We started off the year with three excellent speakers.
At the February meeting we were given an insight into the degrees of dedication and care that is needed to take professional and effective photos of cars.
The talk in March on “The Humorous Side of Policing” by a retired police officer was one of our best ever.
Our talk in April was a return visit of our special Jaguar speaker, Peter Leake, whose talk this year was “The Cat is Back – the story of the XK8”. Again Peter lived up to his high reputation and gave us an interesting and entertaining evening.
The first show of the year had a good turn-out of cars for the Heritage Transport Show at Detling Showground on the first Saturday in April. We were again situated in the main exhibition hall although somewhat tight for space we managed to shuffle everybody around in the end to fit in and the weather was much better than other years.
We again returned to Cobham Hall for our annual Spring Lunch on 17th April, this time we were given the opportunity of having a tour of the mansion before our lunch which was very interesting. Because there were so many of us this year we were moved to the Gilt Room which is a truly beautiful setting. The meal as always was very good and the staff very attentive and helpful.
This year we decided to participate in the National Drive It Day on 24th April and in order to make it a bit more interesting we combined this with our annual Treasure Hunt. The Simmons’ came first somehow (I hear you say fix!!) but we seemed to zip through the questions only missing out one. It was a very lovely spring day and little did we know that at the end of it our secret venue for lunch was at Liz and Richard’s house. They put on a wonderful spread for those who participated but possibly regretted it afterwards after we managed to put loads of ruts in their front lawn!
On 1st May we returned to the seafront at Eastbourne – the weather was a lot better than previous years (lovely and hot) and this time we had the gazebo up to shade us from the sun and not the wind and rain.
The following Sunday we were at Leeds Castle for Motors by the Moat. It was a beautiful day and there were record crowds and cars on display, again a great day out.
For our May club night we held our annual Pudding Competition and also had a talk from Carl Gannon of Xtreme Jaguar Restorations Ltd. This was a brilliant evening. Carl’s talk was most informative and it was a pleasure to hear someone speak about a subject he is so committed to and so very knowledgeable on. We then sampled all the puddings that members had brought along, all far too delicious.
Our July All Jaguar and BBQ evening was again well attended. Nik Drukker, Chairman of the Board of Jaguar Drivers’ Club joined us for the evening. Carl Gannon judged the cars with the help of Michele and her baby wallaby Joey Essex who was the star of the evening. There were trophies for the best pre-1975 and post 1975 Jaguars, and the ladies voted for the car they would most like to be ‘taken to the Ball in’. This was won by a glorious Mark 10 420.
In August we held our Fish and Chips and games evening. Gentlemen were asked to come in their loudest shirts and the ladies with strange head-gear or hairstyle. Members enjoyed a good evening.
We have attended more car shows: Display of Masters Series Racing at Brands Hatch – which was disappointing, Bromley Pageant which was very busy as usual, Gears of Change and Fought for Freedom at Quex Park, and the Appledore Show. This was a new show for the club and they made us very welcome. There were great displays of cars and clubs. Dover car show unfortunately clashed with major delays on the roads leading to Dover due to increased security checking at the port and although some of our members tried to get there most failed miserably so aborted trying. It was a shame because we were really looking forward to that one and the weather was lovely that day as well.
One of our members very kindly arranged for a special visit to Sissinghurst Castle but unfortunately the weather was not kind to us (it drizzled and then came the full on rain). Eventually late in the afternoon the sun decided to come out but most of us had abandoned ship by then. The house and gardens were still wonderful despite the weather.
Also in August some of our members attended the Cranleigh Show which is always a big event.
We also attended the Whitstable Show and the Old Timers at Folkestone, for both of which the weather was beautiful with plenty of cars to see although not really many stalls or anything of that kind around, but the views and weather made up for it.
The last show of the year was Aylesford Priory. As always it was jam packed with cars and a good array of stalls around.
This year the annual JDC National Rally took place in Kent and several of our members took part in the event and helped with the marshalling.
Our final event of the year was our annual Christmas Meal, held at the Dog and Bear. As usual great food and company with a chance to reminisce about the year and discuss plans for 2017.
On a sad note, we lost two of our most long-standing members. Peter Maunders in June and more recently Stan Rogers in November. Both are greatly missed but we know they will always be with us in spirit.
Looking forward for 2017 I hope you all will carry on supporting the club and participating in club events.