Author Topic: Bath Rally  (Read 8735 times)

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Bath Rally
« on: July 08, 2013, 07:37:52 AM »
Another Bath Rally, bathed in glorious sunshine. Slightly disappointing attendance, therefore, as there was no reason to not turn out. We know a few potential attendees were at another event of importance to the South East and I am sure that went well to. Those at Bath of some years in Micros were very conscious of that and it came up in conversation regularly. But to counter was the good news that Dave Morgan has found a course of treatment that has greatly improved his hands and his overall health. Despite that he is reducing his interests in various vehicles including Microcars and latterly I saw his advert placed on the board listing a number of machines.
Of course Bath Rally was the product of the Bristol Microcar Club, now mothballed. This year several of the newer local micronauts drove cars to the event. Important then to encourage them to gain the confidence to get the cars run in and shaken down. Hopefully we achieved that as Bristol seems to have become an empty dot on the map from its much more dominant position in the late '80's. If it were not for the northern regulars and those prepared to do long runs up from the deep west country we would be depleted of cars. So it was unsurprising that several of the vital younger user/owners were pretty negative of what they are seeing in their chosen hobby. Lower attendance, trailers and a lack of respect suggest one of these remote young stalwarts has all but got to the point of putting a cover over his Schmitt and turn to Classic Motorcycling instead. Even the redoubtable Jason Heather, who covers enormous mileages seemed pretty fed up with things.
Yet Jim Hacking was in full promotion of what is one answer with not only gathering lost Micromaniacs back to the cause but promoting his own Rally. These have become something of a specialty and the amount of things he was attempting to cram into a weekend seemed just the solution to the slight torpor evident at many 'traditional' events. I believe it is a restricted entry event so that the number of cars can be controlled. Maybe this is the way forward. A smaller and more intense event of activity. Perhaps we might try that in the quite Southlands. We need to to do something to keep the younger guys interested and pursued the old faithfuls out to show everyone else how its done.
Laugh of the day, though unkind, was the presence of the Archery Club later in the afternoon. They set up their butts. Yet for some reason, overconfidence in skill?, did not take into account the extreme edge of our camping area. By the time they were actually ready one solitary single man tent remained, on which about the third arrow scored a direct hit, passing completely through all layers, having totally missed its mark. Sympathy for the tent owner was sadly lacking as we found our laughter in a way that slightly summed up the day. Good stuff but must do better.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 07:42:22 AM by Big Al »
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 12:08:08 PM »
Well, although I didn't make an official count, it seemed to me that the number of cars present was actually up on the last couple of years, although admittedly still only about half of what it was 5 or 6 years ago. I guess it must come down to what owners expect from an event and whether they consider it worth their time effort and expense to get there. I can't pretend to know why only thirty-odd cars attend any more than I know why sixty attend, but I thought it was great show whatever although the heat was a bit overwhelming at times, particularly for my missus. anyway, here's a few pics. (With apologies if some of these are in the wrong forum category)
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 12:09:27 PM »
More pics
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 12:11:23 PM »
And more pics
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"

richard

  • Rich
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Bond ,Gordon,Bruetsch
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 01:23:57 PM »
Well t doesn't look to bad to me , shame if it was down.always room to see the cars here. Some NMCR's I got fed up with as. The cars were so crammed together , barely a foot between , they were almost impossible to photograph or " get under " why do this ? Bath always seemed to get that right . I wonder why those attending didn't flag it up beforehand
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 02:00:21 PM »
That buisness of cramming cars together does seem to me to be a common fault with shows. It's understandable when you've only got a tiny show field like the Atwell-Wilson national rally, but when you have acres and acres of space it can be bloomin irritating. That said motorbike shows can be even worse than cars! Anyway thanks to everyone involved in the Bath Rally, I thought it was great show and as usual there seemed to be more bits and pieces for sale than at the National.
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 10:26:11 PM »
You did not read what I said. I said I was disappointed that there were not more cars given perfect conditions. I did not say it was a poor turnout. The two things are completely differing statements. Your looking at the author and prejudging negativity, what a reputation.  :)

There seems little debate about how to make events more attractive thus to increase attendance.

Richard touched on the first problem. Poor advertising. To get into all areas of the media is extraordinarily hard work, to get in none, daft. Yet most Microcar events tend to the second. One reason Bath was successful at nearly hitting 100 cars, as a one day event remember, for a few years was Ray Simpson took on the roll of PR as well as accounts. That left the organizers to organize. A difficult trick when there is only one organizer, as now.

The topic of low organizer numbers leads out directly from that. Many events I was involved in had multiple organizers each concentrating on one element of the event with a big hairy chief managing that and his own stuff. That sort of turned into the NMRC in the big event's case. I have expressed options on change to that structure to help improve events but to no great interest. I do not think they have sorted out effective and planned PR for instance, partly a product of an insistence on organizing an event in 10 months at best rather than 22 months thus allowing all media sources, printed diaries etc to be accessed, missing vital advertising space in a busy year of eventing. As demonstrated above many lesser events found the helpers fade away to one person. By default not so much can be done. Advertising PR is pretty boring work.

Then we have Rally content. My irritating campervan owners is well known but moving on from that there are valid points on pleasing those who arrive in micros with a tent looking for a full weekend of Microrally and those looking for a fully equipped camp site and a stroll around an assemblage of weird cars. Sadly I think I am being proved correct. The Micro users in tents are not now turning up to provide the subsidized entertainment that the more static campervaners want. So less micros driven, less rare micro machines doing something interesting and more non micros attending, more statics. The evenings are in danger of being taken up with repeats of Dallas instead of a good social get together. Fine if that is what the majority want but it is not a microcar rally as far as I am concerned. Thus we are led to the extreme of Jim Hackings rally which sounds to be putting the microcar back in its position of the reason for attending and all follows on. When I hear that National Rally sites are picked for their campervan suitability first, and micro suitability second, I know something is not right. Its a question of balance I guess.

My own preference is much more down the Jim Hacking / Maniacs route of getting out and doing something. The National seems happy with its modern identity so it will continue to reflect what its sees as the loudest voice want. For smaller and regional events the South could be very hard work now. Such a solid microcar first event will be hard to promote, not least because many of those most into microcars are no longer members of any club! That shows a high level of disengagement. There is only one way to find out, of course.

There must be many things I have not thought of that would bring a much better calender of events forward. Or are we really mostly armchair minimalists now?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 08:49:48 AM by Big Al »
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Trident

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 127
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 01:07:03 PM »
Alan,
Being "disappointed that there were not more cars"  and "it was a poor turnout" are very similar in my opinion.
The microcar scene will never be the same as it was when you were younger, many of us have got fatter and don't drive our cars so far.
Try to appreciate the many good things that are happening in the microcar world right now, and see your glass as half full rather half half empty.

richard

  • Rich
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Bond ,Gordon,Bruetsch
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 02:12:39 PM »
I used that phrase some time ago , on this same forum , to the same big al  ;) . It's the only way to go.  :)
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

golo2

  • Chatty
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 10:19:56 PM »
I had hoped to give it a go this year but was at Prestwood Nr Wycombe. Its a 2 day event mainly Steam but with lots going on. The organisers keep the planned steam focus by limiting the number of cars. It took several years of trying to get accepted and now I think a no show will result in someone else having my place.

No surprise to hear that my schmitt (car that was universally ignored  -me,the driver, too- at the National I attended a couple of years ago when it was freshly restored 'a true new find on the block' ) was described by the commentator as " the best iconic car here today" as I drove round the arena on both days.
Interested paying public asking sensible questions and so many photos taken all added up to a good weekend out. Joined by 2 Isettas and 2 Berkleys a 3 and a 4 wheel version. All cars displayed together and first thing public see as they approach the car section

After a wash out year last year-nearly all planned events cancelled, decided to cherry pick and slim down days out. Looking back over quite a few years enjoyment has come from attending shows not too far away, shows that have other attractions besides  cars, and ones I feel safe at. This year Abingdon (great planes and cars and more -mini county show. Prestwood-steam, big market section next is Shabbingdon nr. Thame again steam and heavy horses. Possible Blenheim Aug Bank hol. Monday and a question mark over the National having vowed to never take a schmitt  again and  my long overdue Isetta resto unlikely to be ready as the inner door repair piece was welded in wrongly! and needs a little disc cut and mig and trim off excess then it should close properly

Interesting views re. shows and events. think average age of ownership may play a big part guess around 55? maybe older.  I am not keen on camping anymore! and due to lack of prep time, volume of traffic on roads, my view that drivers seem worse than 10-15 or more years ago, I take whichever toy is being displayed on a trailer.
Maybe Bath next year if dates do not clash

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: Bath Rally
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2013, 09:13:41 AM »
Bath Rally is on a fixed date and always the first weekend in July. I fear Prestwood will probably occupy the same date for the same reason. You will know when it is on and the attendees do not have a problem in assigning their years eventing next year, if the events maintain a date and presence. The only downside to this is that the core of the event tends to be the same people doing the same things but many enthusiasts have several differing machines and one hopes that shuffling the deck of what is available means it never becomes a repeater. You do not want to be at the ninth event thinking, 'this is getting confusing as I could be looking at this place 4 years ago and not really tell the difference'. The very reason why occasionally it is time for an event to move to another venue or some other radical change to shuffle the pack and refresh the interest.
For the South I think your approach is probably right, until or unless some event or events come up that offer something better. I would go to the National. You have a collection, so if the Schmitters want to be pedantic, ignore them and go and talk Bambys or something to someone else. The National likes rare and unusual cars. Having one there means you meet the rare and unusual people. Half of them are completely bonkers but what the heck. I am seriously considering taken something unusual as a conversation item as I will have nothing running and I ought to be present if only to support the guys that keep this institution ticking.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs