The first I knew was an email at 21.40 that I read half an hour ago. Sounds as if it could have some potential from an initial read. This is it.
For the purpose of clarification, when the term “we” is used, it is to refer to the VBOA committee of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and the Event organisation sub-committee.
Please read this all the way to the end as there is quite a lot to digest.
Voting on the Billing Options
The voting and feedback from the two Billing options has been received and of those clubs who responded there is an even split between Option 1 and Option 2, with further feedback from some that neither is tenable resulting in a desire to not show at all.
Outcome of the feedback/vote
With the results in mind, and taking into account the feedback received from individuals both on social media and direct to this email address, we have deemed it vital to seek out an alternative venue that carries neutral allegiance.
To some, this will be viewed as a non-democratic decision, but we feel that attending either Billing or Market Harborough would damage the VBOA and its associated clubs in such a way that recovery would be very difficult. The venue that we have visited, discussed with the management and decided upon is Sywell Aerodrome (http://sywellaerodrome.co.uk/, Hall Farm, Sywell, Northamptonshire, NN6 0BN). This venue has held several automotive events each year, with a prime example being the Sywell classic also known as props and pistons which would be the closest representation to the VBOA National Rally.
Goal of the VBOA Show
The prime goal for this is to take all the good from Billing and Market Harborough and improve on the not so good (toilets being the most obvious one).
We also want to try and bring the general public/car fanatics in, so an element of rebranding will be carried out to step on from the term rally implying a motorsport event to a motor show. The identity of the VBOA National Rally shall not be lost, merely built upon to take it to a new level
We are looking to hire the venue exclusively for our use for the 5th-7th July 2019, where we will use at least two of the hangers (one is a bar/band area and carpeted), and the other can be for the auto jumble/trade stands so as to protect from any inclement weather. We also intend to make use of the concrete pan for the arena/food vendors akin to previous years which seemed to achieve the festival vibe that has been mentioned. Furthermore we intend to make use of the taxi way to have a 0-60/drag activity, this could also be a part of the parade lap should the desire be there.
The attached maps are a high level first pass at how the show could be laid out and given the space available, you would get the same stand sizes and setup (camping on stands) you have enjoyed in previous years. The only exception to this may be that if electric hook-ups are needed for things like caravans, then this would be in a single location with a limited number of pitches available. The space available for the show between the Arena and the far fence, to the North East, (or even the little roadway in from the entrance) is comparable to the area we had at Market Harborough. We do not have a layout for stands as yet but this will be high on the list of things to do and this will come out in time.
Also attached is an image from the LAA show there which is focussed on aircraft, but it shows an aerial shot of just what is possible there.
As this is an Aerodrome and not a purpose built camp/leisure facility, we will need to supply a myriad of things such as toilets/showers/PR/food vendors/entertainment/security and so on, if YOU or YOUR members can assist in the supply of this or anything else then please come forwards, this show will only be as good as we can all make it so the more involvement the merrier.
We understand that many of you and your members have already booked rooms at the hotel at Billing. Billing is approx. 10 Minutes away from Sywell, and we would look to put on a bus service of some sort for the weekend if the demand is high enough.
Sywell have a 59 Room hotel on site, they have fixed their prices at £79/Night with breakfast at £8.50/Person. As they only have 59 Rooms, we suggest you book sooner rather than later, also do this direct with them and NOT Booking.com (http://www.aviatorhotel.co.uk/contact.php or 01604 642111)
Now, the costs (some of these will be subject to change)
Day entry for VBOA members (1 car + 4 people) will be no more than £10/day and working on a weekend entry pass too.
Day Entry for General Public (1 car + 4 people) £15/Day
Camping would be sold as a Friday-Monday (1 car + 4 people) at approx. £45
Additional car costs will be considered and information will be released but will be favourable.
We are looking at options of early bird pricing and also giving 1 weekend camping pass per club as we used to have at Billing.
This booking process would be using a dedicated booking agent that links directly to the VBOA.
As has been mentioned, there is and will be quite a lot to do to make any show at any venue work, even if we were back at a purpose built site for this type of thing, so we need your help. Helping does not mean you or your members are stuck with a job/task for life, it means that you have helped to make the show as good as can be.
I have seen a sign in my local rugby club that says “before you complain, have you volunteered to help?”, I think this is a very valid and wholesome approach to anything like this.
There is of course much more to plan, prepare and do prior to the show and this is only the start of all the information that will come out, but it is everything we know at this present time.
Vice Chairman – On behalf of the VBOA Committee and Event Sub-Committee.