Vale of the White Horse Group: Drive it Day, Mid-monthly meet, and Basingstoke
It's been a while since my last online Social Scene report, but so much seems to have been happening in the deepest, darkest Vale of late, that "doing it" has meant little time to "write about it". But that's what it's all about, enjoying TRs, and enjoying time with good friends who share a passion for the cars. And so, where to start!
Back in March I was getting a bit panicky about the seemingly never ending "Beast from the East" snows and fearing an icy, sub-zero Drive-it-Day run. I'd spent the best part of March researching a scenic route along country lanes and through pretty villages, so good weather was a must. Plus, about 5 weeks beforehand I'd promised everyone blue skies, warm weather and light breezes ... and I don't like to make false promises.
Fortunately, come the day of the event, the snows had long melted away and my tongue-in-cheek prediction had come true. Drive it Day on Sunday April 22nd was indeed blessed with fine weather. I was expecting a good number to turn out and they did not disappoint. And what a glorious sight, nearly 20 TRs, plus Stags and even a Mustang, all gleaming in the morning sunshine. Over 20 cars in total, mainly from the Vale of the White Horse and Kennet Valley groups.
As planned, we set off from the White Horse Hill car park at 10.30am, and made our way south through Lambourn and Great Shefford, before turning north-east and heading to our venue for the meal, The Bear at Home in North Moreton, about 40 miles away. Some cars followed the suggested route, while others made their own way. All went well until about 3 miles from our venue, when my co-driver relayed a message from the walkie talkie saying that a member had broken down at a T-junction. Those of us ahead turned around and like all good TR people went to try and help. Tools came out, spare parts came out, and 7 or 8 of us stood around an open bonnet of the stricken 6 scratching our heads. Nothing we tried helped, so in the end the breakdown service was called and those that stayed behind headed off for the meal.
Here I must say a big thank you to the Bear at Home, for closing off its car park to accommodate all our cars, giving us a private room so that we could all eat together, and serving up a lovely lunch. We also had a visit from the owner of the Jabekke TR2 prototype speed trial record holder, MVC 575, who showed off the restored car to interested members. Even the stricken 6 finally joined us, after some tinkering.
It was then off again for afternoon tea and cake at Notcutts garden centre in Nuneham Courtney. As a regular destination for us, we had the benefit of a cordoned off area in which to display the cars.
We rounded off the day at our usual haunt, the Horse & Jockey, Stanford in the Vale, SN7 8NN.
My thanks to Chris, who navigated on my first reconnaissance of the route mission, and for helping sample the offering of the venue!
This month saw the first of our mid-monthly meets take place, with a run out to The George at Kempsford to meet with members of Club Triumph. We arrived at the venue together, after a nice evening drive out, and put on a good display of 6 cars. Sadly, none of our CT counterparts had managed to bring their Triumph out, but we still enjoyed a good meal and chat with them and they were very complimentary about our cars. It also gave one of our members a good chance to bring out and show his new TR4, purchased only a few days earlier. It's a beauty and one that the new owner is rightly proud of, although he does still miss the 6 he traded in for it a little I think.
Last weekend, a few of us made it over to the Basingstoke Festival of Transport, where we met with members of Kennet Valley and Windsor Forrest groups. It was a good turnout of nearly 20 TRs from the groups, and several hundred cars in total.
And that's us up to date for now, apart from yesterday's monthly meet. More about that in a later post!
Joint Group Leader, Darren Cummings