Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Friday, 23 October 2009

Stafford Show - 16-18 October 2009

Jon and Myles had taken their bikes (Jon's B31 and Myles' B40) to the show so Rhys and I set off to pick them up, after I had finished work.  When we arrived, we found that the stand was already almost fully assembled.  As well as the expected impressive display of bikes, there was a cutaway B31 engine on display which kept Rhys entertained (ok, it made me quite happy too and I'd like one at home!).  Most of the stands in the show were fully set up so it was a good opportunity for a wander around.  The VJMC stand had a Captain Pugwash theme and lots and lots of excessively shiny motorcycles - I think Myles would have found it deeply disturbing.  Such shininess does seem a touch unnatural!  Jon had already managed to spend money on some books relevant to his BSA B2 and had his eye on a complete 1930s BSA tool kit. By this time most people were leaving so we set off for home, ready for an early-ish start the next day.

On Saturday, we managed to be back at the show by about 9.00 so missed most of the crowds.  As well as all the club stands and trade stalls, there were trials demos and the Wall of Death to keep people entertained and the weather was favourable for walking around searching the autojumble.  I had it in mind to find a suitable 21 inch front wheel for the B40 project but after an unsuccessful day hunting decided that perhaps I didn't want one after all.  Near the trials demo, there was an interesting but bird-poo-encrusted trials James for sale - it would have been very tempting if the sheds hadn't been at bursting capacity already!  I had promised myself not to purchase any more bikes or projects and I was going to be strong and stick to that promise.  Back at the BSAOC stand, Cliff and Daphne reported a very successful day in selling tickets for the raffle bike.  After a long and tiring day, we called in at the Railway Inn for a nice meal and to spend some time with the more hardy members of the club who were camping in the pub garden and car park.  Much as we would have enjoyed their company, I was still glad to be going home to a nice warm bed.

On Sunday, the early morning was very chilly and I was again grateful that we had decided not to camp.  We reached the showground before 9.00, had breakfast in the showground cafe and then headed for the stand.  I decided to stand in for the cleverer people (who hadn't yet arrived) and try to look up bike details on the computer for people who wanted to find out more about their machines.  I find the factory despatch records fascinating and it was very satisfying to trace one chap's recently acquired one-previous-owner B33 to the shop in Selby from which it was originally purchased.  Somehow, during the course of the morning, I became swayed from my course of "no more bike purchases" by the lure of something I have always fancied - I couldn't miss the opportunity to become the proud owner of an Ariel 3, could I?

Another trawl around the autojumbles found me investing in several necessary items I hadn't known I needed but I didn't feel I wasted any money and I can't understand why my fellow club members weren't more enthusiastic about the bright pink fuel pipe I purchased.  Spent some time eyeing up a mini-lathe (that I don't know how to use) but managed to resist (I was talked out of it, something less expensive will come up one day....). 

Another busy day but it was soon all over.  Jon had to set off home a little bit early as the B31 charging system had left him without lights but Rhys and I stayed a little longer and helped to shift a few carpet tiles in the direction of Colin's van before heading back to our van.  On the way to the van, I stopped for a last look at the interesting James.  Dave appeared and we had a chat about the value of the bike, then the owner/seller turned up and Dave haggled it down to a decent price for me.  I felt quite bad about having to explain that I couldn't really buy the thing because Jon would probably kill me if I got home with another bike in the back of the van.  I think the bloke just assumed I was a nutter.........

I always enjoy the Stafford Show.  Ok, there are the usual examples of ridiculously overpriced "projects" for sale but I rather think they are part of the entertainment and there are always bargains to be had too.  The October show is more Japanese-bike orientated but, even if you loathe Jap bikes, there are still plenty of interesting exhibits and trade stalls to keep you satisfied - and it all else fails to entertain you, there's always the BSAOC stand for some good company and a nice cuppa!

Piccies can be seen in the slideshow section.


  1. Are 2 new bikes cheaper than buying hats & sweets for the sprogs.

  2. Depends on how many sweets you are buying!