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2015 Classic Harvest Tour

The Classic Harvest Tour - 20th September

Dippy had an MOT service and was all ready to go on The Classic Harvest Tour with Chris Flemington at the steering wheel. I made the journey to West Berkshire from Devon on Thursday 17th September, 136 miles from Ottery St. Mary to spend two nights with Terry and Helen Schraider before the tour started. Chris needed to have a drive of Dippy before setting out on the tour which promised to be challenging and very different from other events. 

An early start was made on Sunday 20th September with signing on and scrutineering completed breakfast of a bacon roll taken and we were all set for the challenges the day would bring. The road book was in a new format for the first section being narrative. 

As Terry always says read the instructions carefully then read them again. The script was interesting because the passenger who was to guide the driver had to read the instructions well ahead to be able to decide the distances that had to be driven between certain points.

After the first section was completed Dippy had not missing a beat and with Chris driving who by now was slipping into his old ways and enjoying the challenge .The next section was a tulip section with very good diagrams to follow which took us to our coffee break at The Hatchet Inn, Lower Chutes this break was followed by a section of Jogularity just to keep us on our toes, then more tulips.

Wow! A lovely buffet lunch followed the fourth section, first class and very welcome. We wait for our due time to leave. The second half instructions were distributed, and we left at minute intervals looked at the next navigational challenge this was another different format of navigation mileages and angles or straight lines . Different but we managed to get round the section OK.

The event finished with another tulip section and should one wish a London Map with points to visit, also a challenge for the driver, how well do you know your car, as far as my driver was concerned not very well. The marshals commented, your everyday car is obviously longer and wider than this one.

The event was first class as usual Helen and Terry's attention to detail was fantastic I can only commend them on all the work they put into the Harvest Tour to make it so enjoyable for all the participants.

Chris is a very long standing friend of mine, I won't say “old friend” so I asked him if he would like to write a few words and give his opinion on the event as he had not done a tour before but has been connected with motorsport for many years. 

A “drivers” view!  
It was over 30 years since I had taken part in any motor sport event and you can, perhaps, understand my apprehension! My apprehension was however unfounded as it turned out to be a fantastic day for a modest return to motor sport. 

I certainly learnt a lot and along with some friendly fellow participants enjoyed a route which took us through some of the magnificent countryside to be found in Berkshire and Hampshire. The route was at times challenging but there was also time, (not a lot mind you!) to take in that wonderful countryside and its wildlife in the form of partridge, pheasant and red kites etc. No I did keep my eyes on the road although maybe not my ears open being admonished by Hilary for making a wrong slot at one point or was it more than one! (Yes I did say turn right, right, right!).

The route covered different types of roads although there was an abundance of fairly narrow lanes some with surfaces which had seen better days. As a “return” to a motor sport event it was for me a very fair and suitable type of event to make a comeback. 

I found the description given to me, as we covered the route, of the roads, junctions and so on very accurate and easy to follow which actually made it a relaxing drive. I had previously marshalled on a number of events and I have to say a very big thank you to all of the Marshalls who took part in helping crews on their way to a fantastic day out. 

They were courteous friendly and also had a sense of humour. I say that as at the driving test at the end of the event it became apparent that either I couldn’t drive or as the Marshall put it you must be used to driving a much longer car!! Well both were correct as I think I need a lot more experience to make a better job of listening to my navigator and learning the length and breadth of Dippy! 

A very big thank you to Hilary for letting me get behind the wheel of Dippy and to Terry and Helen for their excellent organisational skills in putting together an event which ran smoothly and was a great fun to drive. 

Hilary Chris and Dippy