Thought I'd better get this up while most of it is still fresh in my memory....
Billing for me started quite a bit earlier this year with a whole lot of behind the scenes stuff going on, mostly with Cara (Mrs GSi) - steady now, no innuendos and double entendres thank you very much! Things like liaising with the VBOA regarding us being at Billing officially this year and our membership. Then there was other bits 'n' bobs I was doing like sorting out merchandise for people etc. along with Graeme.
Billing for me started proper on the Friday. After being somewhat delayed in leaving due to having to wait for an inept City Link driver (I can think of another name that rhymes with City!) to deliver a package I'd been waiting for. Was meant to be delivered by noon, ended up getting it for almost gone 2pm. It was a package worth waiting for as it was the new club feather flag along with a reprinted club banner. There were some issues with the one we had done last year so they reprinted it FOC with some tidied up artwork. Before I left I thought I'd better check them over - new banner looked superb, as did the feather flag. Thought I'd quickly put all the poles together to check it was all fine - came across a bit of a glitch in the way they'd supplied the poles and I wasn't going to be able to put them all together to get the maximum height. Quick bit of fabrication and a bit of drilling later and we were all sorted and poles now assembling correctly.
Soooo, finally left around 3.30pm, waaay later than planned and I still had to go via the clothing supplier to pick up folks' shirts and the new merchandise line that we had added - club baseball caps.
So by the time I got that sorted, got on my way proper and fought through the Friday evening traffic, I got to Billing around 8pm! I was planning on arriving several hours earlier and meeting Mark to help put up the Wonky Ratchet (trailer tent) as I was sleeping in one half of it, but with all the delays I encountered I didn't get there in time - so a big thanks to Gary (Gary3306) for stepping in and helping Mark put it up.
A bunch of people were already there, and more arriving as the evening progressed - Dave (Ukanalyst) with Mrs Dave, chrisgettings and others - so we all piled over to help them put up their tents, and the heavens decided to open! So, tents up and all a bit wet we got ourselves esconsed in the Wonky Ratchet. I nipped out to pick up Diane (NellyD) from the train station while Plasma and JayKay went on the pizza run to Dominos.
So, after a good feed, a few beers and an evening of banter, it was off to bed.
Saturday morning brought better weather, so it was up early, some earlier than others! lol, to sort the cars out as they had taken a bit of a beating with the weather the day/night before. Dean and I headed off to a jetwash and sorted our cars out while the rest did what they needed to do on theirs.
Soon we were all over on the stand - same excellent spot as last year - and as we had around 20 cars coming on the first day we did a simple horseshoe layout as we had done last year. A few of us got stuck into putting up gazebos in the corner of the stand area - thanks IanT and Dave for your help and Ian for the additional gazebo.
I then sorted out the feather flag and got that assembled on the stand and then went to sort out the banner as well.
Most of the morning I'd been having a throbbing headache, which I put down to probably not having had enough liquid that day, and running around all morning doing all sorts - and it had been getting progressively worse. All I'd had to drink that morning was half a cup of tea - not good. The previous day I'd eaten and drank nothing all day until the evening where I had pizza and a few beers - so again not much proper liquid.
Anyway, I cracked on as I was going to take some water and paracetamol once I'd got the banner sorted. As I was stood at the banner about to put the frame together I got a bit dizzy/light headed so crouched down on one knee to get a bit more composed, holding my head in one hand. Next thing I know I'm looking upwards at people looking over me and realise I'm lying on the ground! Apparently I'd keeled over and had blacked out for about a minute!! So I'm lying there with Cara, Stevel and his wife (and possibly others?) attending to me, and then the next thing is a paramedic arriving. Bit embarrassing, but given what had happened a good call by whoever it was. After a good looking over and lots of questions the paramedic was satisfied for the time being that I had probably got a bit dehydrated and all the running around in the morning hadn't helped. So thanks to all that helped me out.
So, the rest of the Saturday for me consisted of drinking lots of water and taking it easy. So if I didn't appear my normal self to folks who weren't aware what happened, or didn't talk to new people who came to the stand, my apologies - but you can see why. I spent a bit of time just sitting in the back of my car with the climate control on, then taking it easy under the gazebo. It took a good while for the blasted headache to go, but by early evening I was thankfully back to my normal self again.
I did manage to have a bit of a wander around the rest of the show, and the stand looked really good as well.
BTW - don't really on Gary (Gary3306) to help you out in an emergency! Apparently when he saw me on one knee holding my head, he thought I was trying to work out how to put the banner stand together - then when he saw me keel over he thought I was messing around and keeling over in mock exasperation! Thank Gawd Cara and Stevel etc. didn't think the same!! Only joking m8, but when you told me after I was absolutely PMSL - absolute classic!
So, the evening consisted of a BBQ, a few more beers and lots more banter.
Sunday morning and we were back over onto the stand from the camping area and this time we knew we were expecting more cars. So the banner and flag went back up and we repeated the horseshoe arrangement for the initial cars. Nick (payney) had an idea about how to arrange the rest of the cars so after a bit of a conflab we settled on the layout you saw in my pic in the other thread, so nice one Nick.
I know I'm biased , but the stand did look really, really good - and because we only used it as a car display stand, and not as camping area as well (which we could've) it looked uncluttered and very smart. So a big thank you to everyone that turned up and for those that helped to arrange cars onto the stand.
Sunday for me was just spent chilling and walking around the stand meeting and talking to new people and familiar people alike, seeing more of the show, seeing Ian and Cabby on the Irmscher stand etc. etc. - simply relaxing and enjoying the day. I certainly didn't want a repeat of the previous day!
All too soon the day was heading to an end, so it was time to start disassembling the gazebos, tents etc. and start to head off home. Again, thanks to all that helped with the gazebos etc. and I at least managed to help Mark and Cara with dismantling the trailer tent, along with a few other helpful souls too.
Some had left earlier in the day, so all that was soon left were a few of us packing up the final bits and pieces into our cars. Farewells were bid and we were all soon on our way - me heading North, instead of South normally, as I was heading on up to the NE.
And that was it - Billing for another year! As per my other thread with the pic, it was a superb weekend, thoroughly enjoyed it, great to meet new people and old friends and the stand on the Sunday especially just looked really, really good!
Now the thank you's.......
As covered in other threads, but I want to mention it here again - a massive thank you to Cara for everything that she did in sorting out the passes for you all, working with me with the VBOA stuff, laying on and sorting out all the food for the lunches on Sat/Sun and the BBQ on Sat night and all the organising for that and the multitude of other things that she did to help the weekend run smoothly and enjoyably for everyone. The fact that she did all this when she hasn't been 100% fit is what makes it even more appreciated. I daren't forget to mention Mark who I know was also right behind Cara helping out and supporting and getting stuck in where he could - which was everywhere! To the both of you -
Thank you to everyone else who helped out during the weekend. If I've missed anyone out, my apologies. Thank you to everyone who turned up on the weekend, to the hard work you put into making your cars look superb on the stand and for your general good company.
On the Sunday when we had more cars and more people there, I stood back and felt very proud to be part of this club, and it's why I'm still involved as I am today. Yeah, I know - you won't be getting rid of me for a while! There's just something there that I can't put into words, but this club has it in abundance, and it's all down to the members who are involved. I'll stop there or I'm going to get all tearful and mushy!
Anyway, that's enough of my long waffle. I hope you all had as an enjoyable weekend as I did.
I'm afraid I have no more pics. After my 'little incident' on the Saturday I simply wasn't up to carting my camera around and doing lots of pics. I saw that lots of other people were taking pics and reckoned they'd have it covered - which they did. All I did was make sure I got a nice panoramic pic on the Sunday showing all the cars on the stand. i.e. this one from the other thread......