Chirton, Devizes, Wiltshire 2003
Text by: Chris Grew
The meeting started off on the wrong foot, all week we had great weather with temperatures in the early 30's. The plan was for the event to be in the School Field as organised.
A number of us had stayed overnight on Friday at my house drinking to the early morning getting in the swing of things. In the morning I got out of bed to what was without doubt the worst weather we had experienced for a couple of weeks. Cold with a biting wind.
I strolled into the field and realised that it was going to be a difficult task to get the gazebos set up let alone be in a position where we could all stand around discussing our cars and more.
Mark one of my Brothers in Law and I started to put up the smaller of the two gazebos and decided to fix it to the fence that was attached to my boundary. A very short time later the remains of the gazebo where trying to mount the fence:
So that was the remains of £100 of Gazebo. We now had to start again! And not with the 9M x 3M version, which stayed safely, wrapped up.
Now it is very important to point out here that when I told my good Wife Claire that I was going to organise this meeting her words where 'you are not going to have them in the house are you?' ….'of course not' I replied..' it will all be in the field'…
So I now have a dilemma on my hands. Unable to give the forthcoming visitors a decent place to meet and chat, I had of course promised so much. The decision was taken and I quietly told Mark that I had no option we would re arrange everything in the back garden and my living room, he did not say a word.
So that was the start of the day!
Cars started to arrive and line up in the field a truly magnificent sight. My living room started to fill up with a bunch of strangers who all looked a little concerned as to what would happen next. Every time we attempted to go into the field the wind picked up and we scurried back to the house to warm up again. At this point I had to come up with a plan to save the day and at 15:30 I found it…. The BBQ.
The wind died down enough so we could get the awning out from the house:
We moved back and forwards between the cars and the house consuming a mixture of food and alcohol. It was starting to feel like a party:
(Thanks to Dragonlord for these panorama piccys)
The cars looked great with a meaty exhaust from Lee, snazzy wheels from Dragonlord, lowered suspension and more. We also discovered a very unusual seat from SwissT:
No one could shed light on it's origin, could it be a long forgotten option? Or maybe some aftermarket alternative?
Dragonlord, FNORD, Lee and Jamodoger disappeared during the afternoon for a spot of driving. I believe it was a good occasion and was certainly an impressive trip as they returned armed with a few more refreshments!
Then it was time for the raffle. The excitement was too much as we waited with baited breath for the draw, which was, helped on by my 5 year old daughter and her 6 year old cousin. We had added a couple of extra prizes and by MBC from DBS Motors. The results where as follows:
Fnord was impressed with his win of the MBC, made even more exciting by the fact that he owns a Turbo! However as you will see later, he needed some good news to go away with!
Remember the bouncy castle? Well it was for the kids of course:
Dragonlord contemplating his fate on the bouncy castle.
And being forcibly placed on the bouncy castle
And finally on the bouncy castle
The evening carried on with a few members leaving but with some die-hard clubbers staying on until 03:00!
A giant game of Jenga helped the fun:
With everyone off to bed I locked up with 16 people spread across the house sleeping wherever they could.
Sunday morning started slowly and I looked outside at my pride and joy:
Oh my God! You just cannot trust these 480 Europe club members, turn your back for 5 minutes and they turn a perfectly good 480 into a skeleton!!
Joking aside this was the donor vehicle I have mentioned and basically I let anyone have a go for the most important bits they required. A few enjoyed themselves like vultures!
The car in the background is Dralphs vehicle for which we are awaiting an exhaust before returning to it's full glory.
As the morning progressed members slowly dispersed back to their homes for I guess a welcome rest as I noticed that few of them appeared on the site for the next 24 hours.
But a problem had been raising its head for Fnord as we started to prepare for home. On the Saturday he had noticed on the trip down that his steering was getting heavy. We all peered into the bonnet and decided to look at the steering fluid, it was empty. It was topped up on the Saturday and by Sunday was empty. The vehicle was driven onto ramps:
And Lee went down on the car (sad man!), he found a serious problem with the engine mount going, damaging the subframe and taking out the power steering hose….ouch! So Fnord decided that the better part of valour was to have the vehicle pushed onto the road:
And towed away:
A sad ending for Fnord who I am sure will keep us informed of the progress of his repairs. Hopefully in time for the next meeting!
All in all the day and night was terrific with a good mix of 480 talk and partying. I was overwhelmed with this bunch of people I had never met and found to be such great fun. I cordially invite anyone of you back to my house for a party whenever you are in the area. Particularly if there is a Saturday at the weekend!
My thanks to you all and especially to my Wife Claire who after being assured that no one would be in her home put up with 31 people and really did enjoy herself (she told me so)
We are currently putting all the pictures (lots of them) and videos onto a DVD, which I will send to everyone at the meeting. Email your address to email@example.com for a copy.
Money wise we did not fair too badly even though some members did not turn up and were catered for. Drinks left over were taken out of the purchase price shown below. We paid for the bouncy castle so that is not included in the figures.