Monday, 21 September 2015

The sun shines on Sidmouth Classic Car show

A gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon was probably not the best time to
try and visit seaside towns along the south Devon coast. We set out from our campsite intending to explore Budleigh Salterton, but found that this was the weekend of their Literary Festival and the town was literary-ly full. So we retraced our route back aways and headed for Sidmouth instead. We nearly gave up here too as the car parks in town and on the seafront were packed solid. Instead, I caught sight of a sign that I had misunderstood on the way into town. Weekend Walks doesn't refer to a rambling club. It's the way to the Park And Walk car parks for Sidmouth. This great initiative sees the three Council car park areas turned over to free public parking at weekends to relieve pressure on the already heaving town centre. Most of the pleasant short walk is through a green park towards the seafront.

Once in town, we were firstly surprised by the extent of the croquet
C-type Jaguar 
courts and the number of players enjoying a game. Where other towns go in for bowls, Sidmouth does croquet. I used to play as a child because my grandparents had a croquet set kept at the ready for our visits and, of course, a large enough flat lawn on which to set up the hoops. It's a fun game and I was reminded of the Oxford students we saw playing at Balliol College last summer.

We struck lucky as the Sidmouth Classic Car Show had taken over the cricket club for the day and dozens of vintage vehicles gleamed in the sunshine while live trad jazz played from an outdoor stage. Entry to the show was free with strategically placed donation buckets being shaken by volunteers. Most of the cars were British and European makes although Dave was pleased to get to see a couple of American models too. I forgot to write down the full names of the cars I liked best so I hope just giving the overall make and model doesn't annoy any experts and enthusiasts reading this post. You can always Comment further information at the end!

Austin Seven 
There were two C-type Jaguars, the silver one pictured and a green one as well. I learned that they were developed as racing cars for the Le Mans 24 hour race which a C-type did indeed win. Several automotive clubs turned up en masse an parked together including the Devon Austin Seven Club.

I liked the colours of the older cars like the Wolseley pictured above and the two tone Riley RMA below. I hadn't known of the make before and there are more pictures of this beautiful car on the Grace's Guide website.

Riley RMA 
The final car that I just had to include, purely for its literary connections to one of my favourite book series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , is this Ford Prefect!

Ford Prefect 

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