48OE Blog  
Aug 9

Written by: 48OE Admin
09/08/2011 07:20  RssIcon

You never really know what you are going to get at a show. At the end of some we vow 'never again!' but the memory is short and the addiction is severe. We have been attending shows for around 25 years - some as visitors, some as traders and even some as competitors. There are a million stories to tell. We have picked out some of the good, the bad and the ugly just for your pleasure. We have split this into two Blogs just to make it a little kinder on the reader.

We are not sure if anyone actually reads this blog, but if you are new to the Land Rover world and just happened to find this page, 'Be Warned!' What you are about to read has actually happened and could happen to you if you become an addict.

From way back, getting staff to give up weekends and stand in a field has never been easy, as a result generally alcohol was involved somewhere. Latterly, as we have all got older, food seems to have been the most important thing. Either way a good time is the key.

One member of staff who over-indulged in the grape, woke up in a caravan awning (they did not get back to their Hotel room) with two St Bernard dogs. 'Quite warm but very hairy and big!' I believe was her comment. The owners of the caravan seemed to find it quite funny when they woke up next morning to find her. She still visits Billing but I have not seen the St Bernards for a year or two.

Being greeted with 'You should have seen your girls last night in the beer tent!'. 'Why?' I was prompted to enquire. 'Because they all stripped off their shirts and danced!'. I have never seen the boys from Devon 4x4 look so pleased with themselves as they then proceeded to show me pictures. This was many years ago and the girls have long since grown up and/or emigrated.

I have noticed a pattern emerging that the girls seem to be the serial offenders. At Peterborough one year we had about eight thrusting young Troopers from the Royal Artillery staying on our stand. With hindsight the heady mix of our team of girls, lots of white wine, beer and eight fit squaddies meant there was every danger of something happening.  Everything was quite fine when I left for my drinking chocolate and slippers at around 10.00pm. Next morning it was obvious there had been a real party as many appeared to have stayed on site all night. Still what happens on tour stays on tour. Just remember I know who you are. I was told by the team that it was entirely the soldiers' fault!

The boys by coincidence don’t seem to have courted such troubles. Only one confessing he had attended a fancy dress party in his sister's Brownies outfit left me with more questions than answers. Romance has never really blossomed at a show possibly because of the long hours and general exhaustion that sets in. Although one of the boys was stalked by a girl we nicknamed as 'Scary Mary'. It is rumoured she emigrated as well.

It seems that in the early years we were all a bit more adventurous and I remember some nights at Billing being like the Somme with fireworks and military ordinance (Flash Bangs and Shamoolies). Once again in true British fashion we seemed to blame the European visitors for their riotous behaviour. We now know this was just their hospitality and too many willingly drinking their extra strong larger. These pyrotechnics were also a feature of Sodbury Sortouts for many years until the police intervened.

Cars have been stolen, including one of ours, gangs of shoplifters removed from sites and dogs have left little packages in our tents & under our counters  - but still we keep coming back.

The reason is simple – the Land Rover world is a great community and we have made great friends through it. In Chapter 2 hear about Food, The Weather and Billing Virgins.