Rain hits Horsham Ride-in Motorcycle Show
“That’s just how things are here in Blighty!” Those were the words of Rob Hurst, manager of New Street Motorcycles, as the weather washed away any hope of a truly successful Horsham Motorcycle Show on 16th July.
New Street Motorcycles had taken on the organisation of the show, and become its main sponsor. A team had spent the last three months promoting the event and building up an exciting number of attractions for people of all ages. But by Saturday morning, most of those activities and events had been cancelled, as the relentless rain ensured it was, with the odd exception, only the biking diehards that made it along to Ingfield Manor School in Five Oaks for the fourth staging of the event.
The team from New Street Motorcycles had even contemplated cancelling the event, but the show went on and although the event attracted perhaps only 10% of its potential, sun-drenched attendance, it is hoped the event will be staged again. Rob said: “The plan was to elaborate on the shows of the past three years and make this show, the fourth one, the best one yet. We had every intention of making it a good, family-orientated event, and we had plans to provide lots for the under 16s. We would have had two training schools and the ‘Get On’ riding scheme here today, but they can’t operate in the wet. We were also going to have inflatables, face painting, and the school steam train operating, but it’s all had to be cancelled.
“But unfortunately we had to downscale, make contingency plans, and of course it’s been a loss for us but the school will get some money. I think we’ll do it again next year. The feedback we’re getting was ‘real shame’’. It could have been a really good event, but that’s how things are here in Blighty! You roll the dice and take your chances.”
Nonetheless, there were a few awards handed out in several categories, including Best Custom and Best British, and several bands performed during the day and evening. The event also raised some money for Scope and
Ingfield Manor School. New Street Motorcycles only took on the organisation of the event three months ago, when the organisers of the first three shows -Phil and Davey - decided they could not do it once more.
They hope next year the weather will be kinder and all of their hopes and ideas will bear fruit. Terry Wright, commonly known as Taz, was on the organising committee, and even played in the headline act Re-Offender. He said: “Hopefully, if we get good reports back from the (sponsors and businesses) that are here and the people who came along, we’ll plan if again for next year. It might be that we do something on a slightly bigger scale, with some stunt bikes, and quads. A few cars going over and a few bikes jumping over things would would be good. We just didn’t have the space or the time this year.
“It’s a shame about the weather, but if we make a bit of money for the school and for Scope, we’ve done our job.” Throughout the day, a steady trickle of bikers did arrive, with a number of intriguing bikes. ‘Tug’ from Worthing brought along his custom built Volkswagen Beetle trike. Tug said: “I was here last year, and I know what it takes to organise this kind of event, so I was going to make it whatever the weather. It’s important you support your local show, and there isn’t enough around here to be honest.
“We came here last year and it was good, and this year would have been amazing if not for the weather. If the sun was out we’d have stayed all night, had a few drinks and camped over. It’s a shame.”
Despite the low turnout, Rob says the event is “very likely” to be staged again next year, and would like to thank all of those that supported and attended the event. He said: “We only took this on three months ago, and without us it was doomed. I used to organise motocross and off road events, but none of my team have done anything like this before, and they’ve done really well. I wouldn’t change anything they did. I would like to thank
Destination Triumph in Washington, Honda (represented by Dobles motorcycles of Coulsdon) the Extreme Wheelie guys (www.extremewheelie.co.uk), Ron Trump who supplied the PA, and Boxall & Clinch Caravans who supplied the stage trailer.”