We hosted our popular annual bike show at the Wakefield May Day Gala, on Monday 5th May (May Day Bank Holiday), at Clarence Park Arena. We have appeared at the Gala for a good number of years now, hosting the Yorkshire MAG stand and a free to enter bike show, which is a very popular attraction with the 'public' at the Gala.
Our advance party arrived at the site at 09:00am to set up the Yorkshire MAG stand, in the same prominent spot as the past few years: an elevated slightly sloping plot above the main arena, highly visible from the entire site, and conveniently next to the access road.
We quickly erected the Yorkshire MAG stand, and populated it with lots of MAG promotional material, leaflets, posters, copies of the Road magazine, together with Wakefield MAG products for sale.
This year, we also tried a tombola, raffling prizes most of the branch had donated. Virtually every stall at the Gala has a tombola, so it was a bit of a gamble as to whether it would raise much money, but nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say, and as it cost so little to lay on, we had little to lose if it wasn't a success. The weather was good, with no rain forecast, so we were hoping for good day and a good turnout of bikes for the show.
So, with our stand all set up, we then waited for the show entrants to start rolling in, which they started doing in considerable numbers after the Gala officially opened at 10:00.
We had around 35 bikes in the show at any one time, with lots of comings and goings over the day. A warm welcome to the Yorkshire Monkey Bike Club, who brought along six Monkey Bikes to the show, 3 ridden in, and 3 brought in a van. We had category show winning certificates for virtually every bike show category you could possibly think of (as you never know what will turn up on the day) ..... except ..... 'Best Monkey Bike' of course ... Doh !!!
We had several Japanese and British Classics, with several Customs and Specials, and multiple Modern bikes (of all types) making up the remainder. A couple of cracking Triumph cafe racers turned up, but left before the judging, which is a shame, as the 1990's Hinkley Triumph Thunderbird Cafe Racer, with a Chrome Tank, had the 'Best Cafe Racer' Category sewn up. Owner please note if you are reading, for next year !!
By lunchtime, with the sun out, the Gala was heaving with people, and lots of visitors came to look at the bikes .... and relieve themselves of a pound, or several, having a go at the tombola.
Jaws literally dropped when a quite amazing custom bike turned up for the show.
Turns out he was a MAG Member from Darlington, who had seen the show advertised on the MAG web site, saw it was a nice day, and decided to make the 80 mile ride south. The bike was a Bad Dog custom, actually a factory built bike from a now defunct company in the US, of which there are very few imported into the UK. The owner had done several mods himself over the last year he had owned it, and had recently decided to enter it into shows. And we were most honoured to welcome him to ours.
The judges decisions were particularly difficult this year but we eventually decided upon 5 clear category winners, plus the Overall Best in Show.
With the winners decided, it was time for the prize giving .... cue drum roll:
Another excellent show and a most popular attraction at the Wakefield May Day Gala. The MAG stand did well and we gave out huge amounts of literature, fielded countless queries and sold £25 worth of branch products. Our tombola stand did exceptionally well, and with a steady stream of customers all day long, we sold every Tombola ticket we had, raising a fantastic £135. We realised we were undercutting most of our competition (every other stall at the Gala almost) by offering 5 tickets for a Pound, but even as other stalls lowered their prices to generate more business, it still didn't stop the customers flooding towards us (having so many nice bikes to look at nearby was also a significant 'pull' factor no doubt). The gamble had paid off and the MAG fighting fund was richer by £160 (when combined with the product sales) as a result!!!
A huge thanks to Lorna for organising the Tombola, and manning it most of the day with her family, ably assisted by Sharon and Chas too.
Thanks to everyone who turned up and made our Bike Show the overwhelming success it was. And of course, a big cheer to the 6 lucky show winners !!
A great effort from 'Team Wakefield MAG' and a huge thanks goes to all our volunteer marshals who put the stand up, manned it throughout the day, helped run the show, and packed everything back up again.
Lastly, a thank you to Lorna's dog, who relieved himself on the back wheel of my Enfield !!! It fired up a treat later on though, so dog p1ss vapours permeating near the air intake obviously act like a blast of Easy Start !!!
We will be hosting another show at the Wakefield Gala next year, so hope to see you in 2015.