There aren’t many shows I haven’t attended now and last Sunday I ticked another off the list as I ventured to Mini Fair; the annual indoor event run by the British Mini Club.
Bingley Hall in Staffordshire becomes host to hundreds of Mini enthusiasts dying to get the show season started. The show has always been known for being an excellent place for classic owners to grab a bargain to sort out their pride and joy. However, there’s more to it than that as there is a Pride of Ownership area for Classic and Modern MINIs as well as dedicated areas for some club stands to display. You could even enter to win a Mini for just £1.
The turn of driving this long journey had fallen to Keith Burton with his tuned up MINI; RJ. As I had been his driver for two events last year it meant I had the privilege of being his passenger. Just like every other journey we make together, the Mini spotting game was as hot as ever but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you who won of course and I was even the first to spot some F56’s being tested on the A34 and M40!
As we arrived the marshals directed us to the Mini only parking area. Due to the recent miserable winter weather, the grass parking area looked like something out of a Glastonbury festival! At this point I felt pleased that we hadn’t used Stripes, as I can’t stand getting muck under my wheel arches! Poor RJ. I have promised to help give him a good valet session before Brooklands though!
The queue proved how ‘hardcore’ us Mini owners are, not only with the large number of us there but as it was so wet and extremely cold too. As usual, I was dressed for summer weather in my shorts (The summer is coming! I’m just ready before everyone else!) This not only makes me easy to spot with my huge hair accompanying the look but it gets people talking.
Once inside I headed off on the hunt for cleaning products; I really need to calm my cleaning obsession, before making my way to the Pride of Ownership area as that had some fabulous Modern MINIs on display owned by a few familiar faces.
Steve Moore started off the line up but for the first time in 8 years he didn’t have his GP but instead his wife’s Blue R52. Steve is such a bubbly person to talk to and you just can’t help but smile as you talk to him. He has tons of tips and tricks that he was willing to share with me; cheers for helping out with my obsession!
Alongside him was Sally MacPherson with her Mighty White R56. She later won the award in the Modern MINI category, which is well deserved, as she had put so much effort into her presentation and her passion for MINI is obvious.
Also in the line up was Natasha Sharpe with her unique sticker bombed yellow R50. You really can’t miss this MINI and she is definitely a great example of how you can make your MINI stand out from the crowd and reflect your personality.
Although the weather was acting truly British and the ‘car park’ looked more like a farmyard, I couldn’t bare not photographing the treasures out there. Shorts and high-heeled wedge shoes are not ideal for walking or kneeling down in mud. I wouldn’t advise it unless you are totally mad like me.
A number of Minis caught my eye out there but particularly the creation of Paul James, whose colour contrasting could be spotted from miles away.
Events like this prove that owning a Classic Mini is still possible as there are so many traders and parts still around as well as proving that the Mini spirit is still around. At this show I did notice a fair few traders and sellers specialising with Modern MINI parts too and I believe that this will grow especially now as some of the MINIs will be coming up to 13 years old now.
To finish with, a huge thank you to the British Mini Club for all their hard work in creating and evolving events like this one. Additionally, if you have or are thinking about owning a Classic Mini it really is possible to keep it running and in the future, shows like this are bound to have more and more parts for the Modern MINI too.
Check out Sammieee’s gallery of photos here.
Mini Madness is a product of SammieeePhotography and Joe Steel Art and Photography. We bring Mini imaging from a range of Mini and classic car events.