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The Bucket & Spade run Sun 2nd June 2019 (Report from Roy & Jan)

The Great Bucket and Spade Run was not so well attended this year due to a clash with a car show at Sheerness. A great pity as the run has always been on the first Sunday in June since 1981.
Never the less it was great fun. The Run started from Herne and we met up with John Hames, Andrea and Kevin. Helen and Graham and SELKENT arrived after us and were parked a distance away so we agreed to join them at Ramsgate. We left at 9am in an orderly fashion and armed with our “maps” we set off. Luckily all junctions were sign posted which made it easier for lone drivers!
The route was picturesque and with perfect sunny weather it was most enjoyable. Most of the route wove amongst the North Downs taking in woodland and villages where folk waved as we passed by. The views were spectacular!
We arrived at Ramsgate before 11, without incident, but we did see one random Mini in front of us which took a wrong turn at a roundabout at Pegwell Bay and was heading back down to Cliffsend with the sea on the wrong side! This may sound smug but we remember one year we all took a wrong turn in Whitstable and there were classic cars everywhere!
On arrival, Roy spoke to the officials, who agreed to let our Minis all park together. SELKENT had pre booked but we had not. They arrived some time later. There were 10 Minis in all. We helped put up their simple gazebo but it became too breezy on the cliffs and they had to take it down as it was buckling. It was so nice to have a social gathering of “mini mates”.

Deal Classic car show Sat 25th may 2019

Sadly for various reasons only two minis from the club made it to Deal this year. Simon brought his 16valve  mini with trailer  and I bought our standard MPI. What a show with as many as 800 to a 1000 vehicles on display. We were parked and dwarfed by a speciality Bentley, one of a kind.  However, Minis  were well represented by the presence of about 12 from the L & SE Kent club   along with number of single entries throughout the show. Weather was good throughout the day and the numbers of visitors were high. Overheard arguments by punters on local roads as they tried to thread their way past parked cars on the already packed roads.

“Thats the last time I play bingo at the seaside!

A very green beach

“Who said take the parrot for a walk?”

We made it !

How did he get it up the kerb?

This takes a car blanket to a whole new level.

You don’t see too many of these about. It has 4 wheels but not as we know it!

Can you have too much chrome?

Note the dicey switches!

Brooklands 2019

Sad to say only two or three minis from the club made it to this venue due to various reasons.  However, there was a great turn out of minis from all over.  There were very few stalls this year for parts which was a bit disappointing. Apart from that there was plenty to see and the new Aero museum was quite spectacular.

Christmas 2018 Buffet

Our Christmas buffet was held at the Old Gate Inn Canterbury on Monday 3rd December. A good number of members turned out and enjoyed a very well prepared buffet that just kept on coming.

There was something on the table that appealed to everyone. Our thanks to the Old Gate Inn for a cracking buffet. The raffle was the usual light hearted mix of confusion which we have come to expect. I’ve still not fully worked out the joke following my return from the loo, but I’m glad so many were amused on a very good festive night. An added bonus this year was the distribution of certain items free of charge from one of our members. You could say it was secret Santa, but many thanks to you know who you are.

Brands Mini Festival August 25/26 2018

This years Mini-festival was a festival of two halves. Saturday a very sunny day with slight wind chill which surprisingly brought forth numerous red flag races including a sad exit for Bill Richards on the way to Druids. Sunday always looked a bit threatening and resulted in steady rain from lunch time for the rest of the day. Other years we have enjoyed relatively good weather on both days. The racing , surprisingly again, turned out to be almost the opposite of Saturdays track carnage.

Day 1 the club provided 3 minis on the stand after we had met up at Wrotham at about 8.30am. Quite a long run for Roy & Jan who had arrived first.  As expected there were less minis available on Day 1  further reduced since the addition of two other Mini Festivals being held at Oulton Park and Snetterden at earlier dates in the year. Following our traditional breakfast at the Kentagon we set off to explore the trade stands. Sadly only one stand from a main dealer in “Mini bits” although there were other stands for second hand bits and pieces. My only purchase of the day was a fuel additive from Faher which Im hoping will get the mini through the next MOT emissions test.

A novel all comers race was an interesting new introduction to the bill. Some very close racing produced plenty of on track action with subsequent red flags at times. Simon & Caz’s Imani provided some almost track action by escaping under the fence wire to end up between the fences on the main straight. Simon donned his Superman kit and swung into action to pick her up before she attracted too much attention from the Marshalls. For toddler, Imani, it had been an adventurous day as earlier she had managed to lock herself in the ladies toilet.  Escaping seems to be her speciality. I suspect a new middle name might be forthcoming “Houdini”.

An interesting meeting with a guy from Sussex occurred. He had acquired a wrecked mini which had our club sticker on the screen. He wondered if we new who had owned it.  We didn’t have to look far after seeing the pictures of it. It was my daughter Jo’s written off MPI from a few years back.  Keith has planned to restore it fully and have it back on the road by sometime next year. Looking forward to seeing it again without the dents. Its a small mini world really!

Day 2 the club provided 5 minis on the stand. Dave arrived a bit later than the rest of us but we managed to meet up pretty early on in the day after the usual Kentagon breakfast. After a swift walk round the paddock followed by another trip to the trade stands where Simon picked up some window glass holders to replace rotten ones for a good price. Dave had brought with him our recently ordered new KMC clothing which we were really glad of as the rain began to fall. This year our stand was behind the hospitality building which meant that watching the racing under cover was impossible. After lunch, Simon decided to go but on the way out spotted a gap in the shingle area where the racing could be seen without getting wet. 3 of our 5 minis moved up to watch for a while. Graham & Helen suffered a leakage in their sun roof and decided enough was enough and headed for home to dry out. Not long after that Simon and Caz left and then us.  A little disappointing  second day, largely because of the weather.

 

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The Transport and Train Social Day Chequers Pub Laddingford 

3 minis from the Club turned up at this small classic car and other vehicle show at Laddingford near Yalding on a very hot summers day.  We were parked up in full sun so managed to take over a strategically placed picnic table under a tree for some much needed shade.  The pub had laid on a very good BBQ and a live ukulele  band of about 20 members. I didn’t even know such bands existed. Cool drinks were the order of the day.  Some of us  sampled a brew from Dartford which was very tasty.  The wasps also took a shine to it and one managed to land on Jan’s lip but fortunately did not sting. Too drunk I suppose, the wasp that is.

Sadly the wasps then attacked Roy who proceeded to do a sort of rain dance with his hat which I wished I’d videoed. Apart from some very well looked after classic Jaguars, Morgans and Capris’ there was plenty of interest in the model railways on show.  Surprised to learn that some locos and rolling stock could fetch up to £1000 each. Sounds like another source for investment rather than the bank. A friend of mine turned up on the day and Dave tried to persuade him to buy his mini.  Although very interested, he was not ready to buy into the investment just yet. The BBQ  and good selection of home made cakes was well received by many during the day.

All in all, a very pleasant day in our unusual summer this year. We will  definitely keep it in our calendar of events next year.

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Fish & Chip run July 2018

6 minis made it to the start line at the Old Gate Inn Canterbury, on a very warm day, for our first run from this location.  We set off at about 3.30pm and made our way through some picturesque villages Patrixbourne then Bridge before going over the beautiful Chartham Downs. Our half way point destination was Chilham. we convoyed through the main square which was pretty busy and exited past a tea shop which had tables outside. The gap between tables and minis was very tight. I almost snaffled a scone on the way through but resisted at the last moment.  The car park at Chilham was very welcome as we found a good shady spot for all the minis.  Kevin decided to try out his phenomenal array of air horns from chickens to cows to horses. He says that he used to have as many as eight different horns at one time. I hope Pluckley is not blessed with an early morning wake up call from Kevin too often. Time for the second half after pit stop for loos. More delightful scenery brought us down to Faversham via Selling. a short hop along the A2 to the turning for Brogdale Fruit Cherry Festival.  I expected to see quite a few cars there but  relatively few were about so no hold ups. Then on to Painters Forstal where the local fete was in progress. We passed through there adding a bit of nostalgic colour to the scene and on to the Doddington –DSC09180

A shady rest up for the minis

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If I connect this to that I might just get another air horn working!

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The only man I know that can drink a milk shake and a Coke one after the other!

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You told me Gran to keep away from too much ice cream so Ive gone for a very long spoon. Is that ok?

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Newnham road. A short spurt down the A2 to Teynham,  saw us arrive safely at Crispin, our venue for a welcome meal.

The Crispin had kindly arranged a long table for the 15 or so members and friends. After a lot of friendly banter with the waitress we all enjoyed various combinations from Burgers to Fish & chips to all day breakfast, really at 5PM ! whatever takes your fancy. The pre ordered Gypsy Tart did not disappoint and I was allowed to take some home to Sue who didn’t make it this time through feeling not too well.

A special thank you to all the staff at Crispin for making our visit a really good trip out.

The staff told us the the local Carnival was about to start, so we all made a hasty exit to avoid the road closure. Perhaps another time our minis could be part of the Carnival, who knows?

 

Darling Buds Classic Car Show July 2018

This year’s show was the first under new management, so  we were expecting some changes.

A very warm day greeted the Club meeting at the usual spot in Charing for an 8AM start.  9 minis set off after a bump start for Dave for a convoy route to Pluckley. The place needs renaming Potholey. I’ve never seen so many pot holes on such a short length of road. Needless to say there was a lot of weaving going on.

On arrival we were guided  to a spot very close to our usual Club Stand site  under the trees. Our thanks go to to Roy who made the point about retaining our spot after a total of 18 years supporting this event. After a bit of shimmying to line up leaving enough room for the gazebo we squeezed in an extra two minis from Ashford.  Their owners are contemplating joining us. The more the merrier.  The erection of the gazebo produced the usual puzzle although in my opinion we did get it done in a quicker time than normal.  Next on the agenda was poo removal under the gazebo by yours truly and others. The  heat level rising, some took a swift look round the stalls before it got too hot. Fortunately, for us we had pegged our gazebo down which was not the case at a cake stall we visited. A gust of wind lifted the whole thing off the ground. I grabbed one leg, Sue grabbed the other one with owner on a third we just managed to keep it down.  One or two pastries did hit the deck but apart from that no one was injured.

Fewer motor parts stalls this year, but plenty of other stalls to look round including the Air Ambulance stall. The new management have made a few changes. The parade ring is now more central with the addition of live music near the entrance gate. Considerably more cars on show this year as the remit included more recent classics. We heard later during the day that some classic car owners waited 1 hour 40 minutes to get in. Glad we came in as early as we did, certainly paid off.  Loos were more spread out this year which was helpful in reducing queues.

Lot of interest in Dave’s mini up for sale at approx £5,000.  Interesting to see what result was at the next Club meeting on Monday 9th July. Mark , Simon’s brother,  sold a few bits from our stand during the day. Good to see Andrea and Kevin and family, just realised I missed out on one of their homemade cup cakes, maybe another time.  Sue found some Gypsy Tart  on a stall which we shared at lunch time.  Now looking forward to our next Fish & chip run as they also sell Gypsy Tart.

Air Ambulance made a visit. Just as I got to them they had a call out to Chichester,  hasty retreat under much downdraft followed.

A few more walks round the cars was interesting as Simon’s knowledge of different car models was amazing. He should go on Mastermind.

No plaque received this year under the new management, maybe its something they might consider in future years.  One small disappointment, I never did find an Austin Atlantic but  all in all a great day out.

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Chrome overdose!

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This 40th Anniversary Mini was immaculate with only 22,000 on clock. Well worth £14,000

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My brother in law had one of these. He still wishes he’d never sold it.

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A busy day on the Club stand. As popular as ever.

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“No son thats not all the bits he had left over when he built it.”

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Looks like Kevin’s cousin has turned up in the same hat.

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I had one of these 1600 Es and wished I still did.

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Mind the doors please– they rise out of the bodywork! Pretty cool!

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Pilot readying for trip to Chichester.

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Just before my camera got covered in dust.

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And away!

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Fish for lunch anyone?

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Clown cooling off strayed into field from Audi advert.

London to Brighton Mini run Sun 20th May 2018

This year was the 33rd L2B Mini run and proved as popular as ever.

Our day started out quite cold and damp over the higher ground. Clive & brother in law Steve accompanied Graham & Helen and Simon & Carrie from our usual meeting up point at Bearsted for a really good trip to Brighton via Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Uckfield through the tunnel at Lewes and over the fog bound hill at Falmer.  Queue very long at the Marina  so we dived into the MacDonalds at the Marina for a comfort break and breakfast. Rejoining a slightly shorter queue half an hour later, we crawled along, fans in overtime, till we arrived at the entrance. This year we were fortunate to get directed towards the pier instead of being split up like last year. Pleasantly surprised to find our group parked within 100m of the stalls and altogether.  Walking to the stalls for the first time we ran into Dave & Alison and Ben & BJ who had arrived earlier and already finished shopping for bits. Turned out they were  parked quite close to us.

Seemed fewer stalls this year which could have been down to the clash with IMM in Portugal.  I was looking for LED replacement  lights for rear and indicator but none found. Internet may be the answer for those. My only buy was a pair of mini inspired ear rings for Sue.  Enjoyed a nice lunch near the pier almost under the new zip wire. Do hope those guys were strapped in well.  Met up with Roy & Jan on our travels who had managed to find a good parking spot on the top road for only a fiver.  A fiver that Roy recovered from a scooter enthusiast who bought a spot light from him. From the immortal lines at the Punch & Judy show (thats the way to do it). By now the cold misty day had turned into a glorious summers day as we settled down to watch the crowds admiring the numerous minis of every hue and condition. Simon was not going home empty handed so he picked up a pair of black bumpers one from a stall that only had one left and another from a different stall. Stowing them in the mini was tricky but he managed it without sticking them through the sliding roof. By 4pm we were all shopped out and decided to make for home in convoy.  All in all a very pleasant trip with no mishaps or breakdowns this year.

Sofa so good

Sofa so good

Where did everybody go?

Where did everybody go?

Now that is ultra mini!

Now that is ultra mini!

Expecting trouble on the way?

Expecting trouble on the way? Emergency bikes?

Cop these bumpers

Cop these bumpers

 

Like the headlights

Like the headlights

We are in there somewhere

We are in there somewhere

Christmas Buffet 2018

This year’s Christmas Buffet found the Club at a new venue “The Black Lion ” at Lynsted.  This came about through a chance meeting with Nick of the Black Lion who we met at the Fish & Chip run at Teynham in October last year. A very good selection of food was available on the night and we expect to plan a run to the pub during the summer. The evening ended with our usual raffle in aid of Kent Air Ambulance. A special thank you is required for the staff who made us all very welcome and provided such a good spread of food for the evening.

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Fish & Chip run Oct 21st 2017

A new venture for the club this time. A new route and and a new venue. After some trepidation over wether the weather would cause a postponement, we finally went for it in the face of the remains of Hurricane Brian. The meet up was at Brenley Corner, where there was just enough parking space left for 3 minis plus two disguised minis in the shape of a   BMW mini and a Skoda Octavia.  This time we thought we were organised with route maps for all. We set off on a jaunt through Faversham then on to Newnham and Doddington.  The next leg was to take us through some narrow lanes to Rodmersham and Bapchild with a final run down the A2 to Teynham.  After a couple of back ups for traffic,we travelled well until I missed a right turn which extended the run a bit and took us over a few humps that I hadn’t planned for. However, like so many things in life there was an up side as we did see a very pretty village in Rodmersham Green.

Next stop,  the Crispin restaurant in Teynham. Here we made a quick check to see nothing had fallen off; and the cars were alright as well. It was time to sample the great food promised. Helen met up with us there which made it a full dozen to sit and eat.  The menu had a very good selection of  Fish, Chicken and Burger meals so I think we were well catered for and folks were well satisfied with the portions. We were all set to pay up and go when the waitress said that gypsy tart was a menu item.  A few eyes lit up and maybe we were being a bit hasty. However, hopes were dashed as it had all gone. Must remember for next time, we can order in advance for dessert. 

As we were about to leave a guy came in and asked if we were a club. It turned out that he had about 30 minis in various states of repair  and was running a pub in Lynsted. A  keen fan, he offered to lay on some food for us if were to do a run that ended up at his pub. Roy and myself  will try to arrange a meeting with him to see what can be arranged. You can’t go far with out meeting up with mini fans. Watch this space, more news later.

Little historical note:

Back in 1987, after the hurricane hit, I was working with a team of linesmen putting overhead lines back up. One night I called in to this Fish & Chip shop to buy food for the men.  I mentioned this when I booked our meal and that it was unlikely that the owners were the same. How wrong I was. It’s the same family running the place and the grand daughter is now in charge.

 

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Mini Action Day Castle Coombe  30th September 2017

“Lets go to Castle Coombe” Simon said “it’ll be great”.  Well it was great but not without the odd set back.  We set out sans minis as is norm for this trip.  Left at about 8.20AM, but before we reached the M4 there was an ominous warning on the overhead. (M4 closed between Junction 17 to 18 ). It will be all cleared by the time we get there we thought.

How wrong we were! even with a stop on the M4 for comfort break, still no sign of any changes on the overhead. Knowing that junction 17 was the exit junction for Castle Coombe we figured it would be better to get off early so as to avoid the diversion on A  and B roads for the through traffic. So two junctions before 17 we decided to get off.  Well the queue was a mile long to get off and travelling slower than a snail.  Once off we Sat Naved our way through what seemed like most of Wiltshire (very pretty though) finally arriving at Castle Coombe at about 1PM. Phew! definitely time for lunch.

With lunch sorted, it was time for a look round the stalls. More stalls this year compared to last year according to Simon.  Simon wanted some discs and pads along with a new tail pipe. I was looking for a new tail pipe also.  Also seemed to be more minis than previous years which is a good sign. Bill Richards was doing his usual runs for charity. Spotted what looked like a Piccadilly like Roy & Jan’s  ( picture below).  A lot of clubs there this year, mainly from the west country areas as you would expect. Simon spotted an unusual wheel with hub cap ( see pic below). Next time you see him, ask him how they managed to make it. It’s very clever. The track parade was so full even at 3  abreast that we saw the marshals turning folks back from the track entrance. Simon found his discs and pads and made a swift calculation that his existing discs were 25 years old, having been swopped from previous minis he has owned. I wonder whether this could be a record.   Managed to pick up the last two stainless steel tail pipes at a stall at £75 each , so well pleased.

Watched a bit of the racing including some supercharged BMW minis that sounded like jets down the straights. Finally made for home on what was a a trouble free run back.

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“Get back into line what do you look like”

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Track Parade filling up.

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Is this a Piccadilly?

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Fancy rear lights, not sure whether legal.

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Warp factor 9 anyone?

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A very neat look

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Why Not?

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How did they make this wheel? See Simon for answer.

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Full revs on the long straight.

Brands Minifest 2017

 

Saturday

A glorious weekend of sun and the inevitable sun burn made this year’s meeting a bit special. Just a few of us ventured out on Saturday  Dave & Scott plus Sue & Clive along with Simon & Caz  & children .  At breakfast in the Kentagon we also met up with Pinch and Hazel  who were camping for the week end.  Bit of excitement after breakfast as a Brands Water tanker arrived to put out a fire at the back of the Kentagon, the driver shouting out NEE NAA as he drove to the site (cut backs are everywhere these days).  There were no Club stand sites on Saturday so we picked a spot where we could see the racing overlooking the finishing straight. Checking out the Paddock we found the updated Bill Richards Mini now sporting a minivan body,  expecting to compete in the Fastest Mini in the World race. Further round the Paddock  we noticed Bills main opposition, an Audi Quattro turbo charged mini 2.5litre complete with 4 wheel drive.  Watched the Swift Stunt drivers doing their stuff in Classic Mini Cooper Ss fitted with special compound tires to the sound of the Italian Job music, quite stirring. Dave took a trip off site with Donnie to Swanley Mini dealer to buy a replacement mini. Finally picked a Wood & Pickett mini with many luxury additions, so looking forward to seeing it at a Club meet soon.

Sunday

Many more minis on site today.  Brands had given us a very good spot with benefit of some trees for much needed shade albeit for only part of the day. This year, there were far less commercial trade stands and more auto jumble stands, not sure why. Having said there were  plenty of body panels  available if required.  The racing was close with classics making up most of the field. During lunch break we met up with Gemma and some ex members of the club.  Simon had a few mini bits for sale as did Paul.  I believe Roy sold some head lights.  Simon managed to sell everything by the end of play on Sunday. Later we all moved to a shady spot for the remainder of the day enjoying a cooling breeze under the trees. The Fastest Mini in The World race was a hi light as Bill Richards took the fight to the Audi only to lose out to the Audi through a blown diff  on the second to last lap. Finally, as we began to pack up and leave Dave hit a problem, mini not starting apparently no fuel getting through. He changed the pump relay and off he went. I discovered later that he broke down again on the motorway going home, replaced the original relay and it started again.  Could have been a loose connection we believe, a story most mini owners would be familiar with.

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Club Stand

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Grid Walk

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Classics at Clearways

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Bill in the lead

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The Monster Mini

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Bills Minivan

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David Willey interviewing the Stunt Drivers

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Minis on a mission

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Didn’t know Roy was racing this year!

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Bill’s opposition

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A blast from the past

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A Kawasaki with a Mini wrapped round it

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An alien under the bonnet

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Not everyone was impressed with the racing

 

Darling Buds of May 2017

After two or three wet shows at last a scorcher this time. Although  those setting out at around 7am would have been hard pressed to believe how the day turned out. Nine minis met up at  Charing for the usual convoy to site. On arrival we parked at our usual spot near the Parade ring and partially under the trees which turned out to be a very nice shady spot from the sun’s heat. Setting up the gazebo proved to be the usual  all hands on deck, lets muddle through this again. A quick tour round the stalls proved useful as I found what I’d been looking for for some months, a driver’s door handle.  A wide variety of stalls again this year with many retro clothing stalls among them.  For real ale drinkers however, it was not so good as the only beer available was lager.   The range of classic cars seemed even bigger this year. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of people willing  to invest in keeping the old tech alive.    This show was about the 18th that KMC has attended.  With the show under new management next year, here’s hoping that there won’t be too many changes to this very successful show.

The Club was able to present a cheque for £100 to the Air Ambulance crew.  They were pleased to hear how a past member was helped by them following a bad accident. Picture below. The crew have asked us to send in the picture for their web site.

I found a very useful book on Mini trivia, so expect to see a few quotes now and then on the web site.  This year three brave members , Roy, Paul and Julia went into the Parade ring with their minis to be interviewed by the ring master. Again pictures below to prove it.

A really good day out for the Club with a lot of interest shown for all things mini.  One guy wanted to buy ours as the upholstery matched one of his favourite  burbury  jackets! DSC07464 DSC07467 DSC07468 DSC07469 DSC07471 DSC07480 DSC07485 DSC07486 DSC07487

 

Bucket & Spade run June 2017

The Bucket and Spade Run was held on Sunday 4th June. We invited our neighbours Graham and Wendy to join us in their Red Morgan. It was their first classic car outing. We arrived at the start point at Beech Court Gardens, Challock at 8.45 in order to get a good spot for the Minis. Andrea and Kevin, Jen, Graham and Helen soon arrived. The South London and Kent club joined us making quite a number in our group. The Minis were adorned with the customary bucket and spades, flags, fluffy toys and wacky passengers etc. The Morgan had a giant teddy on the back! There were about 400 classic cars, leaving in batches. We left about 1015, Graham and Helen leading the Minis and Roy and Jan last, followed by the Morgan. It was sunny and all went well. We all managed to stay together for miles- until we reached Barham. Then chaos! The front cars missed the obscure turning required. As many had played follow my leader instead of reading the instructions, they needed to turn round. Without powered steering this became difficult for the older cars. We had overshot too by trying to get their attention. We managed to turn using the cycle path as roadway (only in a Mini) Our neighbours in the Morgan were bemused by this. This now left us in front and separated from the Minis except for Andrea, Kevin and Jen. We parked up at the nearest large lay-by to enable the others to catch up but to no avail. Our now small group carried on to Ramsgate. We got there at 11.45 and parked up with the Morgan and had our picnics. We found the others parked a good distance away. It turned out that one of them had needed a fuel stop! All in all it was a great run with beautiful countryside on a sunny Sunday. Our friends in the Morgan thoroughly enjoyed themselves!
Roy and Jan

Morgan

L2B May 2017

This year’s contingent numbered 7 minis plus Roy’s Honda.  A change from previous years,we met up at Pole gate near Eastbourne at MacDonalds for quick pit stop before moving on together to Brighton. Graham & Helen, Clive & Sue  and Simon & Caz  & Jesse travelled down from Maidstone while Dave, Colin,  Dan  and Ben &  BJ came along the A259 coast route.  Sadly, the coastal route proved to be a bit slow as the group were held up by a very slow foreign driver for some time.  However, refreshed, we set off for Brighton hoping to remain in convoy. We managed it for the most part but once in Brighton on the sea front things got complicated, as two columns of minis joined into one. Then a bus intervened which did not help. Then a mini broke down loosing all the water about 3 minis ahead.  The guys got out and pushed their mini all the way to the entrance as the column moved so slowly.  Once down at the bottom of the entrance hill Clive & Sue and Simon & Caz & Jesse were directed to the Marina end to park up. Unbeknown to us everyone else was directed in the opposite direction towards the pier.  Needless it say it was a long time before we met up together near the stalls.

Purchases for me this year were minimal. Just two union jack stickers to put on my new number plates.  Simon on the other hand was after some shocks. He found them eventually and ask how much for the four. The stall holder got his calculator out to work out the sum. Just then, Jesse, Simon’s son piped up and told the stall holder how much they were. The stall holder was so amazed by Jesse’s numeracy skills he threw in two metal mini wing badges.

Roy & Jan had arrived at about 9am so by the time we contacted them by phone they were about to leave for home. Dave had his mini up for sale while there, so  we’re  all interested to know if there were any takers.  Gemma had her Ragbag mini on display at the Minispares stand, and very nice it looked too. Well worth the £9,000 odd asking price.

After a pleasant lunch under a parasol at the beach cafe near the pier, our splinter group wandered down the stalls for a last look at minis and stalls.  It appeared to us that there were more classic minis on show than previous years this time.  Long may it last. All in all a fantastic day out in the sunshine.

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ONLY JET BLACK SEEN, QUITE RARE NOW.

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BOOTIFUL

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PROOF IT WAS A NICE DAY- ALL THE ACTION WAS WITH THE MINIS

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WHY ARN”T THEY LOOKING AT ME?

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NICE PAINT JOB

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THE FRENCH BROUGHT THEIR OWN BEER KEGS

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DO YOU RECOGNISE THIS MINI?

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VERY UNUSUAL PICK UP!

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SOMEBODY’S KIDNAPPED WOODY

Roy’s 80th Birthday treat

Yes 007 Connor ( mine’s a Guinness but not too shook up) is back.  Brands Hatch witnessed a roaring Roy racing round the Grand Prix circuit in an Aston Martin Vantage.  He managed a crisp 100mph, which not every one does apparently, with other cars on the track.  There were no accidents fortunately, so somebody’s no claim bonus is still intact.  Here are the pics to prove it.

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Ten pin bowling – Ashford March 2017

8 members of the KMC met up for bowling along with a few spectators  Jan  and Sue on Sat 25th March.  We decided to split up over two lanes of 4 per team.

Clive, Helen, Graham and Roy  versus Simon, Caz, Ben and DJ. Most of us had not played for sometime so strikes were few to start with. However, as time went on more strikes appeared on both score sheets. Even Simon who was dosed up for a cold cleared all pins a few times. Then the professional appeared in the form of Roy who had brought his own bowling shoes. We all thought this is it, he’s been toying with us up till now.

However,it  proved completely wrong as Roy donned his shoes struck out for the line and promptly slipped over in his special shoes. A real let down,  Roy decided to switch back to regular shoes for the rest of the game. Fastest bowler has to be DJ,  I did think once or twice we might be retrieving the ball from the car park.

Many thanks to all who made it.  This was the first time we had tried a Sat PM for bowling, but it worked out ok and we’ll try it again sometime.

 

How did we get scores like that!

I don’t believe it.  How did we get scores like that!

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Happy bowlers

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Sue supervising the youngest bowler

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How did we get the same scores ? Nobody Knows

 

 

Brooklands Mini Day 2017

This year the site was a bit hampered by the ongoing works to restore the start and finish straight.  Therefore, we were unable to use our gazebo and had only 8 places on the Club Stand.  I spite of that, the Club managed to get 6 classic minis and 2 BMW minis safely to the venue after our usual meet up at Clacketts on M25. Initial cough and splutter from Dave’s mini as we set off  was followed by a  smooth run from Clacketts   to Brooklands  favoured by green lights at every junction, maintaining a very smart convoy, a real James Corden job.  Bit of a mix up at the entrance as mini owners were baffled by sign saying ticket only queue. Confusion between on line tickets and ticket for Club Stands ensued.  All worked out in the end though and soon everyone was lined up in our appropriate slot just above the site of the old hanger now dismantled.

Seemed like less trader stalls the year, not sure why.  My hunt for a new door handle turned out to be fruitless as they only wanted to sell a full set for £45.00. Still looking for good second hand one. Roy set off to exchange some headlights he bought last year which he thought were incorrect set for  Fifi. Sadly White Van man was absent this year.   Roy’s best purchase of the day was a solar powered Mr Bean which he nearly took back because it wasn’t moving before discovering that in the bag it wouldn’t move due to lack of sunlight, (school boy error) it could happen to anyone. I compensated for my fruitless search for a door handle by buying 2 quids worth of grease nipples, last of the big spenders. Having said that, I was expecting to buy an expensive  book on John Surtees life, but not a single copy available in the shop.

Simon had to invest in a new set of wiper blades all round front and back.  There was much interest from the crowds on how he managed to squeeze the 1600 engine under the bonnet and the magnificent Defender headlights with matched colour indicator halos.  So much so that I thought some of the guys should have been charged a consultancy fee. Simon had the only  mechanical breakdown this year, a possible hand  brake cable fracture.

Roy took a trip on the buses with Reg Varney  (no that’s not right) he was with Jan.  In addition, they both managed a trip to Mercedes World.  Considering what time they got up that morning they did really well. Trip home was a bit eventful as they nearly collided with either a drunk or drugged motorist on the M2 junction at Brenley Corner.

Ben is due to start his Karting  at Buckmore soon, so dates will be available for all those who can come and support him.  Hope you had a longer nights sleep on Sunday night after the stag do on Saturday night. What it is to be young!

It was good to catch up with Dave & family after what has seemed a long winter and sad that Graham & Helen and Andrea & Kevin were unable to make it this year.  Overall, I thought  Brooklands was a good start to the season bearing in mind the ongoing site works which are due to be completed this year.

On the grid at Clacketts

On the grid at Clacketts

The Club Stand

The Club Stand

Check out those lights

Check out those lights

With or without hard top

With or without hard top

Who's mucking around in my moke

Who’s mucking around in my moke

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There will be a short delay before take off

There will be a short delay before take off

Have you seen this mini before somewhere?

Have you seen this mini before somewhere?

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Christmas Buffet 2016

The Frog & Orange staff prepared a cracking buffet this year in the main bar with a roaring fire to warm us all on a cold evening.  A treat for me was my son in attendance over from Australia for a 5 week visit. Its over 4 years since he has come along following his departure and Dad & Mum taking over his mini.  Many thanks to Roy & Jan for organising the raffle again this year. I think most people went home with something whether they liked it or not. Sadly some members were not able to come. Our thoughts go out to Julia & Phil  and Kevin and Andrea.   Plenty to look forward to in 2017.  IMM in Ireland for some of us will be a possibility.  At the time of writing my mini has failed MOT on emissions. Still trying to sort it out but hoping it will be ready before the season of shows gets started.  Already booked ticket for London to Brighton.

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Mini Wedding August 2016

Early in August Roy received a phone call from Leila, a former club member . She asked him if she could use our gold Mini, “Fi fi” as a wedding car !We agreed and Roy asked her if she would like other minis for the bridesmaids too, if available. She was ecstatic ! She apologised for the short notice as the wedding was on 27th August.

The outcome was that Roy would take the bride and her father, Clive two bridesmaids, Ben two more bridesmaids , Spike the brides mother in his pick up. ( He had suggested putting a hay bale in the back for the bride but she declined , she wanted “Fifi “. Spike suggested that we take the front passenger seat out to make more room for the bride which we did.

The drivers met up at The Imperial Hotel , Hythe,  and the Minis were all ribboned  and polished. Spike provided personalised number plates for “Fifi”. The bride and bridesmaids were so surprised and excited as they piled in the stunning little cars. The cavalcade of Minis  drove through a sunny Hythe drawing lots of attention from the public.

They arrived at Lympne Castle at 1pm. The church was next door. Whilst the wedding ceremony was taking place, Spike decorated the roof rack of his pickup with masses of fresh flowers. It looked spectacular !He had offered to use it for a photo shoot as the bridal party could hop in the back. The drivers and wives went to a nearby Bistro where tea and cakes were laid on for us.

When the wedding party came out of the church next door and saw the decorated Minis they were amazed. It was a secret even from the bridegroom! The photographer  could not get over it. He said that it was the best display of wedding cars that he had ever seen. He took masses of photos and delayed the reception in the castle.

Leila, the beautiful bride and her family could not stop thanking us for making the day so special. The Minis were a credit to our club. we would not accept a fee as we had done it for fun , so the bride’s father will donate to a charity walk that Spike’s  wife Michelle is doing.

A sad note to end what was a perfect day for many.  Travelling back to Maidstone Clive & Sue’s mini suffered a broken windscreen curtesy of a few teenage girls throwing stones from the footbridge at Ashford M20. Blessed that no one was hurt in the incident. Police investigating but not hopeful of catching them.

Chauffeur

“Fifi” with friend

Leila, Marc and Fifi

Fifi with young lovers!

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Fifi minus one seat

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Fifi and wedding party arriving at the church on time!

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The Mini stars of the day

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Floral pickup

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What a picture of beauties!

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Arrival of the Mini Stars

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A very pretty pickup

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A Wedding shower!

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Leila and bridesmaids

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Are you sure he said get in this Jacuzzi?

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Not in front of the wedding party please!

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A special moment!

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We hereby declare you both  Spike plated!

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The final bow from the mini stars.

 

Brands Hatch Mini Festival 2016 

This 2 day event  now becoming a must for all mini lovers enjoyed some really warm weather this year.   Not without some mini dramas though as Simon discover a slipping clutch on Wrotham Hill along with a faulty brake light switch and leakage from the heater. The qualifying and racing had a fair number of incidents also. The pit walkabout was as popular as ever although only BMW minis were  on display.   We made up for this by trips to the Paddock where numerous minis were on display in various states of dismantlement. I spotted a useful addition to road going minis in the shape of a clip down rad cap fitted to the racing minis. This clever piece of engineering ensures that the rubber seal does not twist on the filler neck but is pressed down by a clip when the cap is in it’s final locked location. Now looking out for a supplier of these to ensure I never lose a rad cap.  Our club stand was located on the viewing area overlooking the finishing straight with ample room to spread out chairs and sun shades etc.The Kentagon provided a really good breakfast on both days although Pinch plumped for a Guinness which I think he may have regretted later having been quite seriously sun burnt later on. I managed to pick up a famous Fish finger sandwich only available at the Cooper Straight outdoor restaurant. Met up with my son’s mates from Brands at the Media centre during Sunday.

A good range of stalls were available and increased in number on the Sunday.  Simon picked up a fibre glass bonnet and I was tempted to buy some white fibre glass bumpers but hesitated as my garage is extremely tight for length.

The Club stand boasted 9 minis on Sunday, a good turn out.  Ellie (Model 2 owner) and her Dad dropped by to say hello, now home from Uni and  Katie and her Dad came by following our meeting with them at the Darling Buds. The entertainment this year comprised Terry Grant ‘s stunt driving show and there was live music on and off throughout the day.

A  little boy who got lost  prompted some swift action by the organisers. A course car was  quickly  sent to the main gate to prevent anybody  leaving the event until the boy was found. The boy was found ok. A big well done to the  staff.

Bill Richards won the fastest mini in the world  all comers with a 2 litre very low slung version. There’s no specification for this event as they put it in the programme  “Run what you brung”

The weekend finished with the usual track parade which most of the Club entered. Overall a very good weekends racing, entertainment and minis by the hundreds.

If anyone wants to do it all again, there’s another Mini Festival at Oulton Park on Sat 20th  August. Pinch, can we borrow your pick up truck.

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A heavily disguised mini by Bill Richards

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60’s Rock Mum with little pebble daughter. Can you hear me over that outfit!

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Get out of that boot! What do you look like!

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Bill on Paddock leading the way.

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BBQ Brands Style

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Bill’s Cup of Joy

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The Club Stand

Darling Buds Classic Car Show– Sunday 10th July 2016

Eight Club minis met up at Charing for the early morning run in to the show. Weather did not look promising, but we pressed on in true  Brit spirit.  Our designated spot was much larger this year so with the new gazebo or Coleman Shelter to be precise there was room to spare. The setting up of the same proved to be the usual mix of Fred Carno’s and “It’s a Knockout” for those of you who can recall the TV show. Fortunately, no mini Club person was injured in the erection, but some came pretty close.

Satisfied with the result , many set off round the show to check out the turn out. To me it seemed like there were many more vehicles there this year with a much greater number of VW Campers than normal. In addition, minis were more in evidence apart from our own collection.  Stall lay-outs were also a bit different with a more varied items on display from vintage clothing to plants to locally made cider.  The rain came in spurts but very light.  The new shelter proved to be snug and dry with plenty of room to spread out. There were two or three enquiries from folks seeking to join the Club, sadly our latest members were unable to make it as their mini broke down just before the weekend.

A few old friends and Clive, an  ex member, dropped by to see us, it was nice to catch up with where they were at now. It was good to see Ellie back from Uni also.  By 4 pm the sun came out just in time for us to make the journey home and nobodies mini got stuck in the mud getting out. Overall,  the organisers and marshals did a grand job throughout the day and Kent Air Ambulance  will benefit from all the efforts.

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The new improved Club Stand. Nearly enough room for a pony

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Minis from another Club from a galaxy far far away.

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Very smart and all the way from Norfolk

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Looks a bit like Darth Vader if you squint a bit

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Rotating mini on parcel shelf. Novel!

It's been a long day!

It’s been a long day!

 

 

BUCKET & SPADE RUN 2016  Sunday 5th June

Just 3 minis from the Club ventured out on this run.  Roy & Jan ,Kevin & Andrea and Clive & Sue. We met up at a field adjacent the Beech Court Gardens at Challock.  Unfortunately, the field’s occupants prior to us were cattle who had left copious deposits all over the place. Very careful walking required.    The set off time was 10am, so Clive & Sue decided to get a loo break in before the journey. Whata mistaka to maka. 20 in the queue and only one loo for both Ladies & Gents. Chatted in the queue with a lady who had come from Rainham Kent in her husband’s TransAm. This kept our minds off the pressing problem.  Just about made it back to the field as the minis were being requested to get in line.  The route was very pleasant through villages we had not been through before with locals waving at us (well I thought they were waving). Eventually, we arrived in Ramsgate and were ushered into a (muckless) field (hooray).  Other minis were on the site and 4 joined us to make a row of 7.  Among them was Phil, an ex member of the Club, Paul from the newly formed SELKent Mini Club, a guy with a minivan with two steering wheels from Essex and  another family from Ashford. It was good to see Rob and his Ford Mexico on the run although I didn’t see his car once we arrived at Ramsgate.   The weather was sunny with a slight sea breeze. The range of vehicles on display was huge and stretched further round the cliff top beyond our sight including some 60s scooters .  A good selection of stalls was available selling everything from food to plants to crockery and clothing. We had a good walk round and descended to the lower road where it was a bit warmer; surprised to see some sandy beaches there.

Roy & Jan’s mini attracted many children who soon spotted a lego  Mr Bean and Teddy on their dashboard  and Clyde the Orangutang in the rear seat.  From the pics below you can see that Mr Wig wam  put in an appearance following a debut outing at Deal recently.  By 4pm we were moving off after a very pleasant day at the seaside.

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That's what you call an air raid.

That’s what you call an air raid.

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Kevin's really over cooked it with the Hair Restorer!

Kevin’s really over cooked it with the Hair Restorer!

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DEAL CLASSIC CAR AND MUSIC SHOW 29th may 2016

It was a very blustery Sunday on Walmer Green. The area allotted to us backed onto a hedge, thank goodness. Unfortunately despite arriving at 8.30 some motorcyclists had pinched part of our site which meant we could not put up our gazebo. It took some time for the disgruntled trespassers to re-locate at the request of the organisers. We had by then been joined by the rest of our club and two other friends, 8 Minis in all. The wind had got up and we attempted to put up the gazebo to the amusement of passers-by. Once again, a muddle of poles and advice created mayhem. Having sorted out the structure we attempted to put on the cover which nearly parachuted us to France! Graham was of great help as he was the tallest. (Someone should tell Coleman that you need a 6 footer to safely reach the high points of this gazebo) At last it was up and secure and we set our chairs.

We were very pleased to see Andrea, Kevin and Vicky. Although they have had a traumatic year, they remain cheerful. Andrea is back at work driving the coach for the school run, which is good news. She was fit enough to help with the gazebo and walk round the show. Kevin played the fool with wig and hat and made us laugh!

Spike was there with his family and his staff turned up too. His pick up looked pristine as usual. His friend Ray and his wife had joined us with their covered pick up. Dave and Scott went off for bacon butties. Gemma and Ollie and Pinch came for a chat. Gemma had hidden her Mini round the corner as it was a “project”. Not to worry, we told her, there were many of those in the club.

Then suddenly, Julia appeared. We couldn`t believe it. She told us that Phil was in the car. So after a chat I went back with her to see him. Julia and her daughters went off to get fish and chips and I had a chat with Phil. He was sat in the car as he cannot walk far. He seemed pleased to see me and I talked about huskies of which he has four.

As for the show, there were over 600 cars, more than usual. There was plenty of loud music. No auto stalls but lots for children and also retro clothes for Vicky. It was a very good show and although very windy, the rain had kept off. It had been lovely to catch up with old friends and new.

Then it was all hands to the deck, to get the gazebo down. Again we were nearly parachuted to France!

Jan and Roy

Charity Blanket[2]

3 Wise Monkeys

 

 

Deal Motor Show 2016 Line up Roy`s SelfieDeal Motor Show 2016 530[1]

L2B 2016

L2B was very good and so was the weather, very warm. Had a bit of an issue when we got there trying to park as some parts of Brighton you have to pay on line. Got it sorted though, with the aid of a kind young local couple. Met up with Si and his brother also Spike, Ben, DJ. ( Dan,Colin and Beth were also there but could not find them!!) Don`t know if Dave and Scott went. Managed to get the Mini World (£3) of us at Brooklands. Minis R US were there after all, and bought a few Mini bits. We left about 14;10 and drove to Cucksmead and had a picnic and then walked to the Seven Sisters, lovely.  Wish you were there. On the way back home there was a deluge from Brenzett and all the way home and all night.
See you soon, take care.

OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE IMM 2016

On Thursday the 12th May we met Clive and Sue at Dover and caught the 9.30am P&O Ferry to Calais. It was a beautiful day. There were many Minis aboard! After a smooth crossing we set off for Gent, in Belgium, where we were staying the night. (We had wimped out of camping) The journey was uneventful until we got lost in Gent! It is a beautiful town, cobbled, but with a trams, a one way system, road works, and hundreds of students on bicycles! We had a lovely afternoon and evening exploring the sights and tasting the local food and drink.

The following day, Friday, we eventually set off for Lommel. Clive had issues with his Mini but we will leave him to tell you his story. We travelled at a sedate pace as Fifi has a 30 year old 995cc engine and was carrying a very heavy gazebo plus tools, spare parts, chairs and our luggage. We eventually got to the outskirts of Antwerp and hit the most horrendous traffic jam. It took ¾ hour to get through to the Kennedy tunnel. We made good time and when we got to the road to Lommel we stopped at a garage. Then lo and behold, Ben & DJ, Dave & Scott, Dan & Pinch, turned up. They had sailed that morning to Dunkirk and after hitting the same traffic jam had caught up with us! Dave said “Thank you for waiting for us!” We then travelled in convey to Lommel.

We arrived at the vast IMM venue at Kristal Park. There were a few wind turbines which would give a clue to the possibility of wind! We were given a very generous goody bag by the Belgium club. We had a good campsite and set up the new event shelter. With too many cooks this was quite a fun experience! Eventually we had help from a neighbour. We immediately put Dan`s Mini underneath the gazebo to fix a petrol hose. The sun was out and we did a trawl of the numerous trade stands. There were plenty of food outlets and entertainment marquees. The main attraction was of course the thousands of classic Minis and their innovative forms of camping. There were matching pods, trailers, baby caravans, gazebos and tents of every shape. The customisation of the Minis was to be believed! There were flags of every EU nation flying. It was amazing! After two days of sun, the wind started to blow and the turbines started to spin, so we took off the sides of the gazebo, screwed it down and tied water bottles on!

We left to go to our hotel in Hamont. Clive used his Satnav. It was a very pretty coach house. There were two Spanish guests who had driven their 1972 Mini from Barcelona to the IMM. The other guests came out to admire the Minis. It was Whitsun holiday in Belgium and there was a brass band show in the village. Not much sleep that night!

On the Saturday, we had a full day at the IMM but it was cold and very windy. We needed those sides back up on the gazebo! There was a light show in the evening but we felt it was too windy to put up the solar lights we had brought to decorate the Minis and gazebo. When we back on the Sunday, we found that some of the tents had collapsed! Our gazebo was intact. We would not have left it if it was unsafe. We packed it away. It had been a really good IMM. Everyone was so friendly as Mini owners are. We left the site at 3 o clock. Ben & DJ and Dave & Scott went home. Dan & Pinch, joined Clive & Sue and ourselves for an evening meal. We were all leaving the next day, Monday.

The journey back was smooth and uneventful. We arrived at Calais early and got an earlier ferry. It was full of Minis and classic cars. There had been at least two rallies in France and Belgium. Our trip had been about 500 miles. We were so pleased with Fifi who was as good as gold!

Jan and Roy

We Made It![2]

 

IMM Belgium 2016  Clive & Sue’ View

Thursday 12th May :

Met up with Roy & Jan at Dover along with quite a few other minis all heading for the ferry. The prospects looked good for a smooth crossing to Calais.  On board we met up with a group from  “Minimine” also going to the IMM to set up a trade stall. I believe they had left Stoke at about 2 in the morning.

After a short while we were off the ferry and on our way to Ghent. Even with a SAT NAV we struggled to find the hotel in Ghent. The cobbled streets shook our mini up along with our teeth.  In desperation, a quick prayer and a local lad who spoke English we finally made it to an underground car park at the hotel. The night time scene in Ghent was a revelation. We were knee deep in students  as we wandered around a beautiful city lit up at every corner. Before setting off   next day Sue asked if I had checked the water. I hadn’t but a good job I did. There was none in the header tank. But a mystery, there was no sign of water on the floor. We had lost all the water on the way to the hotel.  Opened the bonnet. Roy said “start the engine”. I did and Roy got a soaking  as water spurted out from the thermostat gasket. It turned our that the stainless steel bolts Simon has put in prior to us leaving had worked loose.  Roy managed to tighten 2 out of 3 a bit but the third was too tight to the casting do anything.  With water replenished from the hotel cooler(I think I emptied it) we set off for Lommel via Antwerp with a plan to check the water every now and then.  On the way Roy & Jan’s mini suddenly cut out at a  turning for a filling station. This turned out to be very fortunate, as we topped with fuel, a Moke arrived to refuel. The owner and his wife had come from North Wales. He had some more spanners and managed to tighten 2 of the 3 bolts a bit more.  Pressing on we hit a a really heavy traffic jam around Antwerp. The mini was running so hot that Sue said her leg was turning red from the heat coming from the heater pipes. Our final stop to check water was just outside Lommel where  Dave, Ben and Dan caught up with us.  We were able to all arrive together at the site looking resplendent in our new KMC Tee shirts. First job for me was to buy a set of sockets to fit the remaining loose bolt on the thermostat housing.   Job done, we put the new KMC shelter up with a little help from the Robin Hood Mini Club members who had some experience of this type of shelter.

The next morning as we were about to leave the hotel I turned the key and nothing happened. Fortunately, the Spanish guys staying at the same hotel after driving from Barcelona in a 1972 mini were on hand to help.  Battery tested ok but the battery switch had failed. They shorted it out and we were off once again to the show.  Enjoyed the full day at the show with so many minis to see, including a German mini fan who had made his spot lights from stainless steel mixing bowls and mounted motorbike headlights in each bowl. Not only that but he had a solar powered dancing Queen Elizabeth on his dashboard. Amazing!

Sunday arrived along with a blustery wind which forced us to pack up the new shelter for safety. Again we received help for the Robin Hood Mini Club, which was much appreciated. Before we left the show Pinch said “if anything goes wrong give me a ring”.  This turned out to be prophetic. Travelling back to the hotel, we pulled in for fuel ready for the journey home. Stopped the engine as you do.  Went to start it to move to the pumps, just a grumbling noise from the starter motor.  Rang Pinch  and Dan back at the show and on their advice rocked the mini in 4th to free it up. Unfortunately, in the rocking process the rear wheel ran over my toe. That old favourite came to mind. “Do you know the minis on my foot? No you hum it and I’ll play it”.  Result! the mini started and off we went to the hotel. Suspecting the stater motor, we asked Pinch to buy one at the show and he and Dan agreed to drive over to our hotel and fit it. While Pinch got to work on the starter motor Dan was trying to find out why his hooter did not work.  I believe he discovered why his hooter did not work. It wasn’t there anymore. Work had been done on his mini back home and somehow they had forgot to put it back on. The fitting went well, replacing a 16 year old starter motor with a new one, what could go wrong. Job done, I turned the key and nothing.  After several more key turns it started. Still something wrong. However, confident we could always bump start in an emergency we would risk the journey back in convoy with Roy & Jan. The evening was spent in a local pub and restaurant where the six of us enjoyed some really good meals and Pinch the man & Tootless Dan found great joy in using a knife and fork once more.

The journey back was much smoother than our journey out and the mini did start at every stop after a few turns on the key.  Folks on the ferry who knew about our problems said they would push us off the ferry if it came to that at Dover. Arrived back home safely about 6.30 in the evening on Monday 16th.

Overall, we think the Belgian Mini Club are to be congratulated on a great and well run show.  We particularly liked the voucher system where each person was given I believe 14 vouchers to buy food and drink with. A tent was available to buy up more vouchers if required. This made getting served at the catering facilities much easier. Another plus was the way that the whole site was kept tidy by frequent emptying of waste bins.   The goody bag was well made and useful include a well designed T-shirt,  plaques, stickers, a pen and bin liner for rubbish.

Post script: Found a couple of things with Simon’s help today. Very loose negative earth connection to battery. Replaced connection. Ran secondary earth cable from new starter motor to bodywork earth. Since then, it has started first time on the key, so far. Watch this space for further developments.

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Brooklands 2016

This year we were fortunate that the clock change for Spring had been made a bit earlier. Therefore no excuses for being late at Clacketts.   Sadly we were well down in numbers for this event, partly due to sickness, human and mechanical. Simon was unable to make it this time as Caz was not too well. Dave had a bad back and  our mini decided to blow a head gasket on the day before Brooklands. Hence the Clacketts picture shows our Yeti standing in for the mini. The yellow mini belongs to the new Club formed in North Kent. Roy knew the guy so he parked with us.  Weather was good if a little on the chilly side out of the sun.  Our new pitch adjacent the Bus Museum was a great site, but looked a little empty as only 3 minis were there.  Several trips round the stalls were made with Roy finding some Angel Eyes without Jan’s permission; almost a a domestic incident but soon calmed as it was their 51st Wedding Anniversary. I noticed that there were far more food outlets this year which was a good thing if a little pricey. As always there’s plenty  to look round at Brooklands so everyone was well occupied.  We went on a bus trip outside the site to Weybridge Rail station and back. Plenty of nostalgia   for days gone by. Funny moment outside the Bus Museum, a BMW mini was trying to pass by a parked bus and was extremely cautious. The bus driver got out of the cab stood in front of the BMW and shouted “You could get a bus through there!”.    Met up with Paul, Ollie and Gemma busy buying bits for their ongoing projects. Later on met up with Phil who used to belong to the Club when he had a brown Turbo mini, which you might recall.

Roy made contact with a young lady who might become a member and I met a couple who were a bit disillusioned by their present Club and may join us sometime on a Fish & Chip run.

It was interesting to see the start of a planned development for the reinstating of  the old finishing straight once the old bomber hangar is moved to the new site. I noticed on the way to the public car park that the original pit stop buildings have been preserved even though they are outside of the present site boundary.  All in all an enjoyable day and all returned home safely.

Roy’s View
There should have been eight Minis going but due to last minute problems only three were able to make it to Clackets, Dave Page trapped a nerve in his back, Dan was working, Colin was preparing for a house move, Si was caring for a pregnant wife, but best excuse of all- was that Clive`s Mini head gasket blew! Luckily the night before as he went to put her to bed, the Mini that is. Good job that it did n`t happen on the way (or in Belgium)
Clive arrived at Clackets in his Yeti to hand out the club stand tickets and went on to Brooklands to meet up with us there. Ben, Graham and Helen, and a rather weary Roy and Jan (who had been to a party in London the night before) drove in a mini convoy to Brooklands. After a horrendous queue, they finally arrived. After a while a badly limping Dave arrived with son Scott.  Then a former member Phil Drake with his son joined us in their Mini. Suddenly although we did n`t all have our Minis, we had numbers. It was a very enjoyable day even though it was cloudy and not many stalls.  Some of us got a ride on a Route Master bus which was fun and quite enlightening seeing the race course and part of the surrounding area.
We were very proud of Fifi doing a round trip of 180 miles-good practice for Belgium!

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Never argue with a bus driver

 

 

 

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Could this be what Richard’s latest project could look like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obviously a Hamilton fan. Rock on!

 

 

 

 

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If you see this slipper on the road don’t try to overtake him. How does he keep the front wheel down?

 

 

 

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Christmas Buffet 2015

The Frog & Orange once again provided a very ample supply of food for us. So much so that doggy bags were required to clear some later on in the evening.  The raffle provided the usual amazing number of prizes; in fact maybe only one or two people missed out on a prize this year. Many thanks for your support this year. The Air Ambulance  is well supported by a number of classic car clubs and once again we made a very reasonable contribution to their funds.  You may know that they have a bigger helicopter now and are looking to move to Paddock Wood as a base although there seems to be some red tape hold up at present.

Sadly, not everyone could make it this year. We wished all who were not well to make a speedy recovery.

All eyes on the raffle prizes

All eyes on the raffle prizes

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Gemma enjoys a joke

 

 

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Magnetic bottle homes in on target!

 

 

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No prizes yet on this table

 

 

 

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Was it something I said?

 

 

 

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Who can I give this to at Christmas without arousing suspicion?

 

Fish & Chip run July 2015

This run was a new departure for the Club as the venue was the Golden Lion at Broadoak. 8 minis plus back up vehicle driven by Richard negotiated a quite twisting route through the outskirts of Canterbury via Fordwich village known as the smallest town in England; having previously been a Cinq Port it boasts a Mayor. Arriving at the Golden Lion we all settled and received our pre-ordered meals. I believe everyone (I think about 22 of us) had a enjoyable meal and very nearly filled the restaurant. I suspect this venue will be on our list for future trips. Special thanks to Roy & Jan for the route details and maps.

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Darling Buds  Classic Car Show July 2015

Well the weather forecast was good but as so often happens in England we were in for a soaking from the very start. Most of the 10 minis destined for the show met at Charing as usual.  Roy handed out the tickets and we were soon on the move to the show. Simon led the way but very soon it was clear to those following him that all was not well with the wiring as when he braked the indicator lights came on. It turned out that fuses had blown and the likely source of the fault was the trailer.  Arriving at the show, everyone was stopped for a photo by Bluepig.co.uk which you can buy from their stall.  It appeared there had been some changes in the layout this year but we were nicely positioned between the Rovers and the Ford Pops and not too close to the fun fair. Our grateful thanks to a friendly Marshall who Roy knows well.  Our first priority was the erection of the gazebo which Richard (our support vehicle man) had brought along in his latest Nissan acquisition.  Classic cars poured in as the opening time approached.  Some of us set off for an early squint at the stalls which were laid out differently this year. Seemed more of them this year to me.  Ellie arrived with her Model 2 mini along with Kevin and Andrea and family completing the line up of 10 minis.

The rain continued to soak many of us who were somewhat un-prepared,  shorts being a definite  bad decision.  Simon sorted his breakfast of fish & chips  while I went to get Sue a hot chocolate and latte for myself.  Strangely , Latte was off,  only Cappuccino available. Did my best to get it back to the Clubstand without too much rain dilution. £2  a cup and no extra charge for the lids. Not such a bargain later on when Roy and myself fancied a beer. “How much” said Roy, the lady said £8. Roy nearly fell off his perch. “HOW MUCH” said Roy. There was no budging her.  What you call and educational visit to the bar, at least it taught us a lesson.  Bring your own beer in future.

Those selling umbrellas did a roaring trade during the morning so walking round the stalls was a bit like an obstacle course at times dodging the spikes. Jan added to the the mix by buying a very large Owl umbrella which was very useful in spotting where she was from time to time.  Everyone agreed that there was a good number of classic vehicles about and many that had not been seen before. Graham picked up a bargain, a diagnostic kit with Rover attachments. If it works could be very useful at times. Helen was not so impressed as I recall, so could be a shopping trip for Graham soon.  Richard picked up a couple of nice cast Esso man & woman money boxes for Spike who is into restoring petrol pumps at the moment ( as you do). Is there no end to Spikes talents?  Talking of Spike, Richard says he’s picked up a few more Best in Shows recently. They just keep on coming. Well done Spike.

Eventually, with a bit of divine intervention, the sun came out and warmed up the rain which did eventually stop. Quite a few people stopped by to view the minis. I didn’t see many other minis at the show apart from Paul’s two Coopers  and two very early 850s. Later on Andrea had to go as did Ben and then Dave & family.  After an appeal for someone with a mini to go into the ring Ellie volunteered or was pushed I’m not sure which. Well done Ellie you did a great job and mentioned the Club also.

Overall, the organisers felt that numbers were down from previous years which is to be expected with the rain. However, everyone remained cheerful throughout the day and received a very nice memento to take way, (no not wet socks and tee shirt), a colourful plaque and very different to previous years.

Finally, a very special thank you to Richard for being our Support man for the day and providing the much needed gazebo shelter .    We all owe you a pint. Perhaps not all at the same time though.

Here’s a few pics, more to follow from Roy.

Could this be the biggest Punch & Judy Show --------- in the world

Could this be the biggest Punch & Judy Show ———
in the world

 

 

Roy playing hunt the gazebo

Roy playing hunt the gazebo

Paul's Coopers

Paul’s Coopers

A friendly Italian

A friendly Italian

Richard with his hands full again.

Richard with his hands full again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brand's Hatch Mini Festival 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line up at Brands

A very mini mechanic!

A very mini mechanic!

The Skys the limit

The Skys the limit

Badly damaged mini seeks new owner with deep pockets!

Badly damaged mini seeks new owner with deep pockets!

Simon the Great - Mender of Minis. To the rescue again.

Simon the Great – Mender of Minis. To the rescue again.

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This ones got your name on it Spike. Interested in a spot of racing?

This ones got your name on it Spike. Interested in a spot of racing?

 

Blessing the engine ceremony!

Blessing the engine ceremony!

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Everyone wanted to help this mini get back to France!

Everyone wanted to help this mini get back to France!

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Close racing at Druids

Close racing at Druids

How many men does it take to change an oil pressure switch! Answers on a postcard

How many men does it take to change an oil pressure switch! Answers on a postcard

 

 

Bucket & Spade run June 2015

We left Challock just before 10. Kevin Andrea and Jen in a Rover 2000, Chris and Rob March with a bright orange Escort plus their Mini, Graham and Helen with theirs and ourselves in Fifi! There was a bit of a squeeze as we left and the American cars arrived!
Other minis joined behind us and after a few miles they took a wrong turning. We, however, followed the instructions and soon caught up with the group in front. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery beautiful and the route superb. The organisation was great with signs at most relevant junctions. A couple of cars did break down but not us!
After about 40 miles, and passing the Frog and Orange, we arrived at Ramsgate in good time, only to find that the other minis had arrived before us! They had taken a short cut via the satnav! Roy cried Cheat! We had all had great fun and a chat.
There was a good selection of cars as always, including quite a few minis. Jan forgot her cossie for a swim, so no-one could mistake her for a seal!

Roy and Jan

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Deal Classic Car show May 2015
We had not got “Fifi” so we went to the show by bus, which was an experience. The Morgan family were there with their “Minis” Spike was there with his family showing off his silverware and his pets in the engine bay!! The weather was sunny the sea was calm just right for picnics. Brilliant display of cars and ariel display of a Spitfire and a Hurricane. We saw Gerald Wardle and his family, including Jason. Pinch was having a good time with a girl on each arm!! After a pint or two, we caught the bus home.

Roy and Jan

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L2B 2015 30th Anniversary 

This was always going to be the big event of the year. I believe the tickets sold out in a matter of days compared to a few weeks in previous years.

Quite a few members made the trip this year either from Crystal Palace or from home. Richard Pinchin and Spike were there with the all conquering mIni pick up. Dave and son Scott were there sans mini (still in the rebuild stage sadly). Ben and BJ, Gemma and Ollie, Colin, Simon and Carrie, Roy and Jan, Graham along with Clive and Sue and Jo.

Simon and Carrie , Graham and myself with Sue & Jo made the trip down via Tunbridge Wells. A very pleasant run on a sunny morning on relatively quiet roads.  Arriving too early to get in we dived down the Marina for a quick coffee and breakfast for some.  There we met Gemma & Ollie who had parked in the muli-storey opposite Macdonalds as they needed to get away early for a later appointment.

From there we joined the queue to get in which was stretched back as far as the Marina this year.  We were so far back we thought that we would be parked right down the end near the Marina but Praise the Lord when we got to the front there was a change of direction and we were directed towards the pier end, parked up close to the burger stall, bar and loos (always a bonus). Our everlasting thanks to the organisers for saving our feet from blisters.

The search for bits begins.  Simon had a lucky find. He’d been looking for a new larger capacity rad for about 4 years, not wanting to import one due to the high cost and dodgy postal service from China when there it was a £100 quids worth of rad the only one left on the stand. Simon snapped it up  and abandoned all hope of buying more shiny bits.

I splashed out and bought a £2 quid nut for my front wheel.  However, my wallet did get a proper airing when Simon pointed out some white alloy wheels we had seen last year at the show. This time I succumbed  and decided to go for it in the hope that some money could be recovered by the sale of the existing set. Buying wheels is one thing, transporting them back to where we were parked was  another.  My daughter Jo carried one, I carried one and  Simon carried two. This led to a funny moment which could have been quite a disaster for the owner of a BMW mini.   Simon dropped a wheel which bounced and ran away heading for a parked BMW. With superman calibre strength Simon reached out and just stopped it severely damaging  the BMW. Such was the feat that people stopped and cheered Simon. Such was the encouragement, he was thinking of entering X factor juggling Mini-lites under the name “Wheeler Dealer” but Carrie was having none of it.

Met up with Andy (Spike) and Richard along with Dave & Scott  near the Show n Shine. After Spikes two wins in a row at Brighton, it seemed a long shot that a 3rd could be bagged.  Well “Sop me Bob” as my old mother used to say he did it again. Congratulations Spike yet again. Can there be anybody out there to beat the Phantom Polisher from Olde Deal Town.

Back at the Burger Bar, we met up with Roy & Jan who had a nice surprise from the folks at Mini R Us  who had bought them both an Anniversary present.  Simon got to work and very kindly changed all my wheels.  We did try to sell them there but sadly had to bring them back for sale on Face Bay or Ebay.  But Simon manage to sell all his odds and ends including a steering wheel and grill. Talking of grills, the weathermen got it spectacularly wrong on the day. Forecast was cloudy all day. What did we get, sunny all day, everybody sunburned.  No complaints really, it was a cracking show and so much better for the weather.

Really pleased with the well designed tee shirt this year. I see from the Programme that there’s a competition  to design next year’s tee shirt. So give it some thoughts budding designers among you out there. Here’s a few pics from the day.

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The winning shine again

 

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Roy & Jans 50th Wedding Anniversary
Meeting night 11th April 2015

Although a few folks were unable to make it due to holidays etc those that came to the F & O enjoyed a really good celebration for Roy & Jan. The actual date was 3rd April but as Roy & Jan were in the USA with their daughter’s family then, this was the nearest date we could get.

Sue made a cake for the celebration and my brother in law modified a scale model of their Piccadilly complete with correctly coloured upholstery and all badges and spot lights to sit on the cake. In addition, he did a rally style plaque with helmeted Roy & Jan in it. We were very fortunate that they came to the meeting having only flown back from USA on that day. The happy but tired couple were toasted by us all and helpings of cake passed round. It was good to see Kevin and Andrea following their recent ops.

Congratulations to you both for giving us all such a good example of married life and for all you have done for the KMC over the years.

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Belgian Minis on Tour of Kent March 2015

Our final entry for this event was 3 minis, Roy and Jan, Ben with Dave & Scott and Clive and Sue.Sadly Gemma was unable join us as she was expecting a delivery of parts that morning. We joined up to 35 minis mainly from Belgium plus a few from the UK, some from as far away as Nottingham. Surprising number of Mokes turned up in spite of the cold start to the day. Wesley Berloo, the organiser, briefed us in groups by nationality and handed out the maps which were Rally style maps without road names or Nos on. This did not bode well for our group. The plan was to set off in groups of about 4 on a route that would lead us to Brogdale Faversham. All went well for about 5 minutes into the run, when Ben led off on a route the rest of us did not agree with. We went a different route and ended up in a farm yard dead end. I thought the people waiting for a bus looked at us a bit strangely as we bombed up a turning by them. We were just consulting the map having turned round when ” Follow me Ben” rolled into the farm yard as well. So much for his superior route. Not deterred we pressed on into darkest Stowting and Rhodes Minnis. Much to our surprise we were being approached from the opposite direction by some mini folks who also knew nothing about Rally Maps. We turned and followed them for a while thinking they knew something we didn’t. WRONG! They knew NOTHING. Wacky races meets Keystone cops just about sums up this part of the run. 30 minutes later after crossing and recrossing the Bermuda triangle of Kent we decided on a narrow lane more in hope than judgement. Within seconds two horses and riders were in front of us and turning in their saddles, looking for a place to get out of the way. A few seconds more, and they looked even more anxious as another 12 minis joined us in the queue. Astonished, they peeked at us as we all filed past them in a gateway. By now Roy & Jan Sue and myself were becoming a bit desperate about finding a main road to escape to Brogdale for lunch. After a very winding route where I picked up a forked branch trapped between my exhaust and the ground making an awful racket, we managed to find Wye and a loo, Praise God. It was a bit like Livingstone finding Victoria Falls. How glad we were to recognise a bit of our own county once again. A fast ride to Brogdale ensued where we found a number of the minis has already made it ok. Some cheated I’m sure. Wesley had laid on a lunch in a separate room for us all. While chatting at the table we found a guy from Sussex who knew how to read the rally maps. We were on a winner at last!

Lunch time over, second half, a convoluted trip between Faversham and Hollingbourne. This time we managed to hang on to the leaders over some of the worst pot holed parts of Kent I’d ever seen. It was a case of “pot hole left pot hole right don’t cut”. At one point about ten minis with Roy leading had to stop and let a two horse carriage through. Sue said I was expecting to see Dick Turpin coming round the next bend demanding our minis or our lives. We passed the turning for the Ringlestone Arms pub. I decided to turn back and go straight to the pub. Alas Ben thought I’d broke down and turned round to look for us. Confusion reigns once more. Finally we all met up at the pub which was crowded as it was Mothers Day. Overall an eventful day for just about everyone, but an experience not many of us will be able to forget. Our thanks to Wesley for organising the event which brought much laughter along with some bizarre moments. Wesley mentioned that details of the IMM Belgium 2016 will be on his web site soon if we as a club want to get booked up.

Gathering at Stop 24 M20

Gathering at Stop 24 M20

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Lunch at last at Brogdale

Lunch at last at Brogdale

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Mini Fair Hadley Hall Staffs 2015

A few of us ventured up north for this amazing Fair this year. I believe Dave, Ben and Pinch travelled up in one car and Simon with family met up with Sue and myself before going in. Queue was long but kept moving and we were all in within about 15 minutes. We were not disappointed as this show is really well attended and stuffed full with stalls of traders selling the bits we all need before another year of shows gets under way.

My modest buy was a pair of steering rack gators, whereas Simon was looking for a Mark 1 grill to modify his mini once more. Watch out for it this year, many changes happening. If anyone wants a lesson on how to haggle you should see Simon’s young niece in action. By the time she had finished with the trader I believe he would have almost paid her to take it away. See Simon for rates for her bargaining skill if intending to buy a more expensive item. The attendance was so good this year that Simon and family + Sue and myself did not actually meet up with our Club mates. By about 3.30 we were ready to leave but the others were waiting for the Mini to be raffled for a pound at 4pm. The snag was that the winner had to drive the mini away on the day.

All in all a very good show. Sadly Spike did not make it, as he had intended to show his Pick Up. We wish him well and hope to see him at some of the shows this year.

Christmas Buffet 2015

Once again the Frog & Orange catered for our buffet which you can see by the pics was varied and plentiful. Approx 17 members attended this festive meet which consistent with the Christmas theme of the supreme Gift, did not disappoint with a goodly number of raffle gifts from multicoloured Vodka shots to Bosch windscreen wiper blades. It was a really good atmosphere as we gathered in the bar with a roaring fire which was so hot we all had to take turns sitting near it. It wasn’t too long before we gravitated to the food area where there was plenty for all, and some. Sadly we were missing a few members including Phil & Julia, Kevin & Andrea and their girls plus Keith & Amanda who had a domestic emergency, Simon & Carrie, Jon and Dan.

Those of you who came to the 2014 IMM will recall that Spike had Best in Show for his pick up. Roy and myself thought that it would be good to commemorate his achievement with a trophy of our own. After much deliberation a trophy was chosen and engraved ( See pic below). With some conivence it was arranged that Spike would be at the buffet not knowing what we had planned. Roy duly presented the trophy to Spike ( Andrew Nash as it says on the trophy). He was truly amazed and delighted which is what we were hoping for. Well done Spike, never was a trophy more deserved and fitting for an International Show.

The raffle in aid of Air Ambulance produced the usual set of multiple winners with even some folks managing to win back the prize they bought and brought, I have to admit it was a very nice table lamp Colin. The total raised was £41 which was encouraging considering there was only 17 of us.

Following the consuming of much food and not a few doggy bags to clear up, Roy present a floral arrangement from the Club to our host. Finally, we all signed a card for Phil & Julia wishing him a speedy recovery.

A very Happy & Prosperous & Healthy New Year to all our members.

KMC Buffet 2014 1

KMC Buffet 2014 2

Roy presenting Andrew with the 2014 IMM Best in Show trophy

Roy presenting Andrew with the 2014 IMM Best in Show trophy

KMC Buffet 2014 4

KMC Buffet 2014 5

KMC Spikes award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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