Report on the Event
It was a cloudy morning as 17 cars met at the Victoria Hotel, O’Halloran Hill. The chance of showers had been reported at 30%, so everyone decided to run with their tops down.
We headed out in two groups, winding through Clarendon. Local traffic was a little bit slow and not playing the game by pulling over in to slow lanes but many of the members still had the opportunity to wind through the picturesque hills at Kangarilla. After Meadows we had a bit more opportunity to test the MX-5’s road handling.
At Strathalbyn we were joined by a further 3 cars. Tom Sweeney had decided to celebrate his birthday by coming on our run (and it had also been Deb Oldenhove’s birthday a few days before), so we sang to them as they blew out the candles on their very own birthday cupcakes.
Rae Edwards dropped by the morning tea, to invite the members back to her and Ken’s home in Strathalbyn for some bubbles. They would have joined us on the run but a trailer load of materials had blocked their access to their MX-5.
The second part of our run was handed out just before we left, as there was another surprise. A short 500 metre drive took us to the new premises of Collectable Classics in Rankine Street. Our 20 vehicles were directed in to their front driveway by the two Bens – Ben Finnis (the owner) and Ben Gillespie. Ben F provided a short speech on their history and plans for the future, including a classic themed café currently awaiting council approval. We then took some 30 minutes to view their range of classics in stock and ask many questions.
It was a short drive through Strathalbyn before we hit the winding hill roads to Ashbourne. Then a brisk pace with the second group missing a turn. Our President was able to round them up and get back to near the first group. We had planned for a group photo opportunity at Milang but timing got the better of us, so it was straight through Milang and on to Bremerton Wines at Langhorne Creek.
While taking photos of the cars outside, Craig Willson, the patriarch of Bremerton Wines, was leaving the cellar door and got my attention. He proudly raised a garage door to show his very own MX-5 tucked away. He had recently spent 2 weeks driving the MX-5 around Tasmania (sound familiar?). He was, of course, encouraged to join our club – and an Invitation To Join card slipped under his windscreen wiper.
Lucy Willson, Craig’s daughter, gave us an informative and entertaining talk on the history of Langhorne Creek, the Willson family and Bremerton Wines. During the lunch, Craig and Rebecca (Craig’s other daughter) joined us to chat with members they had known from Whyalla and also, someone that Craig had last met 50 years ago. Adelaide is a close town.
Lunch was a mixture of platters and pizzas with cheese platters at the end. Everyone appeared to head home well fed. A special thanks to the Bremerton Wines team, Peter, Caitlin, Lani, Sharon & Eva.
After lunch, about a dozen of us travelled back to Strathalbyn for those promised bubbles at Rae & Ken’s. We would like to thank them for their hospitality.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for our first run, celebrating our first year of club membership the very next day. The information available to us on the club website, on how to organise a run, is outstanding. We have learnt a lot from this run and hope to hold another before the end of the year. We encourage all other “new” members to take the plunge – figuratively speaking – and host a run.
Leah Andison & Andrew Strain