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Now on the Saturday before the open day the weather was slightly disappointing, to be honest it was cold damp and kept trying to rain great fun when I needed to wash my car before attending.
On Sunday morning I woke to find completely clear blue skies, and what turned out to be one of warmest days of the year so far. So after the long haul to the factory (just over 10 minutes!) I arrived just before 10 AM, there were already a few cars there.
One of the main attractions was that Jim had organised a clearout of all the old bits of fibreglass that had been laying around the factory for years. Depending on what you wanted there were some real bargains for example a complete rear body for a Cat could be had for about £25! If you missed out on the open day give Tiger a call and see if they have anything left that might interest you.
By the middle of the morning the car park had started to fill up and around midday I counted about 50 tigers covering all models produced. Plenty of test drives were given and prospective owners scared (entertained).
One of the most interesting cars was the new Duratec powered R6 this car features over 200bhp from an engine which has virtually no changes from the original Ford specification. The only difference is the use of throttle bodies over the factory inlet system, and appears to be the future instead of using the Zetec. Also for anyone running a Pinto at the moment a big advantage is the exhaust is still on the "correct" side of the car.
To sum up this was one of the best attended open days for a year or so, no doubt helped by the brilliant weather. There was however one drawback when I got up the next morning I was glowing after getting rather too much sun and spent Monday acting as a human lamp!
The Potton brewery visit was hosted by Clive & Bob at the brewery, a great day out, and one that we must repeat in the future. The day started out at about 06.30 for me to repair the Tigers rear number plate, where it was discovered when leaving Saturdays Oakley Carnival that my number plate was in two parts. After leaving Bedford and approaching Willington (about 7.5 miles) from Potton, the mobile phone rings! Who is it? Steve Green. Who states that he has just got out of bed (10.30am), and asked me for directions! so I stop, and give Stevie boy the info. He then stated that he will leave soon and would catch me up!... From Wellingborough!!... I think not... but then this is Steve who seems to have no regard for speed limits... so he tells me. I did a quick calc and concluded he would arrive at no earlier than 11.15 (half an hour after me). So we all arrived and waited, and waited. Gave up and started the tour at 11.25.
Clive gave us a fabulous talk about the brewing process that included some hands on examples; it's general history and the brewing history of Potton. The talk was very informative and interesting, he also showed an interest in joining our club and perhaps building a Tiger as a promotional car for the business. Clive and Bob made us very welcome, and as a grand finale we were given the opportunity to taste/sample as much beer as we wished these included Shannon, Village bike, Shabbles, Night Fighter, Potton Gold, we then moved location to The Old Coach House in Potton's village centre where Bob joined us to enjoy some well price food and yet another pint for those who dared.
In short, a great day out. With the opportunity to take home some fabulous beer at a great price.
P.S Steve Green did turn up half way through the visit; with some excuse about traffic... It had nothing to do with the beer on Saturday night or getting up in the morning!
This was a first for me at this event although Steve Eglington has been doing it for a few years. The event is basically a village show with a parade and carnival, at which Steve was selling fruit pies, sausage rolls fresh fruit etc (all very tasty too!).
Anyway back to the task in hand, after driving the easy journey from Peterborough down to Clapham I met up with Steve and we went to take up our place in the carnival parade. Whilst waiting for the parade to start we had the easiest recruit to the club ever, as this person came up talked for a couple of minutes and then joined the club!
We then started in the parade, although I didn't realise it at this point we were very fortunate in the position we got. The float behind us liked spraying the crowd with water and the crowd retaliated with water pistols and hosepipes! We avoided this but my Tiger does not like slow speed driving and after about 5 minutes chokes up requiring a very large boot of the throttle to clear out the muck. I know exactly why it happens because the engine was tuned for high speed running not walking pace, another problem was my clutch cable stretching as it was gradually getting hotter until when we finally reached the parking area I could no longer get reverse gear so the car got pushed into a parking bay.
Once there we had quite a lot of interest in the cars mostly from small boys who asked if they could sit in the car, fair enough I thought as they wouldn't be able to reach the pedals and the car was shut down. Or so I thought the one thing still active without the keys is the horn (which is a 1930's style klaxon) so after about 5 minutes of horn blaring I pulled the power to the horn to prevent it sounding any more.
The rest of the carnival consisted of a show-ring, this was running various displays all afternoon and a fun fair. It was a good show and upon finally leaving at the end of the day my clutch had cooled down and was working correctly so I could make the journey home without further incident.
Tony and I arrived just after midday and the whole thing was very alive and kicking. We met up with Giles and were told that we must first do a tour of all the car stands and then we could do what we like (as long as I had brought the lunch I had).
The Tiger stand as usual was very impressive, with all the cars gleaming in the hot sunshine; the EATOC flag is really good, isn't it? I have to say that wandering about there were some fab vehicles; the maroon BMW, the Jags (always fancied myself driving one of those), and other well known makes of cars, I can't remember them all, but they all shone like glass. These people must spend hours with polish and cloths. Did you see the steam engine, it made of think of Fred Dibnah and his last journey.
After the circuit of the vehicles I decided to go round again and take in what I hadn't seen because of car watching. I am a great plant fan and there were a number of plant stalls and I bought a lychnis for my front garden. I was tempted to buy others but instead of another plant I bought a wind chime with an owl on it. It is really cute!
There were stalls selling all sorts of eats, fudge (I'm a pushover for that) there was pottery (some of it Chinese), bric-a-brac, you name it, it was there.
I then found myself in the craft fair and wandered to the photo stall. Now, I think I have done well to get a 300mm/macro lens for my camera but this chap uses a 3000mm lens for his moon shots. They were so fantastic I wish I could do that but I think the lens is beyond me.
As I came down the steps from the castle I heard the hunting horn and raced to the ring in time to see the hunt. The riders in their "pink" and all the hounds were a sight to see; as usual the hounds went into the crowds and starting nicking anything they could get their teeth into. I had just lined my camera to take a shot of one of them rifling through a litter bin when some woman walked across the front of me. I thought a few unmentionables I can tell you.
Are any of you gamblers, you could have had a twenty pence flutter on the ferret race I didn't wager but watched fascinated as I have never seen a ferret before. By now my feet ached so I got myself a ringside view for the displays.
As I watched the obedience class, I wondered why our dog was unlike these well trained animals, what about Rob herding his geese, the "yobs" and the children. Unfortunately the birds of prey did not take to the air but they were all on display on their stand. And the shire horses, what magnificent beasts they are, but when you are sitting close to the ring boundary and they come thundering towards you, you actually feel the ground shake and wonder whether you ought to move back a bit, but I didn't.
Most of the afternoon there was a Swing Band playing, and they had a really good singer. Their dance demos were really worth watching, as were the Morris dancers.
Well we were coming to the end of the visit, but we had one more "treat" in store. Piers, Giles' brother turned up about 3PM (he was very impressed with it all) and he had brought his Mini-Moto. Of course he wanted to give us a demo and it has be said we considered taking bets whether his backside would fit on the tiny seat. It did and he actually rode it quite well. He asked me if I wanted to have a go, sensibly I declined.
So it was time to go. I hobbled back to the EATOC stand to say cheerio to all the people we have got to know through Giles. I say hobbled because my feet were blistered and bleeding, where upon Mr Eglington said, "that a woman of my mature years should have known better than to go where I was bound to do a lot of walking in brand new sandals". Of course, he was right, but they completed my outfit for the day. So duly chastised, cheerio's all round, and then the journey home after a thoroughly enjoyable day.
A glorious summers evening saw the pub meet to be a true success. The planned meeting time was 8pm to allow everyone who wanted to attend to get home from work and have a bite to eat etc. When Mark & I arrived at 7.30pm there was already someone there!
By 8.30pm we had 10 Tigers and 11 people in total. It made for a very relaxed and informal evening with people talking about a whole host of things. Everyone that I spoke to said that the venue was ideal with a large car park and some entertaining roads from all approaches to the village of Abbotts Ripton.
It has been suggested to me that we should meet again, certainly before the weather turns and the nights draw in, so if anyone is interested the next meet will be on Tuesday August 16, 2005 at the Three Horseshoes, Abbotts Ripton. Fingers crossed for some fine weather I look forward to seeing you there.
The Treasure Hunt was to be my first experience of an EATOC event and one that had appealed immensely with the thought of enjoying a summer's afternoon open top motoring with a slightly competitive edge.
I had planned to enter the event with a fellow Tiger owner and member, though plans changed quite late on leaving me with the need of a co driver. Fortunately for me my wife Leisa stepped into the arena, this came as somewhat of a surprise as she had previously only been a passenger in the car for three miles and appeared not to enjoy that!
The 3rd of July arrived, the sky was grey, not quite the summer's day we had hoped for, but still we set off to Wicken for the start of the event with a positive mind towards the weather. On arrival we met up with Barry Collin and his wife Janette who had organised the event and Brian Allen. We were quite early having set off in plenty of time so as not to hurry and put my new to the saddle co driver off Tigers once and for all. Whilst waiting another two entrants turned up, giving four cars in total, those being: -
Brian Allen, Cat E1
Bob Cox & Emma, Cat E1
John Holmes & Gail Cat E1
Adrian Gibbins & Leisa, Avon
I am confident that if the weather had been a little more inspirational the event would have seen a stronger turn out. At 12.45 pm it was decided that we would crack on with the afternoon's activities with Barry and Janette handing out the clue sheets. We were then set off at five-minute intervals to allow a reasonable distance between the cars. The clues took us through some fantastic countryside threading our way through a number of beautiful villages and the City of Ely, ending back at Wicken village hall. The event took us all approximately two hours and covered somewhere in the region of 50 miles, Barry had reckoned on 40ish miles so allowing for all of the double backing and covertly following one another in the hope of finding clues we all did very well and the weather remained fine.
On arriving back at Wicken village hall Barry and Janette had prepared a superb BBQ with food and drink fit for Kings and Queens. It really was first class and to top it all the sun even made an appearance.
After food came results time...
1st John and Gail with 16 points out of 20
2nd Adrian & Leisa with 14 points
Joint 3rd Bob & Emma with 12 points
Brian with 12 points
Barry had even gone to the trouble of arranging some Tiger gift vouchers from Sue, which was a most unexpected surprise.
In summary the event was excellent and if it appears in next years events diary I would strongly recommend it. The whole afternoon was only made possible by all of the hard work and effort put in by Barry and Janette, every detail was so well planned from the route/clues to the BBQ and prize giving afterwards, well done and thank you both.
Well Maxey this year can be summed up in one word WET to be honest the morning started off bright and fine. I was able to wash and polish the car before setting off although I did notice that the clouds were getting darker as I worked. Once the car had been cleaned I set off for the show and happened to be the first Tiger to arrive - this might have something to do with the fact that I only live 3 miles from the showground. I parked up by the lake and waited for the others to arrive.
Throughout the morning (while it was dry) a number of other Tigers made the journey. At the best point in the day there were 11 Tigers at the show, these were: - Myself, Eric Johnson, Steve Green, John Holmes, Mervyn Garner, Trevor Allen, Malcolm Brown, Geoff Mason, Niall Turner, Simon V and a black Super Six which I can't identify... Niall's dad Brian was also there with his Porsche Spyder replica.
One of the highlights was a brand new car - I think this has developed by the company behind the Ronart kit car. However this will not be offered as a kit but will be turnkey only.It is a Vanwall Racing Car copy which is road legal. Unfortunately it looked very expensive but some pictures are below. (I have also been told it will be on Top Gear in November)
Most of the owners left later in the morning as the rain started to go from a few drips to a light drizzle. However myself, John, Niall, Eric, Steve and Brian stayed on, we also got very very wet as the afternoon went on.
We stayed until the prize giving in the afternoon after which it was decided that it was time for us to go. It was a pity about the weather as last year it had been a brilliant day out, all I can say is that I hope it will be better weather for next year.
What a fantastic turnout we had 16 (yes sixteen) Tigers make the journey to Rougham for the AGM and British Sportscar day. As you can see with the pictures above I have had to scale everything down to fit them all on the page.
The cars belong to (top row starting on the left) John Holmes, Steve Green, Niall Turner, Malcolm Brown, Paul Browning, Simon Vaitkevicius, Mike Lorimer, Steve Eglington, Carl Atkinson, Tiger (Avon classic), Eric Johnson, Brian Allen and Giles Cooper. On the bottom row Neil Jameson, Wayne Parker, Brandon Forster and Keith Banthorpe.
This has made Rougham the most successful EATOC organised event ever.
The show had everything for the family and the car nut there was a country show with a display ring running events all afternoon. These included a jousting display, this incidentally featured the same announcer from the dog display team at Kimbolton a few weeks back! A huge selection of trade stands selling various items from car spares to aircraft parts and a camera/telescope stall. Of course there was the air display itself and this featured some spectacular flying including a wing walking display, WWII aircraft and modern aircraft.
In the car show there were some amazing cars in the car park including some real rarities such as an Aston Martin DB7 Zagato, and a 1934 Pierce Silver Arrow. Other cars were certainly "interesting" including a Bond Minicar with a speedometer that read up to 60mph.
It had been previously announced that there would be a mini-concours event, this happened and the winner was Eric Johnson who won with his green Avon.
This show did not start off well for me, backing the Tiger out of the garage I misjudged the angle and put a huge scrape into the rear wing chipping a large chunk of gelcoat off. There was nothing I could do about it so I still went to the show anyway. Once there and finally parked (we were on the top of the hill) it took a lot of arm waving to attract other Tiger owners attention (the marshalls kept directing people wrongly) but we eventually had ten cars arrive 9 tigers and a Lotus Elise!
There was a huge varied collection of cars including some that you would have thought would never be preserved or even should be preserved. In addition to this there was a show ring with a non-stop commentary and a lot of cars being passed through. In the late afternoon we were also asked to go down to the show ring and four of us did so.
Finally at the end of a long day we made our way home.