DOWNS AND DALES RUN SUNDAY 13TH MAY 2018
We had been looking forward to this run, we have always enjoyed Norman’s well researched and interesting adventures. We left Eastington at 10am, it was only 12 degrees but the sun was shining and the sky was blue. On the way the roads were quiet and the countryside at it’s spring time best with Bluebells, May blossom and Lilac in full bloom.
We arrived at the Marlborough golf Club at 11.25am – 45 miles in all. We were the first to arrive, then six more Austins followed. A little time was spent with bonnets open and the pros and cons of flashing indicators being discussed. Wonderful views across the downs were on offer from the clubhouse especially from the restaurant panoramic windows. We enjoyed a carvery lunch with some members indulging in all three courses! Ed can’t resist a pudding.
We set off in convoy with the usual Bristol Club rules, keep in touch with the car behind, Norman brought us to a halt three miles on at the Cadley Garage. Jon Horsley the boss, owns a Ruby that was on show for us. At the other end of the scale he is involved in the current land speed record attempt that is aiming for 1000mph. Not as a driver he assured us! The globes had been put in place on the petrol pumps for us. This allowed us to take some period photographs with all eight cars in front of the old garage building. Looking round the garage and the original photographs of years gone by brought back many memories of when I worked for my Dad in our family garage in the early 60’s. Great times.
Soon after we had left the garage we passed Henry V111’s Big Belly Oak, Ed missed it, too busy driving. Later I did catch a glimpse of the Pepper Pot as we sped by. The villages we drove through were full of stunning thatched cottages, tall and built of red brick they were quite different to ones we have seen before. We stopped at the Pewsey Heritage Centre after driving through bluebell woods bathed in dappled sunlight. The Centre, which had been opened just for us was interesting and informative. It held a wonderful collection of the local social, agricultural and industrial past. It brought back memories of our grandparent’s homes and lives and even ours when we were children. Norman then took us up onto the Salisbury Plain with views back over Martinsell Hill. We were hoping to see some army tanks but they must have Sundays off but nothing moved. Not even a parked one on view.
Norman stopped the convoy to point out Wolf Hall, not the original house of Jayne Seymour but built on the same site. Lots of renovation being done at the moment. Our last visit was to the Wilton Windmill, it is the only working mill in the Wessex region. It was getting very warm by the time we were parked up on the grass. Seeing a sign for ice cream Ed and Mike ran across the grass to the little shop but alas they had sold out. What a disappointment! Guided tours of the mill were on offer but we declined, perhaps next time.
As we drove on we smelt petrol, pulling in to investigate Ed found the pipe to the filter had worked lose, soon fixed and on our way again. We all stopped soon after that and we then took advantage of a shortcut, and with 50 miles to go headed for home. It was a beautiful evening for a drive and we arrived home at 7pm having covered just 140 miles, we were ready for a cup of tea.
A big thankyou to Norman and Marion for planning this brilliant day.