Event Reports
Short reports of events, holidays and shows enjoyed
by our members in the past four months.

Our members are always out and about with their 'Sevens'

The main aim of CA7C is to encourage members to drive their 'Sevens' whenever possible, even throughout the winter months when, surprisingly, quite a few members do enjoy being out and about on the colder winter-time runs.  However, we do draw the line on the very wettest of days as there is no point driving in bad weather with the non-optional water entry around the ill-fitting windows and doors!   Mostly we are able to enjoy warm, sunny days with Cornwall's splendid inland and coastal scenery at its best whatever the season of the year.

These edited reports were written by members and are taken from our monthly magazine, Seven Focus.


The suggested routes for some of our past runs are available on our Run Archive at www.dropbox.com  
When asked for sign in information use the following details: Username : ca7c.archive@gmail.com  and Password : runarchive.  Then click on the introduction or a route of your choice, and it will download and open automatically.

NB: You do NOT need to sign up; you do NOT need to download anything, just click 'Sign In' using these details.

 

WESES Cornish Steam & Country Fair -  18 - 20 August

WESES 1

Every year the club organises a splendid tea tent with endless refreshments and significant quantities of cake and this year was no different. Over the weekend 25 – 30 club members brought their cars along and spent time reminiscing with old friends and making new ones. Over the years it has been the first contact  for many people because they had heard that this was the place to catch up with ‘the man from Carnkie’ if they were thinking of buying an Austin and so it was for others this weekend. 

 

 

 

The club is well known for its hospitality and its attendance at the show – we had visitors from all over the country calling in to catch up with our club and ask the usual wide range of questions about tyres, fuel, parts etc.

WESES2WESES 3

 

 

Annual Club Rally - 15 July

As last year, this was hosted centrally in the County near St Austell.  It was a fine chance to catch up with Austinauts from right across Cornwall, with a wide ranging contingent from the Bodmin area, the far East and right down west from Mousehole.  There was also a very wide representation from the cars themselves, with scruffy boxes next to showroom standard, Cambridge specials, Rubys, Opal etc. 

Rally 1In all 18 Sevens were gracing the lawn and overlooking the games arena. In the garden, the steam train was in full swing. Their was also an entertaining treasure hunt; the object being to identify as many hidden bits of Seven as possible. 

This year’s driving games set some new challenges.  First up was a drag race, but held in reverse with some hoopla to be performed at the mid point.  This bemused the strategists – is it better to drive faster or spend a bit more time on your hoop tossing accuracy?  Some blazed away like Santa Pod whilst others used the Nordic Triathlon approach of getting there, relaxing, aiming and then setting off again

Rally 2Keeping with the Olympic theme, next up was a Javelin competition.  Drive as fast as you can up to, but not over, a line and throw the javelin out the window.  All of a sudden there’s so much to do!  Which gear?  Brake early or late?  Oh don’t forget to throw!

Driving a figure of eight round a tight course is tricky enough, especially with hill starts and reversing into a cone.  Now try that with a beach ball balanced on your radiator.  This really challenged the clutch control as any hint of judder and it’s a dropped ball and a point lost.

The pièce de résistance and a great spectator sport was the eight wheeled race.  This is a bit of two car dressage with opportunity to swap paintwork if you’re not careful.  Take said figure of eight course; add two cars connected by six foot of bunting pegged onto passenger and driver door handles respectively.  Now drive together round the course without pulling the peg off.  One point lost every time you drop the peg.  This is way trickier than it sounds and a hoot both to take part in and to watch.  Most got into the swing of it part way round, but remembering that the outer car on a corner has both a bigger radius to turn and has to drive faster – manic!   With loads of folk to catch up with, tons of cake and plenty of liquid refreshment, a jolly time was had by all.  

 

Evening Run - 13 July

Eve 1Nine cars assembled for this evening run and as four cars were without navigators, convoy rules would apply. The route initially led us up to the gates of Nancecuke and some splendid views across the north coast before we were submerged in high-hedged lanes.  At this point we could have been anywhere in Cornwall, known only to the locals who were very good when meeting a string of Sevens and pulled over accordingly in miniscule passing spaces.  Once out onto the more major tourist roads, it was a slightly different story and we were frustrated to be baulked climbing the hill out of Portreath.  Along the road to Hell’s Mouth were a variety of cyclists and tourist vehicles which didn’t quite know how to deal with Sevens. 

Eve 2

 

The views were stunning and it would have been lovely to stop and admire them properly.  The route now took us up to Kehelland where there had been confusion on the recent “Change & Chat” run and successfully passing through here.

 

 

 

The route took us through Illogan, passing a bright yellow ‘stock car’, probably someone’s pride and joy but a youngster by our standards, and then through North Country. There, unlike Portreath, the sleeping policemen humps are sufficiently wide enough apart to go through the middle with little stress on the car, although I did hope the police car’s driver wasn’t watching in the rear view mirror as I’m never quite sure of the legality (or otherwise) of the ploy.   Nine cars arrived back to the Fox & Hounds all in convoy.   An interesting and scenic run which made a worthwhile evening.

 

Godolphin Village Summer Fete - 2 July

Occasionally members are invited to various events outside the usual Club activities and the Godolphin Village Summer Fete was just such an occasion.  Not knowing quite what to expect we set off for the National Trust's Godolphin House  as the fete was to be held in the orchard and to the front of the house itself.  We were welcomed and told where we should park in the display. 

Godolphin 1There were already a few WW1 vehicles lined up and shortly another couple of cars arrived; an Austin 7 Nippy and a Standard Flying 8.  A couple of tractors and a replica steam engine made up the 'transport' display.   Arranged around the orchard were various stalls, most covered with brightly coloured gazebos plus a large marquee containing eighteen further stalls. In the centre of the orchard was a bandstand for the rock/pop/country band and an area for the choirs and dancers appearing during the afternoon.

The majority of the stalls were arts and crafts, local food and drink, charity based and ones selling just about everything and run by local groups and organisations.  It was a fabulous event which took place in superb weather and the atmosphere was amazing.  The entertainment which continued throughout the afternoon was most enjoyable with choirs, ballet, modern dance and even belly dancers plus, of course, the very excellent band.  At it's height the event was packed with what must have been at least a couple of thousand people, and assuming it is an annual event I would definitely suggest you look out for it next year and go along for a very enjoyable afternoon.  

 

Garden Run - 25 June

The outing started at Penrose Kitchen; a delightful restaurant, which was formerly known as The Lily Tea Rooms, and Penrose Water Gardens from where customers could purchase various water plants, especially Lilies.  A fine selection of Sevens made quite a spectacle in the car park as the occupants made their way into the comfortable restaurant for morning coffee etc.

Soon after eleven o-clock a convoy of cars left the car park and headed back towards Shortlanesend and the main Truro road.  Heading away from Shortlanesend in the direction of the A30 the run really started when we turned into a unsigned lane in the direction of Idless.  Leaving there and having taken many lefts and rights, Trehane and Frogmore came and went as we continued towards Mitchell, on to Ladock and turning left at a sign proclaiming Ladock Church & Grampound Road.  Heading away towards St Stephen, with many more lefts and rights, the convoy passed through Treviscoe and continued on towards Indian Queens.  Nearing Indian Queens the route ran under the A30 and headed for Fraddon then away into the country towards Newlyn East then down Trewerry Mill and on towards Crantock.  Having crossed a busy main road the cars drove into Pentire and parked on the village green close to the Bowgie Inn.  Here, on the green in the sunshine, some got out their tables and chairs for a picnic lunch and some retired to the 'hostelry' for sustenance.

Garden Run 1After lunch the members of the group gathered at the gates of Arundell Garden where we were met by the owner of the house and gardens, who then took us on a tour of the lovely garden that had basically been created within an old farm yard and hill field over a period of nearly fifty years. It’s well worth a visit if you weren't able to be on this run.  At the conclusion of the garden tour our group were invited into the house and were served a very delightful cream tea. Suitably refreshed the CA7C party headed away from Pentire on the journey homewards.  

 

Sevens to Cheddar           

Three Sevens meet up in Minions for a few day’s sojourn in Somerset.  We take our well-trodden path north east with breakfast in Lifton and lunch in Sampford Peverell, the Globe being as welcome as ever.

This time, we head cross country just before Street, taking the drove roads from Pedwell, across the levels to Shapwick and on to Cheddar.  Well, I say levels, but the subsiding road across the heath has us shaken, battered and bruised as we lurch from one severe pothole to another.  There are moderns careering down what is locally a rat-run, but we can hardly stay on the road at 20 mph.

Cheddar 1


We’re staying at Gordon’s Hotel, right in the middle of Cheddar.  The local sights are just a few minutes walk away and the Sevens are much photographed as they peer over the High Street from their parking places.

 

 

Cheddar 2

 


Sunday’s plan is to go to Wells. It’s a sunny and bright start as we pull our way up the Gorge, intermingled with a 50:50 ratio of 4x4s and cyclists.  No-one is going very fast, so we take our time climbing the 1:6 up to the rim of the Gorge. Not arduous, but scenic and very pleasant.

 

 

Wells proves to be problematical.  Our plan was to visit the Cathedral and meet up with the Mendip Motor Club after their charity run.  Sadly, the organisers had persuaded the Council to close the road to the car park and hi-viz jobsworths bar the way to the pay and display. Never mind, it’s a lovely day so we take a tour instead.  Having driven down some gorgeous lanes to Wookey Hole, we carry on to the Fosse Way to the Harptree villages. A picturesque circumvention of Chew Valley lake is punctuated by a cloudburst, conveniently located over the reservoir.  We shelter under a few trees until the sky lightens then it’s back down the Gorge via Charterhouse. There’s just time for a cream tea by the River Yeo before finishing for the day.

Monday starts soggy, but not too much so for a re-run to Wells. This time, the Sevens get a place down in the Market Square, just a few yards from the Cathedral, and we have time to do the tourist bit.  The mechanically minded amongst us wonder at the Cathedral clock – the second oldest in the UK. The sun and moon tell the time on a 24 hour dial, with the phase of the moon in a “complication”.  Above is an automaton where knights joust and one gets beheaded every 15 minutes and has done since 1388! It would be an impressive mechanism for the 1700’s but dates back a further four centuries.  We meet up with some old friends for lunch, before heading back through the lanes to Cheddar. 

Cheddar 2Tuesday uncovers one of those rare wayside attractions that really hits the spot with the Austineers.  A Portbury farmer has been collecting memorabilia and knick-knacks since 1989; said collection has blossomed into a magical private museum and collection called Oakham Treasures.  Not widely advertised, we came across it courtesy of “Old Glory” magazine and I commend it to Sevens visiting the area.  It’s a family run affair with five major buildings in the collection. The word “eclectic” was coined for this place.  Those of us of certain years gained hours of pleasure reviving memories, with the exhibits encompassing tractors, engines, tools, chemist shop, hardware, chocolate, packaging, haberdashery... it goes on and on. There are themed areas (such as the dentist’s surgery full of treadle drills) but a delightful mix of periods.  Mobile phones nestle against ‘50s B&W TVs; the photography case has plate cameras and 110 Pentax reflexes... and tractor seats are everywhere – over 500 of them!  There’s also a stonkingly good café run by the daughters of the family.  With a break for lunch, we spend nearly five hours perusing and reminiscing; a treasure indeed. It’s not just the items themselves (though who started to collect hundreds of hammers I don’t know) but even the display cabinets are reminders of bygone times: the shelves which we used to see in Gentlemen’s Outfitters or the cabinets in the back of the hardware shop are enchanting in themselves.

Finally its time to return to Cornwall.  The 180 miles to Truro sounds a lot in a day, but taking it steady and with regular breaks for coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, it is perfectly manageable without having to blast along. Our little cars are easily capable of getting us to Bristol in a day, without a JOGLE-like marathon driving session. Just take a smaller road, sit back and enjoy the scenery.  

 

Morwellham Quay Father's Day Car Show  - 18 June

The weekend was forecast as hot and sunny and what a contrast to the year before when we attended the same event, I had never been so wet and cold!  Morwellham in past times used to be a working quay for the local mines and now is a working museum.  The car show is an annual event and is nice in that it is a low key event, with so many different local cars turning up and no need to book or register a place.  An added bonus is that you are all able to arrive and leave when you want.  There are a few attractions; the largest is a working water wheel and then there is a mine train ride and several cottages which take you back to the time they were inhabited.  There are also a few shops, a pub and restaurant.  The day was not just sunny but blisteringly hot, so with the hood firmly down (no complaints from my passages on this day) we set off and arrived around  at around 11 o’clock when we met up with Bob and Jan Kneale and spent several hours viewing the cars.  These ranged from a V12 custom hot rod to beautiful E-Types and a whole host of other makes and models.  What a difference if the weather is with you.  

 

A West Devon Day Out 

Ever up for a quirky way to spend a weekend, three Sevens had decamped across the border into Devon and the quiet backwater that is the Bere Peninsular.  Never heard of it? Blink and you’ll miss it if you venture as far east as Tavistock. Staying at the Tamar Belle Railway Centre, we were accommodated in restored sleeping cars on the siding, with half board in the attached dining car alongside the platform, just a few feet from the Gunnislake – Plymouth Network Rail line. Curiously tranquil, despite the rolling stock, this has to be one of the most off-piste places the Sevens have holidayed!

Tamar Belle
But this is Focus magazine, not Tripadviser – so what is there to attract the Seven driver to this area?  We set out to see how much of west Devon can be explored in a leisurely days drive in south west Dartmoor.

The answer is plenty!  The original plan was to see if we could find five bridges to cross in the course of a gentle days drive. In the event, we more than trebled that number.  Whilst we had some idea of the route we just wanted to see which way the day took us.

 

We were thwarted in skirting the Tamar via Weir Quay due to some heavy duty pylon works closing the road. So, skirting Bere Alston, we followed the road towards Buckland Monachorum, crossing the Tavy at Denham Bridge (#1). Slightly heart-in-mouth this bit, as the very steep hill either side is a rat run for traffic to Plymouth, despite being just a Seven’s width wide.  We crossed the old wartime airfield near Crapstone to emerge at Yelverton.  A quick top up with fuel was in order, as it was the only chance we’d have all day.  There’s a narrow back exit to Yelverton that takes us out to Meavy village crossing the Meavy river twice en-route (that’s bridges #2 and #3), before passing the Royal Oak. Sadly, it’s a bit early for coffee... we head onwards towards Burrator Reservoir across Plymouth Leat (#4) arriving at the Burrator Dam (#5 where the Meavy flows out of the reservoir).  There are plenty of cyclists and walkers enjoying the area round the dam as we take a turn around, crossing to the north at Norsworthy Bridge (#6).  Returning to the dam across the other stretch of Devonport Leat (#7) we veer off south east towards Sheepstor, crossing Sheepstor Brook (#8) just a mile down the road.  We are making for Cadover Bridge over the Plym which becomes #10 (just after Lovaton Brook for #9).   It’s soon time to turn to the west to avoid ploughing into the outskirts of Plymouth, so we head on to Bickleigh, recrossing the Plym, (#11) before heading to the Skylark at Clearbrook for lunch.  This takes us back across Plymouth Leat twice more before reaching the pub (#12 and #13).

After lunch, its time to head west.  There’s no way to avoid a short strip of A386, but the fifty yards of it gives us another Devonport Leat crossing (#14) before returning to the lanes west of Roborough.  A loop around (crossing Blaxton Creek twice for #15 and #16) swings us towards Lopwell Dam by way of Milton Brook (#17).  Now we’re in a quandary.  Lopwell Dam has a concrete roadway (unfenced) across it.  The weather has been dry for weeks, the tide is at its lowest point and the crystal clear water is just three or four inches deep.  Should we cross the Tavy here for number 18? I get out to explore on foot.  The dam is easily passible, but the track on the west bank has been torn up by dune buggies and quad bikes, so that the ruts in the sandy lane are just too deep for the Sevens.  We agonise for a while, then discretion becomes the better part of valour, and we head east instead.  So it’s one last crossing of Milton Brook (#18) on the return trip to Buckland, before retracing our steps back to Bere Ferrars.  On the way we pass by the western end of the track from the dam and it is a sand pit.  We were wise not to risk it, so our 42 mile jaunt is complete.

 

Steve & Gina's Pub Crawl - 20 May

Pub crawl 1There was a really good turn out for the Pub Crawl and the car park of the Old School Bar & Kitchen at Mount Hawke was resplendent with Sevens of all shapes and colours, whilst their drivers and passengers were inside the building having coffee etc.

The run was to be a point to point of Public Houses over quite a wide area.  The 'co-drivers' were given a sheet containing the names and locations of ten pubs and various questions relating to them.  It was then up to the participants to decide the route they would take to visit all the hostelries.  It was good fun and on many occasions one would pass a Seven going in the opposite direction as folk had elected to take different routes to achieve the same aim. Some of those taking part in the run chose to have a picnic en-route, others had pub meals and some completed the drive at  Callestic Farm and drove the few hundred yards up the road to the Healey Cider Farm to have a picnic on the grassed areas, in the car park, or to get food in the café. A very enjoyable and novel club run.  

 

 

Evening Run - 11 May

Evening run 01A good selection of Sevens arrived at the Fox & Hounds, Scorrier for the May evening run.  After swift refreshment, the participants made their way to their cars, route sheet in hand, and variously set off in the Chacewater direction. 

A well planned route of very many narrow roads, with grass down the middle, plus some testing hills and sharp bends took the Sevens into the mining area of United Downs and surroundings. The countryside was green and lush and the spring flowers were much in evidence in the hedgerows and verges. 

 

After a very enjoyable drive of around fifteen miles the Sevens began arriving back at the Fox & Hounds for some convivial chat and light refreshment!   Another enjoyable short run.  

   

 

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