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2013 - 10th Corinium Run - 14th Apr

This tour was the second in the 2013 HRCR Scenic Tours series, sponsored by Clayton Classics. The event is slightly different to other tours in so much as there is an element of economy involved. The aim here is to drive the classic car and achieve as near as possible one’s estimated fuel consumption for the day.

To start the day, there was an opportunity to check the trip meter on the measured mile before making a visit to Burford Road Services to fill up the car with fuel and have the tank sealed. From fuel, there was a short 2.5 mile run to the event start at the Royal Agricultural College. As is the norm on the Corinium Run, there was a perfect Tulip Road Book included in the final instructions for this part of the route. The stunning buildings here, dating back to 1845, presented a perfect backdrop to the full entry of over 70 beautiful classic cars - plus the ten very important travelling marshals.

This was the 10th Anniversary of the Corinium Run and a number of cars were proudly displaying gold rally plates signifying that the crews had competed on all ten runs. Having signed on, there was time to look at the superb coloured road book that had very clear overview maps of each leg, showing the entire tulip reference numbers. A fantastic idea and a great aid to new entrants who may have some problems with route finding.

At 09.30 hours, the first car was flagged away from the start on a bright, sunny and crisp morning. The route went via Stratton (no relation to the reporters), Daglingworth and Middle Duntisbourne and then to the Duntisbourne Leer Ford for a big water splash at the popular photo point. The organisers had chosen some of the great Cotswolds’ roads, offering stunning views and some steep climbs which must have affected some of the estimated mpgs. The first leg ended at the Denfurlong Farm shop for the first break of the tour. The route now continued in a mostly-northerly direction, passing Yanworth -with more stunning views - and then came Compton Abdale and more fuel-sapping hills! Next on the agenda was a run through Salperton Park, with masses of young lambs enjoying the morning sun. A trip through Westfield and the lovely village of Naunton took us to Huntsman’s Quarries

weighbridge at tulip number 234 for car and crew to be weighed. The results of the weights would be used in the Cirencester efficiency number at the end of the day. From the quarry, we journeyed south to Guiting Power before passing through Temple Guiting and Condicote.

The route now continued to Bourton-on-the-Hill, the high roads here offering great views over the rolling Cotswolds Hills. The lunch halt was taken at the Batsford Arboretum and, to enter this venue, the cars were allowed to use the private road from the village to the garden centre, passing the neo-Tudor mansion dating from the late 1800’s - a treat not normally allowed to car visitors here. The end to this third leg had brought a total mileage of 56 so far.

There was now a wide choice for the crews: to take lunch at the very modern garden centre, picnic in the Batsford grounds or explore the delights of Moreton-in-Marsh for alternative eating places as a generous 1.5 hours had been allowed for this break. The large car park at

Timothy’s Café on the outskirts of Moreton was used for the start of the 5th leg. Leaving the control here to the east and then north, the route used the open flowing roads to Great Wolford. A clockwise loop of roads through Barton-on-the-Heath and Little Compton took the crews over the border into Oxfordshire. The single track road through the Chastleton Estate gave some stunning distant views and the huge Chastleton House was a delight to see. This house, now in the hands of the National Trust, has a very interesting history, covering some 400 years, and once being owned by Robert Catesby - him of the Gunpowder Plot!

History lesson over, we now motored on past Evenlode, Donnington (famous for its brewery), Upper Swell and onto one of the gems of the Cotswolds - the Slaughters. Next came Little Rissington and then to the very busy tourist town of Bourton-on-the-Water, with its shallow river running through the centre. Leaving the bustle of Bourton behind, the route passed the motor museum and then to Hampnett which was followed by the gated road to join the A429, en route to Northleach. Tricky, but very clear tulip directions took the route round two sides of the Londis shop and out of the town to Coln Rogers, Winson and Ablington. This stunning village was quite fantastic with comments of “Wow!” coming from navigator Hilary.

The next treat was Bibury, famous for the Arlington Row cottages and for trout farms, which are fed by the River Coln – but, sadly, no time to catch tea today! The next village to be passed was Coln St Aldwyns, followed by Quenington and then a loop round Fairford. Honeycomb Leaze and Ampney St Mary took the route in a westerly direction to the last time control at the event sponsors’ premises - Ivor Webb & Son Ltd. This company has supported the Corinium Run for the full 10 years -  hearty thanks to the Webb family for their support.

A short run took us to the start garage to have the seal removed and refilled with petrol. Dippy was quite thirsty and there was not much hope of achieving our nominated 33.5 mpg - those Cotswold Hills had made it pretty difficult to conserve fuel! Another 2.5 miles brought the cars and crews back to the magnificent start venue of the Royal Agricultural College. Within a short time of the cars arriving back, the first certificates were being handed out to the finishers and, to those 10 year veterans, there was yet another surprise - gold certificates! What more could they ask for? Our consumption came in at 28.67 mpg - I think the report will read, “Could do better next year”!

The mix of roads used and the Cotswold gems visited were just perfect and the road book and paperwork have to be amongst the best in the series. In closing, a huge vote of thanks must go to Martin Saunders and his team, plus all the marshals who made this tour a delight to compete on.  

Our sincere thanks to Peter Fieldhouse for all his help in editing our report and also to Martin Saunders for the photographs.

Hilary and Mike Stratton plus Dippy