Sunday, 15 November 2015

The last White Lion meet

A few years ago we heard about a local classic car meet run by former BTCC racer Jerry Mahony. It was held in the carpark and adjacent field by his antiques centre on the A30. Unlike most breakfast meets it was themed each time, allowing a different marque or type of car to shine. After a comment a year ago about a VW themed event one joined the calendar for the penultimate event. Sadly December marks the end of the road for the meetings. The land is to be sold on for development and the space for a couple of hundred cars lost. Its a shame, but understandable, its prime land right on the A30, close to the M3 and London as well as Blackbushe airport. I had a quick chat to Jerry at the end of today and he was sad to see them ending.

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For a VW themed meet it seemed right to bring both the Camper and Beetle along and we joined some fellow dubbers from LTV and other clubs to give a 20+ strong line up of Golfs, Campers and Beetles.

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As we arrived and parked up we met with 911 owner and chum Steve for breakfast, with a chill in the air we headed inside to the cafe instead of braving the outdoor stand. There was a bit of a wait, but coffee and sausage sarnies made up for it. Once stuffed we headed outside to explore.

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This quartet of Deloreans added a space age feel to the carpark.

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With good weather and the waterlogged field closed off, parking was becoming an issue, double parking the cars meant it was busy, but nobody grumbled and people were happy to move and allow others out when needed.

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Jaguar Daimler as ever were well represented with E-Types and XKs lined up.

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Later on a few very cool retro rides style cars appeared including this really low MGB.

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As the carpark started to clear a few more cars pulled in, this Mini was a good colour match for the split. The pickup next it dwarfed the 60s look racer and its flatbed would have comfortably swallowed it whole.

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With one last photo of the remaining trio of LTVers we headed off for home.

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We'll do our best to make it to the Christmas meeting in December and see out the very last White Lion Antiques meeting.


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Drenched on the Tempest

After last years damp Tempest Rally I was hoping for some good weather. Sadly the day dawned overcast and got worse as the hours ticked by. Between my brother and I we had decided not to waste a day chasing the cars through the stages. I had to drop Kim and Lily off to collect our car and was half way towards the first stage so decided to chance it. With wellies and coat and camera gear stowed under my jumper I trudged through the trees. Our usual corner on the Warren stage was being run in reverse this year and had new green and white tape. Following some serious incidents on stages around the world, marshals were being cautious and keeping spectators even further back than usual. The places we watched last year were now deep within the tree line offering virtually no view, coupled with some new trees that have grown up it was not a good start.

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The 2WD cars came blasting round the hairpin. Mud and gravel kicking up as they struggled for traction in the worsening conditons. I swapped from side to side of the corner trying to get a good view.

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Looking for a new angle I clambered through the undergrowth back up the stage finding a nice spot high above an uphill straight. The cars came down a short hill through a big puddle before coming up hill and past a little ridge and on to the hairpin I'd just been stood at. Following the safety instructions it looked ideal. Above the road and on the inside of the gentle curve. The marshal on point had different ideas though and I was asked to get "photos of a couple of cars then move on as it wasn't a spectator area" Also in this area were the marshals friends. Two teenagers with a go-pro style camera stood right on the edge of the road and what looked to be their dad with his SLR wandering back and forth across the road and standing on the outside of the turn. They were there long before I arrived and were still there as I left the stage at the end. I only want to spectate where its safe to do so and always follow the guidance from the marshals, but I felt he should have asked the same of his friends as well. Rant over! I got a few good shots as the cars bottomed out in the dip.

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Heading back to the car I was damp all over, but the rain had eased and almost stopped. I decided to chance another stage so headed for the Rushmoor service park to see the 4WDs. The 2WDs were just entering service as I arrived so I headed in to the park. Mk1 and 2 Escorts were being cleaned and spannered along with various MGs and an old Ford Anglia.

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As the last car headed out of service the rain lashed down even harder and the wind got up. My plan to hang around for the 4WD stage and service looked like being a mistake so I started to head for the carpark once more to shelter and have a think. My mind was made up as I came to the exit of service and one mighty gust of wind resulted in several displaced portaloos. I got back to the car and headed for the warmth and dry of home.

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Later that afternoon the sun was out and sky blue!


Saturday, 10 October 2015

Quick trip to Thatcham

Its the season of childrens birthday parties at the moment. Lily has three to go to this weekend which meant only a short trip to Thatcham for the Classic & Sportscar show was possible. The camper was fired up for the first time in weeks and we plodded along the A4. The field was already half full so we got a space and went for a wander.

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Show organiser Martin is a keen Land Rover man and several were parked up with his along with an old favourite, a classic QTR truck.

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Classic bikes were also out and the owner of this 1954 BSA Bantam let Lily try it for size.

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From the bikes we started a long walk back through the show to the playground.

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 Cars of the show for me were the pair of Lancias that arrived just after us. A Flavia and Flaminia.

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A group of Lotus arrived together and showed a wide range of the latest cars from Hethel.

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With time running out we had a last look around and Lily practised numbers and letters by reading numberplates.

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With it being five years since her first visit, we took another photo of her in front of the camper, this time she didn't need carrying!

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