The Rye Country show, in East Sussex, has always been a good favourite of AROCKES for the last four or so years. This is a country show that not only has amazing classic cars on display, but is also a sheer celebration of all things that are country pursuits and a living for those people who live and work in this area of the countryside. Included are all those extra things that make a country show enjoyable including: ferrets; the local hunt; locally produced ale; show jumping at all levels; a dog show; local produce; and more related stalls than you could fling a loaded wallet at. I sadly missed the local Hunt and “The Tigers” parachute display as I was running a little late but it’s a full day’s entertainment and well worth the enjoyable drive across the Kent & the East Sussex marshes to, what is arguably, the last real country show to escape modern day commercialism – and all this to support St Michael’s Hospice.
Attending members were: Hilary Richards in the 916 GTV Spider (once owned by Suzanne George); Michael Westwood with his 1750 1969 GTV in yellow; our human encyclopaedia of everything car related – John Dray in the 4c; Phil Davies in his yellow 4c; Tony Twyman in the Alfetta 1987 GTV; Graham Duplock (who has been caught eating less ice cream recently) in the Bertone GTV 2 litre; John Third in his 4c; myself in the recently acquired S4 1992 Spider; Ray Skilling in his S2 Spider; and last but not least my source of very realistic advice – Mark Rayss in his S4 Spider. In effect, more classic and high performance Alfas, which could realistically have a value that could empty several bank balances, but all very good company and a tremendous gathering of beautiful Alfas.
I have to admit, myself and Mark Rayss had to check out each other’s S4s after I somehow mistook his Alfa for mine and only realised when I noticed a rather attentive and concerned Mr Ryass over my left shoulder. It was only then that I realised I was in the wrong car. Each S4 is characteristically and subtlety different … anyway that’s the excuse I gave myself and I think I was forgiven.
I have to admit, myself and Mark Rayss had to check out each other’s S4s after I somehow mistook his Alfa for mine and only realised when I noticed a rather attentive and concerned Mr Rayss over my left shoulder. It was only then that I realised I was in the wrong car. Each S4 is characteristically and subtlety different … anyway that’s the excuse I gave myself and I think I was forgiven.
Tony Twyman made good use of the delicious food that was on offer and as always is a stalwart of these shows.
Whilst John Third barely managed to eat lunch before the public came in thick and fast with their questions and enquiries. Even Tony Twyman didn’t escape an interrupted lunch to do the same.
The rest of us, including Mark Rayss, John Dray, Graham Duplock, Phil Davies, Ray Skilling and myself seemed to get off quite lightly.
Hillary Richards enjoyed a nice glass of Prosecco. “Cheers!” … and why not!
The Westwoods, meanwhile, were having a bit of a medicinal cuddle to keep warm when the wind picked up a little and agreed to pose with their rather splendid yellow 1750 1969 GTV.
All this activity, of course, was taking place against all the the other activities that were going on -such as the marching band consisting of army veterans, whose medals displayed on their chests clearly marked out individual histories.
You have to go for a bit of a wander at these shows as there is so much to visit, such as the very necessary bacon roll stall …
Proper Real Ale from the Longman Brewery that, as you would expect, was really popular.
Entrants for the junior horse show.
As well as a heavy horses display, featuring here a mother and daughter team.
There was a display and presentation of the use of ferrets in the countryside.
… and a children’s face painting crew ….
As if all of this wasn’t enough to keep you interested, there was a dog agility and obedience competition, although this little dog was anything but obedient and I am barred from uploading the other pictures of his handler being dragged round the arena!
There was, as usual, various stalls where you could literally buy anything, although the possible use for this item escapes me.
There was a rather fine example of a pre-war bus on display ….
… as well as representatives from the local emergency services.
What we will have to do one year is get all four series of the 105 & 115 Spiders in the section to line up for a photo shoot. I didn’t think we did badly though with two series fours and one series two out of a good turnout to yet another memorable Rye show. So, next is the show at Brands Hatch in the form of Festival Italia and is always popular with the whole club.
This year I chose a new route home from Rye via Headcorn to Maidstone using some fantastic A and B roads that had some fantastic straights across the marshes and enjoyable corners across the Weald into Maidstone. That really finished the day off a treat! A positive pleasure compared to Ashford and the troublesome M20 – I don’t think I will take that route home again!
I promise that we woke Phil Davies up before everyone went home and he did not wake up in an empty field …