Thursday 8 February 2024

2023, March. Daffodil Run and Taith Cymru

18th March:  Daffodil Run 

The Daffodil Run is our regular first event of the year and this year the weather was kind to us again. The forecast was changeable so the FHC was the car to take.  The run takes place in the Forest of Dean area and started from the Belfrey Hotel in Littledean with a total length of about 80 miles.  This year the hotel was really busy because it was full of guests who had been attanding the Cheltenham Festival horse races but we still got an excellent sausage bap and coffee!

First away was a car type I have never seen before, a beautiful little Peugeot 203 from the 1950s and it looked immaculate.

First car away Peugeot 203


The FHC at the start

The Forest of Dean always looks nice at this time of year because all the trees are only just in bud so you can see much more than usual.  There were lots of daffodils to see on our drive up to the coffee stop at Westons Cider in Much Marcle. There were lots of roadworks still in place because it seems the whole world is being dug up to provide fibre optic telecomms cables at the moment but luckily it didn't affect us too much. 

Three TR7s taking part

 There were three TR7s taking part this year, the other two were Jos Way in his red TR7V8 and Henry Brown in his blue TR7V8.  The organisers usually mange to find at least one ford and this year was no exception but it wasn't very deep so I didn't manage to get the photographer wet even though I tried.

 We started to meet some old cars who were taking part in a Vintage Sport Cars Trial. Some super old open wheel cars being driven in anger and not in a museum - brilliant to see. 

Great use for an old car.

Lovely spot for marshalling.

 We had a couple of heavy showers later in the afternoon but it didn't spoil a super day out and we returned to The Belfrey for an excellent Sunday roast at the finish.

Washing the car on Monday afterwards I found a large nail sticking out of the sidewall of a rear tyre. It was right on the shoulder so effectively scraps an almost new tyre. 

Not Happy!


26th March:  Taith Cymru 

The Taith Cymru is usually a much more "hard core" event and this year no exception. They promised us a 130 mile route which would visit every major valley in South Wales and it turns out there are 22 of them and we did!   Because of the length of the route and start/finish locations we decided to stay overnight before and after and make a weekend of it.  

Weather was again changeable so the FHC was the first choice.  The route turned out to very different to the usual classic runs.  To get access to all the valleys and use some of the old road rally lanes meant much more urban mileage than usual with quite a lot of narrow streets in the valley towns to negotiate. This also meant some quite detailed navigation and was not popular with quite a few of the entrants. 

The route traversed 8 valleys to morning coffee at Abercynon Rugby Club, which would have been an excellent choice, but it was also the base for a schools rugby tournament that day so was super busy with parked cars abandoned everywhere.  The marshalls managed to get us into the car park eventually but it was all a bit manic.

Arriving at morning coffee Abercynon

The route proceeded via 7 more valleys to the lunch halt at Maesteg Rugby Club where the staff were kept very busy supplying some excellent sandwiches to the hungry crews.

In the afternoon the route headed further west via Baglan and Neath before turning back towards the finish near Hirwaun. One very narrow uphill section needed marshalls stationed at the bottom end to allow only one car at a time to tackle the hill. This was just in case a car stalled on the hill and had the reverse back down!  Some of the smaller roads were in very bad condition and really quite rough and we thought they should not have been included.   

The main thing to report is that the TR7 behaved itself perfectly despite the rough going!

In conclusion it was an interesting idea to try and visit all the valleys but parts of the route were not really suitable for a classic tour. 

Friday 21 April 2023

2022, October. Autumn Leaves Scenic Tour

 22nd October:  Autumn Leaves Scenic Tour

 The Autumn Leaves is usually the last run of the year and this year the 100 miles route started from Taurus Crafts at Lydney. It had rained overnight and early morning but the weather cleared nicely by the time we had all had our bacon roll and coffee for the 10:00am start.  The changeable weather forecast meant we chose to take the FHC.

Leaving the start in Lydney 

The run took place mainly in the Forest of Dean area, which like many places is having its roads dug up for the installation of fibre optic cables.  Sometimes it seems like this has been going on for ever and the organisers had to add a couple of last minute diversions to their route to avoid closed roads sections. Two other TR7s were also taking part, Henry & Linda Brown in their Cavalry Blue V8 powered DHC and Jos & Avice Way in their red DHC also V8 powered.

 In the event the roadworks did not cause any problems for the participating crews and we all enjoyed the first 35 mile section in the southern part of the Forest of Dean taking us in a loop back to Taurus Crafts for a coffee and a piece of cake.

The second part took us 30 miles and further north beyond the Forest to Garway in Herefordshire for an afternoon tea stop at Kelsmor Dairy, who just also happen to make excellent ice-cream.  The tea was free but we could not resist buying one of their ice-cream varieties as well. It was very good.

Queue for ice-cream  (picture by Dave Price)

TR7s at Kelsmor Dairy stop

Starting last leg  (picture by Dave Price)

Final leg was 41 miles and down alongside the beautiful River Wye via Hole in the Wall to a Sunday roast meal at Forest Hills Golf Club in Mile End, Coleford. 

On the way home afterwards it was raining and dark and I found the LED headlights on FHC were not giving good enough lighting, so that will be a job for improvement later.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

2022, August - September. Bobby's Tour and Glavon Tulip Run

 13th August:  Bobby's Tour of the Dean

Bob Brain Developments were a well known builder of championship winning rally cars in the late 1970s and early 1980s but Bob sadly died a few years ago. This year, his brother John Brain organised a small classic car show and tour to raise money for a local children's charity in memory of Bob, and invited owners of interesting classic and rally cars that he knew to come along and support the charity. We were one of those owners.  The entry had been deliberately kept small to about 30 cars as it was the first running of the tour and to test out the idea.

The weather was very hot so obviously a day for the DHC as we made the short journey to the start at Ruardean for an excellent breakfast bacon roll and coffee.  This was based at the Ruardean Village Hall and playing fields right in the middle of the village.

John had organised a nice little route of about 65 miles around the Forest of Dean, divided into two sections, with a short coffee stop in Coleford at the Childrens Opportunity Centre who funds were being raised for.   

Many of the roads we drove were in the process of being dug up to provide cables for broadband but luckily they were still passable. The organisers had checked the route just before we left the start and their instructions were to just ignore the ROAD CLOSED signs!  They were spot on and we all got through ok.

The Forest of Dean is a beautiful area and we really enjoyed the vews.

picture by Chris Huish.

By mid-day the weather was really getting hot so I was even forced to bring out my straw hat. It works perfectly well up to around 50mph so perfect for the lanes. Jo had her sun hat on as well.

getting our card signed at a passage control

Back at Ruardean Village Hall they had laid out an excellent ploughman's buffet for us which was enjoyed by everyone.  Also by this time a number of other cars had arrived for the show so we were able to have a good look at those as well.  These included some amazing ex-works rally cars owned by another old mate, Dave Kedward from Cheltenham. He had brought an Audi Sport Quattro S2, a Peugeot T16 and a Lancia 037.  These Group B monsters all competed against each other in the 1980s on the World Rally Championship and a worth a small (!) fortune.

Audi S2 Quattro, Lancia 037, Peugeot T16


Audi S2 Quattro

Audi cockpit

Lancia 037

Peugeot T16

There was also a Ford RS200, a Porsche 911 safari car and even the MG Maestro Turbo that was driven by the late great Tony Pond to win the class on the Manx International. 

Tony Pond's much under rated MG Maestro Turbo

I almost forgot to mention a couple of the other interesting cars that had taken part in the tour, there were two Lancia Delta Integrale's and a gorgeous immaculate Puegeot 202 that I had never even heard of before.

Beautiful Peugeot 202

Another super day out in the TR7.


7th September:  Glavon Tulip Tour

Noel & Ange Jones had organised another of their excellent tulip tours for the Glavon TR Register Group, this time starting at Highfield Garden Centre at Whitminster.  


Glavon cars at the Highfields start

The route of about 100 miles around the Cotswolds took us to a coffee stop at the Cotswold Barn cafe up near Longborough on top of the Cotswolds.  A bunch of Porsche cars also turned up but they didn't speak to us so that was our good luck!

Coffee stop at Cotswold Barn


Nice gateway

Not just cars out today

We also met a lot of cyclists out in the lanes, it looked like hard work.

The first half had been mostly smaller roads but our journey back to a late lunch at Fromebridge Mill used some more sweeping "A " roads and we got back before they were ready for us!  No matter, time for more TR chat before an excellent carvery lunch.


Monday 31 October 2022

2022, August. Cotswold Steam Fair and Valleys & Villages Classic Tour

6th August:  Cotswold Steam Fair at South Cerney

The official name for the event is The Gloucestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza but we always know it as the Steam Fair.  The three day show was even bigger than usual after missing the past two years due to Covid.  Our Glavon TR Register group always attends on the Saturday, and as exhibitors we get in free!

These kind of events depend on good weather and this year it was perfect, hot and sunny.  As usual there was an enormous variety of classic cars to see but we are just a small part of the show. We had never seen so many vintage tractors, busses, lorries, motorcycles and military vehicles, not to mention all the steam powered vehicles.

I had managed to leave my phone at home so thanks to Andy West and Noel Jones for the pictures in this report. 

Some of the Glavon cars

Relaxed atmosphere on the Glavon stand lunchtime

Fabulous traction engines

Traditional ride

Beautiful carousel

Serious haulage

Look out! we are coming through

 We spent most of the day looking around and still didn't see even half of it.  I could have spent the whole day browsing the numerous stalls selling tools and old car parts. I came home with a 1950s local OS map in as new condition and my wife Jo got a bargain on some succulent blueberries.  Like I said, something for everyone there.


7th August:  Valleys & Villages Classic Tour

Last years Valleys & Villages run was horribly wet so we were much relieved to have a beautiful day this year.  Obviously a day for the DHC then and we were flagged away from the start at Royal Wotton Bassett rugby club with the sun shining

Valleys & Villages start

There was a wide selection of cars taking part including a rather smart Bentley and three other TR7 style cars. One was actually a real factory built RHD TR8, one of only 18 ever made.

Nice Bentley

Very rare RHD factory built TR8

The organisers sent us on a nice route around Highworth and to the north of Swindon for a coffee stop at Helen Brownings Royal Oak in Bishopstone.  The cake was up to their usual high standards but Bishopstone village is always tricky to negotiate for some reason and several cars appeared from the wrong direction, including us!

After coffee we had a nice run south via the area around Marlborough to a lunch stop at Pewsey village hall.  We had brought our own picnic so sought ou a shady spot outside with our camping chairs.  Most other crews were doing the same.

With the very hot and dry weather we saw some fire crews dealing with fires on Salisbury Plain as we left Pewsey. It looked like a combine harvester had caught fire and started a fire in a wheat field. 

The route took us past a couple of white horses carved into the chalk hillsides that we hadn't seen before. 

A new (to us!) white horse carved in the hillside

 Finish was back at Royal Wootton Bassett where we were served with a good curry.


Thursday 28 July 2022

2022, July. Air Salvage International and Dursley Rotary Club Classic Tour


10th July:  Visit to Air Salvage International

Not strictly a car related event but it was organised by a fellow TR Register Glavon Group member and we all went along in our TRs.  Air Salvage International dismantle aircraft that are past their economic best and are based at Kemble - now called Cotswold Airport.  It was a fascinating visit to see how they take aircraft apart for all the useful spares which are then sold all over the world.

TRs lined up at Air Salvage International


Boeing 747 parts anyone?

Boeing 777 engine missing.

They were working on commercial aircraft of all sizes from a Boeing 777 and several 747s down to smaller ones like Airbus 320.  Apparently the engines are the most valuable parts being valued from one million to 25 million Dollars.  So worth selling then.


17th July: Dursley Rotary Club Classic Tour

This tour starts about 400 yards from our house so is not to be missed.  It is organised by yet another old rally mate called Graham Peake who also owns Bear Street Garage in Wotton under Edge.  It used to be a Ford dealership which was very useful to me when I was building my Cosworth Sierra rally car in 1992. Graham was good enough to get me all the Ford Motorsport parts at cost price which saved me a small fortune.

The weather for last years' run was one of the hottest days of the year and this year it was even hotter with temperatures up to 30 degrees.  Obviously this meant the DHC was the car to use and a quick check over and wash was required. Everything was in order and good to go.

This year the route was about 100 miles and headed west over the old Severn Bridge into the Forest of Dean.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to have the chance to go up one of the bridge towers when I was there for my work as a BT planner.  Naturally I took the camera along and got to super pictures  from the top.

View into Wales from the east tower.

Coffee stop was at theWhite Hart Inn near Newnham on Severn where we sat right on the river bank and the only problem was finding the sunscreen to put some on our faces.  

The return took us round to the north of Gloucester and back to Rednock School in Dursley for a generous buffet.

Driving up Frocester Hill, almost at the finish

Another great day out in a TR7 and the DHC had behaved perfectly.

Thursday 21 July 2022

2022, June. Lavender Run & Newark Park Show

19th June: Wyedean Lavender Run 

An old rally mate called Jos Way has bought himself a TR7 V8 which has re-kindled his love of driving. He has also joined the TR Register Wyedean group and organised a nice little local car run for them. He also invited some other TR Register members including yours truly to come along. 

About twelve various Triumph cars gathered at Roses Garden Centre near Newent for coffee before setting off.  It was nice weather so the DHC was our ride for the day. Directions were given to us in the form of descriptive notes with mileages to make it easy for everyone. The route took us out through Upleadon and across the River Severn at Haw Bridge. It was nice to see it on a dry day and not flooded like it so often is when featured on the TV news! From there we cut up through Bishops Cleeve and Winchcombe passing the Iron age long barrow of Belas Knap and on to the top of the Cotswolds. The lanes here were familiar and brought back many memories of road rallies in the 1970s and 1980s. The pace of our Triumphs on a sunny Sunday was a good deal slower than those rallies on dark Saturday nights! 

We stopped for a short break at the old prison in Northleach. This is a recommended place to visit with an excellent cafe and the chance to see the old prison cells and courtroom. Prisoners here were put to work on a treadmill to grind corn which must have been pretty grim. They also have a fascinating rural life collection of old farm waggons which is much more interesting than it sounds. Interesting to see how they were built, how the axle keyways were made etc.  They are really heavy duty construction so would be very heavy even before any load was added. Must have used some powerful horses.  There is also a forge complete with all the old tools the blacksmiths had used. 

Cotswolds Bow Wagon from around 1880.

After our refreshments we headed further north to Cotswold Lavender near Snowshill.  You have to pay to get in but they give you a nice packet of wild frower seeds for your garden with your ticket. It comprises a couple of fields on the hilltop covered in rows of lavender.  Turns out there are loads of different kinds - who would have thought.  The rows are each labelled with the different varieties.  

Triumphs at Cotswold Lavender
Triumphs at Cotswold Lavender

There is alot of lavender

A late lunch was now beckoning so we headed off down through Broadway, full of tourists as usual, to the Ye Olde Hobnails Inn at Little Washbourne. They were expecting us but still very busy and short of staff like so many places these days.  Our food was worth waiting for and we all left completey full. 


26th June:  Newark Park 

Every year the Austin Seven club have a show at Newark Park. This is a National Trust house only about 5 miles from home so only a few minutes away.  They do encourage other classic cars to take part as well and we were invited.  Weather was forecast changeable so the FHC was the car to take this time.

We got there early at about 10:00am before most of the Austins began to arrive.  They were a surprising variety of the same basic car. Open, closed, sports bodied etc etc.  One of them had a plate from the "Peking to Paris by Austin Seven 2007" run. It seems such a small car to drive on such a long and difficult journey.  Lets be honest, many of us would not like to do it in a modern car with all the comforts. Some hardy folks these Austin Seven types.  There were about 30 Sevens in total.

On the left, Peking to Paris 2007

There were lots of visitors to see the cars and the TR7 attracted particular atention from a Chinese family who wanted pictures taken with it.

Chinese taking pictures with the TR7

 There were all kinds of classics including a couple of really nice Rolls Royce that Jo liked.

Jo really liked this Rolls Royce

The weather forecast turned out to be correct when a couple of heavy showers whizzed through making us all dash back to our cars for a few minutes, but it was lovely afterwards.

Another excellent day out in a TR7.