Classic motor show appeals for beds

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A 1935 Bentley 3.5 Derby will be one of the classic cars on show this year.

A 1935 Bentley 3.5 Derby will be one of the classic cars on show this year.

An appeal has been made for extra accommodation to house exhibitors and visitors expected to flock to this year’s classic motor show.

Event organisers are appealing for spare rooms to be made available to help ease the burden on accommodation in time for the 16th show on 7th and 8th June.

Around 300 cars and motorcycles are expected to be at the event, which has steadily grown in popularity over the years.

Many of the exhibits will be brought up from down south, and untold numbers of visitors are also expected to arrive from far afield to see the show.

The bed shortfall is made worse by the loss of the Clickimin campsite, which has been closed to allow the new Anderson High School to be built.

Show organiser Maurice Mullay said accommodation was becoming a huge issue.

“The accommodation sector is extremely busy and will be much, much busier come June. We don’t want to find a situation where people want to come to the show and have difficulty with accommodation.

“We’ve been in touch with every hotel, guest house and B&B within easy reach of Lerwick. We’ve also contacted classic car club and motorcycle club members to see if they have any spare accommodation for that weekend.

“Visitor attendance from Shetland and the UK has grown substantially over the years and the number of visiting vehicles is now stretching the capacity of Clickimin as well as visitors filling the hotels and guest houses.

“Finding accommodation for all the visitors is an ongoing challenge and we would be pleased to hear from anyone with spare rooms at the time of the show and within reasonable reach of Lerwick.”

Mr Mullay urged anyone who can help to get in touch.

Fellow show-member Graham Johnston said the accommodation providers were already feeling pressure from the oil and gas sector.

He said: “A lot of the accommodation in Shetland has been taken up, one way or another, by the oil and gas industry. There seems to be a shortage of bed and breakfast accommodation anyway. It is a limiting factor on the number of folk we’re going to be able to get up here.

“The [Clickimin] camp site would have been full several days before and several days after the show, as is always the case with big events in Shetland. So it’s a very big loss, too.”

Preparations are already in hand to build on the success of previous shows and gather together a range of exhibits and features to whet the appetite of anyone interested in classic motors.

The show has already attracted a wealth of rare and exotic exhibits. Exhibits will span over 100 years of motoring history and include commercial vehicles, bicycles, tractors and stationary engines.

Scale model and archive photograph displays are always popular. These, organisers say, will be extended for this year’s event.

Mr Mullay said: “Exhibits are always impressive and are shown to full effect at Clickimin where display facilities are excellent in the three indoor halls and the outdoor areas.

“A range of guided local tours for the classic vehicles have been arranged before and after the show for participants from outwith the islands to enable them to view the spectacular scenery and to enjoy the natural history and visitor attractions.

“The classic foy evening of Shetland music and dancing has been arranged to let visitors appreciate a little of Shetland’s culture.”

Meanwhile, anyone who would like to exhibit at the show but have not yet received an invitation are being invited to get in touch with organisers.

Mr Mullay said: “A hugely impressive collection of all types of vehicle will be travelling from all over the UK to Shetland. The diversity and outstanding quality of vehicles is quite amazing.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a reporter at The Shetland Times

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