“Sherborne Classics at the Castle 19th July 2015
The Classics at the Castle’ show is now in its 12th year at the beautiful 16th Century Sherborne Castle. Under new ownership since 2014, with a ‘not-for-profit’ organising company formed by ‘Yeo Vale’ and ‘Sherborne Castles’ Rotary Clubs, this year the show was raising funds for Cancer Research UK and local charities. More than 1,200 interesting and exciting cars were on display with some 37 car club stands in the magnificent lakeside grounds of the Castle.
The Wessex Group have had a stand at the show for 8 Years now four of which I have organized the rest being the responsibility of Mr Rob Heard AGO, it started out as a small concern with half a dozen cars or so and slowly built up over the years.
In March this year I sent out an email to fellow members asking if they would like to join me at Classics at the Castle, within a week I had over 30 cars booked! I thought I best contact the organizers of the show to see if they could fit us all in, they were delighted with the response so I booked a 50ft x 150ft stand hoping that would be enough.
Since taking over the running of the stand I have tried to make it more interesting and more interactive every year, thus having a fresh look and feel for public scrutiny (oh and did I mention it is also judged)!
Most people that know me would probably describe me as quite shy and reserved so for me taking on a challenge like this is very daunting, especially this year with so many cars, but what keeps me on track is the support and help from fellow members and the reaction of the public.
It took about a month to work out the layout and to get the necessary bits and pieces I would need to create the stand. The weekend quickly arrived which started on Friday afternoon when my good friend Mat turned up with his van, we loaded all the kit I thought me might need and more! However the main feature of the stand that was two Roman columns wouldn’t fit! A handsaw and an hour later they went in, just.
We all left home early Saturday morning with Craig and Ceri McEwen who also joined us Friday evening and set off for Sherborne. On arrival at the Castle grounds we met up with Noel Hutchinson who had come to give us a hand, we then checked out our pitch, OMG it looked huge and a few cars had dropped out! To work then, it took us most of the day setting up, Mike Burks from The Gardens Group delivered lovely plants and trees to enhance the look and feel of the stand, this is something he does every year for us with no charge which I am truly grateful.
Sunday morning had arrived and Mat dropped me off at the stand, there were already half a dozen cars parked up. In previous years most of the cars arrived in convoy which meant we could get them parked up fairly quickly. Not this year however, traffic was a nightmare compounded by the fact one of the main roads to the show was closed due to an accident. This led to the event being open before all the cars had arrived, not ideal but we got there in the end minus a couple more cars. Once they were parked up and the information sheets put out it was time to relax a bit.
In the centre of the stand we had five Ferrari’s in a curve these were our photo cars, plan was when the public arrived at one of our two entrances we would direct them to the photo area to have their picture taken in a Ferrari, while encouraging them to put a few coins in the collection bin which was in aid of Cancer Research.
The stand did look fantastic starting from a 70’s 308GTS up to the latest Ferrari Supercar the LaFerrari, which seemed to have a crowd around it all day! Thousands of people must have come through the stand admiring the machinery. The 37 club stands were all judged based on appearance, originality, and there interaction with the public and yes you guessed it Wessex Area group came first, a good day all round really.
I would like to thank all the club members who helped out on the day I couldn’t have done it without you. There are also some people that require a special mention and that is Craig & Ceri McEwen, Noel Hutchinson, Mat & Esmee, Rob Heard, Phil Grimshaw and Sioux my wife.
A big thank you from me and we also raised £199.41 for Cancer Research.”
Report and photographs by Roy Dempster, Wessex Area Group of the Ferrari Owners Club. Originally published in the Ferrari Owners Magazine.