This year our intention had been to take this event to Wales for the first time, but after a number of problems in obtaining a suitable venue we were forced to settle on a Bristol harbourside location at the last minute - or so we thought. Then, with only a few weeks to go, the venue informed us that they had received notification of a road closure on the day of our visit and at this point it looked as though we would have to abandon the meeting after all. However, a call to the STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, revealed that they had a date available and would be happy for us to occupy their frontage, so with some hurried notifications circulated as widely as possible we were back in business.
After a prolonged period of unsettled weather things began to look up during the week leading up to the event and on the day we were blessed with clear sky and warm sunshine. We were a little apprehensive that such a late date and location change might have an adverse effect on the number of entrants able to attend, but in the event we actually ended up needing rather more than our allocated area as a fine and diverse selection of two- and four-wheeled Italian transport put in an appearance.
With the most interesting STEAM museum and its cafe on one hand and the Designer Outlet Shopping Centre, the National Trust Heelis Building and the outdoor Farmers Market on the other there was indeed something to interest everyone, not forgetting our gathering which encompassed the very rare to the rather more common.
The atmosphere was -as ever- relaxed and informal and a few attenders were singled out as being particularly appealing to the organisers and so received awards; these are shown below.
Many thanks to all of those who took the trouble to share their vehicles with us, particularly at such short notice, and special thanks to the STEAM museum for enabling the event to take place.