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2009 HRCR N.E.W.S Run 4th May



Following on from our trip to France last September where we competed on the Continental Car Tours Laon Champagne GT, we decided to enter the N.E.W.S Run from the same company. This event was organised by the Historic Car Rally Register and the title comes from a starting point in the North, East, West and South. 

We choose the West start which was actually in Gloucester, out of the 101 total entries 25 had elected to start in the West. On the French trip we were in the company of Susan and Ian Butcher, they had decided to miss this one but on receipt of the final instructions we were pleased to see Kath and Bill Skermer’s names on the entry list (both are past committee members of QMC). The usual signing on formalities was at 08.30 hours with a promised start of 09.00 hours but due to the large entry car 1 did not leave till 09.30 hours. 

Our number was 17 and our due time at TC 1 was 09.56 one minute after the Skermer’s. Sadly it was typical Bank Holiday Monday weather and just before the start a rapid fitting of Bill’s car hood had to made to keep out the rain. No such problems for our trusty VW Bora but we did feel for the 4 up in a German registered Mercedes 560 that only had a golf umbrella for protection. The driver said that the renovation of the car had taken longer than planned and hence no roof. But at over 50 mph the driver claimed the rain was not a problem it just goes over the top. 

At our due time we started by Colin Francis OBE (another ex committee member of QMC) he was having a day off from co-driving and seeing the other side of Motor Sport. As with the other event from this company the Road Book was superb very clear with just tulip diagrams to follow. Our first stop was at the Beckford Silk Mill where a coffee stop or a visit to the mill could be made. This did rather hurt Bill’s pocket, Kath found a very nice silk head silk to but purchase just the thing for an open top Triumph 250. 

The route now went via Grafton, Sedgeberrow, Winchcombe, past the Prescott Hill Climb to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway at Toddington. This was much more of interest to us as there were real steam trains to see during the short break. We had covered 46 miles up to this point on some very interesting and demanding roads. From Toddington the route was now into real Cotswold country passing through Stow on the Wold, Little Rissington, and Charlbury to Middle Barton Garage for the end of leg 2 with another 40.2 miles covered. 

The roads on this section had been much more open and had the weather been kinder there could have been some superb views to be seen over the Cotswolds. At the garage we were booked in by the West section travelling marshals much like Tour Britannia the same faces keep appearing in odd places. The route stayed in the Cotswolds going past Chipping Norton, Tadmarton and Wroxton the roads on this part of the route again became more demanding with some difficult junctions to find. 

The route then left Cotswold Country and passed over the boarder into Warwickshire through Horley and Warmington to the finish at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon. At Gaydon we joined the other entrants that had started from the other starting points and the car park was full of a wonderful display of cars from a number of decades. We signed in at the final control in hall 1 and were given a very nice finishers certificate, my thanks must go to Hilary for guiding me round the 116.5 mile route without one wrong slot. 

For anyone wanting to practice their tulip diagram navigating I can fully recommend trying one of Continental Car Tours Events. For HRCR members the entry fee was £49.00. including 2 entrance tickets to the museum. Other entries cost £89.00. but this fee included a 12 month subscription to HRCR I consider both gave very good value for money. Our next event with them is the Donor Card GT Charity Event 9th of August starting from Gaydon. 

After refreshments at Gaydon and a tour of the museum the hour of 17.00 had arrived the time for the museum to close, so it was time for the drive back to Devon. A superb day out which has roused the interest even further into finding a classic car to compete in other events that have age related restrictions in the regulations.

Mike Stratton.