CarFest North 2017
Figs a hit at CarFest North – Again!
Once again over the weekend of the 29th/30th July an intrepid quintet of Figaros led by member Ken Graham, made their way to the beautiful setting of Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire to attend CarFest North, the brainchild of Radio 2’s Chris Evans which continues to raise millions of pounds for BBC Children in Need.
Four of our Fig owners had decided to camp on site with one pair taking the more relaxing option of finding a B&B – the campers were tested to the limit on the Friday with fairly torrential rain testing the tents’ waterproofing and turning certain areas to a slippy muddy mess! However, it takes more than a little rain to stifle CarFest Figaro enthusiasm and it did dry up for Saturday and Sunday, as our team were set for three days of showing off our lovely cars in CarFest’s Vintage Village.
The weekend started off in some style with a lovely Thursday night dinner in a local restaurant ‘Allium by Mark Ellis’ – Mark was demonstrating in the Festivals’ food tent on the Saturday and had generously offered a 20% discount off meals to those attending CarFest over the weekend. Ken, being a frugal Scot, couldn’t resist!! Seriously, it was a great way for everyone to relax and for those new attendees to get to know their fellow Figaro Club pals.
Although Ken has attended four CarFest North events he never ceases to be amazed at the level of interest in Figaros – we have many ‘returning visitors’, those CarFesters who just love the Figaro stand and come back every year, but we always get new enquirers who have never seen the car or have, but simply don’t know what it is. Even before the festival opened to the public a young girl working at another trader’s stand, rushed up shouting ‘Look – Figaros!!’ She doesn’t have one but just loves them and proceeded to show Ken her phone screen saver of a Figaro picture!
Our approach is always to engage fully with the public (not all other Car Club members do) and encourage folk to ask questions and have a seat in the cars if they want. Ken was particularly delighted that our Figaro Club ‘CarFest Newbies’ (Debs, and Johanne and Colin) fully bought into this approach and enthusiastically showed their Figs off all weekend.
Many people come up and say they’ve always wanted one and we always encourage them to access the Buyer’s Guide’ on the website – we never really know what spin offs this may have, however, this year a lady came up specifically asking for Ken, saying she had been at CarFest last year, wanted a Fig, and wanted to let him know she now had one!! Even more strangely she said she had been at the Yorkshire Dales Rally – it turned out she was sitting at the same table as Ken and Sandra at the rally dinner but hadn’t made the CarFest connection!!!
CarFest has loads of activities going on all day with the Vintage Village proving very popular again. We even managed to get a picture with Kevin Clifton from Strictly Come Dancing as he strolled through the Village on the Sunday!
The evening music was, as always, fantastic, with Tom O’Dell, Rick Astley, Texas, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Seasick Steve, the Happy Mondays, the Manic street Preachers, and the Kaiser Chiefs performing to name but a few.
CarFest is a fantastic, if exhausting, weekend in a really good cause, but it was also gratifying for Ken to be approached by the organiser of the Vintage Village on Sunday saying they noticed how much we engaged with the public and to be assured the Figaro Owners’ Club would be welcome back next year!
Well, Ken says he’ll think about it once he’s recovered!!!
(Thanks to members Ken & Sandra Graham, Richard & Ellison Sneddon, Alan & Sheena Harvey, Johanne & Colin Powell and Debs Attwater with her friends David and George for so ably representing the club over the three days.)