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NSRA Pre-49 Weekend, Cornwall, May 2006
Meets, Shows and Events
A trip to Cornwall in my coupe was one of those things that I'd had in the back of my mind since it first went on the road five years earlier. With family just a stones throw from Newquay, and making at least four trips a year to the glorious South West, this NSRA Pre-49 Weekend was a must. It would seem that now I had reason to take the 180-mile trip to the coast.
Just three of the Bristol cars would be making the trip: me and Sue in the '32, Dr Bob and Jane in the gold coupe, and Rich Roberts and Mary in his 5-window model A.
Having family not far from the camp site, I left on the Thursday morning, which would allow me to miss the weekend traffic and also to stay overnight at my sister's house - Bob and Richard would follow on the next day.

I must say the Thursday trip down was the worst weather I had ever had the misfortune to drive my car in. It rained continually, with strong winds adding to the problems, making overtaking lorries on the M4 a dangerous task.

Still, all became worthwhile when I took my first trip along Newquay's main road. This was something I had longed for since my Pop had gone on the road in 1977, and at last, 29 years later, here I was achieving that aim.
On Friday at about noon, we entered Holywell Bay Holiday Park. We aimed straight for the reception, and were met by Bob, Jane and Steve Marley. We thought Rich and Mary were travelling down with Bob and Jane, so we were surprised that they weren't there.

It seemed they had got stuck in the traffic at the M4/M5 interchange at Almondsbury, and would arrive later. After they had got through the snarl-up, the trip onward to Exeter went okay, but as they were taking the slip road to fuel up the Cleveland-powered coupe, the motor cut out, which it had never done before. Luckily an RAC patrolman was nearby, who with Rich looked into the reason for the failure. The answer was a fault in the electronic distributor, which meant that the rod would need relaying home.

After a short wait both occupants and hot rod were taken back up the M4 to their home. Here baggage and persons were transferred to Rich’s Vauxhall, and the trip to Cornwall was back on. If I remember correctly I think the journey eventually took ten hours plus. The weather in Newquay was still poor, so a trip to Morrisons for fuel and food was followed by a walk over the dunes to the sea - just to say we had done it. Friday night entailed a walk to the local pub, followed by drinks in the caravan.
Saturday was cruise day, with 10am being arranged as the meet time, to be departing at 10.30am. The official route was handed out, and at first glance the 150 mile route seemed excessive, and thoughts entered my head about staying local, but as everyone else was game, so was I.
The route was pre-planned by Graham and Lyn of the Surf Coast Cruisers, and came in a well-appointed brochure showing points of interest on the route. Following the coastal route we headed off to Land's End, taking in one stop en route for 'elevenses'.

St Ives
The highlight of the morning came when the convoy of 20-plus rods drove through the small main street of St Ives. Seeing the look on the holidaymakers’ faces was unbelievable!

Dinner was planned for Land's End, and we all arrived there safely. Here again we caused chaos with groups of people trying to get photos of the cars, including a group of German tourists.

After dinner, Penzance was the next port of call, as most cars now needed fuel. This short trip was another experience due to the route taking us down narrow country lanes - many times our convoy, or the oncoming road users, having to pull over.
Upon arriving on the harbour front at Penzance, our convoy filled up the petrol station forecourt, and also a lot of the road. Steve Marley had to play traffic cop to allow us all in and back out again without getting any cars lost. As it happens, some did get lose their way - but with the next destination St Michael's Mount car park, all would be able to meet up there.

St Michael's Mount
From here King Harry’s Ferry was next on the map, but with my driving and Sue’s map reading skills, we managed to lose all the other cars en route. We decided to call it a day, and return to Holywell Bay alone. I think this day's driving was the best experience and time I’ve had since my car hit he road.
The rest of the cars arrived back about an hour and a half after us, and then a large BBQ was had by all. This was meant to have been held on the Sunday, but once again the weather wasn't looking good, so it was moved forward a day. This was the first good chance we'd had to meet the other rodders and talk cars.
I’m glad to say I met Gary Bennet and his son here, and since then I’ve visited his house to see his latest project, and to borrow some of his old photos for scanning. Funny really, as I have passed his house hundreds of times and always wondered who lived there, as there was always a variety of rods outside.
Sunday was small cruise day, so once again we lined up early to take more narrow Cornish roads, by-passing Newquay's traffic, and aiming for our first stop at Bedruthan Steps.

Here we were met by Richard Hartley in his immaculate steel 3-window coupe. All topped up with refreshments, the convoy moved on through Wadebridge and onto Rock.
At Rock, we all parked up on the beach and were left to do as we pleased. Being in Cornwall, we of course had pasties - as did most.
After a couple of hours the rain started again, so we decided to call it a day and return to Holywell Bay. Monday was travel home day, so Bob and myself travelled back through St Austell, over the Tamar Bridge and back via the A38 route.

Except for Bob's brakes overheating, Rich’s car being relayed home, and the weather being abysmal, the weekend was a big success - and finally I had taken my car to Newquay, knocking up 600 miles plus.
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