Wessex and New Forest Triumph Run

17th April, 2011

Sunday morning started early for us, as we were not sure we could make the run this year, and instead of going down to the New Forest on the Saturday, we went down in the early morning. We had a super drive down, not too hot, and not too much traffic. On the way, we saw lots of Triumphs, all headed in the same direction, so we were confident of a great turn-out.

On arrival at the Avon Country Park, we met lots of friends, all trying to tie their bumper plaques on – something quite difficult on a TR7! Just before we all set off, there were so many Triumphs in the car park, they were having to line up between the parking bays, and it was beginning to look a bit like sardines in a can – very good sardines of course.

There was one corner of the park, where all the yellow cars had gathered, and what a superb sight they were, they all seem to have a gold glow about them, which extended to the lady marshall.

There were one or two adjustments needing to be made before everyone was ready to go, such as changing a wheel, when the car next door was a wee bit too close for comfort.

There must have been almost every marque of Triumph there, the total number signing in on the day being 118.

About 10.30-ish, Rex Holford took point position, ready to lead the marshals off to do their duty. This really is one of the best organised runs in the country: as well as being given a map of the Forest, and a tulip design guide, there is someone in a HiViz waistcoat at all the tricky junctions and corners.

The first turn is just outside the Park, where we are requested, by the law, to turn left. As this is an extremely busy dual carriageway, the numbers of Triumphs in a row are diluted. As there was no-one in sight in front of me, I took it slowly and was soon caught up by a Stag, and half a dozen others. We passed through, or by, lots of well known places included Ringwood, Poulner, Hightown and Crow, where there is a Raptor Centre. Then to Linwood and Lyndhurst, Swan Green and Totton. We were warned to beware at Beaulieu where there was the annual boat jumble, but we cruised by with no problems at all. We even passed the gateway through which Poppy clocked 20,000 miles on the clock way back in the early 1990s!

The weather was holding up well, and it was really beautiful going across the open areas. On to Lymington and Brockenhurst, all very pretty villages, and eventually having covered approximately 30 miles we parked up at the Boldre War Memorial Hall car park, otherwise a very large field, but as the weather had been dry for some while the ground was good and hard, and was pleasant to be on. Andrew Poynter had driven over from Kent, and was proud to fly the flag!

A quick dash inside for a cuppa and a biscuit, and more Triumph talk. At this point we were joined by Barry Bryan, in his TR6, which had ceased to function for some mysterious reason, but ‘a nice man who can’, got the car going again. Barry is Simon’s dad, and both he and Harry also came along for the run, all the way from Northamptonshire. This is just one example of the lengths Triumph drivers go to for a really good day out.

After the break, it was onwards once more for the 39 mile trip to our destination at the Compasses. All the way through our tour of the New Forest we saw ponies and cattle grazing by the roadside; this meant we had our insides stirred when passing over the many cattle grids. The weather was absolutely glorious, and more like July than April. The hedgerows were full of primroses and bluebells.

One person has remarked on the number of directions which used public houses to guide us by; but this really is a good way to show you are on the right route. We passed the White Hart, and then Alice Lisle, who contrary to instructions was on the left, not the right, she’d had too much gin I suppose, then the Red Shoot, and High Corner, the New Forest Inn and the Swan. Apparently we also passed the Meridian Modern showrooms, but neither the navigator or I saw them – probably just as well. Onwards to the Beaulieu Road Station and Hotel, and the National Motor Museum.

On the second half of the tour we saw the Red Lion, the Crown and the Carpenters Arms, the Lamb, and the Fisherman’s Haunt. We also passed a Ski Centre and a Leisure Park.

Through Brockenhurst and Burley, Sway and New Milton, and we were soon passing signs to places we had already been through, which showed us just how much of the Forest we were travelling. It became a bit of a game spotting places we recognised from previous occasions. Roads leading to Winkton and Christchurch, Ringwood, Hurn and Matchams; Verwood, Cripplestyle, Verwood, Wimborne Minster and Damerham were all traversed or used as directions.

Finally, we arrived at the Compasses, and parked up behind the pub, taking care not to drive on to the pristine cricket pitch. Then everyone either rushed to partake of lunch, or unpacked their picnics and chairs. After we had eaten our fill it was time to vote on favourite cars, and Clive Walker was delighted when his Grinnall V8 won Best in Class.

So after all the excitement of the day, it was time to pack up, and motor home. Having done many Wessex runs, starting back in the day when we used to end up on the promenade in Bournemouth [in fact the first event I did with the TRDC], I think this one will go down in the annuls of Triumph drivers as one of, if not the, best ever.

Many thanks to everyone who organised the show, the route, and the marshalling. I won’t use any names in case I forget someone, and whoa betide me if I do that.

See you next year!

Val McMillan

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