The 28th April started with the gathering of 22 members in the very welcoming reception of the Holiday Inn at Hothfield on the A20 near Charing. Each team was provided with a set of Tulip style instructions before being sent off at intervals. Eleven cars took part and, following the instructions, travelled through a lovely green and Spring like country route to our lunch venue at Lydd Airport. A red envelope had previously been provided, containing the final destination details, just in case the navigation did not go to plan.
As it turned out, everyone made it and enjoyed a very tasty and well cooked Sunday roast followed by – in most cases – a fairly light pudding of fruit and cream.
The red envelope also contained the address of the optional second part of the day, which was a visit to Turner Classics at Manston. Nine teams elected to do this, but rather than travel individually, we decided to travel in convoy. The route, decided mostly by my satnav worked well and even took us through some very beautiful Bluebell woods on the way. The Bluebells being at their very best just now. The JEC had also arranged to visit Turner Classics, so we were not surprised to see some of our JEC friends there. On arrival at Turner Classics we were greeted by a very impressive facility with some beautiful cars undergoing restoration. Mostly, but not exclusively Jaguars and of the classic era. XK’s e-Types and XJS and early XJ cars were being worked on. One that particularly caught my eye was an early e-Type 4.2 presented in better than new condition. Absolutely beautiful. Sadly it had a price tag that did not suit my pocket, so I reluctantly left it where I found it. Several gleaming XK engines - one that would fit nicely in my Mk11 were to be found in their engine facility. Unfortunately it would instantly make the rest of the car look a bit dowdy by comparison. They also have a trim shop and good contacts for any work they do not do themselves, so they can offer a one stop shop for our cars.
There were free flowing drinks and rather too may very fresh and tasty cakes (did I need them after the roast dinner earlier in the day? – Of course I did!). I did my best! Ian Turner and his crew were great hosts and it rounded of a very successful day.