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2011 Chipping Sodbury Classic Run





  An early morning start at 07.30 hours saw the cars assembling in the closed-off town centre of Chipping Sodbury - a good move on the organisers’ part as they had received 171 entries for this fund-raising charity event. This was to be a new event for Dippy and crew – and we were looking forward to it!


We were seeded at number 115 and had a due start time of 09.48.30. The whole town had been taken over by this event; the local estate agent’s office was acting as event HQ and the local pub was the place to eat your breakfast rolls – after the bacon and sausages had been barbecued outside on the pavement by the RNLI fund-raisers. Who could miss out on these?


Refreshments over, it was now time to look over the event paperwork and see just what was in store for us. The first shock for Hilary was no that there were no tulip diagrams - her preferred method of guiding Dippy around. The route was to use the descriptive signs’ method, with the help of local finger posts. The running mileage was also causing a problem on the notes, so some time was spent converting 4 pages of notes to intermediate miles - a job that was to prove worth doing.

There was now time to walk around the wonderful array of cars and motor bikes that were parked in Broad Street; it was the most varied entry that we have ever seen on a tour. At just after 10.00 hours, we were flagged away by the Mayor and the President of the Rotary Club. The reason for our delayed start was a small problem with the public address system that was being used to give the large crowd of onlookers a potted history of each car.


Leaving the town centre, we were soon out into the country on a now beautiful sunny morning. The route went via Hawkesbury Upton, Somerset Monument and onto Wotton-under-Edge. From here, we passed by Nailsworth, Minchinhampton Common and the Camp to the first refreshment break at the Churchdown Community Centre, where the home-made cakes and coffee were very welcome.


The route then went in a southerly direction, first crossing the M5 on the way to Leckhampton. Next we passed by Elkstone, Malmesbury, Grittleton House and across the M4 to the Castle Combe Race Circuit, which we had visited just one week previously whilst working on Tour Britannia. It certainly looked a different place with hot summer sun and not the pouring rain we had experienced a few days previously. The sumptuous ploughman’s lunch that was laid on by the organisers was a fantastic end to the tour.


The roads for the 82-mile route had been very well chosen, considering it was high summer and very little local traffic was encountered. The mileages were also some of the most accurate we have encountered. At the circuit, Bristol Motor Car Club was also holding their centenary celebrations with cars and motorbikes spanning the 100 years performing on the track and this was certainly another bonus. One final touch before we made our way back to Devon was the presentation of a finisher’s certificate, including a photograph of our car at the start of the event. A superb tour; we hope that lots of funds were raised for the charities concerned.


Our sincere thanks once again to Peter Fieldhouse for all his help in the production of our report.


Hilary and Mike Stratton plus Dippy.