The Sandtoft Atkinson gathering’s back on!
Posted by Chris Graham on 11th May 2023
We report on the resurrection of the Sandtoft Atkinson Gathering, which will be taking place at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum this July.
Many will remember the Atkinson gatherings that took place in the late 1990s/early 2000s, organised by Ken and Jill Honeybun. Sites for the event varied over the years, with the Botany Bay shopping mill near Chorley, Liverpool waterfront and the Snibston Discovery Park in Leicestershire all hosting the event.
But in more recent years, the gathering hasn’t taken place, although there have been plans to resurrect the event, and the first gathering for a number of years will be taking place later this year.
The man at the forefront of this new event is Atkinson owner and enthusiast Rob Wright. “A number of people were talking about having an Atkinson rally again,” Rob explained. “So I thought that I would try and organise something.” The result was a small gathering that took place at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum, just south of Doncaster. It is an interesting venue to visit, with the museum being founded on its present site in 1969 to house, build and restore trolleybuses which, at the time, had almost disappeared from British streets.
Now the museum houses over 50 vehicles, some of which are in the process of being restored, while others are as good as new, and travel around the museum’s running circuit, with rides available for visitors. With other small attractions including a toy museum and a bicycle workshop on site, it’s a good location. “I got in touch with director Chas Allen about having a gathering there,” Rob continued. “He couldn’t have been more helpful.”
So, in early July, around a dozen Atkinsons turned up for the inaugural two-day Sandtoft Atkinson gathering, “It’s a good site with toilets and showers available for those camping overnight,” Rob continued. One of the highlights though was the vehicles being driven alongside the operating trolleybuses, a challenge that’s not available on the UK roads today.
Sandtoft’s development director, David Chick, was delighted with this first gathering, “It’s always great to have something different,“ he said, “We have lots of space and it was wonderful to have the vehicles visiting us.”
Plans are already in the pipeline for next year, “We will probably do a road run next year,” Rob said, “And we will possibly accept a small number of other makes of vehicle as well.”
So for those interested in bringing a vehicle to this year’s event, the dates to write in your diary are July 1st and 2nd.
For further information you can keep up with proceedings on Facebook by searching for The Annual Sandtoft Atkinson Gathering, while Rob himself can be reached by sending an email to: Roverrob1974@gmail.com
In the meantime, we’ve included a selection of photographs of the vehicles that were in attendance last year.
This report comes from. the latest issue of Classic & Vintage Commercials, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE
Alamo-Rock Island engines