|A Cornish Day Out with Class|
Sunday the 27th Sept was important for two reasons in the motoring calendar. Firstly the Japanese Grand Prix was scheduled for the off at 06.00 and Ade and Val's tour of every coastal road in Cornwall was meeting at 09.00. Either way it meant an unusually early start for a Sunday and Julie was not impressed with a 6am alarm call. alarm. The long term forecast for once was spot on with a chilly start with beautiful blue cloudless skies as far as the eye could see. We were the first to arrive but soon the sound of roaring engines filled the car park as one by one 12 MG's gathered gleaming side by side at the start of the run. Ade and Val's tour notes were wonderful with every road junction graphically presented and points of interest noted and described and every speed camera mentioned in dispatches. After a little catch up time and a team talk we set off towards our first point of interest – Breakfast at Kit Hill cafe. We arrived at Louis Tea Rooms set high on Kit Hill with the most stunning view of the Tamar Valley. The venue had also been chosen by 40 or so bikers and 20 or so farmers with their tractors. The car park was packed, the place was buzzing and lots of people came over and chatted to us about our club and the MG's. Roger and Sylvias recently acquired MGF almost had a close encounter with a tractor but was soon moved to safer ground. How the proprietors managed to deal with so many hungry customers descending upon them in such a short period of time I do not know. Having recently organised the club Sunday lunch for January 2016 Julie took the opportunity to sign up a few members over breakfast. Anyway several full English breakfasts were consumed in short order and we were on our way again pistons firing and exhausts roaring as we sped to the North coast via a myriad of country lanes. The roar of a few MG's accelerating up a hill flanked on either side by buildings is quite incredible – if you happen to be an enthusiast but a bit of a rude awakening if you happen to be enjoying a Sunday lie in. Beautiful sun blessed scenery was in abundance as we drove around the highways and by-ways of the route but once we turned onto the A30 revs rose and gear changes quickened as everyone blew the cobwebs out of their exhausts in an effort to remain in front of the pack. We soon arrived into Boscastle, thankfully returned to its former glory following the 2004 disaster, and swung majestically into the first car park with a public toilet.
At this point there was some talk of skinny dipping by Sonia and Roy but it appeared there was insufficient time. Julie and I had no sooner swallowed our lunch break scoff when we were called back under starters orders for the next sprint section to Tintagel and Port Isaac. Upon entering Doc Martin territory we brought the traffic on the other side of the road to a halt. I would like to think that everyone stopped to admire the cavalcade of stunningly turned out MG's but I rather suspect they feared our collective breaks would fail and they would be stranded and pinned up against the wall by a line of twisted MG's. Our journey continued via Port Quin and Polzeath up several steep hills with hairpin bends. Everything went according to plan until we arrived at Rock car park in the early afternoon. The plan suggested that we park in Quarry car park. Unfortunately, it being a glorious day and all, several hundred other motorists had beaten us to it. This however turned to our advantage as we had waved to stranger on the way into Rock and on the way out we were directed to park in the road by her house. It turned out, that she was in fact Val's mother. While everyone else was dutifully stretching their legs along the beach Julie and I sat and talked with Val's mother and father about how much the world had changed since WW2. They both had fond memories and it was a joy to spend time with them. Once again the starter called us to the grid and so we shot off waving to our new found acquaintances. Our next destination was to be Pencarrow House for tea and cakes on the lawn. We were all gleefully looking forward to that but little did we know that Ade had planned a tortuous route with a vicious twist in its tail especially for me. Some months ago while on a run with the North Cornwall MGOC, I had ignominiously failed to navigate my MGB up the infamous Hustyn's Hill (used to be a section on the Lands End Trials) and this failure had been mentioned in dispatches by Ade. Anyway Hustyn's Hill was en route once again only this time I knew what was coming and the road was bone dry. According to Wendy and Clive it was like driving behind a jet engine as we shot up the hill. Safely navigated we gathered at Pencarrow House where we were permitted to park on the formal driveway in front of the magnificent house built by Sir John Molesworth around 1766. Being allowed to park in such prominent and restricted position was a real privilege. The building and garden formed a magnificent back drop for our cars although lining the cars up was a bit of a challenge. We carefully moved a series of large stones that were dotted around the drive to prevent damage to the lawn, Alison commented that there had been no mention of weight lifting being involved on the run! Tea and cakes were taken on the lawn outside the Peacock Cafe and we were later joined by the lady of the house who commented that it was a joy to have a better class of visitor! We had no idea which car club she was referring to! This was an MG day out with plenty of miles, blue skies, bright sunshine, good humour and an unexpected elevation in class simply through being a member of the Tamar Valley MGOC. Our thanks go to Ade and Val for all the organisation and detailed documentation without which most of us would have got lost. As a prelude to next years People and Places it all bodes well.
Mike & Julie Wright
Walkhamton Village Fayre 2015
With so many of these events being weather dependant and with a few being cancelled this year because of adverse weather, curtains were drawn in trepidation, but worries were
unfounded and the weather was lovely. Expecting a good turnout for the day, Del and I arrived, what we thought was early, but we were already beaten by John Holt in his
splendid Midget. As the morning progressed we were joined by other members of the club with a final turn out of 6 Members. This was a good number considering that this event clashed with the Riviera Run, and those who like to put miles on their engines would
obviously prefer that to a village fayre.
Apart from our club members there was a really good display of cars ranging from a 1935 Swift right up to modern Jaguars and the regular Aston Martin which is still looking as beautiful as ever. In fact the best car in show was won by the 1935 Swift, a car which was virtually original, with only a couple of the wooden panels having been replaced. It is still being used on a regular basis and is often requested as a bridal car, although the owner did admit that the size of the wedding dress and, in some cases the people themselves, was a limiting factor!! The 2 Jags Swinburnes, as they are now affectionately known, took pride in displaying, not only their lovely Midget, but also the 2 Jaguars which they have recently acquired. One, a beautiful maroon XK8 convertible with cream interior, is Tony’s “toy”, which won 2nd place in the Best in Show Competition, and Wendy has the more sedate, but equally luxurious XF.
Once coffee had been consumed we all took time to visit the various stalls, watch the “wellie throwing contest”, smashed a few plates and then visited the BBQ and beer tent!! Soon it was time for the afternoon entertainment, with a Dog Show of various categories and a Falconry Display by Dartmoor Hawking. One of the categories of the Dog Show was the best puppy. A gorgeous brown, woolly “Cockerdoodle” was being displayed. I thought initially that it was a cross between a Parrot and a Poodle (which caused me some
consternation), but gladly I was assured that it was a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. This was a beautiful dog, but, although it attracted a lot of interest before the show, it only came 3rd! Something wrong there. The Falconry Display was something that I hadn’t seen at this Fayre before and proved to be very popular. Three birds were displayed separately, a Barn Owl showing it’s totally silent flight, an Eagle Owl, which even its owner admitted was a bit thick, and a Bald Eagle which, unfortunately was not allowed to fly freely because of it had a penchant for dogs and small children!! Apparently this very bird had in fact taken a small deer, and looking at its talons I could see how that was possible, even though it is mainly a fish eater. A fiercesome looking bird, I must say that if I had it on my gloved hand I would have kept its enormous beak a little further away from my ear.
All too soon the clouds were gathering overhead and things were starting to be cleared away. The Raffle kept most people until the end, but eventually, with groans of not having won anything we all returned to our cars to wend our weary ways home. As we left
Walkhampton, the first drops of rain fell, but by the time we got to Yelverton it was lashing down. Thoughts of getting the car tucked up nice a dry were soon dispelled, but
nevertheless we had been very lucky with the weather all day and the event was a success.
Tony & Del