Kelmarsh bounces back after boggy beginnings
Russ Brown reports from the Kelmarsh show
Everybody loved Billing. Last year when the midsummer show moved from Billing Aquadrome to Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, it was blighted by one of the wettest summers for years and turned into a bit of a quagmire. This year the sun shone and the wind blew, and the entertainment was huge.
The show was spread over three days at the end of July. With more than 50 club and 100 trade stands, it was noticeably bigger than last year, with a huge outdoor arena giving massive scope for entertaining all ages.
on the subject of ‘massive’, one of the biggest crowd-pullers (and pleasers) was a demonstration of car-crushing by the ‘Swamp Thing’ monster truck, which put on four shows over the weekend. It was quite something – little wonder that spectators were competing for barrier space on each run.
For those who wanted a more personal feel for what it was like to ride in the back of a monster truck, the four-wheel-steer ‘Mac Truck’ was on hand to offer anyone with a good head for heights an exhilarating ride around the arena.
More Land Rover-related entertainment came in the form of a challenge truck demonstration by Challenge South-west; negotiating skips, tractor tyres and rock piles, with lots of horsepower and speedy winches. For those wishing to show off their articulation there was also a twist-off challenge, courtesy of Flatdog.
outside the main arena, Gary Tuffnell and the Manic Mechanics team were pulling in a steady crowd at the Polybush marquee. Their refurbishment challenge was one of their biggest to date – an early one Ten that received a new bulkhead, transfer box and rear hub, along with a full Polybush suspension upgrade. The Land Rover eventually drove out of the marquee at 4pm on the Sunday afternoon, having enjoyed support from Polybush, Wrights Auto Supplies, and Nuts and Bolts Restorations.
Youngsters had loads of activities too, including the giant octopus, bike riding, and rides in mini monster trucks. There was also a ‘Mini-me’ gymkhana, a chance for dads to show off the miniature Land Rovers they’d skilfully engineered for their offspring. Accolades were presented by Landy author Veronica Lamond, who was also telling visitors all about her popular children’s books.
For those looking to have some fun in their own Land Rovers, the Avalanche Adventure off-road course at Sibbertoft,
five miles up the road, was available all weekend. After one of the driest Julys on record, it was more reminiscent of the Arizona desert than muddy Northamptonshire, but the most challenging red routes were still a challenge to many.
Kelmarsh is turning out to be a great – and improving – show, with some very diverse entertainment. To book your tickets for next year keep an eye on kelmarshlandrovershow.com.
I’m now looking forward to meeting all my club contacts again at the LRO Peterborough Show on September 15-16 (see Lroshow.com for ticket deals). See you there.
Challenge Southwest took on some big rocks – and won
The council’s new approach to dealing with uninsured cars is highly popular
Manic Mechanics in one of their rare less-manic moments