An early start on Sunday 14th May saw John and I sipping tea that was still a little too hot,
getting to some serious grips with a couple of bacon rolls and crossing our fingers for a dry day. It’s the morning of the Classics at Killerton show, our first time attending this event and we’re quite excited about it!
Having spent most of the previous day covered in sawdust and paint and emerging with tired smiles, a couple of dented body parts and a brand new shiny Graphite Grease stand, we were eager to get to the show and try out our new pop up gallery! There were a few spots of rain as we neared our destination but Nana (our trusty lightweight Landrover and workhorse for most events) did a rain dance over the bumpy entrance to the show ground and soon all was sunshine and smiles!
Once the new stand was up, artwork in place and bow ties gently blowing in the breeze, John settled in for a day of working on his latest project, an Audi roaring through a forest rally stage, and I set off to explore our venue.
And what a smashing venue it is! Wandering amongst the car show fields you can see why this show has gotten bigger every year since it started five years past. Set over three fields the car show had a good showing of a large range of eras. Everything from some real old classic beauties, through the Triumph Stag owners club, up to the more modern MX-5 owners club (who have to have been the most highly polished of the day, and put our Eunos workhorse to shame). Everyone had buffed and polished up especially for the day and every fews cars or so there was a cluster of camping chairs and a gaggle of car-lovers breaking open the afternoon bubbly and strawberries or trading tales over a bonnet (the best way to spend a sunny afternoon in May!). In amongst a highly commended pack there were also a few stand out specials that caught the eye. Keyth’s gorgeous green Talbort was one (that John is lucky enough to be drawing very soon) and a rather lovely Cobra replica that’s lines had me spellbound for a good five minutes and who’s owner was more than happy to talk to me about her.
Once I’d managed to drag myself away from the gleaming metal it was about time for a tour of the stalls and by this point in the day the sun was up and shining and the Fish and Chips and ice cream stalls were doing a roaring trade! That was another huge plus point for this show, every one of the traders we spoke to was lovely and enjoying themselves thoroughly which always makes for a great show atmosphere. A great example of this was Maria, who we were lucky enough to be situated next to, a professional silversmith from Silverton. Her business “Handmade Devon” offers handcrafted silver jewellery, and Maria herself teaches silversmithing and was more than happy to talk to attendees, and us, about her craft. I always think that’s part of the magic of these shows, being able to wander through a field of exquisite cars with a cider or a glass of bubbly in hand and get the chance to chat to professional craftspeople about their own loves and passions. You always end up learning something and enjoying the process thoroughly!
The only downside to the day was that the front of Killerton House, which was gifted to the National Trust in 1944 by the Acland family, is currently undergoing a large amount of restoration and so the whole front facade of the building was unfortunately covered in scaffolding work. However I’m sure the work that is going on beneath those fabric coverings will help the house survive another 200 years (the current building was constructed in 1778). We’ll just have to come back again next year to see it in all it’s glory!
After an enjoyable few hours spent swapping stories over tea and sausage buns whilst we all watched John develop the Audi to a state of screaming outline completion, sadly it was time to pack up all too soon. It turns out however that the new stand takes a fair old time to fold away and we were awarded the hypothetical “last marquee standing” award, or would have been if there was anyone left in the field to award us it! We’ll definitely be back at Killerton next year, great people, lovely atmosphere, great show.