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THE SECTION ANNUAL RALLY - DUMBLETON HALL, COTSWOLDS
Sunday 4 to Saturday 10 September 2011

Dumbleton Hall   Blenheim Palace
Dumbleton Hall.   Blenheim Palace.

In disappointing weather conditions for most participants, motor cars were loaded up, and all departed for the Dumbleton Hall Hotel near Evesham.

On arrival, drivers were issued with rally plaques, name badges, and other rally information. After an evening meal, most people retired relatively early, to be ready for the next day's visit to Blenheim Palace.

I think most were in agreement that entry to the grounds of the palace through the Triumphal Arch is a spectacular way to arrive. Morning coffee, a themed talk and tour, and sandwich lunch were enjoyed by all, and the afternoon was left free to enjoy the Estate before heading for the hotel and the much feared fancy dress party! Much to the surprise of BW's 1 and 2, the array of garb was far beyond their expectations. Well done everybody, with outfits ranging from Henry VIII, and Bonnie & Clyde to the Vicar of Dibley.


Chas Vye.   Ronald and June Haselton   Tony and Daphne Leach
Chas Vyse.   Ronald and June Hazell.   Tony and Daphne Leach.

Tuesday morning a private visit to Spetchley Park Gardens was made with conducted tours of the gardens/grounds for those who felt strong enough after the excitements of the evening before! The afternoon was taken up by a boat cruise with buffet lunch on board departing from Upton-on-Severn. Secure parking had been arranged near the departure point. Due to the windy conditions the Captain opted for a Northerly route towards Worcester.

Wednesday we visited Sudeley Castle with tours of the castle and a soup and sandwich lunch before departing for Cheltenham Racecourse, from where the GWR steam railway train transported us all to Winchcombe Station and back, whilst consuming a traditional cream tea. For the less experienced rally members, it was by now clear that RREC stands for Rolls-Royce Eating Club! Ah well - back to the hotel for dinner. At least there was an opportunity for some to burn off a few calories with a dance or two to the evening's entertainment. A Sinatra style band who provided us with memorable music from the 50s and 60s.

On the next day we visited the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon. An interesting trip with organised tours followed by a one course lunch. On a depressing note, how sad that so many names from the British motor industry have disappeared. (Morris, Austin, Riley, Wolseley, Standard, Triumph, to name just a few.) At least there are examples of many makes at Gaydon to remind us of that illustrious past.


Friday was a rest day to prepare for the Gala dinner that evening. Nevertheless, many cars and their occupants were seen in Bourton-on-the-Water toying with an ice-cream or a pastry, but not eating lunch! The Gala dinner saw all participants dressed up in their finery, and another excellent meal was provided by the hotel and enjoyed by us all. Tony Leach presented BW's 1 and 2 and their ladies with gifts with thanks from all who had attended the rally. BW2 not to be outdone, thanked everybody for the gifts and reminded all present that it is the participants who make or break such events, and thanked them all for their continued support of the Section.

  Gala night
The Gala night.

Saturday dawned brighter than the previous Sunday, and I think it's fair to say that most people had a pleasant drive home in dry conditions.

What of next year’s rally. This will be formally announced at the AGM in early December as usual. So be prepared to book the dates in your diaries!

David Gray - Section Chairman

 
Photos: Chris Tween