Trikings in the New Forest, 2012

FL 16 and others arriving in sunshire!
Cars assembled at Tyrrells Ford and ready to go
Morgan (with the correct number of wheels)!
One corner of the museum
Small collection of the motorcycles
Bucklers Hard
Red Deer at Bolderswood
Class of 2012

The 2012 get together of Triking Sportscars took place between the 18th and 20th of May this year in the New Forest. The event was organised by Phil and Hilary Whitter who are lucky to live in the New Forest in Ringwood Hampshire. The meeting was based around the very pleasant Tyrrells Ford Country House Hotel in Avon near Ringwood and would take the cars through various parts of this National Park.

The cars assembled at the hotel during Friday afternoon following differing length journeys. The event attracted 3 cars from Germany (Karl/Jurgen, Axel, Paul), 2 from Norfolk (Alan/Nikki and Bob/Anne), 1 from Leicestershire (Andy/Becky), 1 from South Staffordshire (Paul/Chris), 1 from Surrey (Steve/Maureen), 1 from Bedfordshire (Richard/Greg) and 1 from Hampshire (Phil/Hilary).

As I had been in hospital the previous week having a knee operation, my car (FL 16) was kindly transported to the venue by Alan who builds the cars in Hingham, Norfolk. I had decided that if I could drive FL 16 to Hingham from Sheringham then I should be able to cope with the run around the New Forest on one leg! I left delivering the car to Alanís to the last possible minute (9 days after the operation and still in stitches). Although I managed o.k. it was obvious that I could not make the full journey to and from Hampshire so was extremely grateful for Alanís offer to transport FL 16 for me.

The weekend proper started with a trip to the organiserís cabin deep in the forest for what was to be an al-fresco meal whilst watching the sun go down in the West. However due to the un-seasonally cold weather this turned out to be a very pleasant meal sitting around the wood burner inside the cabin! Following an excellent evening we all retired back to the Hotel for an early-ish night in readiness for the run organised for the following day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hilary and her colleagues who not only put on an excellent spread for us but who also stayed behind to do the clearing and washing up as well.

We all awoke on Saturday to the unusual sight of blue sky and sunshine; something that had not been seen for weeks in the UK. After a leisurely breakfast we made ourselves ready for the days run. Unfortunately Axelís car had suffered alternator problems on route to the UK and on early morning inspection it was discovered that the alternator brackets had succumbed to metal fatigue with the result that alternator was no longer attached to the car. There was insufficient time to repair the car so Hilary kindly gave up her seat in Philís car to enable Axel to enjoy the dayís activities.

The route was to take us through some of the smaller roads in the New Forest with the first stop at the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum. Sammy was a leading motorcycle trials rider back in the 50s and 60s. Sammy himself welcomed the Trikings and spent some considerable time admiring the cars assembled. The museum was crammed full with all types of motorcycles from the earliest to the most recent:- well worth a visit.

Our route on leaving the museum took us through more of the Forest until we arrived at Bucklers Hard. This is a small village where many ships were built for the British Navy, including some of Nelsonís ships. We were lucky enough to visit at low tide and as a result it was possible to still see some of the wooden slipways where the boats were built and launched.

On leaving Bucklers Hard we drove back into the Forest for a further 15 miles or so until we reached Bolderwood car park. This location is well known as a place where herds of Red Deer can be seen. After a few hundred metres walk into the Forest we emerged into a clearing where, as if on cue, we came across a herd of some 50 or so Red Deer.

The return run to the hotel took us through both forest and open heath land.

On the return journey Phil organised to trailer Axelís car to be repaired via a local welder and the car was subsequently delivered back to the hotel the same evening. The day was rounded off with an excellent meal in the hotel restaurant.

Sunday morning arrived with overcast skies and a considerable drop in temperature. The participants from Germany decided to start the journey back to the channel port whilst the weather remained fair. Although Axelís car now had an alternator attached, unfortunately the battery had also expired and was flat. After a couple of pushes in the car park the car soon started. Axel and the other two cars from Germany were last seen heading towards the nearest motor factors to purchase a new battery!

The remaining cars and drivers, less FL 16, however assembled once more for a run into Christchurch. Returning to the hotel at around noon the remaining participants then left for their various home locations. Alan once again transported FL 16 back to Norfolk for subsequent collection the following week. Everyone agreed that the weekend had been a resounding success and congratulated Phil and Hilary for delivering an excellent event and in particular laying on the best weather for weeks!

I took away three major memories from the event: firstly the way that other road users gave way to our convoy of Trikings at road junctions even though they had the right of way, secondly the way pedestrians in the villages smiled and waved as we roared through, and finally the sound of 10 Trikings firing up when we left the various locations. All in all a very enjoyable event.

I am currently thinking about next yearís event which incidentally will coincide with 35 years of Triking. Initial thoughts are to make it the same time of year (we cannot have another wet and cold May again surely) and base it in Norfolk so as to reduce the travelling for our mainland Europe visitors.

Bob Smith 24 May 2012

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