By Tony 'Tosh' Brooks
After way too much merriment on Friday night, my brother and I were
very rudely awakened from our drunken sleep at 5am by the sound of
heavy rain lashing down on the campervan roof.
"Oh noooooo" I said to Gus, Then thought to my self. "Did we put the
roof up on the Nash? Did we put the left over food away?, Did i leave
Bella outside? Is poor old Paul Cheetham getting washed away in his
little tent" and many other questions started to go round in my head. I
could hear Bella snoring in her bed under mine so rather than going
out and actually checking any of my other worries, i decided to pull a
pillow over my head and try and drift off back to sleep.
A couple of hours later i woke again to find it still raining but not so
hard. Gus was up and about and i could hear voices outside grumbling
and moaning about not getting any sleep and the day ahead being a
Fortunately Gar being sober had thought on to place all the chairs and
tables under the gazebo before he went to bed, so we were able to
have a relatively dry breakfast, which was a rather somber and steady
affair compared to our usual meaty feast, due to to the rain and our
With pots washed and rubbish from the night before collected up it was
time to mount our steeds and get ready to drive just over the road,
through the car park and onto the cobbled streets for our show.
Gar set up the cake table and chairs under the bandstand, out of the
rain, whilst the group banner was strapped to the railings ready to
welcome all comers through the main gate.
The bandstand area was filled with most of the campers cars and after
a bit of shifting, shuffling and wheel spinning on the muddy grass we
were happy with the display.
As a steady flow of Britains finest classic cars started to arrive, Paul was
running round like a mad thing as usual, organising the parking, trying to
keep out of trouble with the various Crich staff, answering people's
questions and taking as many photo's as possible. He's a busy boy!
Benjamin Gretton and his good lady arrived in his superb Mk1 Granada
Coupe, desperate to defend his members favourite car title for a
second year but there were some top class cars arriving and it was
going to be a tough choice for everyone!
Next to arrive was a lovely looking Triumph Dolomite with a very
dapper looking chap at the wheel, resplendant in white shirt, tie,
waistcoat and ...........what's that on his head?? why its a yellow bowler
hat!! No idea who he was, does anyone know him?
Snowey Ellison arrived in his lovely old Hillman Husky and we had
Metro's sitting side by side in front of a Jensen Interceptor, S Type
Jaguar, Liam's Rover P6 and even a rebodied Kitten Tempest! This may
not be the largest car show ever but this was a quality line-up!
Gar had decided, due to there only being 20 odd cars on show in the
rain, that the best way to present the members choice award would be
to post one picture of each car on the Facebook group and the picture
with the most likes would win. Thus enableing everyone that couldn't
make the show to get involved.
That was plan A... what we didn't take into consideration was the fact
that no one at Crich could get any internet signal and if we did get a
signal it was that poor that downloading pictures was impossible!!
Plan B....Gar went round and asked everyone there to choose their
It was a close run thing with all the cars being worthy winners and it
came down in the end to Nick Arthur shooting himself in the foot!
Nick's stunning Jensen Interceptor was neck and neck with Ian
Woodwards equally stunning Ford Zephyr and unbeknown to Nick it
was his own final vote for the Zephyr that gave Ian the win!
Congratulations to Ian and commiserations to Nick, and Ben, and
everyone else who didn't win but i didn't hear anyone complain about
As the day went on the rain was on and off. Much cake was eaten and
many cups of coffee were flowing out of Apollo's very handy kettle.
Paul had spread the word that we could do a convoy parade up and
down the cobbled, tram lined street at 1.30pm and this certainly
proved to be a highlight of the day (for me at least!).
Lincoln Hunt had earlier relayed a story about his dad owning a Nash
Metropolitan when he was a boy and that he once got locked in the
boot and couldn't get out! Despite this claustrophobic episode he still
had fond memories of the car and would love to do the parade in our
As many of the regular show goers know, we love letting people enjoy
our cars so i had no hesitation throwing him the keys and being the top
fella he is, Lincoln throws me the keys to his beast of a Range Rover!!
The sound of that massive 4.2 litre V8 motor reverbarating through the
enclosed street was absolutely amazing as we started the parade. I
was grinning from ear to ear as i regularly blipped that throttle. It was
good to see the smile on Lincoln's face too, as the biggest guy, sat in
the smallest car roared up and down the cobbles.
Paul was leading the parade and chose to do no less than three runs up
and down, which was good for Liam as he missed the first run but not
so good for Simon Birch as his lovely but temprimental Mk 2 Granada
had starting problems! At least he was able to get some good pictures
from the bridge above the street and lots of us were taking video's and
pictures en route, most have which have already been seen on the
I took a bit of stick from everyone for constantly revving Lincoln's
tremendous Rover engine and for dropping back in the line so i could
floor it up the cobbles for dramatic effect but Licoln certainly got his
own back when the Nash came back looking like "Puffing Billy" with
steam pouring out of the radiator!!
One of the few vehicles that didn't join us in the parade was owned by
Joshua Springer. I don't know what his problem was, i think he must
have been in a bad mood and not enjoying the show.......or maybe it
was because he turned up in his immaculate 40' Plaxton bodied Butlins
coach, complete with hilarious skeleton driver!
If the members choice award was for the groups largest vehicle, he
would certainly have taken it without argument!
Despite the weather trying it's best to dampen spirits and numbers
being a bit down on what we'd hoped, we had a fabulous day. Met
some lovely people and enjoyed some lovely cakes.
As the show was winding down and people were dwindling away, the
rain had stopped and although it was still windy, we decided to have a
mini convoy out of the museum and up to the memorial tower over
looking the site.
This gave some of us another chance to swap keys and drive each
others cars up the hill. I can't quite remember who drove what but i'm
sure those who did swap will fill us in. Up to this point i hadn't yet
drove our Nash so i took that and followed the convoy up to the
memorial car park for an impromptu photo opportunity on the grassy
area with stunning views over the Derbyshire countryside.
We walked en mass to the tower for more piccys and some of us
braved the endless spiral staricase to the very top. I can tell you it was
extremely windy up there!! Kurt nearly lost his glasses, Lincoln thought
about taking his cap off for a second and Liam, Gus, and I had our hair
blown all out of shape!
Cobwebs blown off, photo's taken, it was time to head back to camp for
some well earned barbecue and drinkypoo's.
As usual Gus did a splendid job of cooking everything to perfection and
me and Phil did splendid job of polishing off every available drop of
Joan had supplied us with some of Lincolnshire's finest sausages at the
request of John Simpson, as they went down so well at Boston. They
certainly went down well at Crich too!
As the rain started to pour heavily again we tried to huddle closer and
closer to the centre of Gar's 9' square gazebo but several of us were
just on the outskirts and we took it in turn to drown under a shower of
freezing cold water. Roger and Joan could take no more and declared
"Why are we sitting here getting soaked when we have a beautiful,
warm dry camper with tv and Pimms?? Lets go!!" So they turned, in
leaving us to ponder whether we should get an early night and be fresh
for the second days show on Sunday.
I was willing to call it a night but Phil Allen produced a bottle of
"Christams spirit" in the form of some rather tasty Cinnemon whiskey!
This did the trick and our spirits were indeed lifted and we had no
choice but to party on until well after midnight again!
After almost being flooded down to the bottom of the field in his little
tent, Kurt had invited Paul to spend the night in Apollo with him instead
of risking another sleepless night. He welcomed the idea and the two
of them cosied up in there like a couple of boy scouts on a big
Eventually Gar had had enough too and sent us all to bed. It's always
good to have a sensible one in any group and if it wasn't for him (and
running out of whiskey) we would probably have carried on another
few hours. Phil wasn't happy and was searching his van for a stray
bottle of merlot but eventually we all settled down having had a soggy
but good day.
To be Continued....
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