Why rallies don’t want us any more

In the old days most rallies were organised by enthusiasts, for
enthusiasts, costs were modest & bureaucratic intervention was
minimal. Nowadays costs are astronomical & local government officials
have been given the power to close any event that does not comply with
their personal interpretation of the law.
Many rallies have closed & many more are in trouble, those that
survive are having to cut costs, sell more trade space & attract more
public by giving them what they want. Unfortunately the bottom line is
that while stationary engines, tractors & other farm machinery may be
of interest to you & I, they are of no interest to the paying public
what so ever, they just want craft tents & classic cars.
Reply to
pauljerram
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Go west young man, go west. In the US engine and tractor shows are alive and well. The 2008 show directory lists over 1400 shows and that is probably less than one third of the ones that are actually being held.
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These are everything from one-day shows with a few dozen engines and tractors to the largest engine show in the world, Portland, with registered engines in the thousands on display. The key, as you've mentioned, is to keep the enthusiasts in control.
And since the exchange rate is so very much in your favor, why not order a copy of the show directory, book your plane fare, and head west!!
See ya, Arnie Arnie Fero Pittsburgh, PA USA fero snipped-for-privacy@city-net.com
Reply to
hit_n_miss
I think that there is a lot more to it than that. I was a subscriber to the S.E. magazine, avid engine collector/restorer/exhibitor and regular rallygoer up til a few years ago when several washout rallies made me realise it wasn't really a rewarding hobby for me anymore. I sold all my engines and magazines and turned to pastures new. Recently i revived my interest a little and bought an old car which is almost fully restored, then an interesting engine came up for sale and I succumbed to that too. I requested help on this newsgroup and got almost no helpful replies at all, then I resubscribed to the magazine to try there, and was fairly surprised when the magazine started to arrive. In my humble opinion it has gone down hill !! It seems to be even more "overseas" orientated than ever. I've only seen a few "Overseas" Vintage interest magazines and We don't seem to get an awful lot of coverage in them Personally, I couldn't care less how many engines there are waiting to be found in South Africa, Australia, Cyprus or anywhere else for that matter, I'll never find them !! Not that i've anything against these enthusiasts who send the contributions, in fact the only reply I got to requests for help with my engine came from a Guy in Australia !!! That speaks volumes to me, the reason for the decline in rally interest is apathy, in my humble opinion. Joe Public goes to a rally for very different reasons than the guy who carts his pristine exhibit there ,starts it up then disappears to hobnob with his cronies over what he has lurking in his shed or what is lurking in the Rand or the Outback! Come on you guys,make the hobby interesting again for everyone, if the elite want to be elite let them organise Crank-ups behind closed gates and keep out the "Ducks in the Water" riff raff like me. Nevertheless, I will be at Astle Park this year to see how much that has changed since I was last there in 2002, and I'll publicise what I'll be wearing in case anyone wants an argument!!!!
Reply to
Charles Hamilton
Charles:
I think that there are more reasons than just those that you have mentioned, although I do agree with you wholeheartedly about SE magazine. I dropped it back in 2002 and don't miss it, although I did keep my collection of magazines for reference.
One thing that has happened to us all is that we have all grown older, we are probably slightly poorer now, and free time doesn't seem as available as it used to.
I was never a great engine rally visitor, mainly due to the driving to get to them, or at least those like Lister-Petter, Welland and Astle Park. This year we are going to Nuenen, and taking a couple of items along with us to show, rather than be spectators.
Regarding assistance from the newsgroup, I have never had any lack of responses when I have asked a question, although you do need to ask a question that people 'can' answer in the first place :-))
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Charles,
Its disappointing that you did not get an answer, but as Peter pointed out this NG tends to stay quiet if it does not know an answer, I assure you were not ignored. I also think playtime for a lot of us is less me included, I also have a Classic car, some am tending to take that to a few shows with my wife who as a now registered invalid cant get around much so the car gives her freedom where as a field tends to be like a prison to her as she cant walk far. I enjoy the few rally's I do though but the cost of running a 9 HP Lister L aint cheap.
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
A pretty bleak assesment Paul! As a member of the paying public (tried showing - couldn't get on with it, might try again when I retire), I always choose which rallies shall part me from my hard earned cash primarily on the basis of the engine display. Next on the list is a decent market area, preferably with a smattering of tool and 'junk' stalls, I generally pass through the classic car display pretty quicky, most being 'grey porridge' which might just tickle a few nostalgia buds. As for 'craft' - I can do without my name burned into a variety of wooden objects or a coke bottle in frilly Victorian dress!
Nick H
Reply to
Nick H
Was that the CLM? I thought we did ok on what is a pretty unusual beasty.
I agree to an extent, though I guess the reason for the increasing overseas content is lack of material submitted from UK (and I do rather enjoy DWE's reports from the Middle East!)
I don't think the decline in interest is down to exhibitors, Joe Public simply doesn't seem to have the mechanical inclination it takes to appreciate engines any more - you can't force people to be interested. I'm sure you'll enjoy Astle park - I'm not going this year so it probably won't rain ;-)
Nick H
Reply to
Nick H
Nick,
Always the optimistic pessimist :-))
Martin P
- I'm not going this year so it probably won't
Reply to
campingstoveman
I think there are many factors, but something happened today which brought home your point above.
We loaded ther Caterpillar and Dyno, both on the trolley now, on to the trailer, and did a load test of the two new ali extrusion ramps that we bought a couple of years ago. The ali didn't give hardly at all, and the all-up weight of the load must be near to 1-3/4 tons.
The unit has been sat in the factory gateway while we were playing with hard mountings for the ramps, and a load of schoolkids walked past and hardly looked at anything at all, just walked on silently.
When I was a kid, 'everything' was interesting! we would go up to people and ask "Whossat mister?" and many are the happy hours I and my mates spent in factories and workshops, as people got to know us and eventually let us in to see what they were doing.
Nowadays, you'd be frightened of the HSE more than anything else...
Kids also have a hell of a lot more to occupy their pointy heads nowadays, while all we had was an old Meccano set and some diecast steam locos, might have been Dinky, can't remember. TV was evenings only, if you had a set in the family, but most days we were off out playing and generally doing things.
Peter -- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Rushden, UK snipped-for-privacy@prepair.co.uk
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Wow, an oxymoron - are you feeling ok Martin?
Nick H
Reply to
Nick H
Hang on, I will go and find my violin before I read the next bit, give us a mo :-))
Martin P while
Reply to
campingstoveman
"Peter A Forbes" wrote (snip)
Yep. I spent most of my 'yoof' taking apart pretty much anything electrical or mechanical I could get my hands on. I'm still working on the putting it back together bit!
Nick H
Reply to
Nick H
Had to get the dictionary out for that one, seen it before but not sure what it meant. Now I know I can confidently answer yes I think so :-))
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
I remember your request for assistance Charles & as I knew nothing of value, I kept quiet. Mostly grownups here, I believe & no doubt at all that "no response" was the common sense reply when one knows nothing! ;o))
Putting on a public event is ever more complex, requiring much filling in of forms and compliance with rules thought up in Brussels to protect insurance companies from claims. It will be A Good Thing when the backlash comes & things get back to normal. There are already cracks in the bureaucratic dam face & I have some hopes of seeing a return to more sensible requirements before I shuffle off this mortal coil!
Pressure of Saxon business means that I have few available weekends in the year, but I always try to go to Astle Park & exhibit, usually just for the Saturday. I combine it with a visit to see what Geoff is up to in Poynton 7 miles away then run off home that evening. It is worth it just to see what turns up in the club shop ;o))
SEM - we have had conversations like this in the past on this forum & frankly the answer lies in our hands. As a glorified club magazine for a very niche market, SEM is what we make it - you and me, not some nebulous staff writer that lives on his stipend. It doesn't pay for articles & therefore survives entirely on stuff provided by you and me. If "we" want to see more articles about stuff in the UK, then "we" must sit down and write it. As you all probably know, I follow my own advice in this regard at least & I have been preparing an article that might run to two issues. The research takes ages but it is more or less finished now & should appear in the autumn.
Surely YOU can put together a couple of decent photos and five hundred words about an engine of your choice or some amusing incident etc??
regards,
Kim Siddorn
Reply to
Kim Siddorn
Likewise here but I was following in fathers footsteps. In those days if something failed, the first (and sometimes only) option was to repair it. Modern stuff is so cheap and difficult to repair that the easiest way is to replace it. In fathers day, almost every motorist carried a set of tools because they were likely to need them on a journey. These days cars hardly ever break down and if they do, can the owner fix them at the roadside - No. The world has moved on. We are now surrounded by better engineering than we've ever had. People don't need to get into the worky bits anymore so the need to understand them has gone.
Coming back to the original point of why are engines not wanted at so many shows, it's simply that they're not popular with the paying public. Look at where they go at a show. Where are the crowds? They're round the fair rides, the burger bars, the beer tent and the craft area. The exhibits that gather crowds are those that are visually impressive. The steamers, the big tractors, the classic cars and bikes, etc. Even within those categories, it's the biggest and shiniest that gather the most attention. the showmans engines, all painted and polished are the stars. The "as found" road rollers get ignored. Our line up of engines are small and uninteresting by comparison so tend to only attract us anoraks. I know it's a contentious subject but presentation is important and dull unpainted engines don't do us any favours. As engines attract less people, they get put in out of the way places. Consequently even less folks make the effort to look at them. And so the spiral begins.
John
Reply to
John
On Wed, 7 May 2008 01:16:16 -0700 (PDT), John finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swiggged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::
That doesn't stop me carrying bulbs, sockets, spanners, screwdrivers and a full set of cross-point and tork bits in the compartments under the floor of the car - at least I can change a bulb if stopped by Plod!
Brian L Dominic
Web Site:
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Newsgroup readers should note that the reply-to address is NOT read: To email me, please send to brian(dot)dominic(at)tiscali(dot)co(dot)uk
Reply to
Brian Dominic
Have you seen how difficult it is to change a headlight bulb on some modern cars? Renaults are well known (but not unique) in needing the front bumper removing to get at the bulb. Times of up to 2 hours are quoted and that=92s using a workshop ramp! I used to carry spare points, rotor arm, distributor cap and throttle cable. Modern cars don=92t have any of these and I=92m not going to carry a spare ECU just in case. A length of wire and electrical tape would fix a lot of problems. If I try that on a modern car I=92m likely to do more harm than good. Even a test bulb on two pieces of wire can blow sensitive electronics. Some cars don=92t even have a spare wheel!
I=92m like you Brian, I also carry a set of tools in our cars but I have to accept greater limitation in what I can repair at the roadside. Fortunately modern cars are so much more reliable that my tools lie almost untouched during a journey. Whether that=92s because of, or in spite of, all their electronics is another subject.
John
Reply to
John
Gentlemen,
Changing any tail light on my Vauxhall Vivaro requires the use of a supplied tool and thirty minutes of time to undo the awkwardly placed torx screws just to get to and replace the lamp. When I first had a lamp go I was passing a Halfords so took it apart in the carpark to see what lamp I needed then put it back together again so as not to leave anything hanging go buy a lamp and then reverse the previous. When I fitted a tow bar to my last Vauxhall vivaro that was even more fun, the mechanics of it were a doddle, try finding the necessary wires when all you have is a bundle of grey and pink cables.
Martin P Martin P
Have you seen how difficult it is to change a headlight bulb on some modern cars? Renaults are well known (but not unique) in needing the front bumper removing to get at the bulb. Times of up to 2 hours are quoted and that?s using a workshop ramp! I used to carry spare points, rotor arm, distributor cap and throttle cable. Modern cars don?t have any of these and I?m not going to carry a spare ECU just in case. A length of wire and electrical tape would fix a lot of problems. If I try that on a modern car I?m likely to do more harm than good. Even a test bulb on two pieces of wire can blow sensitive electronics. Some cars don?t even have a spare wheel!
I?m like you Brian, I also carry a set of tools in our cars but I have to accept greater limitation in what I can repair at the roadside. Fortunately modern cars are so much more reliable that my tools lie almost untouched during a journey. Whether that?s because of, or in spite of, all their electronics is another subject.
John
Reply to
campingstoveman
I took the loaded trailer out for a spin lunchtime, to see how it pulled with a full load and to pick up some spares for the trip.
Asked for a new alternator belt and a cambelt and spare front pads.
Seems that the alternator belt is a major job now and requires replacement of various tensioners etc etc.
Same with the cambelt, you need loads of other bits as well....
Took my pads and went home....
The other silly: SERV light comes on, nothing obviously wrong with the van, running OK so ignored it. Went away next day. Then a new "Spanner" symbol lights up, nothing in the book about that one, so while at the dealers I asked what it was. "You need a service". What's the SERV light for then? "That's in case you miss the spanner symbol". What if one comes on without the other?
Blank look.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
The US isn't trodden on by health and safety fascists as Labour scum run Britain is. Mike.
Reply to
Mike Cawood, HND BIT

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