Better late than never, finally here we are looking back on the 2016 Goodwood Revival.
The Revival is Mario’s favourite weekend of the year and definitely his hardest. We were back again as part of the GRTC Goodwood revival Transport Corps working as period taxi’s to help keep the event working successfully. Our task is to move people between the circuit, Lavant Corner, the Kennels, Goodwood House and the Hotel. Mario was all spruced up for the event and wearing his rather splendid new roof rack.The weekend started with the annual drivers cricket match at the house which always has a great collection of classics including this wonderful Autobianchi. It also has one of the best flying displays of the weekend.
For the second year running we were working a new shift pattern which would allow us more time to enjoy the event. I don’t think this means that Mario works any less, just that it is crammed into a smaller time frame. The hours we were driving – on Friday we did 1pm until 8.45pm we just didn’t stop and over the weekend travelled around 300km. Mario was very well behaved this year and didn’t put a foot wrong, although he did need some work after the event to replace failed lights and part of the suspension!, it’s fun doing the taxi’s but it is hard on the cars and the drivers! Most people loved having the chance to ride in Mario and really enjoyed the experience although one rather grumpy lunch passenger did say that they “used to have cars ‘like these’ before they could afford a proper one” – rather rude we thought!
The extra time for us, failed to materialise though, as we we had been invited with Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie the Renault 4cv, to take part in the daily ‘Road to Wembley’ parade which took up most of the mornings. It was fun though to go round the track and gave us an opportunity to take friends on a special trip. We had to decorate Regie for the occasion with scarfs, rosettes, World Cup Willie, Union Jacks plus replica programmes, tickets and of course wooden rattles to wave.
The whole Revival was themed around the 66 Football World Cup final with crowds of supporters, police horses, banners etc and there was a pitch hosting ‘the match’ at the drivers club. The parade was for cars that could have been on the road in 1966, driving to Wembley with English and German fans. It was good fun and even the Marshalls got into the spirit of the day playing football on the side of the track, out at St Mary’s. On Saturday the weather was terrible, which made the parade a bit of a washout, roof up and it made you very aware of how bad the conditions were for the competitors with very poor visability. Poor Mario got absolutely filthy working the afternoon shift, the roads surrounding the circuit were dreadful and covered with mud from the carparks. Sunday however was glorious and sunny – proper Goodwood weather. We managed to have a look around the site before and after the parade. A great area was the tunnel linking Piccadilly Circus and Green Park undergrounds, it had been built with great attention to detail (I spent 20 years travelling through Piccadilly Circus) the ‘staff’ were superb and there was even an original ticket machine. The sunshine made Sunday’s parade more fun. The Setterington Cup for Austin A40 Pedal cars is always popular. We even managed to get a quick look round the paddock.
And the Freddy March ‘Spirit of Aviation’ A brilliant desert display of military vehicles was a special exhibition to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the SAS Regiment in 1941 On duty driving between the hotel and circuit through Goodwood Estate gives you a wonderful view of some of the flying displays. So, we’re sorry for the lack of pictures of the racing or the rest of the stuff going on at the circuit but with working, the parade and the rain, we just didn’t get to see that much else of what was going on. We had a great weekend though with friends old and new and are looking forward already to Revival 2017.
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