Its late summer and by now we should have had 3 Gatherings under our belt. But we all know what has happened this year that has affected us all – the Covit-19 virus. Life as we knew it has been put on pause, and we have all had to adapt to new ways of living, working and enjoying ourselves.
The lockdowns and the need to isolate have had an impact and as a consequence of these we have not been able to hold our regular Gatherings – until now. With some fairly significant changes to what we offer, we were able to go ahead with our August meet; albeit in a revised format. For the Gathering to be held we need to utilise the Community Centre and the field. The Centre has taken the opportunity to make some structural changes to the venue and so scheduled it where there would be the least impact on its customers. That work is underway but not yet completed and so we could not have a Gathering with access to the bar or kitchen. So, with access to the toilets only, we were able to go ahead.
How our supporters would react to the Gathering with no refreshments was an unknown to us. It was a gamble and nobody could predict its impact. The day before the meet had dealt us some appalling wind and rain, and the forecast for the following day was not great. Amazingly, as has happened in the past, we were blessed with a beautiful blue-sky day. Someone up there must like us!
Well, the event took place with a very strong reminder to all that they must observe social distancing and keep apart. There were plenty of reminders and monitoring of the situation by the organisers and assistants, but it was impressive how everyone reacted and conformed. Looking back, we didn’t really need to be concerned about attendance. The sun brought out a superb number of vehicles to the point that we almost filled the field – but we were spacing cars apart by at least 2 metres and so the field was less densely packed. Similarly we had motorcycles fill both sides of the car park. All in all it was a Gathering that far exceeded our expectations, and we are grateful for all the support we had. We know that we did not have so many villagers visit us but we recognise that they may feel unsafe, or the lack of food and drink may have influenced their decision.
It goes almost without saying that we had a great number of high quality exhibitors. The regulars, and first-timers all brought some wonderful vehicles for everyone to enjoy. It was satisfying to see so many stay for most of the evening and enjoy the ambience and ability to relax and examine the vehicles.
As things stand we certainly plan to have a September Gathering and if any aspect of the evening changes or the Government rules affect us, then we shall make that known to all. As always a big thanks to all the assistants on the day – as you know, we couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for your support – see you in September?