Monday 3 June 2024

Show - A busy day

Had a great day out at the weekend at the annual Border Vintage Automobile Club’s ‘Festival of Motoring’ at Thirlestane Castle with lots to see and drool over.

Admittedly I was there for altogether different reasons, I had taken a wee ‘pitch’ in the ‘trade’ area to try and sell my books. I have only written two, so I took along a few other titles which I had gathered over the years. These included some ‘doublers’ of Martin Holmes’ ‘World of Rallying’ and ‘Rallycourse’ annuals plus other titles just to try and have a bit of a red-oot. It certainly helped, drawing in passers by curious to know who this unknown author was with only two books to promote!

The show represented a new market for me, and I had no idea how books with such a niche market appeal would go down with a crowd that was there to see and hear auld caurs, but I was pleasantly surprised. Suffice to say I managed to cover my pitch cost and fuel and had enough to buy a haggis supper at Franchitti’s chippy in Harthill on the way home.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the number of ex and current rally drivers and co-drivers (and racers!) who were there with family members, weans, wives, girlfriends, partners, pals and their dugs. I suppose it’s just the fascination for all things automotive that attracts even hardened competition enthusiasts to the ordinary and mundane. I met up with folk I hadn’t seen for 30 or 40 years, and aye, some a bit before then too!

I seemed to spend more time catching up and chatting than I did selling books, but that experience has served up a most valuable lesson – next time, cut the chat and sell more books!

So I’m already looking forward to Moffat, Blast from the Past, Biggar and the Cumbria Classic, and who knows maybe a few others.

The attached aerial view of Thirlestane gives some idea of the scale of the show and depending on who you speak to, it’s either the biggest of its type in Scotland or the second biggest – the other one is Glamis. Oddly enough, I did speak to the Glamis folk about a pitch, but I couldn’t justify the investment or maybe they just didn’t want any riff-raff at such a posh event!

Anyway, the arrow shows the red Transit and the Scottish rally bookstall. Kind of puts me in my place, a wee dot in the great landscape of life. The other picture shows the view I had looking straight ahead from my pitch. Nice, eh?

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