By Tony 'Tosh' Brooks
In 2016, we had our first weekend event at Crich Transport Museum and we tagged our Enthusiasts Group show on the Saturday to Crich's own classic car show on the Sunday. It proved to be a very popular show and the queue of classic cars through the car park and out onto the road by 8am created all sorts of problems getting through to form an area for our cars to be together. It very nearly ended up in fisticuffs with the impatient waiting queue when i managed to wave our group to the front and get into the bandstand area before them all.
This year we would be ready. We'd get up early and form a line in the car park before anyone else arrives. It's not like we had far to go!!
Then someone who i can't quite recall, (i'm sure they will make themselves known and claim the glory!) came up with an even better solution!
"Why don't we just get Paul to get permission to open the bottom gate directly over the road from the campsite?"
This would give us direct access to a lovely parking area right in front of the old building facade.
Earlier on Saturday evening we had decided to have another swappsy session and give each other a chance to drive our different cars.
I wanted to drive Phil Allen's lovely Rover P5.
Phil wanted to drive Apollo.
Paul drove our XR3i and Kurt drove his Mini (i think)
Again i can't remember who else drove what but i think we all had a go in something different!
This turned out to be rather dissapointing in the end as Paul had indeed got the bottom gate open and we got to drive all of 50 yards over the road to our display positions!
Eric Dalton had kindly donated a genuine Rover dealer flag and with the proper banner poles Gus made for us it was a perfect opportunity to park the three Rovers in our group together and give us some great cover shots for the meet.
The rest of the cars were carefully placed to give us the best display possible, which looked great until the Crich health and safety bods told us "you can't park there, there, or there. We need to have access for an ambulance to get through to the first aid centre in case of an emergency"
So after much shuffling and shifting and grumbling and moaning, everyone rearranged their cars until the staff were happy.
This did give me a quick opportunity to have the worlds shortest test drive in Roger's gorgeous Morris Oxford though. It was slightly out of line with the rest of the display so i got to "manhoover" it into position. I certainly wish i could have taken it further. (Like home!)
We were all set up by about 8.30 and were happy with how the cars looked so it was time to head back to camp for breakfast before the other car clubs and show goers started to arrive.
I have to say this breakfast became a true feast. We had three camper kitchens as well as the barbecue on the go at the same time and between Gus, Gar and Phil managed to produce some of the best bacon, eggs, (fried and poached), sausages, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast in such vast quantities that we were unlikely to starve any time soon!
Kevin and Sheila joined us for the feast and Liam was about to go out in search of hashbrown's before being persuaded they were not needed and we were just being greedy!!
Of course i had to do all the washing up and collecting the rubbish etc as i'm too lazy and bad moody in a morning to actually do any cooking and you would not believe how many black bags of rubbish we had managed to collect over the weekend!
As we headed back over to the show we all grabbed a rubbish bag and almost filled Crich's rather handy skip!
It had stopped raining but the black clouds continually threatened to give us a soaking and the wind was howling through our display like a wailing banshee. It was a case of jumpers on, coats on, coats off, jumpers off and then back on again all morning as it changed from freezing to warm every ten minutes!
The wind did unfurl the flag from time to time for some great pictures though, so as they say, every cloud has a silver lining!
Despite us all feeling a little washed out and tired by now, we took it in turns to have a wander around the show. There were some fabulous cars turning up, not least a stunning pale blue Alvis. A whispering Rolls Royce looking like a banana split in creamy yellow and brown livery. The best Rover P4 you are ever likely to see with a for sale sign in it. (oooh a purchase opportunity?) Err, no. I would need a mortgage!
The Mg club had formed their own display up in the woods and offered some very fine looking Mg's and Mini's.
The bandstand area was covered in all manner of Johnny foreigners including a fabulous Renault and Ford V8 Pilot etc. (sorry i can't remember more details, I've been to bed since then and i'm never very good at remembering model names!)
As i walked back down the cobbles i heard the familiar rumble of a massive, highly tuned V8 coming from behind me. I thought Lincoln had turned up with his Range Rover but it was a very menacing looking, immaculate, black Rover Sd1 with a stunning stance. This owner had obviously spent many many hours and a shed load of cash building this stunning machine. It looked as good under the hood as it did on the outside and the boot contained a Nitrous kit and dvd screen which was incredibly neatly installed. I understand it may belong to one of our group members, so if anyone knows the owner, please get him to post more close up details! Ed...didn't you take a photo of this miraculous SD1?? Amateurs!
Although there were many more cars on display on the Sunday and the weather wasn't quite as bad. The show didn't have the same atmosphere for me. It could just have been that i'd eaten too much, drank too much or talked too much but by lunchtime i'd just about had enough and talking to some of the other guys,they were feeling very much the same.
A few of us kept wandering back to camp for a sneaky sleep (especially Gar, who couldn't keep his eyes open lol)
Phil's wife Lorraine had turned up with their son Lucas and were enjoying several tram rides on the magnificently restored machines from around the country and indeed the world. As were Liam and Finley and Kevin and Sheila. I keep seeing their little faces go by as i sat around the display trying to catch some sun. (i didn't actally catch any)
I think it was around 2pm when i went back to camp to pack up the camper and get the trailer ready to take the Nash home. I would take it over to the car park for easier loading and then go and rejoin the gang for the rest of the afternoon but after parking the van outside the main gate and walking down the entry ramp, i couldn't help but notice all our group cars heading up the cobbles towards the exit!
It was all over. Another fabulous Crich show as coming to an end and en mass, everyone had decided it was time to head home.
Some of us had a long way to travel home and some of us didn't. Gus and I were fortunate to be only an hour away but i did feel for Gar who had to retrace his double run back and Liam who had a 3 hour journey home in an unfamiliar car.
Well done to everyone for making it a memorable weekend enjoyed by all. Big thanks to Paul Cheetham and Gar Cole for their oustanding organisation and thanks to Crich Transport Museum for again allowing us to use their superb location and facilities.
I hope you enjoyed my reports and i look forward to Mike Peake taking back over for our future events! Ed...oh no! all yours now matey!
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