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Isle of Wight Report
9.15 in the morning, we set off from St Albans in the Flying 12, weather drizzly turning to heavier rain when we reached the M25. Windscreen wipers decided to work after a bit of persuasion. We only drive with the roof down unless we are drowning, the water blows over us so long as we don't stop, but drips onto legs from the header rail.
In spite of heavy traffic we made good progress and stopped for coffee at Stratfield Turgis at the Wellington Arms.
Set off again, to meet Darrell Cunningham and Steve Smeltzer for lunch at 1.00. Darrell was not coming to the IOW but welcomed the chance to take the Flying 8 for a ride.
Weather improved and the sun shone as Steve in the Ensign Estate and Phil and me in the Flyer drove through the new Forest to Lymington where the rest of our group met us, and we all boarded the ferry to Yarmouth. As well as ourselves and Steve the convoy consisted of John and Rachel Maxwell in their Flying 12, Gerald and Carol Lobb in a 10 Pick up, Linda and Chris Bowden in a post War 8 and Mike Hearn and Margaret in a 10 hp.
This is when we all felt the holiday had begun!
After a smooth 40 minute crossing we disembarked and drove towards Ryde, stopping for refreshments en route. Our hotel was the Appley Manor, which has a suitably large car park, accommodating restaurant offering an extensive menu, and comfy rooms.
We were up early on Saturday and set off for Newport, where the quay had been shut off so the vast array of classic cars and motor bikes of all vintages were parked and displayed. There we all were delighted to meet up with Peter and Janet Darby in the immaculate Post war 14. They were parked close by on the quay. Everyone enjoyed the day which was bright and sunny. Time passed quickly since there were lots of people to chat to and a really friendly atmosphere. Newport is a compact, pretty town with a good shopping centre. Our group stayed until after 5.00 pm then we drove back to have dinner at the Appley Manor.
Some of us had to get up even earlier on Sunday to take the cars down to the Esplanade in Ryde, setting off at 7.30. The cars were the first to arrive and were parked in the prime spot on the sea front, close to the cafe and the loos. The drivers returned in time for breakfast then we made our way down to the sea front for another full day of sunshine, conversation and relaxation. The early morning mist soon lifted leaving us with a wonderful view over the beach to Portsmouth. We had a lot of interest in our Standards, it never ceases to amaze us how many people have good memories of owning one or having one as a family car.
About 1.00 pm we all started to feel a bit hungry and thirsty so we set off to find lunch, walking along the sea front past the Castle Hotel, which had beer but no food, "sorry no water in the kitchen" to Wetherspoon's, which had run out of gas so no beer on tap. We decided we had walked far enough so had lunch there then made our way back in leisurely fashion to the sea front, stopping on the way at a pub that did have beer.
Back at the cars we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting to the many people walking the length of the esplanade, and collecting money for the local hospice.
Again our group was the last to depart at about 17.30 and we met up at Appley Manor for our last night dinner, we were tired but happy after two lovely days showing our cars.
Sadly it was raining on the Monday. Many of our group visited the village of God's Hill which has a famous toy museum, before setting off back to catch the return ferry from Yarmouth.
Thanks to Steve Smeltzer for organising everything over this brilliant weekend, the Standard cars and owners really had a great time on the Isle of Wight!