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.

 

What a week - four days of Seven action

On Wednesday 20th June two of our members took their RP and Ruby Sevens to Three Bridges Education Centre, a school for autistic children, and picked up a student and his support worker as he is fascinated by vintage cars and took him for a drive around Mount Hawke and Portreath.  

           

Eve run 1

Then on Thursday 21st June, it was the evening for a run from the Plume of Feathers in Scorrier and finishing up at the Chiverton Arms.  The weather was beautiful and sunny giving us a fantastic ride around Portreath, Porthtowan, Illogan and Mount Hawke.  

 

 

 

 

Sch prom

 

Then on Friday 22nd June, a member was asked if he could take a friend’s daughter and her friend to their prom night at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay, so the RP and Ruby were again in use and picked them up from Redruth School.  The girls were delighted.

 

 

 

Then it was  the CA7C  Annual Rally on Sunday 24th June

This year’s theme was Gymnastics.  The activities were much enjoyedl with everyone having fun, whether they were driving the cars around the obstacle course, which required precision driving, or watching.  There were Pasty’s for lunch for all who attended. 

Rally 1Rally 2Rally 3

With fantastic weather all the cars shone as they balanced on the parallel bars and then over the see saw before stopping to have a funny looking contraption fixed to bonnets consisting of hanging balls which they had to swing through gates or use to knock off balls on a pole.  If that wasn’t enough they then had a ball on either side to balance as they did the course in reverse swing the side ball back through the gates to the finish line.  

 

 

Change & Chat -  2 June

As a frequently solo driver, the Change and Chat runs represent a welcome change from being forced into a convoy situation to follow a route to one where I could potential dawdle to admire the scenery, pause for petrol or stop for a comfort break.  Having a planned route with a navigator following it turns it into a journey rather than a pure driving exercise.  Being prepared to navigate for someone else, also allows me to compare the workings of a different car with my own and helps solve some of those long-held questions:  Is my car noisier than the rest?  Is it just me who crunches gears? Should the ride be so bouncy?  Do all Austins wander?  Do other cars have better brakes? *  A vital diagnostic tool for reporting possible issues or deciding that after all each is a non-issue.  I was therefore looking forward to Saturday’s run and had dressed with the thought that I might end up navigating in an open car which the weather made very tempting!

Initially I was to be very disappointed as only three cars assembled at the Waitrose start, an RP Saloon, a MK2 Ruby and a lovely 1928 R saloon with his navigator Bodie, was determined, handsome but not up to the job as his paws might struggle with holding the route!  With just the three cars, the change aspect of the run was dropped.

The route was very easy to follow and extremely clear but an early uncertainty led to a discussion, a map and some local knowledge suggesting that a turning would still lead us correctly to St. Erme, even if it wasn’t the correct one.  Not a fault of router or navigator, just a signpost that had lost its arms and therefore may, or may not, have been the one we were seeking.  Despite having done the route before we couldn’t remember and pleaded the dire weather of January as the excuse.  Retrospectively thinking, we were probably too hasty as all the other instructions matched exactly. Anyway, once into St. Erme, we were able to pick up the route properly again, despite the changed colour of the mentioned dog-poo-bin!

Some of the hills were challenging, a very nice hairpin in Treworgan and a little bit of the route termed ‘windy with blind corners’ which made me think of baked beans rather than the ‘long and winding road’ if you get my reference!   Caffeine levels needed topping up as we spotted the armless windmill near Healey’s Cyder Farm (the planned coffee break), although we seemed to more or less circle it before arriving. Cruel!

A coffee/tea/wine-tasting break ensued and Bodie much admired once mor, and managed biscuits, before we set off again.  Now we had reached some of the Tuesday/Thursday night evening run territory as our route went through Mithian and passed the pasty shop in Wheal Rose before navigating past the Scorrier Estate and their festival goers, up to Pink Moors and then on to Morrish’s Fish restaurant in Redruth.  Bodie and his driver decided fish and chips didn’t appeal, the RP crew back-tracked to get pasties, leaving the Ruby pairing to get a take-away.

A lovely run, but not the Change and Chat planned.

*the answers being: yes, no thank goodness, depends, sometimes, no.  

 

 

West Cornwall Evening Run - 17 May

Evening 1.1

Following the closure of our usual venue, the Fox & Hounds at Scorrier due to refurbishment, for the Thursday evening runs it seemed easiest to move just around the corner to the Plume of Feathers, Scorrier.   Having published the details in Focus it came as a shock and a blow to discover that the pub we had just advertised had also closed, without warning or signs. 

 

 

 

Evening 2.1

Anyway, thinking around the problem a route was devised to end at another nearby pub the Cornish Arms, Frogpool.   Hopefully the curse of the CA7C doesn’t now strike it as well.  Eight cars assembled including two from the Tuesday-night, North & MId-county group.  In the bright evening sunshine we set out following a route, or the car in front for solo drivers, for some driving along very familiar roads but perhaps several were unfamiliar to most, including one of the dusty rutted local byways, and a short drive brought us to Frogpool for refreshment and a chat.

 

 

Hay on Wye - 8 to 16 May

Three of our erstwhile members enjoy trips away throughout the year; April in France and a trip to Wales in May but our reporter does not have too much leave from work ......

Those of us of an employed persuasion weren’t able to take the slow route up to Hay on Wye, so we joined the advance party with our 1934 RP Box on a trailer.  We had just the weekend of 12/13 May to explore the Black Mountains, which were looking particularly park like in the sunshine.  So much so that at times we were expecting to come across some country manor and perhaps a coach and four.

Wales 1.1
Saturday saw us climbing up the east side of Lord Hereford’s Knob on the open moorland and narrow unfenced roads. We timed it to perfection: the 800 strong contingent of fell walkers had already parked up for the day so traffic was at a minimum.  Just as well considering the steepness and narrowness of the tracks.  First and Second gear saw an awful lot of usage as we made our way from Hay Bluff to Gospel Pass, stopping occasionally for woolly roadblocks and photo opportunities.

 

A coffee stop beckoned at Llanthony Priory, a hotel and café in a 12th Century priory ruin; one of those that Henry 8th left behind.  At first we couldn’t figure out why there were so many 4x4s and pickups about – literally hundreds of them. It turns out we’d blundered into the starting point for the Black Mountain Challenge!

Wales 2.1We carried on down the Valley following the River Honddu all the way to Llanvihangel.  It’s approaching lunchtime so it’s time for a refreshing history lesson in Wales’ oldest pub – the Skirrid Mountain Inn.  It’s been there since Norman times, but the welcome was as fresh as the spring weather.  The way back took us back into England, (close to the border, here) via Michaelchurch Escley and Dorstone.  Rather than nip back to base along the B road, we kept to the white roads for a detour to King Arthur’s Stone, (yes, another one!) which is the remains of a long barrow very similar to Trethevy Quoit.  Here we were interrogated on our “Model Ts” by a confused tourist – apparently they must be model Ts as they have starting handles….  

We left the Stone and headed back down the 1:4 to the route to Clifford, accompanied by the strong whiff of hot brakes. Fortunately nothing was coming the other way as we’d all max’ed out on our braking ability and caused considerable stress to the right foot! From there a triumphant run back into Hay and our base camp at the Swan.

Sunday we decided to explore the other side of His Lordship’s Appendage, and set off onto the common.  Leaving the bigger of the white roads at Llanigon, we headed uphill. A gated road took us up in the sunshine to the merry grinding of gears, (first mainly) teeth (every time we missed a change) and the shredding of OS maps.  A promising detour to a waterfall at Pwll Y Wrach nature reserve beckoned, as marked on the OS map.  However, the SatNav denied the presence of an actual road, and it proved to be correct. 

Wales 3.1

We rounded a bend only to land up in the Black Mountain Gliding Club, where the road had been transformed into the runway.  You couldn’t wish to meet a more friendly and hospitable bunch.  We were welcomed with coffee in the clubhouse and chairs in the viewing area, as we watched the elderly crop duster hauling the gliders into the crystal blue sky.  The Club very generously allowed us to continue the route across the airstrip, keeping a very open eye out for incoming aircraft.  So we continued our way down to Talgarth.

 

 

Wales 4.1

 

After lunch, where we swelled the clientele of the pub by a factor of 6, it was a quick refuel before heading along cycle path No 8 via Llanfilo to Llangorse lake and a well-earned ice cream.  The theme of narrow lanes and first gear continued, as we crossed the main road at Pengenffordd and took once more to the hillside on our return journey.

 

We didn’t manage a vast distance, just about 100 miles over the two days, but seeing as how we rarely left second gear, it certainly felt like a lot more.  

 

Flambards Foray - 4 May

It was a Friday event and only six cars met at the Premier Inn at Carnon Downs, well most of us did, one couple insisted on going to the Garden Centre at Carnon Downs (you know who you are).  Coffee was taken by some before receiving a brief and route sheets.  Then we were off, through Carnon Downs (Sleeping Policeman City) and on through Perranwell and onwards and upwards through Stithians.

Flam 1.1     Flam 2.1     Flam 3.1

Keeping to the back roads, we slipped through Carnkie, on to Porkellis and past the Poldark Mine at Trenear. Then it was a straight run on the B3297 into Helston and Flambards car park.  A keen observer of the scene noted the fact that our six Austin Sevens outnumbered the other cars in the customers car park by one.  

Flam 4.1     Flam 5.1     Flam 6.1

Flambards has changed since it was an Aeropark attraction over 40 years ago and we enjoyed the visit to the Victorian Village and other attractions inside, (Flambards wisely refused to open the Funfair on the day of the visit).  After emptying the café of bacon rolls and tea and coffee it was back into the exhibitions again to try and see everything before the 3 p.m. deadline.   A very enjoyable day out.

 

 

FBHVC Drive it Day - 22 April

For this year's event the Committee left it to members to organise a local event. DiD 1

 

From Callington, East Cornwall - two members took their Sevens out to Lifton for a spot of lunch.  Perfectly timed as we beat the twenty-odd MGs and Austin Healeys to the restaurant!   We stopped for a photo at Horsebridge, ten yards into Devon.  

 

 

From Blackwater, near Redruth -  we met at the Penventon Nursery, Lanner, for an afternoon run unsure of what the weather had in store for us as it was overcast with some dark clouds - but we were not put off.   We travelled through Stithians and down to Mabe Hall where we were joined by an Austin 12.  We then travelled down through Halvasso and Constantine and arrived at the Potager Garden for afternoon tea and cake.  Whilst here we were blessed with gorgeous sunshine again which made the day very enjoyable for all.  It was lovely and warm walking around the gardens and the children had a great time running around the grounds, playing table tennis and swinging on the hammocks.

From Bodmin, mid-Cornwall - True to the spirit of ‘Drive it Day’ five cars in the Bodmin area duly assembled on the Saturday morning at Lanivet New Village Hall and headed into Bodmin town centre to be seen by the public. Strangely, the few people on the streets hardly showed any attention, despite repeated horn activity too attract attention.  The cars then headed north on the ‘Judge’s road’ to an equally quiet Blisland and over the Bodmin Moor to St Breward, passing the highest pub and Church and onwards through the moorland lanes to Higher Town ford for a photo stop.  A rapid detour from there to Roughtor, where the vista of the peak and Brown Willy was shrouded in fog led to a chilly run to Crowdy Reservoir near Davidstow.

DiD 2
Driving drizzle caused a change of venue for the picnic and after the photos, the little formation headed for the hamlet of Bowithick where lunch was enjoyed down by the ford.  The warmth of the Rising Sun at Altarnum beckoned and the five cars and their occupants continued up the winding valley to the Inn which appeared to be empty on our arrival with loads of cameras, phones and tablets in action.  We had been recognised at last!  The local ale was appreciated, and the cars went home by various routes to Bodmin, Camelford and other locations south west.  Despite the poor weather a good time was had by all and our babies were perfectly behaved with no breakdowns!

VAR Run

 

and a trip up-country -  one member his Austin 16 from St Austell to the Vintage Austin Register's National Rally and Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration held at Chateau Impney, Worcestershire.  531 miles round trip!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Cornwall Evening Run - 19 April

A few of us met at the Fox and Hounds, Scorrier, for a nice sunny evening run driving drove through Mount Hawke and down the Portreath where we were met with a wonderful sun set.  On the way back we travelled the local lanes back to the Fox and Hounds were we met cyclists and other people out and about enjoying the rare evening sun.  

Evening 1Evening 2

 

Springtime in Brittany - 15 - 20 April

Three of our members enjoy an annual spring break in Brittany.  The nearness of the ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff makes this an ideal round-trip driving an Austin Seven. 

On a rainy Sunday afternoon we set off in our 1933 RP Saloon, for a meeting with fellow members and their 1934 5cwt red van.  In heavy traffic in Truro the engine died and would not restart.  Fortunately our friends had caught us up and in heavy drizzle helped to push our car into a convenient bus stop.  Having made sure there was a spark at the points it was initially difficult to diagnose the fault.  Some months before the whole of the ignition system had been replaced with new components but on this occasion I had a brainwave and replaced the brand new rotor arm with a spare and lo and behold, the engine fired up immediately - problem solved.  We carried on through misty rain up to Bodmin where it brightened up and reached the home of our friends at Callington who were joining us with their 1934 RP.  After coffee there we ventured down to Plymouth where we were to have our evening meal prior to boarding the ferry for our night crossing to Roscoff.  The night crossing was a bit choppy to say the least.  All the bedside table contents were thrown onto the floor at 0230hrs but most of us at least got some kip.

France 1On the Monday it was a small hop to St. Paul de Leon where we descended on a cafe for breakfast then over to a supermarket to get fuel.  From then on the tour started.  Down into Morlaix which is normally our breakfast stop but not on this occasion, we continued round the Cote de Granit Rose, Red Granite coast to us Brits.  Great to drive on lovely country roads like the Cornish roads were forty years ago.  Great views all the way along and wall to wall sunshine. Eventually after the required breaks for coffee and lunch we reached our hotel for the three nights - the Grand Hotel des Bains at Locquirec.  Great place with its own private beach and nice secure parking even if the van got dive-bombed by birds two nights out of three!

Tuesday was interesting to say the least.  We decided to head further east and do a coastal tour around the next sticky-out bit on the map.  Having had morning coffee at St Michel-en-Greve we braved the traffic of Lannion to get to a lunch stop at Trebeurden, again near a beach and a well patronised establishment.  We had to go back through Lannion again unfortunately and it was difficult keeping us all together.  As we were roaring up a hill exiting the town we noticed that the van ahead of us seemed to have a deflating driver’s side front tyre when all of a sudden the rim tape came flying out of the rim and started flapping about.  Pulling into a convenient driveway the three men had the wheel changed in less than five minutes. 

Wednesday was market day in Locquirec so first off some of us bought bits and bobs there plus lunch for the day in the form of filled baguettes which we consumed on a warm beach at St. Michel.  After lunch we decided to go cultural and venture to Chateau Rosanbo inland a little way.  There were very few visitors and we had the guided tour albeit in French but we did have an English guide sheet.

France 2Thursday was our last day in Brittany but as the ferry did not leave until the evening this was another day to explore.  Priority for the day was to fill up with fuel at Morlaix, do our final shopping and armed with more filled baguettes headed inland again.  Lunch was idyllic, on the trackbed of a disused railway line, sitting on picnic benches and overlooked by the old railway station near Scrignac which is now a gite.  After driving a short distance we came to Huelgoat where we consumed more coffee at our usual cafe.  We retraced our steps to Morlaix then onto Roscoff where we were in plenty of time to have a walk around before dining at our usual restaurant.  A smooth crossing, this time, brought us into Plymouth at 0800hrs and a drive home with a breakfast stop at Liskeard.  A great, albeit short break.  

 

 

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