Express & Star

IN PICTURES: End of the road for driving force behind legendary car shows

Their career has spanned more than four decades and in that time they have gained thousands of new friends.


But now legendary car show organisers Geoff and Linda Price from Walsall have come to the end of the road and have decided to retire.

Perhaps best known for their car shows in Sandwell, where hundreds of vehicles would travel through the area, at their peak the couple who live in Newquay Road were running as many as 16 shows a year and dealing with more than 12,000 car owners.

They also put on shows at the Walsall Arboretum.

Geoff's first show took place in 1971, in Shoby, Leicester, although it was far from the spectacle that the future events would become.

"It was a completely different thing," the 65-year-old said.

"There were steam vehicles and that sort of thing. I was part of a bigger show. The chap I was working with had stunts going on.

"I had an old bus and I was asked if I could bring it along. Then he said 'better yet, get some vehicles' and that's how it all started. It just sort of grew. I worked for a number of years, doing shows with the same bloke.

"Car shows were a new sort of thing, but Sandwell was as well. It was a new borough, people didn't really know where it was. We did a 28 mile parade around it, with 230 vehicles.

"When we got back to Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich, in the early days we could be getting 60,000 to 80,000 people waiting for us, because it was free entry. When the parade came round the roads, it was like royalty."

Celebrities would make appearances at the shows, with famous names like actress Barbara Windsor and TV presenter Chris Tarrant joining in the fun.

Retiring for health reasons, father-of-two Geoff will now focus his attention on his record breaking model bus and coach collection, which he has been building for 50 years. With more than 13,000 items, he is looking forward to having the time to add to his collection with wife Linda, 60.

The combination of hobby and career attracted the attention of Sky TV, who made a documentary about the family in 2005.

The Secret Life of Surburbia followed Geoff and Linda through the planning of a car show in Walsall, and featured just some of his model buses.

But it wasn't the first time they had been on the small screen, making an appearance on the short-lived Noel's Addicts alongside Noel Edmonds and Stephen Lewis, in character as his On the Buses alter ego Cyril 'Blakey' Blake.

And in 2008, an episode of This Morning was broadcast live from their house, complete with thousands of models on display.

Geoff said: "As you get older, you just can't run around the showground any more. It's just the way it is.

"We've lived through the heights of these things, and I'll remember the massive amount of friends we've made and the people who have supported us over the years."

Geoff and Linda's final car show will take place at Himley Hall in Dudley on September 6.

Did you visit any of the car shows? Send your pictures to Star Witness for a chance to win £100!

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