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Sunday 20th July saw the 13th annual charity classic car gathering, organised by the Sporting Bears Motor Club.
The Bears are a national organisation who, over the past ten years has raised some £390,000 for children's charities. The Club again presented a spectacular array of over 500 Classic, Sports and Vintage Cars. With over 50 car enthusiasts clubs taking part.
The gathering was set within the Castle itself and its 60-acre Grounds. Kimbolton Castle, was the last place of confinement for Queen Catherine of Aragon (wife of Henry VIII) who died in the Queens Room in 1535. I did tell Steve's wife not to burn the barbecue in case she suffered the same fate.
It really was a day out for all the family, with much varied and exciting side shows, stalls, bands and displays. There was something for everyone, from that most senior of Tiger owners, Richard Wilkins to my 11year old daughter, Ceili.
This year with the support of the Tiger Owners Club and E.A.T.O.C, 11 Tigers made the journey to Kimbolton, it was good to meet all the owners, to be able to put faces to all the names and to meet some old friends again. Many thanks to Richard and Steve Eglington for their support.
Around mid morning an itinerant Robin Hood turned up and parked in the middle of our carefully planned layout (scrum), I don't know what Steve said to him, but he moved out pretty quick with a few expletives issuing forth.
Steve played mine host on the barbecue (I had never heard it played in that key before) and did a great job with the sausages, bacon, burgers and steak. Until Richard put his old socks on the grill, I still don't believe that they were really sausages Richard!
The weather was brilliant and as far as I could tell, everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere that is always Kimbolton.
I look forward to seeing even more Tigers next year, until then happy Tigering.
The day started at 7AM, we had all arranged to meet Paul Browning at his house at 07.20 in the morning, but before this could happen we needed to get prepared the night before. This was due to my brother-in-law (Derek), providing a support vehicle with his Suzuki Ignis, this was loaded to the hilt along with my tent which would become the EATOC home for the day, plus four seats, a table, EATOC banners, booze, soft drinks and biscuits, etc. But the preparation did not stop there! My wife Helen was running a W.I. stall at the show with her merry ladies, so she used my van and filled it with her hard work, which included - cakes, preserves, plants and a market stall.
After our assembly we set off to Shuttleworth, taking the long way around because the council had decided to close a major access road, for the massive local event. We arrived at 07.50 to find the gates closed, this would have been acceptable, as they were not expected to open until 08.00 but there was a queue of some 30 vehicles and guess what? It rained like a monsoon. I, like the female gatekeeper was wearing shorts! But the gates still did not open before 08.00am.
So there we were, the wives (Helen and Marian) having gone to set up the stall. The rest of us started setting up and erecting the tent, when it rained again this time it made a monsoon seem tame! We were all soaked, the tent was still on the floor ready to be erected, none of the cars had any covered space except the drivers seat in the Suzuki, and with nowhere to go we ended up like drowned rats. And this was supposed to be a sunny day! The girls were cuddled up in my van 200 yards away and laughing at us!
The rain stopped, the tent was erected, and our site was ready. We began helping Roy (the event organiser) direct the incoming traffic to either the general public area or to the appropriate specialist area. Then what happened, the first idiot arrived; he cut across the grass disregarding the signs and headed for our tent! Derek began to run in his direction to "have a word", then stopped dead in his tracks... why! Oh No it was a Tin Topped Tiger member driving a mini at 8.30 in the morning, you guessed it Peter French. He told me the Tiger wasn't allowed out this year because it was naughty in 2002... something about a gearbox oil seal! But I think Peter's Cat was just shining and ready to go; all it needs is a simple Tax Disc and an insurance certificate to stop crying! Sorry Peter the tease had to be said. As you may be aware the above relates to past fun that we have had with Peter. I apologise to those whom this does not make any sense.
Peter was in fact the first to arrive after a long drive. Thanks for making the effort. Others arrived during the morning. In fact seven Tigers made it, there would have been more but some were forced to turn back due to rain en route. Two new members joined the club and we conducted our AGM with ease. The turn out was expected to be greater but I suppose that's life.
The Days Fun
Shuttleworth College had installed some speed ramps since last year, and grounding did happen unless you were very careful. Unfortunately Keith Banthorpe caught his sump a little too hard; the end result was an oil leak leaving a brown trail on the grass. After a little investigation and help from some EATOC members Keith was able to find a "Tractor" Pit and with the aid of a self tapping screw and a spare washer from the van, a temporary repair was made which just lasted long enough to get him home.
The big surprise was the attendance of the Delorians. I had been told eleven were expected to attend the day, in fact 23 turned up. I did not even know that 23 existed in the country! Some Westfield owners grouped up behind our area with about 8 vehicles. Although I do not know actually how many cars attended the total was far greater than last year, there was certainly lots to see along with some very 'cool' exhibits.
Eventually 1PM arrived and our AGM started it was intended that the procedure would be carried out quickly, but David Buckeldee had other ideas, he gave us all a lecture on Member's attendance. He suggested that we should try to find a way to bring the members together in a single event. I agree with his thoughts, but feel that we are lucky that we exceed the national average of about 10%. Having said that why not prove me wrong again, and surprise me at the central event to be announced by Peter!
The flying started with a lot of British planes and a couple of Russian trainers with vapour trails, while the Boxkite and the Blackburn monoplane sat on the grass waiting for the right weather. Then the rain started and the classic planes went back to their hangers. Numerous displays followed throughout the afternoon along with the occasional shower and we saw a magnificent display from the Spitfire and Hurricane.
People started to go home, until just Simon & Pam Denchfield & myself were left on the EATOC stand then guess what! The sun came out, the wind dropped, and the Boxkite replica from the "Wright Brothers" and the Blackburn Monoplane flew for a wonderful display, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight for the year 2003.
After this the camp was broken, and we all went home completely exhausted. So for those that did not come, tough! I told you that it would be great, and it was; the weather could have been a little kinder, but it was still a day not to have missed.