The annual vintage gathering at Kingsley near Bordon in Hampshire was held on the 23rd and 24th of June this year and we were as always looking forward to attending. Victoria had been groomed and all was ready for the 9 mile trip to the rally field. On our arrival after an uneventful journey we were told that the entrance to the site was “a bit sticky” after the days rain and to try not to get stuck in the gateway. We stormed in with the living van in tow and succeeded in getting almost halfway to our allotted parking space before the slippery conditions took over. The rest of the trip was done behind a four wheel drive tractor.
Saturday dawned clear and we all had high hopes for a good weekend, the C.S.V.A.C always put on a good show with plenty to see and allow the engines to move around so we were looking forward to the ground drying out enough to allow us to play. A good selection of exhibits were present, as per usual at Kingsley there were plenty of tractors and stationary engines supported by numerous cars and commercials. The steam section consisted of 5 machines, 3 traction engines, a Sentinel and a rather fine Stanley Steam Car which drove over from Haslemere. Due to the organisers being keen to preserve the field, movement was very restricted and there were no arena events or parades but this did not affect the enjoyment of the visitors greatly.
Sunday was another story and we awoke to heavy rain which continued in one way or another all day which had a dramatic effect on the gate. A lot of exhibitors started to leave by lunchtime as it looked like the rain was there to stay. It was evident that there were not going to be many visitors so all the steamers made arrangements to be towed off of the site about 2.30 ready to go home.
We were winched out onto the main road and after sorting ourselves out we set off for home. It is such a shame that the weather can so easily spoil the work of several months and numerous dedicated volunteers but this is England after all…