One of the best things we`ve ever done is buy an Elan, the missus would agree, and so would the dog if you gave him a biscuit. The places we`ve been, the events we`ve entered, but mostly, the people we`ve met.
If you would call people without an interest in classic cars normal, then normal people, I`m sure, imagine “us” to be weirdos prattling on about carburettors and such but that`s not so with the ones we know. With the odd exception.
The people we know, members of the esteemed HVR, Hope Valley Ralliers or, more ironically (moronically), Happy Valley Ralliers have a reunion each year and this week was it. It`s a lovely tradition we`ve been keeping up for years. John and Maggie were “encouraged” to volunteer as organisers of the 2019 epic and did a great job.
We met for the second time at Shrigley Hall in Cheshire not far from Pete elansprint 71`s stomping ground. Afternoon tea was served from 3 and reserved parking along the impressive frontage was made more impressive with a great mixture of marques and models, 9 different manufacturers, no 2 models the same, and, coincidentally, only one car wasn`t British. All looking spruced up and delicious in the spring sunshine but for Richard and Nicola`s MGC, still wearing a little Manx dust as they had arrived having just competed in the Three Legs of Mann, not entirely successfully I see, which is unusual.
Pre-dinner drinks at 7p.m. all dressed up very smartly, then private dining where the ladies chose a random number denoting their seating position then the blokes picked out a random clue as to who would be sat on their right. Neil Sedaka pondered awhile before realising he was sat next to Carole. Doh! Obvious or what? I was Richard Burton so immediately looked for Liz. Dead easy, not least `cos it had been my idea. An excellent meal with convivial company, what could be better? Around half of us retired to the bar for a nightcap but in the absence of Horlicks, Bournvita or Ovaltine, the manly types had a whisky or two. I had a Malibu.
John and Maggie had organised an excellent 80+ mile tulip route for the next day taking in parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire and finishing in Derbyshire at the Bakewell Golf Club for lunch. Initially we drove through Prestbury where there seemed to be a most-impressive-gateway/entrance competition going on then up onto the moors and over to Longnor for a coffee stop where, given the average age, a toilet stop was most welcome.
Parking at the golf club, John had organised a pre-lunch putting competition on the practise green with a stunning trophy to be won. I was stunned when I saw it. The golfists among us were getting their excuses in early, they hadn`t brought their favourite putter, forgotten their barathea blazer and chinos, it was the wrong shade of green, that sort of thing. The dips and lumps, bare patches and scuffs ironically offered a level playing field and the “experts” were just as rubbish as everyone else. Except non-expert Jenny who scored a hole in one, what a triumph and a popular result. Everyone was glad she`d won the trophy, relieved, some would say, and she was very gracious in pretending she liked it.
The lunch was excellent, all the cars ran sweetly, David didn`t open his bonnet, not once, and we all had a really lovely time. We`re all proper enthusiasts but, no question, the best thing was just getting together with a great bunch of pals.
Thanks to John and Maggie.
Jim & Carole
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