Past Events in 2019.
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When: Sunday 14th April
What an excellent day out was had by all! 30 of us met at The Greyhound, Bessels Leigh, where we were served coffee and delicious croissants as we caught up with old – and new - friends. There was a good turnout of old cars, all looking sparkling in the car park. We then enjoyed a 15-mile drive through pretty country lanes and villages before arriving at The Lamb Inn, Buckland, our luncheon venue. We were very well looked after – and the roast beef was to die for! The day ended with a successful raffle. Very many thanks to Michael and Helen for arranging such an enjoyable day.
June Run - The Tolpuddle Trundle
When: 7th-10th June 2019
Members from Belgium, France and Portugal joined the Brits on our "away weekend" to deepest Dorset - our twenty-ninth Hotchkiss Drive, no less. The weather gods had threatened all manner of cruelty. However, Saturday was largely dry and Sunday beautiful, being warm and sunny.
We were happy to settle into the comfortable Springfield House Hotel on Friday, after a jolly "meet and greet" lunch at the nearby St. Peter's Finger pub. For some, a dip in the hotel's swimming pool revived body and soul before dinner.
On Saturday, we trundled over the uplands to Poundbury, an extra-ordinary new town created by the Duchy of Cornwall - a clean, spacious and altogether impressive habitation, and an antidote to our cramped Victorian townships. Then lunch at nearby Tolpuddle, immortalised two centuries ago by the brave labouring men of the Parish. Duly fortified, onwards to Bovington Tank Museum, where great (and successful) efforts were made to discover the Hotchkiss Tank. Back at the hotel, our lively Gala Dinner was preceded by speeches, poetry and, of course, sparkling wine! Hotel staff awarded the Ainsworth Trophy - for the most desirable car - to Douglas Crowther's beautiful AM2 La Baule.
Sunday and it's visits were sublime. We motored on country roads to Higher Bockhampton, where stood, far from the madding crowd, Thomas Hardy's Cottage. Built as two cottages by the Hardy family for their own occupation, the early novels were written here. Onwards to Athelhampton, a fine 15th century Manor House, for a leisurely lunch. We then explored the House, learning that it was restored and transformed in the 1890s, and remains a family home to this day. The gardens are magnificent, being divided into contrasting sections of tranquility to match your every mood. Our organisers had saved the best 'til last!
Monday morning was, as always, a slightly sad affair, as we loaded our cars and said our goodbyes to so many good friends. It had been a really enjoyable and well organised Drive - very many thanks to Pam Walton and Michael Edwards for the great efforts they made on our behalf, and to Peter Nunn, without whose original concept the Tolpuddle Trundle wouldn't have taken place.
When: August 2019
A worrying weather forecast didn't deter Christopher and Ann Balfour, Tony Curtis and crew, Clive and Toddy Hamilton-Gould and Paul and Mythu Hickson from speeding to "The Bull" in "proper" cars, joining some twenty others for coffee in the pub garden before lunch.
But what's this? Suddenly, there swept into the car park David Tipton's wonderful 1938 Biarritz, ten years in restoration, David driving and Roger Baker as riding mechanic. Very Cote d'Azur as someone said! Every detail was admired, photos taken, and David and Erica congratulated. Then followed a convivial lunch and an amusing and heartfelt speech from Erica, who has supported David every step of the way.
Later, we all relaxed with tea and sumptuous cakes in the garden of sunlit "Two Hoots", courtesy of Les Girls, who look after us so well on our annual visit to Bucklebury. But perhaps the rain gods had the last laugh, as many of us drove home through the predicted deluge!
Sincere thanks to David, Erica and all who helped to make this a special day.
When: 13th October 2019
Where: Test Valley
"Touching Test Valley"
Wasn't it a lovely day to be caught in the rain - to misquote Irving Berlin. The wet stuff descended in stair rods on the beautiful Test Valley, making old car motoring more "testing" than the organisers had planned - but, undeterred, we all had a great day anyway!
Doug and Kathy Crowther (1930 AM2 La Baule) and Ian Leighton-Boyce (in the Tony Curtis 1938 Vichy) braved the weather - heroes all! Long-standing members Daniel Mosselmans and Sonia Lambert (Belgium) and Erik Ulrix (Portugal) very kindly joined us once more. Our special guests were Eric Nicolas and Nicole, who had driven over from France especially to be with us. Eric is the President of Club Hotchkiss, no less, and his friendliness and great enthusiasm auger well for the marque Hotchkiss.
After meeting and greeting over coffee at the George and Horn Hotel in historic Kingsclere, we motored to our characterful lunch venue, the White Hart at Overton. Most eschewed the longer pretty route planned by the organisers due to the conditions, but we admired nevertheless the attractive villages and countryside as we drove. Welcome drinks in hand, we adjourned to our private dining room to enjoy lunch - a noisy good-humoured affair, as usual! Afterwards, words of welcome to our guests from Paul and a few generous words, too, from Eric Nicolas - we hope to see them again next year! Our raffle was well supported, and a delicious-looking cake and a copy of an informative book on the later Hotchkiss cars by Jaques Paquereau (thank you, Eric!) were auctioned.
No one wanted to leave. But eventually, we all drove homewards under, wouldn't you know it, clear blue skies! A fitting end to a really good day. Sincere thanks to Pam Walton, ably assisted by Peter Nunn and Michael Edwards, for organising it so well.