Newsletter August 2020

Welcome to the Newsletter of the Wiltshire Region of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

2020

Wiltshire Region Virtual Meeting, Thursday, 13 August. See details.

Seend Car Show, Saturday, 29 August. CANCELLED. See details.

NEW EVENT:Shalbourne Show, Sunday, 30 August. See details

Christmas Lunch, Sunday, 6 December. Details to come.

Wiltshire Happenings

In case you think that the Diary Dates page has been missed off of your copy, don’t worry. There didn’t seem much point in printing it as most of the events, except Shalbourne and our Christmas Lunch, have been cancelled.

July Virtual Meeting

Once again, Su Freeman, our Vice Chairman, in conjunction with Peter Freelove, our regional ambassador, held a Virtual Meeting a couple of weeks ago. Another one is being held on Thursday evening, 13 August. If you are interested, do contact Su on [email protected] for more details. It’s not difficult to take part. A special Zoom facility has been established by JEC headquarters and is channelled back to the regions via their regional ambassador. You do not need to have your own Zoom App to take part.

Su summarised the meeting as follows:

As we learn to adapt with the ever-changing situations/compliances etc we are certainly getting used to Zoom albeit a few technical issues for Colin Gale – not operator error though.

Many thanks to Peter who welcomed everyone, we started with a few of the general household things and then moved on to a discussion about the Pirelli/JEC Virtual tour (which had a good number participating). This provided us with a few chats about tyres and issues and we were sure that Sue Wilthew had now resolved her problem. I think a few of us had hoped for a more detailed production tour but, non the less, it was interesting and there was a short space of time at the end for “questions & answers”. We all commented that perhaps this period could have been allocated a larger section of time.

Peter gave us a brief outline of the current JEC Covid-19 view on matters and if people are attending any events it would be on a personal basis, which we all fully understood. There was a brief discussion about our Wiltshire meet up at Stourhead and I think a lot of us are hoping this will still proceed under what the guidelines are at that time. Also, hopeful comments were passed that Blenheim will still go ahead in 2021. We were also reminded that the current six-month MOT extension ceases at the end of July.

We then held our small virtual car show and we each talked briefly about our vehicles and how we came across our “loves” (4 wheel types). We displayed the favourite photograph we have of our vehicle; we had additional pictures from Sue, Nigel Evans and Don Westcott who sadly could not join in with this meet up. The stories were varied and remarkably interesting. “Judge” Peter announced at the end that all the participants were winners as it was too difficult to decide between such diverse entries.

Peter ended by thanking everyone for joining in what had been a very enjoyable two and a half hours of chat…. we decided to schedule the next meet for the 13th August at 8pm.

But we will just add that this Zoom really felt “Real” a proper meet up – good lively fun chat and we are definitely in the swing of things now – who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 😊

Club Regalia

Printed products are available from Paul and Beverlee Clarke, two of our club members. They can put almost any design onto clothing, mugs, key rings, and many other items.

Beverlee can be contacted on 07545 451014 or e-mail [email protected].

Events:

Seend Car Show, Saturday, 29 August CANCELLED

There was an attempt to organize a car show, instead of the usual Fete, but, unfortunately, this has not been possible due to the conditions imposed by the local council and the insufficient number of helpers available to the organisers to comply with the Covid regulations.

NEW EVENT: Shalbourne Car Show, Sunday, 30 August.

This annual event has been brought forward to August and will be limited to 150 entrants, so, if you are interested, get your application in quick.

Entries are on an individual basis as the JEC is not supporting events at the moment. However, there will be a reserved area for Jaguars to park together at the show. Information and entry forms have already been sent out by e-mail, but, if you don’t have internet and wish to take part, let me know and I’ll send you a form.

Gates open to exhibitors at 9am with coffee and bacon butties available from 10.00am. The show finishes at 4pm. On arrival, you will need to show a copy of your application form and you should have a mask and some hand sanitiser with you. However, sanitiser will be available in the bar if required.

Shalbourne is three miles south of Hungerford just off of the A338 and, as last year, the show is based at the Shalbourne Sports Field on Rivar Road where the views over the open countryside provides a perfect setting for the event.

'Simply Jaguars' At Beaulieu Motor Museum - By Martin Mantell

This was, for me, the first car show of the season and certainly the first under the new Covid 19 restrictions. This was organised by Beaulieu and held on 19 July at very short notice and was restricted to 250 cars (500 people) - by pre-booked ticket only. On the day the weather was light drizzle until 1 p.m., which kept a few cars away, and Beaulieu confirmed only 228 cars were present on the day.

Under the new 'social distancing' rules, and given Beaulieu's unusually large available area, cars were directed into the fields alongside the abbey ruins (as opposed to outside the museum on the hardstanding area and surrounding verges where cars were previously placed). Spacing was in single rows, with effectively 12 feet between cars and 20 feet between rows - this left lots of room for visitors to roam around freely while maintaining safe distancing.

Facilities were also limited with only three catering vans attending - ice cream van, coffee van and burger van. Beaulieu's own restaurant was also open but with a limited service. Additional toilet facilities were available in the field, but with taped off lines and distance marking with a strict 'one in, one out' instructions. Extra hand sanitisers were also on hand. All of Beaulieu's attractions were open - House, mono-rail, Top Gear and Museum of course, but with restrictions on numbers in each venue – Fortunately, this did not make for long queues on this particular Sunday.

I found the day very enjoyable, perhaps because after 6 months idle, my XJS was still running perfectly and I find it's a nice drive down to Downton and through the New Forest. I could see no problems with the way this event was organised and did not consider there was any undue 'risk' in attending it - provided we all remembered to keep our social distance - which did 'waver' a couple of times (briefly) while we still get used to these new circumstances.

My biggest concern was not for the show but for Beaulieu itself (and therefore other businesses/venues - Attwell Wilson, Castle Combe and Haynes Museum come immediately to mind in our area), although it is early days, the lack of numbers in attendance I found quite shocking (probably no more than 200 without the Jaguar members at Beaulieu). There is simply no way these venues can continue as viable businesses with such a dramatic cut in visitor numbers !

It is not my intention to persuade fellow members to attend shows in the future as everybody must consider their own personal circumstances and safety, but I describe the event as above to indicate what we are likely to face in the future. I think it is inevitable that for shows that are held, we must expect a halving of vehicles attending to allow for social distancing and also pre-booked tickets only (as has just been notified for Shalbourne).

Editors’ Note: Many thanks to Martin for an excellent report on what, quite possibly, the future holds for our car shows.

A Diary In The Life Of Isolation, Part 2 - by Peter Mapson

The death toll has been shocking with so many people’s lives changed forever. However, amid the terrible daily statistics there have been some good and inspirational things happening up and down the country that cheer our collective souls.

In our own village, before Easter on our Village Facebook page, one of the young mums in the village posted she was sad that all the children were missing playing with their friends and asked what would people think if at a prearranged time on Easter Sunday, she ran round the village in a Bunny costume waving at the children and leaving Easter eggs in their front gardens. And no, those of you who were not picturing a fully enclosed child friendly Bunny costume - I think I know who you are - Stanton’s Easter Bunny was complete with a friendly Tigger helpmate!

I have devised a good way of marking the various car events we have all been missing by, on the day of the particular event, assisted of course by the spectacular weather we are being gifted, sitting in the garden, putting on my driving gloves to drink a rather palatable Côtes de Provence Rosé reminiscing about what we were missing! I plan to do the same when Castle Coombe was supposed to be on and Silverstone Classic, etc, etc. Always good to have a plan!

Hopefully, it seems at least the statistics are slowly moving in the right way and we can see we will all come through this, retaining the lovely community spirit that has been so prevalent with many people beneficially adjusting their work/life balance.

I am sure the vast majority of us were given a lift to see Captain Tom, then Colonel Tom and finally Sir Tom Moore quite properly rewarded for reminding us what the best of the British Spirit can do.

Until then, KEEP SAFE ALL!

Jaguars We Have Owned, Part 2 - by Rosalind Humphries

As I mentioned in my previous report, due to sad circumstances we acquired a 2+2 Series 2 E’Type Coupe in November 2002, although I had said we would not be having any more Jags –we have a 3.8 S’Type which has been part of our lives for 47 years (my husband’s first Jag at the age of nineteen) so has been my rival at times; not to mention various Jags in between, but now I am content to share my life with my husband a S Type, X300, XK8 and of course the E’Type (which my husband always promised to get for our daughter one day, and of course the S’Type has to go to our oldest son, and the XK8 to our middle son – my husband’s excuse for keeping the Jags, and of course the XJ6 for me to drive.)

The E’Type has been our biggest challenge, having been exported from America and left for 12 years outside. Our next door neighbour’s heart sank when he saw it as he knew he would be the one who would be pressed ganged, as an ex-jaguar mechanic, to get the car going again. He also said, when he went with my husband to view it, “Tom, if it was a pile of rust with a sign on it saying E Type Jaguar, you would still have bought it” (he has since moved – but I must say not due entirely to the E’type).

Firstly we had to get the car home, so one November day pouring with rain, in the dark, we collected it, when unloading it slipped off the ramp and was hanging by its exhaust, not a good start. We then decided it would be pointless to restore the car without a garage to put it in, so we built a garage!

Placed neatly in a newly decorated centrally heated garage, with Jaguar flag, clock and pictures adorning the walls, as all Jag fanatics do; everything had to be removed front, back and under to start again, at times it was one step forward and four back. Derek, our neighbour, remained optimistic and committed, but lost most of his hair, my husband stripped, painted, polished and labelled everything, but still lost bits or the labels faded!

I helped whenever called upon and spent hours searching for photos, taking photos at shows of how things should look, sourcing bits, ordering parts, cleaning up and of course supplying food and drink. At last the day came when it came out of the garage by its own steam.

To Be Concluded……………………..

Jaguars I have owned – by Mick Wickenden

The first being an early 420. It was a write off but bought with the intension of using the engine and axle in a beach racer but I was offered silly money for the engine. The second was a XJ6 series one 4.2, with the gearbox in the boot, although the S-type box was different it did fit, but the kick-down took a lot of mucking about.

There seems to be a trend appearing as the next car was a XJ6 series one 2.8 that had eaten the rear piston. I was not worried as XK engines were plentiful then but I soon found out that the XJ6 had different mounting points. I did find another 2.8 and with the four-speed manual box it was no slouch. At the same time I was offered a series two 4.2 very cheap the only trouble it was a sort of lavender colour with white leather but I did manage to off load it.

Next came a Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas. A superb ride but rust started to appear and I found out it had been covered in sea water a few times. Next came a Jaguar V12 that lasted me until I heard about an early black XJS and that was followed by a later XJS but rust appeared again.

Being a glutton for punishment another Daimler followed, in the form of a XJ40 3.6 that lasted a while until I spotted a 4.0 litre model. All of that was on the Island of Jersey. I brought the XJ40 to England but the head gasket went. I got silly quotes so it went on e-bay. Next a cheap X300 to pass the time until I got my present Jag, a XF 3.0 litre diesel, that will be my last as I intend to keep it as long as I can still drive.

Next Meeting

As you will be aware, all regional monthly meetings have been cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus restrictions, but why not join us for our Virtual Meeting on 13 August. Details on page 1.