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The first club meeting of 2012. Suprisingly for a cold winters night we had a large turnout of members, myself, Griff, David Fiske, Mike Finch, Alan and Eve Whale, Tony and Liz Haggie, Donny and David Williamson, Niall Turner, Gary Brooks, James French and Steve Tuck. Steve was the only one who turned up in a Tiger but as he only lives 3 miles from the pub doesn't really have an excuse not to. As my car is in bits it can't be driven at the monent.
The main subject for discussion was events for the year. I have now updated the list on the events page with the ones that we can confirm - there are others we are planning but until the details are confirmed then they will stay unpublished. We also recruited a new member Gary Brooks and also got some more members to renew who hadn't done so before the night.
The second club meeting of 2012 where the turnout was a lot lower than last month. So it was a smaller meeting and not much to report to be honest!
The March pub meeting was a lot better attended. We had Tigers belonging to myself, Griff, James French (only just road legal, David Fiske, and Simon Baldock. We also had another 4 members who didn't bring their cars - Alan and Eve Whale, Tony and Liz Haggie, Steve and Paula Tuck and Mike Finch.
A much better attended meeting and a lot was discussed including the upcoming Norfolk run.
Rightly or wrongly I had high hopes for Detling being a good show. I'd not heard anything bad about it before and thought, since it was run by the same people as Stoneleigh it would be good.
The plan was to go down on a nice sunny day on the bank holiday weekend, look at some cars, meet some people and enjoy the day. But as with all good plans, it didn't all go to plan.
The weather on the Saturday was overcast, windy and with rain showers predicted. But we didn't want to let that stop us. The drive down seemed to get colder and colder with the odd light rain shower and when we got there we were in need of a cup of tea to defrost. The first surprise was that there was no Tiger owners club there, so having been on the forum and seen an invite, I went and parked up with the Southern Kit Car Club (SKCC). There was a familiar face and car there and EATOC was also being represented by Linda and her Avon.
In the time it took us to get a cup of tea and something to eat, take 20 minutes to walk around the indoor exhibits and get back to the car, most of the SKCC were so cold they were going home. Even still this was better than every other car club, since they hadn't even turned up. There were about 20+ cars at SKCC and may not have been that many on all the other club stands in total. Maybe 4 Cobra replicas and a few other lonely cars spread about the site.
So after a 2 1/2 hour drive, maybe 2-3 hours there, it was time to wrap up and go home. We were very glad that we had bought 1 piece motorbike rain suits the day before as it kept the wind and rain off and kept us warm on the way home. We did cause a bit of a tail back at the Dartford toll, when Ali lost the £ 1 coin for the toll down the bottom of the index finger of her glove. I had to hand the glove over with the money stuck inside.
I think I would go as far as to say that the Saturday at Detling this year was worse than the Stafford show 2 years ago when I went!!
Well it was a meeting of two weather systems. Planning on going in the Tiger I had to abandon this idea when the rain was bouncing about 4" off the car roof. I know I am fairly hardcore when it comes to driving the Tiger but the prospect of 40 minutes driving in that wasn't enticing. However when I got onto the A1 I was met with clear blue skies and completely dry roads - at that point though I wasn't going back to swap the cars over.
Well onto the pub meeting - we had two Tigers arrive at the meeting but a lot more owners. The Tigers were owned by Dave Sams (who only got it MOT'd the previous day) and James French who is determined to get as much use out of the car as possible.
The non-Tiger drivers (and I have to include myself in this list) were:- Alan and Eve Whale, Adrian and Mandy Spriggs, David Fiske, Griff, Tony and Liz Haggie, Simon Bunker and Steve Tuck.
Plenty of topics came up for discussion including the upcoming Norfolk run, and the Stoneleigh show.
We did however have one strange occurance - partway through the evening I got an email from someone asking about where to get a Tiger MOT'd. Nothing unusual with that but it turned out the person lived in the middle of St Ives and was about 2.5 miles from the pub. Steve Tuck then rang him and asked why he wasn't at the pub! (I would have done but my mobile doesn't get a signal out there) It turned out he was looking to sell the car as it wasn't for him so Steve gave some advice about where to get the car tested and we left them to get on with it.
After a good evening we then all left to go home - in the dry and it stayed dry until I got back to Peterborough.
Yes I should have taken the Tiger especially as the BMW was reporting 11 miles range by the time I got it home.
The first Milton Keynes meet of the East Anglian Tiger Owners Club took place on the 19th April at the Caldecotte Arms. The weather was wet but that didn't stop one Tiger and one Morgan arriving. Everyone else came in there tintops.
There were members from the club and the Tiger / Morgan owners who William had chatted to on the forum. In all there were 13 people. Once we had found a spot, at first the pub had said we could sit at reserved tables, only that was for an unconnected club, so we moved upstairs. The evening was a great success and everyone had an enjoyable time. So roll on next month.
The meet takes place on the Thursday after the Hollywell meet, Giles has put all the dates in the calendar.
Hopefully see you at Stoneleigh and the Norfolk run.
Well after a dismal week of weather the first day of the Stoneleigh show was dull but dry - it could have been a lot worse (on the second day it was). After Griff came over we drove down together, a nice pleasant drive which could have been worse had a policeman not been blocking the way due to a collapsed manhole cover. Hitting an open manhole with a Tiger doesn't bear thinking about - you might just get away with it but it would be a huge repair bill.
On the last stretch round Coventry I lost Griff as I pulled into a filling station and then he continued on, but I soon caught up with them at the show itself.
Onto the show... The first thing to mention is the Stoneleigh ramps worked perfectly (if you can't remember what they were have a look in last month's newsletter), this allowed the cars to get onto the parking area in safety without risking cracking sumps etc. Although the number of cars on display was down on last year we still had about 30-35 privately owned Tigers on the day. So after spending a good time chatting with various owners it was off to the show halls.
Once inside a lack of stands was obvious - the rear display hall had some very large aisles between stands where in previous years they were a lot narrower. Jim had asked for Tiger to be moved into the front hall unfortunately the organisers had given them the narrow gap between the two sets of doors, inset and almost out of sight. However on the plus side they did have Paul Dudley's GTA which as he was pointing out had been built in his own garage without using the resources of the factory - if you didn't see it then look for it at the factory it is a very subtle coloured car.
There weren't many new cars at the show. In fact the only one that took my eye was the new Razor Sportscars effort. At first glance this seems a very good machine but then you look closer. The car has a lift up bubble that includes the 'doors' roof and glasswork - when raised the highest point is over 7' from the ground. Try and open that in a standard garage! The second problem is that you sit in a car with tiny side windows (about 18" x 6") which clip in and out and it has a demist vent and no other ventilation. When I asked them about that they suggested leaving the roof at home if it was a warm day - fine but without the roof there isn't a top to the dashboard so all the electrics are exposed. Don't take this the wrong way I think it is a brilliant concept but it just needs a bit more refinement to be a car you could live with.
I went for a wander round the parking areas. As usual there was the good, the bad and the 'is that legal'. Some of the highlights (or not) were:
Completely empty stands - for years there has been a P4 replica club stand next to the Tiger area which hasn't ever been occupied, there was also a Wildcat owners club area which was so wild they had all been sent home (or weren't allowed out...)
One of the worst cars was a Four-track chassis with a mini body stuck on top.
A Liege trials car where I wasn't sure if the mud was there when the car arrived or artfully applied later. I can't see it was wet enough to be caused by driving onto the hill and if it had been driven to the show then surely the mud would have fallen off...
One of the rarer cars was a Dax Kamala, and then round the corner from this was Linda Monk's Avon with a huge chunk taken out of the rear wings - apparently caused by a sheep or so I've heard. This could mean sheep have developed a taste for fibreglass so things could be problematic for our more rural members.
Finally I left for home - those who stayed overnight reported that it was very cold (a frost formed overnight) and that Monday was rather wet.
Unfortunately the Stoneleigh ramps are probably still at the site as nobody returned them to Tiger as I had requested.
This was the first time the club had organised a run into Norfolk, Although it sounds a bit strange we didn't organise runs where a lot of club members lived! So to remedy this Griff and David Fiske set about sorting one out.
Now with all these things it isn't really possible to judge how successful it is going to be in advance. The weather played a big part in this but to pull in 17 cars and a total of 25 people on the first running has to down as a fantastic achievement. David Fiske even managed to get the local paper to come and take some photos as well.
I arrived too late for the photos but in plenty of time to take some myself before the run in proper started. Hence all the pictures of people taking part. The total attendance was:
Giles Cooper, Simon Noble and Ali, Gary Brooks, Al English, Dave and Jane Sams, Griff and Rachel, Malcolm Keeley, David Fiske, John Alyward, Steve Tuck, Donny and Angela Williamson, Niall Turner, Rachel Williamson, Simon and William Bunker, Tony and Liz Haggie, Simon Burdock, Adrian and Mandy Spriggs - or put it another way almost a fifth of the entire club membership.
The day didn't start off too well for Simon Bunker the car was only running on two maybe three cylinders - both Jim and Paul had a look but there wasn't anything they could do - so he kept on going on the basis that if it all went wrong he had an RAC card with him and could get recovered!
I am however pleased to report that Simon continued for the rest of the day and nobody else suffered from any mechanical issues. Unfortunately it means I miss out on the 10 people looking under a car bonnet photo for this event!
Once everyone had arrived we then set off to the first stopping point in Swaffham - on the approach to Swaffham the instruction said we were meeting by the eco centre - now this is signposted by a 50 metre wind turbine and a big sign labelled 'ECO Centre' but somehow a few people managed to miss this subtle clue.
After a quick rest stop at the services we continued on to the pub following a fairly simple route and all of us ended up at the pub within 10 minutes of each other. We then stopped for lunch. During lunch the new owner of Mike Smith's Super 6 came along and joined the club - he had thought he might join us for the afternoon loop but wasn't able to. Still it is the first time we have had a member join on a run out. Incidentally we noticed after lunch that nobody new had come in whilst we were eating - did the sight of a load of Tigers in the car park scare other customers off?
The return leg was up to the coast road and then continue along to Holme where we would turn off and go into Sandringham by the back entrance - this got changed slightly. Instead we stuck to the coast road before diverting off to parade the cars through the middle of Wells - that got a reaction from all the tourists, and then an unscheduled fuel stop in Burnham Deepdale. I think we made the garage owners day with 13 of the 17 cars stopping for petrol - and causing havoc in the process as you can see from the pictures.
Once suitably topped up we continued down the coast road but for some reason we turned off prior to Holme. At one point we drove towards a T-Junction and I watched three of the cars cross the junction from the right hand side - I found out later that someone went the wrong way and the others followed before having to turn round.
Despite this everyone made it to Sandringham where upon we all seemed to head straight for toilets and then the ice cream stand. At this point it was up to each of us to find our own way home, from what I can gather this was a run that everyone enjoyed and a big thank-you must go to Griff for actually putting the route together.
As an aside it was probably a good job that Paula hadn't come with Steve Tuck on this run. For somewhere on the last leg to Sandringham Steve's passenger side front wheel went through 'something' which caked the side of the car, rear wing, seat and mirror. I don't think he would have been too popular if the passenger seat had been occupied.
For some reason the pub meeting this month was rather quiet - maybe we wore all the owners out with the Norfolk run 3 daya previously?. We had 5 Tigers in the car park belonging to myself, Simon Burdock, David Fiske, Griff and Steve Tuck. We did have several owners without their cars as well - these included Tony and Liz Haggie, Gary Brooks and a couple of others whose name excapes me.
Unsprisingly the main topic of conversation was the Norfolk run from a few days previously. Also Paula found out why Steve had been busy cleaning his car before they came out in it that evening - the photo evidence from the run showing the true story.
During the meeting I got into discussions with Griff about the other location which had been offered as a lunch stop for the Norfolk run. By the time I heard about the Golf Club Griff had already booked the Red Hart so we have decided to go there on Sunday 3rd June. It looks like an easy route and it should be interesting.
However I have saved the best bit for last... Upon Leaving I started the car up and put the lights on - at which point the instrument panel went off. Completely off - all the gauges powered down, the warning lights started working in reverse i.e. staying lit until you turned the circuit on. So no speedo, rev counter and I had left the satnav at home!
I ended up following Simon Burdock home as I hadn't got a clue how fast I was going - not a problem on the open road but across Peterborough there are several speed cameras. I made it home drove into the garage and turned the lights off - all the dashboard started working again. A couple of days later I found the problem the main earth wire had come loose on the dashboard and everything earthed through the lighing circuit, when 12V was applied to this i.e. the dashboard lights were on all of the instruments shorted out and powered down! Oops - still it is all fixed now.
At last it was dry enough to take the S6 to the pub. We had 6 Tigers and a Morgan with 9 people attending.
The evening was enjoyable and all the cars were looked around, we had some interested kids look at the cars with a couple of trips round the car park, and the inevitable photos. At the Holywell meet I had been asked if the MK meet could be a different week to Holywell, I asked around and now it is the first Thursday of the month with next month's being on the 7th June.
Well I have to say that fortunately I went to Newark on the Sunday. This was very good news as apparently Saturday featured a virtually empty showground and horizontal rain. The joys of an English summer.
On Sunday it was dry(er) and not so damp so after a delay caused by work I managed to leave around 11 and got to the showground about 12:30. The first thing that you noticed as you drove in was the amount of spaces in the parking areas. The weather had ruined the show as people didn't come down on Saturday and also stayed at home on the Sunday as well.
The inside show hall was dominated by a huge stand from M.E.V. with about 10 cars on it. There was also a new off-road buggy and the return (in kit form) of the Ronart W152 the worlds smallest kit car...
Outside the parking areas were rather sparse and also a lot of the real odd-ball creations were missing. However I did manage to find a convertible Trekka with a soft(wood) top and a uniquely styled Scamp.
The one big area which was down were the trade stands, these were very sparse, and didn't seem to be attracting many punters to them. I acheived a personal best of only spending £ 2 on things at a show.
It was a pity but the weather again put a spanner in the works.
It is quite rare that I end up writing about the Huntingdon pub meetings. However this one has to get a special mention...
You may be asking why - well for the only event in June it was warm, dry and sunny. One of the main aims of the meeting was to collect the tickets for Kimbolton - however as events have overtaken us since then we now know this was a bit premature. Still we had a good turnout with 6 Tigers (mine, Malc Brown, Mike Finch, Simon Bunker, Dave Sams and Doug Kendall) and a few more owners without the cars (Tony Haggie, David Fiske). Unfortunately the appeal of watching 22 men chasing a pigs bladder round a field seems to have kept a lot of owners at home that evening.
Editors note: due to the awful weather this got cancelled - however there is always one club member who will..
Well, having looked at the weather forecast, I thought I would go to the Crown to see if anyone turned up.
By a quarter to nine I was still alone except for my mate Adrian, so we took the decision to go to Long Melford in case anyone turned up there.
To cut a long story short, we arrived at Dunwich just as the heavens opened, we sat in the car under the umbrella for 5 minutes until it stopped, regardless, we got soaked, thank god for our waterproofs.
Alas, no other Tigers, which confirms that I am the only idiot member of EATOC.
After a good lunch of Haddock, chips and a mug of tea we made our way home in brilliant sunshine. Bloody English weather eh! After all was said and done we had a great day and it gave the Tiger a good airing. Roll on the next outing.
Due to being asked to take all the photos as the official event photographer for this event, I didn't get round to writing anything. Instead here is a slideshow (linked off the site with all the photos on it) of the photos taken throughout the day.
The slideshow has been set to random so you don't know what will be appearing next.
After making many phone calls discussing the pros and cons of whether to run the event or not, it was decided to cancel the first Fish and Chip run.
Then due to Kimbolton being cancelled it seemed a good opportunity to have another try at going to Dunwich.
Simon and Rob Bunker arrived at my house at 8 o'clock in his new MEV rocket and we then made our way to Eaton Ford, where we were joined by Giles. After a chat we decided to head off to Fourwentways Service Station. David and Jane Sams met us there.
After topping up with fuel and a gossip and with the weather improving ( No rain ) Giles was persuaded to lead and we set off for Long Melford. The countryside looked splendid considering all the rain we have had.
Upon arriving at Long Melford, and even though we had changed the date, the Fair was still on the green hence we ended up parking in a line on the road. A long line of Tigers do look rather impressive and thanks to Giles taking his many photographs, it will be recorded.
At this point Nathan Neal, David Fiske, Griff and Rachel Collins, Simon and Ali joined us. Griff was not sure whether he would hit floods on his way, in the end this was not a problem. There was lots more gossiping before we set off on the last leg to the petrol station at Stratford St. Andrew. Marion and I led the convoy off and unfortunately as we left Long Melford we made a wrong turn. After going all the way round a mini roundabout (I could not do it in one sweep) we got back on track. As we got to Needham Market we met Malcolm Keeley and his daughter Charlotte coming towards us. He turned round and finally met up with us at the petrol station at Stratford St. Andrew where we were all filling up in preparation for the return journey. Unfortunately as we all left to go on to Dunwich, Malcolm's car flooded and would not start, so we had to leave him behind. He managed to join us slightly later at Dunwich.
Apart from an undulating route around the car park we all managed to park in a row and went and enjoyed our fish and chips. Some went for a walk along the beach to digest their food before squeezing themselves back into the cars for their journey home. The weather continued to stay fine and a good day had been had by all.
Paul and Marion Browning
Just for a change we have two reports for the same event - I couldn't decided which to use so both are included here - it is interesting to see how people's perception of the same event is different. The photos are after the second report.
During the May club meeting at Holywell after the Norfolk Run I was talking to Giles about taking up the offer of the invitation to meet at the Wensum Valley Golf Club. After looking at Giles' iPad to find the location, we decided between us on a favourable route for the run in under five minutes. The next thing was to contact Steve to sort out a day to do the run. I told Giles I would do this and left things like that.
Problem :- BT decided to turn our internet connection off to try to resolve an issue we had with them so I was unable to make contact, I thought this would be only for a day or two but as it turned out it was two weeks. Next Rachel and I disappeared to Scotland for nine days. Mid holiday whilst on the Isle of Skye my phone goes its Giles have you reached Steve yet about Wensum, explained no, and why not, so Giles takes over.
The first date for the run was the 3rd of June however due to the weather this was cancelled. Not to be deterred, things were rearranged and the new date was 28th July. The itinerary for the day was to meet at the Tiger factory in Wisbech for a departure time of 10.15am then on to the A1122 to Downham Market then Swaffham for a fuel stop and a break at the Eco Centre. When we arrived that is Giles, Ady Spriggs, Mandy Atter, Simon Burdock, David Fiske, Mike Finch, Rachel and Myself we teamed up with Malcolm Keeley, Simon Noble, Ali Matthews and our guides to Wensum Valley Golf Club Steve and Sophie Bennington. After a good break with plenty of chat we left Swaffham via the A1065 and headed for the B1145 to Norwich. Almost at Norwich we picked up the signs for Wensum Valley arriving at about 12.30pm.
When we drove into the car park we were met by the owner Basil who had reserved spaces for us so as we could all park together outside the main hotel complex. I must say Basil's face was a picture when he saw us all arrive and park up in line. The first job was to get all the introductions out of the way as Basil knew none of us then he invited us for drinks and what I must say was a fantastic meal. We all sat together and enjoyed our food over looking the first tee.
During conversation over lunch Basil said that the club was happy to host a weekend event next year so as those who attended could let their hair down in the evening with a few drinks and not worry about driving home. Available at the hotel were a number of activities to suit everyone from beauty spas, swimming pool, golf, and archery amongst others. The options were either to book a room or camp if preferred. Secure undercover car parking was available for the Tigers. This sounds promising if I may say.
Now was the point in the day when we handed back to Giles as he had the route in his sat nav to guide us back to the A47 where we crossed over heading inland to Watton then on to Munford then back to Downham Market. Along the way Mike and Malcolm parted at Munford to head home. We then parted with Simon and Ali at Downham, Giles and Simon Bunker went straight home and David, Ady, Mandy, Rachel and myself took a break at the services on the Downham bypass before heading back to Wisbech.
What started as a casual conversation between Giles and myself turned out to be a very successful and thoroughly enjoyable Tiger run. Can I just say thanks to Steve for putting the offer in the EATOC mag because if he hadn't this would not have happened and also Basil for giving us such a warm welcome to the Wensum Valley Golf Club. Already looking forward to next years run lets make it a good one.
When the first attempt for the Wensum Valley run was arranged we were keen to go, but the weather forecast put us off as it would have been a very wet day. It seems everyone else thought the same and it got cancelled, so the next outing we had planned was for Kimbolton.
Again the weather threw a spanner in the works and we received an email to say that this had been cancelled as a result of waterlogged fields. This was a good thing for the Wensum valley run as it meant a weekend became free and Giles re-arranged the Wensum Valley Run for that weekend. Unfortunately for us this conflicted with a show which we go to every year to meet up with friends and have a few drinks and camp for the weekend. Once again the weather spoilt our plans and waterlogged fields meant that this show was also cancelled. This left us without plans for the weekend and so we decided to go to the rearranged Wensum Valley run.
Having decided to go on the run but not wanting to try and get to Wisbech for 9.30, we decided we would meet up with the rest of the convoy at the Eco Centre at Swaffham. This meant we could leave home at the same time that the main group left Tiger and arrive at Swaffham when everyone else did. This also meant we had an extra hour in bed, so we were unlikely to be late.
We arrived at the Eco centre in good time and went inside for a drink and look around. Inside was "the green bird" a wind powered vehicle built to break land speed record for wind powered vehicles. It was capable of speeds in excess of 125mph and powered by wind alone! Had time permitted we could also have had a tour of the wind turbines. At that point we heard the roar of a Tiger and headed back outside. It was just one Tiger as the rest were running late. It transpires that Rachel had tried to text me while they were on the way to let me know they were late, but texting was proving difficult while moving and the message I received was "run lags".
Even though the weather forecast for the day was changeable it turned out to be sunny and hot, the first time this year I could drive with shorts and t-shirt. Having eventually left Swaffham we went along some nice bendy roads on the way to Wensum Valley. Driving into the car park for the Wensum Valley Golf and Country Club we were ushered into a coned off area for Tiger parking.
After a little while of talking to the owner Basil Todd, who had invited us, we headed inside for some food. We were treated to a drink on arrival before we headed though to one of the reception rooms for lunch. While we were waiting we watched golfers T-ing off on the first hole and I think it's safe to say they couldn't handle the pressure, as the ball went off in the wrong direction.
The food was very good and there was plenty of it and for no more than it cost on the fish and chip run. The facilities there were very varied and impressive. We were welcome to come back some time for a weekend, where we could have a BBQ and camp or stay in the hotel. They would have cleared the golf buggy shed out for undercover Tiger parking if necessary.
Giles had plotted an equally twisty and enjoyable route back to Wisbech after lunch travelling back though Thetford. When we reached the A10 we separated from the rest and carried on back home after a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Something was wrong with the Tiger Open Day this year. It was warm (no actually HOT), dry and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. Looking back through my records I can't find one where the day was this good before - the next best was 2008 and that was tempered by the infamous fen wind that blows from the Wash to Thorney Toll with nothing to break it up. (as an aside I have just realised I have been going to open days since 2002!)
I had two main reasons for wanting to go there the first being to get people for Curborough, and the second to try and get people to come along to the Derbyshire run in a few weeks time.
The day was relatively quiet though. I think in total we had about 25 privately owned cars, there were quite a few punters who hadn't got cars and were looking to buy or others who wanted parts for their vehicles directly.
There might have been more but somewhere on the A47 beyond Wisbech there was a crash which caused the A47 to block up. As I approached the Guyhirn roundabout the traffic was starting to back up - as luck would have it I came to a halt just next to the Wisbech St Mary turn off so took that instead (much more fun than the A47 anyway!) Others reported taking up to an hour to get from Guyhirn to Wisbech. So I'm not sure if that contributed to the lack of attendees.
Quite a few people were interested in attending the various events and a couple will probably end up joining EATOC as well. So from that point of view it wasn't a waste of time.
There aren't that many photos of this event because for some reason people were parking with the nose of their cars either pointing at the building or the outside fence. To be honest a lot of pictures of the backs of cars aren't really that interesting.
For the next one can people reverse in?
This report will feature a few owners and a supporting cast of thousands.
The evening of the meeting was warm and dry (yes two events in succession where it was good weather) and it was a nice easy drive down. Upon arrival we got a very light shower! this blew over quickly and the rest of the evening was dry.
I then wandered over to join the rest of them. Tony Haggie, Dave and Jane Sams, Paul and Mark Browning, James French, Simon and Ali and Griff...
This is where the supporting cast comes into the story. The pub is next to the river and as it was a warm night all the midges had come out to play - mostly with Griff. For some reason he was a midge magnet that night and was being bitten constantly.
I spent the rest of the evening trying to persuade people to go to Curborough and/or the Derbyshire run with varying degrees of success. But it was a good evening and then we all headed home.
How can I sum up this day easily - fantastic.
Having started out nice and early to get to the show (before the 10AM deadline for reduced price entry) I arrived as the second member of EATOC and quickly got parked up and had a wander round the cars - I admit to not getting very far round the car displays - hence the rather limited number of car pictures. There were a couple that caught my eye though: A flip colour paint job on a MG ZT (although to my colour vision a lot of the time it looked just dusty), A Dodge Coronet with a 9litre 653bhp engine and a label saying it does use a lot of petrol! And a pair of Bond Bugs.
We also had a total of 8 EATOC members making the journey - myself, Mike Finch, Steve Tuck, Mark Fassenfelt, Simon Noble, Allan Griffin, Paul Browning, and Simon Bunker - all along with various members of their families.
I wanted to get the photographs of the aircraft later in the day - so to this end I had transported most of my camera gear (it fills the entire passenger side of the Tiger).
I will also say that once the aircraft display started I didn't go back to the car until it had finished. The display started off fairly quietly with a plane pulling a banner announcing the 20th year of Little Gransden - followed straight after by a DeHaviland Vampire splitting your eardrums. From this point on the planes started coming thick and fast.
One of the best moments was an aid to the commentator being unveiled - the picture on page 4 shows what was done. In case you were wondering there were a few misdirections in the commentary as to the directions in which the planes were coming from.
The display continued with stunt planes, the BBMF Lancaster, B17G Sally-B, and the big draw of the afternoon XH558 the only flying Vulcan bomber in the world. When it was announced the Vulcan was due next the entire airfield went silent as everyone was looking for the aircraft. It arrived to a salute of camera shutters.
Out of the whole day in my opinion only two displays weren't that good - the Stunt glider pilot obviously couldn't get the correct thermals so had to finish early which was a real shame, and I wasn't impressed with the flying circus at the end.
It was a fantastic display and one of the best events we have done this year.
So now onto the car pictures
As this was the first running of the show - and the first time Complete Kit Car had decided to organise such an event, this will be a bit more of a critique than other reports I have written. This article is therefore my own opinion and not that of the club in general.
I decided to go down on the Saturday, partly due to the fact that I knew my brother was going to do some filming work for CKC and also to try and drum up some more business for both the Derbyshire run and the Curborough track days. If I had wanted to I could have gone down on Sunday as well but decided against it.
First impressions as I approached the track were good with loads of signage out announcing the shows presence and gate staff who knew where you had to go. I hadn't had a chance to clean the car before the show but it wouldn't have mattered as the loose gravel on the entrance to the club parking area soon covered the car with dust. Upon arriving at the club entrance I was issued with a wristband - much better than the stamping of a hand used at other shows to denote who has paid.
Unfortunately the club areas weren't that clearly marked out - and a plan handed out would have made it easier to find a particular section. Instead I resorted to looking out for another Tiger and parking near them. Once parked up I spent the next hour or so trying to persuade owners to come on the various events.
Moving off the club area entailed a fairly lengthy walk past a couple of burger vans (the only outside catering that I could see), round the camping area and then to the exhibition centre. Outside the hall were two displays, a Westfield slalom experience and a group of auto-testers. Well forget the Westfields the car control shown by the autotesters was by far the more entertaining and fantastic to watch.
Into the show hall then, the hall is fairly large and quite well lit. However this show made the same mistake that I think all the shows do - you have the manufacturers in the middle in a couple of rows and then all the trade stands at the edges or to one end. This results in a form of show apartheid where the people looking for a kit are at one end and those looking for parts are kept at the other end. Personally I think that intermingling or even alternating manufacturer and parts suppliers would bring the two halves together and increase trade / footfall for both groups. A lot of the smaller parts suppliers weren't there but then it depends on how much stand space was and if they thought it would be financially worth it - however some of the trade stands at the far end looked quite quiet although I could be wrong.
There was also the issue that again there wasn't a plan to show who or where all the stands were.
I did however get to buy a few bits I wanted - one being an indicator warning sounder (that will please Mike Finch), and the other being a small wheeled stool for use in the garage.
In the afternoon when the racing started it was noticeable that the halls emptied somewhat as people went to watch the racing, this was to be expected but the halls still kept fairly full.
On the whole a good effort for the first running of the show. I would however like to see some plans for the parking areas and the show stalls (really a small show guide) and maybe some small outside trade stands if these were placed between the parking area and the hall it would act as a funnel which would give the stands a huge footfall as everyone would walk past them. There were also special events i.e. the Autotesters, Wheel changing challenge, Kit Car Heritage display and half price entry to the Donington Collection which weren't really that well advertised and probably lost out on viewers / competitors simply because you only knew about these things from reading the magazine. In fact I found out about the Collection offer only after reading the mag a day or two ago as I was making notes for this article.
Well it took a lot of advance organising and a load of planning from Ian Welch but the run went off very well. In order to prevent the losing of cars this year we introduced certain measures. The first of which was to publish the route in TomTom, Garmin and Google Maps format for the SatNav users, a Tulip style road book for the non-satnav users, and for the masochist tendency a full set of OS map co-ordinates as well. As you can imagine this takes a lot of work behind the scenes before we get anywhere near publishing anything.
So on a bright and sunny Peterborough morning we set off, from Peterborough we had 3 cars, myself, Gary Brookes, and Griff and Rachel. The run up to Langham was uneventful (no fog or cycle races as in previous years), here we met up with Malcolm Brown, Paul and Linda Ashby, Simon and William Bunker, Niall Turner and Steve and Paula Tuck.
From Langham we went to Melton Mowbray where we used a road to regroup after the Melton traffic lights. At this point some idiot had a go at us for using a private MOD road to regroup. The road was a public highway and didn't even have an MOD sign on the end so we ignored him and kept on going.
The rest of the run up to Ripley was uneventful apart from the hold up on the M1 which meant we took about 20 minutes to cover the 10 miles on the road. Once at Ripley we met up with another 10 cars. These were Ian and Pat Welch, Peter Conner, Brian Chambers, Joe Faulkner, John Raper, Graham Weaver, Trevor Harmer, Philip Hill, Clive and Lewis. The last 5 names on the list all came over from the NWATOC so probably had almost as far from the other side of the country as we did from East Anglia.
Once everyone was briefed and a quick rundown on how to use the tulip maps (for those who chose to use them) we set off. Now at this point I was running at the back of the group (as I had both SatNav and Tulip) so I could catch up with any strays and point them in the right direction. This was fine until we reached Tulip no.18 where upon despite the satnav and Rachel telling him to turn left Griff ignored those and went straight on. That wouldn't have been that bad but another 6 or 7 cars followed him - despite their instructions also doing the same. Talk about observing the route - well the result of this was I ended up in the middle of the group and stayed there until the lunch stop. The rest of the morning's drive was through some spectacular scenery made all the better by the clear blue skies above us.
Lunch was at The Bridge Inn - a spectacular location, although if the weather had been bad then I am not sure quite how we would have got everyone into the building to eat as there wasn't much room.
After an hour lazing around we then started on the second part of the run - mostly through Chatsworth's grounds and then up onto the high ground for a blast before coming back to to Alfreton one junction up from where we had come off the M1 that morning. On the last few miles I caught up with a familiar car - that of Donny who had had some problems with his car that morning and hadn't been able to join us - he would have done but the traffic jam on the M1 caught him out.
All in all a fantastic day with great weather, a great drive and a total of 19 (20 if we include Donny for the last few miles) cars making the run.
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