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The first club meeting of 2013. This was used as an events planning meeting and there will be some changes from last year. So here are the highlights:
There will be more events but as we know about them then it possible to book them in. At present there aren't any dates published for Maxey or Baston car shows, and a few more events are up in the air.
Keep an eye on the events page for more details - and note a new location for the February Meeting due to the car park at the ferryboat.
After missing out on the camping experience last year due to Rachel's work schedule, she was quite quite animated to do so this year. She had mentioned this numerous times to me and also to Ali & Simon. Who in turn said they were keen but unsure how they would transport all their gear !! Never fear, Rachel will be in the van, so she can carry the stuff. Ali & Simon arrived the weekend before at ours with the tent etc. My only apprehension was would the van be turfed off the stand and made to go to the camping area, which would have ended up with us being so isolated from all the other campers.
The forecast during the week was to be cool and showery at the weekend. Ali and Simon arrived at ours on Saturday dinner - time with yet, even more gear which was duly loaded, at this point Rachel renamed the van as the 'back up' bus. Simon had checked the weather forecast before leaving that morning, which stated heavy showers around dinner- time. Setting off, we encountered a very heavy shower within a 5 mile radius of home, knowing that Rachel was snug and dry in the van, Ali and Simon were wearing their wet suits, yet silly me, just jeans and coat. Vision was a major problem as it was non stop, wipers were working (Ha Ha Ha Ha) but more rain was on the inside on the screen than the outside, best just to hang my head outside of the car and follow the white line. We had decided to stop for lunch en route at The Royal Oak at Duddington, which was as always superb. Eating lunch, yet more clouds passed but luckily for us no more rain.
Our route was to be Corby, Market Harborough, Lutterworth, M6 and then Stoneleigh, however as I was the leader of the pack, with the Sat Nav following the route Giles had forwarded. We entered Corby and successfully negotiated it all together, however, the sat nav, told me to turn left at Dingley, I duly followed it, thinking it was missing out a congested road junction or something, what I did not realize at that point, it was trying to get us to the A14. However, we did go down some fantastic single-track lanes and were praying that we did not meet any other traffic. We were eventually travelling parallel with the A14 and then we joined it. Yet again, we were successful in keeping all 3 vehicles together from the A14 to the M6 as I knew this was the point Rachel was concerned about. Just before the M6 I pulled over and decided to ditch the Sat Nav route altogether, at this point a black and yellow Tiger roars past. no point in trying to follow that one as it was Niall. Never fear, I missed the large yellow signs on the A46 saying Stoneleigh follow Warwick. It ended up, with Ali & Simon and Rachel going the correct route and me going on another detour. (Maybe, it is time I wore my glasses for driving)
We eventually arrived, it was quite simple for Rachel to park the van and put the kettle on, we did try to erect the canopy but it was far too windy, we decided to leave it, then watched/helped Simon proceed to erect his marquee with all the added extras, yet Niall had something up his sleeve to rival the carpet, which was to be revealed later. Saturday afternoon/evening passed quite quickly with me being at the end of the majority of the jokes, the beer/wine/cider flowing with the chat and laughter, we never realized how cold the evening turned out to be, most of us went to bed chilly and the rest is history.
Sunday morning heralded a bright and sunny day ahead, over coffee and breakfast, we were guessing who would turn up first and would Steve and Paula be out of their beds. Niall completed the campsite inspection to ensure that the area was clean and tidy. Having not had this luxury last year, we were easily able to wander off and look at the stands leisurely rather than rushing. With the added bonus of never having to worry if I purchased anything as the van could carry it home. To which, Simon Noble and Ady Spriggs took advantage of. To be honest, I really enjoyed looking around the trade stands seeing what wares they had on offer. The Trade Hall stands were pretty much the same as last year, the only difference was that Tiger were not displaying this time - a shame in my opinion.
Before long the day had passed, maybe it was the start of my sunburn or windburn as it was a warm breezy day. The campers en-mass went to the evening entertainment, we were pleased not to be sitting outside this evening but the band were not that great but yet again, the evening passed quickly and soon we were returning to the stand and Niall revealed all - his remote controlled porch light. Afraid that this has started something now, Ali & Simon need to find something not to be outdone by this to go with their carpeted marquee.
Monday was a lovely bright sunny day and yet again, a different set of faces and Tigers arrived, some total strangers but as always a warm welcome extended. Before long, after walking many more miles around the pitches to see if any more cars had arrived for the Monday only. My observation this year there seemed to have been a lot of interest in the 3 wheeler kit car/trikes. Would I change my car to another kit - NO
Why change a habit of a lifetime, on the return leg, yet again I messed up with the Sat Nav but eventually finding our way out of Lutterworth , maybe Rachel has now seen the aeroplane as we completed this roundabout twice,for the final leg home, a truly remarkable weekend, great company and wonderful kits to look at.
However, the shower that evening was interesting to say the least, as various parts of my body had seen too much sun !!
And for an alternative view of the event...
The planning for Stoneleigh started way back in December when it was discussed at the Christmas party. Camping was something that everyone was planning on doing, with Griff and Rachel planned to take their camper van. This meant a support vehicle and an offer of transport for our tent and sleeping bags.
We arranged to meet at Griffs house and travel down on the Saturday in convoy with Griff in his Tiger and Rachel in the van. The forecast for the weekend was good with the exception of heavy rain on Saturday morning around the Peterborough area. Unfortunately this decided to come at the exact moment that we started to drive away from Griffs house. It only rained for 10 minutes, but during that time there was 10mm of rain fell, turning the roads to rivers and resulting in near zero visibility, the point at which a windscreen becomes a hindrance due to no wipers on the inside. After that, the sun came out and stayed all weekend.
Having looked on the map and decided the route we would take, Griff got the offer of a satnav itinerary from Giles. This should have taken us the same route, but once we reached Dingley, something went slightly wrong. The satnav told us to turn down a narrow single track road and we duly followed. This resulted in some fun roads for the Tigers, but not so much for Rachel following in the van. We soon joined the A14 to try and get back on track and did OK until we needed to follow the big yellow signs. Whether it was due to blindly following the satnav or Griff being unable to see yellow, we had a few laps around a roundabout before re-grouping on the correct road when Griff took the wrong turning.
Having arrived at Stoneleigh we set up camp and were amazed at the Tardis like nature of Steve Tucks Tiger Cat. The luggage just kept coming and coming. The rest of the Saturday night was spent sitting around the tents with a few beers having a laugh and a joke at each others expense. There were 8 EATOC members there, myself and Ali, Griff and Rachel, Steve and Paula Tuck and Niall and Gavin (aka The Butler, but don't ask me why, I don't remember).
Saturday night was cold, much colder than we expected. It was forecasted to be 10C, but I think it struggled to get above 1C, but the clear skies did lead to a bright and sunny Sunday. This was great weather for looking around the club stands. We started the Sunday by going on the Dakar 4x4 experience, which was something very different. It was a little scary the angles these trucks could drive at, both directly up and down as well as across. I would definitely recommend others to try these if the queue isn't too big. The rest of Saturday was spent looking around the club stands and sitting around the cars at the Tiger club stand.
During the day on Sunday we gained one more camper, Richard from Kings Lynn, who by the end of the day caved in and became a member. On the Sunday night each year there is onsite entertainment and this is where we all headed to, partly due to the warmth, partly to see what the music was like and also because there was a bar there. When we returned to the tents, Niall was proud to show us all his remote control porch light, since he couldn't out do us in tent size.
Monday was another day of great weather. It gave time to look around all the indoor stalls, before returning to the Tiger club stand to pack ready for an early afternoon trip back home. This was all going to plan when Steve noticed a split coolant pipe. Therefore a trip next door to the CBS tent and he could repair it before he left. The trip home was a lot less adventurous, with the exception of a sight seeing trip of Lutterworth. User error on the sat nav this time meaning every time we started to leave Lutterworth it directed us back in.
When the weather is nice and there is a group of you, Stoneleigh is a great weekend. I will certainly be doing it again and hope everyone else does too. Maybe there will be a few extra members next year!
The inclement weather forecast for the day made me think that the Norfolk run would be cancelled. When I realised it was going ahead anyway, I made sure we were ready, whatever the weather. When we arrived at Tiger I was surprised how many cars had turned up, especially given the forecast for the day. I think there were 16 cars there, with one Tiger joining only for a short section in the middle. Rachel phoned through the order for lunch before we left Tiger in the morning, ensuring that lunch would be available without delays when we arrived.
The traffic around Wisbech meant that the group split up into smaller groups as everyone departed from Tiger on the first leg. The pace was swift as we travelled out towards the lunch stop, the first surprise was when we saw Griff coming back towards us. Despite writing the route, he had missed one of the turnings and had to do a U turn before returning to the front and leading us along some windy roads and through some beautiful surroundings to the pub.
Lunch was at the Red Hart in Bodham and having pre-ordered it was delivered swiftly after everyone had arrived, even Giles and Niall who had got caught up in traffic and were about 10 minutes behind. After lunch there was a short drive to the fuel stop at Sherringham, where 14 thirsty Tigers brought the petrol station to a standstill.
The afternoon drive along the coast was a much more sedate pace than the morning, due to speed limits and slow drivers on the narrow coast roads. Our luck with the weather didn't hold out all day and there was a little rain in the afternoon, making the roads wet. This resulted in some of the Tigers occasionally wagging their tails.
Soon after we arrived at Sandringham the rain also arrived and stayed for everyone's drive back home.
Most sensible people opted for helmets, windscreens and bodywork. Simon Bunker had decided that a pair of goggles and a waterproof would suffice and I'm sure he regretted that decision on his way home.
If I only drove my car when the sun was out, then I don't think I would ever do many miles. Thanks Griff and Rachel for organising this outing and also to everyone else for supporting it and making it a such a great day.
A bit of background information. If you refer to Allan Griffin's Stoneleigh report above you will see that my preferred route to Coventry caused some of our members to get confused.
As I was going to this event and a few of them decided to meet up in Werrington we shouldn't be able to lose anyone as they were following me?
So from Peterborough we had 3 cars Myself (and Mike Finch joining as a passenger), Griff and Rachel, and Simon and Ali. We set off at around 7:45 and made good time with the run. It turned out to be nice and straightforward, even the Coventry ring road wasn't that busy so we turned up at the entrance to the museum at 8:30. All well and good but the museum didn't open the gate until 09:00 and anyway we had to wait until the drunks had been cleared away before we could park up.
In the meantime we had a few more members arrive - Simon and Rob Bunker in the MEV, Paul and Marion Browning (R6), Nick Paine our Malvern based member and Micheal Johnston our (at the time of writing) newest member.
So we had a total of 7 cars, 6 Tigers and an MEV, not a bad display. We were meant to be sharing the display area with a Motorcycle club but none of them arrived, one biker turned up in the middle of the day and then on not seeing any other bikes left rather promptly!
The cars generated huge amounts of interest, with a lot of people asking questions. Unfortunately though a lot of people can't control their children and the cars were being treated as climbing frames by some. Also I am not sure why Simon Bunker is a builder - judging by his performance on the day he should be able to sell ice to an eskimo!
Now for those of you who haven't been in the museum before, it can be a bit of a surprise. From the outside it doesn't look very large, but inside it has hundreds of cars from the very early (1890s) up to things only a couple of years old. It is also the home of the last two Land Speed Record holding cars, having both Thrust2 and Thrust SSC on permanent display.
The museum is also home to a huge collection of bicycles and motorcycles as well and a collection of more oddball machines. There are halls full of Toy Cars, memorabilia and commercial vehicles.
So in summary our cars were well received, the museum proved to be an excellent venue and a return trip is being planned for next year, all we would like is a few more cars please!
Even though Newark is only an hours drive away, a decision was made that we would camp there after having a cracking weekend at Stoneleigh. Would Newark surprise us as the website said that the show had been revamped. Also, after chatting with other Kit car owners, there seemed to be a lot of interest in this years show as it was celebrating it's the 30th show or would we be business, like in previous years.
When we arrived Friday evening around 7pm a lot of people were already there, with caravans/campers and tents pitched, yet more people filed in till about 10pm. Friday evening was passed away chatting to the neighbours, particularly, David who had driven 3.5 hours from Wales in his GBS Zero, which he had purchased at the show last year. Sadly the weather was wet and windy at times during the night.
Saturday morning broke and it was a bright sunny morning at 6.30, our neighbour spent the best part of hour and half, polishing his Ferrari (sorry a MR2) , whilst we sat enjoying a lazy breakfast, Then the heavens opened, and he started all over again, these showers happened frequently during the day. Not sure, if the weather deterred kit car owners from arriving but Saturday was very quiet, most of the display areas had few or no cars on display. Some of the Auto Jumble sellers even packed up and went home. A fellow Tiger owner Niall arrived in his camper van during the afternoon, he was unable to bring his Tiger as it had an overheating issue! Yet again, the time soon passed, with much chatter and laughter.
However, the Organisers had saved the best for Saturday night, with their entertainment. The Group were called The Jakks and they had the audience rocking, with their splendid cover versions, ranging from the Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, Snow Patrol, AC/DC and loads more.
Sunday, the weather was sunnier and there were more people in attendance, both as Kit Car owners and visitors. Even the Fly-by involving a Lancaster and 2 Spitfires was achieved late in the afternoon.
A comparison between the 2 shows, in my opinion proved that Stoneleigh attracted more Kit Car owners, Exhibitors and auto jumble, however, the evening entertainment at Newark was far superior to the group at Stoneleigh ~ can't even remember their name. Also, the shower block was cleaner and loads of hot water was available at Newark, another positive.
Going forward, will Newark Kit Car Festival be scaled back to 1 day as a majority of people only attended on the Sunday and sadly, there was no revamped show.
Something strange is happening to the pub meetings - the attendance is going down. Now I am not sure why this is the case but the June Pub Meeting was only attended by 4 cars but 6 club members. Bringing their cars along were myself, Allan Griffin, Paul Browning and Simon Bunker. The tintop drivers were Tony Haggie and Alan Whale. I can't understand where the rest of you were the evening was dry, bright and sunny but nobody wanted to come along.
Anyway the evening went well for those who attended but unfortunately one of our members was midge food - I am not sure why but it appears Griff is a midge magnet for some reason he is very tasty.
As a result of this there is a special photo for him just below. As it went dark and the carpark lights came up all the midges flocked to the light and I managed to capture a picture showing a few of the thousand that were flying around that night.
Planning for the Cotswold Run did not go overly smoothly for me with this event. On the Tuesday before the run my satnav had a fit and refused to operate - it got sent for repair and at the time of writing still hasn't come back.
So without the satnav I couldn't have the itinerary and hence the directions available to me. Not good. However for the first part at least it wouldn't matter as I was driving down in convoy with Griff and Rachel and Simon and Ali. So meeting up with them at the Peterborough services we made our way down and arrived first at the meeting point with only a few diversions due to roundabouts.
A few minutes later and Simon Bunker turned up, he dropped Sue (his wife) off and we all went to get some petrol. Bizarrely we passed 2 fuel stations before stopping at a BP garage where we met up with Philip Sapwell. Strangely we came back to the meeting area by a completely different route. Rachel just about managing to hold onto some coffees as Griff left the petrol station with the wheels spinning!
Back at the meeting point and we found that Niall Turner, Paul Browning and Mark Fassenfelt had arrived as well. This took the number of cars to 8 for the start of the run.
The first section was fairly easy and we soon cleared Milton Keynes, however I was running near the back and am sure one or two cars had looped round a roundabout and missed their intended exit.
The next stretch also went well and we picked up Peter Connor who had decided to join the route part way. We also passed a huge number of Dutch registered '7' types - didn't notice any Tigers in them though.
All was good until we reached a town called Witney. As we came into the town we reached a roundabout where a nice police car actually stopped the traffic so we could all get over without an issue, we then turned left, went down a road, turned left again, and left again (you have probably guessed what is going on). We were then back at the same point. So we turned right at the roundabout and then stopped on the forecourt of a petrol station.
At this point there was a collective "Where are we?" and we had also lost Paul and Mark. A few phone calls later and we found them, the decision was made to shorten the route somewhat and head straight for the lunch stop. At this point the Satnav routes were confused as we had missed a lot of the waypoints out!
Finally after a bit more driving we found the lunch stop and had a bite to eat - much to some of the participants relief.
Lunch over and we headed off, at this point Mark left us as he needed to get back. Our next slight diversion was to pass through Bourton on the Water, there was a Chinese lady standing by the side of the road who must have taken multiple pictures of every car. Mind you a lot of other people were taking photos as well.
We then had a petrol stop at which point Peter left us as due to the A43 closure (it being the Grand Prix weekend) it was easier for him to get back from there rather than continue to the end point.
The last stretch for me was the worst, coming out of a side road we hit a lot of traffic so when I pulled out I couldn't see anyone else, Paul was behind me but we got separated by a couple of cars and I went the wrong way at a roundabout. After a few yards I realised I had gone the wrong way and turned round (not made very easy by a clutch that wasn't releasing) got back to the roundabout took the correct exit and then missed the side road to the end point. Went up that road by a mile and had to run round again. I did finally make it to the pub though!
After a good break it was time for the 90 mile journey back to Peterborough.
Now when Simon did the planning for the run he commented on all the lovely scenery that we passed through. However that was a few months ago and the hedges had grown and the Tigers are a lot lower than a regular car so I have to say we didn't see much scenery - did see the bottom of a lot of hedges though!
Not that much of interest happened during the day at the Sporting Bears. The more interesting stuff occurred at the end.
There is a picture of a Bond Bug - well the owner went to load the car on a standard 2 runner trailer. As you can see from the photos it is a 3 wheeled car. To do this he installed three planks to get up on the deck and drove up at quite a high speed (you can probably guess what is going to happen - The car shot off the planks onto the trailer and the front wheel shot into the car between the runners - it made quite a bang! He then decided to rev up and reverse it out but the shock of the impact had caused the ramps to fall off. At this point a few of us went over and stopped him causing an even bigger problem for himself.
Unfortunately I don't have any photographic evidence of this occurring.
There won't be an event report for this - it is not something we would normally write up. However here are a selection of pictures from the event.
Higher quality versions are available at www.gilescooperphotography.co.uk
I don't have that much really to report about Maxey, other than it was a successful show. The only downside was it kept trying to rain during the day. We had 3 Tigers (and a MGTF) come along which was a slightly disappointing turnout but the rest of the show had some good cars as can be seen in the pictures.
Higher quality versions are available at www.gilescooperphotography.co.uk
Well at the start of the day we were unsure if we were going to an Air Show or a car show.
Arriving at just after 9 AM the airfield was completely overcast with low cloud. This is not obviously ideal for an air display.
At 10:30 it was still very cloudy, but fortunately the wind picked up and the low cloud cleared to give us a really good air show.
Now an admission I took a lot of car photos and a huge amount of aircraft, but forgot to take any of the Tigers that were there!
We did have 5 cars attend, my Cat, Simon Bunker's Rocket, Rob Bunker's Magic, Dominic Longhurst's Super 6, Allan Griffin's Super 6 and Simon Noble's R6.
I think Dominic might have been slightly overwhelmed with the amount of information he was given about the suspension setup on his car and the fact that he ended up buying a lot of components from a fellow member.
Well I think the weather played a part in this event. If you had taken note of every forecast in the week before we would have been drowned, boiled or blown away. Due to the poor prospects quite a few people decided not to come on the run, this proved to be their loss not ours.
We started off as usual at Peterborough services, where I met up with Griff and Rachel, Steve and Paula, Mandy and Adrian Spriggs, and Mark Fassenfelt. After waiting a suitable period for anyone else to arrive we then proceeded up the A1 towards Langham. The only problem along here was the Burghley Horse trial diversions which had been set up.
Arriving at Langham we met up with one more car that of Niall Turner. We also found that the pub was open and a few people used this as an opportunity to have a quick pit stop, the landlord also provided drinks and we found that he was willing to provide a breakfast if we do another run this way. (I think we may change the start point for next year...)
Originally in the plan for the run was a regroup point at a garden centre on the other side of Melton Mowbray as we only had 6 cars this turned out not to be necessary and we had an easy drive through Melton and on to Derby barely seeing any traffic or holdups the entire distance.
When we got to Derby we encountered the most chaotic petrol station I have seen, it sits in the middle of a roundabout, and then has customers coming in from both sides, so you can be queuing up to get to a pump and someone can also be coming from the opposite direction!
We also met up with more owners from the EATOC ranks, Dave and Jane Sams had come straight to Derby, as had Simon Bunker and Brian Chambers. The non-eatoc members included Ian and Pat Welsh (run organisers), AJ Walker, Trevor Harmer, Graham Weaver and two other cars which I don't know the drivers of.
Once everyone was together and ready to go we set off, The first junction was a challenge, as occurs in a lot of places a tree had grown over the sign so it was hard to see. Still once that was passed we had a great run to get to the lunch stop.
However upon arriving we were a couple of cars short. I had been running at the back and had already picked up AJ as he had taken a wrong turn earlier. However there was no sign of either Griff or Adrian. About 15 minutes later they arrived having taken a rather interesting route which wasn't part of the map. We then stopped for an hour or so to get some photos and have lunch after which most of the North West contingent left us as due to the way they came in they would have double backed on themselves to return to the start point.
For the rest of us it was a nice slow (well fairly slow) journey back, including going through the railway tunnel at walking pace to avoid creating any noise... The return journey managed to avoid losing anymore drivers, and we all made it back to the petrol station intact. After a break for a while it was discovered that one of our contingent had left their glasses at the pub and so they had to go back and fetch them. The rest of us all set off for home.
It was upon leaving Derby that disaster struck for the first time I encountered some rain for about a mile - the rest of the day had either been clear skies or just high cloud. The rest of the journey home was completed in the dry.
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