Essex Section Year 2016 | Alfa Romeo Owners Club

Essex Section Year 2016

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Submitted by Rob Rands on Mon, 21/11/2016 - 15:41

Our final meeting of 2015 was our Christmas Dinner at Crofter's in Witham. The food and service were up to their usual standard, it is just a shame that car parking is so difficult. The car park opposite is no longer available, but they say the Tesco car park can be used.

In January, seven of us made it to Ashwells and thirteen to the Old Queen's Head. Going home from the Old Queen was fun as the fog had come down and I hope everyone got home safely.

In February we had an excellent slide show at both meetings. Ken's and Mark's photos taken at the Museo Storico and the Blue Team Collection made great viewing and brought back memories of our visit last October. What wasn't shown were the excellent meals, both at the Museo and the Blue Team, and the 'apres ski' activities at the hotel in the evening!

Our 105 Series feature evening at Ashwells on the 2nd March was interesting as none of us present had owned a 104 car! I did a brief history of the model range and technical description, and a general discussion followed. We had more members who own or have owned 105s at the Old Queen, especially Chris Towers who brought along his recently restored Giulia Sprint GT. It was parked by the door in the light for us to inspect and listen to it. Great job, Chris, and thanks for bringing the car to see us.Chris and Neville Byford were in deep conversation through the evening looking for solutions to some minor problems Chris still has, so they will be sorted soon.

The Horsham Piazza X was on Easter Bank Holidat Monday. David Taylor and I were selected - not us actually but our cars - to be in the Alfa display and although the weather was horrible this side of the river, it was better the other side. It was a different event from last year, fewer cars on display due to Health and Safety, but good just the same. I will send a full reprot, hopefully for inclusion in the June Clib magazine.

At Ashwells on April 6th we had a Games Night, darts and pool. We demonstrated out lack of ability at both of these but it was good fun. As we couldn't do games at the Old Queen, we had 'Models and Memorabilia' instead. There were some interesting pictures, books and models brought along and we had a good turnout. Nigel could have lost his Nuvolari picture and Ken his TZ3 model if my briefcase had been bigger!

In between our Section meetings in April, there was Spring Alfa Day at Beaulieu on the 17th. I saw quite a lot of you among the 600 Alfas and I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to chat to more of you. For me, one of the great things about AROC is the number of friends you make from all over the country and Alfa days are catch-up time. I didn't get into the Museum and only found out at the Old Queen that John Cobb's LSR Railton Mobil Spevial is there now. I will have to go again, my father was one of that car's builders at Brooklands.

The 'Peter Raymond Trophy' Trophy Quiz at Ashwella, May 4th, was won by Ken. As Feli had set the questions, it was different, interesting and informative. At the Old Queen's Head, Nick Wright was the winner but with less points than Ken, so Ken has to set the quiz next year. Margaret was pleased that she achieved more marks at the Old Queen than David had at Ashwells!

Little Totham Classic Car Show was as good as ever. This is only a village car show but there are always some interesting vehicles on show, although this year they seem to be getting newer and less interesting. We had four Alfas there, more of us should really come along to support this event. Parked next to us was an ex-Army Ferret vehicle which I imagine is quite a challenge to drive on the road. The owner had restored it completely, some task because it is made of very thick steel, apparently you need heavy lifting equipment to change a wheel!

The Section Vehicle Display didn't happen at Ashwells due to invlement weather, but at the Old Queen we had an excellent display. I had left grass cuttings from Little Totham in my Alfetta and added a question in the Fun Concours so I could win something, but to my surprise the Alfetta tied with Chris Skilyon's Brera as the car members would most like to take home.

What a turnout for the Treasure Hunt on the 26th June! The route took members through the lanes of Essex to the centre of Braintree where we had an excellent meal at the Chop House. The weather was good to us, Nick had to buy a hat at the garden centre across the road from the Bake House where we started. It was also necessary to stop at the Compasses for a swift half of proper beer en route, allegedly! Thanks Chris and Vicky for a great day out, and thanks to all of you who supported it. Nearly forgot, the First Prize was shared between the Strutts and Alan and Lyall, with Norman and Louise getting the Booby Prize! This does seem to be Norman's forte!

The Twilight Drive started at either Ashwells or the Old Queen's Head and finished at the Windmill Inn at Chatham Green, near great Leighs. We all arrived eventually, despite a bridge beinbg closed on the route, having had a good drive followed by a good meal. I was navigating Dave's 101 Spider so didn't see much of the scenery and most of the lanes were new to both of us. Thanks Alan and lyall for a great evening's drive, and again thanks to everyone who came along.

I had to miss National Alfa Day, unusually, but I'm told the turn out was good, although nothing like the days when we had over 1000 cars attending.

The weather for the Porsche Barbecue was not good, and Ken and I were in the only Alfa there. Apart from my Alfetta GTV, the most interesting car there wa a Mk 2 Ford Cortina which looked very clean and original until the bonnet was opened revealing a V8 Lotus engine! The installation was very professionally done and the car was a super 'Q' car.

! was about half a mile from Dave Ward's Workshop Open Dayon the 16th when my gear lever broke. I was in third gear bur just made it to the workshop. I had to remove the linkage and Dave welded the offensive lever more strongly than before. The failure was part of my modification and had been changed and welded several times. Dave's Giulia SS is looking more and more like a car, we are all looking forward to seeing the progress next year. And there was added interest as Dave's track day 916 GTV was having a front strut and hub changed. As I was overalled, I helped while Dave welded my gear lever. The Classic and Sports Car workshop was open but I didn't get the chance to see what was in there as I had to get to Birmingham once my car was back together to go to the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb on the Sunday. Dave's car went well at the Track Day so he was as happy with my work as I was with his!

So many of you missed our Section Barbecue. The food was excellent as usual, the company was great, it was warm and sunny, and we all had a great time. Thanks David , Claire, Sophie and the boys for your efforts making us so welcome .... and full! The filet was super and the Pavlova out of this World, so we really needed our walk to ease the food down. Ken had a disc with pictures from the many years of this event which we showed after tea, the children have all grown up and our only regret was that this year Ken didn't get a picture of our Section Chairman asleep as he has done for several years previously.

Castle Hedingham on the 12st August was a reasonable day weatherwise, there were showers en-route for some of us, and a small shower while we were there. This is always a very pleasant event in a beautiful setting. As usual, our display attracted loads of attention.

The MiTo discussions at August's Section meetings weren't too successful, none of our MiTo owners came along and the rest of us have very little experience of this model which is attracting a strong following.

Friday 26th August, some of us went to the Upminster Crematorium for Alan Marsh's funeral. The coffin took our breath away, it was decorated with pictures of Alan's loves, a fishing lake and his Giulietta. A sad and unexpected occasion, we will miss Alan, he had been a member for many years (longer than Ken and I), was a regular at Section meetings and his immaculate 146Ti was always on display at our car shows.

On Saturday 3rd September, we were in Southend for the Italian festival. There was a 'Supercar Catwalk' along the front from the Chalkwell Esplanade and going to the Kursaal before disappearing into the back streets to get to the High Street where we parked until about 4.00 pm. This worked better than I expected , due to some very good marshalling along the route. The 'Catwalk' was led by Ferraris and Maseratis before our highlight Alfas, then some Fiats. The organiser is really enthusiastic and wants to build the event year by year which will be a challenge for her and us.

We had a film show at Ashwells on the 7th September and the same at the Old Queen on the 21st. We showed two of the Victory by Dsign Series, the Alfas at Ashwells and Maseratis at the Old Queen. Sorry about the lack of decibels, we'll find some for next time!

 Southern Alfa Day at Hever Castle was excellent. It's a lovely venue and the weather was better than forecast, good to see some of you there and I'm sure I missed more of you. I, or my Alfetta GTV, won the 'Pride and Joy' class of the concours and even the Dartford Crossing was cleared than I've seen it for a long time!

We had our Section AGM in two parts at Ashwells and the Old Queen in October. Unfortunately the Committee was re-elected so you're stuck with the same old for another year. Some ideas were suggested and we will follow up on those, but the big event for us will be hosting Southern Alfa Day next September. We have a location in mind that should be attractive to many. The location and date will be announced when they are finalised very soon.

November is Pasta Brain quiz month. Mario has set it this year, so I read the questions at Ashwells on Wednesday 2nd. It was very close with two members on 27 points but Alan Bryant won with 28. Well done Alan. David Taylor worked hard  and was Ashwells Pasta Brain. We had a last minute change of venue just before our North Essex meeting and are now back at the Shoulder of Mutton, where Nick Wright won the Chris Melville-Brown Trophy with 29 points. That means Nick will set the quiz next year. Nigel Wood was the Pasta Brain. Thanks to all of you for coming along, we nearly filled the bar! And we will be back there again next year. 


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