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THE SECTION ANNUAL RALLY - TO BRITTANY, FRANCE
Thursday 5 - Tuesday 10 September 2013

Twenty-three club cars, dating from the late 1920s to the 2010s, boarded the Brittany Ferry from Portsmouth for an overnight sailing to Saint Malo. The first of many gastronomic delights was the restaurant on-board; no, I never thought I would hear those words myself! But, the Brittany Ferry restaurant was first class.

Our first destination upon arrival in Saint Malo was to Loheac, the motor museum Manoir de L'Automobile, a trip of about sixty miles. This was a complete revelation, without doubt ranking amongst the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Everything from vintage horse-drawn carriages to Formula 1 racing cars. Overwhelmingly, the majority of vehicles were of French origin, but certainly not exclusively so. The museum was enjoyed by all including the ladies, who were entranced by the first floor period costumes and replica shops.

Every day, with only one exception, lunch was organised in first class restaurants; that followed by a substantial dinner each evening in the Hôtel Ker Moor.

The Hotel is situated very close to the beach in the beautiful coastal town of Bénodet. As is our tradition, we all enjoyed the Gala night in evening dress, with particular thanks to Phillipe, the Hotel manager, the chef and serving staff who looked after us and prepared what I think was an edible rally plaque, made of toffee and nuts. Splendid effort. The section presented the manager with a decanter engraved with a Spirit of Ecstasy, as a gesture of our gratitude.

Our trips out included the historic city of Quimper and its beautiful Cathedral of St Corentin, and the magnificent town square with its outdoor restaurant seating areas, tempting us to partake of its delights, such as moules marinières, so yet another substantial lunch.

From Quimper we boarded a pleasure boat on the river Odet and were regaled by tales of dastardly deeds, and romantic historic events, from a delightful young lady, who I think we all thought, was making it up as she went along! These fascinating events supposedly marked by exposed rocks painted white. Those amongst us with boating experience suspected these were navigation aids in poor visibility, but so what? The boat took us back to a landing stage in Bénodet, where the majority of us boarded the Bénodet road train and had a trip round the historic town before being taken back to the Hôtel Ker Moor, and dropped off outside the reception entrance.

We had a splendid day in the ancient village of Locronan where we were allowed to display our cars in the old town square. Many visitors to this beautiful village also enjoyed the display of cars, and there were many amusing discussions between owners and non-English speaking visitors, with gesticulations on both sides. One was between the writer and, I think, a Frenchman, who wanted to know how many kilometres to the litre my Bentley SII did. He ended up lying on his back pouring an imaginary glass into his open mouth. "How much fuel does it drink?" I, of course, have no idea, so a simple shrug of the shoulder with upturned hands had to suffice.

I would have thought our BWs might have organised a visit to a vineyard, but no, we were taken to a whisky distillery! The Distillerie des Menhirs in Plomelin - yes that's right, whisky. This distillery, a family owned business, produces a whisky made using buckwheat in place of the usual barley. It is completely unique to this region and we enjoyed a few tasters and a very informative tour of the distillery. Some parted with more than a few euros in order to repeat the delight of the experience at home!

Our thanks must go to the Section organisers Maurice Pitchford and Pauline, David and Jackie Gray, Robin and Carol Brailey who stepped in at the last minute to offer assistance, due to David Gray's current health problems. Our rally financial adviser and negotiator, Ted Meachem, must also be thanked and congratulated for his now famous, "How much? Not on your life - think again!", which resulted in a few euros being saved and a large box full of langoustine. No, don't ask!

Great Rally, good company, too much good food, and sun almost every day. What more could we have asked for?

Chris Tween - Section Magazine Editor


Bènodet   Quimper
Bènodet.   Quimper.
Locronan   Hilguy
Locronan.   Hilguy.
Auberge Le Pélinec   Edible Rally plaque
Auberge Le Pélinec.   Edible Rally plaque.
Members
Most members dressed for the Gala.
Photos: Chris Tween