Summer 2010


Commodore's Reoort

Bewl Water

Big Cat's Maiden Voyage

Biscuit World Bust Up

Bodgit Diaries

Forthcoming Events  

Fun And Training 12 July

Grafham Water

Joan Bray welcomes

Lessons Learnt

Mid Summer Cruise

Mid Thames Trophy  

Newsletter Printing

Ode to Spell Chequer

Open Weekend

Personal Property

Regatta & Hog Roast

Safety Boats Use

Sent to Over Easy

SigneT Open at AQSC

Social Calendar

Start of Season Party

Start of Spring Series

Stories Needed

Sunset Takes To Water

Things To Do

Thought For Today

Weather Forecasts

Working Party


Things To Do … Apart from Sailing
(Unpublished Story From 2006)

Yes, strange as it may seem, there are other things to do apart from sailing. Being a bit of a petrol head no doubt inspired my family to come up with my birthday presents this year. Both came to me in the form of envelopes. Not very exciting I hear you say but you would be wrong.

Lyn's envelope contained an A4 cryptic message ending with an anagram. Two reads later I cracked it. Lyn had arranged a three day trip to the Monarco Grand Prix, staying in Nice. This, of all the Grand Prix's is the most exciting, glamorous and potentially dangerous. A 'must see' for all F1 fans and something that I've been banging on about going to since I climbed out of nappies and stepped into my first pedal car. Lyn even said she was coming with me … and not a mention of all those designer shops, or am I being cynical? I mean what's wrong with a Ferrari T shirt!

Noel and Abby's envelope just enclosed a photograph of a drop dead gorgeous 1966, Series 1, 4.2 litre E Type Jaguar fixed head coupe finished in British Racing Green. My favourite car of all time and every red blooded male's idea of heaven on wheels. What I expected next was a model in a box but what they gave me was a second envelope which explained that the Jag in the picture plus a three night stay in a delightful hotel on Dartmoor was all mine (and Lyn's). I'm not often lost for words but I was at that moment. Me, an E Type, a blond and a hotel, I think my kids are trying to lead me astray! That being the case, lead on, that's what I say!

P.S. I've driven quite a few cars over the years but nothing compared to the E-Type. It's fantastic condition completely belied its 30 year age. Everything worked perfectly and the 4.2 litre engine was as powerful as the day it was built. Its overall length and turning circle left much to be desired and were amongst the first things to come to terms with. Another was the heavy steering at low speed and the brakes, which although efficient didn't have 'the bite' of modern ventilated disc units. The clutch and gear change were 'industrial', again compared with modern transmissions.

Don't get me wrong, none of these things are criticisms, they are what driving a classic car of this vintage was all about; but if there is one memory I will take away it must be people's reaction to the car. Everywhere we stopped people wanted to look at it, photograph it or talk about it. It was a people magnet. A design icon that even today stands head and shoulders above its peers. It was a privilege to drive such an automobile!

Mike (Happy little petrol head) Baker