A line of 6 MG’s must have set the heart of some of the early morning
commuters fluttering, though others may have had different thoughts!
Nonetheless, the convoy was moving at a steady 50 - 55 mph and not causing any
At Portsmouth we met up with two more of our party Peter and Suzie Arnell
[YB] together with Ron Smith, John Patman and Ken Wheeler all together in Paul
Rundell’s old YA [which had been on the first Y trip to Brittany in 1992] and
who later became known as the Three Musketeers.
MST had done us proud as all eight cars were berthed together on the
boat. Portsmouth-Caen is one of the longer crossings, around 6 hours. Lots of
talk and eating and getting to know sessions took place. A calm sea and
wonderfully warm weather for early September set the standard. Although, the
ferry `Quiberon’ was obviously getting well past its sell by date compared with
the latest range of ferries. Nevertheless, it served its purpose and we arrived
on French soil at 3.30 local time.
Hoods down for Red Leader Hague’s MGB and Jerry’s TA as we set off and
the group of eight vehicles made their way to the first stop at Pegasus Bridge,
a key point in the liberation of France of 5/6 June 1944. A few snaps and then
we were off to Falaise where a reception had been arranged by the local tourist
board. It was here that we met up with Victor and Evelyn Rodrigues in their YA.
Eventually after a photo call, sampling of the local calvados and a guided tour
round a local museum we set off for the next stage of the journey to our
overnight stay at Mortain.
Ron Smith’s YA, was exhibiting some alarming noises from beneath the
rocker box [certainly more than tappet rattle].
Everyone finally arrived at the hotel by 8.45 with J and J’s T coming in
last, after a detour around the Falaise by-pass.
Then hotel has made an effort to give the guests a real sense of
exclusivity – special room and a table large enough to seat all nineteen of us.
The menu was stylised for the Y Type Event, which was a nice touch. The evening
wound up by 11.00 pm as most of the party were totally knackered.
The following day fine weather welcomed us and after breakfast and a
presentation by David Hague to the hotel management of a Y2k
model of Y Type which was warmly accepted, it was bonnets up and ensuring that
the old girls [the cars] were suitably watered and fed to start the next stage
of the journey to Ploermel, a distance of about 125
miles. Ron discovered his problem was a broken rocker arm. He decided to phone
up Brown and Gammons to arrange for the necessary parts to be shipped out before
the weekend so that the car could be repaired. He then hired a car for the rest
of the week.
Red Leader took us through the first stage of the journey and then David
Pelham and Rob Gammage took the lead to guide us through the Normandy/Brittany countryside. Rob was great at
sussing out suitable stops for a coffee /beer/fag
(cigarettes to the Americans) stop and he found
an excellent café next to a roundabout on a minor road for a much-needed stop.
During the day the convoy met up with Andrew and Arlene who had decided
to do their own thing and were picnicking in woodland clearing next to the road,
waved us down and told us of their splendid lunch of wine, cheese and baguette
that they had just enjoyed.
David Hague had suggested a stopping point close to Loheac for us to meet
up and commemorate 11/09. Somehow we lost him and stopped in a village square
next to the church as David Pelham set to work on trying to resolve a charging
problem with his regulator. Whilst he was doing this and the rest of the group
were lounging around, enjoying the sun and eating ice creams a number of local
people dressed in black turned up. We thought it was perhaps something that had
been arranged as a mark of respect for the twin towers tragedy. Not so as it
turned out. A black transit van turned up, the doors were opened and flowers
emerged together with a coffin…. We had found ourselves in the middle of a
funeral! I guess only David Pelham could begin a story with the line ` I was
changing my dynamo and suddenly I found myself in a funeral and then….’. We
paid our respects and then moved on to meet the others at a motor museum outside
The final stage of the journey was to our hotel in Ploermel, which was a
modern building set up as a centre for conferences and attached to an extensive
lake and golf course. We were to stay here for three nights and the events that
occurred were shall we say interesting, but that would be another story! David
Hague had some difficulty in explaining to the hotel management that our stay
had been paid for but eventually matters were resolved. The first meal had
something of a Faulty Towers feel about it – the house red was suddenly
off after 4 bottles had been ordered [but we do have an excellent wine,
monsieur, which is just as good – but 7 Euros more], there was no gin and there
was a problem with a distinct lack of cutlery. However, there were a lot of