2 Aug 2016 – The Hotrod Hayride is leaving Bisley Camp permanently, the organisers of the classic vehicle festival have announced.
“Bisley are now redeveloping the site, so sadly there will be no more events there but… A new chapter in the Hayride History begins next year 28th – 30th July 2017 at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent,” a post on the official event Facebook page read.
Exactly what the NRA are “redeveloping” was unclear, though the Hayride was mostly based out of Bisley Pavilion.
The Hayride marks the last of the big external events to depart Bisley, meaning the site is now entirely dependent on shooters and shooting for its financial viability. This situation was exacerbated since Bisley Pavilion was taken over by the NRA, following a single-minded – and successful – NRA campaign to persuade incumbent leaseholder Shaun Hopwood to surrender his lease early.
It is likely that Bisley Pavilion will be left empty and unused, in the same way as the Exhibition Hut has been left abandoned since the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain was thrown out of it in 2013 when their lease expired. Neither building was in use during this year’s Imperial Meeting, despite the presence of 800-odd shooters on camp during the 10 day meeting.
The NRA has been quietly encouraging rumours that both buildings will be redeveloped into grand visitor reception centres, cafes, accommodation, or whatever else it thinks the audience of the day wants to hear. In reality nothing has happened, beyond the NRA withdrawing a planning application for the Exhibition Hut a couple of years ago.
As the income from the Hayride is now gone, along with that of the HOG Rally and the various local weddings and social functions which used to be hosted at Bisley Pavilion, shooters can expect to see range hire and NRA accommodation charges rise to cover the hole in the accounts.