A Damp Gathering

Written by  on September 8, 2021

Over the years we have been extremely lucky with the weather on Gathering day. The weather is always of great interest to us organisers as good weather swells the crowds that attend whereas bad weather usually means the numbers are lower. So what happened in August? Well, for once the forecast was not only very gloomy, but it also turned out to be accurate! Close examination of the forecast leading up to Gathering day showed that light short showers were very likely at that time of day – so we were aware of what might happen.

Come the day the afternoon was warm and sunny with some partial cloud, and from as early as 2:00pm we had people arriving. There was a steady build up and the numbers were looking good, but the weather was not looking good. At about 5:10pm the heavens opened and we had one of those light short showers. It lasted about 15 minutes and moved on. By now, of course, everything was soaked and we wondered if people would now just go home… but they didn’t. after the rain an almost normal service resumed and many more vehicles arrived. Many said that once they got caught in the rain they may as well still come along and not return home.

Car numbers were down about 20% on the July Gathering, and motorbike numbers were down by a third – but still very well attended. To greet our visitors we had a few changes in effect. We set up the indoor bar as a draft beer only bar, and opened up a new “cans and bottles” bar outside. We also added a Pizza tent which offered – yes, you guessed it – pizzas. We shall review these arrangement to make sure they is providing a better service to our customers. 

It goes without saying that there were some fantastic vehicles on display – both cars and bikes. We don’t list them all as it would be an impossible task but there are a few pictures here .

Finally, many thanks as always to all who helped to make the event such a success. Whether it involved setting up the field, marshalling cars and motorcycles and arranging parking or clearing up when finished. Also we thank Andy Saunders and his team, the Rutland First Responders and the ladies in the kitchen and on the cake stall. Also a big “Thank You” to the Plough in Greetham for their donation – that is very much appreciated. Lastly, thank you to all who attended and helped make the day such a success. Same again in September? Let’s hope so – it will be that last one for this year so see you then. It will be on the 16th.

The Gatherings Are Back!

Written by  on August 17, 2021

It’s been a year since the last Gathering (August 2020) but the wait proved to be well worth it. The July 2021 Gathering was a record breaker with more cars and bikes attending than at any previous Gathering over the last 7 years. The Corona virus restrictions had been lifted 3 days earlier and so everyone was able to come along and be free of restrictions. Also, in good Gathering tradition we were able to enjoy a very warm and dry evening which obviously contributed to the popular attendance. 

The day was so busy that we were unable to take time out to take some photographs but we shall rectify that in the future. We were pleased to allow the local Moto Guzzi clubs set up a small stall and encourage people to talk to them and see the various Moto Guzzi motorbikes on show. Moto Guzzi are celebrating 100 years of motorbike manufacturing this year. About 20 bikes were in attendance and they looked great. We thank the Moto Guzzi clubs for supporting the Gathering and hope to see them, and you all, again soon. 

An August Treat

Written by  on August 25, 2020

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?

An outstanding September Gathering

Written by  on November 14, 2019

Historically, the September Gathering has been the one where we expect a lower attendance and fewer vehicles to admire. In the previous 4 years we have had poor weather and our best vehicle attendance had been a combined number of 230. Over the 4 years we had an average at our September Gatherings of 139 vehicles. However, this time, with the most glorious weather you could have wished for, and considering how the nights draw in so early now, we had a staggering 589 cars and motorbikes turn out. Wow! With passengers and walk-ins, the number of people in attendance was probably over 800.  Yet, despite appearances, this Gathering ranked as our 3rdbest attended this year and since the Gatherings started in 2014. 

The Gathering continues to gain momentum, as the element of surprise seems always to be with us. The number of “not previously seen” vehicles always creates an element of excitement as to just what may turn up and it reinforces the fact that the reputation of the Gathering spreads further each time. As is now our custom, we won’t be putting out a list of the fantastic marques that we are able to attract, but if you are interested, intrigued or just fancy an evening out, then come along to the next meeting (on the 21stMay 2020) to see for yourself – or look at our website. 

We look forward to seeing you there in May 2020, and again “Thank You” for your continued and valuable support. 

P.S. We shall announce our donation amount to the local Air Ambulance just as soon as we have worked out what it is to be!

An August Sunshine Sandwich

Written by  on September 17, 2019

You would hope that August would be a good month to hold an outdoors event, wouldn’t you? After all its traditional holiday time and we head off in search of sunshine….and whatever else you fancy. So, we look at the August Gathering and feel assured that it will be a warm dry day for the event. However, global warming and other world activities (excluding Brexit!) have an effect on our weather and it threatened to be a washout at one stage. What we did get was a day of heavy rain before; heavy rain on the day after; but a warm dry and partially sunny afternoon and evening on Gathering day. Yes – a sunny day sandwiched by rain.

The turnout was magnificent, with a record breaking 155 motorcycles turning up – our best yet. The number of cars attending was around 400 – which surprisingly is our lowest turnout this year. However, with the number of classic vehicles attending seemingly increasing each meeting, we are seeing that the word is truly spreading to more distant places. This increase in the number of classics is supported by the number of cars that are now parked in the “overflow” car park 

Yet again we were blessed to have some outstanding and rare vehicles on show. Not just old but rare more modern classics. As is now our custom, we won’t be putting out a list of the fantastic marques that we are able to attract, but if you are interested, intrigued or just fancy an evening out, then come along to the next meeting (on the 19th September) to see for yourself – or look at the website.

We look forward to seeing you in September.

Where do they all come from?!

Written by  on August 12, 2019

In the words of the famous song “Eleanor Rigby” the verse goes “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” but I am quick to change one letter so that it reads “All the lovelypeople, where do they all come from?” Yes, we had yet another massive turnout for our July Gathering and we do ask ourselves the question. It’s so cheering to meet all of the attendees – you are all so keen, friendly – and welcome! We reckon it just about matches our most successful meet so far which was in May of this year. Yet again we were blessed with dry, and sometimes a little cloudy, weather; bit it never threatened to rain. It was warm and a little humid.

The turnout was just about as good as our best Gathering yet. We estimate that there were over 500 cars visited us this time (with well over 100 classics), and about 115 motor bikes (of which over 30 were classic bikes). The variety of vehicles that showed up continues to amaze us. There are the faithful regulars who come whatever the weather, those that come when it’s fine and those that come for the first time (All the lovelypeople, where do they all come from?) 

Yet again we were blessed to have some outstanding and rare vehicles on show. Not just old but rare more modern classics. We continue to be astounded by what comes in through the gate each month – a real feast of quality, rarity and dedicated enthusiasm. As always, if you are interested, intrigued or just fancy an evening out, then come along to the August meeting (on the 15th) to see for yourself.

We successfully utilised our overflow car park again and having got a few teething problems sorted for the marshals, we believe we have it working well. 

A big thank you goes, as always, to all who helped with the organisation and running of the Gathering, but of course all who attended and supported us. 

If you wish to contact us you can email us at

We look forward to seeing you there in August.

Martin Fairbairn

June – Little Sun but a great turnout!

Written by  on July 16, 2019

The Gathering is so dependent upon the weather that we always kick off with a discussion on that aspect of the day. After all being British we are expected to do that! Well, the weather forecast said “dry but cloudy” and for the Gathering that proved to be spot on. However, there were lots of showers on the area and a number of people mentioned they had come through rain to get to the Gathering – and this may well be the reason the numbers were not as we had hoped. Having said that this was the 3rdmost attended Gathering ever!

Following on from a great turn out in May, we extended the area used for classic and vintage vehicles. That meant reducing the public car parking space which had the consequence of us using, for the first time, our new overflow car park. With over 440 cars turning up the overflow car park was brought into play and had in excess of 80 cars in it at one stage. The motor bikes numbered around 85, with over 30 being classics. 

We continue to be surprised that so many previously unseen vehicles attend each month. Also, the distance that people are prepared to travel to come to the Gathering.  It’s so satisfying as this demonstrates the fact that the Gathering message is out there.

We were also able to present a cheque to the Air Ambulance for £2400.00, from our 2018 Gathering takings. Yet again an increased amount over the previous years – and we could only do this thanks to your generous and continuous support. 

After May’s successful meeting we made sure that there were enough cakes and extra effort was put in to ensure the hot food was delivered fast and efficiently. 

A big thank you goes to all who attended and supported us. 

We look forward to seeing you there in July.

May – Yet another Gathering success!

Written by  on June 15, 2019

The weather was mainly warm and dry with a forecast for it to remain so; the grass was cut on the field; cakes, coffee, teas and hot food were all ready; and car parking space fenced off ready to go. Oh, and we have an overflow car park should we need it. All we needed was the sort of turnout we had for 4 Gatherings last year. We waited, ready, and were not disappointed. The vehicles started arriving at a trickle, then a faster flow and finally what seemed like a continuous line arriving at the gate. 

The turn out was just about as good as our best Gathering yet which was in June last year. We estimate that there were around 480 cars visited us this time (with well over 100 classics), and about 140 motor bikes (of which over 50 were classic bikes). The variety of vehicles that showed up never ceases to amaze us. There are the faithful regulars who come whatever the weather, those that come when it’s fine and those that come for the first time. We always get surprised by the last category as it seems there are still loads of vehicles out there we haven’t seen at Gatherings before. Long may it continue that they arrive and surprise us. We’d love there to be so many that we spill into the overflow car park!

To list the vehicles that caught the eye would result in a pretty large write up – and deciding what would fall into this category is a personal choice, so we aren’t listing any vehicles in this report. As we’ve said before over the last 5 years of the Gatherings (Yes – we are in our 6thyear now!), if you want to know about or see these beautiful vehicles then make the effort and come along. You won’t be disappointed. You can also see a fair number of them on this website.

Such was the success of the evening that the cake stall sold ALL of its cakes (that’s never happened before) but we do plan not to run out again.

A big thank you goes to all who helped with the parking of all the vehicles, the food crew with Andy Saunders, the kitchen and cakes ladies, and of course all who attended and supported us. 

We look forward to seeing you there in June.

September Surprise

Written by  on October 15, 2018

We have had an outstanding summer when it comes to the weather and we have benefitted with some record breaking attendances at the Gathering. That summer has kept going into September, but it chose the day of the last Gathering of 2018 to remind us that we are heading into autumn. The forecast leading up to the Gathering was not good. Rain virtually all day was what we were told. It encouraged us to think there would be more volunteers (getting wet) at the event than visitors. However, in the mid-afternoon it actually stopped raining and the high winds started to dry the ground. As the afternoon progressed it remained dry, and we started to see a trickle of visitors coming through the gate – and we were delighted. Any number of visitors would have exceeded our earlier expectations but by the end of the Gathering we had over 40 display cars and the same sort of number of visiting cars – and the weather remained dry. Understandable, the number of motorcycles that turned up was just 8 – and that’s 8 more than we were expecting a few hours earlier.

As far as vehicles go we had the usual mix of some of our regulars and some “first timers” as well. We were delighted that so many people braved the weather and took the gamble to come along; as it paid dividends. Take a look at the pictures to see them.

A big thank you to all you supporters of the Gatherings. You have made it a record year for us and we are looking forward to seeing you in 2019. We shall be posting details of what we are able to donate to the local Air ambulance, plus updates on the 2019 season in due course. Keep looking here at our website for updates.

August was just quality!

Written by  on September 4, 2018

We never expect the August Gathering to be as well attended as June or July, and this year this was no exception. In fact, the August Gathering was the least well attended of the year (to date), yet it was still heaving with a fabulous number of supporters. With the weather forecast of rain until about midday, and sunny intervals for the rest of the day, we were all confident that people would come along, and they did. The afternoon was dry and the roads and the field were dry, so it was “business as usual”.

In the motorbike park we had fewer bikes than last month – rough estimate of about 75 of which around 30 were classics. Again it was good to see some new first-timers as well as some of our regulars. We had 2 speedway bikes and 2 Royal Enfield sidecar outfits, along with some BSAs, Nortons, BMWs, Velocettes, Guzzis Hondas, Triumphs, a Suzuki, a Laverda, a rare motobecane and some nice Lambrettas.

The classic cars and other vehicles had some real high class (and price?) vehicles. These included a number of Mustangs, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Jaguars, Rolls Royces, Rovers, Triumphs, Mazdas, Land Rovers, Volvo, a Lancia, Maserati, Lotuses, TVRs, Sunbeams, a Dodge, VW’s, Nissans, Chevrolet, Vauxhall to name more than a few!! Oh and TWO Mclarens! It was nice to see some former everyday cars like a Hillman Imp and an Austin 1100. Some quirky cars like a Bond 3 wheeler, a Messerschmittbubble car, and a 1936 Ford Cabriolet Custom car – a real eye catcher. There was also a Gibbs Bentley Special which looks like a 1950’s racing car – fabulous!

Another great evening; so roll on September for the next Gathering on the 20th, which will be the last Gathering of 2018. Please note that we now have an email address if you wish to contact us. It is

Finally – a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped us on the day, whether before, during or after the event. Whether marshalling the vehicles, collecting gate money, selling raffle tickets, selling hot food, cakes or teas and coffees, and of course the Rutland First Response team, we thank you for your continued support as the Gathering just wouldn’t be what it is today without you!