We’re almost passing out from the heat at Prescott Hillclimb , my daughter Charlotte and I. It’s July 14th and the hot summer has dried the grass up to a crispy golden brown outside the bookstall marquee. We’ve got shade , sat inside, but not much ventilation. There’s no air, it’s 80 degrees at least and seldom have the ice cream vans seemed so appealing.
But we must not complain. This is England and good weather is so often hard to find. With a glorious assortment of Bugattis climbing the historic course , celebrating 80 years since the first event here near the top end of the Cotswolds, and a good crowd basking in the sunshine, it’s such a beautiful spot to be working.
Thinking back only a few months the two of us, along with younger daughter Georgie, were stood on another, very different, hillside watching old cars in action on the day before the notorious “Beast From The East” snowstorm closed down the entire country. And we were freezing cold… Oh Boy! Were we cold….
The wind was blowing down from the Malvern Hills towards the Penyard section of the Herefordshire Trial and flurries of snow were already in the air. The ground was sodden from earlier winter weather and proving a real challenge for all but the most skilfull to make headway on. Most cars got about level with us before slithering back down to the start.
Only three cars, I think , managed to reach the upper part of this twisty, narrow steep little track. It was fun but the numbing cold and biting wind eventually drove us down to lower levels and back to the car to thaw out!
Vintage Austin 7s in action on the 2018 Herefordshire Trial , March 17th. Filmed by Simon Lewis Transport Books. Motoring books and collectibles. www.simonlewis.com
Posted by Simon Lewis Transport Books on Monday, 19 March 2018
I might have stayed longer to see more if I had not had two frozen offspring to think about but not much. Enough was enough. The following day’s action was abandoned. The Beaste had arrived and nothing was moving very far on the flat, let along up muddy hillsides.
In between these two events was another hillclimb at Prescott and we had thunder and lightening for that one! The clouds always seem to congregate right overhead and when you get thunder it’s like a bomb going off . More so when it’s 3am and you are asleep in a tent. It’s a shame that the forcasters were so adament that more and worse was to follow the next day. It caused half the stall holders to pack up and got home and seemed to reduce the crowd by a similar amount, just on the basis another storm would deluge the site late in the afternoon. As so often with weather forcasting in Britain they were simply wrong. We had a short sharp shower at lunchtime and a blisteringly warm and glorious afternoon thereafter. Those that stayed home missed out and it did rather turn the event into a damp squibb.
So all in all… yes Prescott in July it was very hot , very hot. But it was much better than the alternatives, so shut up and pass the ice cream!