Once again “Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum” was the venue for this year’s annual gathering for the picnic. Firstly the weather forecast wasn’t looking too promising, the powers that be had done their upmost to book good weather but there seemed to be a problem this year with their communication with the gods cos they must have used up all their favours about Easter time when we did have a load of good weather. By early Saturday afternoon quite a few buggy’s had arrived and were setting up for the relaxed camping. By the time we were ready to set off for the now annual cruise there were about fifteen buggy’s almost all fully loaded with nutter’s ready to hoot and hoon around the local area for an hour or so. As in the past the first stop seems to be the local garage for the obligatory pit stop with all the usual mayhem that occurs when a fleet of roaring buggies descend in the public domain.
Once replenished with suitable quantities of go juice (and chocolate), we all file back onto the main road and invade the dozy historic town of Lewes. Well, the procession of buggy’s snake their way through the narrowing streets of the town centre some of us heeding last years experience of the tall buildings reverberating with the noise of the buggy’s causing a young little person to clasp his ears and produce instant tears, with a little bit of caution we pass through the town with a muffled roar but enough growl to attract the attention of those sat in the pub garden at the bottom of the hill and a few strollers in what I think is the high street, out the top of the town then left, orf to the out-skirts and along a section of dual carriageway, which allows those with the whoosh to “give it the beans” clean out the carbs and show a turn of speed, reaching the roundabout at the end, taking the 1st left and for those that know the anticipation of what is about to come is just about to explode as ahead the tarmac disappears into a dark hole. “YeeeHaaa” ahead of us, I think its Matt (Pirate), with lights on, drops down to 2nd gear and floors it as he enters the tunnel, WHAAAAHOOOOoooo what a noise, gone all goosebumpy, echoing through this giant car tube were fifteen or so very angry engines, ROARING, rattling, clattering, banging, burping, farting and about thirty five people whooping and cheering, emerging out the other end of the tunnel like a bunch of gurning loony’s, if you were standing on the roundabout as we came out into the light all you would see were crooked smiles of teeth and bouncing rocking nutters wanting a repeat performance, and Peter was about to oblige. So this time round the town out went consideration and in stepped Mr & Mrs Loony, they knew we were coming this time, the pub we past earlier had people taking piccys like mad and waving (in a friendly way), this time up the high street car alarms were roused into life (several times), traffic light grandprix’s (when there were no traffic lights), loads of very smiley faces from Joe public, there was just one old dear that hadn’t been quick enough to turn her hearing aid down and was lip read muttering something about yobs and boy racers. A repeat of the first trip through the tunnel followed but I think the first time was the best, after which Pete lead us out into the country for a little trip around the back roads of Sussex to enjoy some of the windy roads on the way back to the campsite or to stop off at a pub on the way.
That evening the BBQ was set in the middle for those that wanted and then left with lots of wood for keeping the pyromaniacs happy. Most grouped around the fire with late comers joining in and catching up on the tales of daring do, noisemaking, scaring the natives and doing our own attempt at a beer/lager/cider fest.
Sunday morn saw an overcast sky but little did we know what the day had in store for us, breakfast was done with some groggyness but much giggles, gurgles and guffaws from Aaron and Amy due to the previous nights shenanigans, (but that’s not unusual). At ten o’clock we headed into the main parking area for the day, then it started, that damp stuff from out of the sky, which wasn’t getting any brighter. The weather outlook wasn’t looking good, nor was the gathering getting any bigger, mainly due to the conditions getting a more and more gloomy. Around lunch time a few had decided to depart, which with hind sight, was a wise move. The die-hards held out optimistically, but it didn’t alter, except that a few more wise soles decided to make a break for it. Judging the prizes was very difficult when buggy’s are covered over and you can’t write anything down cos the papers too soggy and your ink dribbles down the page in rivlets.
Well for the few brave guys that managed to make it down on the day they were rewarded and we were most grateful for their efforts as there were a couple of buggy’s that hadn’t been seen for a long time or were new to the scene but had made a great effort for the day. After a brief meeting of those that remained it was decided to call it a day, pack things up early and head for home. For us that meant a quick trip to the camping area pack it all up, load up, and scram. That evening when we had returned home and after a good hot bath and meal, checking the web site to see if all got home ok, there were many more stories of intrepid journeys needing liferafts, flotation devices and rescues by the coastguard, including Mr AndrewRobinsons, (on the web site he’s known as “AndrewRobinson”), journey that came to light when he discovered that the lack of braking wasn’t entirely due to the amount of water between his tyres and the road surface but also to the fact that his braking system was somewhat totally bo**oxed and he didn’t have any brakes but needed an anchor. To those that made it a big thank you for a great experience, once again the memory’s and pictures tell the tale (you had to be there). Oh the joys of summer.