Mirroring last year's trip up to Lincoln, the A17 grows more tedious year on year, and yet again, for no obvious hold-up, we came to a dead-stop at least 10 times between Peppermint Junction outside Holbeach and Sutterton roundabout. Good progress was made towards Sleaford and then again, a hold-up at the services as us and several other larger outfits queued for fuel. Once at Lincoln, we pulled into what we thought was the last available space in our usual position, only to be told that was reserved for the Barwell family and we were over the road backed up to the trade.
This is probably a better position for public passing by, but made putting the awning up much more difficult, and also put us in earshot of both nearby organs all weekend. Other than our enforced change of steward following Peter McColl's sad passing, who looked after us very well, that was pretty much the only change, everything else being in exactly the same places as last year. We had several new exhibitors in the section this year, one of which was not even an awning display, just a table, small car and a one-man tent, and another a display of what I assumed was Lego Technic.
One display which I did really enjoy was the paraffinalia which had been extended somewhat in readiness for their trip to Dorset. There were fewer gaps in the trade stands this year, and again managed to grab a few bargains, including a model I'd seen at March two weeks before, but wasn't sure whether I had it or not. There was also a very good 5-gallon paraffin can I wanted but the oversight of not going to the cash machine for extra funding before I left home meant I had to leave it behind.
The RAF Museum of Fire-fighting did not have so many machines on show this year, but there was an excellent collection of civilian machines, with at least a handful with local Lincolnshire connections. There were fewer classic caravans, and also cars seemed a little down in numbers this year, but the selection of commercials continues to be excellent, with one or two vehicles I hadn't seen before. The steam transporter section offered many ERFs in semi-retirement. Steam and miniature steam are also strong sections and seemed up to the usual numbers.
There was the odd absentee no doubt drawn down to the Great Dorset Steam Fair's 50th Anniversary but many had stayed loyal to Lincoln but were perhaps heading down on the Monday to swell the numbers of steam at Dorset to 500-plus. Horticultural machinery was in its usual position adjacent to the tractors, but the bygones section continues to host at least a couple of tool displays better suited to this section.
Full-size tractors continue to be lined up in marques, but this year, Nuffield seemed to have a front row position with Fordson at the back, so it does change slightly from time-to-time. Heading back the stationary engines were plentiful in number and included a handful of big lorry-mounted machines which were all universally running Saturday evening, lit up by their own activities. Drawing in exhibitors from north, south, east and west, this is a big gathering of like-minded people, and always a stop-go affair as we go around the pens greeting those we know.
The vintage fairground has shrunk a little in recent years losing the Wall of Death and a couple of other attractions to Dorset but is still well-attended in the evenings when the majority of the showmen's engines on site make their way up there to add light and power to the proceedings. Some of the organs also put on evening shows around the fairground and nearby beer and entertainment marquee.
That pretty much leaves just the model hall to mention with its brilliant displays of fairground modelling, model engineering and mainly transport-themed models. I'm always amazed how big a following radio-controlled large-scale lorries have and again, one could only snatch a couple of photos from the corners of the area due to the crowds of people watching some variable levels of driving.
We had the luxury of staying over until the Monday this year, so didn't have to rush and pack up, alongside another dozen or so exhibits in our section alone. However, it's amazing how quickly the infrastructure of a show does knock down at the end of the event, but as we left mid-morning Monday, other contractors were already moving on site to presumably set something else up for August Bank Holiday weekend. Next year's dates are confirmed, as the bank holiday weekend again falls early in the month. See you then.