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Cotswold Caper

6th annual Run

3rd July 2011

 

Last year’s Cotswold Caper was our largest yet with 119 entries.  It proved to be a great success which enabled us to make another donation to St Roses Special School in Stroud. 


Our first task was choosing a worthy charity for 2011.  One of our members proposed LINC (Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy) .  As he had had Cancer four years ago he had benefitted from their services and wanted to repay them in any way he could.  It was put to the members and agreed that LINC would be our chosen charity.  It is with deep regret that Brian had a recurrence of the illness and didn’t see the culmination of his wishes.  We are sure that he was with us in spirit on the day.


It had been decided that the route would go through the Northern Cotswolds as it had been some time since we were there.  This was to be the last Caper for John Child before putting his feet up, so as John and Graham had already put together the route and venues we made good use of John’s services!
Luckily we had our Christmas party at Gupshill Manor in Tewkesbury so we were already aware of what to expect and we were already welcomed there.  The halfway point at Chedworth Farm Shop we have used before on a previous Caper, as was the finish venue at Cotswold Farm Park.  It just left the enormous task of joining the dots!


Once these had been sorted we started publicising through the website and we had our first entrants in November, a full eight months before the Cotswold Caper was due to take place.  Very soon after publication we had a request from Norwich MG Owners  to see if they could send a dozen cars.

 

 

Months went by and the route was developed and our two main sponsors (Jelfs Ventilation from Birmingham and Auditecnik from Gloucester ) were on board.  The next task was to see who could flag off the entrants from the start.  Steve suggested Sir Geoff Hurst, scorer of the hat trick of goals in England’s 4-2 World Cup Final victory in 1966, he has been associated with LINC for a number of years.  He was a popular choice and Steve was tasked  with getting Sir Geoff to the start.

 


So far we have developed a reputation for delivering sunshine on the day.  Internally the secret for this is easy to understand.  Whenever we hold a rehearsal run for those who will be marshalling on the day the weather is atrocious.  This means we take all the bad weather leaving the good for the actual day.  Still, it’s better for us to get the rain and the entrants to get the sunshine.

On the eve of the great day Brian and I along with Teresa and Rita went to meet our new friends from Norwich.  They welcomed us after they had completed their evening meal in a lovely Cotswold hostelry.  They were a very friendly bunch and soon MG talk was resounding through the bars of the Crown.   They had bought down a dozen cars including an MG SV, one of only 66 made.  At 4.6 litres it sounded sweet.  We had to leave at 10:00 as the following day was going to be busy.
July 3rd, once again the weather was perfect for “hood-down” motoring, not too hot, sunny spells and no rain: couldn’t be better for viewing the Cotswolds.   The start from The Gupshill Manor at Tewkesbury proved to be an excellent venue with plenty of parking space for the 147 cars that had entered. Catering facilities far exceeded expectations.


Although we all thought that a 7.30am meet at the Gupshill Manor was a little early for a Sunday morning it proved advantageous as the first MG entrant of the day arrived before 8.30am.


We had entries from many parts of the country including Essex, Wales, Dorset, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire  as well as many from areas less far away.

Once again a good selection of MGs entered the event, MGFs and Bs were in abundance but there were also a few exotics e.g. the SV of Stuart Weston from Norwich, the Jaguar XK150 of Jim Paull from Congresbury and an Austin Healey belonging to David Hansford from Devizes. Reliability seemed to be the order of the day with most cars making the finish.
Traditionally we have always had a great raffle table and this year was no exception.  The star raffle prize was obviously the hamper the contents of which had been generously supplied by the members with Lynn baking a superb Dundee cake. We had other major prizes, a Makita tool kit and a Cosmetics selection amongst others.  We also had a drinks fountain that was making its third appearance as it had been won once, re-donated, sold off and re-donated again.  This year we hoped it would find the home it deserved.


Our pink ladies set up their registration, raffle, and free drinks table which all went smoothly as usual. The bonus this year was that our location was close to the start line so they were able to watch Sir Geoff signing his autographs and flagging away the entrants. 

After much chatting and meeting old friends, entrants wandered over to the registration table for their car plaque, rally guide, free hot drinks and free Lucozade,  BBQ vouchers,  only to be apprehended  by pink ladies selling raffle tickets, the raffle in the end raising over £800 for this year’s Charity  LINC.

 

 

We were very privileged to have Sir Geoff Hurst, the only footballer to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, releasing the cars. Not just a dozen or so but over 50%.  Not just a wave of the flag but  a short chat, an autograph and sometimes for the ladies a peck on the cheek, before entrants were sent on their way.  Sir Geoff really made it an occasion and the Club  is very appreciative of his appearance and time spent with us --- Thank you Sir Geoff.


There was one dodgy moment when Jane, one of pink ladies, reprimanded Sir Geoff as she had got married on the day England won the World Cup.  She said it did upset her reception as half the guests had other things on their mind.  Still, she did forgive him for a kiss.

Without causing convoys on the route and creating traffic chaos at the exit onto the main road, it is difficult to quickly release the cars but within 75 minutes all were on their way and many smiling faces showed entrants were still in good spirits.
The run this year started with a section of rural roads leading up Cleeve Hill, down to Winchcombe  and onto countryside lanes through Hawling, Guiting Power, Naunton, Hampnett, Calmsden  onto the 50 mile halfway stop at Chedworth  where a BBQ had been organised by the Farm Shop there.  On again through Coln Rogers, Coln St Dennis, Barringtons, Burford, Westcotes, skirting around Stow on the Wold onto the Cotswold Farm Park managed by Adam Henson of TV’s Country File.  Both venues had plenty of space for our record car entry and with excellent catering facilities.

 Our marshals at the half way stop had a problem at the end of the lunchtime as all the entrants seemed to want to stay and take in the sunshine. It soon  became apparent that when we had about 100 cars parked up, that people were so enjoying themselves at the BBQ that spaces were becoming tight!, But we managed to squeeze them all  in.
Meanwhile, back at the start and having tidied up and repacked the raffle prizes, all helpers then drove to the finish with one or two getting lost – one being the originator of the route !!!!    Erecting the gazebo was again problematic as we didn’t have members tall enough to control the centre section.  Nevertheless, before the first cars arrived, it was erected, tables set-up, raffle prizes labelled and tabled and lunches eaten.

Tony from Narberth in Wales won the hamper (see above) and he was quoted as saying  “Many thanks to you and the team for a fantastic weekend, even a 57 year old TF thoroughly enjoyed it.  The route was superb, taking in the rolling Cotswold landscape as well as some of the chocolate box villages and a good variety of roads. The only moan I had from the TF was that the fantastic hamper that we won on the raffle was heavy on her shoulders on the way home!  Very many thanks to everyone involved in the organisation as it flowed like a well pulled pint of ale. “
A participant from Northampton thought that he lived in a great part of the UK until he had done The Caper!  Whereas a Norwich entrant said  “ A superb , well run event with probably the best route we have ever been on”
Do you remember the Drinks Fountain?  It was won by one of the Norwich contingent so we don’t think we will see it again.  What a pity, the end of a tradition.

After tidying up and repacking everything, all helpers adjourned to the nearby Plough Inn at Ford  for deserved  refreshments, liquid and solid.
Many entrants said how much they had enjoyed the run and would be coming again next year.   The scenes of the cars lined up at the start and finish make the work of the Organisers all worthwhile.  Many thanks go to Naomi Reynolds and her Staff at The Gupshill Manor, Rosanne and her Staff at Chedworth Farm Shop and  Paula Jarvis and Staff at The Cotswold Farm Park, and  Sir Geoff Hurst,  all without whom we could not have had such an enjoyable and successful rally  and raise over £4000 for this year’s local Charity, LINC ---  who help to provide care for Cancer patients.


To have held such a successful 2011 Cotswold Caper was due to ALL Members contributing in their own ways  ---  from providing raffle prizes, selling raffle tickets, marshalling, checking the route, obtaining adverts, organising route guide printing, production of rally plaques  ---  all enabled the Club to have had the most successful financial and  entrant appreciated  Caper.

 

Comments from Entrants

Thank you for a lovely day out, bless you.
Ron.
Ron. Jeynes.
 Entrant 54
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Please convey the thanks of Audrey and myself to all your hard working team for a wonderful event yesterday, we had a very enjoyable run without problems in either the car or with the route and roads chosen.
Kindest regards
Bob and Audrey Hickman
Car 91
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Many thanks for a wonderful day, we both thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially the route this year, which took in several lovely Cotswold villages.
I hope Sir Geoff was not put off by that rude woman at the start, and whom was even bragging about it at the half way stop. One of your marshal's tried to calm her down, but to no avail, I think she told him she was called Mrs Bolton. You always get someone with a big mouth.
 Many thanks again.
Rosemary and Jeff
Entrant 34
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just a note to say what an enjoyable day we had yesterday and look forward to next years run.
Regards
Dave Banister
Entrant 140
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We really enjoy the run, in fact it was brillant. The start location was super and seeing all the raffle prizes was great, how do your member manager to get all the super items. The lunch location was very good with the ability to picnic or have a snack with drinks.
We have been to the Cotswold many times and seen all the honey pots but on this route we saw some lovely places, quite roads and super views.
We left early on route to Dorset so could not really see all at the farm location, please pass our thanks to all your members that made our day so special.  We have already booked the date for next year.
Best Regards, Ray and Barbara Guiver
Entrant 29
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Congratulations, what a great day, despite the heat and potholes. This was a well organised run and an exceptional route.
What a good turnout, but the sheer numbers of cars made the start slow. Should numbers be restricted or perhaps set cars off by a group of entry numbers at a predetermined time or maybe spread the setting off time between 9 & 10.00am rather than all of us trying to leave at 10.00am.?
The halfway stop and BBQ was welcomed. For us the run was a little bit long, but then it was hot and we did only stop for the lunch break and the finish.
The finish venue was a good choice but as we did not finish the run till after 4.00pm we missed the opportunity to tour the farm.
Thanks again for all your hard work to make this a great day out for us all.
Kind regards
Anne & Geoff French (Entry 11)  
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WE entered the Caper for the 2nd time this year as we enjoyed last years so much. We were not disappointed, we travelled through the picturesque Cotswold villages which were for the most part devoid of normal traffic, it took us back to the glorious motoring days of the sixties. The mid way halt and finish were well thought out.We will be back again next year so book us in.
ROBIN JONES Welsh Secretary MGOC.
PS just a thought not to detract from an enjoyable day, at the start we were ushered into neat lanes but when it came to the start it was every man for himself, it would be better if the marshalls got each line of cars one at a time, this could reduce a mellee at the start ,this is not a critism but a critique Regards robin,look fwd to arrival of next years regs
Entrant 16
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Just a quick thank you from me and my party. We all arrived back in yokelsville safe and sound. We all enjoyed meeting up with you and your club, and thoroughly enjoyed   
The Cotswold Caper Run. A superb , well run event with probably the best route we have ever been on although could have been about 10 miles shorter. Well done to you and all your colleagues. We are already discussing returning for next year so please let me know asap where the route will run, start and finish so I can plan a hotel.
My very best regards
Richard Mitchell
Entrant 3
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Just wanted to  to say a  big  thanks  for a  terrific day on Sunday.  Sallie and I enjoyed  the  day  in an area where we are  not to familiar with,  definitely will come again  next year.
 By the  way we  forgot  to get  our  photo taken at the  start with  Geoff  flagging  us  off  can you  let  me  know   how to obtain  it.  Entrant  97 reg  LJ59 POF MG TF LE 500 in  Black.
Thanks  again
Adrian & Sallie Lunn
Entrant 97
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Just a quick email to say thank you for the run on Sunday.  The weather was just right not too hot and sunny to scorch the soft top brigade, but warm enough to make the outside gatherings very pleasant.  The tulip was very accurate with a couple of tricky instructions to keep the navigators on their toes.  All the clues were there you just need to follow them.
 Thank you again.
Regards
Ros & Andy Simpson
Entrant 35
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Just a few lines to say how much our members from Bridgend MGOC enjoyed the weekend's Caper Run.  The route was a delight, the weather perfect and the warm hospitality shown by your members to visitors is clearly the recipe for a very successful event.   
As you asked, I will visit your website to provide some feedback on the event, but for now I thought you might like to see and share with your members some pics I took on the day. The links below take you to our Club's Flickr and Facebook sites respectively, where you can see details of the event and the pics taken.  Just click on the links to view and download the pics, if required.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bridgend_mgoc/
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Bridgend-MG-Owners-Club/138108396232795
We know from our own experience that these type of events don't happen by accident, and therefore please pass on our thanks to your fellow club members for all their hard work - we thoroughly enjoyed the day. 
Best regards,
Stuart Taylor
Secretary
Bridgend MG Owners Club (0404)
Entrant 60
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What a glorious event, well organized with lots of enthusiastic and helpful  marshals. Taking part for the first time we were impressed with the way everything ran. The route was beautiful, the weather too. Lunchtime halt was well chosen and even though the catering staff were sometimes under a bit of pressure they still coped with a smile. My only disappointment was not winning a prize in the raffle, suppose I should have bought more tickets…Congratulations to everyone..
Rob Wilkinson
Entrant 56
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Many thanks to you and the team for a fantastic weekend, even a 57 year old TF thoroughly enjoyed it.  The route was superb, taking in the rolling Cotswold landscape as well as some of the chocolate box villages and a good variety of roads. The only moan I had from the TF was that the fantastic hamper that we won on the raffle was heavy on her shoulders on the way home!  Very many thanks to everyone involved in the organisation as it flowed like a well pulled pint of ale.  God willing will see you all next year.
Margaret and Tony
Entrant 51
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Just a note to thank you and your band of colleagues for yet another good day out.
This was my sixth caper this year four car from Oxford attended and whilst I have not spoken to two of them I am sure I can extend their thanks as well.
The only problem was the start, I know that it is not easy but old engines struggle to keep their cool
for that long. Turning across two lanes of traffic only added to the delay.
Enough of the negative, comment of the day heard as driving past a family out walking "Dad are they all Triumphs". What an insult.
Thanks again
Hope to be with you again next year, will try to get more Oxford cars to come along.
Regards
Paul Green
Oxfordshire M.G.O.C.
Entrant 66
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Hi Adrian, Just a quick line to say how much we enjoyed the run last weekend and appreciate how much effort must have gone into it.  The pork rolls were fabulous too. We particularly liked the tulip diagrams and wondered what software you are using.  We are events organisers for the Durnovaria Club 1008 and would like to make our route directions look as professional as yours, any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks once again, well done. Mick & Ness Taylor.
Entrant 43
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Just wanted to extend a thanks for the excellent day we had on the caper at the weekend.
Clear instructions for the start - a great celebrity to wave us off, nice clear route instructions and some lovely scenery.
Very well organised from start to finish.
Hopefully you managed to give a nice sum to Linc.
Entrant 137
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Just to say thank you for a wonderful run last Sunday.Everything perfect, including the weather!
Being a football fan, it was good to see Sir Geoff Hurst at the start line and especially him taking the
time to have a few words with each entrant plus autographing Route Planners if requested.
Hope to see you in 2012 with the possibility of more of our members participating. Some were entrants
a couple of years ago and recommended we take part as we were unable to join them that year.
Entrant 36
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Just a quick note to say thank you to you and all the other organisers for another fantastic Caper.Please pass on our thanks to all who were involved in making sure it was a professional and fun day out.I spoke with many competitors from fellow clubs, who all said how well it was organised and how smooth it ran. This can only be achieved by hard work by all who gave their time. Well Done and roll on next year. 
PS. I only managed 1 raffle prize, a committee conspiracy i think !! Roll on the Christmas Event !!!  
Entrant 107
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I just wanted to send a note of thanks to you and the other members of the Gloucestershire Owners’ Club for the Cotswold Caper event which you arranged, and which I thoroughly enjoyed.
My thanks to all of you for an event, which was made so enjoyable by the meticulous attention to detail in its organisation.   On our arrival at Tewkesbury, we received a warm and friendly reception from all concerned, and the refreshments that had been arranged were most welcome. I was also impressed by the way 140 cars were dispatched so safely and without any inconvenience to other motorists.  The route that had been planned was not only delightful, taking full advantage of the beauty of the Cotswolds as it did, but also was noticeably effective in avoiding other traffic.  The beauty of the route was accentuated by the fine weather we had; I understand that this too is a regular feature of the event.
Once again, congratulations and many thanks to all concerned.
Entrant 145
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Very slick documentation
Super friendly marshalls;Lovely to have a greeter meet you at the start and the finish
Fab start venue
Good half way venue with good food if limited (being really fussy)  bit bumpy to park
great idea having Sir Geoff at the start
Fantastic route with no! errors at all in the road book Well done!
Excellent value for money will definitely be back next year for our third consecutive year.
and even the weather was fab
I would join your club if i lived nearer because you were all so friendly
Entrant 143
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Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the Caper this year. From the start at Tewkesbury up to Cleeve Common and down to Winchcombe up passed the old barrow Bellas Knapand up onto the top of the Cotswolds dropping don the the village of Hawling into Guiting Power and out across the common  through the ford to Kineton. From there up and down into Naunton passed the horse trainers Twiston-Davies then up to The top of the Cotswolds  to Notgrove ,whose old railway station was the highest on the Great Western Railway.Then running through the old villages dating back to the Roman Settlements of England and then the half way just passed the old aerodrome at Chedworth.
After a good  bar-b-que lunch of roast pork and stuffing we set of down into Fossebridge along the lovely Colne Valley through its charming villages and back up onto top at Crickley Barrow by Northleach then following the villages parallel with the A40 until dropping down into Burford before climbing back onto the top of the cotswolds and following the old road through Fifield Foscote and Westcote skirting Icombe down through the Oddingtons and the ford at Broadwell.Winding our way then down the back lanes behind the lovely setting of Donnington Brewery and the fish farm passed Condicote and climbing up passed Huntsmans Quarries to the finish at Adams Farm, The Cotswold Farm Park.
What a wonderful route ! Many thanks for the best run of the year, in our eyes, and for all your helpers hard work. We look forward to next years run.
With thanks again
Pip & Joan MGOC Abingdon works centre

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Just a quick (belated) note to say how much we enjoyed the Cotswold Caper a couple of Sunday’s ago. A very enjoyable day out.

It was a first-rate route passing through some very pretty villages in a part of the country we seldom have cause to visit. The starting, finishing and lunch-time venues were exceptional; wish we had similar places we could use on our Dragon Run. Give your marshals a pat on the back.
Excellent.

We hope to see you again next year.

Michael Ringrose
Dragon MG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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