by Mike Peake
On arrival at Bressingham Steam and Gardens, Gar and I slipped effortlessly into our roles of Fat Controller and Deputy Fat Controller by opening the cake and starting to eat it as our other members arrived with our groups normal eclectic mix of cars.
Triumph Heralds were rubbing shoulders with a Lister XJS, Capris and Rovers and it is no longer a surprise to me as day turned into our usual friendly, good natured, family meet. It was great to see the junior Lloyds, Layla and Gwen and junior Allin and bottle flipper extraordinaire Lucas having such a great time and being welcomed by all the other members there. They are great kids and a credit to their parents. I really wish other established car clubs could be this way rather than treating all kids as mini Satans (or maybe that was just mine?)
The Venue was charming too. Several working narrow gauge steam trains to take us on trips around the beautiful gardens as well as the traction engines and “Dad’s Army” vehicles on display in the Museum including Corporal Jones’ legendary butchers van.
Altogether now! “ Open 2, 3. Out 2, 3. Bang 2, 3. Bang 2, 3. Bang, 2, 3…..”
The highlight of the museum for me though, was the glorious steam operated carousel. It was bootiful.
Huge Thanks to Keith Lloyd for setting this up.
BL Dan was a star and provided several master classes on Princess Okki. First he showed us how Gar should have polished her and then he fitted the badges without the use of No Nails! It was extraordinary. This gave me the chance to have a really good look at the result of all of Gar’s hard work and I can honestly say… err… the badges look great! Joking aside, it’s fantastic to see what Gar has done to save this car from the crusher and restored to the road where she belongs.
It was, once again, a great day out and a really friendly local meet. My personal favourite car of the meet was fellow Sarf Londoner, Ian Cross’ P4 Rover 100 and it’s ingenious use of household objects to replace some of those hard to find parts. It was a lovely car with plenty of charm.
The shiniest car of the show was without doubt Andrew Dutton’s Spitfire. She was gorgeous. Andrew was even good enough to demonstrate his magic wax on Poppy’s tired paintwork, to astonishing effect. The trouble is he only did the back deck and now it shows up the rest of the car! Err THANKS Andrew!
Poppy found another friend in Glenn Bates’ eggshell blue 13/60 convertible Herald. It was a birthday present from Mrs Glenn who spent weeks T-cutting it before presenting it too him. (I really need to introduce Mrs FB to Mrs Glenn one day.)
All the cars there had a story to tell and it was wonderful to hear them in the words of their enthusiastic and friendly owners.
After much chat the day ended with BL Dan Bysouth presenting Gar Cole with an engraved glass plaque thanking Gar for his hard work in organising our shows. A sentiment all of us present and many of our group share. Many thanks to BL Dan for expressing this so eloquently.
With goodbyes and promises to meet at other shows, our members dispersed and went their separate ways leaving the hard core campers (and the Allins living in luxury) to convoy back to the Spooky Willows campsite. Which, to be fair isn’t at all spooky in daylight and really rather charming.
Cars were parked, Merlot, beer and Hooch were quickly opened and the chat and banter continued. (The Hooch was Gar’s…yes I know… Big GIRL’S drink!) A Himalayan mountain of food appeared which meant that Phil was banished into his luxurious caravan to cook it all. We really did have enough to feed… well… me… but I’m not sure what everyone else ate.
It was a lovely communal dinner and evening with some great friends made. I even made sure that I’d had enough sleeping water to ensure I would be undisturbed when the “Norfolk Beast” put in an appearance…. Well mostly undisturbed…
To Be Continued…
By Mike Peake
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