We have just been in North Norfolk again for a week’s holiday burbling around the coast of this very special part of East Anglia. We were last here in 2010 when we took part in a rally that started from the Sandringham estate. This time we made Burnham Market our base and had a very comfortable stay at the Hoste Arms.
Although we stayed dry for most of the holiday, a gale came through the village on the first night that left me looking the worse for wear in the morning. Neil on the other hand looked the worse for wear because the hotel served 2 varieties of Woodforde’s in the bar; Wherry and Nelson’s Revenge.
Both bitter style beers, Wherry is fresh and zesty with crisp floral flavours while Nelson’s Revenge has a background of sweet malt and a hoppy bitter finish reminiscent of grapefruit. It also packs a punch being a special bitter with an alcohol by volume of 4.5% compared to Wherry’s 3.8.
Anyway, while he was cleaning me of all the rain, leaves and other assorted debris he fell into conversation with a fan of the marque. He remembered that his father, who worked for a retail bank, had helped Tony Crook with the finance of Bristol Cars. He was pleased to learn that Mr Crook was still going strong, and that Bristol Cars future seemed to be secure after its recent acquisition by Frazer Nash Research.
Petrol stations were few and far between, but there was one in the village that sold a brand of fuel called Power. Neil had never heard of it and hesitantly put some in my tank but he need not have worried – it was a worthy substitute for my normal diet of Shell. It also gave him an opportunity to discuss the finer points of Bristol design after the mechanic engaged him in conversation about the only other Bristol he could recall visiting their forecourt.
Unsure of the model or year he simply referred to it as “the boxy looking one”. Further probing from Neil established that it was likely to have been a 603 or one of its derivatives. He soon put the mechanic right and informed him that although the cars’ looks may seem controversial to some, it all makes perfect sense once behind the wheel with excellent visibility and the ability to accurately place the car on the road; the design of all Bristols having started from the position of the driver.
When we visited Blakeney, the car park attendant at the quay let us stay free of charge because he was so excited about seeing me. Bristol had apparently been his favourite make of car since childhood but he had never seen one on the road. So excited was he that he had a good look inside my cabin, under my bonnet and even inside my wing lockers. He said to Neil “you made my day, boy” and gave us a cheery wave as we left.