1948 was an especially good year. A Welshman by the name of Aneurin Bevan formed the NHS, the future Prince of Wales was born, and The Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagan opens its gates for the first time. But what trumps all of that? Land Rover was born from a sketch drawn on the beach at Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey. With the first model 80in launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show on April 30th, it soon took the world by storm.
Just like that first launch all the way back in 1948 the first Welsh Festival of Land Rovers was an astounding success. The display came together better than we ever imagined it would and combined with the events and facilities that the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Spring Festival has to offer this has the potential to become a future kingpin of Land Rover displays in Wales. The Food Hall and Street Food areas provided ample and varied lunching opportunities and there were of course various excellent bars and restaurants dotted about the showground that stayed open until late in the evening on the Friday and Saturday.
The display had it all (well almost), a 1949 Land Rover right through to a 2018 Evoque and everything in between from an Armoured Personal Carrier, one of only 2 left in existence we’re told, to a home-built 6×6 Defender that’s on the verge of a round the world trip. A dormobile that really is a home from home, a good range of Series vehicles from very early 1’s through to 3’s and many, many more too.
The build up to the event in the week before the show was fast paced and exciting. Making sure everyone had received their tickets and that everyone knew how to get onto the display once they had entered the showground. The ticketing system for exhibitors at the RWAS shows is something to be mastered so making sure everyone knew which ticket they needed and when was paramount. On Saturday morning when the two late arrivals turned up pre-8 before gates closed and bollards were erected, we could finally relax a little happy in the knowledge that everyone had turned up, been put in their respective places and the display was ready to rock and roll.
There was however still the small matter of our grand arena display scheduled for 5:15 on the Saturday. That was a task that SWLRC’s Andy had chosen to take on and what a sterling job he made of it. He spent most of Saturday selecting vehicles and interviewing drivers, he prepared movement plans and organised marshals. The parade lapped the main arena with a sense of pride and Andy proceeded to interview drivers as he worked along the line-up of 18 Land Rovers that were bathed in glorious afternoon sunshine.
At this point I should like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone involved. All the members of the South Wales Land Rover Club for helping on the day and in particular the working group of Andy Kendall, Marc Andrews, Gary Thompson, Angela Forster, Pete Phillips and Dave & Wendy Gibbins for bringing it all together. The exhibitors that turned up to make the display the spectacle it was. The Royal Welsh Society for letting us hold the event and take over a rather large corner of their showground. Likes Land Rover for loaning us the Evoque for the arena parade and of course all those visitors that came to view the vehicles. Massive thanks to you all for without you this would never have come to fruition.