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STILTON CHEESE RUN

26th APRIL 2010- PEMBLETONS

This was Jim and Joy Barry's 3rd such event, rightly listed as the CSC Spring Event of the Year. Five Pembletons entered - Duncan Grimmond's BMW engined "Silver Surfer" Brooklands, Dave Parr's Moto Guzzi engined Super Sports "Silverfish", Alan Walker's Moto Guzzi '750' engined Brooklands, Darren Howard (the Giant)'s 2CV powered Super Sports and Mike Meakin's BMW engined Brooklands "Bolide". To get the best of the Sunday's "Drive it" day we all booked in to the Queen's Head at Belton - a restaurant, with themed rooms - specifically asking for a "group" table for dinner. With a package that included bed, breakfast and evening meal, with a bottle of house wine per room, it promised to be a good weekend.

Alan - the only unaccompanied driver - was allocated the "Leather Room". The rest of us got colour-coordinated rooms (Green Room, Blue Room, Red room.... etc). Prandial drinks turned in to evening dinner and a very silly evening. Perhaps the Chef had watched too many television "Cordon Bleu" programmes - food was presented for major visual effect, without too much attention to ensuring that a good plate of food was also a factor. The look on Darren Howard's face (all 6'7" of him and a BIG man) when served with "mini fish and chips" was only outdone by the next course of fillet steak (served on a plank and probably all of 2 ounces of meat). There was much hilarity and Saturday faded away, with after-dinner drinks and chocolates.

Sunday dawned, damp and overcast - it had poured with rain during the night. Darren regretted his evening "Oh, it'll be alright" comment, as the others fitted their tonneau covers - Darren's was folded up on the passenger seat overnight. A hearty breakfast (in strong contrast to the evening meal) included everything you could think of - there was even HOT water in the Meakin's bathroom (up in the "God's" at the top of the shop, you have to turn the immersion heater on!).

Eileen Meakin made the error of mentioning that the local area was known, having lived nearby for some years and was promptly designated "lead navigator". We quickly arrived at Quenby Hall, signed in and took opportunity for a hot drink and photo session in front of the Hall. The wind was mighty cold! We set off in convoy covering the set route, with several "Follow me, I'm right behind you" moments as the route directions misled us (operator malfunction of course) .At one point all five of us were facing opposite directions on the same half-mile stretch. A bedraggled line arrived in Uppingham at the Falcon hoping for cheese samples. An interesting square and village but unfortunately the cheese was all gone. We continued ticking off the way points until we got to New Lodge Farm Shop, Bulwick where the Hog Roast was universally popular! T he inner man refreshed, we went on through the seemingly timeless Oundle and carried on reaching the Bell Inn at Stilton around half past 3 - Stilton, cake and tea was laid on and a real opportunity to have a good look at the 170 odd cars that had taken part. I counted 9 Citroen Specials including the Pembletons.

It was a thoroughly good day, universally enjoyed and credit must go to Jim and Joy Barry for their organising it.


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