Braunton Wheels Extravaganza

Report by CWO Hoole

The Wheels Extravaganza is run every year at the Braunton Recreation Ground, usually on the last Sunday in July. The theme of the event, as you may well gather from the name, is the display of all things wheel-based. Vehicles, new and old, are brought from all over the country to be put on display or entered into the various competitions during the day. Ranging from vintage cars to the latest sports cars, motorbikes to fire engines; if it has wheels, it'll be on display.

Not that having wheels is a necessity to be involved: many other stalls and displays are also scattered around the site to appeal to those who aren't as obsessed with transport: bouncy castles, shooting stalls, food stalls, and even a karaoke machine are all run during the day.

Chivenor ATC are asked every year to assist on the gates, asking for donations towards the event (visitors cannot be charged since the event is on public land) and handing out programmes. In return for our services, we are allowed to bring our recruiting stand, which also doubles as our control point, to advertise the Squadron and raise some funds for ourselves.

The day usually starts around 10am, when we arrive and set up the caravan. Then at about 10:30 we begin work on the gates, while two or three cadets man our stall. During the day, the cadets are rotated around, being moved from gate to gate and periodically rested where possible, although resources are often stretched and cadets may spend over 2 hours on one shift. The Extravaganza usually runs through until about 4pm, when the crowds start to thin out. This means that we are usually finished by about 4:30, at which point we dismantle the caravan and disperse from the site.