Panther Enthusiasts Club UK
RSPCA Gala Day & Classic Car Show
Millbrook Animal Centre - Chobham
Sunday 6th September 2009
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Originally there was not going to be an RSPCA gala Day this year because of Millbrook site alterations, however, these were shelved because of the "credit crunch" and when Alec heard that the Gala day was once again "on" he, contacted Olivia and booked us in. The Gala Day is not a big event, as far as Classic cars are concerned, but that adds to its charm. The cars are displayed in a fairly small sheltered area away from the main Gala arena and we, as usual, had our preferential position down one side of this area. We all arrived around 9am and started to "set up camp". The fellas soon had our new gazebo up as per Pearls instructions, but I hate to think what will happen if those numbers ever fall off the many poles. It is big success for although it is 4 metres by 3 metres the poles, cover and side screens will fit inside the back of a Kallista. It is also waterproof as opposed to shower proof and is not too heavy.
Once the gazebo was up, the tables were unfolded, stove lit and Peter started cooking the bacon and sausage rolls that he and Leigh kindly provided. Another couple was going to provide the tea and coffee but left it on the dining room table. To spare Cliff and Yvonne's blushes we won't say who it was, but they did redeem themselves by scrounging real china mugs from Olivia who still works at Millbrook.
The weather started out overcast, but the sun soon came out and we spent a very pleasant day, sitting, nattering, and eating in between wandering off to watch what was going on in the arena. If you are fond of animals then you can get extra pleasure from attending this event, but it's always hard to look at the dogs awaiting homes. The best thing is not to look. The good news is the day raised £20,280 for Millbrook, a great result.
Our privileged position down one side of the area used to display the cars. It is very sheltered and ideal for us. The only problem is the kerb.
We had 10 cars booked in, but on the day only 8 were on display. Colin Pratt had to work and Dave Turner's car sprang a water leak on the way to the event. He possibly could have made it there, but as he was due to go to Belgium on Wednesday, he though he would be well advised to go straight home and get it fixed.
At the show were, Alec and Mary Bradshaw, Les and Pearl Pratt, Cliff and Yvonne Benton, Tony and Helen Burley, Peter and Leigh Heales, Terry and Larraine Hockley-Moore, Duncan Goudge and Roy and Jennifer Biddle.
Sorry Alec although we can see you in the blue shirt, I didn't quite get your car in, in the following photograph.
However, you can't complain about this shot.
Duncan Goudge attended his first event with us in his very, very nice 2.8 Kallista. The car has only done 13000 miles from new and it looks it.
The new gazebo.
What wag put that "cat" up there. I can't help feeling that it will be a permanent fixture up there now.
Peter earning "brownie points" by cooking the bacon and sausages. They were surprisingly good.
While Peter slaves over a hot stove the ladies get set to buttering the rolls.
Les, Pearl and Larraine enjoy a cuppa.
This scene was to be repeated throughout the day. Empty chairs and a few people guarding the "camp" whilst other were off watching what was going on in the arena.
Not much regalia left Alec.
Jen and I actually sat together at some time throughout the day. The matching "Harold and Hilda" blue tops were purely accidental.
We couldn't get a peep out of Peter once he bought this toy. Thunderbirds are go!
Its all too much for Les. Its hard work guarding that regalia.
Afternoon tea and cakes anyone. As well as Peter and Leigh's bacon and sausage rolls which we had early on in the day, Helen made quiche's and Pearl, Mary and Jennifer home made cakes. These two were Mary's efforts. There was a lot of talk about waist lines and diets throughout the day.
As if that wasn't enough, there was also a special one for Terry's birthday. Here he is going red in the face trying to blow the candles out.
We should have warned Duncan about Alec. Note the arm full of regalia he's holding and the glee on Alec's face. We need some small members to get rid of, sorry sell, the smaller sizes.
It was lovely to see George and Shelagh's daughter Olivia again and she seemed equally pleased to see us. I like the hat!
Poor Peter, not only does his wife disgrace herself in public -- can't hold her wine but.......
...........she can't read either!
No - I can't let Leigh's reputation suffer, what really happened was. one of the dogs nudged Leigh's arm which was holding a glass of red wine. Thereafter embarrassment kept Leigh confined to her chair.
The merry group pose with Olivia. Leigh tries to hide behind Helen.
Chitty Chiity Bang Bang did sterling work giving the kids rides all day and just to show you that Panthers were not the only cars there I've included a few photos of those that appealed to me.
And finally a picture of the steel band that kept our feet tapping (well mine at least) throughout the day. They were good!
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