Panther Enthusiasts Club UK
Battlesbridge Annual "Motorbilia" Classic car & Bike Show
At Battlesbridge nr. Chelmsford
26th September 2010
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We have been attending this show for many years and have learnt lessons from the past and now arrive early to avoid the chaos that can occur at the entrance. Probably because of the weather, numbers were down this year, but even so getting in was still a bit chaotic. We had 12 cars booked in to the event, but there were 2 absentees and we had to settle for a line up of 10 cars.
Most of us arrived just after 9 and soon had the gazebo up and bacon butties and tea coffee on the go. The poor old gazebo suffered in the strong winds and had to be repaired before the day was out. A piece of wood and insulating tape initially strengthened the buckling frame, before Colin Addison effected a more substantial repair with a couple of circlips from the autojumble. The gazebo wasn't the only casualty. When I marked out our pitch on Saturday, I put the banner up so that our pitch would be easy to find. It didn't survive and was lying flat on the ground when we arrived on Sunday. It had snapped. More repairs - still there's plenty of time before the next season in which to get it serviceable again.
The event was the usual mix of club stands, individual cars and bikes and of course the autojumble, which I didn't think was as good as usual. Perhaps we've already found and bought all the good bits.
The weather, as well as windy, was cold and in spite of all the usual good natured natter that went on throughout the day, we all were looking forward to collecting our plaques and packing up. Not long before that moment arrived it started to rain so now it was WET, windy and cold! We sheltered under the gazebo whilst we packed its contents into the cars and then went for it. I think it was the first time (and the last I hope) that we have ever had to dismantle and pack it in the wet. On the way to the event everything was packed methodically and went in fairly easily. Not so going home. Jennifer ended up with the sopping wet side screens under her legs and bags on her lap!
The majority of us were going back to Malcolm and Liz's for a BBQ (ha ha), but some had other commitments so we bade them goodbye and headed to Malcolm and Liz's home in Rettenden.
Oh! what hosts they are. Malcolm had gone on ahead and knowing how cold we all were put the heating on. "Oh bliss", "warmth!" and other comments could be heard as people came through the door - AND there was to be no BBQ. We were dining indoors in Malcolm and Liz's new but unfinished kitchen extension and eating a couple of roast pork joints and a huge trout. It just got better and better. In no time, we all had a drink in our hands and were standing or sitting around in groups talking about Panthers, events past and present, families and of course Malcolm and Liz's as yet unfinished extension while Liz slaved away over a hot oven.
A few photographs of the day follow:
The gap between Tony's red Kallista and Peter's was left for the 2 cars that did not in the end arrive.
Steve's much travelled Lima is due for yet more modifications. By next season it will probably be sporting a new dashboard, containing the instruments from a "bargain" dashboard he first saw here last year. Having not sold it in the past year, the seller was more than willing to let it go for a pittance.
Malcolm's blue Kallista proudly displays the Pink Panther holding up a "60" sign signifying the milestone birthday Malcolm celebrated in fine style the previous weekend.
The Pratt family's two cars head up this end of the line. Les's white Kallista always looks good in spite of being 21 years old and having covered in excess of 110,000 miles. I know our cars have their faults, but this must be a tribute to the basic design and build quality of these cars.
My green Kallista and Peter's "Kalli with the bling" grace the end of the second line.
Along with Colin's car (see below), Peter's is one of the two recently acquired cars that attend our events, and both are high quality cars.
This picture and the one below are of Colin and Sue's Kallista which they bought in May 2010. They came to Battlesbridge last year to look at our cars and then spent considerable time trying to find "the right car". You can see from these two pictures they chose well.
The inside of this car is also excellent.
Where did that chrome surround around the grill come from? I can't imagine it is from a Lima. I really like that.
To the right of the picture you will see a bit of the offside wing of Alec's Kallista. Note the fancy side lights he has fitted.
The gazebo provided much needed shelter as well as acting as the "field kitchen" for bacon butties and tea/coffees throughout the day. The flimsy frame now has two repairs as a result of not being able to stand up to strong winds. Still you can't expect more for £39 and of course its main advantage is that when dismantled it will go in the back of a Kallista. I think we'll buy another for next year and use this one as a source of spares!
Tony and Sharon look cheerful enough and are well wrapped up against the weather. Compare this photo with those of last year when there was blazing sunshine.
The weather also kept numbers down and in one particular club no one turned up at all.
Steve, Alec, Cliff and Colin "chew the fat" and put the motoring world to rights.
The next four photographs show that the Battlesbridge event followed the usual format of clubs in the main field, Autojumble and individual cars in the other and the variety of cars and bikes went from the highly desirable to the whacky.
Malcolm and Liz's WARM unfinished kitchen extension makes an very welcome alternative to a BBQ in the garden!
All very civilised with nibbles and drinks prior to dinner.
That familiar red head can just about be seen here slaving away in the kitchen to feed the 18 or so who had turned up for dinner!
WELL DONE LIZ AND THANK YOU!
Malcolm in his customary shorts keeps us all plied with drinks prior to dinner.
Feeding time! and very good it was too. You can just about make out the huge trout (behind the basket of rolls), which I believe was caught in Hanningfield reservoir. They obviously support local produce.
In the foreground is a tasty plate of crackling. I know it is not good for you, but it is yummy.
Little Monica was busy collecting empty beer cans and soon crashing sounds were being heard in another room. Liz advised us to avoid eye contact with Monica and we soon discovered why. If you did , you were pressed into playing skittles with empty beer cans and conkers as the bowling balls.
Most of us took our turn at trying to understand Monica's rules, but as soon as we thought we'd cracked it they seemed to change.
We'd all like to say a big thank you to Liz and Malcolm for salvaging the day and making it a truly enjoyable one. This is the third time you have entertained us this way and it probably the reason we keep going to Battlesbridge!
The 10 cars at the show belonged to: Les & Pearl Pratt, Colin Pratt, Cliff & Yvonne Benton, Peter & Leigh Heales, Tony & George Ansell, Alec Bradshaw, Colin & Sue Addison, Malcolm & Liz Jones, Steve & Sharon Johnson and Roy & Jennifer Biddle.
I hope you all made it home safely in the atrocious conditions. I know Les, Pearl and Colin arrived home safely, but had a nightmare journey of about 3 and a half hours.
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