Nostalgia Week – Goodwood Revival

We are always delighted to get the chance to attend celebration days at the Goodwood Circuit, a special place for nostalgia! Daughter Jo and son-in-law Rob work as part of the time keeping team for the racing and they love to be a part of it, and we love to go along to enjoy and experience this wonderful day.

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We always get excited when our tickets and programme arrive.

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Goodwood celebrates all things vehicular and vintage, with an emphasis on those vintage vehicles that move at speed. But surprises pop up among the fast and furious racing and sports cars, to make us smile wherever we went, like these Lamborgini tractors, a vintage ice cream van and milkman.

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There was vintage speed in the air above our heads as well as on the track in front of us on the ground.

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Most spectators dress appropriately too, adding to the unique atmosphere and adding enjoyment for everyone. Jo and Rob, and Jude and I dressed for the occasion!

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There were lots of individuals dressed as workers of the period, including teams of cleaners all called “Mrs Mop”, dancers and all the stewards were suitably dressed.

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The last race started in daylight and ended in the dark, which was quite an experience.

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As we slowly walked back to the car in the dark we enjoyed watching the fairground lighting up the darkness.

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Let us finish with a gallery of shots to help illustrate this most special of days. Enjoy the pics!


allotments community gardening Shrewsbury Shropshire

A Vintage Tea Party – Bowbrook Allotment Community

The second post about nostalgia is all about a day back in the summer.

We decided to try something new for our 2016 summer celebrations at our allotment site, Bowbrook Allotment Community – a vintage tea party. Jude and Liz worked hard planning and preparing for the event, ensuring we had plenty to eat and drink, the children had activities and making sure everyone knew what was going on.

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So our members donated lots of fancy home-made cakes especially little buns and fairy cakes which looked so colourful and of course tasty when our tea ladies, the Tea Bags, set them out ready for all to enjoy.

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We always cut flowers from around the site’s communal gardens to use to create table centre decorations and they always add so much to any event.


We asked members to come dressed in vintage clothes and they rose to the challenge, which added greatly to the atmosphere. Even the Tea Bags dressed in vintage styled pinafores.

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We bought traditional lawn games for the children to enjoy. Many of these games were new to them but they were all enjoyed. It was good to hear so much children’s laughter as they skipped away, wooden blocks tumbled down as they played Tenga and quoits were thrown over targets.

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Once we launched into the tea party lots of our allotment community gardeners came along with friends and family, enjoying the chance to get together, catch up and chat in an informal atmosphere. A great time was had by all! Music from the 40’s added to the atmosphere with Glen Miller being a favourite.

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We had a few other surprises in store too, an old grey Massey Fergusson tractor, an oil engine, and my collection of vintage garden tools.

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The Vintage Tea Party proved to be a very popular event and we have had lots of requests to make it an annual event at our allotments, Bowbrook Allotment Community. For more information about our allotment community visit our website, uk .


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.


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.


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.


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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colours countryside Shropshire

Shropshire Steam Rally Part 1- steam power and tractors

Jude and I had not visited the Shropshire Steam Rally for over 20 years so once we decided to attend this year’s show we were looking forward to seeing how things have changed.

The first change was the length of the traffic jam full of people waiting to get in. Once parked up the queue of people was also extremely long but once we got in the rich aroma of hot oil, steam and coal smoke reminded us that not everything had changed.

We were soon greeted by a strange array of characters.

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We decided to pass through the trade stands, of which there were many, on our way to the displays of old tractors, working horses and then the steam vehicles themselves. But there were so many trade stands we took an age to find out way back out. It was worth all the searching though.

Before being enthralled by watching the mobile sawmill powered by a sturdy steam traction engine we were entertained by this steam organ. None of the operators wore safety gloves and the machinery had no guards, so there was definitely no health and safety executive watching their every move. How refreshing! But we did count how many fingers they all had. All present and correct!

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The next vehicle to catch our attention was powering a road stone crushing and grading machine. The owners of this old conglomeration of machines and artifacts and their friends who had come along to put on the working display were in a “bit of a flap” as it had ground to a halt. Busily each man searched for the breakage or cause of the break down, heads down, eyes peeled and brains working hard. Visitors watched on, willing them on and hoping to see and hear the cogwheels grinding once more.

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And the next pair were powering threshing machinery. One of these was also proving to be temperamental throwing the bails of hay out in random bunches with a “cat’s cradle” of string wrapped around instead of neatly tied cuboid-shaped bails. The other slowly trundled along more successfully.

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Next it was off to wander the lines of old tractors – I have to admit I have a soft spot for old tractors particularly the red Massey Fergussons and the Fordsons in their livery of contrasting deep blue and rich orange. But there was a fascinating line-up of tractors of all ages and from all over the world. It was great to see some working with their varying engine sounds and exhaust notes.

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A few bits and pieces of agricultural paraphenalia added an air of nostalgia.

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I loved getting in close to the vintage farm machinery and picking out detailing of colours, patterns and textures.

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Fergie Foraging – when we hunt for mushrooms and toadstools in autumn woodlands and fields we call it Fungi Foraging or Fungi Foray so as we went seeking out Massey Fergusson tractors in the forest of vintage tractors I thought we should call it Fergie Foraging or going on a Fergie Foray. Whatever we call it it was most successful.

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But there were plenty of others which although not Fergies were just as interesting to the eye and to the memory.

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As we left the tractor display area we came across this old craftsmen who certainly looked the part. He was a “bodger” which although is now often a derogatory term for a poor worker, in reality it was a skilled job, making the staves for the back of chairs, turning wood on a foot pedaled machine. He was skilled both as a craftsman and as a communicator. He kept the children amused while educating them at the same time. Great to watch and listen to!

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To finish with here is just a small hint of what we can look forward to in part two.

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