As Saturday dawned bright and moderately warm we decided to drop the top on the Z3 and drive down to Calne to take a look at the Atwell Wilson Motor Museum which sits on the outskirts of the town. With probably no more than half a dozen other visitors in the building it wasn’t exactly crowded, and it was nice to be able to get up close and personal with some of the exhibits. They have an ‘eclectic’ range of vehicles on display , ranging from the 1920s through to the eighties and most are in pretty good condition.
The only Triumph car on display was a Dolomite Sprint, which was apparently on loan from the Heritage Collection at Canley, though there was a nice little Standard from the late 20’s and a 1920 Triumph 550 motorcycle – which by all accounts was the model that gave Triumph their first success before they went into car manufacturing.
On our way home we stopped at Avebury to get a meal in the pub and then walk round the Stone Circle. Fascinating place (the Circle, not the pub) and much more accessible than Stonehenge – well worth a visit.
We realised last week that the display of 890,000 ceramic poppies currently filling the moat of the Tower of London will be removed after Armistice Day , so rather belatedly we decided to ‘pop’ up to town to take in the spectacle. Having met up with Jennie at Victoria we trooped off down to Monument tube and then walked the last few hundred meters to the Tower in a vain attempt to avoid the worst of the crowds. Some hope! The crowds were ten deep most of the way around the moat and moving around was a bit of a nightmare, but at least everyone was good natured and eventually we found a decent viewpoint. Definitely a worthwhile expedition.
After a brief excursion to Hatton Garden and lunch with Jennie and Nathan we filled a couple of hours before our return journey with a trip to the Tate to take in the Turner Gallery – not entirely unconnected with having seen ‘Mr Turner’ (great film!) at the cinema the evening before. Fabulous seascapes and wonderful light but I have to admit to thinking that his figure painting was a bit rough!
Meanwhile work on the Triumph continues apace. Yesterday afternoon we roped in friends and neighbours to help lift the body off the chassis in anticipation of taking it down to the bodyshop in Gloucester later this week. The chassis itself looks to be in really good condition and I can now get on with the task of sorting out the suspension and steering before I get the re-sprayed body back sometime before Christmas.
I don’t think that cars get jealous, but given the recent arrival of the GT6 it would have been perfectly natural for Bertie to ‘get the hump’ just a little. So when we found out about a classic car event taking place at Sudeley Castle on Sunday we decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to give him an outing. Fortunately we were blessed with a lovely early autumn day and I’m pleased to say that Bertie behaved himself impeccably, making the 35 mile round trip without complaint, though parts of the long and steady climbs up Cleve Hill and Seven Springs had to be tackled in third gear.
No prizes won but we were the oldest of the 180 cars taking part – and its no dishonour to lose out to a 1933 Bentley!
Sudeley is lovely. The one time home and the final resting place of Katherine Parr, the gardens are very attractive and the house/castle houses a nice little museum which is certainly worth a visit.
I don’t think that you could consider either of us to be regular festival goers. Denise had never been to one before, and the last time that I let my hair down (metaphorically) at a ‘pop’ festival was on the Isle of Wight in 1969 – at this rate I shall be 107 just in time for my third festival attendance. Though I have to say that we enjoyed Cropredy so much that we may just shorten that cycle by a few years.
For those who don’t know (and why should you?) Fairport Convention have run annual gatherings in the Oxfordshire village of Cropredy for the past four decades, with growing attendances which this year topped 20,000 for most of the three days. Not being entirely familiar with the style and flavour of other such events (unfortunately I simply can’t remember anything about the Isle of Wight – such was the devastating effect of too much cider!) we can’t really make comparisons, but suffice to say that this was a really chilled experience in the company of lots of like-minded Saga members – in some cases accompanied by their children, grandchildren and pets.
The weather was reasonably kind and the site, which straddles the Oxford Canal, is lovely – lots of scope for walks and for getting away from the music if and when it all gets just a touch too much. The music ……….. oh yes, that was pretty good too. An interesting mix of folk and prog rock and quite a few things in-between – really nothing that we could take exception to, and quite a few acts that we’d probably be happy to see again – if only we could remember what they were ………… well, with cider being sold in four pint milk cartons, what do you expect?
After an almost unbroken two-month long spell of good weather it was probably inevitable that for the few days we chose to go camping in Scotland the clouds would gather and we’d have a few spots of rain to remind us that British weather really can’t be trusted. Although ‘north of the border’ probably wouldn’t have been our first choice for a few days away, I have to admit that our destination, Kirkcudbright, on the northern shore of the Solway Firth, turned out to be a beautiful and interesting little spot that was well worth the journey.
The occasion for the visit was an opportunity to celebrate Jennie’s birthday in company with her and Nathan and to have an opportunity to get to know Steve, Ann, Jan and Gordon – the prospective ‘outlaws’. As it turned out, the weather threatened rather more than it delivered and we were able to get out and about and see something of what the area has to offer. Kirkcudbright has an interesting history, not least as the destination of choice for many of Scotland’s early and mid-twentieth century painters – notably the so called ‘Glasgow Girls’; the town celebrates this connection with a series of exhibitions and a huge number of small galleries where their work can be seen and bought. Fascinating stuff and a couple of hours very well spent on Saturday afternoon prior to the ‘crabbing’ grudge match in which Gordon, more or less ably assisted by Denise, produced an outstanding performance to catch no less than 48 crabs in the space of around an hour! Jacques Cousteau could have done no better.
Sunday was an equally relaxed affair involving an afternoon visit to a local wildlife park followed by an evening beach barbeque accompanied by a little singing and guitar playing. (note to self … next time learn some songs before you go!)
A quick round of ‘pitch and putt’ on Monday morning gave Jennie yet another opportunity to demonstrate her competitive spirit before we had to say our fond farewells to our fellow campers and set off for home. Altogether a very pleasant long weekend in good company and in a lovely part of Scotland – who knows, next time we go we may have to take our passports!
….holiday blogs, motoring obsessions and a general account of life in the Ewbank household…..