International rally 2015
The 2015 International rally was held at Worley hall near Sheffield and we attended with 4 cars carrying 9 people.
The party consisted of 2 Van's and 2 saloons.
Just like last year we decided to take the boat from Hoek van Holland to Harwich.
There was some experimentation with the crossing two years ago however this was not to everyone's liking.
So we are sticking with the tried and tested night crossing if at all possible.
The crossing was pretty much uneventful, to sum up: we embarked, drank some beers, went to bed and we arrived in Harwich 7 o'clock local time.
As always, we stopped at a parking lot to have some "krentenbollen" (currant buns) because of the limited time on the ferry in the morning.
Apparently the bikers also making the crossing picked the same parking lot. As we were soon surrounded by a large number of bikers and their bikes
which were wonderfully customized. One example was a trailer behind one of the bikes which was made to look like a beer keg. The bikes were en route
to the FH-DCE Super rally which is THE european Harley Davidson event and attracts more than 10.000 bike enthusiasts. So it's only a tad bigger than
the International Austin A30 A35 Rally ;-)
The first stop was something suggested by my brother Koen he had found that the Abbey pumpingstation in Leicester would not take us that much extra driving
and was certainly worth a visit. After a giant "diversion" we finally arrived in Leicester (it is safe to say we will never trust British diversions blindly
again) The admission turned out to be free and the museum was very interesting, in addition to the impressive beam engines it showed the history and science
of public health in Leicester, using historic exhibits. There was also a small section dedicated to historic projectors and a selection of typewriters made in
This was a very tall chimney!
The Museum featured all kinds of collections
Old film Projectors
The impressive beam engine
The engine was unfortunately not running at the time
To illustrate the advances in hygienic technology they showed bathrooms throughout the ages
Even les advanced
The early washing machines
A model of the engines, they where used to pump the waste water from Leicester
Gorgeous buildings to house the engines, they do not build them like this anymore
Not tardis, but this is a police box, they were used over a period of 20 years as a test. They also used slightly longer ones to fit the constables bike.
After one us had a small chat with one of the volunteers we were even invited to look inside the onsite storage facility where a large part of the
museum's collection was housed. This amazing space was absolutely packed with historic Leicester vehicles and machinery. The collection ranged from steam
rollers to knitting machines. They were very proud of the fire engine especially built slightly narrower for Leicester. The mini stored here was also very
interesting because it was converted to full electric in the 60's and was recently restored and fully drivable by volunteers at the pumping station.
The mini rear frame was strengthened to cope with the extra weight
It completely filled the engine compartment.
This double-decker bus, used 2 axles at the rear because of legislation. During the war all legislation was dropped and after the war only busses with twin tyres at the back axle where produced.
There were tons of other magnificent vehicles and the person showing us around was very knowledgeable. I would like to thank the people at the Abbey pumping station
for a fantastic visit. After a 75 mile trip we arrived at Wortley Hall and discovered that we were only the second equippe on the camp ground.
After we had set up camp we enjoyed a meal in the Wortley Arms Inn.
The next day we came up with the plan to explore the peak district. After some time we left the city limits of sheffield,
it took some time to get out of the city because despite careful balancing between using the Sat-Nav and the good old paper map we relied on the sat-nav too much..
Once freed of the constrictions of the city, we were treated to really beautifull surroundings.
The four Austin's set out to visit the town of Castleton where we made a short stroll past the ruins of Peveril Castle which we did not visit
and the caverns of Castleton which we decided not to visit as well. We did however, as real men often do, sat down to eat a scone and have some coffee.
Next we sat out to visit Buxton, my dad had visited this town years earlier and there was supposed to be a toy museum. Unfortunately,
we were unable to find it. So we proceeded to the nearby town of Matlock to visit the Lead Mining museum. We learnt a lot about the history
of lead mining in the peak district and the usages of lead in everyday objects. The museum was very nice and full of practical examples.
On the way to the Lead Museum we passed some nice antiques stores in the centre of Matlock, because we still had some time we decided to head
back and have a look. After a quick look around we decided to get some barbeque supplies at the local supermarket and head back to the campsite.
On arrival we saw that several other people had set up camp. Theo who the unofficial Dutch Austin Expedition Cook had the barbecue lit up in no time and we
enjoyed a meal of burgers and hot-dogs with some salad on the side.
We also visited a stone circle, the weather was very nice.
Note the Roof Rack
A nice view from the stone circle
From inside the Lead Mining Museum
Saturday was an Austin themed day, Hans had his panels out and I advertised my roof rack. The morning was all about buying and selling. This year we found
that there were more traders than other years. All Austins were nicely lined up on the field and lots of photographs where taken. The flyover that the Spitfire
and Hurricane performed was a highlight of the day. After we had dinner in our tent some of us went up to Wortley hall to have a look what the entertainment offered.
As it happens, they were just selling tickets to "play your cards right" and Jan bought five! Sadly he only got to play once and lost with the second card.
We really enjoyed the rest of the evening and enjoyed a few laughs back at the tent.
The tents, we had a slightly different set-up this year but this was mainly possible because of the mild winds.
This car attracted a lot of attention, front end of a simitar, and backend of an A30
Look at all those Austin's!
And more Austin's!
Always a lovely site.
The last day for us at the rally we spent the morning selling the remainder of the panels and I sold the roof rack I made with my father.
And after lunch we decided to head into Sheffield to see the winter garden. To our great surprise we found that there was also a food festival
held around the site of the winter garden. We did pass some time here but did not spend that much time here. The idea was to spend the rest of
the afternoon with a short drive in the direction Wortley to see what lay north of Wortley. However when we reached Penistone we decided to stop
there to get some groceries and head back to the Rally.
Monday morning we packed quite early because we wanted to visit the steam festival in Carrington but we had to be back at Harwich on time to catch
the ferry back to Holland. The drive up to Carrington went smoothly and we soon found ourselves amidst all kinds of agricultural machines,
what a sight to behold. There were also a good number of steam engines and there were also a couple of classic cars.
The field that all vehicles where shown at.
Converted VW T2 van, from which they served coffee
There was lot's to do!
Among these was a Morris Minor that consisted of two front ends stuck together and a black Austin A35 with a rack on the boot.
The said morris minor
Lot's of stuff to see, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
This was the slow race between the steam engines in full swing
The route back and reminded us of home because of the flat countryside. After an uneventful drive we arrived at the pink pub (the Cross Inn) before 7 o'clock
and sat together to enjoy the last English meal of the trip.
Yet another year that I really enjoyed at the annual International Rally!