Sunday, 17 July 2016

Shelsley Walsh - Classic Nostalgia 2016

After my wonderful time at Shelsley Walsh last year, I made tentative plans to attend again this year - once again for Classic Nostalgia.  Tentative?  Well, thanks to the truly horrendous weather throughout June and early July, any plans I have for outdoors events are not finalised until the last minute.

So, up until Friday, I was keeping a twice-daily watch on the weather reports for the Shelsley Walsh area.  With only light clouds promised when I checked on Friday lunchtime, it meant a dash to the shops to organise some picnic treats.

It also meant an early start in order to arrive at Shelsley Walsh in time for breakfast, so by 7.00am our small cavalcade was congregating at Sandbach Service Station on the M6.  Once everyone had arrived, it turned into a swift blast down the motorway, only interrupted by no-one synchronising their bladders, which resulted in some stops at different points along the way to relieve the pressure.

Thankfully, by 8.30am we were driving into the car-park at Shelsley Walsh under the promised cloudy sky.  Already some lovely cars were parking up, and a few stalls were opening ready for their first customers.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
I wandered over to the main pits area, which was still fairly quiet.  Alongside a tall hedge a line of rally cars from the 1980's stood ominously - not really my era of favourite cars, but the Group B class was being honoured at the event, and the brutal cars would make quite a spectacle later in the day as they thundered up the hill.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
Nearby, owners and mechanics busied themselves with their own cars, making final preparations for their own run up the steep and challenging hill.  The air was full of the sound of revving engines and the heady scent of petrol fumes - lovely.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
We had a good hour just wandering around the area, savouring the unique atmosphere of the event, at which point we decided it was a good time for breakfast.  Luckily, the site has it's own fabulous little Stratstone Restaurant, and I settled down to a lovely plateful of beans, fried bread, mushrooms and hash browns.

Suitably refuelled, we made our way back to the main area, where they were firing up an old Auto Union Type-C, which had run the hill way back in 1936 - 80 years ago!  The sound from the old V16 was astounding as the mechanics tested the engine, the raw and thunderous noise drowning out everything else around.  It was beautiful - an art-deco piece of automotive art.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Auto Union Type-C, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Auto Union Type-C, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Auto Union Type-C, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Auto Union Type-C, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
Also nearby, but with crowds around it, a beautiful blue Maserati stood being prepared.  Once again I found myself thinking that there can be a real beauty in mechanical design.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Maserati, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Maserati, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.

By now a large portion of cars were screaming away from the nearby start-line for their blast up the tarmac.  We were in time to see the line of Group B cars storm up the hill in a roar of tyre-smoke and engine howls.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
I headed off to peruse the line of stalls, selling everything from automobilia to clothing.  I found a beautiful Burberry coat in one Vintage stall, but it was sadly too big.  I'd have bought it in an instant had it fitted, thoughts of 'flasher' pictures filling my head.  Oh well.  Afterwards, a group decision was made that it was picnic time, and we settled down to eat a late lunch in-between some lovely old cars.

One lovely gentleman did let me sit in his gorgeous Jaguar E-Type, too, which certainly made my day.  As I posed for a couple of pictures another old gentleman took out his own camera and I willingly posed for him, and he said that I'd made his day in return... although he added that he probably wouldn't be showing those pictures to his wife.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
After indulging a light lunch and ginger beer, I had a wander up the hill itself to watch a bit of the action.  Unlike last year, I didn't go too far, though - I didn't think my high heels were suitable attire for the full trek, and I also didn't want to ruin them on the rather rough ground.  I did get far enough to see the lovely blue Maserati make a run, though, and it sounded glorious in the confines of the tree-lined hill.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Maserati, Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
It was, however, classic timing - no sooner had I taken my seat in the spectator section to watch a few cars shoot by, than an announcement came over the tannoy that the racing had finished for the next hour, and an air-display would be starting shortly.

With a tired sigh I made my way back down the hill to meet up with the rest of the group, but in time to see the flying display from Trig Aerobatics.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
As the little bi-planes finished their display, the rumble of a Merlin engine could be heard, and a lovely old Spitfire shot past on it's way to another air disply.  Lovely.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.
We stayed chatting and enjoying the atmosphere for another hour before, at 3.00pm, deciding it was time to head home.  It was a great day, friendly crowds, stunning venue, thrilling action and non-stop entertainment.  It is pencilled in my diary for next year already.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.



Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Nostalgia 2016, Shelsley Walsh.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

A Fair Old 24 Hours

My last post was concerning, largely, cars - on the 13th June...and so this begins where the last left off.

Back on the 18th June I found myself in a posse of friends heading south to Ess & Emm, the fetish/S&M B&B where a party was being held for the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race that was being shown live on TV over the weekend.

Suitably furnished with continental lagers and food, we all descended on our hosts on the Friday evening/Saturday morning.  Although I'd known about the race for years, this was the first time I'd actually watched it, which was a rather fascinating experience.  The race itself began in treacherous conditions at 2.00pm (UK time), and the ensuing hours passed with us all slowly getting rather tipsy, then sobering up, then getting a bit drunk again, then sobering up slightly, then... well, you get the idea.  Anyway, a fantastic race to watch, and it was amazing to see the cars power around the 8-mile circuit - even in the dark, with over-heated brake discs glowing in the French night.  With four classes of car on the track at the same time there was always plenty of action and thrills going on, and each car, generally, driven by a trio of drivers, with each taking stints in the car for a few hours at a time.  I managed to stay up until 1.00am before tiredness and a very slight over-indulgence on rum took me to bed.  As I clambered into bed I wondered how those drivers managed to race for 24 hours... and realised they probably didn't start drinking rum at 1.30pm to begin with.

One of the main reasons to watch was a return to the glamour days of the late 1960's, when Ferrari and Ford battled it out for nearly a decade for domination of the event.  2016 saw the 50th anniversary of Ford winning for the first time, and they were back to challenge Ferrari again in the 3rd 'GTE class'.

The following day I got up to find the TV still on, with some hard-core friends still following the race.  2.00pm rolled around, and it looked like a Toyota win, with Porsche only seconds behind - even after 24 hours of racing.  Suddenly the Toyota driver's voice came over the TV - "I've lost power", and on the last lap the Toyota slowed and stopped.  It was quite an astonishing climax to an amazing race, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the three man team of the Toyota car as Porsche took the chequered flag. 

Car racing for 24 hours?  Amazingly entertaining, and victory laurels to Porsche and Ford, who won their class ahead of Ferrari - but congratulations to all those involved for making a great weekend.  Oh, and the girls were rather nice, too...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Grid Girls, Le Mans 24 Hour.
This weekend I was back in the city centre for the Heresy & Heelz Fair, at the Ritz club.  It had been some time since I'd last visited, so was looking forward to seeing friends and browsing the alternative stalls.  With the weather looking a bit undecided on what it wanted to do and our current 'summer' weather varying between this...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Summer weather?

and this...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Summer weather?
... (usually in the blink of an eye), it was hard to decide what to wear.  I settled for my high heeled boots and new leggings from German company Fets Fash.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
I arrived pretty early, and there was the usual queue to get into the Fair itself, which is always an encouraging sign.  Soon I was inside and away from the blustery wind, and headed downstairs for the toilet and quick snapshot in the, er, Gents toilet (this week's Picture Of The Week).  For me, the Alternative & Burlesque Fair is as much a social event as it is a chance to browse, and I was soon catching up with the lovely gents from Latex 101, who I'd last seen in Essen at the Fetish Evolution.  Ironically, close to their area, was a stall selling these...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Yes, a sleuth (thanks, Google) of bears just like Bareback from Essen too.  I didn't subject these chaps to the indignities that I did Bareback in Essen though - I didn't think the stall-holders would have been too impressed with my shining up the bears' latex with my, er, private lube.

I had a good stroll around the event before heading upstairs for a peppermint tea and a browse on the upstairs stalls.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
However, I made sure I was downstairs for the first session of on-stage entertainment.  First up, the compere, a lovely buxom blonde that I've seen perform before.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Very nice... and it wasn't hard to notice that the big split up the thigh of her green dress gave a rather enticing view from my position very close to the front of the stage.  "I must be a lady and not take a rude upskirt photo," I thought.. then realised I'm not much of a lady.  Fuck it.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
The main act of the day was the rather gorgeous Missy Malone, a performer that I've seen many times over the years.  As always, she did a very polished, professional and sexy routine.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Missy Malone, Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Missy Malone, Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Missy Malone, Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Missy Malone, Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Missy Malone, Alternative & Burlesque Fair, Manchester.
After Missy Malone slinked off the stage I had another wander around the Fair, taking time to check out the latex creations of another friend that I'd last seen in Essen, Catriona Stewart, and, unexpectedly, M, my lovely computer guru.  So, another fabulous day with friends, sexy shopping and sexier entertainment - a great way to spend a 'quiet' Saturday in Manchester.