Sunday June 5 2016
Celebrating Her Majesty’s ninetieth birthday , British Vehicle enthusiasts gathered, as usual at the Caroline Bay North Carpark some arriving as early as 9am.
The weather had smiled upon us and it quickly became apparent that this was shaping up to be a bumper turnout. Based on previous musters, 120 rally packs had been prepared, and these were soon exhausted. A further 20 instruction sheets printed “just in case” also found homes as did the master sheets from the organisers clipboard. In all, 143 entrants were ready to hit the road at around 10:30am.
It was probably fortunate that 2 routes had been prepared this year, as cars were able to exit the bay area by both North and South exits with little or no congestion problems in the adjacent streets. The routes were both designed to cross some-where between the Pareora West and Sutherlands areas which gave participants the opportunity to see other British traffic on the move, and exchange the mandatory friendly wave with their fellow enthusiasts. Some became anxious that either they or those other folk may have been lost, but following the in-structions given gave reassurance that they were still on track.
The end venue was the Albury Hotel, a traditional country pub of the style that was once so commonplace but is now becoming rare. Our host had made what arrangements he could to prepare for the expected influx, but unfortunately had not had time to move his stock out of the back paddock in time for their deposits to settle, so we were unable to use this for parking. An area across the road was made available for parking, but this was only accessible via a right turn off the main road and this brought about some traffic congestion problems. Nevertheless there was plenty of parking available on the side street and in the old transport yard nearby.
Many took advantage of the meals and snacks on offer, and the small team in the kitchen and bar did an admirable job of catering for the hungry hordes. In the mid afternoon the raffles and prizes were drawn in front of the crowd gathered before it was time to head homeward amid talk of doing it all again next year.