The Beaujolais Run 2019

The 2019 Beaujolais Run celebrating 100 years of the RAF Benevolent Fund set off from RAF Benson.

The theme was “The Great Escape “ paying tribute to the 76 men who escaped the Luftwaffe run POW camp, Stalag Luft III, exactly 75 years ago .

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We were privileged to have the opportunity of being addressed by the station commander and a beneficiary of the charity before then being waved off by the amazing Tony Foulds. He continues to look after the memorial to the crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress 'Mi Amigo' that crashed at Endcliffe Park, Sheffield in 1944.

Day One

Our first destination was Raymond Blanc's 75th birthday party, at le Manoir aux Qaut'saisons were the Royal Chefs flew in his birthday cake from RAF Northolt. All cars then headed for The Channel Tunnel and then on to Reims.

On the French side, we were met by atrocious driving conditions. Dark with heavy rain and spray not to be recommended in an E-Type, but the old girl did us proud. Much taking of the local liquor was had on arrival, before setting off early doors next day for Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva - dressed as two escapee RAF pilots, naturally.

Day Two

This was also day one of the shortest distance map reading competitions ( no sat Nav allowed). A long haul for any car and nobody mentioned that white stuff….. snow! A quick mention to the excellent navigational skills of my Navigator son James who got us there in good time, the bar was still open!

Day Three

The route took us around the lake under Mont Blanc and on to Macon ready for the 2019 Beaujolais Release celebrations in Beaujeu. However, not before visiting the winery of Henry Fessy to get a preview of the 2019 Beaujolais nouveau. Anybody not familiar with this event should try it. It’s totally bonkers . The wine is released at the stroke of Midnight with Hundreds of inebriated French carrying lighted torches and marching through the streets chanting!

Day Four

Today's destination was Beaune, taking in various well known chateaus with in the Beaune region.
The highlight being a wine tasting at the chateau of Louis Latour .

Day Five

Back to Reims via Epernay just a steady run with no drama Navigator at the controls .That evening we were honoured to be the personal guests of the Tattinger family, exploring their champagne cellars and then dining in the grand Chateau . It’s a tough life ! Incredibly we won the classic Map reading competition so hats off to my Navigator, James.

Day Six

This saw us at the old Reims Gueux race circuit, met by a horde of French car enthusiasts so a massive photo shoot before heading off to good old blight to finally rest our livers. Throughout, the Jag did not miss a beat and defied all odds flying flag for good old GB and the ever iconic E-type.

For those not aware, the official Beaujolais Run is a charity event, raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The trip is totally self-funded with all donations going through Virgin Money giving . The old girl is now safely tucked up for Christmas but looking forward to getting down to Brands Hatch for the Annual JEC Track day where we hope to be able to say hello to old friends and repay the kind generosity to some of our donors with a few steady laps round the circuit.

Total raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund to date: £1,655.

Nick and James McCaffery

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