MGCC of FRANCE EUROPEAN EVENT OF THE YEAR 2006
A report on our attendance by Betty Baulch
We were enjoying a day at MG Silverstone 2005 when Terry suggested it might be fun to take part
In the MGCC De France 2006 European Event of Year in the Auvergne at Royat and on the Charade
Race Circuit 29th June to 2nd July 2006, and of course I agreed. We had a chat with friends and out came
the maps. Brian Rainbow got tapping on the internet to his many contacts and checked out and booked
Ferrys and Logis Auberges Hotels etc. en route. It was decided to make a fortnights holiday of the trip
taking three or four days to get to the event and a week to come back via the Loire Valley.
So Sunday morning 25th June, TD packed to the gunnels, Terry went to get her out of the garage and
I have never seen such a look of incredulity on his face when all we heard was a pathetic URRRRGH ,
you guessed it, a completely dead battery , never to be revived. So a quick dash to Halfords in Rugby
for a replacement solved the problem.
We set off to meet the gang, Rosie and Brian Rainbow (TA), Barbara Ford (TC), John and Marie
Burton (TA), and Brian and Norma Cousins (TD), at a little tea shop in Bladon Oxfordshire. Our 5
cars then set off with radio intercom in first and last cars, these proved invaluble throughout (good
idea Brian ) , and headed for Portsmouth to catch 11pm L. D. overnight ferry to Le Havre (cabins booked ).
After docking around 7 30 am French time we drove along hoods down looking for a café for breakfast
And admiring the Pont De Normandy when suddenly the architecture disappeared in a torrent of rain, all
soaked, soon dried out munching croissants and sipping coffee (really ready for a full English but no
chance in that café, never mind ). We had a good journey to Artenay (145 miles) our next overnight stop,
pausing at lunch time at a truckers halt for a fabulous 3 course lunch for 11 euros a head. After staying
at the Hotel de la Fontain we set off on Tuesday 27th June ( Normas birthday ), first stop the Intermarche
Supermarket to buy our lunch time picnic, Then with Terry leading we headed towards Montlucon
stopping around midday in a lovely park with a stream for our picnic and demolishing Normas birthday
cake. Journeying on we arrived in Montlucon to find our route in town to the Hotel des Bourbon barred by
road works , but Brian to the rescue with detailed map found us a way round. We enjoyed a super birthday
dinner in the hotel and later Norma danced in the local fountains ( no she wasn’t ), Terry and I joined the
locals in reception to watch France v Spain football match France won and so car horns sounded most of
the night. The hotel car park was like a dungeon very black and creepy but what the heck it was secure.
Next morning 28th June we motored the 60 odd miles to Royat (town of many traffic lights), as we
registered with the event organisers, and got our instructions, they presented each entrant with a very
large red sports bag containing various goodies and Terrys expression, after thanking them ,was ,where
the hell am I going to put that!!?? It was a nice surprise to find on booking into our hotel, The Hotel
Le Chatel , that Linda and Malcolm Sayer (TD), Jim Gibson and Sue Walker (MGB GT V8) and
Tony and Silvia Lake (MGB GT V8) had all booked into the same hotel.
Thursdays event run for T Types started by passing out through Claremont Ferrand’s dozens of traffic
Lights to gain open country but what scenery! Absolutely lovely, good job the cars had been well
prepared to cope with all the hills etc, The French laid on a super tour of chateaux’s and an excellent
French style lunch (2/3 hours ).
On Friday 30th the T Types started from the railway station at 8-30am , when Royat became grid
Locked with MGs, as almost the first instruction read turn right at the viaduct, only problem there were
3 viaducts, Hey up here come the cavalry but the gendarmes waved their arms around a lot shrugged their
shoulders and disappeared. The French of course were trying to get to work and were not a happy bunch
and did a lot of hooting of horns etc,. Our 5 cars eventually escaped with John and Marie leading, we made
for the hills lakes and volcanos, the tallest Called the Puy de Dome , another splendid lunch in a fine
country hotel near Bourboule was taken before continuing back to Royat. That evening we attended the
Gala Dinner held in a marquee at the race circuit at Charade ,going by taxi. Getting back was a bit of
performance as the ordered taxis did not turn up as arranged Barbara nearly committed Hari Cari
desperately trying to stop a taxi for all of us. Terry lost our room key that evening ----- don’t panic we
eventually found it outside our hotel in the gutter ( no its not what your thinking ), it fell out of his pocket
as he left the taxi.
Saturday and Sunday saw us all up at the Charade circuit acting out our fantasies on the circuit
Itself BUT NO OVERTAKING THE PACE CAR Tony and Jim spent more time on the circuit and nearly
Wore out their brakes. Sunday afternoon saw our group of T Types heading for the Puy de Dome and the
Hills as the temperatures reached the 90s and the roads were melting but the views were worth it.
Monday morning the 3rd July we left Royat for a leisurely weeks drive through the Loire Valley,
Visiting various chateaux as we went, staying at Chatearoux Hotel la Promenade that night. On Tuesday
and Wednesday night we had a superb hotel in the Auberge de Launay in Amboise visiting the Chateaux
Royal whilst there. Thursday evening saw us in Saumur at the Hotel du Parc having visited the Chateaux
Villandray on route unfortunately in pouring rain some of the very little we saw on the whole trip.
Friday we passed through Le Mans what a busy large city that is especially as it was the weekend
of Classic Le Mans , and on to Mace for our last night in France staying at the hotel L,ile de Sees.
Saturday we headed for Le Havre and home.
We covered about 1500 miles on a fantastic trip with great company ,one of the best things about
travelling in France in the old cars is the reception given by the general public there hooting of horns by all
and sundry, people waving and clapping in the street especially the older folk they really appreciate the
cars. A wonderful wonderful trip. Looking forward to Hieldelberg with MGCC Germany in 2007