The Sweet (part 2)
Saturday morning arrived all to soon and this was going to be killer of a day, 9 to 6.30 I virtually never left the stand at all. Like a regimented soldier I stood on duty, One of the other exhibitors had a spare chair which they lent to me and was a real life saver. My feet were killing me and so was my throat. I went in via a different route and took more pictures of different cars.
Saturday evening I popped round to see the Mustang Owners Club Of Great Britain to say hello while they were resting after a busy day too.
The Super Sweet
Later in the day there was a little group of people following a lovely model around, and I thought to myself, “I hope that lot comes over here, otherwise I will miss them”. They did more than that. The photographer approached me and said they wanted to take some pictures of the model with my car. I wasn’t going to say no was I? It turned out the model was absolutely fantastic with a great sense of humour and she kindly allowed me to take pics as well looking at me rather than her official photographer. I took rather a lot of photo’s should we say, hoping to get that one great photo.
Thanks to this lovely lady and model who had time for me at my car, she was professional, funny and courteous. The only down side? I hade to wipe the finger prints of my car. Such was the sacrifice I made in the name of my car.
On the Sunday mornin’ we finished an hour earlier and was also the award day. A good friend of mine Chris Tilley came to replace me by the car so I could have a look around, which was very kind of thim, thank you Chris. I was off like a ferret on a scent looking for more pics. I found the Classic American stand and the car I like the most won it and well deserved, what an amazing car.
I found my friends at Meguiar’s
Then a random selection of some cars that took my eye.
Then a new Hyper car LM69 costing a huge £1m based on the Jaguar XJ13 body and engine.
And the driving position of this car was just mad, almost laying down, lower than a GT40.
The award was to be voted for by the public, there is a voting form with all the cars on from the stand. You picked your favourite car and you put your name on the back, posted and job done. These forms were on the voting booths with Lancaster staff manning them to help along with trying to also get people to win a car competition. The little white boxed stand had a letter box style opening in the middle that was regularly emptied during the show days. Here is that form;
There was a winner and two runners up which were to be announced at 2pm on the Sunday. The winner getting a year free insurance and a glass trophy, all very exciting. The pink Morris Minor (one million edition – not the one millionth car) won the show, with the MX5 in second and the BMW in third place. The fact that I didn’t place wasn’t a problem as I enjoyed my time there taking part in a great show – I MUST stress that point again and a superb experience weekend.
BUT – and a very big but…
I have seriously thought very long & hard about this next section and I need your help with it.
Do I leave it here or Remove it?
There was a covering email sent out to the entrants, for joining the show with this clause;
“It’s up to you if you stay with your car the whole weekend or not. Some owners like to stay and chat to visitors, even campaigning as visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite car of the 20 displayed. However, we have had issues with cheating and complaints in the past so please familiarise yourself with the attached terms of entry. Its important we all play nice and enter into the spirit of the event. Those who don’t and breach the T&Cs will be asked to leave the show.”
Those terms and conditions are as follows:
“Terms and Conditions:
Votes will be counted and verified by Clarion Events Ltd and the organisers decision is final.
Clarion Events Ltd will not contribute to any transportation or accommodation costs for entrants.
A car can only be entered once in a three-year period
An owner can enter one car per year, but can enter a different car each year.
While the owners can engage and campaign with other entrants and visitors, any form of intimidation, cheating, derogatory remarks or bad mouthing is not tolerated and those involved will be disqualified and asked to leave.
This is not a concours competition. However, Concours winning cars are welcome to enter but should not expect to be judged in the same way.
The competition is presented in the spirit of like-minded enthusiasts coming together to celebrate their vehicles and entrants are asked to keep this in mind when joining the competition.”
Bearing in mind the above statements let me explain a little more, then you can make your own minds up. Perhaps I should just let it go, or try and expose what I saw and witnessed along with others on the stand. This is a true statement:
Friday morning the box of voting forms were brought down to the stand and placed on stand up tables. At which point things immediately started to go wrong. The owner of the Minor took a wad about an inch thick and literally run of with them to club stands, a little later on similar thing happened again. At this point it was mentioned in conversation to the organisers.
I will refer to the organisers as ‘They’ to protect their anonymity, I’m not out to embarrass them, but it was mainly one person in charge.
Then I saw the forms being pre filled in with his own car ticked, when he spoke to people he gave them his pre completed form to be posted at the same time as the person’s own vote. This was on the Friday when I sent messages to highlight the problem as They were not about to see it. Noted here on the Friday messages.
Saturday there was more incidents and there was a large wad of forms placed in the box. This was formally mentioned to the Lancaster people and They when we saw them. Not just by me complaining, but others as well who witnessed it.
Sunday morning I arrived early to catch the owner with a few voting slips taken from the stands an being filled in at a table. I took a photo as he was scrolling through his phone for contacts to fill in. Note; the sideways picture shows the back of the voting slip. The slips shouldn’t even be there.
Again They were notified by various entrants and complained bitterly. Another entrant was told around lunch time that he and another were going to be disqualified. Maybe told that to us to keep us quiet? I don’t just don’t know, we were then a lot happier that we were on a level playing field for all of us.
At 2pm a celeb who doesn’t need to be mentioned (who obviously had nothing to do with it), gave the usual speech, plugged his tv show etc and then gave the winning award to the Morris Minor. Immediately after the prize giving I showed the picture to Lancaster and told them we had complained about the cheating. The head of the Lancaster I spoke to wasn’t interested and said to me, “I know nothing about it and I just write the checks.” I showed him the photo and screen shots he walked away.
I immediately texted They and sent the picture to which the second screen shot of the messages shows you. They response was obvious this:
“We’ve discounted all the forms that we can see are clearly cheating, same handwriting etc.”
So They did know of the cheating yet allowed the entrants to continue. Thus, They condone cheating entries as They didn’t disqualify him or the other entrant that we didn’t have as much proof only witnesses and verbal communication.
We remained respectful for the presentations like good sports for the event. However after a number of complaints made after the awards I showed the Morris Minors Owner Club the evidence to which they denied it but didn’t look shocked. The Lancaster representative went over to the Morris Owners and apologise for the ‘confusion’.
After a little research on the Lancaster Website this can be found:
“Lancaster Insurance has announced that it will be widening its Morris Minor schemes, further strengthening its association with the marque. The scheme, which is now live, is available for all Morris Minor enthusiasts, of all ages, who use their Morris Minor as a second vehicle with limited mileage.
Additionally Morris Minors Owners Club members will be able to take further advantage of the scheme with up to a 25% premium discount available for members as well as the option for multi vehicle, providing one is a Morris Minor.
Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager for Lancaster Insurance, comments: “Here at Lancaster we have a close affinity to Morris Minors, with our Car Club Manager even owning several over the years. We’re delighted to be able to arrange cover for all ages providing they are using it in a cherished way.”
So perhaps this is a genuine misunderstanding for Lancaster, maybe they chose to ignore it not wanting bad publicity for a scheme they have.
I will never insure with a company that knowingly knew of cheating but didn’t take steps to follow their own terms and conditions. Remember;
“any form of intimidation, cheating, derogatory remarks or bad mouthing is not tolerated”
I hope this guy can live with himself for knowing that he won only because he cheated!
As this gets posted today, I have also sent an email to Richard Morley the Operations Director for Lancaster Insurance on 14 November 2019 at 13:47
As yet there has been no response from Lancaster Insurance. If I do get a response I will post my email and their response too.
So there you have it, the sting in the tail was deeply troubling and uncomfortable as he was the car next to mine. That’s how I KNOW what went on as he was only a few feet away from me. The atmosphere after the awards on the stand you could cut with a knife, the winning owner disappeared for a while too, perhaps he was busy doing things.
I didn’t enjoy typing that report at all, I take no pleasure from it. But, if he admits he cheated then he is better man than I thought. Not for one minute do I think that will ever be the case though.
Am I a bad person for bringing this up and maybe bringing the show into disrepute? I suspect I will now be black listed for any awards or magazine articles, Not that I care. I’m not in it for trophies (although I have three now but have never posted about them), I just enjoy my car. The Morris Minor club is one of the biggest in the country and that has a lot of weight behind it with all it’s members.
I will say that I am a man of principles – I played fair and I expect others to do the same, after all it’s in black and white that we had to play nice before the show started. I was going to frame my certificate (as we all did), I got for the show as a finalist, but now I when I see it I can’t help but think of the man that got away with cheating at the biggest car show in the country. That grates on me big time. That certificate is now in the bottom of a draw and I doubt it will come out again.
Sour grapes for not winning? Nope not at all, I don’t like cheats. I had a blast all weekend I even met an elderly chap (like me now) with the same surname as me, he also has a 1964 Mustang. What are the chances of that? 😀
Like I said a number of times, a fantastic weekend wonderful people, some great chats, I put faces to names I have often heard about. The Mustang Owners Club visited me, and for some it got better as I lost my voice!
I am also a bit upset that the lovely model is having to sit within the same post as such terrible reporting of the show’s last few hours.