As every year, The Six Ex MOC support this annual event which whilst having fun raises much needed money for the Little Big House Charity, the South West’s Hospice for chronically ill children.
August 2016 saw club members heading towards North Devon for this 21st year event which included Steve, Rachel, Dave, Alix, Len, Luke, Dawn, Nick and myself. We camped this year away from the main group of event attendee’s at a quiet farm which offered more in the way of “the comforts of home”.
The Legendary Grand Tour is unlike any other motoring event in the country because it is not confined to a field but let loose on the roads of North Devon. What makes our event so special is that the Mini cars, which are at the heart of this event, do not drive off in groups of 20, or 1 every 3 minutes, but in a convoy one after the other. You could never call the LGT the biggest motoring event in the country, because it is restricted to 250 Minis, but when it is out on the open road in a convoy travelling at 30 mph, it is nearly 10 miles long and can take 15 to 20 minutes to pass, so it must be one of the longest.
The convoy visits many different towns and villages across North Devon, in fact, it joins some of the towns and villages together. It brings thousands of people out into the streets to watch the mini’s go by invading housing estates where people are sitting on their front lawns drinking tea and sipping glasses of wine and waving flags from behind homemade banners. The spectators will fill lay-bys and they will be standing on bridges laughing and smiling and waving as the convoy goes by. Over the past 20 years, the Minis have been taken into the hearts of the people of North Devon and that’s how the event can do what we does and get away with it. There is an incredible reaction from the children who drag their parents out to watch it year after year. They cheer and dance when they hear the mini’s coming, their Mum’s and Dad’s, Nan’s and Grandad’s smile and wave as they go by. Maybe it brings back a few memories of a time when they had a Mini and how the whole family squeezed into one to go on holiday. It is amazing to think some of those children who originally waved at the convoy all those years ago now have children of their own who come out and watch as it goes by.
This year the Six Ex Members raised £400.00 towards the charity whilst dressing up at “Cardinals” in their minis. Some of the reactions we got was amazing including one group of ladies coming up to Steve’s Car, just as if it had two “Popes” inside, out in the his open top car!
We all had a great weekend and look forward to attending the event next year on the Summer Bank Holiday in August. We look forward to seeing you there!