This post covers the last two days of my Backwaters Suffolk Shakedown Tour. See the previous post for info on my trip over to Suffolk and Day One. Also, I apologize for the sketchy quality of the photos. We still have some glitches to work out. Same camera, same settings, yet some photos are crystal clear and others are murky. I am actually finding that photos taken on my iPhone reproduce better than those taken on my SLR! Also, I see that the photo of the Tulip Run sheet did not come out correctly. I tried inserting it here again, but no luck. If you are really interested, send me an email and I will send it to you in hi-def.
SUFFOLK TOUR – DAY TWO (The Arts and Cars Tour)
The day started bright and sunny, very promising for our 80 mile run through the countryside to Flatford. Never heard of it? Me neither, but maybe you have heard of the artist John Constable who derived his inspiration for his most famous paintings here. Below is a picture of “Hay Wain” (hay wagon), his most famous, painted in 1846, followed by my photo taken at the same spot. Not much has changed in 160 years!
Constable was one of the first artists to celebrate the simplicity, but also the beauty, of rural English life and inspired a generation of English painters, including Gainsborough. You can see more of his images of Flatford at www.john-constable.org/the-complete-works.html. I have included some more photos in the gallery at the end of the post.
From there we moved on to Heybridge Basin on the sea shore. At this point my Garmin turn-by-turn directions failed me as our fearless leader missed adding a waypoint. I wandered somewhat aimlessly for a while before I found the Jolly Sailor pub, only to discover that there are TWO Jolly Sailors in the same town. Some shuffling around got me to the right place for our group lunch.
After lunch we caravanned to JD Classics, one of the top restorers and classic car dealers in the UK in Malton. Started in a home garage less than twenty years ago, JD Classics has risen to a complex of eight showrooms plus extensive restoration and race prep shops. They have 14 cars entered in this year’s Mille Miglia! In the last ten years, they have never had an entry that failed to finish!
TWO OF THE EIGHT JD CLASSICS SHOWROOMS!
JD’s have 150 cars on sale ranging from $60,000 to $15 million. I would guess the average is about $2 million. We were given a private tour of the showrooms, restoration shop and race shop. All very impressive. Jaguars, their first love, were a huge presence, but Ferrari’s, Alfa’s, Aston Martin’s and vintage motorcycles were also very much in evidence. More pix in the gallery at the end of the post.
Trivia contest: JD has 150 cars in stock, average price $2 million. How many cars do they sell in a typical month? (first right answer, or closest to it, wins a tin of biscuits!). Email me your guess.
As the tour was ending the skies opened up and I was finally forced to put up the hood (top). It was a long and rainy trip back, but at least the wipers worked and the heater gave it’s all. What a mess the car was!
SUFFOLK TOUR – DAY THREE (The Coastal Run)
Suffolk is on the North Sea, so we had to make a coastal run. Nice 100 mile drive. I took the top down again. First stop Sutton Hoo. Again, never heard of it, but in 1939 the owner of a large farm got curious about the funny looking mounds of earth on her property. She contacted Cambridge University and they sent out an archaeologist. He almost wet himself upon seeing the field as he immediately knew it was a burial ground for ancient Saxon royalty (circa 625 AD). Then WWII started and they agreed to hush it up for fear of poachers. After the War, the digging started in earnest and in 1947 they unearthed the tomb of King Reddich, laid out in a real 90 foot long boat with gold, silver, precious stones and coins from all over the world. Despite the fact that most of the tombs on the property had been raided over the last 1400 years, they all missed the biggest and the best. Most of the real artifacts are now in the British Museum, but there are excellent reproductions in the onsite museum. Very eerie walking around on the grave mounds of Kings!
You can see more at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo.
The final stop on the route was was the resort town of Southwold on the coast. All I can say is that, while the ocean didn’t look too inviting, Californian’s would die for the fine, powdery sand.
After a quick visit to the shore, it was back on the road home. Wet and wild, but I have learned a few things about driving my Jag in the rain, mostly how to stay dry and somewhat warm. Back in my (cold) cottage (I was a nice guy and turned the heat off while I was gone), dinner is in the oven (Tesco pre-made chicken and biscuits). Bottle of wine is open (where does it all go?). Fire in my brand new wood stove (installed while I was gone, I told you I have a great landlady!).
Torrential rain is expected Saturday and Sunday, which will wash out a Jag Club meet on Saturday and my invitation to go lawn bowling on Sunday. Looks like a veggie weekend (me, not the food). Sunday is “roast day” at all the pubs. Your choice of roast beef, roast chicken or roast lamb, appetizer, Yorkshire pudding, the works.
Finally, today’s food item. Below is a picture of a famous English “fast food breakfast”….sausage rolls! Better than they look, especially hot with mustard. Just like at home, eating and driving is not illegal, though it should probably be, especially when the “stuff” squirts out of the bottom end when you take a bite at 60 mph.
Random pix from the trip below. Hope you are enjoying. You can click on any of them to enlarge.
ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE FROM FLATFORD, I LOVE THE ONE TWO UP IN THE CENTER. I CALL IT, “WHEN YOU ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER BEDROOM”. THOSE BELOW ARE FROM JD CLASSICS
And finally, she at the sea shore, just before the weather went to hell.