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Yawn.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Another year, another weekend away at Billing Aquadrome for the 2016 VBOA National Rally.

A weekend backed by a crazy idea. A weekend of unprecedented outcomes. A weekend where club history was made....

Friday;
My trip started on the Friday, as is tradition. I had loaded up my Estate car (not a Vauxhall this year.... :( ) prior to leaving with my share of the Club equipment - the coolboxes, banner and small bits. As I generally carry out the duty of purchasing the BBQ materials, it was decided to make a mini-meet at Costco Milton Keynes with others where we would make our meaty purchases and make for Billing from there. An uneventful and totally unexciting trip North saw me arrive at MK approximately 30 mins ahead of schedule.
@Alex then arrived bang on the meet-up time in the new club van, the Rascal, and shortly after that @Aydena & Laura also arrived. We made our purchases, loaded them into both mine and Aydens cars and carried our merry way to Billing after failing to make a Facebook live video on the VxON Page last more than ~2s of Alex just saying 'Hi' on loop. Ayden shot off, not to be seen again until our arrival, whereas I decided to not leave our Van behind and drove up keeping Alex behind. The Rascal performance was stunning, I could barely maintain my speed at ~39mph to keep up with it prior to hitting the M1, where I think we got it to a dizzying speed of maybe ~62mph after a long enough flat straight and a car in front to reduce drag. As said, stunning.
A couple of road incidents occurred en-route - firstly a Bus decided he wanted to be on the LH lane, when I was already there and alongside him - cue a decision to stop, use the horn and gratuitously remind the driver that he was indeed a massive C**t as he drifted closer to my car without a care in the world.
Secondly and far more excitingly, a woman in a generic white Audi A3 (who wasn't even fit either) decided that the RH lane that happened to go left to the M1 was not the lane she wanted, so she dove left in front of Alex to then also go left to the M1, then she brake tested a fully loaded Rascal van (so, stupid and also not fit - not looking good for her is it?). She also then didn't realise that a Rascal van, fully loaded or not, is significantly smaller than a generic white Audi A3 - a point made to her as Alex slipped it up the inside of her (wheeyyyyy, he hadn't done anything like that since before his Wedding in April at least) and got back in front. At this point she decided it would be as good idea to then video Alex as she joined the motorway and made her way past again - an excellent plan if you wish to film a Rascal van doing nothing but driving along the motorway whilst you point and move a phone around in your car whilst trying to join Lane 3 of a busy M1 - common sense would say to most "hang on, this video just makes me look in the wrong" - helping to summarise this woman - stupid, lack of common sense, and not fit. She'll go far if she can get on a Reality TV show, not far if she can't.
We then arrived at Billing, where Phil (@stoneshed ) was already there, now with Ayden. He had said he 'was at work' which is why he couldn't meet us at Costco. Clearly he just wanted to be the first there. John (@GREYDJ ) was also there after wondering over from his normal Mk2Cav stand. We had a few chats and then started on our erections and unloading things...
@Sy and Trish then arrived from the 80s with their trailer tent. Which it turned out, was actually pretty damn cool as it had a chest of drawers, kitchen, power, 2 beds and everything.
The members of our Northern outpost then arrived (@NathanR94 with Hannah/Eleanor, @NathanB95 with Kate, and @LukeLieng95 ) and there must have been a glitch in the matrix as they all arrived within the time frame that they had suggested they would do - which has never happened before. Maybe this explains the rest of the weekend and the result at the end...
Also, we must advise that for some reason we are rubbish at remembering girls names with more than 1 syllable in them as it has taken 3 years for us all to remember Hannah is NOT Eleanor as first thought... however we remembered Kate fine from the go. Aydens Laura has been to other events so is approaching the 2-3yr window of remembering her name.
We then got all hands on and got the big Gazebo erected and in place. Boom. All was done, BBQ was lit, meat was cooked and drinks were consumed - the Rascal made a good bottle rack for the evening too.
@DAWN68 & Richard arrived in the evening and popped over for a catch up etc with us all.
A couple of later arrivals saw JP (@jps1 ) arrive in tow with the kids, and finally Tony (@himselfunknown ) completed the turnout for Friday. More drinks, more meat. Ahhh, bliss.
Security came along and told us to shutdown the Genny at 01.00, so that called it a night.


Saturday;
A prompt 07.00-07.30am start saw us up and getting stuff sorted for breakfast. Phil was doing a stellar job or preparing the Onions & Mushrooms as needed, cooking still doesn't get any tougher than this. Bacon on
and the Admin went off to our morning briefing as normal. Back from that, nothing exciting to report, and we carried on with more bacon cooking. Got people parked up and then handed out the sheets for this years VBOA Photo Challenge (details will be in another thread here). A bit of a wander around and then Alex & myself were passed by @Matt-SRI in the 'Ro so we made our way back to the stand to have another catch up session.
Lunch was done, burgers eaten and back out to have another mooch to find stuff for the challenge. Thus years Autojumble was worse than before again. Only half of the trade area was autojumble, the rest was crap. It was good to know that we could get a tattoo if we wanted to though, or a dog bed, or maybe some other town centre market stall tat. Brilliant stuff. I think the Autojumble/Trade area needs more thoughtful selection of traders in the future, as it has been going downhill for a while now. There wasn't even a sticker person this year, and we had some awesome ideas for stickers for some on the stand.... Shame.
A quick trip out to 'The Meating Place' was made to get a small number of extra burgers as we looked like we could end up short of some, and then I got back to get back on the ciders.
The afternoon drew on. Spent by wandering around more, and monging out on the stand. Eventually the evening came around and we then spent our time doing the results of the Photo Challenge - good efforts by the teams this year and we had the results sorted. Prizes were given, photos taken. More ideas of how to refine them ahead of next years games. The games are still in their infancy at the moment, so will take a bit to get 'right' going forwards, though I think this years was better than last year.
The evening was then spent again monging around the stand. A bit of a quiet one as Phil had gone to the pub with some others... ha.
We were then told of a big brawl happening on the other side of the river behind us, but by the time we got there it had dispersed. Bah. Seemed to be from site visitors rather than any VBOA related visitors, which is good to know.
More shenanigans on the stand until we were visited by Security again at almost 01.00 to be told to shutdown the Genny again... Maybe we need to go for an LED/Battery setup going forwards to keep lights on without a Generator.
Not long after getting into the tent, I heard a small screech and a big thud - like a car crash. Not long after that, Phil sends a selfie of himself in front of a rolled and abandoned car. Quickly up and out to walk up the road a bit where there was indeed a Passat on it's roof just off a site road. Turns out the driver/passenger had crawled out and done a runner - we would later find out that this was related to the fight and some other events during the evening, and luckily nothing to do with any VBOA clubs. Nice bit of drama before bed eh?

Sunday;
Same process as yesterday for the morning - breakfast bacon and a reps meeting. This was followed by the arrival of another visitor with us for the day, @selina beth and their very tidy and fresh Corsa B C20XE.
This was now giving us a rather decent display of cars on the stand - IIRC, it was 11 or 12 Vauxhalls, and a couple of non-vauxhalls. Our numbers are going up again, hopefully a bit of a resurgence? That would be amazing, and we have some ideas to hopefully allow for this to continue going forwards...
We had earlier decided to put the Rascal forwards for the Chairmans cup this year - Lukes Corsa was done last year, Matts Monaro the year before and as we never seem to stand any chance against the large clubs with good numbers to vote for their own entry, we decided to put it ahead purely for the comedy effect. As was proven on Saturday after the photo challenge and checking over the whole site, it was the ONLY Rascal at the event, even the big Bedford Enthusiasts club didn't have one with their impressive display/collection. We made an attempt to give it a tidy up, including removing the bumper to fix a dent (which didn't happen as one screw as mashed), and we also bodged the rear washer jet (on staurday)) but as we couldn't find an actual single jet within the trade area between dog beds, tatoos, and artisan bread, unsuprisingly, we just left a bit of hose sticking out with a cable tie to stop it falling back in, which actually works fairly well... We then stopped trying to work magic in a short time and just went for the 'oily rag' restoration approach - ie, we emptied it and removed cobwebs etc but decided to do nothing else but take it over when the time came. I then proceeded to go for a wander around for some photos around numerous displays but didn't give myself a great deal of time to see everything again so didn't get a many images sadly. I then went back and we got some lunch out of the way and we then took the Rascal out - a successful Facebook Live video was made from my uncomfortable trip in the back of the van to the arena area, where whilst we were waiting to go in, we sized up the competition also waiting. Seriously, we were way out of our league against concours classics, excellent modern classics, and a number of very well modified cars of newer eras - remember, we were in a red/orange van with dents, age related marks a ripped seat and dirty engine that had not seen any preparation other than emptying it; and I was laughing the whole way up to parking up wondering if we would be on the receiving end of a tannoy announcement along the lines of 'would the owner of the crap Rascal van please remove it from the arena as we are now parking the Chairmans cup entries' - we didn't.
Instead, we immediately received positive comments from the recently stepped down previous VBOA Chairman as he parked us, stating how he remembered these whizzing around the Luton factory when he worked there, and how his son used one for years as a Karting (?) race support van for years. This set the tone for the rest of the 1.5hr it was on display with the public. It always had someone looking at it, and it was consistently receiving positive comments. Even the announcer of the event this year was chatting with Alex over the PA system to state how it had been so long since he had seen one, how it was great to see one being used etc. We were lapping it up.
Anyway, after a while the PA system came on saying that they would soon start to announce the winners of the trophies this year - as Admin, Alex & myself stay for this as respect for the other clubs entries (remember that we see the other clubs twice a year for routine VBOA meetings off season so don't want to make our group look bad by not taking part) and the first result was called - "The first category is for best standard vehicle and, surprisingly, the winner is the Rascal van!"

Bewildered. This has NEVER happened to us in the 9yrs we have been attending. I was shocked, Alex let out a massive call of 'YES!' and our supporting crowd let out a big cheer from beside the van itself. We will get a trophy for this, but it wasn't available on the day sadly due to the last holder of it being unavailable and admitted into Hospital before being able to return it to the VBOA.
The surprise is still there - we have fielded very strong cars in the past - a rebuilt Astra GTE 16v Champion, Cavalier Mk2 SRI XE, a modified Astra Mk3 GSi, an excellent Monaro VXR, a well modified Corsa 1.4T - all have not been successful. We won by a tiny margin and were in with a shout of winning the whole thing overall, and all from just putting a Van on display for a laugh. It cannot get any better than this.



TBH, I think a large number of us left the site on a high, this will take a while to disappear.
The weather was great, our attendance is improving year on year since the flood of 2012 and subsequent flop of attendance of 2013, the social side is good and getting better, we as always have a diverse mix of cars to display, and we now have a class winning Display vehicle as part of our group.


Thank you to the attending VxON members for another great year of this event. Good weekends like this keep us going and really help to drive enthusiasm for the future.

:)

Keep an eye out for the other threads from the Weekend - some pics to follow.





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Yawn.
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Discussion Starter #2

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Yawn.
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Discussion Starter #3

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Yawn.
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Yawn.
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Yawn.
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Discussion Starter #7
Bonus Extras;

Rolled Passat...






Getting a bit exotic on the BBQ by doing Chicken, and also Chips....




The Award Winning Rascal, first thing on Saturday;




The Award Winning Rascal also leaves 11s;

 

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Premium Member
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Cracking account of a top weekend.

Its a pleasure as always.

and 9am is an acceptable time to start on the beer :)

Look forward to the next one
 
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Premium Member
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Bonus Extras;

Rolled Passat...






Getting a bit exotic on the BBQ by doing Chicken, and also Chips....




The Award Winning Rascal, first thing on Saturday;




The Award Winning Rascal also leaves 11s;

Just where a Vw belongs on its roof!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Rascal
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12,341 Posts
A well deserved win. Must have got up a few people's noses. Top beefburger again, well worth the subs :)
Always a pleasure, John, good to see you.

From all the comments that I overheard, I actually think a lot of people had some very happy memories of Rascal vans. Ian Coomber himself said he used to have one (or his son did) back in the day, one chap was telling us how his dad used to build them and amusing stories of them tipping off the front of car transporter lorries, all those kind of halcyon memories people have.

Plus, obviously, the massive sack of cash I left lying around helped...
 

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CavWeb's Oldguy
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4,816 Posts
Always a pleasure, John, good to see you.

From all the comments that I overheard, I actually think a lot of people had some very happy memories of Rascal vans. Ian Coomber himself said he used to have one (or his son did) back in the day, one chap was telling us how his dad used to build them and amusing stories of them tipping off the front of car transporter lorries, all those kind of halcyon memories people have.

Plus, obviously, the massive sack of cash I left lying around helped...
Next time leave a bag containing more than just 2p pieces, then the Chairman's Cup will be yours.
 
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