Cheers, here’s to a good race.
by Roy and Chris pictures from Shark, Skippy, Leg over, The Phallic Flyer, John and Roy
We had a great run down the A1, but I was a little surprised to see a lot of road works on either side of the road just south of Peterborough Showground. We arrived at the campsite and somebody pressed the code number to the gate to let us onto the field. This is a great campsite with a large children’s play area and skateboard ramps which are very well used. The site also has a well-stocked shop and off licence. When we arrived lots of sidecars were already parked up on the field. The Crown, a pub not far away, does good food, but it was very busy on Friday night and you needed to book very early. We got lucky and managed to get a meal, as did Keith and Julia and their daughter, but I was told that some sidecarrists were not so lucky!
Friday evening saw riders gathering and socializing under the club gazebo, where they could have a go at Ken’s Jenga competition; this was won by Steve Lucker,
Saturday morning saw us up bright and early. The ride out was at 11.00 am; this was to Sywell Aerodrome and Museum, which is about 25 miles from the campsite. I managed to get a lift in Martyn’s sidecar; I found that it irons out the bumps in the road better than my sidecar. We had a nice ride through the country lanes and villages with plenty of thatched cottages.
Martyn had picked a route with only one set of traffic lights and these were temporary; a thatched cottage was being re-roofed and the scaffolding needed to do this stretched half way across the road, so you needed the lights. We turned left opposite the entrance to Santa Pod Raceway and headed towards the aerodrome.
The volunteers running the museum had coned off some reserved parking space right outside for us; nineteen outfits and three solos took part in the run. There is free admission to the museum, which has a nice section of displays and a small gift shop. The museum is financed entirely by donations and there is a box by the door for this purpose. The airfield is very busy with quite a few planes coming and going. There was the opportunity to fly in three planes, the choice being either a Tiger Moth, a Harvard or a two-seater Spitfire – all for a price of course!!
One of the volunteers said that if the Spitfire was taking off they got more spectators and visitors to the aerodrome. Five air crew pushed the Spitfire to the petrol pumps and put a few gallons in it and it took off. The Merlin engine did sound nice! The plane flew for a while and then landed.
Just before we were due to return to the campsite, a small plane landed and nosed-dived into the ground! The fire engines were very quick off the mark to get to the plane; hopefully the pilot was not hurt.
We had a good ride back and arrived just in time for the start of the Children’s Grand Prix. This was hotly contested as usual, with Blake eventually being the winner. Next up was the Adult Quiz – again more fun, with Ian and Jan being the winners here.
There was now a break for food; the Fish and Chip Van arrived and was kept busy supplying food to those who fancied some. The big raffle started about 6.30 pm with lots of prizes; luckily for the children there were several things suitable for them. I got lucky as there was a book that I would like to win; however Dave Baker was in front of me as a winner, so I asked him if he wanted that book? “No“he replied; apparently he had put the book into the raffle, so I got what I wanted!
Next came the “World Tank Racing Championship”. I had problems with the elastic band, and I was on my third band before I could get any distance out of the tank; however, even then it was pretty slow.
Paul Ennis makes a beautifully-prepared tank, but this time it struggled a bit like mine. Again this competition is hotly contested. Maxine’s tank had been going really well in the heats; however in the final against George her tank shot forward, then went sideways and fell off the track, leaving George the winner. He won a trophy and a bottle of Gin. Mark was the race marshal as usual and with the help of Karen, they did a great job, keeping everything under control.
The last event of the evening was the “Grand Prix Racing Tournament” for adults; again free entry and this time with a bottle of whiskey for the winner, with Martyn as starting marshal. Some of these heats were very tight, and in one of them three cars only needed one turn of a card to win, with the fourth player only needing two cards. The final winner was Jan who won the whiskey.
Another great rally on a good campsite. Well done and thanks to the “Tri-Anglia Wheels” team and all the behind-the-scenes organisers – you did a fantastic job!!
Pics and quips.
The Grand Prix Final, Jan got the others drunk and stormed to a win.
Sywell Aerodrome, well worth a visit http://www.sywellaerodrome.co.uk/