One of the highlights of the year for us is the Wessex and New Forest Triumph run that happens on or around “Drive It Day” . We missed the event last year as we were roped into helping organise the WCR40 event at Gaydon, so we were doubly keen to make sure we took part this year.
A few of us met up at Ringwood before heading off to Avon Heath Country Park, the usual start of the event. Our convoy of TRs were quite early in arriving, so we thought, but there were already a lot of cars parked and waiting for the start. It was going to be a good turnout and the weather was looking very promising. Possibly the warmest day of the year so far, if the papers could be believed.
I sometimes forget which of my Triumph hats (or polo shirts) I should be wearing. As well as an active Wessex TR Register member, I’m also magazine editor for the 2000 Register, but this was a definite “TR” Day. Rapidly, the car park filled up with Triumphs of all descriptions, mostly of the convertible variety, so obviously everyone had faith in the weather holding, especially as without fail, the roofs were “down”. Just a couple of big saloons, a few Dolomites plenty of Heralds, Vitesses, Spitfires and GT6s and a rare sighting of multiple TR7 coupes, a car that is rapidly becoming a rarity (buy one now while stocks last!). And plenty of TRs and Stags to be seen.
And so, the start. On time and organised to perfection as always with everyone getting smoothly away. Out route took us east first to Poulner, but in the interests of road safety, it’s a left turn exiting the Park, followed by a U turn at the first roundabout. Then turning off the racetrack of the A31, we head through Rockford and Linwood to turn more or less south to Lyndhurst, passing the curious Portuguese Fireplace monument in Bolderwood.
Lyndhurst predictably provides an opportunity for everyone to check their cars cooling system. Unusually, neither of our Triumphs suffer the overheating problems that beset so many. Eventually we get through the hold up at the traffic lights and turn off to Beaulieu, where the annual boat jumble is being held and additional traffic is predicted. Our TR6 develops an unusual “squeak”. I’d had new front wheel bearing fitted a week or so ago and my immediate suspicion was something wasn’t quite right. However, tea and biscuits were waiting for us at Boldre village Hall, so we carried carefully on for our halfway halt and tea stop. Plus an opportunity to adjust a loose nearside front wheel bearing. The tea stop was again organised to perfection, with a week’s production of Huntley & Palmer’s best laid out before us
Carrying on via Sway and Bransgore, we soon arrive at Soply and head north to intercept the road to Hurn, via the Avon Causeway and head northwards, passing Matchams Park. Then skirt the edge of Ashley Heath and into Alderholt, where a series of left turns finds us heading to Cranborne and a bit of a traffic jam. A couple of years ago, we met one of the MG clubs in Cranborne, coming the other way. This year, it was just normal traffic and a Midget, but being faced with a stream of 120 Triumphs, the Midget driver clearly knew his place! From here it’s just a short run into Damerham to our usual destination, the Compasses Inn. Lunch was a fine Sunday Roast, followed by judging. We forgot to put our judging slip in the windscreen (again) – or at least, that is our excuse for not winning anything – but Wessex TR were well represented again amongst the winners.
A great day out; great company; perfectly organised with marshals at all the turns where there is an opportunity to get it wrong. We are already awaiting the date for next year so we can get it in the diary. And next year, we might bring the 2000.