Well, here we are in mid-May and it’s the day of the first Greetham Gathering of this year. The weather is turning out to be better than expected with it being warmer and more sun than cloud. Would this be enough to entice people to come along? Would they remember that we hold the Gatherings on the same day each month from May? Has word got out that we are ready and waiting? Have we publicised it enough? All these questions (and many more) go through the organisers’ minds as, at about 5:00pm in the afternoon, there is only a trickle of vehicles turning up.
We should not have worried. Every Gathering we worry, and if the weather is good, we are always rewarded with a good turnout – but not this time. The turnout wasn’t good – it was unbelievable, outstanding and a record breaker. The Gatherers turned up in their droves and gave us some new challenges – where to park them all?
Now for the figures! We had about 148 motor cycles turn up. This far exceeded our previous best over the 4 years the Gatherings have been held by 50%. Our previous best for motorcycles was 95 in July 2017. With these numbers we parked the bikers on both sides of the display and bike parking areas and right down the middle between the 2 other rows. So, next month we shall be parking the bikes a bit more carefully and closer to each other – that should help avoid the same situation happening again. With the massive increase in bikers we were so busy that we could not count the number of classics but we estimate about 30 – which is a figure we shall work on to increase over coming meetings.
We had similar considerations for the number of cars that attended. We counted 326 vehicles into the car parks – and that is a 15% increase of 48 over the 278 we admitted in June 2017. However, more of the cars this month were classics and we estimate that near 200 were classics. Again, if we attract more Gatherers in the coming months we may have to pack them in with closer parking. A nice problem to have!
As regards the vehicles there are just too many to call out for a mention. Come along to the next meeting on June 21stand get a first-hand view of the vehicles.
The success of this meeting means we have to give a massive thank you to all who attended, whether showing a vehicle or not. We estimate that about 750 people must have been present. We would like to thank Andy Saunders, his mobile kitchen and crew for the fine high quality food he always prepares – his kitchen seemed to have a long queue for hours; to Anne and team for the bar (which as always did a great job); to Carol, Maureen and their crew of additional volunteers for the cakes and coffee; to Loreen for running the raffle; to Debbie, Pippa and Sue on the gate, to Steve P, Steve C, Mark, Brian, Darren and Alan (aka Daffodil) and Malcolm for helping marshalling, to The Jackson Stops Inn (Stretton) and The Plough, Greetham, for donating generous raffle prizes, and to all the supporters who lend a hand as and when. Finally a big Thank You to the Rutland First Responders team for attending, and we give thanks that they had nothing to do.
Finally, a repeat appeal for help. We would always welcome anyone who can give their time on the day to help set-up the venue, assist during the Gathering (say from 5:00 to dusk) and help clear up. Even if it’s only an hour, it would be appreciated. Similarly if you can help Carol and Maureen on the cakes, teas, coffees, either serving and/or baking, then that would be appreciated. Could you bake a cake and donate it to the Gathering? The increased numbers attending are putting a strain on our loyal and regular volunteers to keep the cake eaters satisfied! We completely sold all our stock at this Gathering and we hope/expect a larger attendance in June (weather permitting!) If you can bake a cake it would be appreciated and help the cause. Maybe you could bake one at some time and freeze it? If so, please let me know so I can pass it on to the ladies in the kitchen. Thank you. Your cake would help raise money for YOUR Community Centre as all profits from these sales are helping pay for the new kitchen – so can you bake a cake and do a bit for the community?
We shall hold the next Gathering for 2018 on the 3rdThursdays of June to September, but will keep you all informed of any changes or news.