Panther Enthusiasts Club UK

Helmingham Hall Classic Car Show

Helmingham Suffolk

Sunday 8th August 2011

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This show was recommended to us by John Deed who has attended it since 2007 and I must say that his recommendation was totally justified. It is a great event set in beautiful surroundings and although the house is not open to the public the renowned gardens are. So it's not all cars. However, the quality of the cars on show is such that it would have been no problem for us fellows if the gardens were not open. We had 12 cars on show, including 2 Devilles and I've no doubt that most if not all the 12 will be back again next year.




Helmingham Hall sits in 400 acres of beautilful "park land". It has been the home of the Tollemache family since 1480 and the current house was finished in 1510.

Successive generations (all 18 of them) have maintained the house in marvellous condition. It is completely surrounded by a moat and has two drawbridges which I've read, are still lowered at the start of the day and raised again at the end of it.
















From these 3 views it is hard to believe that this house is over 500 years old.  It is only right that it is approached via a long, dead straight tree lined driveway in the manner of other famous estates. Also in keeping with its history it has a deer park, a walled kitchen garden, shire horses and highland cattle.

















If you look closely at these last two pictures you can just make out the drawbridge between the white bridge and the house.


I am led to believe that the Queen (gawd bless her) stays here when in this part of the country.












Photographs of our cars at the event follow.



We had quite a large area for the  13 cars we had booked in and could have organised ourselves better.

This shot shows Jim and Maria's Mk2 Lima in the foreground, with Cliff & Yvonne's Kalli and Malcolm's Brooklands beyond that.


The Panther banner remained up for the whole day in spite of the strong wind. After all these years we've finally found a way to ensure it doesn't concertina down - we put duck tape on each joint and "hey presto" no problems!



Peter & Leigh's bling machine and Dave's automatic Kalli look as though they both had a good clean.


Tony and George's 2.9i and Steve and Sharon's much travelled Lima are shown here



Collin and Sue's very nice Kalli sporting its gleaming knock on chrome wires.


This silver Brooklands Kallista belongs to Gary and Perissa (spelling?) new members of our group



This is Ian and Maria's recently acquired family bus.

John and Linda's Deville was parked with the posh lot in front of the Hall.

All Linda's hard work in cleaning it was worth it as the car won


Don't expect to view the trophy though as I doubt if it still exists - it was a bottle of bubbly.



Tony and Jen were the first to have to face the camera. It was great to have Jen well enough to attend.



Malcolm has obviously "nicked" his daughter's school lunch bag. Shame on you.



Jen, Yvonne, Cliff, Malcolm and Gary lunching

As are Colin and Sue

Jim & Lin owners of the very nice MK2 Lima. This is the first event they have done with us, we hope to see them again.

John, Linda and Bella, their ex guide dog who failed to make the grade due to a fear of vets.


Lunch over, the circle widens.

New "members" Gary and Perissa with Peter, Leigh and Jen

George, Tony, Sharon and Steve. I only just managed to get a photograph of these 4
 before we left. They had been missing for most of the day.

and Ian and Maria almost ran when they saw the camera!


As car shows go, there were fewer than usual club stands, but the variety and quality of individual cars
on show was unsurpassed. A few photographs of them follows.







Alfa Romeo? I thought it was, but it's not it's a replica built in 1939!


When was the last time you saw a Jaguar like this one?
 Take a look at those clouds, but the rain held off until just after 3:30




I didn't have enough room to get the whole length of this Jaguar in the frame


These magnificent Alvis saloons were parked next to us. They sounded great too - very smooth.


Helmingham Hall is also famous for its gardens a few photographs of these follow, but they are far more extensive than indicated here.














In the walled kitchen garden there is a 60ft. long "tunnel" of gourds of all shapes and sizes and later in the year the whole tunnel frame is festooned with them.


I presume these are highland cattle (correct me if I'm wrong). Watch out for those horns! We saw one of these beasts
give a young lad who got too near a deliberate blow with one of them, just by a sideways flick of its head.


The show had an arena where the usual birds of prey demonstrations and sheep dogs herding ducks and turkeys took place.
There was also a percussion charity band that thumped out various rhythms. They were colourfully dressed and obviously enjoying themselves.




At other shows an informed commentator interviews entrants in the arena about their cars. At Helmingham the
interview takes place to at the start the Hall's driveway and then the car and driver are released to sprint down and up the hill, much to the enjoyment of the spectators.







Nice to have one of Cruella's dogs with us John, but do you think you could do something about its nose?
It would look better black.

Those who enjoyed the day at Helmingham Hall were:  John & Linda Deed, Cliff & Yvonne Benton, Malcolm Jones, Dave Turner, Jim & Lin Dempster, Ian & Maria Adams, Colin & Sue Addison, Gary & Perissa Bush,
Steve & Sharon Johnson, Tony & George Ansell, Peter & Leigh Heales and Roy & Jennifer Biddle.



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