Ferraris galore and so, soooo much more!! Kid. Sweet shop. Excitement. Contain. Can’t!!!!! We went to the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire last Saturday, a place we had been meaning to visit for some time. By very happy and sheer coincidence, there was a major car event on in the Palace grounds. The Salon Privé is the UK’s longest-running, professionally-judged Concours event and is graced by every manner of supercar, hypercar, classic supercar, hyper-supercar, super classic-hypercar….. there’s a lot of expensive and exotic cars there. The Salon was held over three days and on Saturday when we visited Blenheim, the day was given over to a celebration of 70 years of Ferrari. However, I didn’t get too excited beforehand because I knew it cost £150 to get in (and I’m guessing you had to book in advance anyway) but I hoped to at least glimpse a few interesting cars. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. As a member of the great unwashed, the tented citadel where the main event took place was out of bounds but there was still plenty to see.
I’ll shut up now and just let you feast your mince pies on the photos (I might do a separate post on the Palace itself one day!)…………
Back to work this week after our hols in Cornwall. All decent vehicles but nothing out of the ordinary and no particularly interesting destinations, although the new town of Telford is just a few miles north of Ironbridge Gorge which only happens to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (and an interesting place to visit if you have the chance).
Tuesday: Audi A3 1.8T Sport (2014) & Audi A6 S-Line 2.0TD manual (2013), both Rugby to Telford, Shropshire
Wednesday: Volvo XC60 SE Lux Nav D5 (2.4D) auto (2016), London Heathrow to Leicester
Friday: Ford Transit Custom, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire to Reading, Berkshire
Now I did go somewhere interesting last Sunday – one that played a small but important rôle in World War II. Beaumanor Hall in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire is a stately home built in the 1840s, although manor houses have been present on the site since the first was built in 1330. Beaumanor Hall was requisitioned by the military in 1939 and it became a “Y station”, intercepting enemy radio traffic and passing the signals to the more well-known Station X at Bletchley Park for decrypting.
If memory serves me, Beaumanor Hall also featured in Robert Harris’s novel, Enigma, a fictional thriller set against the backdrop of Bletchley Park’s efforts to break the Germany’s Enigma code. It is widely rumoured (in real life) that the Beaumanor Hall listening post had intercepted intelligence about the Katyn massacre very early on in the war (in April and May 1940, the Soviets massacred about 22,000 captured Polish officers and other citizens in the Katyn Forest in Russia). The information allegedly received by Beaumanor Hall and the need to hush it up in deference to Britain’s Soviet allies provided a sinister sub-plot in Enigma and the subsequent film of the same name. Incidentally, the producer of the film was Mick Jagger who happened to own an Enigma machine which was used as a prop in the film.
The reason for visiting Beaumanor Hall was (surprise!) a classic car show. The hall is not normally open to the public but it does hold various events throughout the year. Here are a few photos:-