Fiat 500 weekend in Bude – June 2015

By Chris and Rose Hitchens, Devon/ Cornwall Area organiser

Bude9Well, what a turn-out we had. 14 Classic cars and 3 new ones!!! Not forgetting the lovely Nissan 350Z driven 275 miles by Craig Anderson and Amy Lovell. (What a star)

I had been planning the weekend for some time and Rose and I had been out enjoying driving “Marmaduke” all round the places that we wanted to visit, for quite a few times prior to the Devon/Cornwall Event. (Any excuse!) We had previously been to Port Isaac to arrange with the Harbour Master whether we could park on the beach and the same day that we arrived they were filming Doc Martin, and we could see Martin Clunes being filmed outside the “Doctors House”.   The film crew’s vehicles were being moved from the encroaching incoming tide as I spoke to him and I immediately thought “how far would a Fiat 500 float?”   He assured me that we would be in plenty of time for the tide not to have any significance – but you never know?

Bude1Port Isaac and the Fiats

I must admit, I was a little concerned when I had 17 cars in the convoy (thanks for the support guys), the convoy would never get out of car parks, T junctions and roundabouts all at the same time, but Rod (our very kind Chairman) assured me that he would arrange to bring some walkie talkies so that we would be in touch, and this worked extremely well.

Those of you that managed to get to Bude on the Friday had a lovely meal at Elements, the Italian Restaurant overlooking Widemouth Bay, but by gum, wasn’t it noisy!! They had a “Hen Party” there as well as lots of other holiday makers and I don’t know who was the loudest, 23 of us or the rest!!

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Everybody turned up on time Saturday morning (I called the register and felt like a school teacher) and then we all moved off to lots of admiring glances from holidaymakers and locals. The weather was just right, not too hot (hands up those that run their little treasures with the heater on to keep the engine cool?) So everyone was happy. The day went well with only a few minor mishaps. Giovanni had a sticking accelerator, (amazing stuff WD40) John had a very hot rear brake drum and Richard’s car wouldn’t start because the starter cable had stretched. (This was very ingeniously repaired when we got to Port Isaac by using a pebble and a cable tie- don’t ask!) .

We got back to Bude on time after visiting Tintagel, (some of us went to the Castle), Boscastle (where the floods were in 2004) and Crackington Haven. We then reassembled at 6.30pm and went to a concert which featured some Shanty Singers called “The Bencoolen Wreckers” (A boat that ran aground off Bude over a century ago and was “freed” of its cargo by the locals at the time). We also heard the Arscott Ladies Choir and then had home- made Pasties, sandwiches and cake.

Bude3The weather on Sunday was what the Cornish call “mizzly”. It didn’t stop us from going to the Vintage car show at Holsworthy, but unfortunately it stopped a lot of the classic cars coming along as it was so damp. It was very nice to be asked to go into the exhibitors ring and each of us was interviewed by the commentator. After that we went to the nearby golf Club and had a lovely   carvery meal before finishing the weekend. Thank you so much from Rose and I for the lovely wine and plant. Rose has planted the carnation but the wine looks at me every time I pass (Won’t be long before it’s opened methinks!) Later some of the lucky members that were booked in to various hotels and stopping another day came to our house and we all enjoyed a lovely cream tea in the garden. By this time the mizzly weather had disappeared and the sun was shining again!

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I have very much enjoyed everybody’s company. This is a really lovely Club, people are so friendly and enthusiastic and I daresay that I will do another weekend sometime soon but Rose and I will put our feet up for a little while. I’m always amazed how reliable the cars seem to be (maybe I shouldn’t have said that), but it is testament to the engineering expertise of the owners, or in my case, the garage.