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Cotswolds Roadrun 2006 Report

Report on the Cotswolds Roadrun,  August 2006

The cars outside Chevenage House, Tetbury, click on the left or right of the photograph to see an enlargement of that half

" What a masterpiece of organisation! Every thing well planned and obviously well researched. We thoroughly enjoyed our few days and thank you both most sincerely for all your hard work - John and Brenda Worby"

Here is the report on Members enjoying 3 days slow rambling around the Cotswolds. 

The participants met at Gloucester Docks on Tuesday lunchtime, following lunch in "Fosters on the Docks". As we set off, we were caught in a shower of rain, but that was to be the only rain we saw during daylight hours for the duration. Heading south down the A38, the rain cleared and by the time we arrived at Slimbridge Widfowl

Some of the party with a tallship in Gloucester Docks

Flamingos in Gloucestershire

and Wetlands Trust the sun had taken over. The collection of birds is quite remarkable, what is more remarkable is how they are persuaded to stay there for us visitors to enjoy and not to fly away! And so easy to get round too, due to the level nature of the ground. 

Next stop after a short drive through tiny lanes was the Jenner Museum at Berkley. There is a connection with Slimbridge as Jenner was one of the first to investigate bird migration, previously no-one had known what had happened to birds in winter. But Jenner's most famous discovery was inoculation against smallpox, and his work has resulted in the elimination of the disease worldwide - thus he is the greatest saver of human life, ever.

The next part of the run was most tricky for the cars. We needed to climb the Cotswolds escarpment, and there are a number of routes, each of them varying in difficulty, but all of them serious climbs. The one we chose was out of Wotton under Edge, rewarding us with fantastic views at or near the top. From there it was a short run to our overnight accommodation at the Egypt Mill Hotel.

Pre-dinner drinks in the hotel were followed by a super meal in the hotel. 

The cars at the Jenner Museum

(Len Barr)

John Worby, with dirty trousers, emerges from the entrance of Hetty Pegler's Tump"

Whilst everyone complained about the prospect of a 9-15am start the following morning, it seems that everyone made, it except for the two organisers who were suitably chastised for still being in breakfast!

Our first stop was at a 3000 year old Long Barrow, Hetty Pegler's Tump. We sent a band of plucky explorers, armed only with a flashlight to investigate the burial chambers! Extraordinary that we are able to do such a thing in 21st Century Gloucestershire! 

Bob Richardson, Pat Beavis and John Worby "deep" underground!

(Mike Beavis)

Another view of the line-up at Chavenage

Then another pretty run to Chevenage House, near Tetbury. 

There's a certain amount of pride to be able to drive the cars through the main gate and park them outside a private stately home, to be greeted by the owner. And we were certainly made welcome at Chevenage by the Loosley-Williams family. Firstly we were entertained to coffee in the ballroom then followed a highly entertaining tour of the house, being treated to stories associated with it over the past 500 years ( ghosts and all) After an hour and a quarter Graham was just getting into his stride when unfortunately it was time to leave. Not before pictures of the cars lined up outside were completed of course. 

From there it was just 2 miles to Tetbury.

First there was time for a visit to the Tetbury police museum and a short stroll around the village. Having spotted no "royal" residents, it was then into the Priory Inn for lunch.

The afternoon was taken up by a short trip to Rodmarton Manor, where once again the cars were invited to park with the house as a background for our photographs. Rodmarton was build in the early 20th century and is the largest example of a house completely furnished in the Arts and Crafts style. Whilst we didn't get a guided tour this time, there was adequate time to stroll round the rooms and the gardens - refreshingly we found these to be a little overgrown, this seemed vaguely familiar, someone was clearly having difficulty keeping up with the weeding - I know just how they feel!

The return run to the hotel was spectacular and memorable for a couple of steep hills and hairpins, this time downhill from Minchinhampton Common into Nailsworth. Plenty of time for a refresh before the evening meal.

(above) Dennis and Shelia Brown with the Flying 12

Bob and Val with the '34 Avon

Brian and Betty Parkes with the 14

Mike and Pat Beavis with the Triumph Stag

Phil and Lynda at Rodmarton

For Dinner, we had chosen to eat at the " Britannia", a short walk away in Nailsworth. When we arrived, the place was already full, a testimony to their super food but consequently a delay before our meals were served. Plenty of time to chat about the interesting events of the day. 

Then early to bed (!) of course as there is another 9.15am start tomorrow.

The "Egypt Mill, superbly situated on the River Frome

Bob Richardson on the towpath at the Coates Portal of the Sapperton Tunnel

Wednesday starts on a watery theme with two visits to supposedly "wet venues". The first is  the Sapperton Tunnel on the defunct Thames and Severn Canal. The second was a walk to find the source of the Thames. In this second endeavour we failed miserably. No doubt as a result of the dry summer, we found the riverbed completely dry ( we could walk in it) and the springs that were bubbling when we did a reconnaissance back in March had disappeared. However, a nice morning's walk across English meadows to walk of our breakfasts.

The group of participants take a coffee break outside the "AV8" restaurant on Kemble Aerodrome

The next was a refreshment stop on Kemble Aerodrome. Surprisingly, our entry onto the field was not challenged. Following the signs for our destination, the cafe by the control tower, we had a most interesting trip around the airfield buildings, scrap and brand new commercial jets and were held up by traffic lights from crossing the main  runway whilst an aircraft took off. Suitably refreshed at the "AV8" restaurant we then set off up the Fosseway to our final destination, the Cotswolds Motoring Museum in Bourton on the Water.

The cars arriving at Bourton (Len Barr)

Len Barr

Here we had arranged to park the 7 participating cars in the small gravelled forecourt, where they instantly became a source of interest to the visitors to this busy venue. This allowed us to view the exhibits in this recently extended museum, have lunch and walk around Bourton from a central point. Sadly, this was the last arranged stop of the tour so it was time to say farewells and head off in our separate directions.

In summary then, an ideal opportunity to use the cars for what they were designed and a great social event with friends. All of the Standards, dating back to 1934, performed faultlessly and the sun shone more or less all the time. In years to come we will remember this trip as one of the best Standard Roadruns ever.

"Just a few lines to thank you both for organising such a splendid couple of days. Both Bob and myself thoroughly enjoyed ourselves" - Len Barr

If you would like to organise a similar event in your area of the country, we would love to hear from you. There may be a willing band of enthusiasts just waiting to explore your area of the countryside. I look forward to hearing from you.

Report by: Phil Homer

Photos by: Phil Homer, except where acknowledged

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