Thursday, 24 March 2016

All Morgans' Day 2016 Planning Meeting Yesterday

It is still three months to go until 3rd July when over 320 Morgans will gather at Blenheim Palace. 

Yesterday was our final planning meeting with the Blenheim Team and our co-ordinator there, The Operations Manager 

To avoid the morning Log Jam on the M27 to the South of Winchester, I decided to travel up on Tuesday afternoon on what was a warm and sunny afternoon.

With a new as yet untested camera on my lanyard I avoided taking any shots until I saw this Virgin Hot Air Balloon nearby to the A34 over South Oxford.  

My destination was a hotel on the A4260 Banbury Road north of Oxford near to Steeple Ashton at Hopcrofts Holt. 
It was a low cost venue and I enjoyed my stay there. It was good to hear that a number of Morgan Owners have also booked in here for our event weekend.

The Holt.

While there I spotted a sign for a Canal Basin nearby so decided to go exploring.

The Basin was just over a mile along the B4030 and I could not see a way of getting near so I turned into the village of Lower Hayford and parked in Church Lane for a photo or two. 
The sky had become overcast which is how it would remain for the rest of my visit.

 St Mary's Church

 In the opposite direction is Hayford House

 This time I moved into The Square to be outside of The Old School House now converted to a home.

 Across the Square is The Red Lion Pub. Had I not been meeting my colleague at the Hotel I would have sampled the local hospitality there. 

 Heading out of the village.

 Travelling back I passed a small lane into the Basin but later realised that it is actually a Narrow Boat Hire business there.

The Railway runs along the edge of the Canal so I pulled into the Station Car Pak and walked back up the roadway.

From the Road Bridge I could see the whole basin and the Hire Company Offices 

 To the south is the rest of the Canal and some moorings.

 Heading back towards the Hotel I decided to take a look at Steeple Aston which is located on the edge of the River Cherwell Valley

A nice little hill climb to get into the village. 

The buildings are mostly of this beautiful natural stone  

Quite a few of the buildings also have Thatched Roofs. 

 The narrow road winds between the buildings

 Outside st Peter & St Pauls Steeple Aston

 Nore exploration opportunities but not this evening. I head back to the hotel. 

In the Hotel Lounge I noticed this cabinet of Dolls House proportions. I enquired what it was and it apparently is of part of the Palace Hotel in London in Regency Times, once owned by this Hotels Owner.

In the Morning my colleague and I set off to take a cross country route to Woodstock and to Blenheim Palace for our meeting.

 Along a Single Track Lane heading for Wooton

 A pleasant mornings drive.

 Passing The Bear Hotel in the centre of Woodstock.

 Road Works making Woodstock difficult to get through.

Queuing at the Blenheim Palace Woodstock Gate. 

 My colleague is right behind me in the queue.

The Palace Building in the distance. 

 The misty view down the lake towards the bridge.

 The Lake from another angle

 Our Destination at the Flagstaff Car Park

 The Two of Us.

 After our meeting we take a walk around the venue to check our assumptions

 Assessing the slope in the land

 We will be filling this drive with cars set out in Le Mans fashion.

 Here we are locating the route of a shallow drainage pipe which we have to avoid putting any weight on. 

The pipe runs to the Lady in Red. 

Assessing the Depth of the HaHa 

 These Picnic Tables in our Trades Area have to be moved behind the trees.

Where the Picnic tables will be relocated to. 

The Blenheim Champagne Wagon and a Snack Bar will be behind these two trees.

Once my Colleagues had left for home I decided to use the opportunity to take some photos 

Outside of the Great Court 

 From the opposite angle

The View to the Lake and Woodstock.

 The View Along the Drive

 I then relocated myself to the Turning Area on the opposite side of the bridge which will be used by those cars parked on the drive. The view to the Palace.

 The view to the Obelisk.

 Next I risked causing a blockage as park broadside on the prow of the Bridge.

Unusually, we are asked to exit the park back through the Woodstock Gate. Immediately we can see why using the Woodstock route is not a good idea.

On my way home I made another cross country journey to the Richard Thorne Morgan Dealership at Grazeley Green just south of  Reading.  It was an interesting journey on almost empty country roads which is great for Morgan Motoring, despite some rough surfaces.

 Leaving the A34 on Cow Lane at East Ilsley 

 Nearing my Grazeley Green destination at Theale.

My journey home from there utilised the A32 Meon Valley route from South Reading to Hook, Odiham, Alton and Fareham. 


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