What with coffee and toast, and gossiping on the phone and the computer and in spite of being fully loaded and poised for the off since yesterday – we are going to be setting off late for Peterborough.

It doesn’t really matter, it is only just over an hour away from here and they won’t let us in until about lunch time so really we have plenty of time.  However where you are in the queue dictates how near the buildings you get to park and efficiency can save lugging the stock over much car park.

It is one of those Fairs where you don’t even get to park up whilst you are waiting to unload.  The showground looks as if it is set on an old airfield, whether it is or not I don’t know but there are miles of concrete roadways snaking about all over the site and on these you queue.

Each one of our Dealer tickets has a colour and a number, e.g. Blue 2, find that sign and there you park for your access gate and then when you get inside at about mid-day there is a general scrimmage to get as near the building as possible.

Actually I am quite impressed with the organisation and efficiency that goes into getting a thousand or more dealers and their stock into all the right slots, and within a reasonable amount of time.

Many of the large Fairs have some kind of system like this organised, some are more user-friendly than others but then the site at Peterborough is enormous and easily contains that amount of traffic.  Some of the others, on not such large sites necessitate good timing on the Dealers part, otherwise you find yourself driving around and around on the public roads until they open the gates.  Several hundred vehicles parked up in narrow roads or even main roads for an hour of two, or more can bring all the local traffic to a halt and eventually the Police will move you on.

And arriving at exactly the right time is not always easy, some Dealers travel the whole country.  Timing a long journey minute perfect is impossible and some come from as far away as Scotland, or up from Cornwall.  Those are extremes but even a shorter journey on todays roads and really you just want to park up and get out and get on with the unloading.

And so we are ready, maybe we will see you there!

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