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COTSWOLD DAY TRIP AND LA VIE EN BLEU

For the third time La Vie en Bleu called and together with the Cotswold Day Trip a good weekend was in prospect. It seems to have become "de riguer" to set up camp at the Bell in Pensax with a ride to Bayton to visit Phil and Maggie at PMC HQ.

By the time I arrived Tom, Colin, Mike B, Rob Jenkins, Vincent, Sambike, Pembletondon and Kentish Ian were all set up and raring to go.

I unloaded the Silver Surfer, parked the tin-top with trailer in the next field and proceeded to pitch my tent. A welcome cup of tea appeared from Tom's Mission Control camper and while I lost my tent pegs and borrowed a few from Sambike the banter moved into second gear.

16.30h arrived and we set off in a group to Bayton with Vincent riding shotgun with me. We arrived to find Dave Parr in Silverfish and Arthur and Mary in two big block Guzzi trikes waiting for us along with a very tidy Norton model 50. (this latter must have been a fake as there was no oil puddle underneath it!)

A total of 11 cars including the Guzzi demonstrator were lined up in the park under the big oak tree after an amount of turning and shuffling to form a tidy line.

Maggie, as ever, did us proud with tea and coffee and wonderful home-made cakes and we took the opportunity to enjoy the garden and sunshine at Pembleton Towers.

Phil's son Guy is in the process of building a Guzzi trike with a view to a tour of parts of Europe in the summer vacation. Go for it!

The return trip to Pensax led to an early visit to the pub to meet Ray and Alan, order food and taste the wonderful range of real ales and perry so a good evening was had by all, including Phil and Maggie who were preparing for a cycling trip to St Austell in the morning.

Several beers later, back to the tents for an early start on Saturday.

Camp was struck and we were all ready for the off by 08h00 with a fuel stop on the way to our breakfast rendez-vous at the Sheaf in Bretforton.

Mike and Ian Stephens arrived as we were sitting down to our asparagus breakfast and suddenly it was time to set off on the Cotswold Day trip arranged by Dave and Nicki Parr.

If you haven't experienced one of these rambles around the delightful Cotswolds I can recommend it and there will be no excuses accepted next year. Dave and Nicki seem to find just the sort of route appreciated by us all, taking us through Chipping Camden, Broadway Hill and Tower to lunch at the Fox Inn.

Then on through the Slaughters and other wonderful place names that sped by in glorious sunshine coming to an end in Winchcombe. We saw Colin (of the hat) and Tom off to collect their camping vehicles from Bretforton.

I visited a "Railway Museum" which, to all intents and purposes, was a pile of junk laid out in a somewhat desultory manner. However, it was just the sort of junk that appeals to a sad git like me so I felt my £2.50 was well spent. I understand the a light repast known as "Cream Tea" was consumed in true CSC style by some of our party; I think I got the better deal with the railway memorabilia.

The breeze was deceptive and by the time we had reached Winchcombe there were a few sunburnt noses and cheeks.

On arrival at Prescott it turned out that our allocated pitch was overtaken by Matras so I went to find an official. I ran straight into Mike Tebbitt of the BOC who was carrying new signs for Pembleton Cars and we were given a pitch alongside the opening straight of the hill climb.

Once again shuffling and tent pitching took place using Tom's camper as a centre piece with the Pembleton banner we were almost set up when Chris Day arrived and threw everything into confusion.

This was soon sorted out and we headed for our Pimms and Canopes (sic) on the terrace by the Clubhouse.

Someone tried to snaffle an extra Pimms but was deterred by a staff member wearing special thwarting trousers. However, it turned out that too much had been mixed and the jug was somehow placed on our table. OK yah!

We were entertained by a very professional duo comprised of a singer, female with jazz guitarist, male who had an extensive and eclectic repertoire. The other entertainer was a guitarist who worked with backing tapes who was also good fun.

As the wine and beer flowed a few Pembletonistes followed Don's lead and we ended up dancing the night away.

A slightly rowdy party made its way back to mission control for a wee dram before turning in. I'm told we were a little loud but I don't believe a word of it as no-one complained.

The Sunday morning brought the delights of listening to the Coopers racing up the straight just behind our tents, big Jap singles (and one Manx Norton) banging their way up the hill. A treat for motorcyclists everywhere.

Breakfast, sunshine, hot and cold metal of every description abounding, Can-Can girls, accordionists, Velo-Solex, Bugattis from Atalante to Veyron, and a 13.7 litre four cylinder monster which sounded almost like a steam-engine made a drool-worthy day to my certain delight which I'm sure was shared by all.

Pic 9

Dan C arrived adding to our band and we all stood around Ian's mudguards regarding the sorry state of the stays and the cracks in the ali, trying to persuade him he should remove the lot and go home with open wheels as it wasn't raining.

With a long way to go I left soon after lunch to collect the tin-top and trailer to start my 170mile drive home.

Having received an email from Rebecca (excellent dancer) Leppard of BOC it would seem we will be welcome again next year. See events board for details.

This event seems to have become the main annual gathering in the Pembleton calender and I would venture that is well worth making the effort to attend.

Duncan Grimmond


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