A classic show returns to Grasmere

A highlight of the year for motor fans, the Lakes Charity Classic Vehicle Show is coming again this summer to be staged at the sports field in Grasmere in the heart of the Lakeland fells.

Among the many classic cars and other vehicles on display will be the wonderful surprise Christmas present bought for the chair of the organising committee, Anthony Harrison, by his wife Christine. What do you buy for the man who has everything – including a classic Mini pick-up? Why, a classic motorbike, of course.

And so Anthony was a very happy man on Christmas Day when Christine presented him with a log book. Outside in the car park was the bike of his dreams, a 1954 AJS 350cc motorcycle.

“Classic indeed,” smiles Anthony. “It’s just six months younger than me. It was a fabulous surprise.”

The Lakes show has become a very popular event on the calendar, attracting more than 300 vehicles from all over the UK. Among the regular visitors is a group who call themselves “the Grumpy Old Men” who bring their cars – including an MGYB – over from Yorkshire.

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But there will be a great range of classic vehicles taking part, of course, including those from the BMW, Triumph and Morris Minor owners clubs. Last year a rare Brough Superior car made an appearance; yes, they are better known for motor bikes. This time you’re likely to spot a 1914 truck and perhaps a steam-powered bus.

The event is organised each year for charity by the Windermere and Ambleside Lions Club, a small but dynamic team of volunteers whose efforts are appreciated by the entire community in Cumbria.

Last year’s  show made more than £7,000 for South Lakes Young Carers and the Jigsaw children’s hospice trust; it’s always local charities which benefit.  Over the year they have raised over £35,000, helping 10 local charities. This time the chosen charities are Blood Bikes Cumbria, and LAMRT.

Blood bikes groups are run by volunteers to provide an emergency medical service in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with  motorcycle courier services to hospitals and other healthcare providers, to help with the transport of urgent blood, tissue and organs. Last year nationwide they answered 39,000 calls from hospitals.

The Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team  (LAMRT) operates in part of the central Lake District, Britain’s busiest mountain area. Again, run entirely by volunteers, they deal with more than 100 incidents each year, rescuing those who are lost or injured in the hills. A self-funding dedicated team of ‘professional volunteers’ coming from all walks of life, they are united in their love of mountains and their wish to help their fellow mountaineers in trouble.

“We always want to help local charities, and we know that these two both provide a vital service here in the Lake District,” said Anthony.

He and Christine run a guest house in nearby Ambleside, and they are both involved with planning and organising the car show all year round. “As soon as one show has ended, we start work planning the next,” said Anthony, a long-standing member of the local Lions.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organisation with 1.3 million members in some 45,000 clubs in 205 countries, and this year marks its centenary.

Lions are men and women who volunteer their time for humanitarian causes. Founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones, their motto is “We Serve”, and they exist to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.

The classic car show is their flagship event in the Lakes. It’s a popular day out for families, with an entry fee of just £5 (£12 for a family) and plenty of entertainment all day long. There will be tombola stalls, live music, Scalextric races, a car pull contest, and a competition to identify unusual motor parts.

There’s also a bar, and a number of different food outlets, and the organisers will welcome bookings from auto-jumble dealers. “We would like to try and encourage more motorbikes, trucks and other vehicles,” said Anthony.

They are also looking for young blood to become members of the organising committee and helped make the show bigger and better again in the future.

For more information see http://www.lakesclassiccarshow.org.uk/

The Lakes Charity Classic Vehicle Show will be on Sunday June 18 at the Grasmere sports ground just off the A591, postcode LA22 9SL.

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