For the eigth consecutive year, Wakefield MAG hosted the Yorkshire MAG stand at the hugely popular West Yorkshire VJMC Japanese Bike Show, held on Sunday 28th July at Lotherton Hall. We packed the stand with MAG leaflets & literature, posters, flyers, copies of The Road magazine, information, products and a few freebies, in anticipation of the hoardes of bikers all clamouring to join the MAG ranks.
Our services to help the VJMC marshal their show weren't required this year, as after a call nationally, other VJMC regions other than West Yorkshire VJMC stood up to the mark - we are all glad they did as the show's continuation was in severe jeapody, a blow to the classic bike scene, but an even bigger blow to the local charities who benefit so much from the show's proceeds.
There were 270 bikes in the show this year, down on last year (330) and the overall number of visitors was also down. The weather didn't help - although the show ground at Lotherton stayed dry until the end, it wasn't the same story across the North of England, and especially the North East, which usually provides a sizable number of show entries.
This year, we tried a MAG survey as a way of attracting new members. Unfortunately, it wasn't an overwhelming success - Mick reported almost total apathy from the crowd. It wasn't all doom and gloom though, plenty of people took away literature and we may pick up half a dozen or so members if everyone who promised to join actually do so. We renewed a MAG member on the day (Steve Holmes, the same chap who renews with us every year at this show, and he also always rounds his membership up to 30 quid, thereby giving a fiver voluntary donation to MAG in addition to his membership fee .... Top Man !!!).
The autojumble was larger this year and a good number of people came along to the show just for the autojumble itself, searching for that most elusive rare to find part. The autojumble traders were also moved closer to the bike show this year, and less out on the periphery of the field. This change worked particularly well according to Matt, the show's organiser for the last 16 years.
The show prize giving was done earlier this year, due to the visitor numbers but also due to an impending rainstorm.
Luckily, we managed to take down the MAG tent before the heavens opened.
It is always worthwhile having a MAG presence at this prestige classic bike show, and the VJMC always reward us with a prime spot right next to their control tent, and smack in front of where the show awards are given.
The highlight of the day for us (but not Eddie) was when he locked his house, trike & trailer keys in his trike trailer, not with one padlock, but with TWO (well, if you are going to make a faux paux, may as well make it a good one !!!). Luckily, there were still some traders around who could provide a hacksaw to break into the trailer. All our MAG marshals were of course very sympathetic, especially given it delayed them all going home by an hour ;-)
We will find out later what the show made, unfortunately, this will be down on previous years but nonetheless, it will still have been very profitable (and all those proceeds are donated to five local charities).
The venue for next years show may not be Lotherton Hall as Leeds City Council are potentially looking at the showground for use as a car park. However, lots of events are held on the field, not just the VJMC show, so there could well be a change of heart. Matt and Pat are standing down as show organisers, but after organising this show for the past 16 years, I think they have well earned a rest. Finally, a huge thank you to all our volunteer stand marshals, who gave absolutely stirling service over the course of the day, as indeed, they always do !!!!!!