This year the 150th Heckington Show's Saturday night tribute act was Freddie Mercury but Mud would have been more appropriate as the field was the worst I've seen it since we've been going. Three times before we got to the exhibitor's entrance we were told to park on the stubble but gentle persuasion that we could not carry 100kg of cast-iron across the field eventually got us through the gate. As we drew down the roadway we were met by the sight of half-a-dozen of the Lincolnshire Oil Engine Club men manhandling cars and trailers into position. We did manage to back off the roadway but even so the front wheels did not want to turn in the gloopy mud.
However, eventually, everyone was in and although we weren't the last to arrive we were the last engine on the line. The ground wasn't too bad but further up there was standing water in the hollows and one tract deemed unsuitable to use. All-in-all there were around 3-dozen engines and various bit of working equipment on show. The adjacent bygones and models' marquee was not quite as full, notable absentees being the Jessops, but still a good mix of stuff on show.
The miniature railway outside was just initially using an electric loco but eventually a steamer was brought on service as the people came in and demand picked up. Getting about was a sturdy boots or wellies job as the bottlenecks of behind the grandstand and two gateways between the two main fields take the heaviest traffic. Somewhere under all the mud was a hard-boarded roadway but it'd be fun finding it after the event.
The Boston Classic Car display was drastically reduced due to the access issues with under a dozen vehicles, but it did look like the Ford Pop had fought its way in that morning, judging by the mud splatters around the wings, well done that man (or woman). The rest of the vehicles over the back side of the field had changed format a little with the smaller horticultural machinery and tools being brought to the foreground. After all, you can always look over smaller things to see bigger things behind.
I think there was one solitary motorbike again this year, plus the usual gazebo display of model vehicles, and lo and behold, Gratt's the Man had made it on site with his model steam engine and organ set up under his awning on the motorhome. Behind this varied front row, the tractors were then set facing each other in four rows with the few commercial and some full-size steam right at the back. The usual threshing mock-up and active wood-sawing display were again set up near to the edge of the livestock tents and arenas.
The Living History groups were again very varied and the display of North American Native Indian dancing drew quite a crowd, but surely a set of moccasins could be found instead of bright blue trainers? It's all in the detail if you want to be taken seriously. For the first time ever, I managed to get what I consider a bargain in the Antiques marquee. Despite the odd shower during the afternoon the weather was not too bad, and after loading up and collecting our souvenir rally plaque, the third of three attempts saw us out on the roadway and away by 5.30pm.