Corinium Run Report – Sunday 10th April 2016.
Once again, the Cirencester Car Club’s 12th Corinium Run did not struggle to attract the maximum 65 entries permitted, and within a month of entries opening, 90% of the spaces had already been filled. With many familiar faces bringing well known or different cars, the absence of many regular entrants due to varying reasons, left space for some first time entrants, all combining to predict a MPG respective of what their pride and joy may average over the 120 mile scenic route.
Thankfully, after months of preparation by the organising committee, the morning of the 10th April dawned chilly but bright and our crews alongside four travelling marshals, left the start line at the Corinium Stadium in Cirencester to begin a enjoyable day of un-competitive motorsport.
A wonderful range of vehicles which had entered this year included car number 1, the 1931 Riley of Keith Wilson; which has successfully completed every Corinium Run held, and annually gains the credit of being the oldest car entered. Car number 2 was also of notable credit this year. Entered by regular driver Howard Dent and navigated by motorsport legend Stuart Turner, the 1941 Cadillac Series 63, resplendent in a deep golden bronze is also believed to be the first American car to have entered the run. Combining these with the eclectic array of Healeys, MG’s, Fords, Triumphs, Porsches, and a couple of Armstrong Siddeleys, and one can see why the route has to be accommodating to all vehicles.
Prior to the first car leaving at 9:31, entrants were signed on promptly by the ladies and given their tickets for their complimentary breakfast rolls and drinks. Then the important task of fitting rally plates to the front of the cars was carried out, where some motors grilles were far more accommodating than others!
Having crossed the line from competitor to committee for the 2016 run and consequently earning the title of Publicity Officer, it was my task to ensure that after waving the travelling marshals and DSO Geoff Tebby, (whose TR4A never seems to get dirty!) from the start line, to sprint down to the coffee halt at the Chedworth farm shop to ensure the first checkpoint was ready for when the competitors, having completed the first quarter of the route, arrived.
Meanwhile, cars were tackling the first 24.4 mile section, during which villages such was Daglingworth, Winstone and Bagendon were passed through. Naturally, the ford at Dunstibourne Leer was once again used to provide the photos for the finisher’s certificates which were presented at the end of the day. In the route book, the advice of allowing a good space between cars ensured that many could hit the water at a much higher speed than normal, often resulting in our photographer Bryn being caught in a tidal wave!
After this section, crews were permitted a 30 minute time allowance for coffee and a quick comfort break before having their route card signed by yours truly and then waved off to tackle the next section of 35.8 miles. This part would (hopefully!) guide crews to the lunch halt at the GWR Railway at Toddington.
This second part would show the “proper” cotswolds, with chocolate box cottages, stunning high point views – consequently meaning steps hills and narrow lanes! Having driven this part of the route a few days after the tour, it is inspiring to know that many of our drivers were able to negotiate their large, old or asthmatic motors over these infrequently used roads, but that’s the joys of scenic tours I suppose!
Some of the highlights from this section included the drive through the Salperton Park estate on the road which led to the huge Georgian manor house, ideal for those pretending to be in a scene from Downton Abbey. The views from the high points such as Hawling enabled those not too busy concentrating on the route to take in some breathtaking views, thankfully visible due to the co-operative weather.
Arriving at Toddington, the opportunity to watch historic railway locomotives arrive at the preserved station, gave a change to the entrants from classic cars, and many members of the public also showed a great interest in the 60 cars which lined the field alongside the station, with many matching the period of the railway’s operation admirably.
After lunch, crews lined up to tackle the third part of the day’s motoring, this time 33.5 miles but with a familiar atenoon tea stop at the other end – the Cotswold Lion Cafe in Northleach. Leaving Toddington, the route passed the Jacobean manor of Stanway House,Temple Guiting Manor and Guiting Grange. There was also the option for our photographer Bryn to get wet again as crews were photographed entering the ford at Kineton, with some seemingly in need of another refreshment break more than others.
More north Cotswold villages including Turkdean, Hampnett, Cold Aston and the Slaughters gave plenty of opportunities for our crews to make a wrong turn, but seemingly all made it to Bourton On the Water, undoubtedly the busiest place the route had gone through during the whole day. Shortly after, crews were guided into the former Prison car park for another well earnt refreshment break.
One more section was left between crews returning to the garage to find out just how heavy they had been with their right foot and whether hopes of achieving their predicted MPG would be realistic or a distant dream. Despite this being the shortest section at just under 24 miles, important sight seeing venues would be passed through; such as Coln Rogers, an example of a “Thankful Village” earning it’s name after each man with represented the village in the Great War returned, (one of only 53 in the country) and Bibury, with it’s highly regarded Trout farm.
Those not satisfied with the properties in the morning’s route could also admire more idyllic dwellings as this section featured Coln St Aldwyns; described by Country Life magazine as one of the top ten villages in England.
After a distance of 121 miles, crews then returned to the Burford Road Services where under the watchful eye of a marshall, drivers could then refill their tanks, determining just how thirsty their motors had been during the day’s driving.
It was then time to return to the start venue of the Corinium Stadium in Cirencester to complete the 2016 Corinium Run. Crews could then collect a photographic finishers certificate, discuss the day’s events and enjoy the meal provided.
Then with tanks full once again, it was time for everyone to head for home. The final verdict was: “an excellent route, great organisation and dry weather!”.- Leaving the organisers with that feeling of “another job well done!”.