Showing posts with label classic cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classic cars. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Calendar Girls

Meirionwen is quite the looker isn't she!

2nd July was the Gilbern National Day so off we went with Meirionwen, our 1963 Gilbern GT to Weston Super Mare, where the south west group were putting on the event.

The journey there was a three and a half hour drive on the b-roads of the south of England, which was all rather pleasant; I just love the south of England. Brian, the man we purchased Meirionwen from, said his Saturday journey on the motorways had taken him just as long.

I must admit though, I did get rather stressed as we reached Weston Super Mare, as we got a little lost. Suddenly we saw another Gilbern, so set to following that as they were obviously going the same place as us, but then another car started pointing frantically at us and we feared something was amiss. Leaving the other Gilbern, we pulled in at a retail park, where we checked her over. Nothing. We could find nothing wrong, so maybe the other driver just liked Meirionwen.

Eventually we found the Royal Hotel and my it was lovely! Right on the seafront in a sunken garden in the hotel grounds and we got a lovely reception as we drove in. People flocked to see Meirionwen once we had parked up.

We also got a goodie bag containing amongst other things, a lump of Cheddar cheese (being that we were in Somerset and all). This amused me no end! Last year it was shortbread biscuits in the shape of Gilbern GT's and, because we were in Wales, a Welsh slate coaster.

Andy had decided he wanted to photograph all the GT's in attendance, so while I chatted to other owners (and got photographed by a man from the hotel), he set off ...

He hadn't quite got to grips with my camera at this point!

This is quite an important car apparently, reached 125mph on some road test or some such thing! It belongs to Brian who I mentioned earlier. It arrived on a trailer and was purchased from Holland recently.

The lovely hotel.
I adore the sweeping sun room, if that's what it was. It's so 1930's.

Brian's wife Carol snapped this picture of us together.

My it was hot, but such beautiful weather and it kicked off Andy's holiday wonderfully. We didn't get a chance to go on the beach as we arrived late, had lunch in 'Poons next door, then after chatting to other custodians, it was soon enough time to go and we had to leave the hotel grounds.

And as for the title of this post?
Well look who made it to the 2018 calendar!
It's me and Meirionwen!

It is odd to know that we're going to be hanging on people's walls for the month of may, hehe. May is also Andy's birth month, so that's an added bonus.
I kept getting recognised as I wandered round, "You're in the calendar!" people were saying! Famous!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Lana's Back

I chose my own dress this day!
This is another of my Lindy Bop 'Lana' dresses and is my current favourite, it's just so pretty.
Andy thinks it looks Christmassy with it's red, white and green floral print.
It also would be perfect for a trip to Wales, or to just accompany Meirionwen somewhere, but maybe that's just too subtle a Welsh reference?

So far I have shown you four of my 'Lana's'. My turquoise and leopard ones feel not so full in the skirt and are a little shorter, while this and the green one are longer and both feel a little looser in the bodice with the skirts looking and feeling far more voluminous and this one has pockets.

I have also had my hair cut and dyed. Crikey, it's short!
It isn't clipped up in any way at all here, this is it worn loose!

I wanted my hair to grow long for so many years, I wanted to be a pre-Raphaelite type with hair down to my waist, but being that it's naturally curly, it just wouldn't do so, not for me anyway. Before I took the plunge back in 2015, see here for what it was like before I let Guy, my stylist, touch it, mine's the colour photo by the way ;) it did actually reach past my shoulder blades, but the curl pulled it up. It flat refused to look any longer than it did in that photo and always, always looked shorter at the back, which is just odd, so I always wore it up.

I took the plunge and got Guy, curl expert extraordinaire, to do his magic and have been going to him ever since for this graduated bob. Finding a stylist you trust when you have curly hair is like finding the Holy Grail. I love my hair shorter anyway. So it won't grow to my waist, but it looks lovely short I think.

It was also looking washed out, so Andy dyed it for me, so now it looks a lot better, but although Andy doesn't mind some red, he prefers my hair darker. As does Guy. I may be alone in my red hair love.

But back to the clothes and what not.

I tried turning my belt round, to see what it would look like.
Metal clasp on my spine.
Mmmm, comfy.

Red and green chiffon hair scarves - vintage, nan me down and a gift
White metal flower earrings - Accessorize
Jade necklace - me made
Dress - 'Lana' Lindy Bop
Belt - Hell Bunny
Petticoat - eBay
Jade and Haematite Bracelet - me made
Shoes - retail

And in closing, here's a car up at Meirionwen's place.
I believe, because it's outside, that it may be on its way to being restored, or turned into a hot-rod, as many of Meirionwen's Gang are in this sort of state, living there in storage until they're required for a customer.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The 29th London to Brighton Classic Car Run

Sunday was the big day! We were up at 5am (Andy and bunnies) and 6am (me) and headed off to the start at Brooklands at 8am.

(all photos by the way, were taken by me, at Amberley Museum, our stopping off point and at Brighton where the run ended)

We got there in plenty of time, but the sat nav instructions, sent us to the wrong gate and after being given a slap on the wrist, we were sent off to 'the other side'. That was fine, but we didn't know where the other side was, and we were meant to be checked in forty-five minutes before we were due to set off for Brighton. We passed many other cars coming away from the place we had ended up, so assumed they were on their way to Brighton already, but after a few conversations later in the day, realised that they had all been in the same boat as us!

1967 Ford Mustang

We then spent a while driving around hopelessly lost. We stopped at a carwash and asked there, but the men working there were Polish and didn't really know what we were talking about, but one did have an inkling we were talking about the place 'old cars went' and pointed us in the general direction of Brooklands Road. We double checked at a petrol station and they did the same thing, so off we went.

1958 Mercedes 190

1958 Mercedes 190

Anyway, finally we got there and I was feeling really harried. We were late being there, and then saw The Queue of Doom to check in. We joined the back of it and were soon checked in and furnished with our packet of 'things', including participation certificates, guide book, participation brass, plaque, pen and fridge magnet with our participation number, this was what really impressed Andy! Andy attached the plaque to Meirionwen’s bumper and we were ready to go!

This was actually taken at the first stop off point, I was far too stressed to take a photo before we went!

We joined the line to be waved off in front of Concorde, by a dapper chap with a moustache, apparently at the start of the actual Brooklands race track! At 10am, we were off.

Oh my, it was stressful! Andy tried resetting the tripometer as they recommended, but it all went horribly wrong after we thought we took a wrong turn, so I was trying to follow the guidebook, look for road signs and put up with Andy yelling at me to, JUST TELL ME WHERE TO GO! Don’t tempt me, thought Melanie.

We had periods of calm and periods of bickering and shouting all the way to the stop off point at Amberley Museum. I swear there should be an award for those who make it to Brighton without arguing, I bet there wouldn't be many in the running.

You may recall my tale of Meirionwen's windscreen wiper flying off on our way to Wales last year? This time Andy's window winder flew off. The horn has also pinged off randomly before now!

1971 Chesil Speedster 356 and 1961 Austin Healey 3000 MkI

It was nice seeing all the other cars though, and even though we had been warned not to follow another car, I did take comfort in seeing a classic in front of us. But it was a bit hairy when I saw we had classics following us! I wouldn't do that if I were you, I thought.

There was much hilarity from both sides when we spotted cars having to turn around or that had started going the wrong way as they corrected themselves, as we were doing it too and exchanged many a look of helpless confusion with other cars! Andy suggested it might be the old Meccano trick, throwing in some confusing or wrong instructions to add to the spirit of adventure.

This was my favourite car of the day other than Meirionwen, a 1962 Alvis TD21 Series II.

We finally got to the first stop off point at noon and parked up and got to look around the other cars and meet some of the other people taking part. We met some nice classic car custodians and members of the public too, before we were off on the final leg of the run.

1953 Citroen 11BL aka Hannah Maria

There was an odd bit of doubling back at the start of the second part of the route, so we left Amberley Museum, taking a left turn, and went a little way before coming back past the museum again, for safety reasons. As there was doubling back to be done, it meant we would be passing other cars doing the same as us and I read in the guide book that we were encouraged to wave at other participants of the run, and after a few polite waves with no response, we upped the ante and started waving madly, which prompted frantic waves back and laughs from other drivers and navigators!

I must say, part two of the run was remarkably pretty, passing through astonishingly beautiful villages, West Sussex is a beautiful part of the country, but do you know, we got all the way to the outskirts of Brighton, without me realising my camera was on the back seat and NOT in the boot, so I could have taken pictures! I was so peeved. So yes, I realised as we reached Brighton, and got caught in traffic, that I had my camera, so took a few pictures then.

The happiest little car that ever there was!

1959 Austin Healey Sprite MkI

Yes, I went with leopard! And had my red petticoat peeking out an inch or so from the hem.

All was going smoothly until we dropped down into Brighton and the directions appeared to be wrong, as there was no left turn to be taken. I thought I had read the directions wrong, but the little racing green Frog Eyed Sprite behind us went wrong THREE times too, ending up in the Marina every time, so the driver told me when we were all finally at Madeira Drive, so I know it wasn’t me and my ineptitude at reading directions.

Finally, we were going along Brighton seafront and I knew exactly where Madeira Drive was, which was the finishing point, and we got there, but the marshals just stared at us, as they leant on the barriers blocking the road off! Is this not the way in? we thought, so drove on and got tangled up in the horrendous roads of Brighton, with people beeping angrily at each other and shouting at others, it was hideously stressful, particularly being in a classic car, but we turned around eventually and headed back to where the marshals were and then they decided to act and lifted the barrier to let us in.

Brighton Pier.
We were wondering if these two sitting looking out to sea took part in the run ... that would certainly explain their body language and the distance apart they're sitting!

Finally, we could breathe properly and start to relax and were instructed to park up next to a beautiful Mercedes. We had a chat with the custodians, who were really lovely and said they'd been doing it for the past fifteen years on and off.

1969 Mercedes Benz Pagoda 280sl

As I emerged from Meirionwen, I heard a little girl speak up. "Mummy, look at her dress!" then, "Mummy, look at her DRESS!" followed by, "MUMMY! LOOK AT HER DRESS!!!!" I think she liked my dress, hehe!

We met more people on the run and some other members of the public and took part in the Best Period Dressed Competition, which was between us and about six other couples, but again: nothing. *sigh* what can you do?

So, would we do it again? Once home, we thought: no. Next morning, Andy says: yes, as he wants to actually leave from London, and as it leaves Greenwich next year, who knows!

* * *

After our Brighton adventures, we are now mentally preparing ourselves for the next trip: Weston Super Mare. I have no idea what it's like there and wasn't even sure where it was until the Gilbern club said the next National Day was to be there in early July. 

I'm looking forward to it though, we get to take Meirionwen to meet up with all her brothers, sisters and her cousins again! It'll be novel to not hear people ask what she is and to mistake her continuously for an Aston Martin!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Jaunting to Windsor!

Every time we go to Windsor, we get lost.
We can get there no problem at all, but always get tangled up in the actual place
and end up going around in circles.
We go along a road and I can't guarantee we went down there before,
but I get intense Déjà vu at every turn.

This time we ended up in Eton ... ooooooooh, it was so pretty!
And I haven't a single photo to show.
I would like to go back for a proper look around,
but I don't recall seeing anywhere that looked even remotely like
somewhere you could park. 

Before I go any further though, a cautionary tale ...

Pootle along in your car in your gingham dress with your blonde curls, please do.
(I swear I have this same doll)

But please be aware of bald girls in mop caps ...

See, they are not to be trusted. Look how she's eyeballing Curly!
Curly in her gingham dress is likely going to come a cropper at the hands of Baldy ... 

... like this little lady.
Baldy will testify in doll court, that it was their hair that made her do it.

Anyway ... we were headed not to Windsor castle, but to a motor museum near Windsor, for Andy's birthday. He says thank you for his birthday wishes by the way.

The birthday boy in his gift from me, Ray Ban Clubmaster sunglasses.
Note that he said he would never wear his hair like he does, but oh look, he does and we are getting through combs like you wouldn't believe, as he leaves them in unknown places and they are never seen again. The quest for pomade is also an endless one.

He also said he wasn't keen on Ray Ban sunglasses and look what he requested as a birthday gift...
I wonder what else I can achieve.
(I am trying to coax him back into a vintage U.S mechanics shirt he has)

Anyway, we finally got to the museum ... and had to leave again as they didn't have a card machine, so we ended up at Sainsbury's using their cash point.
Finally back there and, there was a meeting of the Mercedes 190sl owners club in the grounds.

Not a 190sl but rather lovely.

Tis me!
Brown polka dot hair scarf, gift from Kezzie
Old faux pearl and chain drop earrings
Me made smokey quartz necklace.
Jacket, gift from Andy
Gypsy top, ancient!
Wonky Belt, Hell Bunny
Skirt Lindy Bop
Petticoat, eBay
Gloves, vintage
Shoes, charity shop

Most of the cars are film props.

General McArthur's cars I believe.

Other beauties.


One of my absolute favourite cars.
Andy now tells me he would have considered getting one of these.
All is well though, as we have Meirionwen.

Concentration face, me. Crikey I look dishevelled. That's open car windows for you.
If you think this is bad, you should see me after I've been anywhere in Meirionwen.

Mannequin face, Andy.


I saw this in the café area, it was one of many (so many) royal souvenirs on display.
It caused not only me much hilarity, but another couple of visitors too, and yes,
photos were taken by all!
I'm sure you'll agree, that this is on a whole new level when it comes
to commemorative royal tat souvenirs.

I like the idea of HMS Dainty.

But HMS Terror? No thank you!
Mim, look, a ship for your kitties!
And HMS Victory lives in the city I grew up in, Portsmouth!


Our neighbour in the car park.
1962 Ford Thunderbird.

Afterwards, we went to see Meirionwen.
I was feeling artistic.

Meirionwen's Bond-esque interior.

Map light!

Some of Meirionwen's friends ...

It's Helene!
(why yes I do name cars which are nothing to do with me)