Thames Valley Tour
Sunday 28th July saw a full entry of 30 cars congregate at the Hook Home and Garden Centre for the start of the Thames Valley Tour. This event, co-promoted by the TR Register and the Mini Cooper Register attracted 10 members of the Windsor Forest Group including Jeff and Lesley Roberts, Dave Hankin and Karl Boulton all just back from taking part in the Liege Brecia Liege rally.
Having completed the necessary paperwork, crews enjoyed bacon rolls and tea or coffee whilst they reviewed the comprehensive paperwork supplied in their rally packs. Then, 15 minutes before the first car was due to leave, organiser Terry Schraider explained further details about the route.
After leaving the start at minute intervals cars followed a 27 mile route generally northwards through Mattingley, Swallowfield, Arborfield Cross, Winnersh, and Wargrave before arriving at the first stop at Training Ship Guardian, HQ of the Henley Sea Cadets, where crews were able to enjoy a coffee on the bank of the Thames. This first section saw crews struggling to familiarise themselves with the Road Book format, and there were a few reports of TRs missing junctions or going in completely the wrong direction. No names no pack drill !!
Road works in the next 26 mile section, including a closed road, resulted in a last minute route change, so after tackling the narrow roads through Remenham and Cold Harbour a less interesting route took crews through the outskirts of Windsor to reach the lunch halt at History on Wheels in Eton Wick. Here all the cars were assembled in a picnic field giving people the chance to view them all, as well as visiting the museum and enjoying their lunch in the very welcome sunshine.
The final section was 40 miles long and circum-navigated Windsor via Eton College, Datchet, the Long Walk and the Great Park, before skirting Bracknell and heading for the ford south of Wokingham. Terry had said that this was 10 inches deep and provided an alternative route for the less adventurous. Actually only Barry Green and Steven Polden tackled it and crossed with no problems.
The narrow lanes south of Hartley Wintney were the sting in the tail with the final challenge being the bumpy single track road from Potbridge to Murrell Green after which crews were pleased to see the finish at the Raven in Hook where they were able to swap tales of the days adventures and enjoy a well earned pint and something to eat.