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Our Fourth Cotswold Caper 2009

John’s Report on the 2009 Cotswold Caper

After establishing a route, a test run in a MG Roadster in February showed we would have to raise the suspensions on all the MGs that would enter : not practical, but with the generosity of St. Rose’s  School we had a new start venue and the first 60 entrants  notified.

3June 14th 2009, that was the day the organisers of the Cotswold Caper had ordered fine sunny weather and being first in the queue, boy did we get the best going.  Together with the setting  and quietness of the School grounds,  no better Start venue could be  found.  All in all, 120 cars turned up which made a glorious scene in the sunshine.


After much chatting and meeting old friends, entrants wandered over to the signing-in table for their car plaque, rally guide and collection of their free hot drink, only to be assaulted by Club Members selling Raffle tickets and encouraging them to purchase the Bacon rolls laid on and sold by the School.   Both efforts were very worth-while with over £800 raised for our Charity, Cloud 9 and all rolls sold. With the promised Celebrity not appearing,  Mrs. Pauline Lewis, Cloud 9 Chairman’s wife bravely stood in and released the first ten cars;  so enjoying the experience and the power of  controlling the cars, she was reluctant to hand the flag back. Thank you very much  Pauline.


raffleWithout causing convoys on the route, it is difficult to quickly release the cars but within 45 minutes all were on their way and many smiling faces showed entrants were still in good spirits.
The run this year started with a trip of 15 miles around Stroud, giving the entrants a flavour of what it is like for the locals of Stroud  living with the ups and downs of being surrounded by hills.  Onto Rodborough Common, Coates village through Cirencester onto the pretty villages  of  Ampney Crucis,  Perrotts Brook and Chedworth, where the half-way stop at the Farm Fayre,  also a scenic spot,  was appreciated by many with  no problems reported by the “volunteered”  Marshalls.   Relaxed and ready for the second half, cars were directed onto a mixture of sump-cleaning lanes, pot-holes, narrow hedged avenues and ‘A’ class roads, through to the lakes around the Cerney villages onto Malmesbury, then the  Badminton area alongside the famous Horse Trials fields  and a short run through the Estate to Westonbirt.
Meanwhile, back at the start and having tidied up and repacked the raffle prizes, all helpers then drove to the  finish : on the way, we met two Magnettes  that had missed an important turning. No problem,  we redirected them onto the route – the maxim is the MG in front is lost, so always follow the Route Guide !!!

At the Finish, raffle drawn, prizes labelled, Marshalls allocated and banners erected, there was only the new gazebo to erect.  I think we have bought a winner, it only took two to erect (one must be over 6ft tall) and all done in 10 minutes.   The Finish venue at Westonbirt was brilliant with the sunny weather again the icing on the cake.  The first finisher, just the driver and no navigator, had  had a puncture, stopped and changed a wheel  -- I reckon he found a short cut !!
Many entrants said how they had enjoyed the run which makes the work of the Organisers all worth while.
After tidying up and repacking everything, all helpers adjourned to the local pub, The Tipputs, for a welcome cool drink and refreshments.

Many thanks go to Mrs. Billington and her Staff at St.Rose’s School,  Rosann and her Staff at Farm Fayre at Chedworth and Jenny McDonald and Staff at Westonbirt,   all without whom we could not have had such an enjoyable  and successful Rally and  raise nearly £3000 for this years Charity, Cloud 9 ----- Many more terminally ill children and their families will now be able to have their most wanted holiday.

Paddy Comes for his fourth Caper!

paddy

 

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