Review: Holker Hall & Gardens
Attraction - Historic house or stately home
Cark-in-Cartmel, Nr Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 7PL, United Kingdom
Silver travel with a twist
Most reviews concentrate on the location visited. This one is different in that the Silver Travellers are vintage cars and this is a review of some graceful old ladies behaving disgracefully. The Flying Scotsman Rally is a three day event organised by Endurance Rally Association part of the Historic Endurance Rally Organisation (HERO) for vintage cars. This year is the 11th running of the rally and attracted 104 entries, with a third of them from overseas, attracting entrants from as far away as Australia and the USA as well as mainland Europe and Ireland.
The rally started in Windermere on Friday 5 April ending at Gleneagles Hotel on Sunday the 7th Apri. The first two stages were run by the Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club and held at Holker Hall, where I was joined by fellow marshal Nigel and we had the pleasure of looking after Cone E! The rally consists of various stages, some like this one are a pure test of speed around the grounds of a private estate. Others known as Regularities which are tests on the open road where the idea is to cover a set route in a set time. Penalties are awarded for arriving at controls either too early or late.
In addition to driving on the closed roads in Holker Hall the stages had various points with cones placed where the driver has to perform certain tests. This could be a five second stop and go, steering through a number of spaced cones or passing it on the left or right. Penalties are incurred for hitting the cone or not completing the test in the appropriate manner. In our case the vehicle had to stop with both front wheels across the line and the rears behind. Only one car incurred a penalty. A few cars however arrived at the control three times and as long as they got it right at least once we didn’t mark them down.
The oldest car was David Ayre’s legendary 1907 Italia 40. This car has already completed the Peking to Paris rally at least twice and if you happened to see the recent BBC2 tv series “8 go Rallying” TheRoad to Saigon Rally it completed that too. The youngest entrant was a 1948 HRG 1500. In between were numerous Bentleys, Aston Martins, Lagondas, MGs and two Rolls Royces (not your typical rally cars). If you think these cars are only taken out on sunny Sundays think again. The competition is fierce and the cars are driven as hard over the three days as some of them would have been around Brooklands in days gone by.
Unfortunately one of the few cars I didn’t manage to photograph was the 1928 Ford Model A driven by the overall winners Bill Clyndert and Leigh Powley as they were going too fast! Although the competition itself is serious there are also prizes for the best presented cars in a Concourse D’Elegance won by Andrew Laing in Car No 90 a Frazer Nash BMW328. A prize for the best dressed crew was awarded to Bjorn Schage and Bjorn Lie from Norway in their equally elegant 1937 Alvis No78. Unfortunately you can’t see their outfits but the car is magnificent.
It has been over 40 years since I marshalled, in my youth, I used to be a track marshal at Ingliston and Knockhill race circuits in Scotland. I would also regularly attend stages in the RAC Scottish Rally, in the days of Jimmy MacRae. So it was great to rekindle my involvement in motorsport, and something different.
I had hoped to persuade my beloved to join me in Marshalling over all three days, whilst we would have stopped in nice country hotels overnight but as facilities on the stages are few and far between she declined my invitation. Perhaps next year! It was a pleasure to take park in the event. A morning of great cars, great scenery and great company. At the end of the stage each marshal was presented with a commemorative mug complete with tea bag, a very nice touch.
Some of you may well own a Vintage car, certainly some of you will own a Classic, pre 1968 one. So why not have a look at Classic Car Rallying. I am not suggesting you enter the Peking to Paris Rally organised by HERO, but they have events for novices where they offer tuition to budding navigators followed by a one day event. If you do give it a go don’t worry if you see someone with a fully rally prepared Mk1 Escort, don’t worry as you will be in a class competing against cars similar to yours.
It would have been nice to have had time to enjoy the grounds of Holker Hall and the Hall itself, perhaps I will be able to write a more traditional review of a visit in the future!
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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.