The Opel and the MINIs

Beastmaster and Peanut Adventures

Bristol Mini Day - June 2006

This was a static mini show at the Norh Somerset Showground near Bristol. Primarily it was for the classic mini but this year saw a fine turn out from NEW MINI. The weather was perfect for the event and the combination of good weather, lots of new minis and the overnight camping made this a superb weekend. Show and shine competitions were on for all classes of minis and although CheckBeast was entered in the S class, he came away with no honours. We suspect the overnight camping entertainment got in the way of our preparation of CheckBeast somewhat! The New MINI stand was organised by Newminiseverns and a special mention should be made of Minisoopercooper (Paul) who put a lot of effort (and sausages) into making this a brilliant event for the new minis. The Severns stand was also supported by a strong turn out from MiniCornwall and between them some very showy and expensive minis were on show for all to enjoy.

The Cotswolds Run 2006

This was a weekend event with the Cotswolds Run on the Saturday and Mini In The Park at Cornbury Park near Oxford, on the Sunday. Camping at Cotswold View in Charlbury was the base for the weekend.

Saturday saw us congregating at Warwick Services to begin the Cotswolds Run. Approximately 140 cars turned up for the run, which roamed the Cotswolds stopping for a lovely picnic lunch in the grounds of a select public school. The run ended with us meeting another 30 or so cars before having a police escort to the Northampton Ballooon Festival where the 170 minis were the guests of honour! The run was superb fun from start to finish and the organisation was top notch from the ever competent Soggycornflakes (Bob) from Mini2. This run is a not to be missed event on the mini calendar!

By contrast Sunday was a static show for classic and new minis at Cornbury Park in Charlbury. The main showpiece of the event was ChrisandJax's GP which was admired all day long and rightly so. It was a great day for relaxing after the Cotswolds, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones as well as getting a chance to admire other peoples minis. Ady from Mini2 was the man to thank for organising the Mini2 stand at the event, which also saw a strong presence from Miniaddiction - the Midlands based new mini club.

The Welsh Pot Noodle Run 2006

Aston organised a mini run for the NewMiniSeverns around Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. At last a Severns run we could attend as we seem to have missed so many this year either due to holidays or work schedules. Chris and Jax - MiniSeverners from Stevenage - also wanted to do this run  but could do with a bed for the night so we invited them to stop at ours for the Saturday before the run.

This proved to be a brilliant idea as not only did they turn up with a GP that they were more than willing to let us test drive but they also came armed with a bottle of Bollinger and Pol Roger! 35 seconds after they arrived I was in the driving seat of the GP and driving half  The Malverns Run again! Peanut got her chance in the morning as she drove the GP from Malvern Wells to the start of the run near Cardiff!

Reviews of the GP are everywhere, as so much has been written about it, so I wont say too much here but point you to The Motoring File Review. However, lest there be any doubt let me say that I am a huge fan of the car. It's not a huge technological leap from a standard Cooper S Works by any means and if you were to expect that then I think it would be a disappointment. The word though that comes to mind for me is "sorted". The GP is just that - it just feels right and is not the noisy crude motor I had been led to expect. No, it was smooth and balanced or more simply put - "sorted". We loved it and thanks Chris and Jax for letting us both hammer and abuse your baby the way we did!

The evening saw us all get somewhat animated and excitable as we discussed the fun of GPs and weddings in Venice and Italian job road trips, while quenching our thirsts on the champagne and wine!

The next morn saw us all up bright and early for the hour or so drive to Cardiff - which Peanut thought was great fun by the way! Friends old and new were met at the start of Aston's Pot Noodle Run, which took up the rest of Sunday as we charged around Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan with 14 other minis. Lunch was a very enjoyable Sunday roast at The Three Horseshoes at Moulton after a nearby Toby restaurant had turned us away as they had no room for us! Methinks Aston had a lucky rescue thanks to The Three Horseshoes! The run continued after lunch exploring the coast where we had some fantastic light to get the photo below, before ending at Barry Island.

A great weekend and a great run! Emu-P has done a video of this on YouTube - The Pot Noodle Video

Winter Solstice Run December 2006

To end the MINI runs for the year we went to Newminiseverns' Winter Solstice Run on 17th  December 2006. This was a run originally planned by Fru-T-Bun around the lovely countryside of Wiltshire, taking in all those mid-winter pagan sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury. The run itself was quite a leisurely jaunt ending at the National Trust village of Lacock. This village has been used to film “Pride & Prejudice” , “Emma” and the Abbey for the interior of “Hogwarts” in the Harry Potter films. The Fox Talbot museum (inventor of the film negative) and previous owner of the village were open.

However, we ended the run in a delightful tea shop having afternoon tea with Jaffa and Carol and Lizzieminnie and her husband Caveman. This was a very pleasant end to a run that was  managed very ably by Emu-P and TonyM in Fru-T-Bun's absence. Emu-P made an entertaining video of the run which can be viewed on YouTube. Winter Solstice Video.