Saturday, 6 June 2015

Planning Visit to Blenheim Palace and Bicester Heritage.


2016 is the next year that the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register will set out to hold our next All Morgans' Day car rally.

Following todays visit to Blenheim Palace, where we have been warmly welcomed, David Harris and I are pleased to announce that we have booked Sunday 3rd July 2016 as the date for your diaries.

We look forward to making it our biggest event yet being able to exceed here the 220 maximum of last year.

Not being able to use our normal venue, we decided to try and find a similar location where we would be welcomed and where we able to locate our 220 or so Morgans in Display Format 

Having found such a venue and been welcomed with our requests and plans, during our visit here on Thursday 4th June, my colleague David and I decided make a visit to check out the facilities and ensure our assumptions would work. At 8am I set out to drive the 107 miles from home on the south coast to Woodstock.

Here I made a comfort stop at Chieveley Services on the A34  

On arrival at Woodstock, the home of Blenheim Palace, I waited for my Colleague to join me at the Side Gate before making our way into the palace grounds.

My colleague soon joined me and led the way to our meeting place.

Here we are making our way through the parkland

Across the Lake I spotted our destination on the left and the bridge which features in our Parking Plan.

The massive grounds are magnificent 

Here we are closing on the 'Flagstaff Gate park allocated to disabled and coaches and today, us visitors.

Here we have turned onto the main driveway where the road also contains pedestrians walking from the public car park. 

We had considered using this are for our display parking but with the curving through roadway cutting across it we discounted using the area immediately.

Just around the Corner is our destination. The Grand Court will feature as the main parking place for our early arrival Morgans. Its wonderful structure will provide the perfect backdrop.

Turning 108% we see the Main Drive which will also feature in our Display Parking but only utilising the area down to the Bridge.

The Lorry is offloading a temporary Pontoon for some rowing sculls races being held on the lake during the weekend. 

If we manage to fill the other two areas we will be able to utilise this whole area for both parking and locating any Trade Stands.

Walking across one of the Inner Courtyards we notice the Champagne Bar Wagon which will be included in our facilities.

The whole of this area will become a Morgan Display Parking location.

This view indicates the vastness and width of the Grand Court.

These end areas remain free of cars and a fenced area in the distance opposite is retained for the Duke of Marlborough to park his car. 

I decided to take a walk to check out the facilities 

The sign gives away my destination.

As with the rest of the Palace, the toilets are in fine fettle.

The Gift Shop is very large and full of interesting objects with the coffee shop located at the far end.

The Ironwork on this main gateway is stunning.

Following a light lunch, we made our way through a small side archway to the formal garden

At the head of the garden is the Restaurant outside seating area.

One of the magnificent statues.

Back through the archway to the Grand Court

In the centre of the Grand Court this useful signpost will need to be avoided during parking.

Job Done! we make our way out of the park .

On the way we pass the miniature railway which travels from the Palace to the Pleasure Gardens

As we near the exit gate we pass the Circus which we were interested in assessing as it will be in action again next year when we will be there. 

The notice board indicates the facilities available in the Pleasure Gardens.

We departed Blenheim to make our way to our second appointment in Bicester, some 14 miles away.


The Airfield showing the outline of the perimeter road with the old runways just visible under the grass. 

The original Gatehouse is now the Reception Centre and Administration Offices.

Our Host, Tiggy, was actually working in the office next door.

The 'Scramble Bell'. Imaging the massive increase in activity when this was rung in the past.

The Main Drive through the centre of the old buildings.

Another view along the Main Drive

A group of Austin 7's. making a visit

More offices immediately opposite the Gate House

One from the Website, taken outside one of the business showrooms.

Another from the Website showing the Visitors Display Parking area in front of these refurbished garages.

One of the four original Aircraft Hangers.

The 'Historit' Car Storage business Landrover.

Ready to go in for storage.

More Garages due for renovation.

One of the Original RAF Towing Tractors is still in use today.

The Hangar Sliding Door mechanism are still operational.

The second of the Largest Hangers.

More Classic Cars outside a business unit.

Another Hanger Sliding Door Mechanism.

One of the Fully Restored Garage Units.

All Listed Buildings but this one needs a little more TLC than most.

Mature Trees interspersed among the old buildings.

Back at the Gate House our Morgans have been split by a lovely Volvo of the 'Simon Templar' era.

 Before we left for home I visited the facilities here. 
As I observed the scene before me I wondered about the many brave RAF Men over those 'War Years' who may have passed a few moments here as well.

Another tour over with our formal visit planned for September. Hope you found it interesting.