John and I had a productive visit to Motorcycle Live at the NEC last week. Originally, we had simply planned to meet up with some friends of ours, but as things transpired, the event provided an opportunity meet up with our support driver, John Plumb, and to tap up a number of exhibitors for sponsorship and/or raffle prizes.
Our new T-shirts were delivered to the hotel in advance of our arrival, together with a supply of promotional postcards. On Sunday evening we duly donned our new livery and sat up at the hotel bar. We were greeted by Scotland’s largest Honda dealer, Victor Divine, himself a personal friend of Jim Humphreys. “When I saw your shirts”, he said, “I just had to say hello. You must be friends of Jim. There couldn’t possibly be two people mad enough to think up a Moscow to Moscow ride!” Victor wasn’t too confident about our chances of finding donors, as most of the main exhibitors had already been approached by dozens of would-be charity riders. However, little did he know that we had a secret weapon …
We are immensely grateful to Willie, Jim, and Jim’s brother, Frank, not only for buying our shirts, but also wearing them all day at the show. The Irish are skilled hagglers by nature. They drive a hard bargain. And so, seeing John and myself appear, similarly attired, on a stand moments after “Robber #1 and Robber #2” had left, at least one exhibitor gave in without argument and immediately donated a leather handbag to the cause!
In fact, we had numerous potential offers from stands and, if our follow up is successful, we stand to attract some extremely worthwhile raffle prizes.
In the meantime, if you would like to buy one of these stylish shirts, they are for sale at £12 plus postage and packing.