Martin Lacey and Gary Graver attended this show in 2016 and thought it would be interesting to put an event together around it. As it turned out it was a really fun day and had all the elements to it which made it a success. What more can you ask for than a drive through beautiful scenery, wonderful food and then the chance to chat with people about our cars.
We met at the Hartnell Hotel at Bolham where we enjoyed refreshments including some "calorie free" delicious cakes and Martin provided a briefing of what was going to happen throughout the day. Gary was going to lead our run across Exmoor which would include a brief photo opportunity at the top of Dunkery Beacon which, on a clear day, has views across to Wales. Whilst it was bracing it was clear and the promised views were there enhanced by 11 Astons. The route was stunning and showed off Exmoor to it's best.
After the quick stop we continued the fabulous drives across Exmoor, up Porlock Hill and then into Lynton for our lunch and the Vanilla Pod. The organisers had decided parking the Astons may be difficult so they simply closed the road in from of the restaurant so we had easy parking and it also provided a focus of attention whilst we ate our delicious lunch. Very continental and I cannot think of many places that would do that to accommodate some nice cars!
After the very enjoyable lunch we were guided down to the show arena via a tour of Lynmouth where we were encouraged to make some noise. Not surprisingly, some owners needed less encouragement than others :) A tremendous welcome from those attending with the roads crowded with onlookers. It reminded me more of some of our European tours than attending car shows at home - and was great fun.
It is very strange how at these events you meet people who you would never expect to meet. Whilst chatting I recognised someone calling my name and it was Mike Bindon from Victoria, Australia. He just happened to be visiting the UK and heard about the show and then heard "there would be some Astons coming soon" so he decided to hang around to see if it was our group. We had met Mike and Maree back in the Centenary year when they joined us at Castle Hill Car Festival so it was great to see him again.
When the show closed some of us enjoyed a spirited drive back over Exmoor calling in at The White Horse in Exford where some even had room to enjoy a cream tea, jam on top of course!
All in all, a great day and our thanks to Martin and Gary for such a well organised, fun event. Some great feedback on the day from those who attended and our thanks must go to the organisers for making us so welcome and providing a great event for the public. Hopefully it will become a regular on the calendar.