It all came together in the end… including the sun!

For many months now we’ve been working hard putting together plans for the Haslemere Classic Car Show and now it’s been and gone in the blink of an eye. The show took place last Sunday the 25th May at Lion Green in Haslemere. We were sooooo lucky as in the middle of a rather wet spell we managed to have the only sunny day over the bank holiday weekend.

IMG_0507Mario who has been used regularly over the last few months to promote the show was put on display on the green the day before while we measured and marked out all the pitches for stall holders and cars.

Sunday morning dawned dry and bright and everything was packed into Mario and taken to the Green, where we set up to welcome and register the classics who had signed up to go on the ‘tour’. This drive round the local countryside attracted nearly 90 cars. After arrival the entrants had breakfast and a natter, put on their tour plate and had their first look at the route. This is given as a series of tulip’s – these pictorial instructions are named as they were first used on Dutch rallies in the 50’s.

Layout 1DSC01100By 9.30 the cars were starting to leave on the 60 mile drive. This years route followed a figure of eight, first going East of the town through Hambledon, Dunsfold, Alford and Kirdford before arriving at the picturesque Stag Inn at Balls Cross for a welcome coffee stop. This lovely pub is our ‘regular drinking spot’ and the entrants were warmly welcomed and had another opportunity to swop motoring stories. The route continued to the South through Fittleworth, West Chiltington, Wisbourgh Green and then back via Kirdford again and Northchapel to arrive back on Lion Green for the show.

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Beautiful 1939 Citroen Traction Avant Cabriolet

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Austin A35’s, my first car was one!

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1967 Mini Moke, James restored this a couple of years ago to be used for the owners son’s wedding

DSC01075 DSC01083 DSC01165 DSC01102 DSC01113 DSC01128 The tour first went through the town centre of Haslemere, round the Town Hall, looking rather splendid with it’s recent new roof.DSC08530DSC08522DSC08535DSC08553IMG_4979IMGP5521_edited-1IMGP5594_edited-1

While the tour had been taking place, the Green had been a hive of activity with all the stalls arriving and setting up and the show cars started to arrive and park up. Mario was first in the queue with prime place outside the show HQ tent.

DSC01153 DSC01157DSC08600The whole feel of the day is that of a traditional vintage fete and the stalls we have reflect that, with a mix of art and crafts meet farmers market. We have hot food vendors and the WI serve Cream Teas while the ever popular George Regis Jazz Band entertain the crowds.

Introduced last year was the ‘Bake-Off’ competition and we were totally overwhelmed with the number and quality of the entries from adults and children. The judging panel consisted of Michael Nicholson OBE, ex ITV war correspondent, Haslemere Town Crier, Christian Ashton – who loves cake! and Trevor Cruickshank, award winning cake designer. There was much deliberation and tasting of a lot of cake! The winning adult received a  K-mix mixer from our supporters Kenwood and there were lots of other prizes too.
DSC01188 DSC01197 DSC01207Lots of our stalls sell vintage and retro clothing and homewears.DSC01351 DSC01387 DSC01395The big event of the day is our Best Dressed Car and Driver Competition where entrants are encouraged to dress in period to match their cars. Everybody has a lot of fun and the winner gets tickets for a day at The Goodwood Revival donated by our Vintage Partners – Costume Hire Direct.DSC08611 DSC08618 DSC08621 DSC08633 DSC08635 DSC08638 DSC08654DSC08649After some serious pondering by James and John the decision was made and this years winning combination was Rigby and Charlotte Andrews, dressed as a period Chauffeur and his elegant lady not forgetting Norbert the pug in their Daimler EL24 Light Limousine.DSC01443The other big competition of the day is the ‘People’s Choice’, this allows all the visitors at the show to vote for the car they would most like to take home. This years vote was won for the second year running by Rod Ayres from Walton-on-Thames but this time with a different car – an unrestored Triumph Stag which looked like new. Rod also won a pair of tickets to the Revival from show supporter Walter Heale of Historic Motor Car Storage. Two runners up prizes of Vouchers from American parts supplier Rockauto were awarded to Geoff Moss from Liphook in his newly restored Ford Cortina 1600GT and Mark Burch from Havant in “Hector’ a 13 window deluxe splitscreen VW camper.
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We had a amazing array of cars dating from 1913 up to the 70’s and a great enthusiastic group of people who turn up with them and display them for others to enjoy. Local business’ support us by offering prizes and taking ads in our programme which we sell on the day to raise money for the show. From our point of view the only downside is we really don’t get the time to look at the cars and talk to the wonderful and interesting people who turn up.

Putting on an event like this is a huge amount of work and we always go through spells of ‘never again’ but it is very satisfying to see it all come together and see people from our town and far and wide all enjoying the spectacle. We get some amazing comments from people and that all makes it worthwhile, I’ve no doubt this time next year you will be reading a report on the 2015 Haslemere Classic Car Show!

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Two wheels not four…

Don’t panic Mario still has four wheels firmly on the ground but last Saturday James took to two wheels for the first time since he was old enough to have an engine under him!

1394728353423DSC00569The event was the 2014 running of the Tweed Run – a metropolitan bike ride with a bit of style. James was given a entry for his ‘big’ birthday and I went along in capacity of team photographer. The event is now in it’s sixth year and involves 500 people dressed in period tweed, cycling around ten miles or so round the capital on vintage bicycles with various stop offs for tea and picnics. All jolly good fun, the route is a closely guarded secret and although now an official London Event with sponsors and lots of press coverage, it is still run in a slightly ‘guerrilla’ style with groups of suitably clad marshals riding ahead of the pack blocking the traffic, temporarily ‘closing’ the roads to allow the run to pass through.

The starters at Somerset House (thanks to the Tweed Run)

The starters at Somerset House (thanks to the Tweed Run)

This years route started at Somerset House although I have no pictures from there as I was still trying to park the car, a total nightmare with city roads empty and loads of spaces but none with the right combination of time allowed and cost. Having turfed out James and his bike earlier so he could make the start time and finally finding a suitable space I then had to download an App and register so I could pay!

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First sighting of Mark and Richard on the Tandem

First sighting of Mark and Richard on the Tandem

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A wave from Marge

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The fabulous Fleur De Guerre

The fabulous Fleur De Guerre

DSC00615 DSC00622I finally caught up with them at St Paul’s Cathedral where a bride came out onto the balcony to watch the run come past. A quick dash round the corner to the Guild Hall for the first stop of the day and my first chance to catch up with friends Mark and Marge Elliott and Richard Sherwood all looking fabulous and tweedy with their trusty steads. Marge (aka Tweed Queen) had dressed her bike beautifully complete with one of her Tweedidermy Trophy Heads. The assembled crowd all looked wonderful although with maybe a little less heavy tweed than usual given the mid 70ºs temperature. There was still of course many excellent displays of sculptured facial hair. Marge’s bike was of course fully equipped with a cocktail bar so it wasn’t long before the Martini’s were served.

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Maybe Mario could be a support vehicle?

DSC00643DSC00638 DSC00648 DSC00691DSC00679 DSC00697 DSC00704 DSC00729 DSC00737 DSC00743As the participants headed off towards London Bridge and Borough Market before crossing the Thames again at Westminster, I hopped on the tube and waited for them in Parliament Square. As they entered the square another modern cycle ride was leaving Whitehall for Westminster Bridge, the cheering was deafening with the Tweed Runners cries of Tally Ho and the ringing of bicycle bells competing with the hooting traffic as the area was pretty grid locked.

DSC00769 DSC00773 DSC00784DSC00808Bikes of all shapes and sizes from Penny Farthings to delivery bikes, tandems and regular vintage bikes with a selection of baskets, flowers, dogs and tweed covering as accessories streamed into the square to the delight of the watching crowds. Many had children along, either on their own bikes or riding various contraptions attached to their parents transport.

DSC00929DSC00883DSC00906DSC00908The route then proceeded up the Mall past the Palace via Burlington arcade to Saville Row the London home of tweed. Unfortunately public transport on a busy Saturday is much slower than a bike so I only caught up with them again at Russell Square where the infamous Tweed Run picnic was taking place. A welcome glass of bubbly and a ‘cheesy moustache’ was most welcome, my charging around following the route appeared to be fair more exhausting than a gentle cycle ride through the city streets.

The Marshals blocking the road

The Marshals blocking the road

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Andrea Woelke, who won the prize for best moustache

DSC00958 DSC00993The final section was a gentle run to Clerkenwell Green where the event finished in the grounds of the church and the celebrations carried on into the evening at the Three Kings.

A jolly spiffing event and one which I’m sure we will try to do again, although I feel that Mario may just have to acquire a two wheeled ‘female’ sibling!

See more photos of the day here

What is a ‘supercar’?

This morning was the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of 2014. Rather later in the year than previous, due to the 72 members meeting being held in March. The theme was Supercar Sunday, normally one we try to avoid, personally not having much interest in the subject matter and it is always so busy. However this was the only BC before the car show we organise so in the spirit of marketing (handing out leaflets) we decided we’d better make an effort.

Although many of the attendees arrive at ‘stupid O’clock’ in the morning, we left Haslemere at a much more leisurely pace and had a lovely sunny drive over the downs to the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Being a bit later we didn’t have our usual ‘super traffic jam’ behind Mario but we did see several cars making their way back northwards, amazingly between Midhurst and Goodwood we saw 5 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale’s, so hardly unusual!

DSC08315Although we and many of his fans consider Mario to be a ‘Supercar’, for once we parked in the public car parks, a bit of a shock for Mario but we left him in a very prominent position covered in posters and fliers advertising the forthcoming Haslemere Classic Car Show – if Mario didn’t attract attention, nothing would!

As we said we personally have very little interest in what are loosely described as Supercars, as James put it most of them are ‘footballers daily transport’ and quite of lot of them you’d be as likely to see in Sainsburys than at Breakfast Club! Still we persevered through the crowds of excited eight year boys jumping up and down at shiny red Ferraris and Grey Porsche’s and did spot a few more unusual gems…

With the factory just down the road there was a smattering of Rolls Royce on the grid, personally wouldn’t want one but did like the colour and the numberplate!DSC08317DSC08318 DSC08320 DSC08322 After musing about which car we would take home if we’d won the lottery, we came across this rather spectacular Bristol, the bodywork and interior was spectacular and it was definitely the car I’d have taken home.DSC08323 DSC08324 DSC08326 Parked next to the Bristol was this rather scruffy looking Jaguar, in fact I overheard somebody say ‘it looked like it had been dragged from a lake’, however the paperwork revealed it was actually rather special and was one of the few XJ40’s fitted with a V12 and truly was a super car of it’s time.DSC08329 DSC08332 DSC08333Aston Martin Lagonda – probably the ugliest car of the day although I’m sure it’s owner loves it, a real ‘Marmite’ car with it’s 70’s styling.DSC08334James always get rather annoyed about the number of ‘kit cars’ at Breakfast Club but if you are going to have one it might as well be a rather fun and good looking Vanwall look-alike.DSC08337 Or if I was going to have one – a Porsche Speedster kit, with it’s beautiful almost illustrated cartoon sportscar lines.DSC08341 Or a bright yellow ‘GT40’.DSC08342 Slightly hidden away in the paddock was a lovely Piper, a specialist car built in the 60’s and 70’s. Only around 80 road cars were made.DSC08344 and the 80’s ‘Back to the Future’ DeLoreanDSC08346 On the grid, next door neighbours demonstrated the change in super cars over the years with an Arial Atom parked alongside a Ferrari Daytona.DSC08349 Finally hidden away amongst the bikes parked in the Chicane carpark was the real treat of the day – Gordon Murrays Rocket, an ultra-lightweight, open cockpit roadster powered by a 1-litre motorcycle engine, which has an appearance similar to that of a 60’s era Grand Prix car. Looking like a pure single-seater, it actually could accommodate a passenger in tandem with the driver. This seat was located beneath a removable cover. Only around 50 were ever made and as of the lightest road cars ever conceived, weighing in at under 400kg, at the time of its launch in 1992, it was one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world.

Just maybe lurking in the background away from the crowds we had seen a true super car?DSC08352 DSC08357 DSC08358PS Whatever you think about super cars everybody (us included) seemed to have a good time, other than the poor chap in his Aston Martin DB9 whose emergency anti roll bars seemed to have deployed accidentally through his rear window – oops!

oops