After a year of planning, our GROWLER XV event was probably one of our best ever. This year we held our annual gathering with Philip Porters XK70 event at Shelsley Walsh. This allowed us to have so much to do throughout the Saturday and one I’m sure everyone of you enjoyed.
The weekend began with members arriving at The Bank House Hotel in Bransford, Worcestershire which was to be our members base for the whole weekend. Situated just outside the beautiful Malvern hills it was the perfect spot to chill out and relax. Members started arriving from midday on Friday and constantly streamed in one after the other all afternoon. Some members unfortunately got caught up behind a serious accident on the M40 which delayed their progress. Some women then went off for Spa treatments whilst many others sat out in the gardens enjoying drinks and chat with other fellow arrivals.
On Friday evening members got together for the usual Welcome dinner where we had some 106 people in attendance, our best ever record for a Friday night GROWLER gathering. Situated in the Garden room the venue was just about perfect.
Early Saturday morning me and a few of the “club helpers” headed off after breakfast to the venue, just 20 minutes or so away. On arrival we were a little disappointed in where we had been parked but we planned accordingly. At 9am cars started to stream in, from XK120/140/150’s, e-types and of course our very own XKs and F-Types. Once all in position members then headed towards the main attraction ground. Inside was trade stands, live music, hill racing, food/drink stands, the list was endless. Members also wandered around the pit area to see the cars up close, some even taking time out to dress up Vintage style to mark the whole occasion. Fortunately the weather was even kind to us as well.
Throughout the day members wandered around the event and sat around the cars chatting and enjoying picnics etc. At around 3pm we then held our usual trophy presentation. Karen and I had spent a few hours walking around the cars earlier in the day to try and pick our eventual winners which isn’t an easy task to say the least. This year the prizes were kindly donated by SNG Barratt and some gift prizes donated by Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester. After much deliberation and discussion we then chose the following winners…
Best X100 – Ray Barber
Best X150 – Ian Swift
Best F-Type Runner Up – Steve Roberts
Best F-Type – Paul Burns
Best Modified – Brian Thomas (X150)
Best of Show – Brian Thomas (X150)
Clubman of the Year – Richard Green
Best Dressed: Terry Pugh and Caroline Marks and James and Glenis Sherwood
Later in the afternoon following the presentation members then headed slowly back to the hotel to get ready for the annual “black-tie” evening dinner dance. We had 116 attendees which was absolutely great this year. Within the dinner dance room we also brought in four members cars as a surprise addition which went on show during the whole evening and looked stunning under the ambient room lighting. The evening to us seemed to be a huge success, company, food, drink and all.
The Sunday as usual was very much a more relaxing day and this year, with the kind leadership of local Western Shire Regional Officers Trevor and Diane Hodgetts and help from Members Dan Besgrove and Steve Roberts we headed off in group convoys to the Malvern Hills where members spent the day heading up into the hills to see the incredible 360 degree view around local counties. After numerous goodbyes members then headed off home and that was it for another year. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
My only trouble now is what do I plan for 2019 as this will take a lot of beating for sure.