What Should Have Been

By Tom Heavey, Managing Editor

Well this weekend was to have been a busy one for me and I’m sure many other enthusiasts, so while we have nowhere to go, let’s have a look at what could have been.

As I write this I should have been on the red-eye 6.30am flight to the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC in Birmingham; this is a relatively new show and it’s been two years since I was over there, so I was really looking forward to the trip. While not as large as the November show at the NEC, in my opinion this event is every bit as enjoyable, if not even more so. As the name indicates, it’s a restoration show, and everywhere you look there are cars in various states of restoration – we all love looking at a freshly-painted shell, or a crusty barn-find that’s awaiting an eager pair of hands, and at this show you will find it all, as you can see from my photos from my last visit. There were many clubs on hand, all with restoration projects on their stands, and the great thing was that they were actually working on the cars while at the show; you can get up very close to these in-progress restorations and talk to owners and those carrying out the work. They are always eager to have a chat. And, the autojumble and trade stand area of the event is totally focused on restoration work, so you are sure to find something to bring home.

The last time I attended the event our good friends from Carole Nash had a barn-find display that was the highlight of the show for me, and of course their brand ambassador, Fuzz Townshend was on hand for a chat. I comfortably saw the entire show in one day, and was surprised at how many Irish had made the trip on the Friday, as thanks to Ryanair you can get over and back in a day-trip for great value if you book on time.

I’m really disappointed that the Practical Classics Restoration Show had to be postponed this year due to the COVID-19 virus, but the good news is it’s only postponed to the 7th to 9th of August. So, if you like what you see here, why not book yourself a flight? More details on the show can be found here: NECRESTORATIONSHOW.COM

Photos from my 2017 trip to the Practical Classics Restoration Show


Closer to home, this weekend we should have had two great autojumbles taking place, and if I hadn’t enough after Birmingham I was going to head to the Castleinch venue in Kilkenny for the autojumble tomorrow, Saturday the 28th of March. This was a super jumble back in October, and while footfall was low the quality of the jumble was excellent, and a great day was enjoyed by all. I love the Castleinch venue because of the great facilities both indoor and outdoor, and the great breakfast in the restaurant of course!  Watch out for their October event, which will be well worth a trip.

Then on Sunday all roads should have led to what is certainly one of the best autojumbles in the country, the Breffni Vintage Club’s event in Cavan. Again, this is one I have missed for about three years now, but was all on for going this year until Mr Covid intervened. The Breffni Club’s autojumble always attracts a very strong footfall and lots of stands, often up on a hundred or so, as quite often you have individual club members take a stand to sell off a few bits from their shed just to take part – they are not traders, but more like car boot sellers at an autojumble, so there’s always lots treasure at this one. 

We can only think of what might have been this weekend. There are more important things going on right now, and we all need to play our part in keeping safe and slowing the spread of this horrible virus. I do hope you are all keeping safe, and sure it’s a great time to tidy the shed or use that important piece you bought at the last autojumble…. TOM HEAVEY