Penshurst Place, South East Centre 80th Anniversary
An early rise was called for on Sunday 8th. August as my wife Mollie and I were off to take part in the S.E. Centre’s 80th Anniversary Celebration at Penshurst Place.
Despite good weather forecasts, the sky didn’t look too promising early in the morning as we awaited the arrival of YB owners who were going to join us on the journey to the start of the run at Buckland, near Dorking.
They arrived on time, the clouds started to dissipate and we set off on the first leg our journey in the hope of collecting Suzie and Peter Arnell on route. The roads were clear and we passed through the roadworks for the new Hindhead tunnel without a hitch, arriving at the Arnell’s in good time.
The three Ys then set off for the start at The Jolly Farmer. We arrived to a car park full of various MG marques and signing on was duly followed by an excellent cup of coffee.
As usual for these trips, the Y contingent set off last, following the provided route and enjoying an increased level of blue skies and warmth. The route provided took us through very pleasant countryside avoiding major roads and we made a halfway stop to view the windmill at Outwood. To quote from the quite detailed instructions provided:
“It’s the oldest working windmill in Britain, built in 1665. It’s a post mill, with patent shutters and, when the wind is adequate it still grinds corn. Its builders are known to have sat on the partially completed roof in order to watch the Great Fire of London glowing in the distance, some 25 miles away”.
Despite our best intents, we took a wrong turning down a single track road only to be met by an enormous tractor and trailer overloaded with hundreds (bit of exaggeration) of rolls of cut straw. The driver seemed very intent on not giving way and we were forced to retreat a considerable distance. One Y found sanctuary in a field entrance. Peter and I had to reverse even further to allow enough room for the tractor to pass. We took the decision to continue along the lane and became temporarily ‘lost’ . Typical that when this kind situation imposes itself, road signs seem to dry up. We calculated that we must be close to our destination and continued until we eventually happened upon a brown ‘Penshurst’ sign.
Predictably, probably being the last arrivals we were ushered into a space amidst more modern M.G.s.By now the sun was at its height and we sought shade for lunch, meeting up with Brian Moyse and Ken Kimber, both of whom had their Ys present. Derek Moore’s Y was also parked up and I spotted John Lunn’s car, making a good turnout of 7 Ys in total. Only one questions still sits in my mind, “Where have all the YAs gone – long time passing”. Surely mine cannot be the only ‘superior’ model currently on the road!
A very relaxing afternoon was had by all, with some visiting the house and others wandering round checking out other cars and just meeting old friends. An excellent way to spend a summer afternoon.
The time arrived to leave for home and we set off with others following behind, searching for the A272 to make our journey home a little quicker and more direct than our outward trip. Once again, traffic was fairly light and the A272 was probably built with Y types in mind. Gentle meanders through Sussex into Hampshire without holding up too many other motorists.
At that point, I thought that the day was over but ten minutes later a call for ‘emergency help’ was received from a YB owner, who had suffered a broken throttle return spring. I always carry a spare as this has happened to me on the same stretch of road. It was a simple job to retrieve a spare from my ‘magic tin’ of must carry odds and ends and deliver it. He was up and running again within minutes and made the rest of his journey home without event.
A really great day out and our thanks to the organisers for the pleasure of taking part.
Report provided by our Registrar Jack Murray