Sunday, 26 September 2010

Bristols to Bristol

Friday 17th September.

It’s 6.30 in the morning and Neil and I are at the Port of Harwich ready to greet the Bristol cars disembarking from the ferry as part of the Bristols to Bristol run. I am parked on the side of a roundabout and get a great view of cars heading away from the port and out onto the A120. It doesn’t take long for the 5 Bristols to appear as well as a bonus assortment of other classic cars amongst the moderns.

We follow along the A120, A137 and onto the A14 towards Cambridge and on to Oxfordshire where a lunch stop has been arranged at the Merry Miller in Cothill. We arrive at 10:30 to be greeted in the car park by John Howden-Richards. As we are too early for the pub to open, John invites us back to his place where coffee is taken in the garden while admiring his collection of Bristol ephemera. This is housed in a summerhouse with a collection of pictures, books and a well stocked bar! I can imagine many a pleasant evening spent reminiscing about all things Bristol.

Back to the pub, where we meet up with the rest of the cars making their way to Bristol. For those on-route from the continent, English beer and Scottish whisky are popular choices (for non-drivers only of course) to accompany the food on offer before we all make our way to Bristol where the car park at the Filton Holiday Inn resembles a concours in its own right.

Neil gives me a quick polish before getting ready for the black tie dinner at the splendid Council House in the centre of Bristol. This is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bristol Aeroplane Company around which this weekend’s events are organised. This extraordinary enterprise diversified into the building of buses, boats, satellites, missiles, mobile phones and prefabricated buildings, as well as the cars we have all grown to love.

At the dinner Teb Marius, European Secretary, was presented with a commemorative plaque crafted in Bristol Blue glass in recognition of his organisation of the whole trip. I would like to extend my thanks to Teb and to John, but also to Geoff Hawkins Chairman of the club, Geoffrey Herdman President of the club and Turplin Dixon Events Coordinator for their planning and organisation.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Summer BBQ

There was another great turnout at the Bristol Owners’ Club East Anglian summer Barbeque. 10 cars (9 Bristols and an Aston Martin – Bristol used to make some bodies for AM) lined up under the sunny East Anglian sky. Oldest first: 401, 405, 407, AM DB5, 409, 2 x 410, 411, 603, Britannia.

Further convinced that the various models look right in certain colours, Richard Kemp’s newly painted Britannia looked stunning in Sherwood Green even though it was yet to receive its final polish. The colour had the effect of softening the sometimes controversial styling.

Styled in-house by Dudley Hobbs and built at Filton, the 603 and its derivatives can look awkward and oddly proportioned from some angles. The subtle re-working of the tail on the Britannia helps pull the whole composition together into a much more attractive whole.

Thanks again to the Challacombe’s for hosting the event, to everyone for bringing food and raffle prizes, and also for raising a staggering £350 for the Lymphoma Association.