Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Barnsley MMOC Branch Rally 2016

The Barnsley Branch Rally was a greatly anticipated event for me. After the Barnsley Branch kindly joined us at Carsington Water on Drive it Day a number of us decided it would be a nice gesture to join them at their Rally. And of course a great excuse for a Minor day out. As the day neared I suddenly realised it would be my first ever Rally, which filled me with a sense of nervous anticipation as I had absolutely no idea what to expect.

The drive up was an unusual experience for me, as I was passenger for the day and my partner Kev head driver, as I'm still a learner and we were M1 bound. But it made a nice change to sit back and enjoy the ride. Especially when we spotted a very familiar number plate in the mirror and realised we had formed an accidental East Midlands Branch convoy with Keith Smart and Kevin Dickinson. It was rather exciting to be driving with a Minor escort for the first time, and made the sunny Sunday morning potter up north very pleasant indeed.

When we arrived there were already dozens of Minors in place lining the large courtyard, and shortly after wed slotted into our space, hordes of cars began to arrive. The procession of classics arriving seemed endless, until at last it reduced to a trickle and we took a walk around the venue.

So many beautiful cars lined the grounds of Elsecar Heritage Centre, reflecting an eclectic mix of personalities and tastes. The venue itself was a fantastic gem, with maze like antique shops in which it was easy to lose your bearings, as well as your companions, cafes, craft stores, sweet shops and a specialist beer shop which stocked beer from every corner of the globe (impressively stocking my favourite beer, Westmalle Dubbel, a rare sight to see in England). The shop kindly provided seating outside for patrons, and it would have been rude to refuse on such a balmy afternoon, so we all sat and shared in some refreshment and lots of laughter.

I can definitely say that my first MMOC Rally was an extremely enjoyable experience, filled with friendly folks, laughter and of course many, many Minors (the most I've seen in one place to date!). I even managed to get myself a pair of sun visors for William at last!

Huge thanks to the Barnsley Branch for hosting such a fantastic event, and to my fellow East Midlands Branch members for making the day a great one!

Alice Durose 

My two favourite cars of the day:

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