Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Hunstanton Show Hits the Spot

Classic car owners from across the east of England descended upon a blustery Hunstanton on Sunday 30th September as part of a day of activities raising money for the Stroke Association and the Friends of the Stroke Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. The classic car show, which was sponsored by CUP Classic Cars, attracted an eclectic mix of cars to the green in the centre of the town. This inaugural event was organised by Richard Phillips, a member of the East Anglian section and a Director of CUP Classics.

The day started with an early rendezvous with Churchill in a supermarket car park in Ipswich. We then set off up the A14 to Bury St. Edmunds where we took the A134 through Thetford, then around King’s Lynn and on to Hunstanton. Fresh from his Bristol Owners’ Club concours win in his 411, Richard welcomed us to the site, which is situated between the town of Hunstanton and the sea, and showed us to our position which he had already marked out with an Owners’ Club banner.

Once parked drivers and passengers immediately sought refuge in the Tamworth Tearooms overlooking the green where coffee and very good egg and bacon baps hit the spot as a succession of classic car owners from the show followed suit.

Back to the show and we were delighted to see that Charles and Pat Nelson had also made the trip to Hunstanton in their 409. The group of 4 cars made a strong presence that kept the owners busy for most of the day, with the V8 engines and spare wheel storage promoting the most interest from visitors.

Mid-morning and it was still blowing a gale so The Golden Lion Hotel at the top of the green looked like a good bet for coffee. Disappointingly the hotel staff ignored the 4 visitors as they made their way to the lounge and took their seats, but desperately in need of a pick-me-up the group decided on Café Lattes with an added shot of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur.

More inattentive service prompted a trip to the bar where the request for 4 Baileys Lattes was met with a response of “we don’t do Baileys Lattes”, so an order duly went in for 4 Lattes and 4 Baileys – you can guess the rest. Suffice to say the recipe wasn’t complicated. The drinks having hit the spot, departure was as memorable as the arrival. It turns out the experience was far from unique and I would recommend seeking out the reviews on tripadvisor for more of the same and a laugh or two.

Back to the show again, and the four awards that were given out during the course of the day; Most Original Car went to a very well preserved Delahaye, Best Car in Show went to a Lotus Elan +2S which had been the subject of a total restoration, the prize for the Most Appropriately Attired Owners went to a couple dressed as gangsters in their Excalibur Phantom, and Furthest Travelled On The Day went to a surprised Neil Turnbull who together with his wife Karen had travelled 103 miles from their home on the Essex-Suffolk border.

Final refreshments at Hunstanton were taken at The Coffee Pot where tea, cheese on toast and toasted tea-cakes were ordered from the friendly staff and enjoyed for a very reasonable sum.

Returning to the green cars had started to drift away and so final thanks were made and goodbyes said before I led the way back towards Suffolk and then Essex. There was however time for one more food stop and the Foldgate Inn at Stradsett turned out to be a real find. Adnams bitter and Abbot Ale from the cask and home-cooked roast dinners and desserts that were too tempting for some!

Churchill led the way on the final leg home and we parted company on the A14 at Ipswich. Final thanks to the Stroke Association and Richard Phillips for organising a great day and I hope that it will become a regular fixture on the classic car calendar.