Saturday arrives and although I had only been contacted by Ivan, I was still optimistic that more Merlin’s would make the effort to attend.
I arrived at the showground around 8.30am; it looked as though it was going to be a repeat of Stonleigh this year. It was chilly, there was a strong Northerly wind and occasionally there was a little light rain. Undeterred I set about putting the gazebo together, thinking someone will turn up to help me lift it up, help came in the form of the neighbouring club the Lotus 7 club. It just so happens that one member and his passenger was from our village. They offered their assistance, and then another merlin appeared, Roy Humphreys from Newbury. We soon had the gazebo up and anchored securely.
Gradually more Merlin’s rolled in, Ivan Brocklehurst, Anthony Bradshaw and John Knott joined Roy Humphreys and me. Pete Wass from North Hykeham also visited, unfortunately his Merlin is not on the road yet (keep going Pete). Not a bad turnout considering the conditions and previous attendances.
We soon had a brew on and were swapping stories. Several of the general public were making enquiries into whether the cars came up for sale very often, so there is interest in the car. Everyone went off and did the compulsory walk round and check out the competition (as if there is any). The autojumble was disappointing, more like tool shop. Next to us was the space-hopper obstacle course, but no Merlin owners were going to disgrace themselves here, far to dignified.
The gazebo had now broken guy ropes and was trying to become a kite, so our neighbours (part of the Lotus 7 club) parked their support vehicles behind our gazebo so we could use them to anchor it down and provide a makeshift windbreak. They unloaded a throw away bbq, so I volunteered my portable one and they offered to share their food with our members, which we gratefully accepted. I was got busy brewing tea and coffee as fast as the 2 ring gas stove could muster.
At around 5pm we decided enough was enough and packed up for the evening. Ivan and I made the drive back to my house, where we enjoyed a Chicken stir fry on the bbq, followed by one of Sharon’s home made Pavlova. Ivan dug into the Merlin and came up with a case of speckled hen, which somehow we managed to consume before retiring. (It would have been rude not to)
(Note! - if anybody else had responded to Dave's offer, they could have joined me at Dave's house for this excellent stir-fry barbeque! Fortunately for us, no-one did, so Dave, Sharon (his wife) and I had it all to ourselves! Which meant that we decided not to use the hot tub for fear of it all ending in tears! - Ivan)
Sunday morning though still cool, the sun was shining and the wind had lessened. On route back to the showground we collected more bread rolls. When we arrived at the site, we were pleasantly surprised to see Merlin’s already parked up.
Up went the gazebo and on with a brew and bacon rolls. We were again joined by Anthony Bradshaw and John Knott. Danny Sims had also arrived, shortly followed by Clive and Margaret Pinker. Roy Humphreys had gone off to play golf today. I later found another Merlin at the other end of the showground, perhaps he couldn’t find our stand? So over the two days we had 8 Merlin’s at the show, plus another two members who came along without their cars.
The weather had improved steadily throughout the day and general public numbers looked to be good also.
Again we stuck it out until around 5pm and bid our farewells.
For our part we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to next year’s event.
Dave & Sharron Cox