Sun, rain, work, fun and mud… Goodwood Revival 2017

It’s September so it must be the Goodwood Revival. Time for our favourite and busiest weekend of the year.  Mario had been invited back to the taxi rank (our 19th year and Mario’s16th) and with great excitement we’d also been asked to join in the Fiat 500 60th anniversary celebration parade – more of that in the next blog.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and went to the circuit to sign on for the parade. The drivers club had been transformed into a stretch of the River Thames complete with willow trees and the Richmond Rowing Club. The circuit was very busy with last minute preparations and the Freddy March Spirit of Aviation Party was about to start. We returned to the house for the traditional cricket match and Spitfire display.IMG_1871DSC06739DSC06770DSC06745After getting all our paperwork we settled into our accommodation and then went to the Goodwood Hotel for a lovely supper in the revamped restaurant – Farmer, Butcher, Chef. Using all of the estate’s products the food was superb and the decor interesting, our table was a display case full of agricultural bits and bobs. Fiat 500’s get everywhere, there was one in the hotel lobby! We decided on a relatively early night in preparation for the weekend ahead.IMG_1872IMG_1875Friday morning started rather damply and the day got progressively worse. Even though we were doing the afternoon shift at the taxi rank we were on site early as the Fiat 500 celebration parade was Track Oopening. It was exciting to see the baby Fiats everywhere and Mario felt very ‘at home’ with the Italian theme – we loved the ‘Italian Job’ Bullion Van Coffee Shop!DSC06775IMG_0152IMG_0169As in previous years on the taxi rank Jane drove Mario, James was driving ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv Convertible and our friend Craig had ‘Kato’ the Subaru 360. The rank was made up of an assortment of classics spanning several decades of motoring including ACs, several Jowett models, old London Cabs, Mercedes, Austins and more. I’m afraid there are very few pictures from the taxi rank this year, when we were working in the afternoons it was very wet and we were kept very busy. On Friday when the racing goes on late we were driving from 1pm till 8.45pm and pretty much continuously during this time between the Circuit, Hotel, Kennels and Goodwood House. The traffic seemed especially bad around the circuit this year and with the appalling weather conditions and the amount of water and mud on the road it was quite a difficult task. However all three cars performed impeccably and we we still completed 100km a day which might not seem much but on one occasion it took 40 minutes to get back from the Kennels to the circuit!

We had to grin at the sight of the new Rolls Royces’ sitting in large deep puddles outside the entrance, unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of the rather odd white and orange version which looked particularly sad. In the late evening the sun could be seen through the clouds and the Goodwood Park looked rather beautiful in the damp.  On Saturday evening even Lord March (Duke of Richmond – as the old Duke had sadly died a few days before the Revival) was also stuck in the traffic in his Ferrari, he waved but didn’t look too happy, I’m sure the traffic situation was looked into very quickly!

Mario didn’t get to drive anyone famous this year, James gave a ride to Super Bike Champ Troy Corser and his ‘regular’ passenger rally hero Rauno Aaltonen.  Mario did give Vlogger Petrol Ped a lift back to the Kennels and we featured on his vlog of the day.DSC06943DSC06798IMG_0163DSC06938IMG_1904

Because of the parade held every morning we were on late taxi shift everyday but actually this worked to our advantage, as we had the best of the weather in the mornings when we had a chance to look around. On Friday we looked round the stalls and met up with some friends and then had a look around the paddock. We saw Dario Franchitti filming for the Revival TV coverage.DSC06802DSC06808DSC06810Fashion is a big part of the Revival and lots of the visitors wear great outfits. Liberty had a great display of vintage outfits as part of the March MotorWorks, I loved the outfit below. For my own outfits, I have gone a bit more sixties and practical because of the amount driving and getting in and out of Mario required – dressing in lightweight coats, trousers and flat shoes but adding interest with elaborate vintage accessories and by designing and printing my own period looking ‘Mario’ fabric for the coats. The coats attract a lot of attention and people love it when they notice ‘Mario’ on the fabric. This years coat went one step further and had special “Mario’ lining as well!DSC06811DSC06870On Saturday and Sunday mornings it was lovely and sunny and we enjoyed just wandering around looking at the cars in the paddocks and the attractions. As usual we didn’t see much if any racing on the track but this doesn’t really bother us as we catch up on TV later. Following is a selection of images from around the Revival…

We loved this Ecuire Ecosse D-type with a matching J40 Pedal Car for the Settrington Cup.DSC06841The Red Bull P38 Lightning US WW2 fighter plane was superb, I just caught a glimpse of it’s unique twin boom shape in the air but couldn’t grab the camera in time.DSC06849DSC06852 (1)DSC06866DSC06874DSC06880DSC06882DSC06888DSC06897We had a ride on the ghost train which was tremendous vintage kitsch, all damp string and illuminated skeletons. The hand that grabbed your shoulder made you jump though!DSC06910DSC06912DSC06915DSC07005DSC07010DSC07017DSC07037So all in all a pretty good weekend, the cars ended up pretty grubby but with no mechanical problems so all came home safely.IMG_1924IMG_1925

Coming soon… all the fun of the Fiat 600 celebrations at Goodwood.

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A quick sprint round the Goodwood Revival…

Believe it or not we were so busy at the taxi rank this year that I didn’t get to see a single car on track! Hopefully that will be remedied for future years but for 2014 we just managed to get away for an hour or so each day, just enough time to have a quick look round the paddocks and infield.

We arrive at Goodwood on Thursday and try to get there in time to see a bit of the Revival cricket match, it took us longer to pack up then expected but we managed to catch the last few overs. The cricket is a nice relaxed afternoon and heralds a good weekend with many of the drivers competing and with the audience already in their period clothes, it really sets the scene. The car park is normally pretty awesome too, the drivers briefing happens after the match so there is a pretty varied selection of vehicles on display, including Mario of course!DSC06018 DSC06019 DSC06020 DSC06021 DSC06025 DSC06027 Amanda Stretton caused quite a stir playing in a rather short white dress. After the match there is a fly past by the Spitfire, it’s always dramatic but this year the passes were so low the wings seemed to be skimming the pitch. The crowd were suitably appreciative including this chap in a rather splendid ERA knitted tank top.

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Friday was very busy in the new taxi rank and it wasn’t until the afternoon that I threw a bit of a girly ‘hissy fit’ and popped to the ‘shops’ for a quick break. The Canberra and Hunter flew over and the Spitfire, Mustang, Hurricane and ME109 Messerschmitt, a beautiful sight against the blue sky. Sir Stirling Moss was signing copies of a new book, it was good to see him looking well. I couldn’t miss a trip to Tesco’s, the 60’s repro store selling Double Diamond amongst other things and a glamorous trio of ‘checkout girls’ were singing to the crowd. This years theme around the entrance was Brighton Pier to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mod/rocker altercations that took place in many British seaside towns during the summer of 1964. British actor Phil Daniels, who starred in the film Quadrophenia led a procession of about 100 period scooters around the track to mark the start of the Meeting on Friday morning. There were lots of seaside attractions dotted about to set the scene including my new friend Dermot (and Fynn) the Donkeys who seemed totally immune to all the noise going on around them.

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Saturday morning saw a collection of vintage cars outside the hotel. We had been particularly keen to see the two Lancasters – the British and Canadian – flying and so arranged a short break to get over to the airfield and the Freddy March Spirit of Aviation to get a good view. They were due at 11.30 and it was very atmospheric as the band started playing the Dam Busters theme but nothing happened, unknown to us there had been a technical issue with one of the planes and they weren’t coming. It was very disappointing as we had a good view and had to make do with the other ‘warbirds’ doing an extra demonstration.DSC06141DSC06144DSC06167DSC06175DSC06179DSC06187We had a quick walk through the outer paddocks on the way back and spotted James Martin, had a chat with Rae Davis who had his traditional bar set up in the paddock, making them one of the most popular teams, and had a quick photo call with President Obama at Stonehenge!DSC06198DSC06199DSC06212DSC06217In the early evening while on Taxi duty, driving through the park, I heard a roar in the sky and managed to stop and watch the Lancasters which had been repaired and made a late appearance, they were a fabulous sight and at least I did get to see them.DSC06239DSC06242DSC06243DSC06250DSC06251Sunday and the last day came round so quickly, with another short break we popped over to the GRRC enclosure to find out about the 73rd Members Meeting and actually saw a car on track – on the TV!DSC06359Having just restored Cynthia we were very interested in the ‘Bike Shop’ and managed to buy Cynthia a present of some new hand grips. The garage set was also impressive and we managed to pop into Earls Court to see the Facel Vega which James works on which was one of the display cars. The four door Maserati had to be the ugliest car of the weekend.DSC06362DSC06365DSC06369DSC06370DSC06379DSC06380We walked through the main paddock and bumped into James’ pram… bought by his father second hand from a Mayfair nanny in 1964, it was used by James, his brother and sister and is now on loan to friends of ours. James also got to relive his childhood by sitting in a Maserati 250F, he had one – well a smaller version – when he was three!DSC06381DSC06384DSC06391DSC06393IMG_4891DSC06394DSC06398 - Version 2So that was our quick pictorial view of the Revival, the rest of the weekend was spent in the taxi’s driving around the estate. There were lots of other things I would have liked to have seen but that is the pay off for being part of the GRTC. It’s fun but there does need to be a bit more of a balance so we get a bit more time to see the event and hopefully that will be addressed before next year.

 

A fabulous weekend… Part 1 Saturday

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates over the Revival weekend, a combination of lack of WiFi and being so busy but we’ll try and rectify this now with some great pics from the most brilliant weekend of the year.

Saturday was a glorious day, clear skies, sunshine and all the sights, sounds and smells of historic racing and vintage fashion. Being part of the GRTC (Goodwood Revival Transport Corps) is great fun but very hard work, we are basically ‘on duty’ from 7.30am until the event finishes for the day and often beyond. Our remit is to keep the event running smoothly and transport, drivers, ViPs, staff, press, members etc around the circuit and between the house, hotel, Kennels and circuit, this all helps add to the feel of the event and is essential within the circuit where no post 66 vehicles are allowed. Of course we have to be in period dress and Mario’s ‘human’ Jane has the perfect excuse for a wardrobe of beautiful 50’s clothes and ever more flamboyant hats – Saturday was ladies day and the new essemble was rolled out including this fabulous rose hat recently acquired from Crinoline Lady on ebay. Jane’s outfits are of course put together to match Mario perfectly!

We met up with our friends from Deryshire who come every year dressed as James Bond and the evil villains complete with the most impressive picnic in a wheeled hamper complete with ‘lazy susan’ which could only have been designed by Q.We share the taxi rank with the Glam Cabs from the Carry on Movie, the attractive girls create a great deal of attention but they and the Cortina’s are set dressing and it is the rest of the cars which do the work. A mixture of traditional old style London taxi’s, Vauxhalls and other pre 66 vehicles. One of our group got given a great tip this year…First thing it is always busy collecting guests from the hotel but there is generally a lull mid morning and we took the opportunity for an hour or so off to look round the infield. We’d timed our visit to perfection meeting Jean Alesi in the paddock, he appeared very interested in Mario and kept his card so who knows he may be reading this…

 

Next we saw the cars leave the paddock for the Settrington Cup – this newly introduced ‘race’ was for A40 Pedelcars driven by 5-10 year olds who all looked so cute.

We then head off to have a look round the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation concours for planes, there were some beautiful and usual entries including a great flying boat with an amazing bubble cabin. While wandering around the Spitfires took off for one of their displays so we had the perfect view.

On the way back to the taxi’s we spotted the St Mary’s paddock and a 4cv – Mario was delighted to see this racing version of his ‘brother Regie’ and even more impressed that it was called ‘Little Regie’ we will be able to see it on the track on Sunday.

After our interlude it was back to work, lots of runs up to the Kennels for lunch, out to Lavant which always gives a good opportunity to catch a little track action and back to the hotel. We meet such a lot of lovely people and hear all about the weekend from so many different viewpoints, it’s always fascinating to hear how the day has gone for the drivers.

Saturday always finishes a little early as all the teams and sponsors are off to the ball. It’s a bit manic for us as everybody wants to get back quickly to change into their costumes – this year the theme was Dr Zhivago, lots of fur and cossacks, we didn’t get to go this year but apparently there was lots of snow, pretty amazing in an aircraft hanger in Sussex! Finishing a bit early gave us the chance to see what was going on ‘Over the Road’, new for this year entertainment went on into the evening and the period fairground looked pretty in the dark. We popped into see the Haslemere Wardrobe who are our vintage partners in the Haslemere Classic Car Show that we organise. They’d been having a great weekend and introduced us to a lovely couple who had just got engaged in a De Havilland Dragon Rapide while flying above the circuit, how romantic is that? The pic shows John, Kate and others from Haslemere Wardrobe pointing at the ring.

Well that’s Saturday over, Mario had completed nearly 200km by now and used 19 litres of fuel so he was ready for a rest and the humans off for a much needed supper. Report on Sunday to follow…