Rallye De Jonquilles
Subtitled ….a meander through the Tulips
OK quick background check: We saw a note on Pistonheads about an upcoming Roadbook Rallye in Northern France, once posted on the forum there was immediately strong interest from the SKCC’ers, so much so that ultimately we made up 10% of the entry of 130 cars!
The plan was thrashed out, we’d travel across to France the day before have a wee tour around some of the roads and places we know and add a few more in for good measure, with a strong ‘hands up’ for Vimy Ridge –
Now as with many of our days together much cannot transpose to the written word as it’s often a case of ‘ you had to be there’, for much of the fun that we derive from our jaunts is the so called –
We all met at Ashford a short convoy from the actual Chunnel Terminal and it was good to see old friends and faces, and some new ones in the form of a couple of TVR’s from Pistonheads. The Rallye is aimed at Classic Cars but they also have a category for ‘upcoming Classics’ which we fitted into rather neatly. Once the other side of La Manche we quickly found our route heading for Azincourt where daer Henry 5th made his stirring speach. A coffee and a beer for the non drivers refreshed our parched throats for the weather was clear and fine, and it was time to head to Vimy.
Most of us had never visited a WW1 site before, my goodness what a humbling experience.
From there we took a fairly direct route to Vimy to see the Canadian War Memorial where a Memorial Service was just finishing, from the monument we gazed across the valley towards Bethune where the Rallye was due to start and where we’d stay that night. A walk around the graves with so many ‘stones’ unlisted was a sobering experience.
For some that word sober could and would be used again in a different context!
Shortly after tucking the cars away at the Hotel we headed into Town where for a small ish place the Square was buzzing, and we settled down to a civilized bite to eat in the embers of the sun. Now at this point i have to make a small confession to Mr Slater. For those that don’t know Nick works as a marine broker –
after a few more civilized refreshments a few found the Guinness bar –
The morning saw the keen with make shift buckets and cloths having a last minute clean to make sure the cars were in fine form and then to the Sqaure where the particpants were starting to park up. No point in listing them all but a few of my fav’s: the TR’s, the Alpines, the Challenge 355, an early ‘Stang …..although i have to say best paint job had to be one of the TVR’s, stunning! The Roadbooks were collected at signing in and faces dropped……40 pages of route instruction –
JP the organizer started each car with a small introduction over the PA to the crowd and suddenly we were off. John my co-
Nick + Matt stopped and Matt did his usual thing of producing the one thing that you wouldnt expect anyone to have –
Now goodness knows where we went wrong, but let’s say we managed about 5 ‘directions’ before we got lost after missing a turn –
Now as a side note if you’ve never driven your kit through the french countryside you will have no idea how much the French love cars and especially ones like ours. People stop what they’re doing to turn and wave, kids run around in their gardens smiling + cheering –
With the sun now blazing and some seeking respite from it’s incessant heat we headed for the final stage, a gentle trot back to the Town Square in Bethune. Where all the competitors re-
The run home was uneventful –
A fantastic weekend. Others will no doubt use similar words but i’ll set the tone:
fun, cameraderie, brilliant roads, lovely people, atmosphere, banter, ( more banter )….you get the picture!