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War and peace 2017 ?

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Well said Bernard! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Another innovative feature that John Allison introduced first last year was the Gentleman's Marquee, an excellent idea and we frequented it in the evenings for chat and drinks with friends in nice surroundings. The toilet issue has been blown up out of all proportions, I had nothing to complain about. We should congratulate John on bringing the show back to Beltring, although I did like Folkestone, but its future was curtailed by council plans for building in the area. There was a very good number of 'new' vehicles at the show this year. Looking forward to next year.


regards, Richard


I completely agree.


We all know by now the toilets can be improved so I think we should now focus on trying to come up with workable suggestions instead of describing the same problem over and over again, which will only ensure everything we say will be completely ignored by the organization, and rightly so.


We will have to start thinking as an entrepreneur for this, as for us this is just a hobby but the organizer will need to make a profit or the show will over, it's as simple as that. So the central question is how to get the best possible toilets for the least amount of money? This is a different question than how to get ANY toilet for the least amount of money though.


So, my suggestion as I already wrote is to use the toilet blocks/trailers (rather than the individual toilets) as used in Folkstone and concentrate them per field in 1 or 2 locations to keep the number of cleaners needed down. This is more efficient (and thus cheaper) in manhours while these blocks are easier and quicker to keep clean than the separate toilet units used this year. In Folkstone they were concentrated too and I think most here will agree they were as good and clean as you could reasonably expect. Part of this is because those block toilets would actually flush into a shared waste unit, which makes emptying them also more efficient.


I could be wrong but I think the cost is not so much the difference in hiring the blocks vs. individual units, but the manhours required to clean and empty them. If those can be cut back enough we will have made significant progress.


I like this show. It is my yearly vacation and I like to go through the stalls, walk around the living history and vehicles, talk with friends and even have a spare hour to read a book sometimes. The sheer size and variety is part of the attraction and I would be very sad to see it go.

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...... The toilet issue has been blown up out of all proportions, ....


Agreed - the only one I visited (on Thursday morning) certainly had evidence of a recent explosion inside :n00b:


We were chatting with a tank collector (Rod) and his wife visiting from Australia while waiting in the line - whatever would they have thought had they needed to use them......



So with thoughts of constructive comments / ideas, try this one and the accompanying reasoning for size:


The main concern seems to be keeping an adequate number of units - of acceptable design and suitably located - clean and regularly emptied.


However the site does not lend itself to ease of access to remote groups of toilets due to the potential for roadways to become impassable by road-going tankers should the dreaded Beltring sticky strike hard.


So a contractor looking to offer a service will have to factor in possible extra costs to reach units if roadways deteriorate. OK this can of course be overcome (at great expense) by providing off-road emptiers to shuttle between groupings and road-going tankers.


But what if the organiser could guarantee a satisfactory number of units well maintained, albeit perhaps a bit further away than folk might ideally like, but located to ensure access by cleaning vehicles?


This way the cost can be kept to a minimum by using larger tankers, more efficient cleaning regimes, and regular servicing can be ensured without any excuse from the contractor that conditions prevented access at the critical time.


This would minimise cost to organiser, and guarantee users a queue-free clean facility - at the cost to users of having to walk further / scrounge a lift on a Sherman to get to them.


Would that be too much of a compromise to make for a workable solution?


Also give some consideration to providing a few individual facilities for those with mobility issues like .303fan who struggle to get around!


Actually this is pretty much just what earlymb is suggesting in his post above!

Edited by N.O.S.
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Thinking about the mud issue -


If using trailer type units flushing into a common tank as ealrymb suggests, these can be emptied with standard truck vacuum tankers. So in a well-thought out and well-executed 'facilities management plan', the only uncertainty is the weather.


In the event that rain caused access issues for the tankers, would there be enough willing helpers with big trucks (Explorers/WLFs) / tracked machines who might be prepared to tow the road tankers in and out from the hard surfaced roadways if necessary? It probably wouldn't be more than once / twice a day and then only of course if conditions are slippery.


Towing would not be a problem for the road tankers if it is simply a traction issue on slippery surfaces - however deep ruts might render this solution unacceptable due to risk of damaging the trucks.


I know, I know - 'liability issues', 'why should we tow when we're paying for the service'.....

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Is this level of support by MVers even necessary? I don't know enough about what resources are available to the organiser at the Hop Farm - if he has the use of a v.large 4x4 tractor or similar then presumably towing could routinely be handled 'in house', leaving only very occasional extreme conditions when big MV help might be required?

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I feel its a bit unfair to say he does not care Rambo. As earlymb said - its a change in thinking required. Under Rex it was a show for us with the public as the add on. Now under the new guy the paying public are the be all, possibly the end all. He has experience in shows - running the shooting ones - so providing toilets should not be a new experience (showers probably are) and being charitable it is likely he placed a contract for X number of units. Being a business person the contract went to the lowest bidder. Hopefully lessons will be learnt and next year it will go to the lowest bidder with acceptable units. :) Lets be honest - toilets have been a perennial problem at W&P since I can remember.


There are some good ideas on here as to how to alleviate some of the problems like concentrating into blocks as at Folkestone and having more disabled units. Maybe the ground conditions at Beltring - esp in Lower Monktons - lend themselves to more frequent emptying by smaller, lighter units? Or a self-powered trailer could be provided and a more suitable vehicle used to pull it around emptying the units?


What would be a positive step would I think be if either the new owner, or one of his people given authority to speak for him, was on here and a positive dialogue could be established. Rightly or wrongly the new guy has given the impression he doesn't care overly much about the MV owners and their needs/wants. Some else has said there is a "take it or leave it" atmosphere felt to be prevalent. If that is indeed incorrect dispelling it would go a long way to restoring the harmony between the guy running the show and those actually giving him a show to run.

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Hello Neil.


Your summation pretty much nails it.


Either the new owner needs to engage in some PR and admit he got it wrong and will remedy it for next year or not......


Your comment about "take it or leave it" is 3rd or even 4th hand info, but if correct does not auger well for the future.

It would be a shame to see it degenerate into just a re-enactor meet combined with a county fair.


I really do get the impression that whilst it is still the biggest meet, this is due to a mixture of inertia, loyalty, tradition and nostalgia (I fall into that last category as a previous visitor). But nature abhors a vacuum and at some point one of the other shows may get the "we can out Beltring Beltring" desire and step up.

Or maybe not, maybe there is not another Rex out there who wants to take on the hassle, of doing it from a "hobby" outlook that paid its own way: maybe we have seen it at its best.

All businesses have their rise, apex and decline. Beltring appears now to be just another business, one with a captive clientelle - but for how long?


Time will tell.




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Seems to have taken a long time for positive comments to arrive and very welcome they are.




If "the show must go on" then it aint going to happen with only negative views and 'mud Slinging' (pun intended) doesn't help.


My worst complaint was the mixed weather until someone on here, much wiser than me, pointed out the conditions that soldiers had to endure so that freedom loving sprogs like me can complain about getting a bit damp. Certainly puts it into perspective.


I had no problem with 'Flapless' loo's. The block I used were cleaned thoroughly and regularly despite the muddy conditions and the old adage 'Don't look down' comes to the fore. and of course 'Timing' is everything



Where flaps and a rudimentary flush lever are fitted these tend to 'cake' up and in my opinion are worse.

As for the state of the toilets then the fact is that it is 'us' using them not the organisers.


I really enjoyed the show and it seems odd that here we are taking about toilets when there was so much other entertainment


I really hope the powers that be read some of this as it could be seen as priceless market research without the 'He don't care' attitude. Everybody cares if someone is saying something useful.

Edited by alixcompo
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So standard W&P then. I went there on the Wednesday for a meeting and actually was surprised by the nice vibe - folks seem to be happy with the show being back at roots.


I agree with everyone's point about the Great Dorset Steam Fair - every show could learn something from those guys - it's an amazing show.


I hope the new owner sorts the loo problem out as by the sounds of it the show would be perfect.

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