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First off a quick summary - it was one of the coldest events we have attended as a club.
Now back to the normal program. The Friday before the event had been a lovely spring day with temperatures over 10C, this boded well for the weekend. On the Saturday I went to a photography show at the NEC, again not too bad on the weather until we got to coventry where there were drifts of powdery snow in the morning and then it was clear in the afternoon.
However all changed on Saturday night, depending on who you trusted for the weather (the BBC app has gone hopelessly inaccurate now they have changed from using the Met Office, the Met Office app is a lot more reliable) it was either light snow showers or constant snow all night.
Upon waking up I was greeted with a car covered in snow, very grey skies and the prospect of more snow the Tiger was left at home and I took the tintop. The roads through Peterborough were still fairly slippery and it was better to be safe than in a ditch!
I arrived first at Brampton Hut, followed a few minutes later by Peter and Jenny (in a white Audi rather than an Avon), then came Griff and Rachel (Blue Mocha not an Avon), followed by John and Gail TVR not an Aviator), and Dave and Lorraine (4x4 not an R6). As we stood chatting we heard a familiar exhaust note, Steve and Paula arrived in their Tiger (well they only live 2 miles from Brampton).
Both the Simons (Noble and Light) had dropped out and Neil Anderson living in Bedford wasn't going to make a start point further than his journey to the venue so we started off.
For some reason my Satnav took us via Easton so it was an interesting drive down some icy single track lanes - sorry, but we all arrived at the hotel in one piece which was the most important thing.
We arrived just before 8:30 - now the venue tickets stated a start time of 9AM but the breakfast wasn't open until 9:30 so we spent a rather cold hour waiting around - if the weather had been more seasonable then this wouldn't have been an issue but with temperatures around -1C and a bitingly cold wind it was raw out there. Neil Anderson arrived a bit later in his Tiger but as he only had a 15 mile round trip it was a bit easier for him.
Still there were a few cars to look around then more arrived as it got closer to 9:30 when we got into the breakfast room for some reason everyone headed for the full English (probably just to warm up).
Whilst having breakfast the hotel went through some of the events they have planned for this year - 3 night trip to Ireland £3000, 5 night trip to Italy £5995 (all per person!). Slightly out of my price bracket.
Finally it was time for everyone to leave - most of them were heading for Sywell as part of the drive out whereas the EATOC members were heading home. However before we left we made sure to get loads of photos and Griff shot a video (using my new tripod so it should be very stable..)
Finally we all left for home.
It wasn't a bad day - just wish it had been warmer so the Tiger could have got a run out.
A selection of pictures are below - I took almost 200 as everyone left but haven't really go the room to put them here
Yet again, the Kit Car world had been kindly invited by Adam, Complete Car Magazine to attend his premises at Grantham for Coffee & Cake, on 31 March (Easter Saturday).
The weekend prior to the event had been sunny, dry and mild. Yet the forecast for Easter was a typical Bank Holiday one, wet and gloomy! On Good Friday, the weather deteriorated and a decision was that we would make the decision on Saturday morning.
Arising Saturday morning, it was not raining, woo hoo but the weather app said that it would rain heavier after dinner. Ady & Mandy, were soon round ours for coffee, before we all set off to meet up with David & Lorraine at Market Deeping, to be honest, we travelled to Grantham with hardly any rain falling down but loads of moisture coming up from road spray and puddles.
Arriving at Grantham, we found parking space with ease, as I believe the weather deterred people from arriving in their kits, there was a fair selection of people having coffee, who arrived in their tin tops. Shortly after, our friends from EAKCC arrived, these guys had stopped for a Full English Breakfast. Grabbing a coffee and delicious slice or slices of cake, soon everyone was chatting away all huddled together in Adam's unit as heavy showers fell.
Yet, again, many thanks to Adam for the invitation, we headed to the pub for a wonderful carvery, where yet again, people stared at us, arriving in open top cars on a wet and chilly day. The Gap pub yet again, provided us all with warmth and hearty food. The journey home, was not so kind as it did rain but it felt good to be back on the road again.
The tulip map run was scheduled for Sunday 29th April, spring appeared to be in the air and we were looking forward to a child free morning. That was until the day before when we had a full day of heavy rain and my enthusiasm was starting to wane. I was promised that should the rain not stop we would be taking part in the tin top and much of the day was spent comparing weather forecasts from different sources. Despite these promises and waking up to rain I found myself on the way to Werrington in the Marlin in the drizzle with as much of my winter clothing on as I could find.
We arrived at the meeting place and met Giles, Kev and Rachel (Kev's rendezvous with a young lady in a lay-by having been a sucess). We waited for everyone else to arrive, with the main topic of conversation being the weather, before piling into the At Last Tea Rooms for a good breakfast served with very good tea (so I am told by Liz and Angus). Fueled up (both us and the car) we were ready for a quick briefing from Giles, where I learnt that a tulip map is a thing and we were not orienteering around the bulb growing regions of the fens. After some adjusting of roofs and the braver amongst us getting into their wet weather gear, we were off.
Missing the first turn off to the Paul Pry was a strategic move to catch the others out, and it was only marginally longer and gave us the opportunity to wave to Kev and Rachel and Mandy and Ady as we approached a roundabout and passed from a different direction. We were in front at this point but we knew it would not be for long! The route took us from Peterborough through Marholm, Ufford and Barnack to Stamford, where Giles was waiting with his camera. Rachel and Kev had already passed us and we also caught a glimpse of Tony and Liz ahead in their Morgan.
Coming out of Stamford we soon entered the countryside and open roads again, we lost and caught up with Kev and Rachel several times. There was a lot of late indicating going on, with many debates in our car at least about whether or not they were going to turn at the same point we decided to. Turning off at Rhyall we followed the road through to Corby Glen, which is not a road we have ever driven before and will definitely do so again - just not when it has been raining, some of the puddles were so big they nearly met in the middle of the road. There was also a stretch where a thoughtful farmer had spread the road with mud, to make it just that bit more interesting for us.
From Corby Glen, the turning towards Grantham caused some controversy, some turning too early, some too late and some taking the correct turning but just not being believed, so we had to pull over to discuss it and then watched the others shoot past us! On the outskirts of Grantham we took the A52 to A15 towards Bourne, we did seem to be travelling in convoy at this point, with Tony and Liz in front, followed by the red Skoda of Paul Lilley, then Kev and Rachel and Angus and myself. we commented several times about how funny the people in the red skoda must be finding it to be surrounded by kit cars - not realising until the end they were part of the run!
Through Bourne and on towards Deeping we still followed Kev and Rachel but we had lost the red Skoda and Tony and Liz at the traffic lights in Bourne. Looking ahead at the route on the map we realised where the route was taking us and we discussed alternative routes through Deeping which might have given us the edge over the others and allow us to cross the Deeping St James bridge ahead. However, as we all know cheats never prosper and we became stuck behind a Sunday driver. It also meant that we missed Giles with his camera who was waiting in the centre of Market Deeping. Unaware of this though we did think it had worked as we headed through Peakirk to Newborough and there was no sign of Kev's orange car. That was until we pulled up next to them at the Van Hage car park.
Everybody did make it to the final destination and I don't think anybody got too lost. We all had a great time and much thanks must go to Giles for organising the event, especially for laminating the maps, so no-one was lost in the Lincolnshire countryside with a soggy ball of paper.
I am actually suprised how well this event ran. A few days before I had to change the start location due to being let down by the Paul Pry, just after all the maps were printed and laminated - hence an extra page tacked on.
The most remarkable thing was that we didn't lose anyone (well not too much) on the entire route.
A big thanks must go to the At Last Tearooms for accommodating us. It was also good to see a few new faces doing the run (Paul Lilley and Paul Seaton).
Would I organise another one, yes - but I need a rest first.
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