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2012 Coventry Parade Event Report - Sunday 12th August.

It seemed that no sooner had I shut my eyes on Saturday night, I was being greeted by the sound of my 05:00 wake-up call, telling me to get going for the 2012 Warwickshire Section premier event. Now in its 57th consecutive year, the annual Coventry Parade is the most established section event, and is also the most historic annual motoring event in the city of Coventry - no pressure then!
As I wandered to the garden, confident that principal organisers Rob Thomas and I had done a comprehensive job of our “behind the scenes” preparation work, the sky was just colouring pink and, through the hedge, the biggest and brightest star in the galaxy was just showing itself; I felt most honoured and the lovely clear morning provided a therapeutic ride to Coombe Country Park, arriving just after 6am, closely followed by Rob in his faithful van, fully loaded for the day ahead.
Entries for the programme had closed at sixty-six, which was most pleasing, and the good weather encouraged another thirteen entries on the day, giving us a seventy-nine final score.
We were all set up for an eight-thirty start, having been ably assisted by Ken Bromley, Bob Taylor and the glamorous “sign on girls” and were ready to greet the entrants.

The Sign On Girls
The Deputy Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Gary Crookes, arrived with finely honed timing and was provided with a guided tour of the machines, taking a keen interest throughout, particularly in Malcolm Bull’s 1933 Morgan.

First machine away at 11am was the jaw-dropping 1897 Leon Bollée Voiturette, one of the oldest machines on the road in the world today; this year being piloted by Richard Woodcock with his partner Rosie Lee looking both glamorous and radiant in the forecar seat. As is now traditional practice, each machine received a commentary before being flagged off for their road ride by the Mayor.
Rob and I make no secret of our love of pre-war machines and we were pleased with our twenty-four entries in this category, I got particularly hot under the collar about the 1928 overhead camshaft contingent represented by AJS and Humber, and our seven veteran machines were a sight to behold!

Dennis Buxcey at the lunch stop

Once again, riders stopped en-route at Michael and Linda Mahon’s fabulous farmhouse, for a memorable lunch. Michael told me “it’s only a dusty old barn”; but we motorcyclists love dusty old barns especially when they have old bikes hidden in them……or, alternatively, a delicious home-made feast, and what a feast it was- mouth-watering food, prepared over several days with countless hours invested by lots of individuals in the Mahon family, along with real ale and a vast array of soft drinks; we were most honoured and are very grateful.

Michael Mahon about to serve the food

We were even treated to some entertainment in the form of a very well presented Mummers play, which generated plenty of hilarity whilst individual’s lunches and beverages were being digested.

Rosie Lee on the Leon Bollee at the lunch stop

Riders returned to the park for the afternoon, collected their finisher’s award, enjoyed a complementary drink and snack from the organisers and relaxed in the pleasant park venue, whilst their machines were being judged in their various categories.
The award presentation ceremony took place at the end of the afternoon and we were most honoured to be accompanied by Teresa Ireland, daughter of the late great Bob Cain, organiser of the parade in the 1970’s, who duly presented her Father’s cup to the winning machine that she had chosen from the entry, Dave Mac’s fabulous 1911 Rudge being her top choice.

John and Judeth Lycett receiving their prize from Julia Booth

A big thank you to all helpers who did their part to make the event the success that it was: Michael and Linda Mahon and their family and friends, Ken Bromley, Bob Taylor, Peter Booth, Tracey Bellamy, Dave Sketchley, Dave Kendall and of course, a big thank you to the entrants for your support.
Thank you also, to the various individuals who have contacted us, post event, with their positive comments, such action makes all the effort worthwhile – long may it continue!
Voluntary donations for drinks at the Michael and Linda’s raised £122, which we will be giving to Warwickshire Air Ambulance to help support their valuable work.
We are always the second Sunday in August so get your 2013 diary out and mark up the 11th day; we are knocking the door at the sixtieth year and our mission is to get one-hundred entrants in the programme. Thank's to every ones generosity £76 was collected for the Air Ambulance. 
Geoff Booth.

Warwickshire Section of the VMCC