EVENTS CONTINUE TO TUMBLE AS ORGANISERS STRUGGLE TO KEEP PACE WITH VIRUS CRISIS
AS EVENTS ORGANISERS reel from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, more and more are finding that the eagerly anticipated return to normality may not come in time to save their show for this year.
The latest event to cancel for 2020 is the Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza with Martyn Slater, chairman of the show's organisers, the Stroud Vintage Transport and Engine Club, making the following announcement:
"I regret to inform you that the 46th annual Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza which was due to take place on Friday 31st July - Sunday 2nd August 2020, has been cancelled. Those that have purchased advance tickets will be issued an automatic refund.
"The situation with Covid-19 is continuously evolving. Our initial approach was to “Keep Calm & Carry On”, as we all shared the ‘hope’ that it could continue this year.
"However, latest UK Government information indicates that further restrictions maybe implied or extended to combat the current crisis. We now take the stance that it would be irresponsible for us to host the 2020 show. The safety and wellbeing of our volunteers, contractors, exhibitors and visitors is paramount.
"Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza is widely regarded as one of the biggest and best Steam, Vintage and Countryside events in the UK and attracts over 20,000+ visitors from across the country and is staged on part of a live military base at South Cerney Airfield.
"To host a show of its magnitude requires a large provision of emergency service cover, and a lot of assistance from the military base - it would be unthinkable to apply such a burden to them at this dreadful time.
"The Extravaganza is organised by the Stroud Vintage Transport and Engine Club (S.V.T.E.C) and is one of the largest events of its kind run entirely by volunteers. It simply could not run without the huge support of the dedicated section leaders, exhibitors, volunteers and visitors. Nonetheless, it costs SVTEC a substantial amount of money to stage the popular annual show and by not taking risks, we can safeguard its future for many years to come.
"I would to like to take this opportunity to apologise for the disappointment that this announcement will undoubtedly cause, but also extend my gratitude to our volunteers and section leaders that have already put so much hard work in to this year’s show.
"However, rest assured, we look forward to returning in 2021."
The organisers of Classic Stony, due to take place at Stony Stratford in June, have also thrown in the towel, saying : "After a lot of heart searching we have reluctantly decided to 'postpone' our event on Sunday 7th June.
"Although still eight weeks away, and who knows what the situation might be then, the priority has got to be your safety, and the safety of others. We are optimistic for the future, so our plans are along with our friends from 'StonyLive' (The best of music & art) to organise an event as soon as the advice indicates it is safe to do so."
The London Concours, planned to take place in the City of London, has been postponed from June until August: "The London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, will now take place on 19th-20th August. Preparations for the 2020 event, which was originally scheduled for 10th-11th June, are already well advanced, with many of the 100 display vehicles confirmed to attend and commercial partnerships secured.
"With the support of presenting partner, Montres Breguet, and the Honourable Artillery Company venue, the London Concours organisers hope that by moving the event back by two months, all the world-class content slated to appear in June can now come to London at a safer time."
Mark Woodward, who reshuffled his diary late last month, has now cancelled the planned July 19th Summer Outdoor 4x4 Spares Day at Malvern Showground which will now take place in Summer 2021. And Glossop Classic Car Show on May 16 has been cancelled. Stickney Autojumble has, like many other regular autojumbles, suspended operations for the time being, while April 11th's South Midlands Autojumble has gone, the other dates of July 11 and September 19 remain.
Surrey Street Rodders, who have run a Good Friday Wheels Day for 45 years, have decided that the 46th event will now take place on Saturday September 5. Easter Monday's Coleford Carnival has gone while Basingstoke Festival of Transport has switched from Sunday May 3 until September 13. Devon Vintage Car Club have cancelled their May 3 Autojumble at South Devon Railway, but October 4th's event is very much on they say.
Haslemere Classic Car Show in May has been cancelled for 2020, while Kent's Car Enthusiasts Show has been merged with the All Ford Car Show on Sunday July 19, provisionally. The 28th Spring Vehicle Meet, planned for Easter Monday has been postponed until a date yet to be announced. Swansea Historic Vehicle Register have switched their annual classic show from May until, hopefully, they say, Bank Holiday Monday August 31.
Lichfield Rotary Cars in the Park is still planned for July 4 and 5, but the organisers will confirm at the end of May.
Following last year's cancellation of MG Live!, the coronavirus crisis could not have come at a worse time for Abingdon based organisers, the MG Car Club. Now the 2020 event has been postponed.
A website statement reads: "The Covid-19 pandemic has developed rapidly and with news that motorsport’s governing body, Motorsport UK, has suspended all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption for motorsport events until at least 30th June, the MG Car Club has been required to postpone MGLive! 2020.
"We are currently entering into extensive discussions with Silverstone and our other event partners to find suitable options to reschedule the event.
"All entry tickets, camping passes and exhibitor bookings already purchased for the event, due to be held 13-14 June 2020, will be valid for the rescheduled date."
Adam Sloman, General Manager of the MGCC said: “We remain committed to following UK Government and Motorsport UK advice. Therefore, in light of this updated guidance, we have had to make the very difficult decision, in conjunction with Silverstone, to postpone the event. This is an unprecedented situation and we will now enter into negotiations to secure a new date as soon as possible. We realise that the situation is far from ideal, therefore we ask for patience and understanding during this complex time.”
Many, many other club events have been cancelled or postponed already. Wigton Motor Club are typical; they say the committee has decided to cancel all events and meetings until the end of June and the situation - changing hour to hour, never mind day to day - after that "will be under constant review". Hare & Hounds Classic Vehicle say their 24th Peaks & Dales Charity Run due to take place 21st June, has been postponed till 20th June 2021.
With the British Motor Museum - like museums up and down the land - now closed due to COVID-19, the Museum has had to make the "difficult decision" to postpone or cancel some of its upcoming shows.
Said a spokesmans: "The intention of the Museum is, where possible, to postpone rather than cancel shows, whilst consistently adhering to government advice. Shows set to take place later in June and July will be reviewed in the coming weeks.
"The Gaydon Land Rover Show (last year's event is pictured above) which was scheduled to take place on 9 - 10 May, has already been moved to 1 - 2 August. The UK Slot Car Festival was unfortunately cancelled by the organiser and will return for its 11th year in 2021. The Jaguar Breakfast Meet in May has been cancelled but is currently scheduled to return to the Museum in July. The Banbury Run has been postponed from 31 May to 16 August and the Classic & Vintage Commercial Show has been postponed from 13 - 14 June to 8 - 9 August.
"Tickets for cancelled events will be refunded and processed over the next few weeks. For postponed events, all sold tickets will be valid for the new dates. For ticket FAQs visit the website at https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/news/coronavirus-update-for-visitors "
Tom Caren, Show Manager at the British Motor Museum told CMM: “It is disappointing to have to change the dates of so many of our shows but in these unprecedented circumstances we are prioritising everyone’s welfare and looking to run the shows where possible. The British Motor Museum would like to thank everyone for their support and send everyone our best wishes. We look forward to delivering our first class shows when we can safely do so.”
Whilst the Museum is temporarily closed the team will be sending out regular posts on their social media channels and will also put their creativity to use in finding new ways to fuel their visitors’ imaginations for when the Museum reopens. To find out more about the British Motor Museum please visit the website at https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/ or email [email protected]
In the auction world, many sales houses are turning to new technology to keep the wheels turning. Bonhams Motoring Division has announced details of its revised UK motoring sales schedule, and the launch of its Private Sales platform.
Auctions will take place on the following dates with sellers utilising the Motoring Division's Bonhams MPH online consignment platform https://mph.bonhams.com/sellyourcar - Bonhams May Online Auction, Saturday 30 May and Bonhams July Online Auction, Saturday 25 July.
Depending on Government advice at the time, the auctions will be either traditional 'live sales' with viewing; or 'closed auctions' with a live auctioneer. For closed auctions, there will be enhanced video content of each lot, and viewing by appointment, if that is possible, or - if not - online viewing only.
Bonhams will aim to conduct the auctions from its MPH base at Bicester Heritage. Should that not be possible, sales will be conducted from Bonhams Oxford saleroom.
Bonhams recent Goodwood Members Meeting Auction took place online, despite the meeting itself being cancelled. A unique 1956 Lister-Maserati 2.0-litre sports-racing two-seater was the top seller, achieving an impressive £575,000, in the Bonhams Motor Cars private sale held 28/29 March.
The Lister was originally destined to come under the hammer at the Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting Sale scheduled for the weekend but, with the other lots, was offered for private sale after the auction was cancelled due to the latest developments regarding COVID-19.
The period racing car was built for and first campaigned by Archie Scott Brown, the Paisley-born racing driver who enjoyed much success on track, despite being born with only one hand, and earned the nickname 'King of Drift' from Juan Manuel Fangio.
Scott Brown secured a first and second place in 1956 at Brands Hatch with the Lister, which has more recently competed in the Le Mans Classic, Monaco Historique and Goodwood Revival meetings.