Good crowd for Wheelie Good Bike Show

The Wheelie Good Bike Show returned to Newton Stewart on Sunday thanks to the local Rotary Club and local support.

The bikes enjoyed a ride-in from New Galloway before parading through Newton Stewart and parking up at the Riverside Car Park for sepctators to view.

Bikers head in to park up after the ride-in from New Galloway

Bikers head in to park up after the ride-in from New Galloway

The rain didn’t dampen spirits and organisers are already looking to next year for a repeat of the event.

Rotary spokesman David Inglis said: “Now that the 2015 Wheelie Good Bike Show is behind us we can reflect on the event and begin planning for 2016.

“We will learn from our mistakes, we did make a few, and we will work hard to make the event bigger, better and more sustainable for future years. We have had lots of feedback, both positive and negative, but generally the event seems to have been well received by bikers, businesses and the public. The suggestion by the local police to move the event to the town car park, although not to everyone’s taste, didn’t seem to detract from the overall enjoyment of those attending and the site offered a great deal more room to provide some entertainment on the day and also offers room for expansion in future years. Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by this over the weekend.

“The event, although run by The Rotary Club of Newton Stewart, was supported by a number of local clubs and groups. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Newton Stewart Initiative, Newton Stewart Golf Club, Galloway Thistle, 41 Club, Machars Car Club, The Galloway Hillbillies, Creebridge House Hotel, Newton Stewart Players, Galloway Mountain Rescue, Frank Dickinson of the British Motorcycle Federation, Jim McDowall for being our compare and Brian Fergusson of Kirkcowan Cycles for running the junior treasure hunt and many friends and family of Rotary members and many friends and family of Rotary members. Also thanks to Heather Vance and 3b Construction for both practical and financial sponsorship, much appreciated help from a local company getting behind another local event.

“The Wheelie Good Bike Show is a community event and as such anyone can become involved in the planning and running of the day. Rotary would welcome any input from the public or the business sector who have been positively or adversely affected by the event. A meeting will be arranged shortly for people to come along and air their views and volunteer to help next year.

“The amount to be donated to the Riders for Health charity will be announced in the next few weeks but it is expected to be in the region of £900. The balance raised will go to Rotary charities over the next year.

“Personally, I would like to thank everyone involved in the event this year and I look forward to helping arrange The Wheelie Good Bike Show on the first Sunday in August 2016.”

Some comments were made on social media about the £3 charge introduced this year instead of a donation.

Mr Inglis explained the rasoning behinf the change, saying: “It was initially intended to simply collect donations at the gates in order to pay for the event and collect money for Riders for Health and Rotary charities. It was decided that a suggested donation figure be set at £3.00 with children gaining entry free which we felt was reasonable.

“Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and members of the public the cost was kept to a minimum. You cannot provide a days entertainment in the town without incurring costs which have to be covered.

“After discussions with the police it was decided the car park would be less obstructive to the town in general and be more easily policed. It also offered a larger arena to be able to offer more entertainment on the day in an effort to try to keep people in the town for as long as possible. The general feedback we have received is that the venue was ideal and left scope for expansion of the Wheelie Good Bike Show in future years.

“Rotary were asked to step in and help run the event a few years ago and stepped in again this year after it fell through last year so it has been a huge learning curve for us all. Anyone who feels they have something to offer by way of advice or practical help I would ask that they contact myself or any other Rotarian for inclusion on the organising committee next year.”