What the ****?

Casting about for a reasonably local (to west London) rally this weekend, I thought we might try the new 'Royal Berkshire' touted as a replacement for
Knowl Hill. I emailed to enquire about the likely SE content and got the following reply:-
>Hi Nick,
>Regretfully we are suffering from a boycott from a number of clubs. So we only have & stationary engines. We had a very good man organising the static engine section who felt forced to abandon > the event because of fear of upsetting his club.
>I am telling you this because while the event needs your support, I don't want you to feel you have been misled neither do I want you to waste your time.
>Hopefully by next year we will have overcome this ill feeling and put on a show full to overbrimming in every section. >With Kind Regards >David Read
What the heck is going on here? Whatever it is, it doesn't sound likely to enhance the already shakey image of SE exhibitors with rally organisers.
Nick H.
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No idea anyone? - Well I'm glad it's not just me living under a rock as usual anyway!
Nick H.
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Nick,
It would be interesting to get the other view, at a guess the organisers maybe wanting to charge the exhibitors, that seems to be the current trend.
Martin P

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c> Nick,
c> It would be interesting to get the other view, at a guess the c> organisers maybe wanting to charge the exhibitors, that seems to be the c> current trend.
c> Martin P
Absolutely. I have jusy read Charlotte Keeley's letter in Worlds Fair pointing out that the Royal Berks has no connection with Knowl hill, but I remain 'in the dark' about the reason for any boycott. Will probably go anyway - don't fancy dragging over to Fairford which is probably the next closest.
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Yesterday all the green Fairford Steam Fair adverts beside the A417 had CANCELLED on them - the "home made" ones did not.
Best check with the organisers to confirm
--
Tony Brooks
www.TB-Training.co.uk
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On Fri, 10 Aug 2007 18:05:48 +0100, "campingstoveman"

I thought the Amberley Museum experience would have put rally organisers off charging for exhibitors, but there's always one that will try it.
The problem is that nobody 'needs' to exhibit. Just as easy to pay admission and enjoy the day rather than be chained to an engine (or any other exhibit) all day.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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I'm going to spend Saturday washing and polishing the Rover then Sunday my good wife and I are taking it to a local Hospice to a Fete come Classic car event they hold each year, we shall have a picnic and chat cars and the drive the five miles or so back home. It makes a change from dragging hunks of cast iron around all weekend, not that I'm weakening :-)) just a change.
Martin P

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For anyone interested I can report:
2 full sized steam engines, 3 or 4 mini-ones. One organ.
Perhaps 6 Stationary engines including a rather nice small gas engine.
A fair few tractors. Ditto trucks. a reasonable number of cars, but quiet a few were the type I worked on as an apprentice.
Two Autojumble stands
No tools stands :-(
Van run out of soft ice-cream by 13.00
The good thing is the entrance seemed to have been reduced, but I think anyone other than local could well feel disappointed. Nice site though.
Tony Brooks
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The gas engine was Nigel Mc Burney's Gardner and it was joined by a couple of Amancos (Rent Boys or some such?), a Lister D and a Wolseley WD.
I enjoyed the tractors and thought the car and bike turn out quite good for the type of event, my favourite was the Russian Jupiter 3 - an unassuming two-stroke twin in the MZ mould, but I'd never seen one before!
Chatting to the jumble stall holder after making him an offer he couln't refuse for a Lucas SR mag and Stuart carb, he said he thought the event had been badly promoted and that the organiser had somehow upset the 'steam boys'. He rated the site though and said that the adjascent field was available for future expansion.
Helen thought the other attractions pretty good for a small rally and all in we had a reasonable afternoon.
What the organiser has done to incur a boycott by some clubs, I have no idea. It can't be easy getting a new event off the ground and I reckon this one has some potential.
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snip

I agree it has potential.
I understand from a friend who had one of the mini-steamers that the bad feeling started in relation to a perceived attempt by the organising company to hijack an established rally at Great Missendon by holding one very close by within a week.
From what we have been told about Mrs Keeley's letter I also think theer is a good chance the local clubs were upset by the attempt of a commercial organisation to "cash in" on the reputation of Knowle Hill. In that, I think they may have a point, because it takes years and much hard work to build an even like that.
Tony Brooks
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That'll be the Chiltern traction engine club's Prestwood rally. I used to live locally (within walking distance) so have been going to that one for many years, though in recent years I fear that this was more out of habit than anything else as what used to be a very good junk/antiques market has dwindled to a few stalls and the SE display has become very 'familiar' - probably still good if you're a steam buff though.It was of course cancelled this year as - not for the first time - the land owner (local dairy farmerWren Davis ISTR) feared for the effect on his rain soaked fields.

The web site publicity includes the following paragraph:-
"Since the passing of the great Mr John Keeley the Knowl Hill steam Rally Trust has never been able to get the show going again. Having been approached, and since touring the country to find out if the Show would be welcome back on the same annual dates, we have been told unreservedly by the press, traction engine owners, as well as car, commercial vehicle and traditional steam fairground rides and countless public, that they want the show to return."
While the posters state "Formerly held at Knowl Hill"
So it was certainly touted as a successor. But, unless the 'original' Knowl Hill rally (which again had been on a bit of a downward slide from the SE point of view) is set to return, why would this upset the clubs to the extent of actually boycotting the event?
Nick H.
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wrote (snip):-

snip
I think the Knowle Hill event was run for the benefit of the local community. I believe it built/rebuilt their village hall. I have seen nothing to suggest that the proceeds would be doing anything other than accruing to the event organising outfit (I know they take a risk and may make a loss, but things like lack of programmes etc suggest that risk was minimised.)
I know I would be a bit put out if a commercial outfit appeared to be trying to make money on the back of my efforts for local good causes in past years. I can easily see how this would have upset a number of people.
I suffered in a similar way (different interest group) a few years ago at Worcester where a commercial outfit used goodwill and publicity generated by previous shows run by a large charity. Two things happened.
1. The organisers went broke I understand. 2. That site has to a degree been blighted for future events.
I doubt the organisers will go broke, but I do think they barely managed to meet the promises in their adverts and I wonder how may "ordinary punters" will come back next year.
--
Tony Brooks
www.TB-Training.co.uk
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I do take your point Tony, though I don't imagine anyone just looking for a get rich quick scheme would plump for rally organisation! But, rather than speculate further on the rights or wrongs (I don't suppose either of us is in posession of all the facts), I just hope any bad feeling can be put aside and we get an interesting addition to the rally calender for next season.
Nick H.
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I could not agree more - it is a great site and it would be a shame for it to fall out of use.
--
Tony Brooks
www.TB-Training.co.uk
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