Thursday, May 31, 2012

Woodvale Rally to be held at new venue on earlier date

EAGLE-eyed readers might have already spotted something unusual on our Events page about this August's Woodvale Rally. This year it isn't being held in August. Or in Woodvale, for that matter.

For all sorts of complicated reasons better left to the hard-nosed news bit at the business end of The Champion the event can't be held at the RAF airbase this summer, meaning that the show's now got an earlier date (July 28 and 29) and a different venue (Victoria Park, which visitors to the Southport Flower Show will already be familiar with).

As one of the many, many classic car fans who've headed there year on year to show off their pride and joy at the Rally it's a bit of a shock to the system, but despite the setbacks the organisers have still got my support. The show, as they say, must go on! The Woodvale Rally has long been one of the highlights of my motoring year because it gives enthusiasts the chance to check out hundreds of classic cars, bikes and other machines in a nice, friendly atmosphere which provides a fun day out for ALL the family. Behind the rows of Rover SD1s and owners' club flags there's fairground rides and stalls selling sunglasses and handbags, so you can leave your other half or your kids to wander around to their heart's content while you take fuzzy photos of old Jags. It is big fun.

Over the years I've enjoyed all sorts of perspectives of the event; I've been there not just as a showgoer, but as a litter-picking cub scout, as a venture scout pointing motorists to the car park, as someone who's offered a helping hand with the model railway tent, as a Champion journalist reporting on it and - most proudly of all - as a classic car owner exhibiting there.

I‘ve been to Woodvale pretty much every year since the early Nineties and still come back with a smile on my face, with the exception of the ‘95 event when - while litter picking with the cub scouts - I managed to fall over and came back with a gaping great big gash on my knee instead. That exception aside though the sunshine, the radio-controlled aircraft, the banter with the classic car owners, the hamburgers, the vintage buses that connect them all are what make it what it is - I love all of it.

Only time will tell whether the Woodvale Rally will prove just as enjoyable at a different venue on an earlier date, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to it.

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