SE comment from one of the UK classic motorcycling forums today ....
"Anyway, at the shows I've visited it's entire families, not the engines, that are stationary - Hypnotised in their deck chairs with thermos flasks and Tupperware boxes of cheese and pickle sandwiches, in a noisy cloud of smoke."
Best New Year's Resolution to alter this (common) perception in 2006
A subject which has been given many an airing on this NG.
Who knows why others don't find our engines as utterly fascinating as we do? This is, I fear, not a question that an enthusiast is well placed to answer - I'll quite happily wander for hours round a rally field with a good variety of engines irrespective of the absence of; driven machinery, information, interaction with the borderline autistic owners and other things which are often cited as reasons for a lack of interest.
Mostly it's true, too. I put up good signs when exhibiting, so usually stay where I am unless I get eye contact.
I think my favourite was the group exhibiting at the Epping Forest Festival. They pitched up under a huge oak tree and had half a dozen engines - some running, some not - out by the rope with signs of reasonable quality. The extended family sat in the middle close to the tree, the circle of chairs turned inwards, backs to the onlooker.
I waved and shouted, but only got a wave back - very encouraging!
As far as stationary engines at events goes, I stand by my opinion that we don't really go to show our Iron Toys off to the public, but to each other. If you are inclined to disagree, tell me honestly if you KNEW you were going to be the only exhibitor showing stationary engines, would you attend? Regards,
Actually Kim, I agree entirely. Whilst I don't mind a chat with Joe public, I have yet to find one who doesn't ask inane questions (usually answered by the information boards I've carefully created - What did it do?, Where was is made? Who made it? Why are you sitting in the p******g rain watching that thing? You shouldn't be breathing in all that smoke), tell me that their Dad had one o' them there things, tell me that my incredibly rare and interesting specimen was something that they'd seen dozens of (and obviously owned at least five of in the past) carefully described the weather that I had been sitting in for the past six hours, or wondered how the pump's output was blue!
On balance the only sensible conversations/offers have come from other owners coming from the same side of the ropes as yours truly. Maybe I'm just unlucky but all of those farmers with incredibly rare and interesting iron hidden away in their barns are keeping it to themselves (typically).
So no, I rely on other exhibitors to keep me insane and therefore I would not attend a rally without the other insane engine owning individuals available to keep me company!
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I don't see it as black and white. Whilst I agree with just about everything Mark said, its a sad fact that unless we attract punters we will soon be deprived of the opportunity to show off our winters' works. Enthusiasts-only events lack something for me and the fresh enthusiasm of youngsters that I have encountered on the rally field and over the barriers at IF is a joy. All the more worth savouring for its rarity :-) ttfn Roland
In amongst the inane chat you speak of Mark I have learnt how to cook eggs, potatoes etc in the field with a muslin bag. Where the local agents used to be for my particular make of engines. Tricks of the trade i.e. how to keep it running, what to do if so and so broke.
I also agree with Roland, the young lad with his dad is more likely to ask an intelligent question than his dad will and if your board is up to scratch its that that usually they feed off of to ask you something else. On Monday last my wife and I and some friends of ours spent the day on the Poppy line and one of the Ticket inspectors was a young lad who at a guess was no more than 14 or 15 years old and without being pretensious he gave us a history of the railway line and the train we were on. He had been up since six and on the line at eight ready for the first train at ten, it was a pleasure to listen to and meet him. There are many more like him if we can be bothered to talk to them.