Now in it’s 3rd year, the reincarnated New Forest Run is held to coincide with the FBHVC “Drive It Day”. Now called the Wessex and New Forest Triumph Run the event is organised by the Wessex Area Group of the TSSC with assistance from the TR Drivers Club, and they do a fantastic job in organising and marshalling the event for all marques of Triumph cars. I was unable to attend this year, but more than a dozen Wessex Members turned out to enjoy the event, and here’s a report from Kevin Warrington.
Drive it Day 2009
Sunday, 26th April and something is happening in the New Forest. A visitor to the area is surprised to see that the motorcar of choice in this corner of England where the New Forest melts into the Dorset heath is the Triumph. It must be: everything from TR2s to the very last Acclaims is to be seen, along with examples of all the iterations of TRs, Spitfires, Heralds and Vitesse’s, Dolomites and 2000 series saloons. What we know is that it’s the annual “Drive it Day” event organised by the local TSSC branch and to which all the Triumph clubs are invited to participate.
Again starting from the Avon Valley Park between Ringwood and Ferndown, where the assembled cars have taken over most, if not all, of the car parking space, we head off along the A31 before turning into the Forest and driving through Burley. From here, we pass the Holmsley tea rooms (see last month’s Wessex News for a picture showing when this was a railway station) and then into the famous village of Sway. Famous because even when the other railway line was closed by the good Dr Beeching, tickets from London to Bournemouth continued to be marked “via Sway”, and so the village became famous, even if most travellers just passed through at 90 mph. Our speeds are a little lower today as we duck and dive under bridges and avoid the Forest animals, most of which are blissfully unaware of us passing.
We head towards Brockenhurst, mostly playing tunes with gearboxes and resonating exhausts as we pass through the village and then a run along the B road from Balmer Lawn to Beaulieu. Today is the annual boat jumble, so there’s a bit of extra traffic around the entrance and a few bemused yachties wondering what this procession of elderly cars is all about. Staying on the B road, we head back into Lyndhurst, which on a sunny Sunday for once is not gridlocked with traffic. It soon will be!
Our route from Lyndhurst is the A337 to Cadnam, crossing under the motorway and heading into the northern parts of the Forest towards Landford. Some of us make a quick stop to check on the status of the order for our new car as we pass the Bentley dealer (personally, I stopped in Lyndhurst to see when my Maserati Quattroporto will be ready for collection) and then we head around Hamptworth to Lover and ultimately Hale Village Hall which had been requisitioned to provide teas and coffees for us all. The village green is home to a large family of ponies, which provides a distraction for a few, while others take the opportunity to kick a few tyres and examine the shininess of each other’s motors.
Suitably refreshed, we head off to Breamore. The fumes from 80 Triumph engines simultaneously starting would linger in Hale for the rest of the day! Passing Breamore House, the route now gets more exciting as the roads get even narrower and we see the first green shoots that everyone is talking about. Except these green shoots are growing through the road surface! Passing through Sandleheath and Lower Daggons, we find ourselves on a main road into Cranborne. Which is gridlocked as another group are passing through in the other direction. It’s a tight squeeze, but we get through the village, heading out on yet another narrow lane towards the tiny hamlet of Tidpit. A final right turn and a couple of miles further on bring us to “The Compasses” and journey’s end, where lunch and refreshments are waiting. While waiting to enter the parking area, the heavens opened, stopping only once most of the soft tops have been refitted!
As is customary on this event, the afternoon was given over to an informal judging when each participant votes on their favourite car in each category, and like last year, I’m delighted to say that Wessex TR members took honours once again. Ian Tubbs won Best TR5/6 with his TR6, John Davies won Best TR7/8 for the second year running, and Nigel Barber won the top prize “Car of the Show” for his wonderful TR3A. Well done to Ian, John and Nigel.
A wonderful day: superbly organised with marshals at the trickier junctions and many helpful signposts along the route, we already have next year’s event in the diary.