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A weekend in the New Forest

 A report about The South of England gathering 14 -16 August 2015

Thank you to Darrell Cunningham and Josephine Longland, for organising a relaxing and sociable gathering earlier in August. The event began in style on Friday afternoon at Darrell’s and Josephine’s home. We arrived in the Flying 12 DHC together with Steve Smeltzer in the Ensign Estate shortly after Brian and Betty Parkes driving their 14 HP and Mike and Pat Beavis in the Triumph Stag and Peter and Graham Lockley with the Vanguard I Estate.  Alan and Lynne Tibot, Dave and Val Salter arrived too. A delicious, home cooked afternoon cream tea was served by Josephine in the spacious, newly purchased New Forest Group’s gazebo in their garden and we had the opportunity to catch up with the other members of our club who were joining in the weekend’s events.  When the drizzly rain cleared up there was a photo opportunity, then off we drove to The Mill Arms at Dunbridge where those of us who live out of the area were staying. There was time to settle in, then off to the Bear and Ragged Staff pub, for a fish and chip dinner for about 20 of us including a good number of local SMC members.

I often think that our rallies centre round eating and drinking with friends as much as driving our cars and this event carried on this tradition!

We had a leisurely start on Saturday morning, and were joined by Kim and Elaine Henson in their Flying 14, Alan Kingwell in the 1961 Vanguard Six and Geoff Winnicott in his 1957 Super 10.

The drive, in welcome sunshine, took us through the New Forest’s varied scenery to our lunchtime destination at the Sir Walter Tyrrell pub, close to the Rufus Stone. This stone marks the spot where King William II was killed. He was nicknamed Rufus because he had red hair.

“It was on August 2nd in the year 1100 when King William Rufus and his team of noblemen were out hunting deer and wild boar in the New Forest.  The story goes that an arrow was shot, supposedly at a stag, by the Frenchman Sir Walter Tyrrell who was the King's best archer, but the arrow struck an oak tree and ricocheted off it straight into the chest of the king, puncturing his lung and killing him there and then. Sir Walter hot-footed it back to Normandy in fear of being charged with the King's murder, the tale says that he stopped at a blacksmith on the way and had his horse re-shod with backwards facing horseshoes, so as to confuse the chasers! As it happened, there were no chasers because no-one was particularly upset about the King's death. He was exceedingly unpopular!”

After the lunch stop our afternoon was free for us to explore the forest. We returned to the Mill Arms and saw donkeys, cows and ponies galore en route. Phil and I joined Steve Smelzer - who chauffeured us for the rest of the day in his Ensign Estate. We thought of visiting Mottisfont House which was a popular destination for others in our group, but then decided that we would have our second cream tea of the weekend at  nearby Annie’s Tea Room.  (I must point out that we had skipped eating lunch!)  We had a lovely cream tea but were plagued by the wasps who wanted to share it. We then explored more of the local area and stopped at the Star Inn, at nearby Lockerley.  This is a very hospitable pub, there was a cricket match in full swing and a menagerie of chickens freely roaming in the garden.

The evening was spent at the Mill Arms. The group filled the conservatory where a three course dinner was served. There was a very convivial atmosphere.

On Sunday we all drove to Breamore House for the Hampshire Classic Car Show. New member Peter Jarvis joined us with his Flying 8, and the display of a total of 19 club cars was very impressive. The weather was fine and sunny and the day passed in a relaxing way. Some of our group toured Breamore House, others visited the Countryside Museum and we indulged in a third cream tea of the weekend that afternoon.

All day long classic cars were displayed in the arena opposite of club stand. The commentary in the arena was informative. Our club had the opportunity to display six of our cars which were awarded prizes,  as judged by club members.  The winners were:

Best in Show:  Standard Motor Club Stand Dave/Val Salter with their 1934 Tickford Bodied 10 Drop Head

Best Standard Triumph: Mike/Pat Beavis with their 1976 Stag Coupe

Best Guest Car: Andrew Williams with his 1938 MG TA

Best Pre-war Standard: Phil/Lynda Homer with their 1937 Flying 12 Drop Head Coupe

Best Post-war Standard: Alan Kingwell with his 1961 Vanguard 6 Automatic

Best Standard Flyer: Alan/Lynne Tibot with their 1939 Flying 8 Drop Head Coupe

Weekends like this are a great way to meet fellow SMC members and make new friends as well as use our cars and visit some interesting new places. Darrell and Josephine are planning to organise another South of England gathering in August 2016. Do join us there!

Attendees in 2015:

Peter & Graham Lockley, Mike & Pat Beavis, Brian & Betty Parkes, Geoff & Mrs Goddard, Peter Jarvis & his son, John Hayter and his daughter, Andrew Williams, Steve Smeltzer, Alan & Lynne Tibot, Dave & Val Salter,  Kim  & Elaine Henson , Geoff Winnicott, Ellis & Gina Bates, Darrell Cunningham & Josephine Longland, Phil & Lynda Homer, Alan Kingwell, Van Page and family, Derek Fox.