Another Gathering has come and gone and once again I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the camping at Shelsley Walsh at the weekend.
This year we did the same as last and took the Friday off from our usual responsibilities and drove the 140 miles to an orchard near Worcester for a gathering of old cars around an even older race track.
The camping at Retro Ride this year was better organised and arranged so that people came in a side entrance to the orchard rather then going past the entrance to the paddock. This worked much better as people did not have to drive all the way down the field to camp, reducing the chance of them getting stuck and churning up the field in the event of rain (of which there was a little over the weekend).
Once in, we picked a nice spot near the entrance and set-up our little camp. We had more people this year than last year, so we had to make sure we had enough room for all of the tents, gazebos and a fire-pit. Once we had everything set-up we cracked open a beer and sat back to watch all of the other cars come into the field.
The Saturday started with bacon and tea (like most others), with us all waiting for a couple more people from our party to turn up. After going into Worcester for some food and a wander we returned to find the orchard for camping had filled up some more and it was now a variable cornucopia of retro metal. This is one of the things I love about camping at Retro Rides, the cars in the camping field. We walked a couple laps and looked around a number of very nice mk1 Golfs, mk2 Polo, V8 Capri, a couple very cool hotrods and much more.
The weather for the Saturday afternoon was forecast as rain, but it was such a hot day we thought that it must have been incorrect. Oh, how very wrong we were. We walked to the top of the field to get a look at the whole of the camp site and it started spitting with rain. As we made it back to tents we could already see what was coming for us.
Never have I seen a storm cloud like this roll over the hill and dump so much rain. It was truly an awesome site, though a group of guys in the centre of the field did not think so as their gazebo blew apart and they were left getting wet with a pile of plastic. Luckily for them we had enough room for them all to shelter under our gazebos, so they ran over and waited it out with us instead.
20 minutes after the clouds came they were gone again, leaving some wet cars and campers, but not dampening our spirits too much. After the downpour the annual charity auction took place in the paddock. As with last year there was loads of donated goodies from Haynes manuals to a pair of seats. All of which found new generous owners and plenty of cash was raised for charity amongst beer, bids and laughter.
Onto the main day, where the morning session was pre booked and by 9am people were ready to shake off the beer from the night before and watch some Motorsport (of course, the drivers were not drinking the night before).
The pre booking seemed to speed everything up and first session ran quickly and smoothly from what I could see. There were a number of awesome guest cars again this year, with the surprise of the bunch being the custom made 1938 GN Special “Spider 2”, which blew my mind with its engineering and speed up the hill.
As always with Retro Rides the variety of cars going up the hill was great, with cars ranging from Golf’s to AE86’s, to Volvo’s and Sykline’s. Here is a selection of some of the cars from the first session on Sunday.
There were of course the customary burnouts at the start of the hill, that I got a pretty cool shot of,
There was a slight stoppage to the morning session when a Bedford van guest car decided to take out a section of fence at the top of the hill. Luckily it was only a minor off and not a lot of damage to the car.
Due to the return of the rain I did not manage to get any shot of the show field, but I did have a wander around, and even though it was pissing it down, there were still loads of cars to look at, with a really high standard all round.
If you are hankering for more pics get yourself over to the Retro rides forum and check out some of the cars in the show field. So, only another 12 month to wait until next years.