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The East Anglia Rally 2013

Or Standards go on holiday on the Norfolk Riveria

My thanks to our Secretary for authoring this feature

The party at Great Walsingham Bards

Friday May 3rd 2013: Outward bound adventures.

The sun was shining, the weather forecast was promising so we checked over the Flying 12 for its first major outing of 2013, loaded up tools, suitcase, fleeces, coats and set off singing a happy song.

After about an hour and a half we got to Thetford Forest and the Flyer was going strong. Oops! the red ignition light came on. Had we lost the fan belt? What was the problem? Would the Flying Standard Doctor, Brian Parkes, have any ideas? We phoned Brian and Betty who were on the road, a bit in front of us. Luckily we were just about to pass Elveden Lifestyle Shops so we pulled in to investigate. The shops were upmarket and not overpriced, lovely kitchen ware, jewellery and gifts and the restaurant served excellent coffee and the menu looked good too. So we let the car cool off and then lifted the bonnet, checked the fan belt which seemed slightly slack but otherwise OK. We decided to carry on.

Phil wondered if the dynamo brushes were the cause of the problem? I said: "Now what we need is a little Auto Electrical shop!" and lo and behold as we went over the level crossing in Brandon Village and turned the corner there was a BIG Autoelectric sign on a warehouse, so we pulled in. A chap with the whitest teeth I ever saw found the last two carbon brushes for our dynamo in his stock. We thought we would fit them when we arrived at Mundesley, so off we went again as the car was still going well, apart from the red light being on. Our new best friend gave us details of an Autoelectric place in Fakenham, in case we needed further assistance.

1.45 pm, arrived at Fakenham, an attractive little place with a one way system, we went round it at least twice. Our destination was the Fakenham Gas Museum and Museum of local History. Locals told us it was just over the bridge, which we found in the end and spotted Conan Lewis who had just arrived and had parked his 10 outside. Parking was tight, so we ventured back into Fakenham and found some Standard friends and their cars in the public car park. 

Great to see Mike and Val Wilkes, John and Rachel Maxwell, Brenda and John Worby, Ray and Diane Ferris, John Russell and Sheila, Peter and Graham Lockley, Stuart and Zena Lucas and Freddy the Frog. Roger and Anne Ling in a 1950’s 10 introduced themselves. We walked back to the museum. Brian and Betty Parkes and Mike and Pat Beavis had spotted Conan’s Ten and were there already. 

The museum was interesting, the only preserved coal gas plant surviving in Norfolk. The enthusiastic volunteer who showed us round didn’t know of another. Most of our party was old enough to recall when natural gas super-ceded coal gas in the 1960’s. Phil recognised the exact same oven his mum had! And the same gas fire was in our house when we moved in in 1983.

Then another hour to drive to Mundesley and our hotel, The Manor, right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the pristine beach and the North Sea – couldn’t see Holland though in spite of the clear air!Met up with Judith and David Over and the rest of the party. Geoff Winnicott drove in, he had travelled all the way from Portsmouth in his Ten, which looked great in its new paintwork. Phil and Emma Hetherington arrived even later after a long day, due to last minute trunnion changes on the Ten in order to satisfy the MOT. (Yes we know this is now not required but we think it was responsible and correct to get one.) 

After gathering in the bar for lots of chat and dinner we were treated to a talk given by a friend of Stuart Lucas. This was a local fisherman and he gave us a demonstration of the right way to prepare dressed crab. There was the chance for six of our group (including me and Phil) to try the technique. We put our finished crabs in the hotel fridge and ate them for lunch next day with crusty bread and lemon! Delicious.

Saturday 4th May: Steam trains, Sherringham and a big Splash!

After checking the 12 (which still seemed to be happy and starting with no trouble) we followed a very scenic route to Holt, where we boarded the North Norfolk Railway after a tiny dispute about the date. It was Saturday. Not 5th May as on the tickets. This was soon resolved by our group leaders in discussion with the Fat Controller. As it was a "Thomas Weekend" we spent time dodging buggies and smiling at chocolate coated children. The mums and dads were enjoying themselves too. A gentle steam train ride to Sherringham and a chance to explore, some visited the Lifeboat Museum, others took time to "people watch" and relax in the sun.

On our return we got soaked as a heavy rainstorm arrived, literally out of the blue. We’d parked the Flying 12 with the hood down. At least it was warm(ish) rain.

Back at the Manor House Hotel the sun came out again so I set off for a stroll along the beach. I was not alone, others in our group had the same idea. Mike Wilkes enjoys a paddle and this has been reported on in past Anglia Run write ups. So he rolled up his trousers and stepped into the N Sea, the by-standers egged him on so he went further, then disappeared with a big splash – only head and feet visible! All was well, Mike emerged from the waves, and to great applause he wrung out his clothes on the beach. We followed his wet footprints back to the Manor.S

Saturday night was film night in the lounge, after another good dinner with excellent service by the waiting staff at the Manor.

Mike makes an unintended splash!

And a very wet recovery!

Sunday 5th May: Happy Motoring to Holkham Hall

Off to Holkham Hall today. After a run of about 28 miles we had a very pleasant coffee stop at Walsingham Barns. During this Anglia run I have been amazed at the amount of cake that can be eaten so soon after a full English breakfast. I expect it is all the fresh air creating an appetite.

At Holkham Hall we had to park with the general public because they had a cycling event going on. Most of our group arrived at the same time so at least the Standards and Triumphs could park together. We spent a relaxing afternoon at Holkham before returning along the coast road.

After dinner that evening Stuart, Zena and Freddy the Frog presented the now traditional quiz. It started with bingo, when everyone called "house" at the same time, and followed up with further rounds on the routes we’d covered and more. I am pleased to report that Deck Chairs team won! Well done, team mates, Peter, Graham, Judith, David and Phil - especially Graham who (for some reason) has an amazing knowledge of nursery rhymes. Everyone enjoyed the evening, with thanks all round to our trio of organisers and not to forget Freddy.

Monday 6th May: I learn more about drainage than I really wanted to know.

We followed another scenic route to the coffee stop at Castle Acre. We did all get parked in the end in this busy village and headed for the tea shops, and yes, more cake for some. Then off again to the Prickwillow Engine Trust Museum, aka the Drainage Museum. Luckily this turned out to be about draining the Fens, not sewers. The volunteers served us soup and crusty bread for lunch then a guided tour followed. The best bit was using blowlamps to start up a pump.

Finally the group split up and headed for home, after fond farewells. It was great to meet up with old friends and get to know some new club members. We look forward to next year’s event. Why not join us?

Lynda Homer

Below, starting a waterpump with a blowlamp