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Latest Club News and Activities
A truly amazing story unfolds when you are taken around the vast underground bunker at Neatishead Radar Museum where we went on 13th October. Other than the radar consoles almost everything is still there as it was in service up to the close in 2003; you almost go into a time warp. The consoles can be seen in the above ground Airspace Monitoring and Control Room in the onsite museum. This is an all important part of military history that kept us safe during the various crises of the cold war period (some of which we knew about and many we apparently didn’t), and to a lesser extent today.
***Ladies day this year was a trip by Eastons coach on 2nd October to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, next to the river just outside Kingston on Thames. The Palace dates from 1529 and was originally the home of Cardinal Wolsey who, following considerable persuasion, later gave it to Henry VIII. Today the Palace continues to display works of art from the royal collection and the extensive gardens contain the celebrated maze, the historic tennis courts and the largest grape vine in the world.
***For our charity day at Sandringham, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer this year, we decided to open the event up as a general classic car day, which I think made it more interesting. We had 85 cars turn up and together with what Gareth took in the charity gazebo the event raised a record £1764. An additional donation from club funds, plus a further donation from the committee members, made this up to a round £2000. The president of the Pancreatic Cancer charity, Lynn Walker, chose the car of the show for us and presented the prizes. We made sure the event was reported in both Lynn News and the EDP which made good PR for both the club and the charity.
***Henham on 16th September was thankfully dry this year after the mud bath in 2017. It is always a good show, along the lines of the Weeting show, but more manageable in terms of seeing everything in a day. This is an annual event in the club diary and the usual group of members had a very enjoyable day.
***The Goodwood Revival event is, without a doubt,the best classic car event anywhere. This year it was held over the weekend of 6th - 9th September and 3 club members traveled down but not in our classic this time. The event is pure nostalgia with 1000+ classic cars on static display, classic racing, period entertainment, visitors in period dress – there are not enough superlatives to describe the event. Best of all you can stroll around the paddock and get within touching distance of all the cars being prepared for racing; and there is some very expensive machinery there. Everyone should go at least once, you will be enthralled.
***New for this year was a visit to Happisburg lighthouse on 9th September with lunch at the nearby Lighthouse inn. Despite overlapping with Goodwood, the event was well attended with several intrepid members climbing all the steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoying the splendid views across the countryside and out to sea.
***Two members had an enjoyable couple of days at the Norfolk County Show with our Rovers, courtesy of the NCVC, with much interest in our cars. I had the honour of taking my namesake Bishop Graham James and his wife into and around the arena in my P4, and delivering him to the reception party at the grandstand. It turned out to be quite fun for all concerned and our club got a good plug from the person giving the commentary. Getting the car back to the club stand on the other side of the field, through the masses of visitors, was not so much fun.
***On 5th August 4 members made the trip down the M11 and round the M25 in our classics to the Brooklands museum in Surrey for the P6 national. This is a fascinating place with its motor racing and aviation history dating back to 1907. Much of the original banked racetrack is still in place and many of the aircraft built by Vickers, who established a factory and airfield there when racing stopped, are on display. The cars filled the members car park and Peter Cane won best other classic with his excellent SD1.
***2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Weeting Steam Engine Rally and Country Show, held over the weekend of the 20th - 23rd July. A group of members traveled over on the Sunday and had a great day. This year was a truly massive show with everything you could possibly imagine at a large country fare. Horse, steam, petrol & diesel powered including miniature & standard gauge steam railway lines and many other working demonstrations. In addition to model engineering and food there was the usual array of trade stalls. We also did our bit in keeping the Rover name alive by taking our cars around the arena.
***This year is the 50th anniversary of Banham Zoo park in deepest Norfolk and to mark the occasion we were invited to put on a display of 1960s cars. We arranged a static display in the afternoon and then paraded the cars around the park in the evening, to the delight of all the visitors. This was also on 14th July (see below)but it's great that the club is now large enough to support two different events in the same day.
***The different format at the Mid Lincs Rover rally at East Kirkby on 14th July meant that we were able to have a club stand this year and all park together. 16 members made the long trip from Norfolk, and others from Cambridgshire, to put on an excellent display. To the delight of all the Lancaster, Just Jane, performed it's usual fast taxi runs and we were also treated to a flypast by the BBMF Spitfire and a formation of the modern equivalents.
***The North Norfolk Railway Heritage Transport Day is always a favourite in the club calendar and a record 17 members enjoyed a day on the different trains and classic buses on 1st July. Fantastic weather and over 500 cars to view made for a perfect day.
***Several members joined with the NCVC to display their cars at the 2 days of the Royal Norfolk Show on 27th & 28th June. Again splendid weather and a great deal of interest in our Rovers. As if that was not good enough, we were asked to take the Bishop of Norwich into the main arena, in a P4, and do a couple of circuits before delivering him and his wife to the reception party at the main stand. Quite an honour!
***23rd June saw a group of members at the Neatishead Radar Museum. This was a first for the club and a fascinating day. We were given talks on the role of the Radar & operational control station from WW2 right up to the end of the Cold War. Much of the control room equipment is still in place, which added to the interest. A further visit is planned when we will be allowed to explore the underground bunker - Terry has the details.
***The Swanton Morley and Goodrich Park rallies were both held on the same day this year, 17th June. Both were interesting events with a good range of exhibits but tractors of every imaginable style and make tended to dominate. Quite where they all come from is something of a mystery but they are clearly becoming as collectable as cars.
***The P6 Rover Owners Club Northern National was held on 10th June at Crich Tramway Village in Derbyshire, not far from the Peak District. A number of members made the long trip but were well rewarded by a fantastic day with the cars being allowed onto the Victorian streets of the museum. With tram rides, walks and all the period building to explore, all had a thoroughly good time. This is Carton Colville x 10.
***We always like to support the NCVC at their annual Strumpshaw rally which this year was on the 3rd June. We again had a club stand with 15 of our cars on display which included most models from a P2 to a modern 75, including a rare 216 Cabrolet. The weather was kind to us and we were again entertained by the father & son Guitar duo playing many of the iconic 60 numbers.
***The link to the report on our very successful Bressingham rally on 27th May can be found on the Home page.
***Skeyton Goat annual charity rally was held this year on 20th May and the 400+ cars attending completely filled the field. This is another show that has grown over recent years and is always a bit different from others in having specials, steam cars, American monsters and even one or two Italian supercars. As always a good day with good friends and excellent weather so that we could sit around the cars chatting.
***The Stradsett show on 6/7th May was the largest ever and with fine weather & some interesting exhibits it was a very enjoyable day. The show had been cancelled earlier in the year due to problems with the estate management and everyone thought that was the end of this annual show but sense prevailed at the last minute and the organisers did an excellent job in putting it back on. In addition o the cars there were tractors of every shape & size, traction engines, agricultural & horticultural machinery and many trade stalls.
***For this year’s Drive-it-Day we organised a road run through many of Norfolk's interesting villages including the quaint Barnham Broom, the aptly named Swannington and on to Wroxham for a visit to Miniature Worlds. This is the largest model attraction in the UK with 8 model railway layouts, an extensive interactive zone including flight and train driving simulators, and a zone including model cars, boats, planes. We then moved on to Wroxham Barns, with its many craft outlets, and finally to Horning for a meal together at the Ferry Inn, overlooking the river and adjoining marina.
***Our stand at this year's NEC Restoration Show was again a resounding success. Unfortunately one car broke down on the way which left us with Glen & Marie-Anne’s Hearse and Graham Teeson’s Roverfest winning P2, but we still put on a very good show with both cars attracting incredible attention. We took £88 in sales, recruited 3 new members (possible more), gained invaluable publicity and above all had a really good time. Next years show will be on 22 to 24 March inclusive.
In response to the many requests, we organised a repeat of last year's charity day at Sandringham and the 8th October saw a fine collection of Rovers, Mercedes, Porsches and MG lined up on the Vista by kind permission of the estate management. Star of the show was Norfolk's oldest still running car, a 1899 Panhard LeVassor once owned by Charles Rolls and now at the Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. Our chosen charity was again the East Anglian Air Ambulance and we were please to raise over £1200 in donations from those who brought their cars along for the day. Prizes of a specially engraved glass were awarded to the best in each class.
***The Grand Henham Steam Rally has become a regular on our event calendar and a group of members made the trip down to Henham Park on 17th September for our annual pilgrimage. There had been much rain in the week leading up to the event, leaving the field quite wet and the estate roads quite muddy, but it was fine on the day and we all had a good time exploring all the trade stalls and looking at all the cars & other exhibits. The only downside was having to hose down the undersides of our cars when we returned home.
***The 3rd September saw us join up with the NCVC for a very enjoyable lunch at Alby Crafts followed by a visit to the nearby Gunton Sawmill. This is a traditional water powered mill, on the Gunton estate, dating from the 19th century, that has been restored by a group of very knowledgeable volunteers and retains all of the original machinery. It is still used today to provide cut timber for the estate.
***The annual ladies day out this year was a mystery trip around Norfolk on Eastons classic 1958 Bedford SB Duple Vaga coach. First port of call after an enjoyable ride through a number of attractive villages was Langham Glass where a demonstration of glass making was laid on and then lunch. In the afternoon a ride through a number of other villages took the party to Sheringham for tea & cakes in the station buffet before a pleasant ride home. Another enjoyable day out thanks to Eastons and their brilliant driver Colin.
***11 intrepid members from our club made the long(ish) trek to Roverfest in Warwick shire on 13 August to join some 800+ other Rovers in celebrating the marque and the 50th anniversary of the V8 engine. The weekend included a trip to Gaydon on the Saturday where there was also a driving test event. Drivers had to guess the height and width of their cars and complete a mini course. Best of all, and the highlight of the show for us, was our member Graham Teeson's P2 20 Sports Saloon being chosen as the best Rover of the whole Show. A real feather in the cap for both Graham and our club.
***The P6 National this year was held on 6th August at the splendid Castle Howard in Yorkshire. A handful of our more adventurous members made the 450 mile round trip from Norfolk to the event and had a really good weekend away. All in all there were around 70 cars on display with at least 60 being P6's and a few modern and non rovers. There was a good selection of 2000, 2200 and 3500 and a very interesting Estate. As usual winners were chosen by those attending and remarkably the furthest travelled was a Lotus Europa from Sweden.
***Having Sunday lunches out has become an enjoyable if not quite regular past time for a small group of members and our latest, on 26 July, was at Hermanus in a cosy restaurant overlooking the sea. Following an excellent roast we then went on to have afternoon tea at Roger & Pam Keeley's lovely house at Winterton, and to look at Roger's 'O' garden railway. What better way to spend a relaxing Sunday and Roger & Pam made us feel very welcome.
***16th July saw a number of our members make the annual trip to Hoverton, next to Wroxham on the Broads. This is quite a large event, held for charity, and there where again several hundred cars present.
***The Weeting show over the weekend of the 14th to 16th July was bigger than ever with not only classics cars but many commercial and services vehicles on show, in addition to steam and agricultural vehicles. There were trade and craft stall a plenty in addition to the many arena events and rides. One of the attractions is the many 'working' steam activities each day which included sawing, threshing, lifting, ploughing, etc in addition to working standard and narrow gauge steam railways. As usual, we took our turns in the arena to talk about our cars and had a really good day.
***We were invited by the Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts Club to join them at Martlesham Heath on 9th July to celebrate the 100 year history of the former air base. However, the cars were not the main attraction as there were plenty of activities in the main arena, including the Ipswich Piping Society, Dog Agility Team, the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band and a very impressive Red Devils Parachute Team display. On the stage there was 100 years of music and dancing all day. The highlight of the day was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast by a Spitfire and Hurricane, a wonderful sight and sound.
***Few of us had attended the Mid Lincs all Rover rally at East Kirkby since its move to Saturday (always other things to do) but the event on 8th July this year was going to be the last one, at least in its present form, so we just had to go along; 14 club cars in all. The show was as good as ever with over 240 cars, a flypast by 2 Spitfires and of course the fast taxi runs by the Lancaster 'Just Jane'. The sun shone all day and to cap it all our members won best P4 and best P5.
***The Maldon car show on 2nd July is organised by Chelmer Valley Events and is an extremely large show with at least 1500 classic cars as well as buses and military vehicles. There was the usual auto jumble, trade stalls, live music all day and dancing. The setting was along the Promenade with cars parked alongside the River Blackwater Estuary as well as around the Park. There was plenty to see and do all day, including screenings in the Vintage Mobile Camera, as seen on TV.
A 180 mile round trip but well worth the early start.
***2nd July and a glorious day at the North Norfolk Railway. Over 400 cars in all, which included 12 club cars, in addition to a selection of commercial vehicles and 15 classic buses which were giving rides all day. On the railway there were 2 steam trains one 'Peak' diesel hauled train and the DMU shuttling between Holt and Sheringham, in parallel with the buses. In addition, in Holt station yard, the miniature railway was operating and the narrow gauge loco 'Alice' from the Bala Steam Railway of Wales was doing demonstration runs. A very full and enjoyable day.
***As our National Trust visit this year we had decided to revisit Fellbrigg Hall up in North Norfolk. This is a compact but interesting house with parkland, a very attractive and well laid out walled garden, and a pleasant walk down to the church. We had 6 cars on display, rather less than expected, in a key position on the lawn by the restaurant and many of the visitor came to take a look.
***On the same day, 25th June, a few members took part in the Sporting Car Club of Norfolk's 80 mile road run from Dereham through the Norfolk countryside ending up at the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville. A cooler day than of late which meant more comfortable & pleasant motoring.
***Gressenhall on 18th June was another first for the club and we had invited the NCVC to join us. This was part of the venues 'Big Boys Toys' day and it was interesting exploring the museum but it was one of the hotes day of the year, which undersatandably kept many people away and we spent much of the day simple sheltering under the shade of the trees.
***Sunday June 11th and another great day out for a group of club members. The morning was taken up with a road run out to the coast at Walcott where we had a very enjoyable lunch at the Lighthouse Inn. Really good food and even their small portions are huge, delicious deserts as well. We then went on to East Ruston Vicarage Gardens, which was another great treat with so much to see that another visit is a must. We must have walked miles around all the paths with new surprises at every turn. By the end of the afternoon our tired limbs told it was time to sit down for tea and cakes before leaving for home - well we never need much of an excuse!
***We were invited along to the NCVC fun day at Strumpshaw on 4th June to put on our century of Rover cars display. In addition to the display line a number of other club cars came along making 17 in total. This is a very large show with many hundreds of cars but the icing on the cake for us was winning the best club stand trophy. The entertainment included a guitar duo playing Shadows and other numbers, and a an excellent Frankie Valli tribute group, Frankies Guys, who put on a really professional show for us.
***This year was our 40th All Rover Rally at Bressingham and we certainly celebrated the occasion in style. Go back to our home page to read all about it and look at the pictures & video.
***The Skeyton Goat show is a favourite with our club an a number of members went along on 21 May to join in the festivities. This event attracts a number of unusual vehicles each year and one that caught our eye was a Wartberg coupe but there were also steam cars, American autos and bikes. In addition to the car boot stalls, food and drink is one of the features of this show but
***The Stradsett vintage show was on 29th April this year and several members went along to enjoy the day. In addition to the many trade stalls there was a good display of cars, trucks, heavy horses, agricultural and steam exhibits, and we all took our turn it the arena to talk about our vehicles. This is now quite a large show and we were please to be able to put our feet up in the afternoon and rest a while in the sunshine.
***Drive it Day, 23 April. Some 20 members enjoyed a leisurely 50 mile road run around rural Norfolk, arriving at Carlton Colville Transport museum in good time for lunch. This is a working museum with preserved buses, trolleybuses, trams etc. and is laid out as a street scene. We were very kindly allowed to park our classics within the grounds, alongside the museums own exhibits and in addition to taking ride on many of the vehicles, many of our members took the opportunity to also browse the excellent bookshop and of course indulge in tea and cakes before leaving for home.
***NEC restoration show was extended to 3 days this year, from 31 March to 2 April. It gets better every year with a fantastic amount to see & do and we all had a really good time. We received many positive comments about our stand, which was as good if not better than mos, showing the Hearse and an 827 Stirling. As well as giving members the opportunity to show off their cars, the show gets us recognised, gives us good publicity through writ-ups and an is opportunity both to network and to pick up some good bargains.
***The 14th March saw a number of members take a coach trip to the Brooklands museum near Weybridge. This was the base for Vickers Aviation and many of their historic aircraft are on display. Prior the that it was a major motor racing circuit and the history of that period is very well told with part of the old circuit banking still to be seen in addition to many of the racing and other cars of that period. Almost too much to see in a day.
There was a change of venue for this year's Christmas meal on 11th December. We returned to the historic Lynford Hall where we celebrated the club's 40th anniversary back in 2015. This is a hidden gem nesting in Thetford Forest on the boarders of Norfolk and Suffolk. Some 40 plus members came along and we were served an excellent 3 course meal by the very efficient staff who made us feel very welcome. Needless to say we all had a very enjoyable time.
***We had a good attendance for the club AGM on 29th November. The Chairman reported that the club remained in a very healthy position with more than adequate reserves, increasing membership and a very busy event diary. Committee members and the Bressingham team were thanked for their hard work throughout the year. The Chairman also welcomed all new members and thanked those members who had supported the club by attending the various events and meetings throughout the year. In accordance with the constitution, the Club Secretary and Treasurer/Membership Secretary both retired on rotation and were re-elected unopposed for a further 3 years. The AGM was followed by an interesting talk on the Antarctic by club member Stephen Parker.
The Mid Norfolk Railway held a heritage transport day on 18th October and despite being late in the season we were pleased to support this with a dozen club cars. After collecting our complementary tickets we took a ride on the DMU from Dereham to Wymondham, where some of our group took a stroll up to the Abby and town before returning on a later train. Refreshments were taken in the station buffet where hot food was also on offer.
9th October Sandringham charity day. We were parked along the vista rather than the, more remote, event field which made us the centre of attraction. The theme was prestige and sporting cars from the past and we were joined by members of the Porsche, Mercedes and 3 MG clubs plus a number of special entries. Despite heavy showers we had 89 cars turn up and raised £1248 for the Air Ambulance, 25% above target, thanks to the generosity of all who brought their cars along for the day. Prizes of an engraved glass were awarded to the best in each class.
17th/18th September and The Grand Henham Steam Rally was back to its original home of Henham Park this year, after a move to Ipswich last year. This is always a large event with much to see and do but the weather was poor on the Saturday (again) however a number of members took their classics down on the Sunday and had a very enjoyable day exploring all the trade stalls and looking at all the cars & other exhibits, which included working steam demonstrations.
Over the weekend of 10th/11th September a few members made the pilgrimage to Goodwood for the annual Revival event. Unfortunately the weather was poor on the Saturday with everyone getting a real soaking bur Sunday proved much better with all enjoying the racing and static displays.
On 4th September we organised our own run through the Norfolk countryside with a stop for refreshments at Fairhaven Watergardens and lunch at Caister Castle. We were joined on the run by the Norfolk Classic Vehicle Club and after lunch we all had look around the motor museum at the Castle, which had recently been extended. The weather was kind to us and we all had a really enjoyable day.
The P6 national this year was held at Rockingham Castle on 21 August and we had a really good day. There were nearly 70 P6s plus about a dozen other Rovers, moderns and non rovers. This is a privately owned residence, dating back many centuries, and is built on the hill side overlooking the village and with splendid views across the Rutland countryside. The weather was good and as a bonus one of our members won the trophy for best P6 2000.
Stonham Barns has become another regular with the club but was held this year on the same day as the P6 national. Attendance was therefore down somewhat on previous years but we still had 7 cars there and showed our presence well. In addition to the retail outlets there are always a good number of autojumble and other stalls and we all had a good day.
Open churches run was held on 6 August with over 100 cars taking part. Starting from Norwich Cathedral the first stop at St Margaret's Church, Stratton Strawless, then on to St Andrew's church at Felmingham, where a Flower Festival was being held. Next stop was at St Botolph, Banningham, then on towards Erpingham and St Mary's church, which has one of Norfolk's most famous brasses, Sir John de Erpingham. Stops were also made at St Mary's church Aldborough and All Saints Gresham before a well deserved rest at All Saints church, Upper Sheringham. The finish this year was at Beeston Regis with a stop at St Mary's Priory as well as All Saint's church.
Our last club meeting on 30th August was a 'bring your classic' evening, together with the local MG club who also meet at Caistor Hall. This was another first and was a great success with 23 Rovers and as many MGs lined up in front of the hotel. Prizes were give for the best Rovers & MGs, courtesy of the MG club, as voted for by all those attending. These types of events are very weather dependent and we were very lucky to have a sunny summer evening. Something to definitely be repeated.
With the East Kirkby event being moved to Saturday (not a good day for our members) we tried the Boston car Club event which this year was on 14th August. This has been running for 25 years and has become a really big show with well over 400 cars attending, including a number not seen before. These included a Renault Dauphine and the iconic Renault 16, which broke new ground for styling in its day. Just for fun there was also a double fronted Morris Minor (push me pull you instantly came to mind)
The Club put on a good display of cars at the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton on Sunday 22 July, along with our friends from the Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts Club. A great day, fantastic weather, plus a flypast by a Spitfire, Hurricane and Boeing Stearman, what more could you want. This has become a regular venue for a club visit and as usual we were parked up between the static aircraft on display. Despite having been there a number of times there are still new things to find in the extensive displays within the main hanger and there always seems to be dancing or a band to keep us entertained.
Every year a number of club members attend the Weeting country fare as guests of the Brandon Car club and this year was no exception. It has been taking place every year for the last 24 years and has become one of the largest shows around with all manner of historic road vehicles, trade stalls, fun fair, working steam and much much more. The weather was good and we all had a splendid day looking around, taking the cars around both arenas and just sitting in the sunshine.
Interests vary and with 85 members now, groups of members can attend different shows on the same day, as on 3 July. We had 14 cars at the ever popular North Norfolk Railway Heritage Transport Day, with everyone enjoying vintage bus & train rides, looking at the 400+ classic cars & trucks and just sitting in the sunshine. There were tea & cakes in the 'cottage' a hot food bar, a beer tent and a 60's band. What more could you want.
***Five members attended the Charity Family Fun Day on 3rd July at Wymondham Rugby Club with all proceeds to the East Anglia's Children's Hospices Nook Appeal. Around 30 cherished cars were on display, including Bentley's, Roll Royce and Mercedes, many that are not usually seen at regular car shows. To add to the display there was two very splendid traction engines. There was plenty to keep you occupied, with the usual traditional village fair stalls, food and drink, the hog roast was fantastic.
***A Some 26 members and friends returned to Horning on 26th June to spend a lovely summer evening on board the Mississippi style trip boat 'Southern Comfort'. This was one of the very popular jazz boat trips that are put on each year and we all spent a very pleasant 3 hours with good company, lovely river views and the 6 piece traditional jazz band to keep us entertained - what more could you want. This was the third year we had joined the boat and I'm sure we will do so again in the near future.
***A couple of members joined over 100 others on 19th June to take part in the annual SCCON Classic Car Run. This was 76 miles via quiet roads in Norfolk and Suffolk, past Reymerston Hall and on through the pretty village of Debenham with a number of timber framed buildings, and many others. The finish point was just south of Bury St Edmunds at the Cars on the Green and Bury Motor Show at Nowton, a very large event with around 1000 cars.
***There has been a country fayer held at Swanton Morley for quite a few years and several of us attended this year's event on 19th June. There was a good selection of classic cars (around 100), tractors, horticultural equipment and a few steamers. The obligatory trade stalls included autojumble, models, bric-a-brac and plants. The bar was open in the excellent village hall and there were half a dozen traders selling refreshments and hot food, what more could you want. The weather was good, we took a turn around the ring & talked about our cars and in the afternoon we sat and listened the the Dereham Brass Band. An good day.
***A One of our brave members had just completed a 1,733 mile trip to the Isle of Harris & Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, via Loch Lomond, Oban and Barrahaving and catching the ferry from North Uist. They also visited Ullapool, the Orkneys and Shetland Isles, attending the Shetland Classic Car show in Lerwick on the 5th June. A photograph shows their car at the Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the most northerly point in the Hebrides.
***A nice selection of club cars joined the NCVC rally at Strumpshaw on 12 June. This has grown to a very large show with many hundreds of cars to view. Apart from a brief heavy shower at lunch time it was warm and fine allowing us to sit by the cars and enjoy each others company. There were a selection of trade stalls including the essential autojumble ones and of course the museum with its steam based exhibits & Christi Organ
***SD1 national4/5th June. The first stop on the Saturday road run was at Severn View Services from where the convoy continued over the Severn Bridge, towards Chepstow, Tintern Abbey and the second stop at Monmouth. The route back was via the M50 and the M5, but some took a more scenic drive via Ledbury and the Malvern Hills.
Sunday was the 'National' Day with 75 SD1's on display at Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa. In addition to showroom condition cars and daily runners, there were race car replicas and FIA approved race cars. Members had travelled from as far afield as Norway, Holland and France. Peter & Janet Cane, Kev Clark and Chris Parmenter were there flying the flag for the Norfolk & Norwich Rover Owners Club, Chris picking up third prize in the Vitesse category.
***Our annual Bressingham show on May 29th and was again a great success with cars coming from far and wide. We were blessed with warm sunshine all day and everyone had a really good time looking at all the cars, chatting with owners and taking advantage of all that Bressingham has to offer. The full report on the day, and list of winners can be accessed from our Home page.
***15May. The annual rally at Skeyton Goat has become a regular with the club and over the years has become a very large event. In addition to a wide range of cars there are also many autojumble and other stalls to browse. There is also live music, for those who enjoy that sort of thing, and a barbecue. The weather was rather cool at times but after looking at all the cars and stalls, we spent an enjoyable afternoon sitting by the cars, chatting.
***Drive it Day this year was on Sunday 24th April and we took a ride through the Norfolk villages this time, stopping at the Lighthouse Inn at Walcott for an excellent roast lunch. In the afternoon we continued our ride up the coast and across the dear park for afternoon tea at Alby Crafts where we had a room booked and were really well looked after. We finished the day with a look around all the fascinating craft workshops before making the journey back home. Weatherwise we had rain, snow, hail, (and some sunshine) but nothing stops the N&NROC.
17th April was the first proper trip out for the club. We made the long trip down to the Bentwaters airfield in Suffolk where they now have quite an interesting museum in the old control room. It was fascinating seeing details all the different aircraft that were stationed there over the years and also seeing how the logistics of getting squadrons into the air worked, not just at Bentwaters but at all the NATO bases during the cold war. It was also an enjoyable ride down through all the Suffolk villages. Probably a one off though.
Thanks to a tremendous team effort we pulled it off, the Norfolk and Norwich Rover Owners Club at the NEC Restoration Show on 5th & 6th March - another first for the club. We presented our club well, attracted a great deal of attention (& positive comments in the visitors book) and, above all, enjoyed ourselves. As a bonus, we gained 2 new members (probably more) and sold some of our regalia - what more could you want. Being recognised in the same circles as the national clubs has to be good and we were able to build on our relationship with the other Rover Clubs who were in the same area as us, making a Rover hub, excuse the pun.
A record number of members and guests enjoyed our annual club Christmas party at the Oaklands Hotel on 13th December, brining our anniversary year to a fitting close. Each year this event get bigger and bigger, and this year we filled the function room to capacity. We were served an excellent 3 course meal by the very efficient hotel staff who made us feel very welcome. Needless to say we all had a very enjoyable time and we will no doubt be returning to the Oaklands for our Christmas 'bash' next year.
***To close the event season, 14 club cars made a joint visit with NCVC to the Mid Norfolk Railway on 18 October. It was a rather cool day but we enjoyed a pleasant ride in a warm train with good company to Wymondham, back to Hoe and return to Dereham. This was followed by a good lunch in the buffet but there were not too many other visitors, probably due to it being arranged at short notice. We will do it again next year but the railway will advertise it well in advance.
***.On Sunday 4th October, together with members of the SD1 club, 12 members made a repeat visit to the Forncett Steam Museum where all the various stationary engines were in steam. These range from early beam engines to 1 and 2 cylinder horizontals and an enormous 80 ton 3 cylinder vertical engine, mainly used for pumping in their day. The local model engineering society were also there putting on a display of many hand built miniature engines, boats etc. whilst scale traction engines were taking people for rides outside. At lunch time we enjoyed their specialty of hot pork rolls and then sat in the sunshine on the back lawn by our cars for the usual chinwag.
***A number of events were put on on 20 September to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and we decided to go along to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum open day at Flixton, near Bungay, in Suffolk. We put on a fine display of Rovers, from a 1948 P3 through to a 1985 SD1, alongside the examples of fighter aircraft from the early years of winged flight up to the cold war Lightning and later Harrier jump jet. Following an excellent carvery lunch in the adjacent Buck Inn we enjoyed a flypast by a BBMF Dakota and also a P51 Mustang. We then settled down to listen to the local 'Super Swing Big Band' who entertained us with music from the 1940s, including many Glenn Miller favourites, which made a fitting end to the day.
***Nine members joined the Classic Car Day at Tuesday Market Place as part of the Heritage Open Day in King's Lynn on Sunday 13th September. The public car park was full of classic cars, 230 had booked in for this special display. The weather held for the day, giving plenty of time to visit some of the towns hidden gems, which are not usually open to the public. The highlight being the tour of the Air Raid Shelters recently discovered under the market place. Lynn was a very prosperous port in the day and many of the splendid historic buildings date from that time.
***A group of intrepid members took the long trip down from Norfolk to the Rover day at the Buckinghamshire Railway Center, Quainton, on 30th August. We made a long weekend of it by travelling down on the Saturday so that we could have our cars on display in good time on the Sunday morning. This is a large event and we all enjoyed looking at the many cars, searching through the autojumble and exploring the extensive railway museum and exhibits. Unfortunately no trains were running and it did rain in the afternoon but there was ample cover and we all had an excellent day. We all arrived home happy but rather tired.
***Another first for the club was Caister Castle and car museum on 23rd August. Again we had a good turnout with 10 cars parked 'centre stage' in the car park. After viewing all the exhibits in the museum (200+, and some not seen elsewhere) we had a picnic lunch in the Castle keep and then the brave amongst us climbed the 115 steps to the top of the tower for more photos and to enjoy the splendid views. The forecast had been for rain but we timed it well and arrived home just in time to avoid the latest downpour.
***Gluttons for punishment, many of us then took the trip south on the following day to the annual Stonham Barns rally in Suffolk. 10 classic Rovers in convoy on the A140 was a fantastic sight and we certainly turned a few heads along the way. Together with those who joined us at Stonham, we had a very good turnout (the best for some time) and I think we put on an excellent display with a good selection of models from the Rover range. Many people visited our stand and as always there was much to see and do so we all had a really good day. As if that wasn't enough, 2 club cars were invited to take part in the parade around the arena to 'fly the Rover flag'.
***On Saturday 15th August we put on our first 'Public' show using the amphitheatre in front of the ultra modern Norwich Forum. This was built to celebrate the Millennium and is a splendid glass and stainless steel structure with vast 15m high curved glass roof and has become an iconic landmark in the city. It was the perfect location to display models representing some 70 years of Rover car production, from a 1935 P2 to a 2005 75 and various models in between. We were surprised by the level of interest, with many people having fascinating stories to tell about Rovers they had owned or that had been in their families. Surprisingly we had a few people come up to us who had worked on the engineering side in the Rover company, Lotus and even DeLorian who again had interesting stories to tell. We all went home quite tired but happy in the thought that we had done our bit to keep the iconic Rover name alive in the minds of the general public.
***The P6 ROC held their national rally on 9th August this year at the Heritage Motor Centre & Museum, Gaydon. Five of our club members undertook the long trip from Norfolk to join in the fun, several making a weekend of it by travelling up on the Saturday to visit other places in the area. We had a really great day on the Sunday with good weather, some really good cars and the perfect venue, what more could you want. In fact we could have spent the whole day in the museum looking at the vast range of cars on display. We were all pleased to see that Rover is very well represented with many models including a number of experimental/concept cars on display including the gas turbine prototypes.
***There was a good selection of Rover Cars at this year's BMC-BL Rally and spares day at Ferry Meadows, Peterborough on Sunday 2nd August. These were mostly from the 80's through to 2005 although there were many BMC cars from earlier years. It was a super event with loads of vehicles and nice to see the Sun out as well.
***The Old Buckenham air show is a favorite with members and on Sunday 2nd August we had a very enjoyable day, with excellent weather and were able to enjoy the splendid flying displays, including a Spitfire and Mustang. There were plenty of classic cars, monster truck and military vehicles to view, together with tank rides, dancing and the usual trade stalls. Guest of honour was Honor Blackman who was re united with the helicopter from the famous Goldfinger film.
***The Norfolk Open Churches Run was on Saturday 1st August this year. Unlike the previous week the weather was fine and sunny, allowing us to enjoy the splendid countryside as we followed the well prepared route book which took us to some unusual and interesting churches. Some of us had lunch at the Waveney Valley River Centre before ending the run at Ditchingham church where we were able to enjoy the views from the top of the tower.
***Our display at Norwich Cathedral, as part on our anniversary celebrations was scheduled for Sunday 26th July. Unfortunately the rain set in early but 12 cars came along, despite the conditions, allowing us to take general photos and recreate the photo taken in the early eighties. We also had a light lunch in our own room overlooking the cars and cathedral.
***Friday 17th to Sunday 19th July was the Weeting country fair weekend. The weather was good and we had an excellent time looking at the working steam demonstrations, model engineering displays and the masses of trade stalls, together with all the cars, tractors, fire and military vehicles. As usual we took a turn around the arena where we had the chance to talk about our cars.
***The annual mid lincs Rover rally was held at East Kirkby on Sunday 12 July and a dozen club cars made the long journey from Norwich to be there. This is a very popular show with several hundred cars, many static aviation exhibits and, of course, 'Just Jane' the famous Lancaster Bomber. We know the main attraction of the day, the fast taxi run, is due to take place as soon as we hear those four wonderful merlin engines start up and every thing else goes quiet. There really is nothing quite like it.
This year several members went up to Lincolnshire on the Saturday, calling in at the Bubble car museum between Boston and Coningsby for lunch and then going on via Coningsby to explore the small, unspoilt, town of Woodhall Spa. In addition to looking at the memorials devoted to the Dam Busters in the town centre we had afternoon tea at the Petwood Hotel, which was taken over by the RAF during the war. This is a wonderful country house with many photos, some autographed by the crews, and it was quite moving standing in the squadron bar where so many famous names had stood in the past. From here we moved on to the 617 Inn at the Lancaster Hotel for a very enjoyable evening meal before retiring for the night.
***As part of the historic transport day at the North Norfolk Railway, on 5th July, the club put on a good display including P3s, P4s, P5s & P6s. This is now one of the biggest classic car shows in the area with 410 entrants this year. Together with the trains, buses, and display of commercials it is always a full day and this year there was also a 60s theme with stalls and a band down by the miniature railway plus tea, cakes and entertainment in the railway education centre. There was a heavy shower around lunch time but by mid afternoon this had passed leaving us with a pleasant evening to end the day.
***Some 24 members and friends spent a lovely sunny summer evening on the Mississippi style trip boat from Horning on 28th June. This was one of the very popular jazz boat trips that are put on each year and we all spent a very pleasant 3 hours with good company, lovely river views and the 6 piece jazz band to keep us entertained - what could be better. This was the second year we had joined the boat and I'm sure we will do so again in the near future.
***This year's Sporting Car Club Mid Summer run on 21st June started as usual from Watton High Street. The road was closed for the start as 120 plus cars lined up (only 1 Rover, our club car) in Le Mans style. Unfortunately, just as the cars started to leave the heavens opened and it rained heavy for a while. This did not dampen everyone's spirits as we traveled around the Norfolk countryside on a very good 80 mile run. The halfway stop was at Raynham Hall, a private home opened just for the run, with the finish at Holkham Hall, where the sun came out for the afternoon.
***The NCVC rally moved to Strumpshaw Hall this year and a number of our members went along on Sunday 7th June to support the show. This is a very large site and there must have been close to 1,000 cars for us to look at and enjoy. In addition there were a number of steam pumping engines in operation in the museum as well as the static exhibits, and Lizzie Sones was entertaining visitors on the Christie theatre organ. The high point for us was taking our cars into the arena to say a few words about them, and afterwards we were able to sit in the sunshine by the cars to have our lunch and to chat.
***As if we had not had our fill of classics at Bressingham, the next day several members went along to the village fate on the Green at Bradenham. This is a very popular event locally with some 200 vehicles including classics, specials, tractors, military and bikes. There were the usual craft stalls and field games/sports. Tea and cakes were available in the village hall and a bar was selling somewhat stronger drinks in the cricket pavilion. It was a day to relax after the busy day at Bressingham.
***Our annual Bressingham show on May 24th was part of our 40th anniversary celebrations and was a great success with cars coming from far and wide. Our theme this year was ‘Rover Through the Years’ and to support this we had arranged a special display showing the key models from some 100 years of car production. A further display included Rover cycles & motorcycles and yet another the evolution of the P4 over its 15 year production life. A full report on the event can be accessed from our home page.
***The Skeyton Goat rally near Aylesham is a very popular event which has increased in size over recent years, with a wide variety of cars and an increasing number of stalls. It was held on Sunday 17th May this year and despite the rather cool weather we put on a good club display which attracted much attention. There was the usual bar and entertainment but by mid afternoon, when the temperature had dropped even more, many cars started to head for home. We held on for a while and then followed suit.
***Several members attended the daffodil day rally at Langley School near Loddon on Sunday 10th May. There were about 150 cars present plus bands and Majorette displays but less trade stalls than in the past. In addition to sitting in the sunshine chatting we were were able to take a pleasant walk thought the grounds to the church, returning via the woodland walk by the lake. We were also treated to an unplanned fly past by the Red Arrows, which added extra interest to the day.
***Monday 4th May saw a small number of members take the annual trip to the Vintage Rally at Stradsett Park near Downham Market. This is a much larger show than in the past with more room for all the exhibits. There were around 200 cars on display together with motorcycles, tractor of all ages, steam engines and a large number of trade stalls. This is a 2 day show and the Sunday was a washout with rain for much of the day but by the Monday the ground had dried out and we enjoyed sunshine all day, allowing us to take a leisurely walk around the show and chat with other exhibitors.
***ThThe Club celebrated its 40th anniversary on Sunday 26th April with a Drive-it-Day road run to the historic Lynford Hall, in Thetford Forest, where they enjoyed a special lunch followed by a grand prize draw. Guest of Honour was Rita Ringwood, wife of one of the club founders, the late John Ringwood. Rita was accompanied by the other founder member of the club Terry Reynolds who, together with his wife Helen, today organise all the club’s event and outings. After lunch the 50+ members attending were entertained by Guest Speaker, BBC Radio presenter David Clayton, who gave an entertaining an amusing talk of his life in broadcasting. Over 20 cars were arranged around the inner courtyard putting on a splendid display and an excellent time was had by all.
***The Annual Tractor show took place at the Norfolk Showground on Sunday 12th April where the club put on a display. In addition to the range of fascinating and historic tractors, some dating back to the early 1900s, there were a good selection of classic cars & trucks, together with the usual trade stands. A feature of the show was an exciting demonstration of the pulling power of some of the tractors, many of which had been highly tuned for the occasion. Wheelies and the occasional blown engine added to the excitement.
***Two members of the club enjoyed a day out to the Festival of Steam at the historic Chatham Dockyard on Easter Monday. There were many classic car on display together with a number of steam wagons, tractors and rollers plus a small period fun fair. The dockside railway was in steam with a number of original saddle tank locos and steam cranes making demonstration runs. All the usual exhibition halls were open including the famous rope works, that still makes various types of rope today, and were putting on demonstrations. Two period ships and a submarine were also open for inspection. This may be an event for some of the more adventurous members to take their cars to next year.
***The new season kicked of with a very full meeting on 24th February 2015 where many of the events for the coming season were discussed. This is the club's 40th anniversary year and in addition to a special lunch, details were discussed for special displays at Bressingham on 24th May, Norwich Cathedral on 26th July and The Forum on 15th August. The membership secretary reported that renewals were good and that a record of 8 new members had joined over the winter period.
***A record number of members and guests attended the annual club Christmas party at the Oaklands Hotel on 14th December. We were served an excellent 3 course meal by the very efficient hotel staff who made us feel very welcome. Needless to say we all had a enjoyable time and we will no doubt be returning to the Oaklands for our Christmas 'bash' next year.
At the club AGM on 25th November the Chairman was able to report that the club was in a very healthy position with more than adequate reserves, increasing membership and a very busy event diary. Committee members and the Bressingham team were thanked for their hard work throughout the year. The Chairman also welcomed all new members and thanked those members who had supported the club by attending the various events and meetings throughout the year. In accordance with the constitution, the Chair and Deputy Chair both retired on rotation and were re-elected unopposed for a further 3 years. The AGM was followed by a very enjoyable buffet and the chance to chat.
***With the last of the events attended it has become the custom to invite a speaker to our October meeting. However this year, for a change, we put on a newsreel video of Norwich in the 1950s. This brought back many memories of cars, buildings and events of the time, most striking of course was the lack of traffic compared with today.
***Last show of the year for the club this year was at Pensthorpe wildlife centre near Fakenham on 4th October. There were several hundred vehicles present together with the usual stalls and, as usual, the club put on a good display. Despite being late in the season the weather was good allowing us to picknick by the cars and then take a leisurely walk around the reserve in the warm sunshine. A bonus of this event is that all those brining their cars have free entry to the reserve and can stay for the weekend if they wish.
***The annual Henham steam and country show took place on 21st September and was attended by a small group of members, The show was as good as ever with many cars, commercial, agricultural and steam vehicles on display. As it was an Anniversary show this year, all attendees received a steam engine model as a memento, which was a nice touch.
***On the weekend of 13th/14th September 2 members took the long trip to Goodwood for the annum revival show put on by Lord March. Historic racing for the men, and shops and a market for the ladies. We all dressed in period costume and absorbed the awesome atmosphere. Both Lancasters, together with 2 Spitfires, a Hurricane, Mustang, ME109, Canberra and 2 Hunters put on amazing displays over the race track and to cap it all, the starting grid for the Sunday TT Memorial race was worth some £220m.
***ThThe King's Lynn Classic Car Day, a new event in its first year, was held on Sunday 14th September and a group of club members went along to support the event. The rally was organised to coincide with Heritage Open Day giving added interest to both those of us bringing their cars and those coming to look at the historic buildings. The historic bus rides were an added bonus helping to give a nice period feel to the day. The town has a fascinating historic quarter, with many fine buildings, and we all took the opportunity to explore the many buildings that are not normally open to the public.
***6 Club members took their various Rovers to Duxford airfield & aviation museum on 7th September to join the P5 club for their annual rally. The weather was good and although it was not an official flying day we did see many historic aircraft taking to the sky. The most impressive was probably a Spitfire that gave an impromptu display with some very low, fast passes over the airfield. Three of our club members won awards for their cars, John Wallett actually picking up two for his P5b & two P4s picking up the others, and to cap it all we recruited our 60th member. Certainly a day to remember.
***The P6 National was held at Rufford Abbey Country Park this year and 3 cars undertook the long journey on 31 August to join in the festivities. It was a fantastic day, the weather was good, the venue was wonderful with the P6 entries parked up in front of the Abbey ruins. The organisers reported that over 80 P6s turned up and a total of 160 cars were booked in all together. Plenty to do, with walks around the Abbey ruins, gardens, woods and lake and even a Brass Band to listen to. As a bonus, one of our members picked up an award for his recently purchased seris 1, 2000.
***Lt. Gransden Rally and Air Show on Sunday 24th August was a first for the club. The entertainment included both the BBMF and Canadian Lancasters flying in formation plus the last flying Vulcan V bomber. These, together with some unbelievable aerobatic displays by Pitts Specials and many others including, would you believe, a glider. It all made for a fantastic day. Then there were the cars, which included some superb club displays from Rolls to Triumphs & MGs, together with many individual entries.
***Sunday 17th August was the date for this year's show at Stonham Barns in Suffolk. 7 Club cars joined the 700 or so others booked in for the day to put on a very good display. There were the usual trade stalls, a car boot sale in an adjoining field, plus the retail outlets and restaurant. For those of the right age there was demonstration dancing to a rock & roll band in the bar marquee, which drew quite a crowd.
***15 Club members joined the Waveney Valley & District Preservation Society at the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, on Sunday 3 August and were joined by a fine collection of Rolls Royces. We were a little disappointed to find that the Ken Wallis collection had not been transferred to the purpose built hall, as planed by the Wing Commander. However it was a warm & sunny day and we enjoyed looking around the extensive collection of other exhibits on show. We also took the opportunity to have a very enjoyable lunch at the Buck Inn, which is just in front of the museum.
***Several members joined in the 55 mile Churches run on Saturday 7 August. The cars were seen off by the Bishop of Norwich from the cathedral green and enjoyed tea & cakes at each of the church's visited.
***Sunday 27 July was the date for one of the famous Old Buckenham air shows, which are now amongst the largest in the Norfolk/Suffolk area. Several members attended and enjoyed excellent aerial displays by a Spitfite, a P51 Mustang and many others. On the ground we had a good mix of both classic cars and military vehicles to look around.
As a change from the car events, on 20 July, 14 members took a 3 hour Jazz Boat ride from Horning on the Norfolk Broads, aboard the paddle steamer, Southern Comfort. A very pleasant evening was had by all and good use was made of the on board bar. This area of the 'Broads' is quite attractive with many riverside properties and is very peaceful in the evenings with just a few other boats cruising the waters. A very different type of event for the club and just one of the social events we are introducing.
***Another regular event for the club is the Mid Lincs Rover Rally at East Kirkby, home to the famous Lancaster, 'Just Jane'. On 13 July, 6 members made the long trip from Norfolk and enjoyed the day but again we experienced heavy showers. However this did not spoil the fun and we were all delighted to see the Lancaster doing its legendary taxi runs around the field. Who can not be thrilled by the sound of those Merlin Engines? This year, one of our club members won the raffle to ride in the Lanc. and many photos were taken.
***Some 12 club members had a very enjoyable day at the North Norfolk Railway, Historic Transport Day on 6 July but unfortunately the rains came again and everyone headed for the trains and other undercover areas. Attendance was a little down due to the weather but there were still several hundred cars to view between the showers.
***Sunday 29 May saw 8 members attending the RSR 'National at Ickworth Park near Bury St. Edmunds. It was quite an interesting show as there were quite a few early Rovers on display that are not normally seen in the area. Unfortunately it started raining quite heavily soon after we were all parked up and this is how it stayed for most of the day.
***New meeting place - From June 2014, monthly club meetings will be held at the Caistor Hall Hotel, Caistor St. Edmunds, NR14 8QN. At the A47/A140 roundabout turn east on the signed road exit. Pass over the river, turn right at the crossroads and the Hotel will be seen immediately on the left. Guests are always welcome so why not come along and say hello. As previously, meetings start at 8pm and are held on the last Tuesday of the month.
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