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The first real club meeting of the year turned out to have the best weather of the year so far - and setting this out 2 weeks later I wish the Easter weekend was as nice...
As I said the weather on the Sunday morning was really good, dry, bright with barely a cloud in the sky and it was also fairly warm. Having checked on the routes the previous night the estimate was 40 minutes from Peterborough to Dent's so I left in what I thought was plenty of time. However coming round the A47 I got to the B198 junction with barely a hold up - as soon as I passed over the roundabout I came to a complete stop. No idea why but the traffic just stopped moving and it took about 15 minutes to get to the Elm Hall roundabout. Once I had got round that the rest of the journey was plain sailing and I made it to the stop without any further holdups.
I got there to find 14 other club cars had beaten me. This looked like a good turnout, but they kept coming until we had 21 cars. This was interesting as Simon had only booked places for 15 cars...
Two of the cars had thought the meeting was the next weekend, and only happened to pass the venue by chance. One of the cars wasn't a club member and for about an hour Chris Dewey was the newest member of the club.
Steve Tuck had brought an Astra (Paula's) but as his Cat currently is without an engine we will forgive him for the moment.
Fortunately the venue was big enough to accommodate the extra mouths to be fed and we all had a good breakfast.
Now at this point I will offer an opinion - previously we have gone to Arbuckles (same roundabout just turn left instead of right) given a choice between the venues I would prefer to go back to Dent's the acoustics are much better so you can hold a conversation and there isn't any background music playing - it is also a nicer building.
After the breakfast a decision was made to go for a short run over to Sandringham before heading home. At this point we lost a couple of vehicles - Niall's Cat suffering a misfire which was eventually proved to be a dodgy HT lead, and Steve Tuck who decided to head home.
On the road, there was a problem with John's Ultima - apparently a CV joint failed meaning it had to go back home on a recovery truck. The rest of us made it to Sandringham.
We tried to get into the main carpark which was very full before Richard Gaze had the much better idea of parking on the grass verges of the main avenue.
A relatively short stop allowed Dominic Washington to become the newest member of the club. Incidentally Dominic's Cat has been owned by four people since the factory built it - all of the owners have been members of EATOC. So after staying in the shade to let the cars cool down we headed off to the icecream stalls. By this point it was getting rather warm so the ice cream had to be eaten quickly.
We finally left Sandringham about 3PM and I thought we would have to contend with some fairly awful traffic on the way home. However I think we just slipped through at the right time as I had a clear run all the way back to Peterborough.
Thanks to Simon for organising this one - now he just needs to do the same for the weather on the events for the rest of the year.
An Invitation was extended to all Kit Car owners by Adam Wilkins, owner of Complete Kit Car magazine. The invitation was for coffee, cake and Kit cars, open to all makes and models, at his premises in Grantham, on Easter Saturday.
Having arranged to meet with some friends at Gonerby Moor Services, Rachel posted this on Facebook, in total 11 cars met up and convoyed together.
We arrived just after 10, filling most of the car park, a few members of our group were already there. Plus, some of our friends from the EAKCC group who had travelled from Norfolk and Suffolk. One in particular, we were pleased to see from that group, was Andy, who had just picked up his factory built Tiger Avon, only a few days before. He was well happy with the Tiger on its maiden trip. Other kits were there too but Tiger seemed to be the dominant one there.
Chatting with Adam during the morning, he was only expecting a handful of kits, maybe 10 to 15 but with the strong presence of EATOC, numbers far outweighed his thoughts and a total of 52 cars were present.
A suggestion was put forward by Ady Spriggs, to go for a carvery dinner, to a pub he knew, not too far from Grantham. So, 8 cars trundled through Grantham, as always, catching many admiring and inquisitive looks. Probably frightening the older generation, with the roaring engines! Sadly, we had to leave Niall at the meeting, due to a technical hic-cup but he soon caught up and we all enjoyed a fabulous meal together.
Many thanks to Ady for a good call on the venue, The Gap, Muston. After many discussions and laughter, we all set off for home, after a good day out. Cheers Adam.
The annual pilgrimage to Stoneleigh for the National Kit Car Show always kicks off the season for me even though my car is on the road all year. This is the time you get to see who has done what to their cars, who still has theirs, and who is ready for the year moving forward as most people go to Stoneleigh.
One of the best things about the show is the camaraderie and friendship between the members of the clubs. The usual suspects were there for the weekend camping on the Tiger Owners Pitch, Niall, Gav, Steve, Paula, Richard, me, Rachel, Dave, Lorraine, Ian. This year we were joined by Gav's partner Emma and son Lewis and Barry and his son Ethan. Simon and Ali were in the hotel on site and joined us for the weekend.
We made the decision to arrive early and get settled for the weekend, so Rachel, Richard, Dave and Lorraine and I met at Duddington at 10.30 am we set off and arrived at 12.15 pm thinking we would be the first there to be met by Ian already set up and Chris from the NWKCOG at the pitch who had the same idea. We set the van up ie parked it, Dave did the same and Richard put his tent up, as the afternoon progressed others started to arrive and set up. Trevor and Fozzy arrived and joined Chris on the NWKCOG pitch adjacent to the Tiger pitch.
The beer was flowing and the banter flying around it was good catching up with Trevor and Fozzy, who we all know from our Wales trips. That evening we decided to have pizza so we took the order for 26 pizzas and Barry and Gav collected them from Leamington Spa, apparently people were taking pictures of them as they left the shop with 13 pizzas a piece. When they arrived back Richard was missing so we phoned him and as he came back to the pitch on the phone to his wife, worst for the wear from a few Fosters he lost his feet and fell onto our wind breaks snapping a couple of poles looking like the dying fly on the floor, all to a rapturous outburst of laughter. This really set the tone for the weekend. We all headed after tea for the dodgems across the road and had a blast, the owner could not believe his luck all the cars occupied and the show was not yet open to the public. The evening was wrapped up around the fire pit and free entertainment was supplied by AB Performance with a live band which we could hear from our pitch a few headed over and took advantage of the free beer and food, albeit for a donation to charity.
Sunday arrived and the weather was good and from previous years this seems to be the best attended day, we were not to be disappointed most of the active people from EATOC came along and visited us on the pitch. At one point there was approx 60 Tigers on the pitch from all over the country. Have I forgotten to mention a show going on, silly me because as of yet I had not wandered around and seen anything. To me this is what the show is all about meeting old and new friends I have met over the years at different shows and events catching up on all things kit car related. The atmosphere around the Tiger Owners pitch was buzzing all day. When the public left we all went to the farmers café on site for an evening meal and they opened up the conference room for us so we could all dine together which was much appreciated. Back to the pitch back on the dodgems and back round the fire pit to round off the day.
During the night it rained relentlessly however, it had stopped when we got up. This no doubt was going to affect the numbers arriving for the Monday, we were not wrong and numbers were down considerably. We all had breakfast and after took a stroll around the show. The show was scaled down from previous years and even though all the major manufacturers attended there was a distinct lack of suppliers and those who were there had smaller stands with fewer products to offer. Now to me this is what the show is about being able to see components touch, measure, and offer up to your car etc, we all know what manufacturers offer and if you were interested you would contact them, but being able to source parts and see that bespoke tool or new piece of equipment is just as important. Lets hope things don't get worse and these traders are encouraged to return.
That is all I really have to say about the show as I go to have a cracking weekend away with the van and car surrounded by the people I want to be with. I would like to say thanks to all the people who camped and stayed for the weekend for another memorable Stoneleigh roll on 2018 and let's do it all again.
Just to round things off nicely Richard had a breakdown on the way home. Giles came to the rescue with the bolt and tools to reattach the alternator to its bracket which had come adrift. We all arrived home safely and yet again Rachel beat me home in the van wondering where I was.
The day started off overcast and damp, with a few spots of rain when we got to our starting point at the Tiger Racing Factory. I must say, that they always make us most welcome, offering free tea and coffee. Thanks to the team.
How I love to see the cars, all lined up for start up and so many lovely colours, just like a jar full of candy.
What a joy, the sun came out and the 1st part of the run was heaven, driving through so many pretty villages, too many to name and the grass verges were covered in cow parsley much higher than us !
With me being a keen gardener, I noticed a pretty pink cottage, the front was covered in Wisteria, what a magnificent sight.
Sadly, I did not time the 1st leg of the run but I think we were all ready for our lunch at The Stag, Attleborough. Just prior to the arrival at The Stag, Niall left the group and went further ahead to take pictures of all the cars going past. After a hearty roast and plenty of it (I managed to fit into the Avon, don't know how). We resumed on the next leg.
I must report that Bawdeswell Garden Centre is well worth a visit. Peter was pleased there was no room in the Avon for me to bring home some little beauties (plants, that is) Tea break over, all settled in the cars once again the country roads were so pretty , the verges lovely shades of green, dotted with wild flowers.
Next stop, The Petrol Station which came in handy, the cars always make an impact on people. The girls like to pop into FAT FACE for a spend up, plus the SALES were on. No stopping them girls, they came out with an abundance of bags !!
The route's last planned stop was Sandringham but we were running late. Niall suggested Hunstanton, good on him. Looking out to sea with an ice cream in hand, a perfect ending to a fabulous day, with a fantastic bunch of people.
Last but no means least, until Peter and I went on these runs, we did not realize what a lot of organizing goes into the route planning, having to make a dummy run. This one is many thanks to Giles and Griff, very much appreciated.
Two happy people arrived home at 8.40pm tired but happy.
Firstly, thank you to Matthew (Slade) for organizing the day out and to your twin boys for helping with the car parking area. Our breakfast was very tasty with big helpings of toast. Breakfast was a lazy affair. After breakfast, we had a tour of the crocodiles house by the owner of Johnson's Farm, very informative, all the crocodiles have names (to me, they all look alike) and they have reared babies. I peeped through the window of their enclosure, saw one of them, which was about 3 foot long.
Johnsons is a working farm, with a lovely tearoom and delicious cakes (more about that later!) butchery, deli, gift shop etc.
After breakfast, Mathew took us for a spin around Cambridgeshire countryside. With me being rather fond of country life, I found this to be pure heaven, with the trees being out in full leaf, the grass verges covered in cow parsley, dotted with buttercups. Those that could not make" the drive out, missed out on a lovely afternoon, ending back at Johnsons for delicious homemade cakes and a pot of tea for me.
Then, those remaining went on a lovely walk to see the ostriches, deer, donkeys, goats and different birds, following the nature trail. For those of you, who have children and grandchildren, its a good day out and best of all, its free. (except for food and drinks)
Once again, thanks to all our friends and hope you managed to get home before the heavens opened.
The kids were promised a day out for breakfast at the Krazy Horse, with a trip out afterwards (the big kids are Peter and Jenny Hinton) if they behaved themselves all week. The weather was sunny, with a slight breeze, so pleased we had got our jackets.
First meeting/pick up point, was Tesco March, Kev was an early bird and the 1st to arrive, followed by some Tigers and then Tony & Liz's Morgan.
The drive to the 2nd point, was a short distance, with Tony taking the lead, with the other 4 following. Trust Griff, he made a detour, with us being us, we followed him, going around some pretty streets, which went by Ely Catherdral, very lucky for us as we have not seen it before.
At the 2nd point, Simon and Ali, Richard Gaze and daughter Megan were waiting for us, plus others, names we have forgotten! Not too good with names these days.
13 cars were at the Krazy Horse for breakfast, the cafe was busy but we all managed to find somewhere to sit down.
The Morgan garage was closed as it was a Sunday, which would have added, an extra dimension to the day.
Thanks to Tony for the suggestion and also to Simon for a lovely blast around the countryside.
I must the mention the verges, they were ablaze with colour, from poppies, elderflower, dog rose plus others too numerous to name.
We had a pit stop in the afternoon, at Browns Cafe, Mundford for a cuppa, it was an exhilarating drive home.
Don't worry Liz, you missed the squirrel, so no road kill for your Monday tea.
Thanks to everyone to another brilliant day out.
Peter and Jenny Hinton
Well it was an interesting day, interesting for the right reasons I will let the reader decide.
For me the easy bit was the run out to Leverington to meet up at the first point. Unlike recent times when I have done the run towards Wisbech the roads were relatively quiet with no holdups.
Arriving I had already been beaten by Ade and Mandy, Peter and Jenny Hinton, and John Aylward. While we swapped jokes and comments a few more people turned up, Simon and Ali, and Niall with the butler. At this point we were just waiting for Tony and Liz, who somehow ended up on the wrong side of Leverington. The decision was made to start out and they would join the convoy as we passed them. The first stretch of the run to the meeting point was uneventful, we also collected Richard Gaze, and Mike Ramsdale who were waiting at the side of the road.
At the petrol stop things got a bit more interesting it turns out Ade's car had been running unevenly and misfiring - hopefully an easy fix. Unfortunately this turned out to be a bit more complex having thought there was an airleak we ended up rebuilding the carburettor mountings as silicon tubes do not grip very well. (as a side note bike carbs have awful mounts) This improved things slightly, but the car was still running badly. Further head scratching later and we think the problem is valve related as it was blowing back through the carb. Unfortunately Ade will have to strip the engine down to find out the cause. He elected to stay on the run and we certainly could hear him misfiring during the rest of the day.
Whilst the repairs were taking place a special mention has to be made for Megan (Richard's daughter) for constantly trying to annoy Niall when he was trying to fix Ade's car. For some reason she thinks that her job is to try and spook him, mind you she does do it well.
This delayed us slightly and instead of leaving at the petrol station at 11 as planned it was more like 11:50 oops...
The next part of the run went through to Woodhall Spa and then on past Cadwell Park, now apparently (I was at the back of the run so didn't see this) there were two tractors fully decorated as wedding vehicles. Also in Woodhall Spa we picked up the Dave twins (Thomas and McKenna).
A few miles from Horncastle, a small group which I was in got separated, and we took a shortcut which brought us out on the A158. Here we came to a halt, as far as everyone behind Richard was concerned we should be turning left, but for some reason he didn't want to pull off. After a few minutes of indecision we continued on and then came to a halt very soon after. It turned out the rest of the group was parked up just to the right of the junction because someone had lost a front wing, and they were trying to sort it out.
At this impromptu stop I realised that my front numberplate was sitting at a strange angle, one of the mounting brackets had snapped (they are only lightweight to allow them to bend if required) so I ended up taking the plate off and dropping it into the footwell to avoid losing it completely.
It was Griff's car that had lost the mudguard which was now a passenger in John's Ultima. However when sorting out the loose mudguard something happened to kill the indicators so he and Rachel had to resort to hand signals for the rest of the drive to the lunch stop.
We did all make it to the lunch stop under our own power which considering the list of faults incurred so far was surprising to say the least.
After a good lunch it was back to sorting out the cars. A bit of testing and we located the indicator fault. When removing the front wing Griff must have induced a short into the circuit, this fried the indicator relay. Nobody had a spare of the LED type which the car should be fitted with however Dave M had a spare non-LED relay, which worked just fine. OK the indicators flashed faster than normal, but it is better to have some indicators rather than none.
The road from the lunch stop to Mablethorpe was fantastic - seeing as it had been chosen as it looked interesting on a map (nobody had driven it) it was just a collection of sweeping bends with short straights connecting them and very good quality tarmac. If there had been farm vehicles it could have been a nightmare but as the roads were clear we kept up a good pace along the road.
Now I didn't have a radio as you can't use one when driving solo but those who did were treated on the way back to Mandy singing "I do like to be beside the sea side" as she wanted to see the sea, so for a quiet life we made an unplanned diversion and ended up at Mablethorpe (north end not the touristy bit). Here a few of them had to go and have a paddle. This rather changed a few things, the planned garden centre stop was missed, and we had to find a new petrol station to use as the one we had planned on would have been closed.
In all we spent about an hour at Mablethorpe, before leaving and stopping for fuel. At which point the small local petrol station was invaded by a dozen Tigers wanting a drink - I think it slightly overwhelmed the owners.
After the fuel stop we did have one final stop at the A16/A17 junction but I decided to give that one a miss and headed straight home instead.
So great day, a few small (or not so small) mechanical issues, good driving roads and great weather. What more could you want?
Or for a slightly different view on the day.
Ramblings from your junior reporter.
We managed to find Rachel and Griff's abode, thanks to our sat nav and were welcomed to a special Griff's coffee, with cakes. 7 cars in total gathered there, which was the first meeting point.
Weather was pleasant, with a good blast to the 2nd meeting point, collecting 2 cars en-route." With me, being the passenger, I get a quick look at the countryside as you know, I ramble on about the grass verges and what a wonderful picture they are." Shame on the rubbish louts for littering the verges on the main highways.
Ade and Mandy had a hiccup with their car at the petrol station but the boys managed to get the darling going again. Well done, you 2 for finishing the whole days trip. (Tiger owners are one of a kind)
Sorry that the 2 Daves" (McKenna and Thomas) had a bit of a wait for us to meet them in Woodhall Spa but at least you found a coffee shop!
All was going well until Griff indicated for us all to stop." Rachel heard noises coming from the passenger side of the car, which turned out to be a broken arm on the wheel arch." Griff proceeded to remove the wheel arch as the arm had broken." However, in the process, the indicators fused, luckily for us, they made good hand signals, as we were following.
The lunch stop, same place as last year at The Jug and Bottle carvery, which was very tasty." I always over eat but the Avon did not bottom out, with the extra weight!
Again, thanks to the boys for doing a temp job on Griff's indicators, that as least gave the arms a break.
The planned route, had a bit of a detour, so that we could see the Sea and ended up at Mablethorpe for ice creams and" cups of tea. Some of the gang, had a paddle in the sea (Don't forget to pack a towel next time)."
From the beach, we made our ways home, some separately to the others.
These days out always take a lot of planning, thanks to Giles and Griff for this one.
The days are made because we always have a laugh with such a great gang, already looking forward to the " next one !!
Bye, bye from a tired but happy bunny.
Having moved to a new location, this year's event was even better with attractions to suit all of the family. I have since been told that this year's event attracted over 6,000 people who came to see nearly 1,000 vehicles.
We arrived in good time but thought it strange that we hadn't spotted any other EATOC members let alone Paul Dudley. Then the penny dropped! The day before had been the Lincolnshire Run and no doubt everyone was feeling exhausted from the previous day's exertions of trying to keep up with Griff! . . . . . . Paul as it turns out, was nursing a bad knee.
Whilst the chocolate fountain looked amazing, I opted for the frozen chocolate dipped banana. Tasty but not something I wish to try again. We also swerved the newly introduced gin & prosecco trailer as not a good choice in very hot weather.
From Frog Eyed Sprites to Ferraris and Morris 8's to Aston Martins, the standard and condition of the cars was truly wonderful highlighting the hours spent in preparation.
Amongst the cars we spotted two Tigers! One a red R10 and the other an R6 both were looking very smart in the bright sunshine.
Just to think that years ago, you could buy a used car for the price of two Litres of Synthetic oil today! Happy Days . . . . . . . . .
Then on to the highlight of the day at 1.00 pm when the announcement came over the tannoy "Gentlemen please start your engines!" Grown men wept and babies screamed as exhaust emissions engulfed the entire showground as revs were pushed to the limit hopefully without dropping a few valves.
To conclude, we had a very enjoyable day and congratulate the organisers on the overall smoothness of the event.
This was a very unusual Kimbolton show, there now I have hooked you in you will need to the read the rest to find out why...
We started off with a meet up at the Brampton Hut services. At Brampton we had about 9 cars (can't remember the exact number) all together. Once we had completed the usual round of drinks, toilet stops and general insults of varying quality we decided it was time to get to the show. A few minutes later and we had travelled via Stow Longa and into Kimbolton, getting there early enough so that we only queued for a few minutes and were in. We all got parked up and then the rest of the members started arriving. We had had two members join in the week previous to the show and I had encouraged them to get tickets, both of them did and had an introduction to the (un)usual suspects who make up the core of the membership. So a warm welcome to Martin Bell, and Kevin Elliot. We also had a new member Derek Oakes join on the day. In total we had 18 cars there which is a record turnout for the club at this event.
Now I have to make mention of Neil Whitehead's Tiger Cub - 17 years in the making and it is finally on the road, after some teething problems it seems to be running well and he is very proud of it. Unfortunately he brought it to a show and we can be a bit critical of cars. It is not meant in a bad way but we do have a habit of pointing out faults. Sorry about that but if we see something is odd it will get pointed out. Fortunately he took it in as good (well mostly) advice and as you can see has written his own take on the event.
As usual there was a wide variety of cars ranging from the common Fords, BMWs etc to the unusual and a couple of unique machines as well. I spent so long looking round the cars that I didn't get to watch any of the show ring action this year so can't offer any comments on it.
Now for some reason this always happens and I should learn not to put my camera away until just before we leave (a couple of years ago, someone loaded a Bond Bug onto a open frame trailer with interesting consequences) this year a classic American Taxi started up to leave, caught fire under the bonnet and then set the grass on fire.
And now as to why it was such an unusual show, the weather was warm and dry with not a spot of rain all day this is a rare occurance as usually there is some rain during the day.
Finally on the way home I went a different way to the others, but there was a problem with one of the cars - Simon Noble's clutch cable broke and had to be repaired at the roadside.
After passing the IVA at the end of October 2016, and having just one good weekend of driving the Cub prior to the depths of winter kicking in, I had prioritised a few jobs to sort over the Christmas period with the thought of then being in a position to drive the Cub to a few EATOC meetings for 2017. Little did I know at that point that it would take another 6 months before the Cub would get to its first EATOC meet-up Kimbolton!
In February of this year the intention was to drive the Cub to the Stoneleigh Kit Car show in early May. Especially as Griff kept on reminding me that I had been talking about driving the Cub to Stoneleigh for the last few years! The impetus, goal or whatever we want to call it was now in motion and moving along in 2nd rather than 4th gear. Either way we were going forward but I was aware by the end of March that I needed to push along, so by April I was starting to clock up the miles and the Cub seemed to be Ok, but it did lack a bit of power when moving from 4th to 5th gear. At the time I can remember thinking if it does 65 MPH it will be Ok and I will be able to drive to Stoneleigh and that was the intention, especially given the frequency of Griff asking if I was going to make this year's Stonleigh event. One particular comment that Griff made resonated to the core. Rachel would occasionally ask "Do you think Neil will ever drive his car to a meet-up" So with these gentle words of encouragement I finally moved from 2nd to 4th gear for the final push. But as on other occasions with the car by the time of Stoneleigh it wasn't quite right for a 100 mile round trip. But on a positive note the disappointment of missing that show provided the final impetus to sort out the Cub's issues once and for all.
After a little head scratching, reading forums and the odd tea break with Griff the route cause had been reduced to the fuel pump or the weber carburettor. In the end the issue was the old mechanical fuel pump not delivering sufficient fuel, it was from a 1971 pinto block, and from the original donor package I purchased all those years ago. Not knowing how many miles it had done previously, and with it sitting on the side of the engine for years doing nothing would not have helped it, so when I finally put an inline pressure gauge on the fuel line to the carburettor to confirm the pressure a reading of 0.25 psi wasn't a real surprise. I also knew at that point that the weber needed 3 -5 Psi to work. Consequently, I then purchased a new Facet electric fuel pump, and as I still had doubts about the carb which was originally from a Ford OHV engine, I also purchased a new refurbished 2.0 litre weber in the hope that i could finally drive the car without issues.
By the end of June the new parts had been installed and the Cub was now running well and with a growing level of confidence after completing 90 miles a few weekends before Kimbolton, dare I say it "I could see light at the end of the tunnel". The weekend prior to Kimbolton I went for another 50 mile trip. On this occasion 20 miles into the run the speedo died. A little deflated, but not defeated, I knew I could use a GPS LED display for the trip to Kimbolton.
Interestingly, once the Cub was back in the garage I found the speedo cable had snapped through an acute installation angle at the side of the gearbox. After a quick google search a 90 degree gearbox adapter with a new cable was ordered via "Speedograph-Richfield Ltd" so at this point were still planning to make the trip.
A few days before the show I received an email from EATOC to meet up at a service station, to then travel in convoy to Kimbolton, unfortunately as there had been that many false dawns with the car I was reluctant to confirm the meeting point to then not turn up.
With that thought in my mind I went for a final drive the evening before Kimbolton. The gremlins struck again - another issue to work. At 8.00 pm on the A47 near the A43 roundabout the near side front mud guard support had fatigued after only 650 miles on the clock. After limping home I then spent the next few hours fixing the mud guard support so it would last the 90 mile return trip.
At 8.00 AM the following morning, with fingers crossed and a little prayer under my belt I finally started my first EATOC road trip. Fortunately good weather was forecast for the day and very few cars were on the road at that time, 10 miles later I was starting to feel quietly confident and at 20 miles, fingers were now partially crossed and I was half way there. By the time I was coming off the A14 I saw a Westfield fly past with nonchalant wave, by this stage I was only 4 miles from Kimbolton and I started to think we have finally got to a show!
A few minutes later we were entering the archway into the grounds and looking for the site pitch. After speaking to 2 different people I found the allocated area and I saw a fellow Tiger owner "Richard" in a pristine R6, a few minutes later the Tiger convoy arrived.
Within a few minutes of the club's owners lining up their cars I met at least 3 Dave's and other Club members, at that point the benefits of being part of the club was there to be seen.
A few minutes after the introductions the position of my steering wheel was being compared to other Tigers which confirmed that my current mounting position was too low and I needed to raise it by at least an inch.
A short while later other EATOC members were happily passing on their experiences that were gratefully received. By the end of the morning we had confirmed that the ground height was too low and the camber also needed adjustment. All pointers and advice were taken on board and were worked on the following evening.
The Cub now sits 6 inches from the ground rather than 4 and the steering wheel is now at least 1.5 inches higher.
By the end of the meeting I was dehydrated and sunburnt "Lessons to be learned for next year" but as Griff showed me his photos nobody had surpassed the smile I had as I left the show. By the time I was driving home the fingers were now uncrossed and I was starting to finally enjoy driving the car!!!
Thanks to all for the advice on the day, it was appreciated.
Well for the first time in quite a few years the bank holiday weekend was warm, dry, and with very few clouds - perfect air show weather.
The initial trip down was very easy no holdups as I think 7:45 is too early for most people on a bank holiday Sunday. I arrived at about 8:45 and drove straight in. Frank (Mike Finch's occassional co-pilot) had allocated us a space for 4 cars on the end of one of the rows. I was the first to arrive followed by Richard Gaze and Jeff McCall, Ceili Finch was the last of the group to arrive.
As all of the group had arrived I went for a wander round the cars. There was some interesting stuff as you might expect, and some really odd stuff. I didn't get a photo (not sure why) but there was a Frontline converted MG Midget - the owner had spent £72K (Seventy Two Thousand Pounds) on the conversion and it wasn't finished yet. All this for 250bhp and a 0-62 of about 4.5 seconds. Or you could buy 3 factory built Tiger Aviators and have a few thousand spare...
Now at some point I have to compliment Richard Gaze on achieving an astounding packing job.
Have a look at the photos and spot the small parasol - this was brought on the back on the Avon, might you it did work with keeping the sun off.
Now as the air show was about to start I discovered I had been an idiot, when packing all the camera kit the previous night, I had checked which batteries needed charging and put the flat one onto charge and the fully charged one on a shelf (leaving a part charged battery in the camera). When I was at Gransden the charged battery was still on that shelf... So no flying aircraft pictures this year.
The display itself started with Mark Jefferies dropping in using a paraglider.
The display with the usual irreverent comentry from Ken Ellis went off as planned and was pretty much non-stop.
Highlights included the Bristol Blenheim as it was the first time I had seen this flying, and the B17 which was a late substitute for the Lancaster. Of the aerobatic displays the Extra 300 and model which this year went perfectly, the TRIG team was very good, and Lauren Richardson managed two displays one in a powered glider (ok) and then a display in her Pitts Special which was spectacular.
The flying circus decided to have a game of cricket followed by cutting streamers (or toilet rolls as the commentary had it).
Then just before the end there was a pause - a Rockwell Bronco dropped in for a cup of tea (really) as he was on the way to a display in Belgium. I know it sounds strange but it does happen.
All in all a spectacular day - just annoyed with myself for leaving the spare battery at home.
I have now ordered a battery charger which can be run from the car to prevent this problem again.
This is an event which has been going on for a few years now but somehow we have always missed it.
This year I decided to do something about that and made enquiries about getting a club presence - not sure if they would accept Kit Cars in or not.
The response was positive and I had a space reserved all I needed was some cars to fill it. The show is a two day event on the Saturday and Sunday of a weekend, however we managed to get three cars there just for the Saturday. Not the best showing but it did give us a presence.
It has to be said we did choose the better of the two days weather wise, but the show was a bit sparse on the Saturday. There were some interesting cars there, a Cord Speedster (could be a replica), some other kit cars including a Tiger which has lived in Peterborough for 17 years and we have never seen before - they got loaded up with EATOC application forms! It was a fairly good turnout limited slightly by the current Bishops Road roadworks which blocked some of the pedestrian access to the embankment site. But it wasn't as busy as I thought it would be.
Now on the Sunday I went back (minus the Tiger as I needed some shopping) and it was a far busier event.
Was it worth attending - yes it was, the organisation was simple - they just needed the car details a couple of days in advance. It is a free event and I think one that will be worth adding to the event calendar for next year. With it being a two day show we can have a different selection of cars on each day.
Also being in the town centre you are only a 5 minute walk from the shops and other services.
Now it has to be said that organising the Derbyshire run is fairly complex. It was made more complex this year as the original planner of the route is no longer with us - hence the name.
It took a bit of organising but we ended up with 19 people and 14 cars at the Wheatsheaf in Langham for the breakfast stop. I arrived at about 7:50 slightly early to discover that Angus Grooby had beaten me. He was followed by (in no particular order) Neil Whitehead, Jem Knight, Griff, Richard Gaze, Mike Ramsdale, Simon Light, Peter Hinton, Dave Thomas, Dave Sneesby, Niall Turner, Tony Haggie, the last to arrive was Steve Tuck. We all had a nice warm breakfast and then after a good chinwag headed off towards Ripley and the start of the run.
Now the route to Ripley is fairly easy, From Langham head to Melton then the A6006 towards Lutterworth and Kegworth before a quick jaunt up the M1 to Junction 26. I started off leading and as usual come Melton we got separated due to the traffic lights - not a problem we have a regroup point built in using a convenient garden centre. At this point I had 3 cars directly behind me so we came off the main road turned round and sat at the roundabout waiting for them to arrive. A few minutes later I spied Dave Sneesby's R6 approaching the junction and we slotted back into a convoy or so I thought...
A nice leisurely run all the way to Ripley when we got there I only had 8 cars behind me - and the other 6 cars had beaten us! It turned out that Richard Gaze's satnav had directed him towards Nottingham and those behind just followed. Apparently this is a quicker route, but not as peaceful as you have to negotiate the ring road with loads of junctions and traffic lights. At least they had all arrived. Waiting for us were a few more cars, Andy Dunn, Dominic Washington, Robert Arrowsmith, and Dave McKenna. Dave has just acquired a new R6 and Robert has bought his old Cat. There was also a person new to us Justin Garland who lives near Alton Towers and saw the run advertised. This brought the number of cars up to 19.
We also met up with Pat Welsh (Ian's wife) who came along and rode with Niall Turner for the run. The butler had to ride with Dave Thomas - mind you it was probably better for Pat rather than riding with Dave?
There was one still missing - Trevor Harmer. Although he had the sat nav route which had the first location at Ripley he had gone to a filling station in Derby which we had used a few years ago. It is better not to ask how this happened.
Finally with everyone present it was time to get going, then Griff said to me he had seen a notice that one of the roads we planned on using was closed. When we checked the road was closed and it happened to have a waypoint marker on it. A quick check of the maps and a change to the route was required. When they got to Cromford to ignore the immediate right (the road was closed) and instead go via Middleton - this would bring us out on the A5012 and back on the correct route - almost everyone did. For the majority of us we carried on down some very narrow tracks and beautiful scenery culminating in a steep (20% gradient) downhill section with some nasty Pot-Holes at the bottom.
We arrived at the lunch stop, as I was leading it took a few minutes for the rest of the cars to come in, but there was a problem we only had 16 cars - where were the last four. About 10 minutes later Peter and Jenny arrived having got confused with the diversion but at least they made it. A few phone calls and it was established the remaining cars where somewhere near Ashbourne - about 30 minutes away. We finally all ended up in the same location.
The reason for the mistake was a few people missed out on the right turn towards Middleton and kept going straight on - I was told that a kind man on a bike was at the traffic lights pointing out where to go but a few missed him. I can see how that happened if you follow the road from Cromford and take the road to (nominally) Middleton but miss the second turn the road does bring you all the way to Ashbourne.
Whilst waiting for the last few to arrive we did have a car problem, Trevor Harmer's Super 6 was being incontinent and dripping coolant on the floor. He had recently fitted an electric water pump (why?) but couldn't locate the leak. Eventually he seemed to have eliminated the problem which looked like an airlock in the system and the car ran fine for the rest of the run. Still it does give an opportunity for a car being fixed photo!
The stragglers finally arrived and got parked up then everyone had a good lunch. Before we left I made sure to check and ensure there were no more closed roads according to any of the online map services. All looked clear, before we left a few people had said they would need fuel to get back to the start location, so with that in mind I lead off keeping an eye out for a fuel stop. The second part of the route took us back up the A53, then A54 and then up past the Cat and Fiddle Inn (still closed) and then past last years lunch stop the Robin Hood Inn (now apparently closed - it had a To Let outside).
We were now into untravelled territory as last year we abandoned the run at this point due to the slightly inclement weather. Well the weather was certainly a lot better this year with mostly blue skies, with a few drops of rain.
As we approached Whaley Bridge my sat nav indicated a fuel station coming up, and so all those who needed a top-up could get one - and yes it was a Tesco but it was the first fuel stop on the road we had come to. After stopping for a while we made the decision not to put any more stops in the route and continue straight through to Ripley. At this point we still had 40 or so miles of views to take in before we could consider the drive home.
Because of the weather being in our favour we actually got to see the scenery and for the first time in 8 years of doing these routes we travelled through the Winnats Pass in sunshine. Although Tony Haggie got a slight scare as a rucksack rolled down the side of the pass. It had presumably been dropped by a walker - who fortunately didn't follow it down. It would have been a long walk to go and pick it up though.
After that apart from a couple of missed corners when I didn't read the sat-nav properly there wasn't really much of note to observe. Everyone got back to the start point without any mechanical mishaps and after a break all headed home at different speeds and directions.
Everybody enjoyed the run and to quote Neil W "I really enjoyed getting lost with Tony and Angus"
I did make a mistake on the way home and came off the M1 at 24A and not 24, causing me some confusion and then when going through Oakham realised the breaker for the front lights had tripped and I couldn't see anything. A quick stop soon rectified that and finally a mere 12 hours after setting out I got home.
Hello its the Junior Reporter writing a few lines. I am hoping that a senior reporter will do a better job and write a good report on the run.
Before I begin my ramblings, lets spare a thought for the late Ian Welch, who mapped out the run for 2016, which had to be cancelled half way round due to the awful weather.
Someone this year was looking down on us, Ian's route was completed, also Ian's wife Pat, joined us ~ kindly chauffeured by Niall Turner.
Peter and I left home to go the meeting point for breakfast, which was at Langham, however, 5 minutes into the journey, we stopped to put our wet weather gear on. At this point, a beautiful rainbow appeared, and an orange flash passed by - Hiya Griff and Rachel
I thought the run was going to be a re-run of last year but as it turned out, the day only got better. We had a good turnout of cars and a few new faces as well, which was nice to see and mingle with.
Peter and I managed to get separated from the group but we had a scenic tour and thanks to Giles's printout, we popped the pub post code into the Sat Nav.
On arrival at the Winking Man pub, we found that, we had not missed lunch, which was a delicious one too.
(Note: it would be a good idea, to write down the post codes for the meeting points, so that if you become separated, you can head towards the next meeting place)
The scenery was spectacular and with me being passenger, I was able to admire the lovely views of it all.
The run ended, where it all started in Ripley, time for a coffee and a chat before heading home.
The day started off dry and it was off to the first of the many stops on route to Southwold. It was dry and reasonably bright as I pulled into Tesco's Car Park. Already there was Derek Oakes, followed shortly by Neil Whitehead, Martin Bell, Niall Turner, Dave Thomas and Dave McKenna. Once most of the them had fuelled up we headed off towards March. Now we could have gone via the A47 but it was easier to go via the A605 up to March. It did start drizzling when we were on the road but nothing much.
When we arrived at March there were another 11 cars waiting for us. Allan Griffin, Adrian Spriggs, Peter Hinton, John Aylward, Tony Haggie, Kevin Greeves, Dave Sneesby, Jem Knight, Angus Grooby and Simon Light. Quite a few needed fuel and then more needed a quick comfort stop. At this point the rain was getting heavier it still wasn't proper rain, but it was a good strong drizzle(?).
So we started off from March with an 18 car convoy - now these do have a problem we typically take up between 1/4 and 1/2 a mile of road depending on how much space is between the cars - this means you have no idea what is going on more than 5 or 6 cars behind you.
An incident occurred with Angus but the first I knew about it was when we got to Long Melford.
The drive to Long Melford had as far as I was aware gone without a hitch, seeing as we stick to mostly A roads and make it fairly simple. There was originally planned to be a rest stop at Ely but as nobody wanted to meet us there the decision was made to go straight through.
Arriving at Long Melford our numbers where somewhat depleted, Griff, Adrian and Tony were waiting with Angus for the recovery truck to arrive, and apparently Martin Bell and Neil Whitehead were to catch us up.
We also met up with Paul Browning who was waiting for our arrival. Finding a suitable local hostelry we settled in to wait. About 30 minutes later Martin and Neil arrived. We then headed off towards the next fuel stop at Stratford St Andrew. Dave McKenna was now very short of fuel (why he hadn't filled up at March I don't really know) so both him and Dave Thomas were going to stop early.
A relatively easy drive (apart from a couple of missed corners) had us over to the planned fuel stop, when we arrived we were missing both Daves and Neil Whitehead. As I knew they were stopping for fuel I assumed Neil was with them and they were following on.
We had a small problem here though Niall Turner's car wouldn't start. It appeared that although the battery was charging it had suffered a fault and wasn't holding enough charge to start it. A quick bump start soon fixed that, and we headed off to Southwold - now only 11 cars with me.
The rest of the journey there was made without any further issues. We got to Southwold and parked up and then most of them went for Lunch at the pier. A few texts later and I found that Griff was a couple of miles away with Ade, Tony and the two Dave's. No mention of Neil though, I decide to wait for them so we can get most of the cars back in one location.
Once they have arrived we are only one car short (Angus has gone home on a recovery truck).
It turns out Neil had a problem (see Rachel's article below) and was waiting for the RAC.
After going for lunch in the centre of town rather than the pier and then finding a cake shop we headed back to find that most of the rest of the group had already headed home.
Some of the remaining people headed off for a paddle before we headed back. Niall had craftily parked his car away from the rest of us and on a downward facing slope, he then just let off the handbrake and bump started it himself…
We then had a final stop at Diss where Neil Whitehead met up with us having repaired his car before heading home.
Just outside Wisbech and as it is getting very dark the headlamp circuit breaker on my car trips out, leaving me with just sidelights. It is the second time it has done it recently so I will be looking for a dodgy connection to find out what is causing it. I come to a stop in a convenient side road and as I am reaching under the dash to reset the breaker I have two cars stop near me as Niall and Kevin where taking the same road home. Once the breaker is reset I then head for home.
Our meeting for the run was at Tesco March, we duly fill up with petrol and ambled over to the car park, where there were many cars and people stretching their legs. Said good morning to one and all but did not linger and chat, knowing that we had a whole day ahead to catch up with the new faces and the familiar ones.
We set off from March, then the A142, the majority of the group were ahead and succeeded in overtaking the numerous horse boxes on the road that morning!
Approaching a roundabout, I could not understand, why a lorry driver and other cars were flashing us and using hand signals to slow down. On the roundabout, we realise why, the drivers had been flagging us down, as a member of the group had had a small issue. At this point, hazard lights on and out of the car, accessing the situation, Angus's car was not moving unless on a recovery truck. Griff uses his head and moves the orange flash into the centre of the roundabout, where the police normally park up as we were causing too much interest for other drivers rubber necking.
The RAC were called, who advised the eta was an hour, we waited with Angus, together with Tony, Liz, Ady and Mandy, trying to keep his spirits up and not to dwell on the incident. Coffee was needed, so Griff and Ady were despatched. In what seemed like an hour, they eventually arrive back at the same time as the recovery truck. The Danish pastries and coffee were soon demolished. The RAC man needed some help and the guys were able to lift the car and put dolly trollies where instructed. Once loaded, we waved off Angus and set off to continue the route. I had been in touch with Giles and advised that he continues with the route. Following the route, we went through some lovely villages and the smells of cooking was making me feel very hungry. The autumnal colours of the trees were amazing too.
Just approaching the A12, Griff says to me, we have got 2 more Tigers now, I checked the mirrors and said it looks like the 2 Daves!! We were confused as we thought they were with the main group. At the petrol station, they tell us, that they had stopped with Neil, who had an issue with his car, who in turn, insisted that they continue with the day, whilst he waited for the RAC. 5 cars made the last few miles together to Southwold, where Giles was waiting for us at the Pier. A couple of pictures were snapped of all the cars parked together and we headed into town, thinking that we would meet up with all the others, how wrong was we. We found a Fish and Chip shop and took the food to the benches beside the sea wall. I am on the understanding that most of the others dined on the pier. As you know, I love a Fat Face shop, so we headed to that and got caught in a cake shop, where we had a nice cuppa with a cake. At this point, I found out that Fat Face had closed down. As the car parking ticket was running out we headed back to the cars, where we found that a lot of people had already left, so sorry, that I did not get the chance to chat further. I am hoping that you had a lovely time.
With some of the remaining members, we had a good chin wag and went for a paddle (probably the last of the year!) Griff meanwhile had been in touch with Neil who had told him that he was waiting or would wait at Tesco Diss, so we the remaining cars set off. As we pull in Tesco, there sits Neil, a quick chat and he seems to think that the fault was fuel related and fixed! How wrong was he. We set off for the final leg at this stage, we are at the front, and heading towards Thetford. Then we realise that Ady, Neil and Tony were missing so waving the other cars on, we go back to look for them. Yep, we find them at the side of the road, with the bonnet off Neil's car. Griff has a quick chat with them and we move off. However we lose them again so turned around and go back. At this point Neil has decided that the best option would be a recovery truck home.
A call was placed with the RAC but he lost connection, so I called from my mobile. A 20-40 minutes wait, not too bad, we thought. We had said to Ady, that he should continue with his journey, knowing full well that he had to be up for work at 2.45 am and we would wait. The RAC duly turned up, disappointingly, it was not the recovery truck but a van.
By now, it was dark and to give credit, the Police did stop when passing and asked if we were OK. However, we then realised that numerous drivers do not know what to do when seeing a car or in our case 3 cars with hazard lights flashing. They continued to speed past, at times, we did wonder if there would be a crash. We decided that the roll cage is a superb place to place a hi-viz jacket. This should alert other road users that something is wrong on the road. The location was rural with no street lights, just the owls and geese for company. No call back from RAC so when I called again, we were advised the eta was 11.30 pm, all our hearts sank as this was a 2 hour wait. Again we kept the spirits up by joking and laughing, ringing other members of the club, who in turn, said that Niall and Kev had stopped to offer assistance to Giles, who had an issue with his lights.
The recovery truck arrived at 10.37 and he could easily load the cub on the back, with much help from the guys, he was soon on his way. At this point we needed fuel and a coffee, so headed into Thetford with Tony and Liz. After refuelling we headed home it was lovely to see the deer roaming along the grass verges but scary in a way, as you never knew which direction they would go. Eventually we get home at 12.15 am .
Hopefully as it is the end of the season this gives Neil and Angus time to get their cars back on the road for Spring 2018 or sooner.
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