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‘Umbrellas and ice creams’ make a successful Motoring Festival

Andover Festival of Motoring 2019

This year’s Andover Festival of Motoring has been heralded a success, after visitors weathered torrential downpours.

The annual event brought around 3,000 people into the Andover high street area to see vehicles from the Batmobile to a classic Vanden Plas 1500.

“The variety of vehicles on display was well worth the trip” said Mr Stephenson who travelled from Somerset to experience the event. Retailers in town would have also had a much better than a usual rainy Sunday, as the event drew families who wandered the high street and Vigo Park, many armed with both umbrellas and ice creams.

Characters in costume like Spiderman, Thor, Deadpool, Snow White and Xena Warrior Princess added the festival feel of today’s event.

The event was organised by Sheryl Scott-Clark who said, “I want to say a wonderful thank you to everyone who came a braved the rain. It just shows that when Andover does something we all really come together. When Andover gets going, Andover is fabulous”.

An original Batmobile was a star of the show which parked alongside a recreation of the Flintstones’ car and an ‘Insane’ Nissan draft car.

The event was part funded by the Andover BID, an organisation whose purpose is to improve the high street experience. Their financial commitment was match funded by a Councillor Community Grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

Vehicle exhibitors paid a small entry fee to help the event organisation.

During the day there was a raffle of prizes, the proceeds of which go to three local charities. “We are pleased to be supporting Vigo Primary PTA, the Baulksbury Primary PTA and the Countess of Brecknock Hospice,” says Sheryl.

Local radio station 95.9FM Andover Radio was ‘master of ceremonies’, broadcasting live from the event throughout the day, with DJ’s Luis Wyatt and Craig Hicks talking with visitors, organisers and exhibitors.

Sophie Greene from Merityre, the event’s headline sponsor, told Andover Radio, “It’s the perfect link-up for is as we are in motoring offering not just tyres but we offer MOTs and servicing as well.

“We have a tombola and the chance to win an AMG driving experience. As a local business that has been serving the Andover area for 60 years this is a great event to support.”

Local dentist Dr Julian Chen from New Street Dental Care paid tribute to the people who had brought umbrellas during the downpour. With an ice cream in hand he told us, “Today is a great show of support for events in Andover, people have come out despite the rain, but this just shows that people in Andover support great things for this town.”

The occasional sound-off from performance cars attracted the attention of people in the high street. The event extended along Bridge Street and into Vigo Park.

Along Bridge Street Stephan West from Forces Re-Engineered was selling tickets for their hand-crafted ‘glass and guitar’ coffee table which is being raffled by Love Andover and will raise money for Forces Re-Engineered and Veterans in Action, both helping our ex-service personnel. (Purchase tickets here)

Prizes were given for exhibitors with a Mustang from Mustangs Unleashed won Best in Show category.

Andover BID’s contribution to the event was essential says Sheryl, “We want to give a massive thank you to the BID for their contribution they have sponsored us for £2,000 and for this event, that is absolutely amazing.”

Having pressed Sheryl for commitment to a similar event next year, Sheryl added, “Oh yes! We will see you next year. After a wash-up meeting we will look at the things we could have done better and ask people to personal message us suggestions on Facebook so we can make next year’s event bigger and better.”

The event was supported by local taxi firm KGF Cars, Andover Framing and Halfords.

A gallery of photographs from the day from our official photographer Kevin Ridgeon will be available on Monday 23rd September 2019.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.