Prom night.

Our grandchildren are currently organising their prom night and have asked me if I would drive them in my 1947 Bentley Mk VI and I have agreed as I feel it might add an element of class to the occasion.


Sadly, it seems so many of the youth of today would rather go to one of these events in a stretched Hummer, which is an American military vehicle which is effectively an armour plated lorry. Perhaps to venture into London nowadays one does need the protection of armour plating, but I’m going to take a chance anyway and hope we shall return unscathed due to the protection of the fine walnut veneers on the interior, surely enough to stop any bullet.

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I must say, the Hummer looks a damn sight more classy in military form than it does when some silly arse has stretched it to such a degree that it is unable to manoeuvre round the most basic corner or roundabout.

It was indeed the grandchildren themselves who knowing that some of their fellow pupils are travelling in a stretched Hummer and have become sufficiently adult to realise which of these two vehicles has more class and to request the Bentley.

At vast expense, Nanny has purchased complete outfits for both of the grandchildren and in all fairness they are very smart suits which they will be able to wear later in the year on our trip to Honfleur.

However and there is always, a however. In my youth we never used to have Proms, even when someone had actually graduated from University, as these events were an invention of the Americans, as I believe were baby showers and Halloween and it is only relatively recently that we seem to have followed suit, although God alone knows why.

As you can tell, I am not at all keen on following anything the Americans do, enormous buckets of Coke, super sizing, Disneyland, rap music, bad car design, famous for no reason celebrities, to name but a few off the top of my head.

The main reason for my reluctance to embrace fully this event is the fact that the grandchildren are only 11 years old, so quite what they have graduated from I have no idea. I have a nasty feeling this will be the first of many graduation events through their school and University career, although I think if you do have to have one, perhaps leave it until one has actually graduated and gained a degree and have finished your education.

I’m sure the grandkids will love it and at least I have the consolation of knowing they will arrive with style.




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Chateau Impney Hillclimb.


We went to the Chateau Impney Hillclimb at the weekend staying at the rather fabulous Stanbrook Abbey Hotel which as you can see from the photos used to be an Abbey.

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A very interesting weekend for architecture as we then went to Chateau Impney another stunning building owned by a member of the Bentley Drivers Club, for the hillclimb.


Had VIP tickets which meant we had some good food and drink and the best view from the Chateau terrace.


Here is the view from the terrace of one of the corners, as you can see my camera skills are pretty useless, but I suppose if you choose to take a photograph with a telephone, what can you expect. Still, it’s a better result than trying to make a telephone call with a camera, however as I’m typing this little jokette I expect there is some clever spark either making or already selling a camera that makes phone calls. It’s a shame the photo doesn’t portray the experience of standing close to vintage motor cars travelling at speed protected only by a straw bale.

We have been away recently quite a lot so this blog has turned into a bit of a travelogue recently and will continue in a couple of weeks when we go to a Forties Weekend in March, Cambridgeshire, I hope the weather has cooled a little by then as I shall be wearing my 1940’s three piece tweed suit from Chester Cordite.


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POP Connect Networking.

Now that I am firmly ensconced in the country I am beginning to understand why I feel at home here, for I do not wish to be in the city where technology can whizz information around at the speed of light and yet the traffic moves at such a slow pace that it leaves a silver trail in its wake.

I have the best of both worlds here in the country as I can drive about most of the time as if I’m competing in the British F1 Grand Prix and yet, should I wish to make use of modern technology it is here, literally at my fingertips.

As some of my readers may have noticed my computer skills are fairly limited, although I surpassed myself with the previous blog which contained photographs which I had taken on my phone and then uploaded to my computer and thence to the blog. This may sound confusing to the younger folk who at this very moment are shouting, “you silly old duffer, you could have just uploaded straight from your phone to the blog.” I have no idea if this is possible but just put it in as it feels as if there was one process I could have taken out of the equation.

If I were born at a later time when they taught computer stuff at school I think I would have taken to it like a duck to water, but to quote another well known saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Were it the case that you could teach ageing dogs new tricks all of my blogs would be peppered with photographs, illustrations and useful links.

The subject for today’s blog was triggered by the fact that I am going to a meeting of POP Connect which I understand is a business networking organisation, already I can feel my palms getting sweaty for I am reluctant to drag myself into the modern world of corporate business.

In my youth I was in business, but in those days you didn’t have to network, you merely went into the family business, a bakers in my case and followed on in the footsteps of your father and his father before him. One opened a bakers shop, made some attractive bread, buns and cakes etc and placed them in the shop whereupon by some miracle which had nothing to do with networking, passers bye would enter the shop and purchase said items, it was all very simple.

When my father retired and we sold the business and I took the money and ran, starting my new career as an actor, where very little networking was involved, one turned up at an audition did your piece and buggered off. Some time later, perhaps after a recall you would be lucky enough to receive the good news that you had the job, together with the bad news that it was a profit share and if you were lucky you would just about cover the cost of your petrol, all a very long way from corporate networking.

I’m quite looking forward to tomorrow when I shall embroil myself in the modern world of business networking, after all I do have a business. I have two regular blogs, this one and Joe Wells of whom it has been said, both with the potential to gain income from advertising, I have a radio play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori, I have books for sale on Amazon, including The Plays Wot I Wrote, The Battle of Barking Creek, three children’s books, Nobby Brasso Football Star, Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world, Samantha’s fantastic space journey and three more in production.

Yes, I’m feeling quite positive about tomorrow and who knows, if in the future you find my blogs inundated with useful links to my websites, illustrations, photos and all the modern paraphernalia associated with a successful blog, it will all have been worthwhile.



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RREC Concours at Burghley House.

Had another splendid weekend, this time with The Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club, which contrary to it’s name is a club which caters for Rolls Royce and Bentley at their Concours weekend at Burghley House.



What a fabulous house, the photo doesn’t do it justice, it really is stunning. Unlike the Holiday Inn Express where we stayed the night before the event, however we did go to the dinner in the evening and met some very pleasant and friendly people and had a jolly good dance, which made the wife a very happy woman as she loves to dance, I’m quite partial to a bit of a jig about myself.

The concours itself was extremely well organised with all the cars of certain eras and models displayed together, there was even an enclosure for those of use who attended who were members of the Bentley Drivers Club.


The following will be some of the very special cars that attended and won prizes, one of which belongs to friends of ours who we meet every year at Goodwood Revival, it’s a red one!


The black car on the left used to belong to Field Martial Montgomery.


You were falling over Silver Ghost motor cars.



Now for a word of warning and the drive home during which we sustained a puncture, luckily in the nearside rear tyre, I’m very glad it wasn’t a front tyre and our speed was not too excessive. Coming back down the A1 a duel carriageway road with no hard shoulder the rear tyre suddenly deflated, quite a surprise. We managed to limp to a lay-bye some 50 yards down the road with massive articulated lorries shooting by at phenomenal speed, to be honest it was probably 50 to 60 mph but when you’re crawling down the road at walking pace it seems a damn sight faster. Having jacked the car up a friend of ours came along and seeing our peril stopped to assist, which was just as well as he mentioned that the nuts on the nearside wheels have reverse threads. I thought they were bloody hard to undo!  With the useful information about the reverse threads we soon changed the wheel and were on our way home, thank you Steve.

That covers the drive home, now the word of warning concerning the use of “modern radial” tyres. Having driven up to Longstone tyres today to get a new tyre they informed me that the latest thinking on tyre pressures is to increase the pressure quite considerably from that recommended with the old cross plies. I knew you had to increase the pressures and had been running mine at 30, I think the old pressures were 25 and 28 but they recommended putting the pressure up to at least 36, if not 38 all round. It seems that it may have been running with the pressures too low may have contributed to the failure of my tube.

Well that’s my latest blog, I hope you found it both interesting and educational.

Finally, I nearly forgot, we were so impressed with the organisation and the friendliness of everyone we met, that we joined the club

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Thoughts for the day.

Why does Donald Trump always sign everything with a crayon, won’t the teacher give him a sharp pencil in case he pokes himself in the eye with it?

You’re not driving fast enough if you haven’t caught up with the person in front.

If you’ve caught up with the person in front, why haven’t you overtaken them.

Tried welding for the first time in my life today, had to fix one of the arms on the garage door, it certainly doesn’t look pretty but at least it did the job.

How come no-one noticed so many people were dying from powerful painkillers in the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, I suppose there is a chance that some of them were in severe pain and actually needed the opiates.

Why are there so many “celebrity” shows on television with people I’ve never heard of?

If you know the answers to any of these conundrums please let me know.

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Yet more reasons to leave the EU.

For those of you living in the countryside with a barn full of mechanical vehicles this may be of great interest to you, or you may just have an old car stuck in a garage which you haven’t used for years, the EU have come up yet again with a piece of useless legislation designed, it would seem to be just another pain in the arse.

In 2014 a farm worker named Damijan Vnuk was knocked off a ladder by a tractor trailer that was reversing into a barn.

A compensation claim was lodged with the farmers insurer which was rejected, however this being modern life the claim was eventually heard in the Court of Justice of the European Union, rather than the more old fashioned option of saying, “oops, I’ve just fallen of a ladder, I should have come down when I saw the trailer coming and before it hit me.”

The upshot of this nonsense is that we will now be forced to insure our vehicles when they are off the road whether they can move or not, just on the off chance that some passing stranger should poke his or her nose round the garage door and damage their shins on the bumper or attempt to climb up a ladder whilst in said garage.

I wonder if this legislation should go through will we have to erect notices outside our vehicle storage premises warning passersby of the danger of stationary vehicles, together with instructions as to how to stand safely some distance away. God forbid you should store a ladder as it will probably require a separate notice requesting no-one be foolish enough to attempt to climb it.

On the other hand perhaps a general notice to cover all eventualities along the lines of, TAKE CARE, LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING, LIFE CAN BE DANGEROUS, DON’T BLAME ME IF YOU FALL DOWN A HOLE, OR OFF A LADDER. That should do the trick.

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Country houses.

The wife and I went to Stonor Park at the weekend for the Bentley Drivers Club Concours meeting and we had a splendid time.

Whilst there we took the opportunity to have a look round the house which is the oldest family owned house in England and has a fascinating history, the fortunes of the house and chapel are strongly tied to the travails of the Catholics in Britain. When Henry VIII formed the Church of England in the 1530s Catholics, including the Stonor family were forced to take a much reduced part in public life. Crippling fines were levied and many were persecuted and forced to go into hiding.

At Stonor there is a poignant reminder of these times in the roof space and priest hole where Sir Edmund Campion hid whilst printing the famous Ten Reasons’ pamphlet in the 1580s.


This is the front of the house and to the left is a rather splendid wing and to the right is another, together with the Chapel belonging to the house, I do think having ones own Chapel does bring an air of class to any house, every home should have one!


There was a superb collection of Bentley motor cars, some of the rarest and most expensive one might come across, the following is a small selection of some of them.


I believe No 9 is a genuine 1929 Le Mans blower Bentley, very nice to say the least.


Bentley motor cars as far as the eye can see, what a fabulous sight, over three hundred cars attended, the weather was fabulous, we met our friends and all was well with the world. How lucky we are.


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