Nostalgia Week – Oulton Park Gold Cup

January is a month for looking backwards and forwards, being named after the two-faced god Janus. The three posts published so far in January 2017 have been about looking forward by sharing the elements of Attingham Park which will be the subject of my monthly posts this year. The next group of posts will be about looking back and will be all about nostalgia.

I thought I would bring together some events we have attended and adventures we have had during 2016 which all circled around the idea of nostalgia. They involved vintage teas, old cars, old trains and other such memory-jogging items.

Oulton Park’s Gold Cup is a motor racing event that we have been attending on occasion for decades. We used to travel the one hour or so north from Plealey regularly when our children were little as they soon adopted my love of motor racing and going to see live races at the circuits local to us. We are so lucky as we have 3 circuits within an hour and a half or so travel time from home. We have never stopped attending meetings and now both our children and their spouses go too. A few times a year some of the family try to get together for a motor racing family outing, and the one event that we try never to miss is the Gold Cup at Oulton Park in neighbouring Cheshire.

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I used to watch the Gold Cup meeting on TV in the good old days of tiny screens and black and white pictures. I always find it odd watching historic races when I see these beautiful old girls in colour. At that time the meeting was part of the Formula One calendar and I watched my heroes, Stirling Moss, Jacqui Stewart and Graham Hill in their F1 cars.

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In 2016 Jude and I with daughter and son-in-law, Jo and Rob went off for the annual pilgrimage to the meeting in July and enjoyed a day of warm bright weather. The racing was equally bright too and the collections of vintage and veteran cars in the infield was so impressive and brought back so many memories. In the last two years our annual visit has added poignancy and deeper meaning as we attend partly to help remember one of our best friends, Tony who sadly died in August 2015. As well as a close friend he was also our daughter, Jo’s father-in-law and he was a great lover of all things to do with historic racing cars especially those with a great British heritage like Jaguar and Morgan. We have enjoyed the Gold Cup with Tony and his wife, Jean along with Jo and Rob prior to August 2015 so we now treat our day out to the event as a special tribute and memorial to him. It is a way of remembering Tony and the great times we had together.

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We spent a lot of time calling out extremely excitedly, “We used to have a car like that!!!!” Since we got our first car back in the early 1970’s, we have had many sporty cars especially those classified as “hot hatches” which were basically small road cars made to look like race cars and engines hotted up to increase their performance. We were little racers! Here are a few of the cars we spotted at Oulton Park which we had also owned and driven.

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The paddock is open to everyone throughout the Gold Cup weekend celebrations and everyone can get up close and personal with the cars, mechanics and drivers. Everyone is so friendly and enjoy the public looking at their pride and joys. There are some extremely brightly coloured vehicles there which makes for a very colourful paddock.

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Some of these old cars are beautiful in their line, and the shape of their bodywork rather than their colour-shape combination. This first car has a totally silvery, polished metalwork body which reflected the world all around it, the movement and colours of other cars and spectators. It had amazing lines within its design.

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This little white race car appeared out of its transporter like a space ship emerging from the mother ship.

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So, a great time was had by all and we are already looking forward excitedly to the 2017 Gold Cup at Oulton Park, but we had another day of old racing cars planned for the early autumn, the unbelievable festival of speedy cars and motorbikes, “The Goodwood Revival”.

Jude enjoys our race days as much as the rest of us but if the sun comes out she likes a little snooze too! Taking her photo when she is asleep isn’t always a good move!! But I am always forgiven with a smile!

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About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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