Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Classic" Occasions

The bank holiday weekend looms - normally heralded as the final fling of the summer holidays before the days start to shorten and autumn rolls in - and hopefully the weather (at least in the south) will support a "classic" british bank holiday for everyone - assuming of course that the extensive road works and predicted traffic congestion around the country will allow anyone to get anywhere!!

Our "classic" event here at Blenheim Palace is a two day Classic Car Show on the Sunday and Monday - a fantastic line-up each day of iconic vehicles evoking memories of a past era. The event is organised by Andrew Greenwood - a wonderful Yorkshireman who I have known for many many years as we used to stage similar events during my time at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire during the 80's and 90's - indeed this is the first year that we are looking to repeat a very success formula as the classic car shows at Knebworth over the August Bank Holiday weekend were always very popular and well attended.

The National Feast of Lanterns (organised by The Camping and Caravanning Club) took place last weekend and they should virtually be clear and off site by close of play today. This very "classic" british event - with 2,500 units and around 8,000 people - was a huge success and I was very honoured to be asked to give the official opening address at their ceremony to declare the rally open last Friday.

That ceremony was then followed by the Club Chairman's Dinner in the Indian Room at the Palace - a very "classic" setting by the Water Terraces - and I had the immense pleasure of sitting next to David Bellamy OBE who is the President of The Camping and Caravanning Club. David is a fascinating man to sit next to - very engaging, very interesting and great fun. At 76 he is still very active across the globe promoting and progressing his variety of issues - many environmentally based - and indeed he was off to Australia a few days after we met. He has written at least 45 books, he is President, Vice-President, Trustee or Patron of at least 28 organisations and he has a variety of Honorary Degrees and Awards - not a bad collection for someone who trained as a botanist at Durham University! A very "classic" british author, broadcaster and campaigner and it was a joy to meet him.

To more mundane matters - Spurs still sit at the very top of the Premiership - 3 games, 3 wins - but how much longer will it last? Memories are being evoked back to the "classic" double winning Spurs side in the 1960/61 season (Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, Jimmy Greaves et al) as that was the last time Spurs won three games on the trot at the start of a new campaign .......... I wonder if League and Cup glory beckon in 2009/10 - we can but dream!

And finally my lovely wife and little girls have returned from a two week trip to America where they were staying with my wife's sisters - lovely to have them all back home!

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend and make it a truly "classic" occasion by visiting Blenheim Palace.

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