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Our Christmas meal at the Dog & Bear Hotel, Lenham on Monday 12th December sold out. BUT: please put the date of Sunday 9th April 2017 in your diary for the Spring Lunch again at Cobham Hall - further details available in the new year.

Posted 23rd November 2016
Our members of the Kent Area of the Jaguar Drivers' Club have now wound down for the winter, with several of our beautiful cars off the road. We are now beginning our preparations for our 2017 season.

In September we exhibited at the Aylesford Priory Car Show where the organisers had allocated us a great spot and the weather was kind to us again. Then a party of us had a wonderful weekend at Hungerford at Warners Littlecote Hotel where the hospitality and entertainment were well up to our expectations - we almost believed George Michael was singing to us! The puncture gremlin was in evidence with two of our cars suffering, and a third member had a strange incident when having some refreshment in the grounds and a duck tried to join him on the table and managed to put its foot in his coffee - to the great delight of those watching!

We held our annual Cheese and Wine evening at our September club night, and members had to guess the name and origin  of a mystery cheese. We all had a good natter! For our October club night we had Terry Dye talk to us about Racing Jaguars which was informative and entertaining with him showing us some wonderful historic film footage. Our November club night was a return to our food themed evenings with our annual pre-Christmas mince pies and sausage rolls (and natter!) evening - we were nearly a full house but there was plenty to eat, it was great to see so many members.

Each year we move our December meeting from the third Monday of the month to the second Monday for our annual Christmas meal and places sold out quickly for this very popular evening, the food is always delicious.

Our major event for October has been the Jaguar Drivers\' Club National Rally coming to Kent. Nik Brukker (national Jaguar Drivers\' Club Chairman) and John Broughall (event organiser) came to our annual barbeque in July to tell us about the Rally and how we could be involved. Our club supplied several marshals and one of our ladies had the task of assisting with sending the competitors off from the Holiday Inn at Hothfield, north of Ashford. Magically she was at the coffee stop, the lunch stop, and finally back at the hotel to assist with booking teams in and giving them their next start times. She and Janet Broughall were ably chauffeured by another of our members who also doubled as car parking marshal which was most helpful. Four pairs of our Kent club\'s active members participated in the rally, and one pair won the class for saloon cars manufactured between 1951 and 1969 in their beautiful 1965 Mark II. Two of our pairs were the only ladies only teams - I took part, ably assisted by our Kent Chairman\'s wife Shirley and we achieved our aim of finishing the rally! It was a fun day out for the participants, even if we did have occasional showers.

Here is a bit of a review of our 2016 year:

We had three excellent speakers early in the year at our Club nights at the Dog and Bear Hotel at Lenham (ME17 2PG) (3rd Monday of the month at 8.00 pm sharp - see Where we meet section of this website). At the February meeting we were given an insight into the degrees of dedication and care that is needed to take professional and effective photos of cars. The talk in March on "The Humorous Side of Policing" by a retired police officer was one of our best ever. Personally I was wishing he would talk for a bit longer - which is most rare!

Our talk in April was a return visit of our special Jaguar speaker, Peter Leake, whose theme this year was "The Cat is Back - the Story of the XK8". Again Peter lived up to his high reputation and gave us an interesting and entertaining evening.

We had a good turn-out of cars for the Heritage Transport Show at Detling Showground on the first Saturday in April, and spent the day in one of the huge exhibition halls, it was a shame it was a bit draughty!

We returned to Cobham Hall for our annual Spring Lunch on 17th April, and this time we had the opportunity of having a tour of the mansion before our lunch which was most interesting. It seems the cricket Ashes originated at Cobham! Because we had so many members and friends wishing to come to the lunch we ate in the Gilt Room which was magnificent. The meal matched our surroundings.

This year we decided to participate in the National Drive It Day on Sunday 24 April and we combined this with our annual Treasure Hunt. Several members drove their beautiful cars from the Dog & Bear at Lenham to a secret venue for a buffet lunch. This was our house and parking was on our front lawn which is now a trifle bumpy due to the wet conditions in April! Our Chairman Kevin and committee member Shirley were the winners with only one clue missing from 46, narrowly beating most of the other competitors. I think everyone enjoyed a relaxed day out in the spring countryside.

1st May saw us lined up on the seafront at Eastbourne - thank goodness the weather was muchbetter than last year, and we needed the gazebo for shade. The following Sunday we displayed at Leeds Castle for Motors by the Moat, and because it was such a beautiful day there were record crowds and record numbers of cars on display.

For our May club night we held our Annual Pudding Competition and had a talk from Carl Gannon of Xtreme Jaguar Restorations Ltd. This was a brilliant evening. Carl\'s talk was most informative and it was a pleasure to hear someone speak about a subject he is so committed to and so very knowledgeable. We then dived into the puddings that members had brought along, and they were delicious.

Our Annual Quiz in June unfortunately clashed with England playing at the Euro-football tournament which was a shame as Alan Kay had put so much effort into making an entertaining quiz. Our July All Jaguar and BBQ evening was again well attended.  As mentioned above, we were joined by Nik Drukker, Chairman of the Board of Jaguar Drivers\' Club. Carl Gannon judged the cars with the help of Michele and her baby wallaby (!) who was the star of the evening! There were trophies for the best pre-1975 and post-1975 Jaguars, and the ladies voted for the car they would most like to be \'taken to the ball\' in. This was won by a glorious Mark 10 420.

In August we held our Fish & Chips and games evening. Gentlemen were asked to come in their loudest shirts, and the ladies with strange head-gear or hairstyle. Members enjoyed a good evening. We have attended more car shows: Display of Masters Series Racing at Brands Hatch - which was disappointing, Bromley Pageant which was as busy as usual, Gears of Change & Fought for Freedom at Quex Park, and Appledore Show (south of Tenterden, not Devonshire!) This last was a new show for the club and they made us very welcome, and there was a great display of cars and clubs. Dover car show clashed with major delays on the roads leading to Dover due to increased security checking at the port.

One of our members very kindly arranged for a special visit to Sissinghurst Castle, but no-one told the weather! It became damper and then rained, before turning into a sunny late afternoon, but many of us had abandoned by then. The gardens were spectacular. Also in August some of our members went to Cranleigh Show which is always a big and busy show. We also attended the Whitstable show, and the Old Timers at Folkestone, and our final show was at Aylesford Priory in September.

At our AGM on Monday 16th January 2017 we will be looking for a new Treasurer as Gordon Martin is retiring from the Committee. We are also looking for a new web-master. Please contact a member of the committee if you have any queries about our events or the Club or would like to join our committee.

With best wishes
Liz Whitebread
Secretary, Jaguar Drivers' Club - Kent Area 4
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