15 - 19 September 2010


Starting in the north of Europe several crews from Scandinavia boarded the ferry to Harwich in Esbjerg and drove their cars by Cambridge and Oxford.

Other crews started their journey in Portugal & Spain, crossing from Santander to Portsmouth.

Hoek van Holland was the preferred port for the cars from The Netherlands and Germany, also ending up in Harwich and taking the Northern Route towards Bristol. Upon arrival, early morning September 17th, they were met by the representative of the East Anglian Section of BOC. A venue had been arranged at the Merry Miller in Cothill, Oxfordshire, where the crews were welcomed to a cosy lunch by BOC members in the club's local Section.

Some of the cars & crews arrived days earlier to enjoy a longer holiday in the UK and to have the opportunity to meet up with other Bristol car owners at Kemble Airfield, residence of the Bristol Aeroplane Collection. The curators of the museum gave the participants a grand tour of the unique display of all flying products the Bristol Aeroplane Company has manufactured over the years, which was greatly appreciated by all.

However, most, like us, were unlucky enough to have their working day finished first, before they could set-off for Bristol. By the evening of September 16, we had to struggle ourselves free from rush hour to share the Belgian motorways with many boring new cars like the Mercedes AMG ( a potent sport’s car driving at the same snail speed as everybody else) and managed to reach the hotel in Calais only 5 minutes behind (our self-imposed ambitious) schedule. We were happy to notice that 9 Bristol cars had reached the hotel before us, so we felt like coming home. Welcomed by the BOC President, just returning from a Swiss Tour, we started the evening with a glass of inevitable bubbles to celebrate the occasion and shared a lovely dinner with our group of British, German, Belgian, French and Dutch participants.

Closing the evening off with a Pastis, was just the right French touch at the beginning of this excellent weekend.

The next morning, September 17, we got up in the middle of night (at least according to the younger participants) to catch the 8:50 tunnel train. One car had already left to catch the ferry, but we could still enjoy the lavish breakfast ....... not ........ according to those preferring a full English breakfast off course. Anyway, we had our pains au chocolat and café au lait and took some freshly baked croissants with us, when we left the hotel to transfer to the Chunnel entrance together with 3 of the other participants and even managed to catch an earlier train.

The lady at the customs desk got all excited: “Oh! She is a Bristol !!!”

She could easily have auditioned for the Lynley murder series. And what a surprise she will have today, when Bristol after Bristol will pass her desk.

When we left the Chunnel train, fortunately the loudspeakers instructed us to drive on the left, thus avoiding a major disaster ..... The journey went smoothly, although we succeeded to misread the first instructions of the proposed itinerary and found ourselves amidst the marshlands south of the “suggested” route. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the excellent weather while driving through the beautiful landscape with the rolling hills, cosy cottages and farms. We could barely restrain ourselves from stopping at all the signs promising fresh free-range eggs, vegetables and fruits. On our way towards Langrish House, our lunch venue, we picked up another Bristol car, which had been waiting for us to pass; the anticipated lavish lunch kept us going. Fortunately we did not see more serious things than two decapitated hedgehogs. Crossing our road were some other beautiful classic cars (no Bristols, though) on their way to the Goodwood Revival Festival.

We arrived at Langrish House to meet up with more Bristol cars and were greeted by their eager owners. We started off with a glass of champagne (again) and were frolicking around the cars, followed by an ample buffet lunch, which was enjoyed by all. The food was good, the company pleasant and the cars excellent. Nothing else one could wish for on a sunny Friday afternoon; however …… we had to leave for our final stretch towards Bristol