The Eleventh East Anglia Event – May 2016

By Steve Jacobs  

The first “real” Club event of 2016 took place over the weekend 6th/8th May, centering on the small Norfolk village of Scoulton. The weather forecast was terrific and it really looked like the long winter was over – yes, our hosts, Roy and Jenny Potton had even organised the weather! – so Sharon and I elected to use the Gloria Tourer for our journey down – the Southern Cross project being finished but not proven and, with only a couple of miles, mainly on axle stands in the garage, on the clock, we thought the projected 300 miles a bit too much of an ask! MG 4130 hummed along at a pleasant 50 mph and we soon arrived at our accommodation at the Old Windmill pub in the village of Great Cressingham. Very comfy, clean and with good beer and food, well deserving of its good TripAdvisor rating.

After a good night and a whopping breakfast, we fired up and made the short journey to Scoulton together with David and Cynthia in their Southern Cross to meet our fellow Club members. Roy and Jenny were their usual welcoming selves, Brian and Janet were there in their splendid Dolomite saloon with their chum Bob, Cecil and Carol with the impressive 6 cylinder Dolomite Roadster, Richard and Jackie and Mike and Val had arrived in their Gloria saloons and Trevor Sherwood appeared not in his Gloria, but its stable-mate, a beautiful TR 2 in a very period shade of primrose. Two cars misbehaved before the weekend really started. Chris and Julie planned to give the van an airing as their Ten was leaking oil from the rear of the engine and serious work was contemplated but at the last minute, our one surviving commercial voted in sympathy and decided to cover the garage floor with oil from the back axle. Roy’s Nine chose to play up too, boiling up on a run to get fuel and diagnosed quickly as a failing core plug. No time to fix them with everything else to do, so modern cars were pressed into service. Tony and Jill were to join us at the museum in their eye-catching Dolomite too.

Our run to the transport museum was “interesting” as we elected a more scenic route than the sensible one prepared by our hosts. A combination of stupidity and ignoring the sat nav led us down lanes in the Norfolk countryside that were single vehicle tracks and had grass growing in the middle. It seemed to take ages but we arrived, still in good humour to meet the others and the museum was really worth the look.

Run wholly by volunteers, Roy and Jenny had talked them in to opening especially for us. Trolley buses, trams, a diesel powered small train, all were put at our disposal, together with various displays of transport, utility vehicles, buildings and memorabilia from a past age, all lovingly restored by this dedicated bunch. some of us making our way to Spooner Row – the village where our spares team, Richard and Jackie live to visit and review all they had done in the short time they’ve had hold of our spares. Richard’s beautiful workshops, his collection of vintage motorcycles and all manner of interesting bits and pieces made this a visit almost to rival the museum!

Arriving back at Great Cressingham, there was time to change and for a glass of something “refreshing” before the taxi turned up to take us to Broome Hall for dinner and 28 of us sat down to another excellent and satisfying meal. No Jenny, of course, but Roy arrived and reported that she was home, thankfully. It was a very nice evening but most of us had her in our minds.

We assembled at Scoulton early on Sunday morning to show off our line up to the general public passing by and once our photo shoot was completed we left, following their detailed instructions through the Norfolk countryside towards Fakenham, and the Langham Glass Company. It was a most interesting visit and we were all educated in glass fashioning, model making and glass blowing. The stuff was delightful – especially their little blue fox, commemorating Leicester City’s Premiership victory (at 90 quid a throw!) but we left empty handed. The others processed onward to the lavender fields but, with a long journey to do, family to see and the prospect of busy roads on a hot day, Sharon and I threw the towel in and headed for home – a shame really as the reports of that activity from the others made it sound splendid, with beautiful grounds and an excellent cafe. We trundled back, picked up a pint at a pub on the banks of the river Trent and reflected on what had been a splendid weekend in the company of some of our closest friends.

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