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The 'Car' Show Must Go On!

Chesterfield Rotary & Satelite Rotary catch the sun for their annual car show.

There's the global pandemic thing that's been going around and alongside it comes a list of rules of what we can do and/or cannot do.

If you're organising a car show do you do it or don't you? Is there any risk as it's outdoors or is it safe? If 20,000 people can attend a football match in a stadium surely a few thousand (hopefully) people can browse some cars at respectful distances and help raise some money for local charities... that need our support and haven't been able to open their charity shops for months!

These are just a few of the questions that the Chesterfield Rotary and Satellite Rotary Clubs faced as the annual show at Eckington approached.

With an event like this you need to book the location in advance, arrange caterers etc, ensure

that exhibitors know so they can have their vehicles ready and let people know so they can book the date and come and appreciate the cars and bikes. No easy task given the past year.

Well we took a punt and sorted a date with Renishaw Hall.

It was after an announcement about dates suggesting that as it was outside we should be OK, so the sub group came together and set about putting everything in place.

We set about testing mobile phone linked credit card readers so we reduce the dependency on cash which seemed to work and would help on the gate. Fab, all is going well.

The Football! England have a key match to play at 5pm on the day of the show, will anyone turn up? We considered rearranging but UEFA were not prepared to reschedule the match... so we agree to kick off (!) at 3pm, people could still come and be home for 5pm. Another disaster averted.

Then a couple of days before the event we're told we need to register everyone on the COVID booking app as they enter! Previously unknown to us when booking, members of the Historic Houses Association, which includes Renishaw Hall, are required to apply the system. Nightmare, do we call it off? We updated our facebook site with the facts and people started posting responses. The majority said 'no problem' we're still coming and looking forward to it!

We're back on again!

So the day came.

The sun flexed it's muscles, it had been a bit shy for a week, and at 3pm classic cars started rolling up the drive to find a friendly greeting from one of the many volunteers on the entrance. The cards readers seemed to be working and the exhibitors areas started filling up nicely.

I took a wander around the event and chatted to a few of the owners, they were all extremely pleased to be out. It had been a testing 18 months and most were just happy to have their cars and bikes out for a spin and the opportunity to spend some time chatting to like-minded folk.

Andrew and Paul from Rotary took a stroll around and picked out a rather nice Austin Healy and a 1938 Triumph Speed Twin as winning car and bike. Quite early on the attendees started to thin out destined to see how England fare.

Viewing numbers were a little down on normal years but after the takings were counted we'd raised £6,000 for local charities including Ashgate Hospicecare, The Elm Foundation and Relate, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

I have to pass on the thanks of Chesterfield Rotary and Satellite Rotary to everyone who attended. It was great to see so many people enjoying the day and happy to put a few £'s in the bucket for charity.

See our 'Car Art' article for a chat with Shaun Lawless, a chap with a rather special car!

I joined the Satellite Rotary Club to give a bit back to the community by way of my time, helping out at events like this is always a pleasure and if it's something that appeals to you, just give me call on 07764 801080 or drop me an email:

Words & Images: Paul Chapman


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