The Olympic Torch arrived in Britain at the Royal Naval Air Station at Helston, Cornwall, on Friday 18th May ready to start its 8000 mile journey around around the UK from Lands End the following morning. Huge crowds are turning out to see the flame pass from hand to hand through the various parts of the British Isles so to celebrate this, and to do our bit for the Olympics, the TVR Car Club decided to carry our own "torch" around the country. But flames are a little dangerous when they get close to fibre glass cars full of 95RON fuel, so, originating from Blackpool, what else could we use instead but a giant stick of rock!
And so it is with great pleasure that the TVR Car Club announces the TVRCC Olympic Rock Relay 2012.
Blackpool Region 7 July
Starting at the site of the TVR factory at Bristol Avenue, the torch left Blackpool on Saturday 7th July 2012 at 10.30am for the first leg carried by TVRCC Patron and former TVR owner Martin Lilley. He proudly handed it to Russ Larcombe at Blackpool FC who carried it to The Rigbye Arms in Wrightington, the meeting place for the Lancashire Region where he in turn handed it over to Lancs RO Steve Johnson to be carried north into Cumbria and then into Scotland. The rock will be carried all around the country reaching all four corners before arriving at the Dunlop TVR European Challenge round at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 19th August where it will be driven around the track by one of the drivers in its own Olympic race. Click here to read the full report.
Lancashire Region - 7/8 July
On taking delivery of the rock baton from Martin at the Rigbye Arms, Lancashire took it on a scenic tour of the county over two days, taking in some spectacular sights such as Pendle Hill, Salmesbury Hall and the Eric Morecombe memorial, as well as some less scenic locations as Bolton Wanders FC, before handing it over to Cumbria region as the Lakeland Motor Museum, home of TVR No 2. Click here to download the full report.
The Olympic Rock baton was collected from the Lancashire torch party at the Lakelands Museum by Martin who then passed it on to our torch bearer Linda who, with driver James, protected by 20 outriders in their respective chariots, carried it to our destination. Assembling in Gretna, the torch party headed westwards. Meeting up with the Stranraer contingent and with Neil leading, it was onwards to Ayr. We met up with Rob and company from the West of Scotland Region for an Olympic Curry Lunch in the Rupee Room, after which the official hand over to Caroline (Rob’s better half) was made by our very own Olympian, Linda.
Travelled in a Griffith and covered 207 miles in total.
West Scotland receive the rock from Cumbria in Ayr, and following a passage around the region, including a trip to Glasgow, hand over to Central Scotland in Falkirk. For more images, click here.
Central Scotland to NE England Handover 19 July
This is the handover from Central Scotland into North East England. The handover took place on the Scotland/England border at the top of Carter Bar on the A68.
Adrian Duffey, (2nd RO Central Scotland, brown t-shirt) was handing the baton over to Paul Spensley (RO for North East England). To Adrian's left are Alan Colquhoun (1st RO Central Scotland), David Bruce and Sandy Ewart.
Tees Valley collected the rock from NE England RO Paul Spensley at Durham Cathedral on 19 July and paraded it around their region before handing over to North Yorkshire at the Whale Bones on Saturday 21st. For a full report click here.
From Whitby to Grosmont, through "Goathland" and onto York passing by Fylingdales before the baton was handed over to East Yorkshire at the York Aircraft Museum under the watchng wing of a Victor K2 tanker, the baton saw some of North Yorkshire's mst famous sights. For a full report click here.
Receiving the rock baton from North Yorkshire at the York Aircraft Museum, it passed through the rest of the county, passing south across the Humber bridge and into East Midlands for its journey south through to Norfolk and Suffolk, whose original idea the rock relay was. For a full report click here.
Suffolk & Norfolk
RO Richard Chilcott collected the baton from East Yorkshire RO Simon Bateman on the evening of Tuesday 24th July at Swineshead Bridge near Boston Lincolnshire and transported it safely taken back to Suffolk for their epic leg of the relay to begin the next day. Thereafter, it routed throughout the two counties from Lotus Cars at Hethel and Cromer in the north to Bury St Edmunds and Anglesey Abbey in the south before handing over to Cambridge region on the evening of 25th July. For a full report click here.
Cambs region picked up the baton at Anglesey Abbey on at 8pm on 25th July (although we actually ended up in the White Swan pub down the road). In typically efficient fashion we set off (after a few drinks) to the agreed hand over point at Audley End House. We covered the 20 short miles in about 20 minutes and made good time for our hand over to Alex Gray at 9pm.
Click here for more photos.
Herts & Beds
Meeting up with Kevin, Zoe, John and a number of others from Cambridgeshire at the ancient royal
hunting lodge - Audley End - Herts and Beds picked up the Olympic Rock on a summer evening in July.
After a bit of posing - no not that kind! - for pictures in front of the house, we all headed off down to
the local village of Newport to visit a pub for some much needed refreshment. Catching up on some
news of local events and modifications that John had done to his Sagmora, we eventually bid each other
good night and the Rock was transported on its merry way for a tour of Herts and Beds.
During the next few days, the Rock was passed back and forth between myself and Mid-Essex before
finally passing it on to Nick from Middlesex for it to make its way down to Hampton Court for a royal
Tim Payne (RO Herts & Beds) handed over the Rock Baton to Leo and Alex from Mid Essex in Bishops Stortford on the Herts Essex Border. There followed a meander through some of the most famous "only way is Essex" sights before returning it to Tim Payne, now wearing his RO Middlesex hat... For a full report click here.
Nick Emery (Dep RO Middx Region) picked up baton from Herts & Beds RO Tim Payne at a secret shadowy location in St Albans (actually the underground car park at Tim's work) on 30th July on the way back from the TVRCC trackday at Cadwell Park (a really good day again this year - book early to avoid disappointment for next year... plug, plug). There followed a frantic drive across the county, fighting the Olympic traffic, before handing over to Surrey at Hampton Court just 150 minutes later. For a full report click here.
In terms of Olympian efforts, Karen, Steve and their team from Surrey have to take the Gold Medal for their 5-day marathon! From Hampton Court, to Twickenham, to Brooklands, to Box Hill, back to Brooklands and then all around London before handing over to West Sussex, their extravaganza took the TVRCC Olympic Torch all across the county and around the highlights of London. For a full report and more photos, click here.
Collecting the torch from Surrey at the Devil's Punchbowl, West Sussex carried the torch via a somewhat circuitous route through the county before handing off to Hampshire near the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. For a full report, click here.
Report to be issued
Dorset handing over to Devon region at West Bay
Devon & Cornwall
After receiving the baton from Dorset at West Bay, the Devon team paraded it around the county before handing it over to Cornwall for a brief sojourn in the most south westerly region, then regathering the baton and heading north to the newest TVR specialist, TVR SW at Wellington to handover to Somertset region. For a full report, click here.
On the 12th Aug the TVR Olympic rock baton arrived in Somerset from the Devon region. The handover took place at the new independent specialist TVRS (SW) in Wellington Somerset recently opened by Colin Apps ex Dulfords. Around 16 cars turned out in fine weather and Graham Bailey RO of Devon handed the baton over to Benn Laidler the incoming Somerset RO. The baton was then transported in a noisy TVR convoy through Somerset and Cheddar Gorge where it was passed on to Bristol RO Sarah Cole.
For more photos, click here.
Wiltshire region received the baton from Bristol on a spectacular sunset evening overlooking Bath and then took in some of the highlights of the county including Lacock (in the pouring rain), Stonehenge (and lost more stones) and the GWR museum before handing over to C3C at Neil Garner's. For a full report, click here.
For more photos, click here.
And so it arrived in a long, loud and very colourful convoy of outriders. The TVR Car Club Blackpool Rock Baton was in pride of place in the lead car, a red Griffith.
TVRCC Northants caused quite a stir as they arrived in a very patriotic convoy of vehicles, with Union Flags on display inside and outside of the cars as well as the drivers and passengers attire.
After a final handover to TVRCC Events Organiser Sharon Blanchard, the rock then proceeded to parade arund the banked circuit before finally coming to rest in it's true position - on the podium!
The full route is below; to read the regional reports and to see more photographs, click on the link below or hover your mouse over the region on the map and click the appropriate link:
North East England
Norfolk & Suffolk
Herts & Beds
Rockingham TVRCC DTEC Tent
A huge thank you to all all Regional Organisers and members who made this happen. We know that those who participated had a whale of a time, despite the worst British summer weather for over 70 years. An especially big thank you to Sharon for getting all of the organisation in place but most importantly to Suffolk & Norfolk RO, Steve Tyree, whose original idea this was and without hose inspiration it would never have happened. Thanks to you all!
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