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Thirty club members enjoyed fine weather on 3 April, for their outing to this well-established American diner on the A10. A well-cooked breakfast of wide ranging choice and some live jazz in accompaniment.
It was a first trip to the venue for me, so I just had to take the opportunity to sample the 'Big American' breakfast, which entailed a three-layer pancake with maple syrup, eggs, sausages, bacon and hash browns. Yes, of course, all on the same plate. A surreal experience in some respects for conventional breakfast Brits, especially when your maple syrup mixes with your egg yoke.
"Too close, too close for comfort" was actually not one of the many jazz 'standards' played delightfully by the un-named quartet, but the only criticism levelled by members about our seating arrangements. After all, we were sited right alongside the musicians. Nonetheless, many stoics were un-phased by the sound levels: being accustomed, no doubt, to talking themselves hoarse next to a trackside roar. A successful meet all round was the overwhelming consensus - by more members in one place than for a considerable time.
As much as I'd planned this as my first proper outing of the year in my Tiger (HS6 - Lotus 6 tribute) it hadn't worked out that way. Particularly galling, as it was a really fine day. Such are the pains of beauty (!) with the vehicle recently slotted in for the build of a much awaited aluminium nose cone
We were just short of twenty Tigers in the car park. It's a little tedious when members cannot all park up together, but there was a worthwhile batch in one corner.
While I was photographing I had several enquiries about the cars, for which due credit was given to Tiger Racing Wisbech.
Not everyone was able to make the short countryside tour to round things off, but a small group of members managed to get it together for what was a satisfying sunny side finale.
A special thanks to Simon for organising the event.
Sunday 3rd April saw the first breakfast meeting of 2016. Due to the event coinciding with the monthly Jazz breakfast, we needed to book in advance to guarantee everyone getting breakfast. Initially we thought that 15 spaces would be hard to fill, but these spaces were soon filled, with more spaces being required. The weather leading up to the weekend was cold and wet, not the ideal weather for a Tiger, so fingers were crossed for an improvement.
The weather forecast for the weekend was good and it turned out to be spot on. It was a dry sunny day, starting cold with temperatures set to improve during the day. When Ali and I arrived at Arbuckles at 9.30 we were surprised to see a big group of Westfields outside. Passing these and into the Arbuckles car park we met the first two of our group. It turned out that the Westfield club were also having their first breakfast meet, but were gathering there before heading off elsewhere. Soon Tigers started arriving rapidly with a couple of Westfields, a MEV and a couple of tintops.
In total there were 33 for breakfast, with at least 3 others along to socialise. The distances these had travelled varied from a few miles away up to several hours drive. The furthest distance travelled had to go to Trevor Riley, who had driven down from near Doncaster to meet everyone. This meant that there were 23 cars in the car park, creating quite a bit of interest from passers-by. Time soon arrived for everyone to head inside and this was the best opportunity to get a few snaps of the cars without everyone in front of them.
Arbuckles had increased in size considerably since our breakfast meet last year and we were in a new room out the back. This meant that we were sat right next to the 3 piece Jazz band, all together on a single table. Orders were taken and all 33 breakfasts came out at the same time and were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Following breakfast, a number of those who had come a long way headed home, while others joined in a small run out around Thetford. Trying to keep so many cars together on an un-planned route through Brandon and Thetford was difficult and we got split into two groups, however, both groups met up again at Browns coffee shop in Mundford. From here, everyone slowly left to make their way home.
This is the second time we have been to the breakfast meeting at the Sharnbrook hotel, but getting there was to be a little challenging...
I had arranged to meet Griff and Rachel at my parents house (the Tiger still lives there until the new garage gets build - more on that later). Unfortunately it wouldn't start due to a flat battery. So it got pushed out of the garage, down the yard and onto the road. We then tried to jump start it using the Avon. Not a chance the battery in the Avon wasn't up to the job. So we then boosted it off my Dad's car and it started immediately - great off we went. We were meeting Peter and Jenny Hinton and Matthew Slade at Brampton Hut services, and it wouldn't start again. This time we had to boost it off Matthew's SUV (that was interesting as the Tiger is so low compared to the bonnet on the SUV that the leads barely reached. But we did make it…
Arriving at the Sharnbrook there were already at least a hundred cars in the car park, and a lot more still to come. So after a wander round we sat down to a very large breakfast (well it did lunch for me as well) prepared to the Sharnbrook's usual high standards.
Now as we had already driven up all the way to the venue we didn't fancy going on the cruise afterwoods as the route was back to the A1 and then down to the Shuttleworth collection (in other words half way home and turn in the wrong direction), we sat there and took photos / videos of the cars leaving the venue. As you proably read on the 1st page Rachel placed the video on facebook and the number of views is probably still increasing from when she wrote the article a couple of days ago. There were around 160 cars leaving the venue and as you can see from the photos quite a bit of variety. To make the photos more interesting I have shied away from the Italian exotica and gone for the more quirky. I can't put everything in the newsletter or on the website.
Fortunately sitting in the sun seemed to have done my batttery a little good as the car fired up so we could make the way home without having to resort to jump leads or similar.
Here are some photos from the day. A few are on this page the rest are running in a slideshow
At times, I get annoyed with Rachel as she spends hours trawling the internet looking at all sorts of stuff. However, she came across a car show advert for County Wheels which being held at Woodhall Spa and was open to all types of vehicles.It was the first time this show had been staged at this location. She got in touch and asked would Kit Cars be accepted. They said yes and would love to have us there.
Only 2 cars responded to Simon (Events Coordinator), the 2 cars were Niall Turner and us. So Simon & Ali, met us on the outskirts of Wisbech, meeting up with Niall at Swineshead, We travelled in convoy to the venue, which was set in a lovely location, a great vibrant village, on arriving at 10.30, the place was already buzzing. The marshall directed to us park at the other end of the park and luckily, we could all get together, All types of vehicles were present, from vintage motorcylces, horse drawn carriages, tractors, TVR, Jags, Minis, VW camper vans, Reliant Robins and lots more.
Yet again, our 3 cars seemed to be like a magnet, with loads of people stopping and admiring. A gentleman approached Simon with a notebook in his hand and started to ask questions, about model, engine etc, could he take pictures. It turned our that he was writing an article for Kit Car magazine. the 3 cars will appear in the August edition, Yet again, what a great opportunity to showcase the Tigers and also EATOC.
To round off the day, a lovely cuppa and cake was served by the lovely WI ladies, We had the opportunity to go to Southwold with the East Anglian Kit Car Club but turned it down in favour of the Woodhall Spa show and we chose the right event as they encountered snow, sleet, hail and rain on their outing.
No doubt, we will go again next year, if they decide to go ahead with the show. I only hope that the weather will be warmer as it was bloody cold all day.
Well it was that time of the year again time for the annual pilgrimage to the National Kit Car Show. As per normal we were booked in for the weekend taking the campervan and the Avon. Laiden down with supplies (beer,beer,cider and more beer) for ourselves and bits and bobs for friends, off we set for Stoneleigh.
We left in convoy from our home joined by Richard, Simon and Ali meeting Dave and Lorraine at Duddington stopping at the Royal Oak for coffee and a midday snack. The route to Stoneleigh was along the A43 to Corby, A427 to Market Harborough, A4304 to Lutterworth, A426, M6, A45 then A46 to The National Agricultural Showground.
When we arrived we were greeted by Ian, Niall, Gav and their friend Barry and his son. This year was to be different for me as my car was to be displayed on the Tiger stand so after we had pitched up I headed round to the rear of hall 2 and took the car inside to see Jim and Paul plus Brian. Now I had a pleasant surprise because all I did was chamois the car over and the polishing and prep for the show was done by Paul and Brian, happy days.
When I returned to the Tiger Owners pitch the camper was set up for the weekend and others joined us as the day passed. Late afternoon Trevor from the Northwest Tiger Owners arrived having driven through a downpour and was soaking wet, everything was sodden including his sleeping bag which thanks to Dave and Lorraine they dried in their motorhome - you owe them Trevor. Steve and Paula arrived early evening as we were sorting out eats for the group. Having decided to order in pizza we had to collect it from the main gate, thank heavens Paula decided to come in her van as we used this to collect the fourteen pizza's we ordered. For the night time we all gathered round Niall's fire pit and drank and had toasted marshmallows cheers Niall. The night was bitterly cold with a ground frost for those in the tents it must have been brass monkeys.
The show over the two days was well attended however I think it was not as busy as in previous years. The weather plays a part in the attendance and the weekend was not the best and this may have put many off coming. Let's hope the figures don't affect the show for the future as it would be a shame to lose the biggest kit car gathering in the UK. The best thing for Rachel and myself is not just the show itself but spending the weekend with good friends and having a laugh along the way, and I must say what a group of guys and gals you all are, thanks for the memories long may it continue.
When it was time to leave on the Monday Rachel, Ali, Simon, Dave and Lorraine left for home at approx. 3pm leaving in good weather, but not long after they had gone the heavens opened and Simon in his R6 had to stop a number of times to clear his screen as the visibility was not very good especially whilst on the M6. I myself could not leave until the end as my car was on display and Richard volunteered to stay and journey home with me, much appreciated Richard. I thought I would be away about 4.30pm but the worlds biggest jobs worth would not open the exhibition hall shutter until 5pm on the dot, not a second earlier.
I drove around to the pitch and said my good byes to those left and Richard and I had a dry run home.
The weather in the few days leading to the norfolk run had not been promising. We had some of the worst rain for a while and it looked like we were in for a top temperature of 10C, so it wasn't going to be warm...
However the day started bright and sunny and it didn't seem to put people off. We all met up at Tiger for 10AM as instructed. This was a deliberate ploy on the organisers part - we always planned on leaving around 11AM but tell a bunch of club members that and who knows when they will turn up!
Although we had planned meeting points up along the route everyone decended on the Tiger factory, and so after a good chinwag 21 cars headed off to the first stop at Sandringham. Now I was running last due to having the Sat-Nav route and knowing the route so as to pick up any stragglers. Immediately I was the straggler as the traffic lights in Wisbech changed and got stuck behind a couple of lorries before reaching the Elm Hall roundabout. Still not to matter as the roads were relatively clear and it was a nice day.
Approaching Sandringham a couple of people made a wrong turn and instead of being last I was in the middle of the group where I stayed until the Sandringham stop. We still hadn't lost anyone.
After a good lunch we then started off to the next stop at Burnham Deepdale for fuel. At this point we caused as much chaos as we had in previous years. I also made a slight mistake as before we had used the fuel station on the way back - this year we used it on the way out so it was the wrong side of the road... Eventually all replenished (cars this time not drivers although some did find time for shopping!) we headed off towards Wells.
Now at Wells we made sure not to go via the town centre but to go round it. This involves a Right then a Left to stay on the coast road. A load of people forgot the left. As myself (last) and Martin Pidd approached the junction we stopped and let about 6 cars back in, before following ourselves. We then continued to the 3rd stop of the day at Emcy's garden centre just outside Sherringham. This was when we started losing people.
Malcolm and Sheliagh Smith had also missed the turning at Wells but had taken longer than the rest of them to turn round so as we thought we had gathered everyone up in reality we had lost one there. They finally arrived at the Garden Centre about 10 minutes later.
Although not to be outdone both David Fiske and Peter Hinton also got lost.
After a nice break at the garden centre (scones almost as big as footballs) and a group photo we headed off on the last stretch. At this point things went slightly off-plan.
As you come into the top of Holt there is a roundabout with 3 exits - clearly marked on the instructions take the second exit. Even easier follow someone who knows where they are going - 2 of them didn't and disappeared somewhere into darkest Norfolk. There was then a mistake on my part. One of the waypoints on the satnav route was round and took you down a couple of single track lanes. I had thought it was edited out but obviously not, still it didn't cause too many problems. By the time we reached Gaydon the numbers were considerably down as people peeled off as they home. Eventually we ended up with about 7 cars at the Sandboy pub just outside Kings Lynn.
The weather had been perfect for the run and the best bit was the mediocre weather forcast had kept the day trippers at home so the roads weren't that busy.
Rewind to May 2015, Peter & I decided to take a trip out to Sandringham, Norfolk.
The weather was lovely warm and sunny. We were just about to go for a stroll, when we heard this roar of a noise and 16 of those little Tiger cars drove in. Of course, we raced up to check them over, had a chat with a nice guy, who said that he was Giles. He mentioned the EATOC club and where the factory was and the rest is history......
We all meet up at the Tiger Racing factory, the weather was dry, not too sunny but wished we had put the thermals on! The ride started, we went around some pretty villages too many to name and took a break for lunch at Sandringham. The cars looked fantastic all lined up, lots of different colours. (21 of them in total)
After lunch, another trip, the country side is so beautiful, all the trees in fresh growth and the verges covered in cow parsley.
We had a well deserved break at a garden centre for refreshment. Luckily, no boot in the Avon, so could not bring home any plants.
It was a long day for our 1st big trip but Peter and I had a FANTASTIC day out and such a wonderful group of people, who we call our Tiger friends.
Thanks, to Griff and Rachel for their hard work organizing the route. Two very happy seniors returned home and said 'What a WOW of a day'
Peter and Jenny Hinton
It does pay to listen to others on what and where they have been as both of the ideas for the May Bank Holiday Saturday, were provided by my mum and a customer at work.
My mum had been to the Dads Army museum and said it was worth a visit for an hour and the customer had given me the idea of the Pancake Shack, to which his comments were, they were improving with each visit.
The Saturday dawned to be a bright beautiful day, not having much feedback on facebook, I was unaware, who was planning to come along and to be truthful, expected 5 cars. However, what a surprise, when we arrived at Arbuckles, there were a fair selection of cars there and 1 even more special to us, our old Boat Anchor, lovely too see Richard again. After coffee and greetings, we set off to Thetford, through the canopy of trees at Santon Downham, a good little run.
Arriving at Thetford, we saw signage, advising that a car park was closed for repairs, for those of you that don't know it; it is a small town with free car parking, which also hosts a Saturday market. Anyway, we followed signs to a car park, here we played the waiting game of grabbing a space and also, seeing how many cars we could get into the space, 4 cars in 2 spaces can be done, plus you can get 2 into1.
The museum itself was quaint, then a short leisurely stroll over to the Burrell museum, to see Jones van which, was leaving the museum that afternoon for an appearance at a 1940s weekend.
This museum was also interesting, as it showed the work of Charles Burrell. Much laughter and many photographs later after some members had posed with the statue of Captain Mainwaring.
Then onto the Pancake Shack, not too sure, what to expect, it was at one point a Little Chef, we had lost 2 cars at the roundabout (which is known to be an accident hotspot on the A11) but they then found their way.
We were unable to all sit together but were split over 3 tables, 2 tables received excellent service by the members of staff, yet it appeared that the table I was sitting on was forgotten! As one of the other tables had received their dessert before we had even got out pancakes.
The food was good and made a nice change. After further chatting in the car parks, we all set off for home in different directions. In my opinion, it was a truly lovely leisurely day with a great bunch of people.
Many thanks to Simon for putting the route together and also, doing a dummy run, to ensure that it would work.
This was a new event for us, the only reason I knew about it was one of my colleagues who lives in Abbots Ripton told me.
The show was a two day event some people from the club went on the first day where as I went on the second day - this was planned but the decision was firmly made when the office called me out at 5:30 on Saturday morning.
Going down was fairly easy although I got stuck in a queue of traffic coming off the A1 and sat there for 30 minutes (I think it was a car boot sale or similar), eventually clearing it with 10 minutes to get to Abotts Ripton - it is possible to do this.
Coming into the site I had to slow down for a rather muddy patch of ground which caked the rear half of the car in mud as you can see in the photos. Three other club members made it Tony Dawson, David Fiske and Malcolm Smith. In total there were about 27 cars on display - not that big a turnout but the weather was a big factor.
The show itself consisted of various displays with food and craft stalls, along with stands selling various garden furniture, awnings etc.
You also could walk around the gardens which were very impressive although some of the paths had obviously been closed due to the mud the previous day.
It wasn't a bad day although unfortunately the sun came out in the afternoon. You may ask why? Well it baked the mud on my car solid so it took an hour with the hosepipe to get the wings clean again.
As you know by now, Rachel chatters away constantly to me and everyone but I don't always listen. The thing she has been going on about, for the last 2 years was to do a Lincolnshire run instead of a Norfolk run, so that the outings don't become stale. There is no way, that the Norfolk run is not happening as this is one of our most popular road trips, so a decision was made to add a Lincs Run.
I came home from work in January as she had a longer Christmas break than myself, to find that Rachel had planned a route into Lincolnshire, she had only used Google maps and not actually driven it. Then, I mentioned to her about Dinner stop, no worries, Rachel's Mum has given her another suggestion. So that weekend we set off and drove the route in our camper-van, there was no traffic on the A17, which is highly unusual and as we were unable to do another dummy run, closer to the date as we were booked up with other commitments, we would only find out on the day, how the A17 traffic would flow.
Not too sure, of who or what to expect on the Saturday 2nd, as during the Friday evening, we had experienced thunder storms, torrential down pours, plus the forecast for heavy down pours Saturday pm, not the ideal weather for a Tiger run out. However, the Saturday morning was a bright sunny morning and arriving at Tiger Racing, it was a welcome sight to see 2 kit cars there already, as time ticked along, 12 cars arrived.
We set off from Wisbech, luckily we were not hampered by the Rose Fair event taking place within town and we were pretty much able to keep together in convoy. However, to get to the Lincoln Wolds, we had to endure the A17 which in places, was pretty slow going, picking up 2 Tigers en route to our comfort break at the Bubble Car Museum. Here we had our own welcoming party of Dave Mckenna, who had travelled from his home to do part of the route with us. Giles was missing from the pack, not too concerned as he knows the route and the area, apparently his side screen had come unattached and he had to walk back to collect and re-attach.
Yet again, we caused much interest to the Motor-homers Rally. I later find out, that Rachel is chatting away with someone on Facebook who was at the Rally and the arrival of our cars was the best bit of their weekend! After a coffee, cake and a few members of the group had visited the museum, the group gather together outside, the rain spots start to fall, oh no, not now, I am thinking but they soon fade, we started the engines ready to continue with the 2nd leg of the trip. Rachel nudges me, says I think you had better get out to see what is wrong with John's car as he had got the front bonnet up. Well for those of you that don't know he had purchased an Ultima Can Am but within a few moments, it was soon firing up.
By now, we had left the trunk routes, so a lot less traffic, into Woodhall Spa, Horncastle, passing Cadwell Park. Travelling through the Wolds was a pleasant drive, seeing all the patchwork fields and the storms, luckily for us, we missed them. Arriving at the pub the car park was large enough to accommodate us all, without having to double up by double parking in single spaces and they had reserved a table for 22 people to sit together. Most of the cars were covered as yet again, rain spots started to fall. The pub was buzzing and soon most people had ordered their food, Rachel and I both had the carvery, with the option of 4 meats and help yourself to veg. I soon consumed my meal and looking around the 2 tables, there were many empty plates, so I was secretly relieved. It was nice to hear the comments, that the food was good. It is hard to find places that cater for large numbers, without having to pre-book meals plus having a large carpark. The return leg was via the A16, and in some places this was damp but it was most enjoyable with the contours and corners. In a way, I was pleased that the road was damp, so that I could experience how the new Tiger's tyres would perform in the damp conditions. In my opinion, a great day, with a good set of friends and it was very encouraging to read all the positive comments on facebook, saying how much it had been enjoyed.
Thank you for coming along and making a fabulous day out.
The Kimbolton event is one of the best of the regular events we attend as part of a club.
This years event started for me with two other cars coming round before we headed off. Both Griff and Mike Ramsdale had to inspect the garage (see last months' edition) before we could get going. The first part was nice and easy a quick run down to Brampton Services where we would meet up with a few more members. At Brampton we found rather more kit cars than expected. It turns out a few others who weren't going to the show had arranged a meeting there. Still we picked up a few more (and no I can't remember exactly who) before heading to the show. Once there we had more cars turn up until we had 10 Tigers, a Triking and a Ford Anglia.
So what was there to see, Well apart from the huge variety of cars varying from the modern (a large quantity of MX-5 current models) to the classic 1930s Singer, going via the unusual (Daimler scout car anyone). There were also a number of trade stands and the show ring.
One of the show-ring events was camel racing. To do this they marked off a block down the centre of the ring and then had 4 camels racing. It appears racing camels can't turn corners, as they just went up and down in a straight line. Mind you looking at the pictures if they had gone much faster I might had got run over (despite being on the other side of the safety wire). This was a bit of a disappointment.
Now the other thing to mention was the weather - for those of you who have been club members for several years can probably guess what is coming next. - Yes it rained - but only for a short while so there is the obligatory sheltering under an awning shot from the show.
A good day though and it stayed dry for the trip home.
The Jordan's Mill breakfast meet meant an early morning start to get to the opposite end of the EATOC catchment area We left home at 8 with the intention of meeting those from the Peterborough area at Brampton hut at 9am.We left home as one car,but by the time we got to Brampton hut there were two others behind.
At Brampton hut we filled up with petrol and met about 7 additional cars. We left here for a mundane trip down the A1 to Sandy and then turned off to Jordan's Mill. On the way down the front running group picked up another two Tigers at St. Neots, with three more meeting us at Jordan's Mill. A total of 15 cars, which was a good turnout.
We were expecting it to be busy as Jordan's had stated that 90 bikers would be there when we tried to book. This message had got changed slightly in translation, more accurate would have been cyclists, but this and the brilliant weather meant that it was very busy. Despite this, breakfast was served quickly and was enjoyed by all.
Unfortunately for us, this was where the day ended. We all headed outside and were talking to each other around the cars. The next thing we knew Dave Sams started up and pulled forward, so we returned to the car and started to put the bag into the car and get helmets on, ready to go. Before we had got the bag in the car, Dave then drove off with most others following. Jem was having problems with his starter motor, so I gave him a push and then climbed into my car. I waited for a minute for Paul Browning to be ready and I then started up and we left the car park about 1 minute behind the last car.
We never saw another car from the club again. The first junction was about 1 mile up the road and nobody was waiting here, plus no sign of any Tigers as far as we could see, so we continued. We got to the end of the road, a cross roads and there were no cars waiting here. We never saw another Tiger and so we pulled up and tried calling a few people with no success. We then decided the best thing to do was to give up and go home. Paul pointed us in the direction of the A1 and then we went our separate ways.
As we were passing Jordan's and a few hours from home, we thought we might as well have a look at the mill and gardens. Half an hour passed and there were no calls or messages from the group, so we set off home on our own.
Just before arriving home we had a missed call to say that everyone had finished the run and were at the end if we wanted to join them. This was a little late for us as the day was already over.
To sum up, for us, this was a very disappointing day. A very expensive way to have breakfast, with a lot of driving and we never got the chance to join the run afterwards. I put this down to three things:
No warning of the fact the run was going to start. The first car starting or a horn sounding would indicate to the group that they should get ready to leave.
Not allowing everyone to get into their cars and start them before the run began. This resulted in everybody rushing to get into cars and then trying to catch the next car up the road, worried that they would be left behind.
Nobody worrying about the car behind. If every car ensured that the car behind was in their mirrors at each junction then nobody should get lost or left behind. It would result in the group stretching out and should reach all the way to the leader. It would appear that the last person to leave before us didn't notice that they never had a car in their mirrors.
Or for an alternative view...
Going to bed on Saturday night, our fingers were crossed for good weather on Sunday. Woke up, to a sunny morning. We set off, calling in at the Petrol Station at March Road, Hartford, to tank up, where we heard the fabulous roar of a tiger, looked up and saw an orange flash with Rachel waving, followed closely by a navy Tiger (Ady and Mandy), who hooted and waved too.
Arriving at Brampton Hut, there was already a queue of Tigers and other kit cars, closely followed by the Aviator (John & Gill) with Steve & Paula just behind them.
Group assembled, we set off down the A1 to Jordan's Mill, a good straight run. Met up with Dave and Jane who organised the parking (a lovely spot, to showcase the cars) and thanks to them both for sorting out a 3 counties run.
We consumed a lovely breakfast, overlooking the river and mill, a very peaceful setting. There was a lot of racing cycles to look at, about 60 in total.
Setting off on the scenic tour, we were a little concerned as our Sat Nav never seems to work when we want it too. Luckily for us, we were following Niall, who always waited for us at the junctions, if we had not kept up with him - a true gentleman! Thank you.
Plus knowing that Steve & Paula, Griff & Rachel were behind us was a great comfort factor, to put us right, should we have got lost from the group.
After a lovely figure of eight through the 3 counties, we saw some great buildings, plants and some lovely twisting driving lanes. Arriving at The Shuttleworth Collection, we even had VIP parking arrangements.
Unfortunately, on arrival, it was found that a couple of Tigers were detached from the group. Apologies to whom it may concern.
After having refreshments, to cool down and a chat with the group. Peter went and had a nose around at the model aeroplanes as he flew them in his younger days.
Thanks to everyone for an enjoyable day out with great company.
Peter and Jenny
Maxey Car Show is always a slightly strange event from the club point of view. A few years ago we managed to get good numbers of cars on display there this year we managed 2. Yes a whole pair of cars turned up. Still it wasn't all bad.
For a start Maxey atttracts some of the odder vehicles located around Peterborough. There were some odd ones this year. It started when I drove in, glanced in my mirror and had an Austin Allegro grill level with the top of the roll bar. Someone had stuck an Allegro body on a 4x4 chassis of some desciption.
There were also a few kit cars owned by big car dealers, a JZR owned and built by Balderstons Motorcycles and a Tribute 250 owned by the manager of Robinson's VW. His reason for having a kit car - all the stuff he sell is boring….
There were some real vintage cars there one was a mere 102 years old having been bought new on 30/05/1914.
We did get a new member of the club the day after the show. I was talking to the owner of the Marlin Roadster parked next to my car at the show. He then decided to join up as the Marlin club only runs a few events each year. The car then won the best kit car in the show - can we claim that as a club victory???
On a cold and wet Friday morning 17 kit cars and a Fiesta set out from Corby on the first leg of our journey to North Wales. Apart from traffic jams on the A5 (not good news, in a kit car, on a wet day) the journey was uneventful, and we arrived at Whitewaters Country Hotel at around 5:30pm.
Saturday dawned wet and very windy, but after a substantial breakfast our intrepid group set out at 9:00am for a blatt through beautiful, but sometimes bleak, countryside and picturesque villages to our first stop at Cregennen Lakes where a few brave souls climbed to stand at the peak trying to keep upright, while the rest of us watched them being blown about. However I am told that the climb and the view from up there was well worth the effort. Then on through Bryn Rhedyn, on to a fuel stop at Tesco's, where quite a few of us got in a right old state trying to operate their 'pay at the pump' system, and narrowly avoided a couple of divorces, we then carried on to our welcome lunch break at Aberdunant Hall, where we could all dry off and warm up before ploughing on.
Our afternoon break was at 'The Riverside Chocolate House' where we all over indulged before a 1.5hr. blatt over the Horseshoe Pass where we were treated to stunning scenery with loads of tight bends and hills which sometimes felt as if we were launching ourselves off the top of the world, they were sooo steep. Finally back to our hotel arriving at about 7:00pm. Just enough time for a quick shower before our excellent dinner with all the usual banter and camaraderie.
Sunday, another wet and windy day although today we had a few short sunny spells to keep us going. Today we started with a long blatt around Llangollen through very narrow, roller coaster country lanes, hoping nothing would come the other way. This part was all through a tunnel of trees meeting across the roads. We eventually came out on to a slightly larger road and passing through Castell Dinas Bran, Bryn Eithin, Bwlch Penbarras and Lon Cae Glas, we headed back across the Horseshoe Pass in the opposite direction to yesterday, the views are well worth a second visit, and going on to our lunch break at The Great Orme where Griff propositioned a lady quietly enjoying her lunch, thinking it was me.(Well, that was his story!!!!!)
Once again warm and dry we soldiered on to do a few circuits around Conwy Castle in order to fall into line and hit the 2 tunnels together, then head to the next fuel stop and re-muster. Unfortunately this is where we found we had lost the local guide and one of our group, so we had a lengthy stop to give them a chance to catch up. Our stray, Mike, finally found us but the guide was last spotted heading the wrong way down the A5. We never saw him again.
Now all together again we headed for the third and final tunnel. Niall and John were in front holding up the traffic and doing practice starts. Steve following behind thought they'd gone and followed into the cloud of rubber smoke and very narrowly missed going into the back of John, who had stopped suddenly to do a second run. Steve and Paula's comments were not reported, although the whole incident is on video.
We were now running so late that it was decided to cut out most of the way points and carried on to Capel Curig, in the heart of Snowdonia, where we stopped for a tea break at Siabod cafe which is also a photographic gallery and had some superb photographs displayed.
Time to head back to our hotel where we arrived at 7:00pm after a very full and exhilarating day.
Monday morning and our last breakfast together which is when we discovered that Mike is driving around on 25 yrs. old tyres which he maintains will keep him going for some time yet.
We all left the hotel in our own time to make our way home, but first Steve, Paula. Alan and I went to the Llangollen Aqueduct then walked across the top of it, this was followed by a visit to Rosie's cider brewery, where we were forced to sample a dozen or so ciders before deciding which to buy. An excellent end to our weekend.
The whole weekend was a great success largely due to all the hard work put in by 'Clever Trevor', Griff and Rachel. Many, many thanks to them all and we are now looking forward to doing it all again next year, hopefully with sunshine.
Now it has to be said that last years Little Gransden was not the best day weather wise - in fact I don't think we actually filed an event report on the grounds it was so bad.
This year was a lot better - not perfect but a lot better.
The day started off with a new set of instructions - can we please come in from the south rather than from the north the reason for this was to enable the traffic flow to be a lot easier. Well I checked the map and found there was an alternative route it just meant staying on the A1 for longer - I left at 8AM and got to the car park at 8:45 (it was quicker than going my normal route!) The only thing I would ask is for next year could the organisers stick a sign in the centre of Gamlingay stating which was the way to the airshow - once you get out the town it is obvious but just not when you are in the centre.
Arriving and parking up nice and early meant I had to chance to walk around before the show got started and an opportunity to photograph some of the vehicles without too many crowds round them.
There was a good varied selection ranging from old tractors to a BMW i8 with most marques represented see the pictures for a good selection.
However the cars are only part of the attraction at the show. The biggest draw is a flying display and being both a car fan and a fan of air shows this is an ideal event for me.
The air show opened with a Spitfire - this one coming from the Biggin Hill collection always a good start to any display.
Following that came the Calidus Autogyro a device which somehow stays in the air due to a rotor which isn't driven. I have seen displays by this and other examples many times and still can't figure out how the rotor doesn't slow down!
We then had the first of 2 displays by the Yak-52 followed by the chaos that is the Dennis Neville Flying Circus. After all where else do you see aircraft playing football (lob a ball out of the plane and try to score a goal), attempting to cut streamers (or toilet rolls as the commentary had it) with the propellers, attempting to burst balloons, and then flying under a washing line.
After that diversion we were back to some more serious displays with a beautiful Ryan STA finished in polished aluminium displaying - the first time I had seen this particular aircraft.
This was followed by the Gnat - the predecessor to the Hawk as the RAF fast jet trainer. To be honest I think you could describe the pilot as having too much fun for a serious display!
Now at this point in the proceedings we started to get a few black clouds wandering into view - at this point they were only clouds so nothing to worry about as we watched displays by a Harvard trainer and then a Hurricane.
The display by the Provost got hit with a light shower but nothing really to write home about and the Yak-50 displayed in sunshine again.
The combined Auster and Birddog display started off dry and then the rain started to come down a bit harder. For the Spartan Executive we had a lot of rain and in the words of the commentator “what is worse than cleaning a polished aluminium aircraft - cleaning one with dried on rain” someone had a good deal of polishing to do that night.
The rain was still coming down when the Yak-11 took to the air and got rather heavy (hence the pictures of that aircraft are slightly fuzzy), but again a full display was given.
The next display was the Extra with the 40% scale model. This is normally a spectacular routine, this one was memorable for the wrong reason. For some reason the scale model caught fire and came straight down into a field of beans and promptly set light to them - due to the rain I had put my camera under cover for protection and didn't get any photos. An impromptu collection was organised to help the owner pay for a new model which I believe raised over £1000.
After the baked beans had been put out the flying program resumed with the Catalina flying boat and then the Sally B both of which had flown over from Duxford.
The display ended with a shortened flying display from the Global Stars display team when it tried to rain a bit more but fortunately held off.
After writing this report a few weeks ago it has been announced that one of the key organisers of the event has lost his battle with cancer. There are more details on the event website or facebook page.
The day for the Derbyshire run dawned (in Peterborough at least) dry, reasonably warm and with clear blue skies. This boded well for the trip to Derbyshire as long as you didn't pay the weather forecast too much attention. The drive to the first meeting point at Langham only tool 30 minutes as surprisingly given that it was Burghley Horse Trial weekend there wasn't any traffic to speak of on the roads.
At the pub it was still dry and sunny and as we stopped off for a bit of refreshment and for those who had travelled further a comfort break. More people joined us until we had 7 cars ready to head over to Derbyshire: myself, Rachel and Griff, Tony and Liz, Niall and the butler, Dave and Lorraine, Peter and Jennie, Dave Thomas. The run to Derbyshire was mostly uneventful although I somehow almost got in the wrong lane going through Melton Mowbray due to a navigation error. However it appeared we had got everyone through the traffic lights without an issue. Coming out of Melton towards Asfordby I decided to not use the parking area at the garden centre to check but to go around the roundabout completely. Doing this I could see all the cars with us so continued on. The rest of the journey took place without any further incidents.
Arriving at Ripley it turned out the only other car waiting for us was another EATOC member Dave McKenna. A large number of owners headed to McDonalds whereas I went round to Sainsbury's to fill up with fuel. Now it has to be stated that at this point there was a bit of light drizzle in the air.
A little later Ian Welsh (the route planner) turned up in his Westfield, followed a bit later by another Ian in a Tiger. After waiting around for a bit longer and deciding that nobody else was going to arrive we started out on the run, and the weather stepped up a gear as well.
The first part wasn't too bad. I was running at the back and the only real issue was traffic lights, there was one set that we got separated at which caused a bit of delay. After a regroup a few miles later we got split up again as a couple of cars got between me and the rest of the group one of these cars was a slow driving special and with the busy roads and lack of visibility due to the rain took a while to get by. The last stretch up by the Cat and Fiddle should result in some fantastic views, but the visibility was so poor it was hard to judge where some of the corners were.
Arriving at the pub for the second time (I missed the turning the first time) the rain was really persistent. But as we were inside having a very good meal that didn't really bother us too much.
Unfortunately as the food on the plates got eaten the rain outside got progressively worse. We had planned in for a 1-2hr stop for lunch, it ended up being over 3 hours as the weather put us off leaving. Ian wasn't feeling well and so he left early which left us with a decision to make - do we continue the run for its full length or should we bail out and head for home. Due to the weather we decided to bail and headed back towards the Cat and Fiddle pass and the M1. This time the pass was shrouded in mist making the visibility very poor but once through that we just endured a wet drive to the M1.
At this point it stopped raining as we had managed to get ahead of the storm front. After a brief stop at the services, we continued home in the dry - now if we had been really lucky then the rain would have held off until we got home but as we passed Rutland Water we drove into a new rain front and got drenched again! Here's hoping for a dry run to Dunwich - surely it can't rain 3 weekends in succession - can it?
It turned out to be a wise decision to change the date to the Sunday. What a glorious day unlike the torrential rain of the Saturday!!
Wet weather gear packed just in case...
Off we set, firstly meeting Peter and Jenny at the petrol station then on to March for the first Tesco stop of the day to meet some more of the gang.
Next stop Ely... you guessed it Tesco. Although we were all quite happy to queue yes that's right queue outside Tesco ready to run in to use the facilities when it opened. Then on we went to the next meeting point.
Long Melford. The cars did look good parked on the green. What a lovely place, ideal photo opportunity and perfect spot to stop for a cuppa.
Then on to Dunwich. Lovely run, winding country roads, lovely villages, stunning scenery and gorgeous blue skies. By the time we arrived at Dunwich we were all ready for some fish and chips followed by a paddle in the sea.
However, we followed Angus into the car park and heard an almighty thud. Knowing it must have been bad as Angus turned back to look. We suspected sump damage and we had sustained an injury, leaking oil around the car park.
When we parked up it became apparent that it wasn't a little leak and the sump had a crack in it. Oil was leaking out at a alarming rate. Liz kindly offered a plaster and Niall politely informed her this wouldn't really help.
What happened next was a fantastic example of what a great club EATOC is. So many people were able to offer advice and donate bits. As prior to this I only had a vision of being recovered. The stars of the day were Angus supplying a jack. Niall and his words of encouragement? and Griff with his miracle liquid metal epoxy. It should be mandatory for all Tigers to carry liquid metal.
Amazingly Steve managed to fix the sump. By this point the oil was a little low and Giles kindly offered to take Steve on a road trip to pick up a new supply of oil.
Meanwhile the EATOC gang were paddling in the sea, dog walking little Teddy and Jacko, building sandcastles and eating ice creams. Typical adult behaviour really.
All oiled up, sump fixed and ready to go we had a slow run back. With those behind us checking for leaks. No signs though.
What a lovely day with some great people. Thank you to all who helped us. The sump is still okay but Steve has increased the cars ride height slightly.
We had seen this show advertised and were aware that the Club was unable to attend as they had been advised no cars younger than 1984.
So we thought we would attend and see what the show was all about. Plus it was a good opportunity to dress up in our 1950's clothes.
The show was action packed. The star of the show was the Battle of Britain flyover. With the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire. There was also some breath taking aerial acrobatics.
There were rally cars, motorbikes, F1 cars and Karts and many more on the sprint strips and runways - some of the motorbikes reaching speeds of over 200 miles an hour.
Classic Club display- After seeing MEV in attendance the pre 1984 rule doesn't appear to be that strict. This could well be a Tiger event next year. There was a huge medley of classic cars and motorcycle clubs. Lots to see.
The vintage village was one of my favourites. Lots of people dressed up and vintage stalls and hangers.
Live music was great. With some classic 1950's music to dance to. That tent became particularly full when the rain started.
Overall a great day with something for everyone.
It took a lot of planning and a great deal of work behind the scenes but we managed a visit to the British Motor Museum.
It has only taken us 2 years to get there. After quite a lot of work I managed to secure tickets on a sale or return basis, this allowed us to get in for the reduced rate of £9 instead of the £14 it would normally cost. The downside to this was having to collect all the money and then pay a bill a few weeks later to the museum. However this seemed to go down well with people as we ended up with 29 going.
Anyway onto the day.
The main body of us met up at Fourways Services in Corby. We had previously planned a route that should have been nice and straightforward. Well it was a scenic route but didn't go quite to plan.
First off there were about 15 roundabouts (or it seemed like it) as we went around Rugby, we managed to escape that and headed out into open country. We came to a T-Junction and the driver of a Land-Rover stopped to let what he must have thought were 2 or 3 cars - there were 15 of us… oops. The last bit of confusion came when the route was marked straight over the next roundabout and the road was closed so I ended up going round again (for some reason people thought I got lost) and having to follow the diversion to get back on track. But we made it and got to the museum, where we found the carparks full to bursting. I have been told there was a model railway show on at the same time but the numbers there were quite astonishing.
After parking up there was a brief presentation to Rachel and Griff for their work in sorting out the Wales trip (see last edition) which came as a suprise to both of them. Then we finally got into the museum. If you haven't been before it is a collection of some truly unique vehicles.
When we had finished with the "proper" museum you could wander over to the storage shed. Well I say shed but in reality a purpose built hanger housing the spare vehicles - such as every prototype Jaguar for the last 30 years, The special last of the line cars and some things that you wouldn't credit as being in there.
Then came the photocall and the journey home. All I will say is someone decided to turn into a shopping complex on a Saturday afternoon and try to park - we got completely split up trying to get out of that and a few of us ended up missing the planned stop for food - to the point that I came to a halt just over the M6 when I realised we had lost everyone. Eventually we all met back up again and got some food. However some of the group had seen a Fatface store and it was like catnip to them so they had to go shopping. The rest of us headed back home.
It was a good day but I think it will be a couple of years before we go back again. I think if we went back the museum would be much the same - unless we could find a suitable event to attend.