12 – Mr & Mrs Robinson from Lincolnshire show off their rather fine outfit, a 1951 Vincent Rapide. Travelling to the show in a 1971 Atkinson Borderer, they also brought a 1929 Essex Super 6, and, yes, there’s more, a 1951 Douglas, which Richard acquired on the way to the show. Once at their destination, the rear section of the lorry is converted into living and sleeping quarters. Talk about organised!

13 – The Robinson’s Douglas…

14 – And the Essex Super 6…

15 – You wouldn’t believe how much it costs to put this thing on the ferry from Aberdeen…let’s just say it’s several hundred quid…now that’s dedication.

16 – A sports hall is a rather unusual setting for a classic motor show, but it’s way better than a tent!

17 – There were only 250 of these Portugese Casal K270s brought into the UK. These little 125cc two-strokes were used by the Carlisle post office (amongst others?) to replace the faithful old BSA Bantam. Colin Fraser is the owner of this smart 1975 model.

18 –This little Honda PC50 started life with Hugh Arthur at the North lighthouse at Fair Isle, before being sold to uncle John in 1973, who lived at Girlsta just north of Lerwick. These days the bike belongs to the original owners son, Ian Arthur who states on his display card that the 50cc overhead valve engine puts out enough power to make the pedals redundant.

19 – Joe Gray’s Norton 19S on the left, Mike Mills’s 77 in the middle, flanked by Frank Johnson’s 99. Sounds like a selection of ice creams!

20 – Defiant by name, cute and blue by nature. Belonging to Peter Hall from Shetland.

21 – We’ve got all shapes and sizes here, from trials machines to road racers with everything in between.

22 – Hmm, that was clever, I haven’t got a clue what these ones are, but I like the tanks.

23 – Kelvin McNish brought his 1940 M20 all the way from Chester-le-Street, looking good in the colours of the 11th Durham Light Infantry.

24 – Local enthusiasts Geordie Jacobson (seated) and Gordon Stark are more than pleased with the 1936 Calthorpe Ivory Major. In the possession of Geordie’s uncle until 1955, it was relegated to the barn when the temptations of a car got too much for him, and there it stayed until his death in the 1980s. It’s a bit of a standing joke that it only took Gordon 18months to complete the project after Geordie had been fiddling with things for two decades previously – by his own admission, you can’t rush these things! “My only connection to the job really was I polished the pipes” he confides. He also sent the original Amal Smooth Bar to a specialist to have a new one fabricated. Gordon takes up the story, “The engine only needed one main bush, but the valve gear needed re-bushing. We sent the mag away, Joe in the club did the dyno, and the local coach firm Leasks just happened to use that Ivory colour which is Hellelfenbeind, they use that on Mercs you know, so the local painter did that for us.” Just on the off chance of retrieving the smooth bar, Gordon contacted the specialist Geordie had sent it to 20 years ago, and wonder of wonders, it was still under the bench! They still need a few of the levers and various oddments, but overall the bike is nearly back to as good as new.

25 – 1952 Thunderbird owned by Bertie Tait, previously owned by George Henderson, both of Shetland. Somewhere along the line, someone lost the gearbox but it was easy enough to find a replacement.

26 – John Cousins used to live in Shetland but these days, hales from Inverness. He’s owned this little Adler Favorit for 20years after having his interest in the marque ignited by a friend who raced them. Some parts were hard to find and it looked like his basket case challenge might get the better of him, until he started sourcing spares from Germany. Only 360 of the 250cc Favorites were manufactured.

27 – Martin Green’s trials Cub looks smart, must be plenty of places to try that out on the island.

28 – When Hughie Hughson was a lad, he had a Velocette MSS. Keen to have another Velo in his garage, he nipped down to Yorkshire and came home with the Venom. Unfortunately Hughie is unable to ride bikes much these days but still enjoys getting out and about to chat about the good old days.

29 – In the main hall the bikes mix it with some old cars. Oh dear, that’s me in trouble!

30 – Come to Shetland and not only can you look at 160 or more motorcycles, you can see 8 Beans too. On the left is a 1926 12hp Model 4 Open Tourer next to the later Hadfield Tourer.

31 – 8 Bentleys in a row, starting off with a big juicey 4.25 Litre Derby Drop Head from 1937

32 – One of only three Golden Bentleys, and the only known one with the original paintwork.

33 – Nearly finished…

34 – Captions on a post card?
35 – They’ve got ‘em all here, from Harley choppers, to 125cc Portugese imports, to the usual Nortons and Hondas.


Anonymous said...

Aah, the mysterious Shetand show...glad to see what all the fuss is about finally! Nice Pics and a county off the list!

Looks like #34 is doing some 'feet up' riding...


Darrell said...

Wow, so much to see. I must confess to not realizing there could be that much to see up there.
Great pictures.


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