Boats, planes, automobiles and a few in-between…

Sorry it’s been a while since we posted but life has rather caught up and we’ve been rather busy. Anyway as well as working hard we have had some time for some fun with and without Mario, so hopefully we’ll catch up with it all here soon…

A few weeks ago we were invited to join friends at the Henley Classic Boat Festival. We’ve been before and it was a lot of fun so we were rather disappointed when the weather forecast showed heavy rain all day! They were wrong though and it was a beautiful English summer day and decidedly hot in the afternoon. Not going to say too much other than there aren’t many better ways to spend a Sunday than bobbing along in a beautiful boat with a glass of champagne!DSC03112 DSC03116Not sure what you call a bike for two (tandem) with three wheels (Tricycle)?

DSC03119I loved this bicycle that looked like a scooter, wouldn’t it look great painted like Mario and Cynthia, trouble is the information said it was one of three known to exist.

DSC03122 Our friends boot is a slipper launch, these beautiful highly varnished wooden boats from the 1930’s have sloping backs into the water and often have Llloyd Loom chairs.DSC03124There was a minor panic at lunchtime as one of the slipper launches slipped it’s mooring and started drifting down the Thames. We managed eventually to get the attention of one of the safety boats which came to the rescue.
DSC03135DSC03158While lounging in the boat having a fabulous lunch and a glass of bubbly we were also treated to an acrobatic air display.DSC03164 DSC03172 DSC03173 The entered boats parade in classes up the Henley Regatta course which gives everybody an opportunity to see them and listen to some commentary.DSC03162The ‘working’ boat class – not sure the small child hanging on the back of the Coracle was having that much fun!DSC03179 DSC03182 DSC03184 A popular class is the Dunkirk little ships, they sailed past with Sea Cadets standing to attention and a Dunkirk veteran on board.
DSC03192 DSC03194 DSC03197 Steam BoatsDSC03199 DSC03200 DSC03201 DSC03233 One of the exciting exhibits was a chance to see the Gloriana – the 94 ft long Royal barge commissioned for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and which lead the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.DSC03250 DSC03260

DSC03279Lots of ‘boat’ stalls also took part – this boatbuilder had constructed this beautiful slipper launch and in it’s amazingly luxurious interior included this pull out draw with a picnic set.

There were also classic cars in attendance, although somehow I managed to not take any photos of most of them!  This is a proper ‘boat tail’ constructed by boat builders.DSC03277On display on land and in water were a collection of Amphibious vehicles, shame Mario isn’t watertight.
DSC03142DSC03281 DSC03282 DSC03283 DSC03285 DSC03286 DSC03131The Gloriana was the big star of the show and it was great being able to look at it up close, the workmanship was stunning if a touch bling! The oars were amazing, each one painted with an oriental styled dragon/fish.DSC03289 DSC03290 DSC03294 DSC03295 DSC03296The only disappointment of the day was that Bluebird K3, one of Malcolm Campbell’s water speed record powerboats, that was supposed to be on display in the water only came to the event on the back of a transporter – a small fire the day before meant it had to be taken out of the water for repair and unfortunately the crane wasn’t available to put it back in. It would have been great to have seen it, although I doubt that it would have been allowed to attempt the record breaking 130mph it travelled in 1938!
IMG_6541Next up the Silverstone Classic and then Thoroughbred Sunday Breakfast Club – with Mario on the grid…



Summer continues… on the Thames, at Silverstone and Goodwood

This summer has been good, the sun has shone and there have been plenty of things to go to…

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to go to Henley to the Thames Traditional Boat Rally. This event is a huge display of traditionally built craft with the very finest examples of  boatbuilding skills on display. There are around 200 craft on the water from slipper stern launches like the one we were on, gentlemen’s day launches, steam launches, river steamers, sailing craft, vintage speedboats, skiffs, rowing boats, punts, unpowered and electric canoes, right through to vintage sea-going cruisers and many of the famous Dunkirk Little Ships.

The boats take it in turn to parade in classes along the rowing course. There are also pre-50’s cars on display and vintage bicycles. We had a lovely lunch on the boat and then went for a trip down through Henley and then up to Temple Island. It was a stunning day, hot and sunny with loads of beautiful boats with lots of gleaming teak and brass.

DSC01750 DSC01761 DSC01771 DSC01789 DSC01798 DSC01807 DSC01843 DSC01862 DSC01869 DSC01931 DSC01951 DSC01964 The following weekend we went to the Classic Festival at SIlverstone, again without Mario. This annual event is huge but personally I find it a bit low on atmosphere, Silverstone is so spread out and you have to get a bus between the national and international pits. For my personal choice the displays have far too many modern cars and although the actual racing is always good and very competitive it is difficult on a modern GP circuit to get a good vantage point. The cars racing included historic formula one and Group C endurance However we had gone to see a friend race his Lola in the Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 vs F5000, which meant that for one race as ‘Team members’ we could watch from the International Pit Wall. This gave us a great view and as you are so close to the cars as they come down the straight you get a real impression of the speed they are doing.DSC02001 DSC02016 DSC02018 DSC02046 DSC02060 DSC02089 This weekend Mario finally got an outing! It was Thoughbred Sunday at Goodwood Breakfast Club for pre 66 vehicles to get into the spirit of the Revival. We had a pass and so after a horribly early start on a Sunday got in easily and were parked in one of the paddocks. There were a lot of cars there and again it was a lovely sunny morning.

As soon as we stepped out of the car the normal crowd assembled around Mario, loads of people took cards so hopefully even more people will be reading this and liking him on Facebook

I felt rather guilty as I was rather busy on Saturday so Mario didn’t get the promised pre-event pamper. He looked rather grubby to me but his fans didn’t seem to notice! There are a few jobs and some tidying up we need to do before the Revival in September. We are getting excited about it already and there is a surprise afoot so watch this space…

After some sustenance (a bacon buttie) we had a good wander around, a good collection of cars including lots of Aston Martins celebrating their centenary. The theme did seem rather confusing though with quite a smattering of modern sports cars but what the hell everyone was having a good time and as always there were lots of friends to catch up with.
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