Dalemain 2013

 Solway Jaguar Hat 01


 Solway Jaguar Hat 02



As a relatively new member of Solway Jaguar club, indeed as a relatively new Jaguar owner I’ve never before written anything for the JEC newsletter or any other kind of article for general public consumption for that matter, and to be perfectly honest I’m not exactly sure how I managed to let Ken ‘con’ me into writing this one

It went something like this… Ken was sitting in the Club tent enjoying a cup of tea with some of the lady members, including Moira Orr and my good lady wife Frances.  Ken had managed to persuade Moira to write an article about the Newby Hall day for the July newsletter. He was enthusing about how it had been refreshing to hear about a club event from a female perspective, and perhaps another about the Cumbria classic show would be welcome. He turned to Frances and asked if she was computer literate. “No” she said “but I know a man who is”. At that precise moment I had entered the tent.  And there you have it, without my even knowing, I had been “volunteered” to report on The Cumbria Classic car show (obviously not from the female perspective though).

The day hadn’t started well, I’d been to Wembley for the International football on the Wednesday travelling back on the Thursday, then up to Edinburgh to take in a couple of shows at the festival fringe on the Friday and Saturday, so I hadn’t had time to check out the Jag.  Low and behold at 7:55am on the Sunday when I turned the key….nothing, absolutely nothing, battery as flat as a proverbial….. So charger on and back into the house to get everything ready for the day. Chairs; cooker; kettle; food; and of course my hat with the XJ8 emblem on it. (I’m bald and expecting Sun all day I didn’t want to get my head burned. A Jaguar themed hat seemed most appropriate).

I left the battery as long as I dared to get a good charge and yet still leave myself time to make the 10:00am deadline for arrival at Dalemain House. It was after 9:00am when I tentatively turned the key again and much to my relief I heard the beautiful familiar purr as the V8 sprang to life.  Everything into the car, drive through Kendal and off up the M6.  I dare not tell you what speed I was doing, but Norman Dewis would have been proud. Less than half an hour and we had joined the queue on the road outside Dalemain.

The literature I’d been given included a map showing directions up and around the outside of the field to the Solway Jaguar club’s allocated area. I had no sooner set off up the field to follow this route when I was confronted by our Chairman Malcolm Monkhouse in a bright yellow jacket, sporting the Solway Jaguar club logo, directing me to turn immediately to the right, and in no time I was being marshalled into position by yet more of our members in yet more bright yellow jackets.

What a wonderful sight it was though, with all the 150s; E-types; and Mark-2s all lined up together and the later models all around the outside of our pitch. Pride of place at the front was our new canopy sheltering the JEC Raffle prize of the XK.

As I said being relatively new I wanted to do my bit so I offered to help erect the club tent, and set about it with all the enthusiasm of years of camping and caravanning to guide me, and Ken constantly calling me “Ray” despite me constantly telling him my name is Graham……I think he eventually remembered. Unfortunately it probably means he’ll also remember I know about tents so I might have landed myself with the job on a regular basis.

By the time the tent was up the sun was baking down, so back to the XJ8 to get my hat to protect the baldy bit. I couldn’t find it anywhere, despite practically turning the car inside out. Desperate not to have a pink and blistered bald patch I remembered an email from Ken about some new hats with the club logo on that he’d obtained.  I tentatively enquired if he had any left. “No chance he said, in fact he had a waiting list for them”. Then he remembered that he had one with bright yellow trim in the bottom of his car boot which for some reason no-one else seemed to want.  Well I thought a bright yellow hat is better than a bright pink dome, so £8:50 later I had my protection from the sun.

Cooker out, kettle on, only then did I realise that in the rush and confusion at the start of the day we’d forgotten to pack any cups. Fortunately Gareth heard my plight and volunteered a loan one and Frances, ever resourceful went and bought a couple of take-way cups of tea from a trade van. So we at least had polystyrene cups that we could use for  the rest of the day.

The rest of the day included a chance to walk around the field and take in all the sights. It was good to see such a varied and eclectic range of models on show, and in my case a chance to wander down memory lane and see some good examples of models I myself had owned or driven over the years

A couple of good examples of the Austin A35, my first ever car, Mine was a 1957 model, more rust and fibreglass than actual car, but still, good memories. A Hillman imp (mine in fact was a Singer Chamois) A Mark 3 Cortina (first car I ever did 100mph in). And of course a good selection of big cats…30 or so on our stand, three brought along by the JEC Ridings branch and many other good example exhibited by individuals here and there around the whole site.

I didn’t manage to see much of the judging or the driving events, but I can report that Solway Jaguar club were awarded second place in the Club section. Behind the land Rover club (I think), which since Jaguar and Land Rover are all now part of the same company it somehow seems  to make coming second feel not quite so bad.

The day came to perfect end with Dinner at the Brantwood house hotel. About 30 of us had an excellent meal and the chance to chat.  The day in general and the meal in particular gave Frances and I a great opportunity to get to know many more members than we had previously and to strengthen friendships with those we already knew.

Gill tells me the club managed to sell over £1000 worth of raffle tickets for the XK.  A round of applause and well done to all those members who took their turn on the stand.

Oh and by the way on arriving home in the evening I found my XJ8 hat lying wet and soggy halfway up the garden path, presumable where it had dropped in the rush to leave in the morning.

And thanks to a recommendation from Ken, I’ve been on the internet and bought a CTEK trickle charger, so starting problems should now be a thing of the past

Frances and I certainly enjoyed our day and I hope the rest of you did too

From… Graham White

Solway Jaguar Selling JEC Raffle tickets Raffle tickets selling well

Solway Jaguar MK II'sLine up of Mark 2s
 Solway Jaguar Dalemain  Solway Jaguar Dalemain 2013

 Different cars, same lovely colour

 Down memory lane

 Lovely day, lovely cars.

 The Solway Jaguar club

 Solway Jaguar Dalemain 2013 Display
 Solway Jaguar Dalemain 2013 club tent

Many thanks to Graham White for this article. Ed.