Established 1976


DARLING BUDS
A promise to time a visit to an old friend on his birthday meant a trip to
Kent for Sally and I on the first weekend of July. During our telephone
conversation to arrange times etc. John informed me that he had entered a
large carshow on that Sunday that he would like to attend and suggested
that we join them. A second far away show for us, it is becoming a bit of a
habit. A quick e-mail and a telephone call, saw a vehicle pass arrive at my
PC which was quickly printed off and put straight in to the glovebox to
avoid embarrassment. I would no doubt have left it at home otherwise.
The Sunday dawned somewhat damp, in fact wet would be a better
description but undaunted we set off in convoy to the co-ordinates on the
sat-nav. Along the way, the sun actually made an appearance and decided
to stay out all day. Our journey had one hiccough though, the clutch
hydraulics on Johnís Cobra decided to void the fluid on the road. Sunday
morning, early, out in the countryside, where do you find a garage? It is the
first time I have used a sat-nav for more than just a route; soon it had
produced a selection of local garages to choose from. The nearest one was
a modern petrol station with an M&S shop on the forecourt. A quick look
around showed plenty of foodstuffs and cleaning products but no car
related items. Strange for a garage I thought, so I asked the attendant if
they had any brake fluid or oils. This was followed by a vacant look which
quickly turned to fearful one. Did I look like a robber? Luckily the
manager appeared asking what the matter was; I think he thought I was
harassing his young lady. When I repeated my question about automotive
products, especially the brake fluid, he promptly took me to the correct
shelf in his display. Silly me, why on earth didnít I think to look in
amongst the herbs and spices for a bottle Dot 4??!!
Hurtling back to the road blocking roadster, a dose of fresh fluid and some
rapid bleeding saw the stricken beast underway once more. Why do we
like old cars when they do these sorts of things?
When we arrived at the venue, we discovered it was the farm used in the
Darling Buds of May television series and had been holding these shows
for the last 22 years. Like Singleton, the way in was restricted to a single
entrance for cars, meaning a bit of a queue built up back to the main village
road. They must have supportive neighbours in the village.

We were shown to our designated spots and soon had the chairs out for a
coffee or two. The cars were given a quick spruce up following the wet
motorway journey and we sauntered off to look around the large collection
of classics on display. It certainly is a large show but it is lucky to have a
large catchment area of classics near to hand. A lot of the people we spoke
to had not travelled that far to get here.

The old farmhouse of TV fame.  The Oast House, scene of many episodes.
ĎPaí Larkinís Rolls Royce from the series. How many have seen Santa about in July?

It turned out to be a blisteringly hot day in the end, with all new classics to
see and enjoy no regulars from our neck of the woods to bump into. The
one problem for us was the trade areas and autojumblers. They were used
to affluent shoppers and the prices reflected the wealthy area. The only
problem with that was the fact that a lot of the autojumble was as rusty and
useless as we get at our autojumbles. Why the traders donít clean up the
items and make them look worth buying, I donít know!
It was such a good day out that we were some of the last cars to leave the
show. It was back to the garden for a cold drink to round the day off.