Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Worcestershire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Worcestershire. Show all posts

Monday, 12 August 2019

Sunday 11 August 2019 - Another Visit to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

After an overnight visit to Dot, Sue and I met Sue's mum and dad at Shelsley Walsh, where there were some pretty quick vehicles.
We were last here , when I took a few pictures with a proper camera. Today, I had that camera - but I'd forgotten to charge its battery, so this posting just relies on pictures taken with my S9 phone.
The announcers seemed a bit confused by the green and white van pictured above in the background. It was the only van racing, and competing alongside Aston Martins and Porsches it performed quite well!.
The start doesn't look all that steep, but it is quite a slope, with a sharp bend that kicks in just as the cars have reached a good speed.
Drivers await in the paddock to be called.
Marshalls seem to be everywhere, here at a fast corner.
The next two pictures were taken from about the same place as the last one, getting on for half way up the course, looking back down the hill.
After our picnic lunch, Sue and I went to the top of the course, where there's a holding paddock out of sight of spectators. After each batch of climbers the vehicles are released back down the hill, ready for the next batch - usually in a different class.
Before we left, after a picnic tea, I couldn't resist a snap of this old Buick. I think it's a Buick Special dating from around 1938.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Sunday 16 June 2019 - Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

This was our third visit to Shelsley. We previously visited in and in .
Today the occasion was to celebrate Sue's dad's 82nd birthday. Happy Birthday, Richard.
Having stayed with Dot overnight, we didn't need to start too early to reach Shelsley for breakfast at 9am. Then we wandered around the pits, and past some classic cars, to viewpoints up the 1000 metre hill that climbs up 100 metres. It has some interesting corners on the way up. Practice runs take place in the morning, with competition in various classes taking place in the afternoon.
The elegant Facel Vega featured in my Observers book of Automobiles in the late 1950s, but I never saw one, so this was a treat...
The well turned out Railton is another rarely seen vehicle.
The last two pictures are of vehicles brought by visitors. Lots more polishing took place after a sharp shower that slowed all the cars on their practice runs.
After our picnic lunch - thanks for the spread, Diana - Sue and I wandered around at various points on the hill. Here's a small selection of my photos.

The Ford Escort's steering on a steep corner didn't do too well.
The marshal on the left is carrying the windscreen, but apart from that there were just a few dents, and the car could be free-wheeled back down the hill.

This Mini is very similar to the woodland green one that provided me with transport for most of the 1970s (BVN406B).

The six-wheeler seems to use go-kart wheels, but a much bigger engine.

The model below has an air of being home made, but I'm sure it's a great vintage rarity.

Sue took this picture of her mum and dad during our afternoon tea break.

An enjoyable day out, if a bit different from our usual activities.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sunday 18 June 2017 – Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb


We visited Shelsley Walsh back in 2013, and returned this year on a more than perfect day, albeit a little on the warm side. (Here’s the 2013 report, not much has changed.)

Sadly Robin is no longer with us, so it was Diana who accompanied Richard, Sue and me this time. Richard and Diana have a season’s pass and come quite regularly. Simon and Jacob would enjoy this day out.

Walking up the hill, I seemed to be constantly surrounded by bugs that weren’t bothering anyone else.

“It’s the hat!” Sue eventually diagnosed the problem.


There’s a paddock at the top of the hill where the cars congregate before returning in convoy to the bottom of the hill after each ‘batch’ of racers. The morning comprises practice runs, with the competition in the afternoon.

Everyone gets four or five runs at the hill, which is steep. Speeds in excess of 100mph are reached. Most racers finish in between 30 and 45 seconds, but the fastest few go under 30 seconds.

The spectators’ path comes to an end before you can see into the paddock, so at the top of the hill all you get to see is the helmets of the participants as they freewheel back down to the start, where onlookers can admire the machinery to their hearts’ content without the need to flounce up the hill.


We moved about quite a bit. Snaps were taken. A full slide show is here – 36 images. Refreshments are readily available.


This serious piece of machinery was possibly the quickest of the day.


The car below is not so fast, but obviously great fun, and with Stirling Moss’s signature on the steering wheel, what more could you want?


Near the end of an incident free (apart from a breakdown) day, one of the Lotus drivers failed to negotiate the first corner and took a trip into the meadow, leaving various parts of his car, and bits of barrier, strewn all over the road. He was perfectly ok, if a little red-faced, but the mess took a little while to clear up…


This was a lovely day out in perfect weather. Commended.

PS I wondered how much interest this posting would be to some of my usual readers. Motor sport attracts a wide audience, so someone may be interested, I thought. Correct. Conrad even came up with a picture of his antics in a Ford Anglia at Harewood Hill Climb in 1965!


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sunday 18 August 2013 – Shelsley Walsh

Man and Machine in Harmony

…. And now for something completely different.

A few hours after arriving home for the first time in nearly nine weeks, it was time to pop down to Surrey for Sue’s Uncle Rob and Auntie Liz’s Golden Wedding Anniversary party.  I’ll leave Sue to say more about that if she wants to – it replaces our ‘Annual Picnic’ jaunt, so readers will be spared that posting this year.

Back in Birmingham, Sue’s Dad turns out to be a member of the Midland Automobile Club, with tickets for one of the five hill climb meetings held every year at Shelsley Walsh, in Worcestershire.  So we went along.

This particular meeting was in celebration of Aston Martin’s centenary year, so was themed accordingly.  The other meetings have other themes – Jaguar, Porsche, etc.

This old Aston Martin has a long history, dating from 1918.


It’s a friendly sort of meeting, as you might surmise from the grinning stranger in the top picture. Competitors had two practice runs on Saturday and two race runs on Sunday.  Most took between 25 and 45 seconds to negotiate the twisty 1000 yard, 300 foot climb.  Some (unlike the swish car below) didn’t even make it to the start line!


The cars queue up in batches to perform, before the course car follows them all back down the hill before the next batch sets off.  Some cars have two drivers.


This Le Mans Aston did go up the hill, but not in race trim – there was a lunchtime parade of classic Astons in which it took part.


The fastest starters who complete the first few yards in less than two seconds enjoy gravitational forces in excess of 1G.


The course starts fairly gently, but by the time they reach where I’m standing, some cars are travelling at up to 130 mph.


A buzzard spent much of the day on this branch overhanging the course – a bird’s eye viewpoint, so to speak.


There’s an ‘S’ bend that those travelling at up to 130 mph have to slow down for.  It can be interesting.  Several competitors managed under 24 seconds, and the top ten in the morning and afternoon sessions get an extra run and points in a national championship.


After each ‘batch’, most of the cars free-wheel back down the hill in order to be reunited with the batteries that are needed to start their engines again.  The six wheeler car pictured below is a very fast home-made effort that symbolises the ‘fun' loving’ nature of the event.


There’s a slideshow here for anyone who may be interested.  It was a really pleasurable day out, in perfect weather.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Thursday 25 October 2007 - The Malvern Hills

After a few gloriously sunny few days it was disappointingly overcast as Sue and I set off from British Camp with Julia, Ian, Caroline, Megan, Alexi and Bob. We’ve covered this ground before with Julia and whilst it’s a pleasant enough route over the Malvern Hills to Worcestershire Beacon then down to West Malvern to join the Worcestershire Way for the return trip, this was more of a social day out with people that we rarely see.
Bob soon peeled off (call of the Podcast?), but the rest of us, fuelled with Fudge Brownies (Kate having decimated the usual Caramel Shortbread during a breakfast visit), continued to Worcestershire Beacon, the hill whose summit is the highest point of the Malvern Hills, which run for some 13 km north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border. The name beacon comes from the use of the hill as a signalling beacon. Even in recent years it has been used for this purpose on special occasions such as the millennium night of 31 December 1999 when a large fire was lit for a public celebration as part of a national network of hill top beacons. On the summit is a viewfinder or toposcope, identifying the hills to be seen on a clear day. Though replaced in recent years (see photo above), it was originally erected in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. The views are very extensive, including to The Wrekin, the location for some of my first ventures into the outdoors, and past Birmingham to Cannock Chase, as well as much of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the Welsh borders, the Shropshire Hills and across the valleys of the Severn and Avon to the Cotswolds.
We saw little of all this given that today’s visibility extended to all of about one kilometre!
However, once on the Worcestershire Way we did find a nice grassy lunch spot, with Midges! Then we continued past some ‘Fred Smith’ sheep, an impressive and curiously showy ram, a pair of equally attentive pigs, a dead fox that nearly tripped us up, and a gooey ploughed field where Alexi rescued a forlorn potato called Bobby.

So our adjournment mid-afternoon, to the pleasure of Rose’s welcome tea and apple cake, was not without relief to us all.