Well, after months of preparation and planning it eventually happened! Chris Phillips had a desire to run a classic tour and late last year a deal was clinched with the HRCR to be a part of their Classics by JSWL sponsored Classic Tour Series. Work began in January but promptly came to a halt as snow and ice in the lanes made the route survey a little too difficult. The road book compilation had its moments too as the trip meter in the ageing Renault Laguna didn't want to work to begin with - nothing to do with operator error of course.................Everything went well thereafter and once James Chappelle had put the detail in to legible form and Dave McIntyre had tested it on the ground we were good to go. Entries opened and Gethin Phillips did a great job of recording and acknowledging but sadly missed the big day after starting a new job the week before.
The big day did arrive and 47 cars lined up at the rugby club at Gwernyfed in less than ideal conditions. It was dry for days before but at 06:45 on the dot the heavens opened. Luckily it didn't last too long but it could have been better! The unlucky ones were Nigel Chappelle and Roger Simons who had the task of scrutineering in the open. For Chris the rain meant nothing as despite the bacon for the rolls cooking merrily away there were no rolls. After a tense few minutes the baker did arrive and calm was restored. Jane Phillips and Gethin's girlfriend Emma did a grand job of signing all the participants on and at 08:45 on the nail Chris delivered his brief to a spellbound audience. Well he said they were, I'm not so sure. With all that done and James and Lisa Chappelle on the road looking for unforeseen issues it was time to start. Club president Brian Dennis ably supported by Graham Richards flagged the cars away and a route taking in Llangorse Mountain, Crickhowell, Norton and Grosmont led to a refreshment stop at Eywas Harold village hall where we were done proud. From there the route headed into the Black Mountains and despite a bit of mist to begin with the weather improved and started opening up into a beautiful day.
Hay on Wye was the venue for the lunchtime rest halt where lunch was taken at the great selection of establishments the town has on offer. Unfortunately for the gentlemen who had brought their wives along it may have been a retail opportunity as well! The route went on for another forty or so miles after lunch towards Dorstone before visiting Paul Evans' passage control at Arthur's Stone and Dave Thomas' control on Begwyn's Bluff before another manned by Dave McIntyre at Brechfa Pool. A short hop going close to Llanfilo was the last section before a welcome buffet back at the rugby club where everyone received a slate coaster as a momento of the day.
We would like to give our thanks to all who participated, marshalled or helped in any way and also to Gwernyfed Rugby Club and the local residents for having us. Planning will now start for next year for what we hope will become a regular fixture on the classic tour calendar.
A fantastic car to have at Number 1
Mr Phillips addresses his adoring audience
HRCR Chairman's Moggy nestled between Kevin Baldwin's Mini and Richard Evans Bevan's convertible Corsair
Club member Liam Griffiths posing by the family Standard Ten which isn't that standard!
A selection at the finish
Julian & Henry Williams are flagged away by Brian Dennis
James & Lisa Chappelle opening the route
Two wise men.............
Simon Marks giving tulip road book tuition to the next generation
It started here
Eighty pence to go over a wooden bridge............