48OE Blog  
Aug 18

Written by: 48OE Admin
18/08/2011 11:36  RssIcon

I had only planned two Land Rover Show blogs but realised I could not omit stories about the weather. We Brits are obsessed about it anyway, and over the last ten to fifteen years Billing seems to have had it's fair share. We have seen days of extreme heat and sunshine where several of the staff got sunburnt on set-up and floods of almost biblical proportions where the site turned to a shallow lake.

Gales and torrential rain have become a feature in recent years but one of the most extreme events was when a tornado raced through the showground leaving a trail of destruction. It was a blisteringly hot day at Billing and we had just witnessed the only Bride & Groom in full regalia to enter the arena and have their wedding blessed by a minister. Within the space of a few minutes the wind got up and the skies went pitch black. First heavy rain and then hail bombarded everything in its wake. Our fences started to blow over and the tent tried to prise itself from the ground.

I remember this well as I and some of the team had to rush outside in monsoon conditions and lash everything down. Small tents, umbrellas and awnings danced across the arena in some cases pursued by distraught owners. After about ten to fifteen minutes everything stopped and the sun beat down again. The destruction was all around us. One Land Rover had been hit by a very large bough of a tree. Another had fallen on a caravan and a third on a tent. Several stalls were now found to be stuck in trees or at the Billing entrance rather than in the show ground.

Within seconds the enterprising Irish lads from Treadwear had a sign up 'Tent in Tree above – Tornado Damaged Sale – All Items Reduced'.

Thankfully no one was hurt and within a few hours we were all drinking beer on a balmy summer's evening. So, Land Rover shows are only for the brave and the resourceful but when it is wet and muddy we all just grin and fit the Mud Terrains!