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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49


EVENTS HELMINGHAM HALL FESTIVAL & CLASSIC CAR SHOW


STHIS WAS MY very first car show, not just my first car show but also my very first XKEC event. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect and I was a little apprehensive about the day. Was it going to be too long? Would it be boring? Would anyone even talk to me? Yes, I know, it sounds daft; why would anyone be apprehensive about a car show? Well, being the only person in my household who is remotely interested in cars, and not knowing anyone at all who shared my interest, I half expected to be shunned, ignored and left ‘out of the loop’ by other seasoned car enthusiasts. Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The day started rather dull – I’m referring to the weather by the way – the forecast for the day had been very good, but as usual those in the know managed to get it wrong. Thankfully the light drizzle and dull skies soon gave way to brightening skies and even some sunshine. There is something about the sunshine which lifts one’s spirits, especially when feeling a little down. Not that I was. I was in my own little piece of heaven. Driving my recently acquired 2008 Jaguar XKR coupé in its very shiny new coat of Italian Racing Red on my way to the rendezvous at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich.


I even caught myself smiling, more than once, as this was the first purely for pleasure drive since I had spent obscene amounts of money on it, in an attempt to render it as a good as brand new. It is my only vice after all. I arrived in good time at


the RV and was greeted with the sight of more shiny Jaguars. XK8’s, XKR’s, F-Types, you know the scene I’m sure. My smile grew


considerably on seeing these compatriots of my own car. No sooner had I found a parking space than I was approached by a man who’s face I recognised from the club news, the Gov’nor himself. Mark greeted me in such a way as to make me feel we were old friends, yet we


52 GROWLER SEPTEMBER 2016


had never met in person before. I was actually quite impressed at this personal approach and it helped to make me feel much more at ease. And it is this, above anything else I have learnt about the XKEC, which – to me at least – sets the club apart from others I have had contact with, both here in the UK and when I lived in Australia. Everyone – and I mean everyone – I met from the XKEC greeted me in the same kind, warm, friendly and enthusiastic way. From that moment on, I knew I was in for a good day. Very soon we made our way in convoy to the venue where we sat in a very long queue of some very desirable cars for about half an hour, waiting to filter into the grounds of the estate. The drive from the RV to the estate was a memorable one for me. Being in convoy with a great


number of beautiful classic and sports cars was a moment to cherish but the icing on the cake was when I passed – time and again – groups of people gathered at the roadside to watch the procession pass by, and wave enthusiastically to the car’s occupants as we did.


I was lucky to be following a trio of lovely


Triumph Stags. The closer our convoy got to the estate, the more people there were to greet us and wave us by. Then it dawned


Pictures: Derek Hill


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