Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Stars of Sandstone 2017

22nd June 2016
To Members of the SAVTEC Coordinating Committee

Stars of Sandstone 2017 (30th March – 9th April)
SAVTEC’s participation: Bulletin No 1
Dear Committee Members,
I trust that this first bulletin finds you all well and in good spirits.
Recap to Date
Allow me to recap on proceedings thus far:
At the 2015 SAVTEC Board Meeting it was agreed that the 2017 National show was to be hosted by Noord Wes Tractor Club and that they will host the event at the school grounds in Klerksdorp. 22nd to 24th September 2017
It was further agreed that although SAVTEC would not hold the National Show at Sandstone Estates to coincide with the Stars of Sandstone (SoS) International Show, SAVTEC and its members would support the show and use the opportunity to showcase SAVTEC.
A committee was formed to coordinate SAVTEC”s involvement at the show. The committee is comprised of all the SAVTEC Club Chairmen, and is chaired by myself, Les Maker.
On Saturday 20th February, myself and Koos Strydom met Wilf Mole and Chris Wilson at Sandstone Estates. A very pleasant day was had by all including a walk-through of some of the tractor sheds, military vehicle sheds and the locomotive sheds. Discussions were had on how SAVTEC and its members can enjoy an experience of a life time, and provide assistance in making the show bigger and better than ever before.
Koos indicated that he plans to hold the final of the South African Ploughing Associations 2016/17 competition at Sandstone during SoS
A number of communications have taken place between Wilf, Chris and myself since that meeting in February, where we have now defined the various levels of involvement by SAVTEC and its members.

Before highlighting the various roles available to SAVTEC members let us briefly understand what the Stars of Sandstone is all about.

Stars of Sandstone
The show will run from 30th March to 9th April 2017 (11 days). It is probably the biggest multifaceted vintage equipment show in the southern hemisphere.  Multifaceted because it includes a large variety of working vintage equipment from different walks of life. These include:
Vintage agricultural equipment both steam and ICE driven.
Horse and oxen drawn equipment, carts and wagons
Vintage farming vehicles (bakkies and lorries)
A large variety of stationary engines
A variety of steam powered railroad engines with wagons and carriages and an 26 km narrow gauge track to run them on
A large collection of working vintage military vehicles
A number of vintage earthmoving machines
An air display of vintage bi-planes is put on daily by an aeronautical club
The ambiance of the whole show is complimented by visiting car clubs.
The show will be attended by 4 large groups of International steam and vintage enthusiasts who will be able to enjoy the show by participating in much of the action as passengers and provision will be made for photographic enthusiasts to capture special shots of steam engines, vintage equipment, military vehicles, etc.
Sandstone Estates have a large collection of their own vintage equipment which have been gathered over the years eg over 300 tractors, over 60 stationary engines, approximately 10 vintage earthmovers and approximately 20 military vehicles.
A major problem facing the organisers is to establish a group of competent personnel to run the various bits of equipment.

SAVTEC’s Involvement
So how can the members of SAVTEC assist in making the 2017 show an even bigger success than what the previous shows have been?

After careful consideration it is proposed to divide the SAVTEC member’s participation into 4 distinct categories. These are:
Category 1 Drivers
These will include those members who wish to drive or operate a vintage item of equipment. This can include: tractors, farm vehicles, military equipment, steam vehicles, earthmoving equipment etc. ie any mobile piece of equipment which you have the competency to drive or operate.
Category 2 Stationary Engine Operators
This will include our Stationary Engine members who wish to assist in running the 60 odd stationary engines during the show.
Category 3 Personal Collection Exhibitors
Although Sandstone Estates have a large variety of equipment, it is believed that amongst the SAVTEC membership there are personal collections of easily transportable items which will provide an interesting display to enhance the quality of the show. In addition past National show winners and runners up could be show cased to show the levels of restoration being achieved in S Africa. A SAVTEC information stand could be manned explaining the SAVTEC organization, web page etc.
Category 4 SAVTEC Visitors
It is appreciated by the organisers that many SAVTEC members, due to work commitments or personal reasons would not be in a position to fall into Category 1, 2 or 3, but would like to visit the show for a day or two. The organisers have thus created a special dispensation to accommodate these members.
Category 1, 2 & 3 members will be entitled to enjoy free entry and free camping/caravanning facilities for member and spouse. Member will receive 3 meals per day provided at the Sandstone canteen. Meals will be available for purchase by spouses if required or self-catering is always an option.
Category 4 members will be entitled to entry at a discounted fee of R200/day (Normal fee R500/day). Camping or caravanning facilities will be available for a once off fee of R50 per site regardless of length of stay. Meals will be available for purchase from a variety of outlets.
The S o S organisers have offered limited assistance in the transportation of member’s items which are deemed to add value to the show. This could either be in the form of physical transport or financial assistance. They are prepared to fund two trips in whichever direction subject to their lowbed delivering something in that direction and returning empty. Their lowbed can take 5 tractors. We will see what response is received in the Applications before finalizing transport arrangements.

Members will, via the Application form accompanying this bulletin, apply to be included under one of the categories 1 to 3. Applications will be forwarded via each club chairman to myself. Chris Wilson and myself will then set up teams of operators/drivers/stationary engine operators and adjudicate for acceptance the offers in Category 3
This is an 11 day show and it is understandable that many members will find it difficult to leave home continuously for this period.
However should we receive a very positive response from members and we receive far more applications than anticipated, then we will vet our applications in the following manner :
Members who can stay for the full period will get full preference followed by a diminishing preference related to the length of time the member can stay
Where we have sufficient members we will try and create a roster to give members time off to enjoy what the show has to offer (maybe 2 shifts a day)
Where we have a number of members who can only stay for 3 or 4 days we will create teams to try and cover sufficient operators for the full period.
The members selected under Category 1 & 2 will be expected to have the mechanical knowledge to diagnose and repair minor problems on the items they are operating. Although Chris Wilson will be around, his life will be far more pleasant if drivers & operators could help themselves to simple repairs. For this reason each successful applicant will be required to bring a few essential tools which he will keep with him on his machine.
Dress will be to look the part on the machine you are operating. Veld hats, old jeans veldskoens, etc.
Because there will need to be a fair amount of familiarization between the Category 1 and 2 members and the equipment they will drive/operate and what they will be expected to do during their shift, it is required that the successful applicants in these two categories allow a day before the show commences for this to happen. This implies that that they should actually arrive at Sandstone two days before the show commences. This will allow time to set up camp and then be introduced to their equipment and have their roles explained to them. Likewise members who can only afford a few days of their time and will arrive after the show commences should allow a day to overlap and become familiar with their allocated machine and role they will play.
Although the organisers have expressed their wish that SAVTEC members should be there to enjoy themselves and also enjoy the rides and other activities arranged, it must be remembered that as a Federation providing support to the organisers, members will be expected to be punctual and play their part when called upon and obviously not do anything to discredit the Federation.
Camping/Caravanning Facilities
There will be approximately 50 electric powered caravan sites during the show. The non-electric camping area is very large and will not be a limitation on those wishing to park a caravan or pitch a tent.
The ablution blocks at Sandstone are excellent providing an abundance of hot and cold shower facilities and toilettes.
Putting on a show such as SoS is a huge undertaking. The roles being played by the SAVTEC membership under Category 1 will be largely that of the artists which will be providing a live back drop to the beautiful Sandstone scenery alongside the railway track. There will be a certain amount of choreographing involved to ensure that certain things happen at the correct time eg a tractor and trailer gets to a level crossing as the train gets there or tractors working a field are closer to the rail track as the train goes by etc. For this reason alone it is preferably for the organisers to have a reasonably static group of people to work with for the duration of the show who understand their roles as and when required. This is the main reason for favoring members who can stay for the full duration.
For the SAVTEC membership, I can say that we are being asked to play out our hobby using Sandstone’s equipment and have some fun and enjoy some good comradery and evenings around the camp fire in the beautiful Eastern Free State.
What more could one wish for?
Club Chairmen are asked to please distribute this bulletin and Application form amongst their members. It is preferable that completed applications come through yourselves to keep you informed of who is applying for what.
I would appreciate it if members wishing to participate in SoS could have their application forms in with their respective chairmen to reach me by 30th September 2016 latest.
Further bulletins will be distributed as information becomes available.
Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss any aspect of this bulletin