Brilliant Bristol

Always one of the CBG team’s favourite events, this year’s Bath & West Showground experience was packed with great machines

THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE scene has good reason to be grateful to farming for its continued popularity. After all, if it wasn’t for the nation’s agricultural societies then classic bike builders would struggle to find somewhere to show off their creations.

The Royal Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet is used to having muddy boots stomping into its buildings from the car park, which is just as well. There was plenty of space in the big halls and heated marquees for the Bristol Classic Bike Show – a
37-year-old show that is older than a sizeable proportion of the bikes on display and more vintage than some of the visitors. That space gave clubs a chance to show off their creative mettle while building their stands. There were BSAs on rotating plinths, a Druid wedding and representations of period motorcycle dealerships, with the elbowroom giving lots of opportunities to get up close to see those important details that would otherwise get missed. Who knew, for instance, that Italian military Moto Guzzis were fitted with a second set of handlebars for the pillion so that officers would not have to hang on to a lower ranking serviceman?

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VMCC members were given half of an entire hall for their stands, while Wells Classic Motorcycle Club picked up Best Stand for its Club House creation, complete with its own bar, workshop and period decoration. The Best Private Entry was a BSA A7 that oozed character and quality, while John Crudgington’s V8 Norton Atlas deservedly won the Technical Interest category. And while there were plenty of immaculately restored bikes on show, the growing trend for retaining patina and for oily rag restorations was evident, with a delightful Matchless Clockwork Orange custom and an untouched 1948 Triumph Speed Twin attracting much attention.

Read more in the April issue of CBG – on sale now!

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