"The Jurassic Rally"
Zoom in to find all the little details to this GPS logged route. (scroll down for the complete story in pictures)
Below you will find a video of the trip on youtube
"The Jurassic Rally"
International rally 2019, Wareham
The 2019 Austin A30-A35 owners club rally was one to remember! The location for this year's main Austin A30-A35 event was the lovely village of Wareham. Because Wareham is in Dorset, the fitting name of "Jurassic Rally" was given to this years gathering.
Because we like to cross the north sea with the Stena Ferry during the night we arrived at Harwich on Thursday morning ready for the 333 km trip to the rally location.
Waiting for the ferry
This is, of course, quite a journey in a small 1950's car. It asks a lot more from the driver than if you were covering the same distance in a modern car. That is why a break is very welcome and also a good excuse to visit a nice museum, garden, castle or other attraction.
Whilst planning the route I found a museum that sounded interesting and importantly located about halfway along the route. The Milestones Museum (www.milestonesmuseum.org.uk
turned out to be a fantastic museum. I have to say that I was a bit worried because the website led me to believe that the museum was geared more towards kids.
These worries turned out to be unnecessary, there was lots to see between the original shop fronts and the lovely vehicles that dotted the recreated streets from different time periods.
After the lunch (a steak and kidney pie) we returned to the little Austins to resume our way.
On approaching Wareham we always look out for the little yellow "Flying-A" signs along the side of the road. The organisation always puts them up and they are well appreciated. On arrival at the Rugby field we saw that we are not the first ones there. After setting up the tents we went for a quick walk.
Wareham turned out to be a good town for evening walks along the town walls.
Wareham, a lovely town
Also to take some nice pictures
The Austin A30-A35 owners club arranged for tickets with discount to be purchased through the club on the field. We liked the idea of taking a ride on a steam train to Swanage. And we decided to take the train in the morning. When we got to the parking lot at the train station we could already see the smoke from the train that was approaching.
A brisk pace was needed to catch the train in time.
Along the route the train passes by a few towns, among them is Corfe. Corfe is a beautiful town with the remnants of a mighty castle upon closer inspection we found it a bit too expensive to visit and instead we admired the castle from a distance. The weather at this point was getting really nice and sunny.
Back at the Corfe train station, the bridge over the tracks presented a great opportunity to photograph the train coming in. I think all of us got the same pictures. Next stop was Swanage, the town has some really interesting history, more on that later as we returned there the next day. The hour was approaching lunch time and what is more perfect than eating fish and chips in a nice Dorset coastal town. That is exactly what we did, although it did involve some troubles with old banknotes and some rather large seagulls. The train ride was really enjoyable, and back at the campsite a couple of our fellowship went for another evening walk. That walk turned out to be a lot longer than expected, and they only returned to the tent after the sun had already set!
Whiffs of fuel where all around our tents. And got quite noticeable. Finally on saturday morning we had had enough. The couperate turned out to be an old fuel hose on Chris's car. After some tinkering we got the problem sorted and this was just in time to catch the 10:00 bus ride.
The owners club had arranged for a big yellow Leyland dubbeldekker bus to take people to Swanage.
The drive up was lovely and we got to see more of the surrounding countryside. The bus was running great, it had to because it had to traverse gradients up to 16%. It passed a quarry and some old towns. The guide on the bus pointed out some interesting facts out to us.
The weather was perfect again and this also benefited the pirate festival in Swanage.
We had to make our way through all the pirates and visited two of the buildings that were brought from London to Swanage as ballast for ships that would otherwise return empty to swanage. There is a nice story behind the The Wellington clock tower and the Town hall that can be read here: IanVisits.co.uk
The bus also brought everybody back to the rally field, and they let some people off at market square in Wareham. (just a short walk from the rally field) Back on the field we found that people had already begun selling parts and other items. Again an evening walk was on the agenda (helps to digest dinner) and that brings us to Sunday.
Kim Henson brought a lot of cars to the rally
An overview of the Club house
This is generally the main rally day. Owners that want to, can have there car judged. There were some really nice cars out there in all different classes. Personally I like that there are so many classes, because everybody's different and has a different idea about what their car should be. We did not see much of the activities organised on the field. Instead we drove out to Lulworth Cove. The weather this morning was gray and damp.
On the way to this big tourist attraction you drive through training grounds for the military. In the middle of these grounds, there is a village that had been commandeered by the army and has been deserted ever since. There have been restoration projects on several buildings in Tyneham Village and the public is allowed to visit the site. The village is also a popular site to shoot for tv and film.
During one of these shoots the oldest remaining phone box (type K1) in England was demolished by accident in 1985, it has since been replaced by the film company.
The village is only open to the public during some weekends, so check before your visit.
We resumed our way to Lulworth cove and found a parking spot.
The weather started to clear up and found that the Durdle Door was actually a steep hike from the Lulworth cove parking. Not everybody was up for that so, we split up into two groups.
The views from the coastal path to the Durdle door were beautiful. And as we got closer to the Durdle Door it got a lot busier with tourists.
I am glad that we visited the place. There is no telling how long it will remain standing. The sea will keep eroding the site and eventually it will collapse just like other coastal features have in the past.
I think it is a sign!
On the right track!
Don't fall down!
Panorama of the Lulworth Cove
After returning to the rest of the group at the Cove we sat down for lunch and headed back to the rally site. There we caught the awarding of the prizes. The evening at the tent was again very nice with drinks and good company.
It was time to start the drive home. We packed the tents as we have done many times before and were ready to leave at 9.
I had suggested to visit the Hovercraft museum in Lee on Solent. That turned out to be a big success. The museum showed all kinds of hovercraft that were developed since their inception in the 60's. They had hovercraft that were used in a bond movie, hovercraft that were historically important and also an SN4. This is one of the big hovercraft that was used to ferry people and cars across the English channel. Allas the haydays of the hovercrafts are over. And that ferry service has stopped. You'd think that there is not much use for these craft these days.
However, that is not the case and thanks to their unique qualities they are still used in the military and search and rescue missions. There is even a ferry service between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. On the day of our visit to the museum they were offering rides on one of those Hovercraft.
Of course we could not resist. I do not regret paying the extra bit to be able to ride the hovercraft! There is nothing like it.
And these modern turbo diesel powered ones are really surprisingly quiet on the inside. Amazing!
After the stop we still had a lot of miles to go. So it was definitely time get in the Austins. Luckily there were no problems and not too much traffic around London. The only rain during this weekend fell on the way to the ferry. We arrived in Harwich, where I had some problems with my brakes due to a leak in the rear brake cylinder. I could continue, although we carefully monitored the fluid level in the brake system.
Inside the big ferry
Lots and lots of hovercraft
These were made on the tv show "scrapheap challenge"
We decided to have dinner on the ferry, since the pub that we used to visit (Cross inn) was not open in the evening on Monday's. Dinner on the ferry also turned out to be problematic because of several coaches full of tourists. These people caused long lines at the buffet. All in all we had a wonderful weekend and got back without problems. Big thanks to the organization of the rally! We will hopefully see you next year!