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.


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