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The 4th spirit Of Dacorum Car Tour – 4 May

1st of June 2014

Sunday was a lovely sunny day and we made good use of it by taking ‘The King of the Mountains’ (1914 Stanley Mountain Wagon) on the ‘Spirit of Dacorum Car Tour’, run in aid of the ‘Dacorum Community Trust’ (DCT).

Of the four designated start points, we had chosen to start at Pendley Manor since that was also the destination for everyone and where we had planned to have a picnic on our return. We did not, therefore, have to carry all our picnic paraphernalia round the route.

We had been instructed to be ready for the ‘Off’ at 10am, so Lucy and I had an early start to get the car in steam and chuff the twelve miles to Pendley Manor. On arrival we refilled the car with water and awaited instructions at the assembly point in front of the hotel. Shortly afterwards our passengers arrived and we set off to follow the provided route.

This tour is always a reminder of what a lovely county we live in, and in May the countryside was looking its most beautiful. We made our way past the back end of Champneys to join Shootersway, Berkhamstead, and thence to Ashley Green via Hog Lane. From there we went on through Bovingdon, down Box Lane towards Boxmoor. At the bottom of Box Lane we had an un-scheduled stop to clean a blocked fuel jet.

We then by-passed Hemel Hempstead and took the Leighton Buzzard Road towards Water End and up Bridens Lane towards Gaddesdon Row and on to Markyate. We returned from there to Dagnal and made our way via Edlesborough to Beacon Road and on up to Ashridge. The bluebells are an amazing sight again this year.

We turned down into pretty Aldbury where we parked outside the Greyhound pub in order to top up the water. The pond was too shallow to syphon clean water but an obliging resident offered us a hose. This took a while but after I had tidied all away I found that I had lost my passengers. It did not take long to realise that they had made for the pub!

Once we were assembled again we made our way towards Long Marston and, by a circuitous route, back to Tring and on to Pendley Manor.

When we arrived we found that we were one of the last of the hundred odd (in both senses!) cars to have completed the tour. Having been interviewed by Margaret Kingston, the Queen Bee of the DCT, we spent about three hours having a lovely picnic entertained by a band and winning a prize in the raffle. Finally, we were awarded a splendid trophy for our modest efforts. We then chuffed our way back to Chipperfield and arrived home, having steamed about 72 miles.

Our thanks go to all who volunteered (and to Tom Kingston who was volunteered) to support the DCT and making this such a jolly day.

Our passengers were Pat and John Vigor, Stephanie and Jarlath Pattinson, Delia and Mike Meehan and round almost every corner on the route we came across Terry Simmonds with his camera. What does he do with all these photos? He’ll have to join us on board next time.
Peter Williams

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