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The Wessex Weekender, 2007
Meets, Shows and Events
The 2007 Wessex Weekender, Sandford

Sea , sand, sun ?
Sandford is always one of my favorites, but this year without the coupe, my estate car was to be my mode of transport. The weather of late had been so changeable that no one really knew what to expect. Arriving late Thursday evening, myself and Sue met up with Rich and Mary, and the Wessex Crew, who were preparing the site for the weekend's activities by putting up the Gazebos for Saturday's communal barbecues.
Friday started off dry, so the first job was a trip to Asda to stock up on all the necessities needed for a good old boozy weekend. Having brought the estate car with the caravan in tow it meant I had spare carrying space, so I brought down some of MT's equipment for him. This included his and Lorr's new tent, so with some spare time on our hands, Sue, Rich and myself decided to erect it before their arrival later in the day. Slowly as the day crept on rodders began to fill the site, and around 3.30 pm Andy and Anne in the '36 were followed in by Mike and Lorr in the blown Willys.
Lorr later explained to us that as they entered the site she said to MT "see that tent over there - that's just like our new one!". When told it was theirs the micky was taken out of Andy who then had to erect his own. Mind you he did say next year he would send his tent down a day earlier so we could erect his for him too!

With the tents put up, and necessities stowed inside, everyone was ready for the first cruise of the event. This year Poole council had approached the Wessex committee and asked if they would like to park up on the Quay and be judged - a prize to be awarded to the 'Car of the Day'. So at 6 pm the cars took the ten mile journey into town, and parked along the quayside.
At the Quay we met up with local rodders already there, and each car was given a show card to fill in and display on the vehicle. We then dispersed into the waterside pubs until around 9 pm, when a trip back to Sandford would allow drinking without driving to begin.
Credit must go to the Poole council and tourism people. When you hear about some local authorities clamping down on vehicle gatherings, and some trying to ban older cars from their towns, Poole's invitation to display our cars is very encouraging.
The varied display of cars provided an added attraction for the Poole Quay visitors.
'Car of the Day' award was taken by the Cornish Cream Pop, so the owner received a prize of a £50 voucher and I think some cleaning goodies.
Saturday's main event was the wedding of Tammy and Paul, up from Cornwall with their club, the Surf Coast Cruisers. They had got engaged at a Blue Ridge Runners club event, and made the silly comment of 'lets get married at a rod run'. This was overheard by Richard Black - he then proceeded to arrange a wedding package that they couldn't refuse!

The bride and groom, and the main wedding party, were at Upton House for the ceremony, and we were to cruise from our site to join up with them. All decked out in ribbons, the line of rods left at 11 am and made its way to the country house for the meet up.
MT, Andy and Simon Phillips leave the camp site.
Once in line, with Richard Black's roadster at the helm, and bride and groom in their B sedan, the group left Upton, aiming for Poole Quay as pre-arranged on the cruise route. As with all good plans, things now went wrong - since the previous night, roadworks had appeared, preventing access to the Quay. Next on the route was Sandbanks, so with the convoy now split into smaller groups of cars, the 'millionaires mile' was the next destination.
The first group arrived, then pulled over and waited for the rest to come into view. As they did, so did the rain! The sky darkened and an unbelievable amount of the wet stuff proceeded to bounce off of one and all. With everyone back in line the procession made off into the storm - not so bad for some, but there were two open roadsters and a blown T in the parade.
During the storm the best man (and Chairman of the Surf Coast Cruisers) Graham Norris broke his rear suspension, and had to wait in his best suit for a Relay vehicle to turn up. Later on it brought the car, and best man, back to the site. Did he do that deliberately, we wondered, just to avoid the speeches?
The rest of us found our own separate ways back, many stopping for more shopping on route. When we were all back, the Wessex crew prepared the food for that night's communal BBQ. The food is always exceptional and this year we had the added bonus of wedding reception food, with wedding cake for one and all. So around 7 pm, chairs in hand, we all made our way under the gazebos to tuck in, many placing their own meat on the BBQ grilles and taking salad etc from the free offerings.
As 9 pm approached, so did the rain, so our group then headed off into Rich's caravan awning to spend the rest of the evening drinking and eating Mary's snacks. Is it true about MT and his 3 goolies ???
Sunday. More rain. Andy and MT packed up their wet tents and headed off home early. Rich and I had planned to stay on longer as in previous years, weather permitting. Around dinner time my mobile phone rang. A call from Dr Bob informed us that he and Jane were just on their way back from Swanage, where Jane had an engraved plaque mounted on the pier to show one and all Bob had reached SAGA status. This called for an afternoon trip to see and photograph the said plaque for all to view! Even though it was hammering down it gave us something to do that day.
I left site on the Tuesday and Rich stayed on until the Thursday. In all, another good weekend, a wedding, and for the first time in four years, bad weather. The best of luck to Tammie and Paul, and thanks to Richard, Carol and Pete and the rest of the Wessex Crew.
Thanks to Simon Phillips for additional pics.
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