Events: Chelsea Hopkins – Swansea’s Classics in the City

The day started with a brilliant mood that you get in Wales when the sky is blue – I arrived around 9am, by which time about 5 other cars had already taken their places, despite being instructed to arrive at 9:10am. It felt odd driving into the city centre so early in the morning, onto the paved street reserved for pedestrians. I parked up, leaving a space or two between my 4 door Mog and my friend Ashley’s van.

The cars started rolling in, shiny and clean… well mostly. Some had made the trip down the M4 and encountered the inevitable motorway dirt. This was quickly wiped off as the owners got settled. The sky faded from blue to greyish drab by 10am, just as everybody got parked up in time. A beautiful glistening array of over 80 cars, and only a few of the usual suspects doubled up; the Morris’ the Minis and the Beetles. A Herbie replica took pride of place next to the merry-go-round outside MacDonalds.

So apart from the nasty little drizzle around 2pm, the day went smoothly. I amused myself by talking to the owners and taking photographs of the people who had just popped into town for a shopping trip and ended up in the middle of a car show! There were a few curious young lads who asked me if  Simon Bromhams’s Britax Replica was for sale – I told them it was, for £200,000 and all the fluff from their pockets!

A particular favourite of mine was this deep red Jensen Interceptor – I spoke with the owner about it and he says he used to have three! He had a set of paintings he’d had commissioned of the car and happily showed me them.

Another highlight of the day was watching those making their way into town to watch the Wales match in the afternoon – entering town they were all lairy and loud as you’d expect from sports fans, though they all made a very obvious effort to walk around the cars carefully and some even stopped to ask questions! It was lovely seeing people who aren’t used to seeing classics up close stopping and being surprised by their presence.

I also made a few videos of the day, but this one is my favourite. Just before I clicked record, these kids had been running around the remaining cars (around 4:45pm, after official ending time) and shouting at each other not to touch! “Don’t touch don’t touch!” I couldn’t help but film them exploring mine.

Overall it was a wonderful day with a nice relaxed atmosphere – we showed new people into the world and hopefully sparked something in those kid’s brains! Perhaps future classic owners? Who knows. All I know is I really enjoyed it and will be returning on the 17th of June for the main event.

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