I was there: The Bristol Classic Car Show
For many enthusiasts, the Bristol Exhibition Centre is best remembered for the Bristol Classic Car Show, regularly held there until 1996.
I attended this event several times in the late 1980s, and remember once arriving in a battered state, having travelled from Temple Meads railway station in a loaded-to-the-gunwales Transit minibus operated as a local courtesy service by Badgerline.
The exhibition centre always seemed a little higgledy-piggledy, but I do recall it had atmosphere, with many classics you tended not to see elsewhere crowded into the buildings in a heady atmosphere of hog roasts and West Country burrs.
A root through the Larkin archive has failed to find any photos of the show hall itself, but there were always many fascinating classics in the car parks. Always one for automotive exotica, I photographed this BMC Farina. BHT 833A, which has sadly fallen victim to registration number plunderers, is shown in the DVLA records as needing to be taxed on 6 January, 2001. It could have received a ‘dateless’ new number, but worryingly the car’s colour is described as ‘pink’. Radio West, subject of the windscreen sticker, was Bristol’s first commercial radio station, set up in 1981 and merging with Swindon-based Wiltshire Sound to become GWR in 1985.