Come rain or shine we were determined to enjoy the wonderful roads and magnificent scenery that Derbyshire offers even in mid-OctoberRead More
The Giulietta Register UK visited Brugge in Belgium and Bergen op Zoom in The Netherlands on the way to the exciting Spettacolo Sportivo Alfa Romeo event at the Zandvoort Circuit in The Netherlands. Thanks to the event organisers, SCARB, and to all our good friends in the Dutch Alfa Romeo Giulietta Club for such a warm welcome and true hospitality during our visit, especially the wonderful Louwmann Museum tour and our drive together through the beautiful Green Heart of Holland. It was great fun and we look forward to welcoming you all in the UK sometime soon.
The event, held over two days is a wonderful combination of groups of aircraft and car enthusiasts, numbers are not overwhelming, and many dressed in period fashions or military uniforms complete with period picnic accoutrements. It is all quite relaxed with a refreshing lack of the hungry commercialism now to the fore in some other events.Read More
Our trip to Aix les Bain in the foothills of the French Alps combined superb driving routes with a relaxed itinerary - both made even more enjoyable by warm sunny weather for almost the whole week. We were 19 people, including two couples from the USA, driving in ten cars (including a late model MGF which managed to keep up most of the time). We crossed from UK into France by train from Folkstone on 7 June, returning from Calais on 14 June.Read More
The Annual General Meeting of the Giulietta Register was held on 2 April 2017 at The Barns Hotel in Bedford, UK. It was fine weather and top-down enjoyment for the many members attending in their spiders. Sprints were also more numerous than in past years, including an inaugural outing for Stuart Passey's painstakingly restored and drop-dead gorgeous early low nose lightweight Sprint prototype.
The Chairman, Richard Wigley, and all members of the Committee were unanimously re-elected for another term, to the relief of others present. However, in accepting their re-election, Don MacLean, Editor of the Giuliettaletta, and Tony Ives, UK Events Organiser, announced that they would be stepping down during the coming year after serving in their respective capacities for several years.Read More
In June 2016, the Register trip covered around 1800 miles on some of the best twisty and hilly small roads from Caen in France to Santander in Spain, via several beautiful national parks and the Pyrenees from east to west. We returned to UK on the ferry from Santander. Below are some pictures taken along the route.
The Sherborne Castle Classics and Supercars Event in Dorset, England, on Sunday, 17 July proved a great venue for the Giulietta Register’s Summer get together. Vintage, veteran and classic cars filled the gently rolling lawns surrounding Sherborne Castle. A delightful array of classics, predominantly British, provoked warm nostalgia in so many of us wandering their polished ranks. Pre-WWI and ‘specials’ leviathan racers thrilled onlookers as their huge motors (some aircraft engines!) were each started and gently revved to an informative commentary. Modern Lamborghinis, McLarens and Ferraris competed for hearts not already lost to the older iron.
The Register’s pitch was in a prime position and the line-up of Giuliettas and Giulias was a novel and popular display. Register members enjoyed meeting each other again - some cars and their owners who had not been seen at Register events for some time and some new members with their beautiful cars, original and restored, new to the Register and to the UK.
Having greeted each other, parked with precision, assembled and positioned the club banner, and optimistically applied sun block, we set about exploring Sherborne, seeking out the loos and coffee stalls on the way to the different car club stands, trade stands of model cars, useful and cheap tools, and auto jumble stuff. Possible vantage points were scouted should the promised later arrival of the squadrons of modern ‘supercars’ prove tempting. It was all a pleasantly manageable size, well catered and with an atmosphere of calm enjoyment reflecting good event organisation.
Sherborne Castle is often referred to as Sherborne New Castle to distinguish it from Sherborne Old Castle. The Old Castle is a ruin of a 12th C castle built by the Normans at the time of William the Conqueror. By the time Elizabeth I reigned it was already a ruin. Sir Walter Raleigh, a favourite of the Queen, apparently loved the place (and it’s easy to see why) and Elizabeth leased the estate to him. Rather than rebuild the old castle, Sir Walter built a relatively modest four-storey ‘lodge’ in the grounds for his occasional visits. After Walt lost his head, subsequent incumbents enlarged the buildings adding new wings, but it was severely damaged in 1645 in the Civil War. Rebuilt, it took on the Sherborne Castle moniker, though it really is more a large Jacobean house rather than a fortified castle, as we see today, but actually still pretty old.
Soon enough we all found themselves back at our Giulietta line-up and set about drawing the folding chairs and travel rugs into an ever more elongated picnic circle. The threatening sky delivered a heavy but short downpour prompting hasty erection of hoods, but soon cleared to blue with sunshine for the rest of the day. The picnic was a relaxed, disorganised and hugely enjoyable get together with old friends catching up and new friendships started. Cars were discussed and minor modifications inspected.
Register Chairman, Richard Wigley, continued the light-hearted tradition of announcing fun prizes, awarded only after rigorously superficial scrutiny and secret judging of the cars on show. Doug Whitaker took Best 750 Spider. Best 101 Sprint went to David Roberts, and Phil Gibson’s Spider was recognised as Best New Restoration (even though it was parked opposite with the Wessex Italian Car Club group). Tamara Earley was awarded the coveted Overall Best Car prize for her lovely and very original white Sprint which she recently acquired in Sweden. The car has a fascinating history which hopefully Tamara will be willing to recount in a future article for this magazine.
The socialising continued long after the lunching ended and it was late afternoon before the first cars were packed and headed for home through the beautiful green and rolling hills of the Dorset countryside. It had been another most successful Register event superbly organised by Tony and Jane Ives, whom we thank again, and well supported and thoroughly enjoyed by all those Register members participating.
The AGM of the Giulietta Register Club was held on 10 April 2016 in the old classroom at Wroxall Abbey, Warwickshire. In a previous life in another time, the AGM of the organisation which I was paid to administer was considered a legal nuisance to be executed as quickly as possible. It was achieved in just six minutes one year leaving members wondering why they had bothered to come at all. Not so the Giulietta Register AGM. Indeed, many members had gathered the previous evening for dinner together in the Abbey’s fine Dining Room and spent the night at the Hotel. An early morning hood-down drive through the delightful local country lanes reinvigorated the party after any excesses for the night before. Attempts at precision parking in the courtyard were soon abandoned as more and more cars arrived. As always it was great see so many friends again after the winter months to learn who had done what to their cars, or who had sold or bought again. There was the usual inspection of each other’s cars and gentle interrogation of happenings and health since our last get together on the North Yorkshire Moors last year.
Then we were mustered inside and called to order by the Chairman, Richard Wigley. Richard was pleased to report that 2015 was another successful year for the Giulietta Register. Although membership numbers had held up well, revenue was down slightly but due to good control of the ever increasing costs of the production of the Giuliettaletta and running of events, the Club finished the year with a small surplus and an increase in reserves.
He reminded Members that Paul Morris was retiring as the Register’s Treasurer and as a director of the company at this AGM. Richard thanked Paul on behalf of all members. “Paul leaves the club in excellent financial health after 10 years’ hard labour on our behalf, and has been a huge support to me and previous chairmen, not only by managing our finances so professionally, but also by providing wise advice on how we should manage our business affairs generally, not least in leading the club through the process of changing from a members-owned club to a private limited company.” The Chairman presented Paul with a book on motor racing and a bottle of champagne.
In reply Paul spoke briefly and eloquently, wryly recounting some amusing episodes and observing that, unlike when he became Treasurer, on his retirement from the role the cars are looking in much better shape than most of their owners. The Chairman was pleased to confirm that Paul intends to remain a member and all Members looked forward to seeing him and Sheila at future events.
The meeting unanimously appointed Stephanie McLellan as the new Treasurer and a Director of the Giulietta Register Club Ltd. Stephanie is very well qualified for this role and she and Julian are passionate supporters of the Register.
Turning to the Giuliettaletta, The Chairman said the Editor, Don Maclean, did an excellent job in producing a high quality magazine on time through the year. He was helped greatly in this by the Members, “submitting a high flow of interesting articles for us to consider to the point that we have had to increase the size of the magazine from our normal 36 pages to 40 pages in the last two issues.” Richard exhorted Members to keep this up, stating that it was particularly encouraging to see an increasing proportion of articles coming from overseas Members.
Membership Secretary, Peter Yaxley, elaborated on the membership numbers which had reduced from 415 in 2014 to 407 in 2015. Membership to date for 2016 was around the same levels of the previous year. This year the 40% of Members were in the UK and 22% in the USA. The Netherlands and France accounted for a significant proportion of the rest, but there were Members in many countries across the world. The most effective and least cost method for Members to renew was still considered to be by PayPal via the Register website, despite a difficulty and prohibitive charges for setting up standing orders. It was agreed that Peter would email all Members who had not yet renewed inviting them to do so.
Don MacLean, Editor of the Giuliettaletta, thanked all Members for the excellent articles and photographs submitted for publication during the past year. He reiterated the Chairman’s plea for more such articles and, in particular, interesting high resolution photos for the cover which should be in portrait format. Don presented the Elsie Smith Trophy for the best contribution to the Giuliettaletta to Geoffrey Cotton, in Australia, for his outstanding and thoroughly researched series of articles “Carchaeology” about Ruddspeed Sprint conversions. Paul’s words of acceptance were read to the meeting. He will receive a presentation scale model of a Sprint, as the Trophy itself (a Veloce brake drum mounted on a plinth) is too heavy to despatch to the antipodes (and perhaps too tempting as a spare!). Congratulations to Geoffrey.
Tony Ives, Events Secretary, outlined the programme for 2016, starting with the Classics at the Castle on 17 July at Sherborne Castle in Dorset. The Register has been allocated space for 20 cars. Members. Cost was £10 per car and registration and payment could be made through the Register website or direct to Tony. The Autumn tour will be to Snowdonia in North Wales, staying the nights of 14 and 15 October at the Bryn Howell Hotel, overlooking the Llangollen Canal. Registration and booking details are on the Register website.
Richard Hampton reminded the meeting that the European tour, from 11 to 21 June, is to be a drive through France to the Pyrenees and returning to UK by ferry from Santander in Spain. Arrangements were well advanced and some 13 cars were already booked for the event, including Members from The Netherlands, France, USA and New Zealand.
Peter Bradnock, website editor, reported that the number of visits to the Register website in the 12 months ended April 2016, was 11,416 or an average of 928 per month. Page views averaged 2,982 per month and the average monthly audience size (i.e. unique visitors) was 755. Statistics for earlier years have not been kept. Peter said the figures confirmed that the website could be an effective vehicle for selling and sourcing cars and parts. He urged Members to take advantage of the free advertising available on the website to list their surplus parts.
The Chairman introduced David Roberts, whose offer to take on the role of archivist for the Register was well received and gratefully accepted. David was co-opted onto the Committee. The Chairman reported on recent discussions on the scope and future development of an archive electronic database accessible by all Members. The initial idea that this could be a secure Members-only part of the existing Register website, was dropped because the host software does not support the necessary file formats. Advice from an archivist has been canvassed and a specialist company which could scan the material and build and host the database has been approached. Indicative costings appear affordable and more detailed discussions are to be held.
Lastly, just before we all moved to the elegant hotel dining room for a most agreeable lunch, the Chairman, Richard Wigley, presented the Chairman’s Cup (in fact two engraved silver wine coasters) to a bemused Peter Bradnock for his work on the website and for “generally being an all-round good bloke” in support of the Register.
This was a well-attended meeting with a high quality of Members’ contributions to the full and lively discussion on current and proposed new activities intended to enhance the benefits of membership.
In 2010 we dallied in the fresh autumnal air of the Yorkshire Dales. Five years later we were back for moor – the Yorkshire Moors that is. For those of us who hail from the crowded south, it is hard to believe that such a seemingly vast, empty landscape, tree-less, unbroken and bleak can exist in this small country, England. In fact the Moors cover less area than Greater London but there they are, around 450metres above sea level, carpeted in heather and bracken turning brown in early October, harbouring delightful small towns and villages, and criss-crossed by narrow, near-deserted roads so beloved of Giulietta drivers.
The unpretentious and friendly Worsley Arms Hotel in Hovingham was our base for the two nights of our three day trip. Nineteen of us in 10 Giuliettas and Giulias were joined on our drives by Howard and Jacqui Bryan, and Paul and Jane Wignall who live nearby. They recommended the delightful figure-of-eight route centred on Hovingham, taking in the marvellous ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, the lively market town of Hemsley, the mist-shrouded white horse hill carving near Kilburn, the old railway yards and steam trains at Grosmont, wine tasting at Ryedale Vineyards, and much moor in between.
It was great to have Don and Lynda Sanders from North Carolina, USA joining the party again having also been on the trip to Germany in June and the Italy trip in 2014. We enjoyed meeting Martin and Liz Hunter with their beautifully prepared dark blue Sprint and hearing about their eclectic collection of classics, and it was good to see Ken Hammond back with his exquisite early Sprint with an unfortunate 2 litre transplant now happily replaced by the original rebuilt 1300 cc motor.
As for the rest, it was the “usual suspects” kicking tyres and catching up – Duncan and Bridget, Stuart and Jan, Paul and Kate, Julian and Stephanie, Peter and Marianne, Richard and Jackie, and of course Tony and Jane whose flawless organisation ensured everyone had a great weekend. Many thanks to Tony and Jane, to Paul and Jane for the brilliant routes, and to Howard for inviting us to see his big box of well-used toys.
Photos by Jane Ives and Marianne Bradnock