Events : Report – BMC/BL Rally & Spares Day (and some warm-weather Woollarding…)

Craig Cheetham

They all look Wooll'ard. AROnline does Peterborough...
They all look Wooll’ard. AROnline does Peterborough…

Over 40 years separated the oldest and newest cars displayed by AROnline readers at last weekend’s BMC/BL Rally in Peterborough, with a varied array of old and new(ish) classics ranging from Rob Copson’s Triumph Dolomite to Sean Round’s 2014 MG.

A good day was had by all, and from my perspective it was good to finally put a few names to their respective faces – though it did feel for most of the morning that we were like ships that passed in the night. The downside to having spent the last 20 years attending classic car shows means its impossible to walk more than 100 yards without bumping into somebody that you a) know and b) haven’t spoken to since last year, so before you know it, it’s 2.30pm and you still haven’t made it through the woods to use the posh loos and avoid the showfield Chemi-khazis. Possibly too much information in that one, but nonetheless…

Anyway, great to see a good turnout of cars, including three previously owned by Mike Humble, two of which he couldn’t help but tinker with on the day, swapping wheels with Benjamin Adams on their matching R8s. As an aside, thanks to Mike for also both spotting and fixing my loose battery bracket on the Vitesse.

Jack of all trades - Humble nicks Adams's wheels...
Jack of all trades – Humble nicks Adams’ wheels…

I shan’t bore you with the usual classic car show report (I used to joke in my magazine reporting days that they were fundamentally all the same), so instead have included a few pictures of my own Cars of the Show. We’re all different, of course, so feel free to post your own, or disagree with me intently!

Bonus points, too, for anyone who Woollards in public – Mike, Ben, Neil and I will kick things off…

Woollarding, yesterday...
Woollarding, yesterday…


AROnline stand, Stage Left
AROnline stand, Stage Left


AROnline stand, Stage Right
AROnline stand, Stage Right


Rob Copson's subtle-hued Dolomite
Rob Copson’s subtle-hued Dolomite


Editor's Choice car of the show. It's, er, my era...
Editor’s Choice car of the show. It’s, er, my era…


Spotted on the 800 Club stand and further fuelling my weakness for the bargain barge, if you'd said to me '827 Sterling in solid red' I'd have probably run a mile - but then I saw this and I have to say it looks lovely.
Spotted on the 800 Club stand and further fuelling my weakness for the bargain barge, if you’d said to me ‘827 Sterling in solid red’ I’d have probably run a mile – but then I saw this and I have to say it looks lovely


Not entirely sure how authentic this is, but I don't really care to be honest. Nostalgia, for a child of the Eighties...
Not entirely sure how authentic this is, but I don’t really care to be honest. Nostalgia, for a child of the Eighties…


These used to everywhere when I was growing up, and there were loads in Applejack Green. Loved this...
These used to everywhere when I was growing up, and there were loads in Applejack Green. Loved this…
Craig Cheetham


  1. Wish I’d gone, but as I’d just had a manic week at work, including doing the equivalent of two day’s work in one day on Friday (nearly 15 hours manic driving and deadline beating) I didn’t feel like getting behind the wheel of my old pushrod Fiesta on my days off and making my way to Peterborough.

    Looks like it was a good turnout from the AROnline crowd.

  2. A good day was had, weather was fantastic which was a bonus as it was over a 200 mile trek to Peterborough for me.

    Good to put names to faces and meet new Editor, Craig.

    Mike was busy as usual tinkering with not only Craig’s Vitesse but a few others including… Cough, cough his own, just don’t mention ignition leads.

    A great turn of for the latest AROnline get together, and here’s to more of the same in the future.

    • Bl***y fantastic that, while your at it get some power steering so ‘er indoors can drive it too, now it’s got Carlos fandango wheels… 😋

  3. This the first time I’ve been able to log on in months.

    It was great to meet you all.

    Mike seems to know Rover fault codes like the back of his hand.

    I will hopefully see a couple of you at the Hunstanton Kite Festival.

  4. The British Rail van is mine, glad you like it. As good diesel vans are rare I had to settle for one a couple of years later than I would like – it was actually a Birmingham City Council white van.

    But as I work for the railway and in the past drove BR maestro vans I wanted to recreate one. It’s used every day and gets close to railway action. Here it is today:

  5. Great day! The best weather the Rally has seen for about 5 years, wonderful to meet Craig and catch up with faces, old and new.

    Chatted to so many people that I actually didn’t take any pictures other than 2 of my car (oops!)

    As for the wheels we joked afterwards it might have been easier to just swap cars, although I don’t think Mike wants to give up his electric front windows (one shot down for the driver) and the electric tilt and slide sunroof…..

    I however am finding ‘G776RGC’ handles just as well on slighter smaller rubber, is lighter at parking speeds and seems to be doing more to the gallon!

    Everyone’s a winner, as Del Boy used to say!

    • Hi Andrew,

      I’ve seen that picture. It’s the Sudbury dock at Colchester and the sign is still there – if I’m down that way with the van may do a repeat shot.

      We had a lot of Mk3 Astra vans at Thornaby that were K***HYG

      Are you on the railway then?

  6. It was a great weekend. I travelled up on the Saturday so it wasn’t too long for the kids to be stuck in the car, on what must have been one of the worst day’s weather wise so far this summer – it rained so hard the Dolly leaked from orifices I didn’t even know it had! Then the wipers stopped mid sweep. A blurred dart was made for the nearest exit slope, where, dreading failure, a swift clout to the motor, and waggle of wipers, soon saw wiping duties restored. I, however, being coat less, looked lovely in the wife’s cardie bending over the engine bay.

    After stopping off to see some friends in Didcot, the rain finally gave up, and we completed the rest of the journey in dry, and mostly sunny weather, and all went well until about 2 miles from the hotel as the temp gauge started to rise. On parking up and popping the bonnet, there was a stream of coolant running down the block and away, and a loose clip on the pump cover to heater hoses/inlet join. Leaving it to cool down whilst we grabbed tea, I tightened up the clip, and filled up with water, all looked good, so a pint was had in celebration.

    Next morning, trundling onto the field, I checked things out when I parked on the stand to find a steady stream off coolant flowing down the side of the block again. Not a problem with a large BL autojumble a mere stone’s throw away. Offending hose removed, and a traipse around the stalls ensued, and it took until the last one to find a hose that would do. I found plenty of Allegro bottom hoses with a correct sized offshoot, but I failed to see the point of buggering up a perfectly good hose just for a bit of straight pipe. It was a shaped hose, so a bit of bending got it to fit, albeit slightly kinked, but enough to flow coolant. A quick thank you to Ian Nicholls who came to the rescue with a couple of bottles of water, after the 2 litre bottle I had in the boot wasn’t enough, it saved a long slog to find a ready source of the stuff.

    It was great to meet old friends and new, and it was a superb day, especially watching the Kwik Fit display team operating on the stand! I’d also like to thank Sean for bringing his MG3, it appears wife and daughter now want one to replace the current family bus, so best I start saving…

    The return trip home was done with no dramas, and the old girl was given a decent run back down the A34 at speeds I don’t think she’d done in a long time.

    All in all a cracking weekend away, and I thoroughly recommend the show to anyone. I wonder if those broken down Ford guys on way back from Ford Fair got home okay?

  7. Had to give this show a miss as I was checking Paris traffic for Rovers (if anything, they have more left than us). Must put it in the diary for next year – could arrive by the adjacent steam train (better than by Mitsubishi)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.