The question was whether it was going to be an anarak, jumper and windcheater day or a gumboots, umbrella and sou’wester day? It turned out to be a bit of both as you might expect from the British climate at the end of May, it is nearly Summer after all. It definitely was not a T-shirt and shorts day, however.
Two runs into Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens converged under grey and darkening skies. The starts were at Bocketts Farm, Leatherhead in the North, and at the Red Lion, Ashington in the south. We gathered at Bocketts, arriving to be ticked off by willing volunteers and parking conveniently close to the entrance of the Farm. MGs arrived ready to set off at their time allocated slots, to avoid crowding at the start. A wide variety of MGs gathered from an MGZT V8 to Dave Naylor’s much older MG L2 (Dave sadly would not quite get to the finish point, having broken down halfway. He was not alone though as Philip Bayne-Powell in his MG 14/40 also suffered a similar fate).
The allotted time arrived and cars set off for the 36 mile run to Leonardslee carefully avoiding the myriad of lycra clad cyclists that seem to inhabit the Surrey Hills these days. Oh for the days when it was just horse riders we had to watch out for! Leafy, narrow lanes freshly washed down by intermittent rain showers were the order for the first half followed by slightly wider B roads as we headed towards the finish point. It was indeed a very scenic route ( I am sure the south route was equally scenic too!) and luckily we weren’t accosted by a very tall lady shaking a bucket as on the Drive it Day Run!
To picnic or not to picnic, that was the question on arrival at Leonardslee. It was looking grey and you can see a good distance from the much improved car park – and in that distance you could see the rain falling. So it was time to sit in the cars for a bit and let the shower pass. That was it and the remains of the day proved comparably fine so we did get to sit out in the car park and enjoy our spoils from home.
Suitably sustained we headed for the valley gardens and they were truly spectacular despite the best efforts of the gale force winds in the few days prior to the club’s visit. Rhodedendrons and azaleas were in peak bloom and the last of the camellias and magnolias were still to be seen too. The fresh green leaves were all unfurling providing a stunning backdrop to the row of cascading lakes and many a photograph was captured – you can see some of them in the album below.
It was yet another brilliantly organised , covid safe, day out with the MG Car Club South East and many thanks go to John Morgan, Andrew Mitchell and the team for all their hard work and attention to detail. We are already looking forward to the next event!
There were plenty of photos taken on the day and here is a selection from Tim Morris and John Morgan:-