The Shaftesbury Carnival Classic Car Show takes place this Sunday. Co-Chairman Rich Mullins told Alfred how important the fundraiser is for September’s Carnival and he previewed some of this weekend’s new additions.
Rich Mullins isn’t entirely sure which interesting vehicles will roll onto Barton Hill Field this Sunday. That’s because anyone could bring his or her classic car along. “Believe it or not, lots of local people in Shaftesbury own classic cars, so this is a bit of a call out to you. Please bring them up on Sunday and come and see us.”
You might be surprised to learn what is eligible. “A classic car, from what I have been told, is anything over 25 years old. That would include Ford Fiesta MK4s, which I had when I first learned to drive only eighteen years ago. We get all sorts. Adrian Thompson brings his armoured car!”
Rich is expecting a contingent of fans of classic Japanese vehicles. “We have nineteen Subarus confirmed from the Southern Subaru Club,” said Rich. There is a small entry fee for vehicles. “It’s £5 entry for cars and all that’s going back into Shaftesbury Carnival proceeds,” he said.
There’s plenty of space on the field for entries. “I reckon we’ve had about seventy probably in there before now,” Rich said. Prizes will be offered for different classes of vehicle and Rich hopes to see some two-wheel entries, too. “We don’t get many classic motorbikes, so it would be nice to see the motorbike section a bit more full.” Other attractions include remote control cars and they prove popular with children. “They can pay a donation to have a go around the track they’re setting up.”
Rich says that kids often enjoy meeting the Shaftesbury Fire and Rescue Service team, who will be in attendance. Adults might like the refreshments. “The licensed bar is back after two years,” said Rich. “One of our charities that we’re giving money to, Kipling Carnival Club, is running the BBQ this year.”
Last year’s show was cancelled due to a poor forecast. Rich says the club does rely on this fundraiser. “The Carnival costs an average of £5,000 to put on. The Classic Car Show the year before last brought in £1,300. Sponsorship was down last year so we were about £3,000 down last year. The Carnival still happened, but the beneficiaries we give to don’t tend to receive as much. We have to cover our costs before we give the money to charity,” said Rich, before adding, “but we still gave away over £3,000.”
This is the first year that Rich has arranged the event. “Every year, Ray and Chris Humphries kindly run the show for us and they’ve been instrumental again this year. Ray has been unwell in recent times, so I’ve taken it on on behalf of Ray. Chris is kindly still organising an awful lot,” said Rich.
Interestingly, the organisers receive significant support from the United States. Former Carnival secretary Gill Wallis, who emigrated there, founded the event. “They still do an awful lot from America. They contact all the car clubs for us because they were well known over here for that. Without Jill, Ray and Chris, we wouldn’t have the event. I’m just picking up the pieces for this year,” said Rich, who says that his biggest learning curve has been the logistics.
“We need the tents, the marquees, the tables, the chairs, the signs to go out on the road to slow traffic down and the bunting. It’s making sure everything’s there, ready for half-past six on Sunday morning when we will be arriving to set it up. My Saturday will be spent running around, chasing it all with Connor, who’s on the committee. There will be about fifteen of us helping throughout the day.”
Rich hopes that visitors will be generous. “It’s a free event, but we do ask that people put some pennies in the buckets when they come in and out,” he said.
The Classic Car Show is held between 10am and 3pm this Sunday, 28th July, at Barton Hill near to Ivy Cross roundabout in Shaftesbury. “We are open to feedback, so if anyone thinks we could do something differently, please let us know, because we’d like to grow the event every year,” Rich said.