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31st July 2016

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Our visit to the 2016 Heckington Show was more anticipated than last year when the forecast was pretty bad, but this year's was much better. As we only just managed to get on the line by 8.30am last year after the fence had gone up, we passed over breakfast at any of the caffs en route and decided to get there a bit early and have some grub once set-up. So whilst I was unloading the Ruston & corn mill, Dad wandered off to chat to some friends and then I set about breakfast. He returned just in time as I was plating up the full English, his face a picture as I think he expected just bacon baps. It's such a pity he can't make it a weekend event but the bulk of the area used by the engines on Sunday is used for a dog show on Saturday so it's not possible for most.

There is paid public camping but it's not really convenient when it's a fairly late finish to be able to get away to then sort the caravan out to come home on the Sunday. However, plenty of people, approx. 7000 or so enjoyed the Saturday evening entertainment with an Abba tribute act as the main attraction. Like "Abba" other attractions appear on Saturday and not on Sunday, likewise we go on Sunday and not Saturday so swings and roundabouts really. As usual we concentrate on the vintage & heritage exhibits, and as usual the Lincs Oil Engine Club members' engine display was as good as ever. Not everyone is a member of the club, indeed we allowed our membership to lapse some years ago, but I always dig out the shirt with the club's cloth badge on it in their honour, this year to be spotted by the eagle-eyed membership administrator enquiring as to my non-de-plume. Rather worryingly, I appeared to be "still on the list" whatever that meant.

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We took the original-condition Ruston PT with the William Corbett & Son corn mill. It was the first time the mill had been out for a couple of years, but we just turned it over rather than run it in earnest as the steel grinding plates are rather worn. Other engines on show included Wolseley, Blackstone, Crossley, Petter, Lister, Ingeco, Stuart, Fowler, Tangye, Waterloo Boy & Jaeger amongst others. There was no working field again this year, not even for the heavy horses, as the field is given over to maize, and the numbers of tractors on show reflects that. There was also quite a lot of gaps and empty pegs, but of course, they might have been filled on Saturday.

Allis Chalmers, Massey Ferguson, John Deere, Case, David Brown, International Farmall, Marshall, Ford & Fordson, McCormick Deering, Yanmar, Martin Markham, Monarch, Trusty & Barford Atom were all on show. Alongside was a small collection of large horse-drawn implements and the usual threshing- machine and wood-sawing displays. For the first time I can remember there wasn't a single motorbike in this area, although there was one on site, more of that shortly. There were a few commercials ranging from the little Austin A30/35s up though the Ford Thames 400E & Mk I Transit that superseded the 400E, through to the Ford Thames Trader, Bedford TK & Volvo F10.

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The solitary motorbike was a wonderful Royal Ruby found amongst the re-enactment displays which was dominated by WWI groups and included the large horse-drawn field-kitchen and a replica tank with shed-roof disguise. As usual the vast majority of the cars were tucked away behind some of the trade stands under the banner of Boston Classic Car Club, but you could hardly miss the gold Lincoln Continental at the entice to entice you in to look. Mini, Wolseley, Riley, Ford, MG, Rover, Humber, Daimler, Vauxhall, Triumph, Bentley, Volvo, Audi, Volkswagen, Austin & Morris were all on show.

The marquee displays were pretty much same as previous years with horticultural, vegetable, craft & photography competitions at the far end of the site, and models and bygones, antiques and general commercial crafts close by the engine displays. The model railway ran a two-train service pretty much constantly with a diesel-electric and steam on alternate runs. All-in-all, a nice day out and we look forward to the 150th Anniversary event in 2017.

2019: 28th July

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