2011 Club Events
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Stonor Park - Sunday 5th June 2011 - Report from Tony Tucker
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Stonor Park is without question the finest location the club ever visits for a show. Lord Camoys’ hillside estate in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside just beyond Henley-on-Thames is just made for displaying cars on a summer’s day and the date of the event, the first Sunday in June, normally ensures sunny weather, although this year I would describe it as good, rather than great (a light drizzle after lunch following a pretty good morning).
This event is now open to all VWs and derivatives of whatever vintage, whereas it used to be limited to aircooled vehicles only. This meant that we had some modern Golfs and Beetles among the more historic cars, but also some superb Porsches, including a lovely black GT3 and a mighty gunmetal 911 Turbo parked quite close to our own display.
As usual, the day began with an 8.30am meet-up in the nearby village of Pishill. This year, thanks to the eagle eyes of David Room when checking the internet, we were able to buy advance tickets (£3) for the Concours / Pride and Joy competition and gain several benefits. The first was that, as in the past, all our cars were able to line up together in the centre of the show, rather than being scattered around the hillside. However, we also discovered that, instead of paying the entrance fee of £8 as well as the £3 for the Concours, the advance Pride and Joy booking gave us free entry to the show! In addition, we were allowed to enter through the competitors’ entrance, thus avoiding the queues at the main gate.
In addition to the Speedsters of Len Raynsford, Paul Smith, Terry Watson, David and Jane Room and myself, we were joined by another Speedster and two Spyder 718 RSKs. The Speedster was the well-known car belonging to Gerald Rigby, who famously spent 19 years building it (using a majority of original Porsche parts), but Gerald was outdone by a new member, Ian and his son (sorry, surname forgotten!) with a gunmetal Spyder which has been over 22 years in building! The other Spyder was owned by a non-member, who parked with us and then disappeared for the day!
Another club member was, however, at the show - Simon Hambly, with Eleanor and Harry, in their Split-screen Camper van, now looking absolutely stunning with its newly refurbished interior.
Interestingly, we signed up another new member when we were approached by a visitor to the show called Nick, who apparently owns one of the rare Speedster 2 models built by Chesil for Studio G, who disappeared from view a year or two ago in controversial circumstances!
Stonor Park always has a large number of dealers selling a vast range of parts, accessories and memorabilia, as well as a big autojumble section, so is probably the best show for spending money on useful bits for the car. There is also a fine choice of food stalls and Len was relieved to find that his favourite German cook was there as usual, with three different types of bratwurst available and I definitely saw Len sample at least two of them during the day (this is the one show in the year when Len deserts the bacon sandwich!)
Leaving the show fairly promptly to avoid the infamous traffic jams in Stonor and Henley caused each year by this event, Len and I found to our horror that the little town of Henley had, in the time since we arrived in the morning, closed its main street for road-works and implemented a diversion round and round the northern extremities and then back down to the bridge which is the only way of crossing the river. God knows how long this took, but what it must have been like half an hour later, when the bulk of the cars would be leaving the show, doesn’t bear thinking about!
Apart from that, a great show, but, of course, a shame that TIPEC now hold their show on the same day, which meant that we again missed that excellent event.
Tony Tucker, Events Co-ordinator