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The first club meeting of 2014. This was used as an events planning meeting and there will be some changes from last year. So here are the highlights:
We also are looking at the following events - no dates have been booked yet
There will be more events but as we know about them then it possible to book them in.
Keep an eye on the events page for more details
The write up for this event can be found at http://www.gilescooper.co.uk/trackday14.html
For the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh it was arranged that Simon Noble, Ali Matthews, Ady Spriggs, Mandy Atter, Rachel Collins and myself would travel in convoy to the event on the Saturday and camp for the duration of the show. This would involve a convoy of three Tigers and two VW campers.
On route we stopped at The Royal Oak ,Duddington for dinner and after diner continued on our way to Stoneleigh via Corby, Market Harborough, Lutterworth onto the M6 then A46, A45 turning off onto the B4113 and arriving at venue.
Last year I got lost on the approach to Stoneleigh and had the proverbial took out of me the last 12 months. OH joy of joy's when Simon and Rachel missed the B4113 turning and Ady, Mandy and myself didn't. Should be a good year ahead if you know what I mean. Due to this we had to wait outside the main entrance as Rachel had the tickets. Still we did get to see a vast array of vehicles turning up to stay for the weekend.
When we all arrived at the pitch we were met by Dave McKenna and were amazed that the size of the pitch was so small (only three cars wide by four deep) still this posed no problem as our pitch neighbours, were the P4 Replica clubs who never turn up, so boundary down pitch extended, sorted. ￼
During the next few hours we were joined by Niall Turner and Gavin Mann, Steve and Paula Tuck and we set up camp. The following morning Richard Gaze and Trevor Harmer one of our colleagues from the North West Tiger Owners Club arrived.
On the Sunday morning the weather was glorious and we were looking forward to the arrival of a few more Tigers and we were not to be disappointed as during the course of the day 32 came and parked up on the Tiger owners pitch. It was not until mid afternoon that Rachel and myself went into the halls and were amazed at how many large gaps were there and the lack of exhibitors compared to previous years. The main core of exhibitors were all related to the Cobra's so if that is what you came for you would be happy.
The merchandise halls were still however pretty full and any bits and bobs needed could be sourced. That is unless you needed a copper or fibre washer to seal your temperature sensor switch on it's mating face ask Niall not one to be found anywhere, also to my complete amazement no one sold PTFE tape.
On the Sunday evening we all went to the DEW sorry Due held in one of the function halls, this is sponsored by Complete Kit Car magazine. However as in previous years the sound from the live band was awful and not to be let down this year the queue for the bar was at least 50 deep and they also ran out of beer. Still it was at least nice and warm and cosy.
On the Monday there were not as many cars of any description turning up but there were as many people out and about . It seems Sunday was the day for owners arriving in their vehicles and Monday was the day the public turned up to have a look. ￼
All in all we had a fantastic weekend with good friends old and new and roll on 2015.
This was for me the first show of the year - I didn't go to Stoneleigh due to being on call for work that weekend. However things did not look promising the weather report veering between dull and torrential rain. In the end on the Sunday morning I decided to go but missed out on the planned meet up at the Brampton Services due to running late - however I did end up getting to the event before those who met there.
The show certainly attracted a different crowd to what we usually see. In total 8 EATOC Members made the journey down.
Some notable cars were a Porsche (see photo below) which was a bit wider than normal. A '1967 MGB' - I've put the name in quotes because it has had a new heritage body shell, new interior, MX5 engine, MX5 gearbox, new suspension etc. Some of the windscreen trim wasn't perfect so I guess that was the 1967 section. It was a lovely car but really in my opinion more like a kit car than a historic vehicle.
There were also quite a few American cars including a Chevrolet with crazed paintwork, more kit cars and a good selection of classics.
One of the best things was the catering - the food was of good quality and very reasonably priced as well. They did have a run on Danish Pastries though - a group of us were standing together and I went to get some food - whilst waiting to be served I noticed a plate of pastries for a very reasonable £1 each. When I cam back to the others it took only a couple of minutes before all 7 or so of us had been to get them.
Apparently the show was down on numbers with the organisers expecting another 50 cars who decided against coming due to the weather forecast - however we had a dry day not overly warm but very pleasant.
However the journey back was interesting for a few of us. Coming up the A1 it was a bright sunny afternoon once into Peterborough it started looking like rain and I hit some rain just as I got home. Rachel and Griff hit a torrential amount of rain so much that the seats had only dried out by the next Friday - just before we were due to do the Norfolk run.
In summary it was a great event, a big thank you must go to Matthew Slade for arranging things with the organisers and it was well worth going to.
Well unlike the Classics at the Sharnbrook the weather for the Norfolk outing was pretty much perfect. Dry bright and warm - almost unknown for a club outing! We had arranged to meet at Tiger at 9:30 - unfortunately Laura had forgotten to tell either Jim or Paul that they needed to be there to open up.
Never mind; we started out with 10 cars at the factory. It was also good that we had some new faces turn up for the run - we had Giles Cooper, Allan Griffin and Rachel Collins, Dave and Jane Sams, Adrian Spriggs and Mandy Atter, David Fiske, Simon Noble and Ali Matthews, Steve and Paula Tuck all constituted the 'regulars'. We also had Carl Lumley and Carolyn Oughton attending their first EATOC run, and two members of the East Anglia Kit Car Club Micheal Ramsdale and Dom Eaves who had David as a passenger, and set out. Now I was at the back and failed to note the instruction that we were going to stop at the Morrisons for a comfort break.
So everyone else stopped there and I kept on driving. As I had got stuck at the traffic lights I just assumed they were all in front of me.
Part way along the route I picked up two more Tigers Richard Gaze and Gary Brooks. I then lost Gary as we were going to the Tesco store in Thetford.
It took another 15 minutes for the rest of the group to arrive. After a break we carried on to the lunch stop. All the cars stayed in convoy and we didn't lose anyone else on the journey. At the lunch stop we rejoined Gary who had had to take a phone call from a client and then came across on a more direct route.
The lunch stop proved to be a success with everyone enjoying their meal - the portions were quite large. After lunch we had a good discussion outside with the cars and discovered the only mechanical fault of the day - Richard Gaze managed to break an engine mount. I didn't think the route was that rough.
After lunch and with the numbers somewhat reduced due to people going directly home we set off on the second leg back to Mundford. Now at this point there was a split in navigation. I had changed the route from Griff's original one to avoid having to go through the one-way system in Attleborough for the second time. Due to some prompting by Rachel - Griff and two others went on the original route, whereas I took the rest of the group on the new version. The end result of this was that the group I had with me ended up arriving at Mundford about 5 minutes before the remaining cars.
We then all stopped off and spent a while at the cafe before turning round and heading home. It has to go down as one of the best runs we have ever done weather wise, and it was great to get some new faces to come to the events.
A big thanks to Griff for organising the route and making sure we all ran as expected.
This is going to probably read as a slightly strange report as I am writing it a month after the event and so my memory is a bit hazy.
However I do remember that the run to the start was interesting. I met up with Griff and then we made our way down the A1 with the intent of meeting Simon and Ali at the Brampton Hut services - well that was the intention I was following and we sailed by the exit and came to a halt in the first layby. We then called Simon and waited for him to turn up.
After a few minutes we had all regrouped and continued down to Bedford for the start.
At Bedford we joined up with Simon and Sue Bunker (route organisers), Paul and Marion Browning, Dave and Jane Sams, Niall Turner and Gavin, Steve Tuck, and Neil Anderson. This made a grand total of 9 cars to do the event.
The route was split into two parts the first passed without any real incidents and for once we didn't appear to lose anyone on the run. We did however cause chaos at a petrol station in Potton as to be expected when a group of Tigers decend for a refill.
After upsetting the locals we then continued on to the end of the run and the rather strange motor museum at Lower Stondon.
Well strange is one way of describing it. All I will say is that it is the only car museum with a missile truck (complete with missile), some interesting mannikins and a very strange replica of HMS Endeavor which appeared to be in the process of being demolished! Have a look at the pictures and make you own mind up.
The day started off dry and warm, with a lovely clear and empty run down to Newmarket Racecourse. (this might have something to do with not many people being on the road at 7AM on a Sunday morning) and I made good time getting to the entry point.
As I came in I met up with Dave Thomas and we were the first two Tigers to make it. A few minutes later Simon Noble and Allan Griffin turned up making 4 cars followed by Alan Whale shortly after. The five cars made up the EATOC contingent.
After some general chatting we went for a wander round, this was one of those slightly strange shows where classic/kit cars were put off to one side whilst a lot of new car displays were in a separate area.
There were a few trade stands and someone selling very expensive classics - £30k for an Escort Cosworth, or £18k for a BMW E34 M5!
After a couple of hours it started to drizzle with rain. Big deal hardened Tiger drivers don't care about drizzle... but it got stronger and stronger, by midday it was lashing it down and we went to the nearest shelter we could find and stayed put. Incidentally a group of Vauxhall Vectra owners on sensing the rain rushed to get their cars undercover. Of all the cars needing a cover the Vectra is the least likely I can think of.
So it has to be said that trying to put a positive spin on one of the wettest shows we have ever attended (it even put Kimbolton to shame) is rather hard.
Finally it became time to go home. After unwrapping the car from the rain cover I started out. On the A14 towards Cambridge it wasn't that bad, however heading towards Cambridge services it got so bad with the rain filling up the inside of the glass that I had no choice but to stop and buy a cleaning cloth. At that point I ended up waiting for 10 minutes for the rain to ease off.
However once I reached Huntingdon, the rain stopped and coming up the A1 it was bright and sunny.
Since coming home and drying out all the clothes I was wearing I had to take the carpets out of the car and they took 3 days to dry out.
On the morning of the event it was arranged that Richard Gaze and his daughter Megan, and Michael Ramsdale (from EAKCC), would meet at our house and head over to Peterborough to meet Giles come rain or shine. As it turned out the weather was unpredictable it had rained over night but was clear as we left. On the way Michael managed to lose his car on a roundabout completing a 360 degree spin whilst Richard was following.
However before that as I was driving down Parson Drove main road some kind soul had left a brick in the road which I could not avoid and after one almighty bang I'm thinking that has got to have done some damage. When we arrived at Giles I had a look at the oil level which wasok but when we pushed the car forward a nice rainbow puddle of oil is on the wet road. After only a few seconds we pushed it back and there is another, at this rate I would have had no oil within a couple of hours. It turned out the weld has fractured on the front of the lowered sump.
Giles to the rescue. He disappears to his garage and returns with some liquid metal and some car ramps. After further inspection cleaning and applying the metal all seemed fine. Three weeks later the car has not lost a drop of oil but it is still one of those jobs to do on the list.
REPAIR SUMP !
Thanks Giles much appreciated.
Off we went again after about an hour delay. We had already let the folks know at Brampton hut who were waiting that we would be behind schedule but they agreed to wait for us. When we arrived we joined up with Matthew Slade, Simon Noble and Ali Matthews, Dave Thomas and Dave Mckenna. Matthew took over now and led us to Kimbolton via the quaint villages of Spaldwick and Stow Longa.
On arrival we were met by some long queues waiting to get in. By now the weather had turned and the sun is out and the cars are getting rather hot whilst queuing. After twenty minutes we were in and at our pitch ready for the day ahead.
In total 11 cars attended the show. Niall Turner, Steve and Paula Tuck, Gary Downes, Peter Coe, Simon Bunker, and the posse from Brampton Hut.
The event itself was supported really well from others and the public turned out en masse making it a very enjoyable day. The weather even played its part and we saw no rain for the rest of the day including the journey home.
The Maxey car show can be an erratic event - due to it being held in the middle of August nobody can ever predict the weather. In the years I have been going it has been Hot, Overcast, Wet, Overcast, Hot, Monsoon, Hot, Overcast and finally for 2014 Overcast - Well at least it wasn't wet.
Three other cars joined me for the epic journey Allan and Rachel, Simon and Ali and Adrian and Mandy arrived for the 5 minute drive to the show.
As the weather was good there was a large number of cars turning out for the show - Malc Brown came along in his MGF and the latest club member Nick Bett also came along. I had received Nick's application in the post that morning.
As usual there was a wide variety of cars there and some more unusual vehicles that can be seen in the pictures shown.
After a few hours it was time to go home, but it was a good day and the weather held out.
Well despite putting reminders out for over 6 months nobody else in the club booked a display ticket and I had the only Tiger there. As far as I am aware only two other members of the club made it - Mike Finch in his role as senior marshall and Matthew Slade who amazingly managed to locate me (more by chance than design) near one of the stalls.
The show was an absolute sell out and the queues to get in (as a member of the public) were very long - it took my brother and parents 2.5 hours to make the trip from Peterborough. It took me just under an hour.
So what did the rest of you miss?
Well to put it simply 400 various cars in the car park from the very expensive and quite large to some - well have a look at the photos.
But the main reason for going to Little Gransden has to be the air display and this years was fantastic. In previous year's it has been very good but this one topped all the others.
The air display started at 1PM and with only two small breaks, for the traditional service and a pause for the air to settle after the Vulcan had done its flypast, continued until just after 5PM.
Starting off with a Spitfire, we then had acrobatic displays from the Cambridge Aero club and Lauren Richardson's Pitts Special. After all the noise it was then very quiet for the stunt glider which fortunately found enough thermals to allow it to do a full routine.
Team Raven were a new display team which should have had five aircraft but one of the pilots was injured so there were only 4 planes - they still put on a very good display. Then we had a display of the battlefield observation planes and the pair of Spartan executives.
Now came the first of the big name acts. If you have any interest in aviation you will know that the only two flying Avro Lancaster bombers are both in the UK and we should have had 3 flypasts by them. However I think partly due to the size of the crowds we got an extra flypast. The sight of two Lancs in the air was good the sound of 8 Merlin engines was even better.
After the big act we then sped things up again with a P51 Mustang doing a solo display followed by a pair of Piper club aircraft. The last sensible act of the first half was a display by a Slingsby aircraft which had been called in at the last minute due to a cancellation.
The reason for saying the last sensible act was the next one which was the flying circus. Well it is a strange one - first off they started by playing cricket (lobbing balls out of an aircraft and trying to hit a set of oversize stumps), then they got some people to hold up a washing line (complete with washing) on poles and fly the aircraft underneath the line. Before ending up trying to burst balloons using the aircraft wings. Complete and utter madness!
Back to normal (is there ever normal for such a show) and we had the ever entertaining Trig Aerobatic team. They produced some amazing close flying with less than a wings distance between the aircraft.
This was followed by the Storch an aircraft that if it is too windy has a problem getting back to the ground as it produces a lot of lift but hasn't got that much power - on previous occasions I have seen it almost stop due to a headwind.
The Red Sparrows and the Global Stars display teams both provided a very entertaining display, followed by one of the stranger acts. Chris Burkett flies an Extra 330 plane and from the ground a 1/4 scale R/C model flies in close formation. I don't honestly know how they co-ordinate things and in a couple of shots I took you can't tell the model and full size plane apart.
Following the Extra and scale, we then had another Extra 330SC piloted by Mark Jefferies putting on one of his usual gravity defying acts. The most common reaction from those who haven't seen it before is how can a plane do that?
Then came the second of the big name acts. A third aircraft from the Avro factory - the Vulcan XH558.
It is strange when this comes in - the whole airfield is silent waiting for the approach to commence, we got three flypasts including one with the landing gear down. One of the most impressive things is that they can bring the plane in silently due to the shape and then as it turns and powers up the engines the noise builds to a point where the ground shakes. Truly magnificent.
The Vulcan also caused one of the few pauses in the display - after its has done the display we had to wait for the turbulence to settle as it rips the air apart!
The final portion of the flying display was Matt Summers in his RV8 who put on a very nice display (and no I am not just saying that as I know him!), followed by a demonstration by the microlight flying school based at Little Gransden. The penultimate act was a Yak-52 and finally the show was bought to a close by a Hawker Hurricane.
So there you go you could have spent the bank holiday staring up at a mostly bright sky watching 27 different aircraft acts.
According to the website the show has raised approximately £65,000 for Children in Need.
All I can say is I will be back next year as soon as the booking for the display opens and I am very glad the show was Sunday and not Monday as the bank holiday weather was terrible!
The car photos I have locked into this page - those of the aircraft are a slideshow from www.gilescooperphotography.co.uk
As we departed Leverington, @ 6.30 am with Ady and Mandy in tow, the view across the fields was pretty clear. However as we approached Peterborough, it seemed to be murkier, meeting up with Simon and Ali at Giles’ home, all four tigers travelled in convoy to next the meeting point at Langham.
On the A1, the weather deteriorated to wet fog. Fingers crossed this was going to be localised as if not, it would spoil a fab day, scenery wise. A great pit stop at The Wheatsheaf in Langham for bacon sarnies, coffees and teas a fantastic idea. We must book this for next year, thanks to Dave Thomas for arranging this. Here we met up with our newest members Nick and Linda Bett, suitably refreshed, we left with 9 cars in convoy, the visibility beside Rutland Water was very poor and the fog lights were in action and the window wipers too.
A decision had been made that as we were not meeting anyone on the M1 at Trowel services, instead we would stop at Kegworth where two cars filled up and made our way straight to Ripley. Another Tiger tagged onto the convoy here.
A quick refuel at Ripley for the majority, petrol for the Tigers and McDonalds drinks for humans, a quick chat and then we are ready for the off, weather update, dry.
Sadly, the weather did not hold out for long as it was soon very misty and murky again and then the dreaded word - rain. Not wearing our wet suits or having a roof, meant that we arrived at the pub for dinner rather damp - still we were not as drenched as Dave Thomas who had driven down the M1 from Bradford in a torrent to meet us for lunch and the second half of the Derbyshire run. All the cars were covered whilst we went for lunch, good job, as the weather did not improve during our time inside but we all had excellent food. Majority of the drivers left the pub wearing their onesies or with the roof still up. To what should have been amazing views across Derbyshire, as we travelled through Winnats Pass, sadly the weather was against us and yes, some kits even missed the turning. Not sure if it was bad navigation, speed or weather?
The return leg back to Ripley yet again, undertook some amazing twists and turns and by the time we were back at Ripley, the weather was dry again. Here the group had another chat, goodbyes were said and we all dispersed.
Our convey of 10 kits, once refuelled headed south on the M1. Yes you guessed it more rain until we reached Kegworth then thankfully a brisk dry drive home. However an unexpected pitstop at Ashfordby to remove one of the cars rear air diffusers as it had come adrift, twenty minutes later and we are on the last leg after what could be called a challenging day out in Derbyshire. Thanks to Ian and Giles for the organisation, sat nav routes and tulip maps.
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