This came about as a result of last year’s October show when Classic Dirt Bike editor Tim Britton asked me if I could identify the type of Greeves in the film ‘On Any Sunday’. Once this was done, he then asked if I could find one and get it to Stafford. Luckily, Mike Norris owned the very model, a 360cc MX4 Challenger and duly placed it on the Classic Dirt Bike stand, surrounded by a tipped out bag of building sand to simulate the Californian desert(??!!) – the organisers spared no expense!
The organiser’s asked us back this year and we found ourselves with a stand in the ‘Dirt Bike Hall’. Things went wrong in the week before the show when Dick Faggetter had an unfortunate crash in his van which put it out of action for a while (not his fault!) That was his transport off the road and bikes out of the show. I couldn’t take a trailer because I had the caravan on the car so Mike did no more then come up from Southampton (65 miles each way) and collect my bike. He then took it up to Stafford in the trailer with his own bike! On arrival at Stafford, I parked the caravan in my usual spot and then realised I had a car full of stand equipment and regalia at the wrong end of the showground! A very careful trip was made across the autojumble and up to the hall to unload. Dave Bradley very sportingly made the trip down from the frozen north to help and this was much appreciated. A few bikes had arrived so at least we had the makings of a stand!
On Saturday, the rest of the bikes duly turned up together with our regalia man, Pete Smith. He very soon had his shop arranged with small items on the table and tee shirts hung up on the surrounding advertising boards. We were surrounded by trials and scrambles bikes which made us feel very at home. Pete soon had customers ‘in the door’ and a smile on his face! The day soon shot by talking Greeves and looking around the show. The autojumble again contained very little Greeves or Villiers items apart from Paul Powell saving the day with his stall, not far from our stand in the Dirt Bike hall as it happened. Our editor turned up and also enjoyed a wander around the show and I’ve no doubt he has some views on the event!
Come Sunday and Dave Bradley returned to assist and we also had Don Heath along for a while. By the end of the show, Pete had sold a fair amount and also recruited 4 new members. The judges were prowling around and a couple of bikes soon sported rosettes. Tim Simmonds 380 Griffon won a ‘Highly Commended’ award and Ian Hodge won ‘Best Scrambler in Show’ with his superb Challenger.
Come clearing up time and we needed to get my car back across the show ground except by now, it had a caravan on the back! The only way was to drive out of the showground and then wait by the exit at the other end until people had left. By the time I got the car anywhere near the stand, Mike had loaded everything into his car. He returned it to my place later the following week along with my Anglian. Now you can see just how much effort goes into running a stand and how the committee never say die! Poor Mike made the return trip from Southampton to my place for the second time in a week thus enabling the show to go on. Well done Mike and thanks, same to the others who helped!
Bikes on Display:
1971 380 Griffon – Tim Simmonds
1966 Anglian THS – Mike Norris
1967 24MX5 Challenger – Ian Hodge
1965 Anglian TGS – Rob Thornton
1966 24MX3 Challenger – Mike Norris
1972 Griffon Enduro – Steve Gollings