Compton Abbas Lunch Meet

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  Southern Section diary

Firstly, we would like to thank James for arranging the ride-out to Compton Abbas airfield. We have to say, James, you missed a cracking day out.

Unfortunately, dear reader, we understand that James came to grief on a cattle grid that Cornwall CC conveniently placed, on a tight bend, on the exit of a major dual carriageway, rendering his bike unroadworthy for today’s event. Fortunately, James came out relatively unscathed and nobody else fell foul of this daft piece of highway engineering.

Meeting at Bahnstormer, Alton, the day started overcast and too early for us, arriving at 9.50am. The rest of party, it turned out, comprised of Erica and Paul who joined us about 15 minutes later. Following the route largely planned by James, Erica lead us through the Hampshire countryside, on to The Haven for a rendezvous with Tim and Neil.

Following a brief discussion, it emerged that Compton Abbas was right on Tim’s doorstep and he knew several routes to lead us through. Agreeing a moderately twisty approach, we followed the classic, Orange R90S, briskly through the country lanes. There was time for a brief stop to admire the Fovant Badges, a series of images of Army Regimental Badges, hewn out of the side of the green, Wiltshire Downs, as memorials to fallen soldiers and now defunct regiments. The images are spectacular but, as Tim advised, are only there because of the work of local volunteers maintaining them
Meeting the rest of the group
On our departure from the monument, we were offered ‘the quick route’ or ‘the zig-zag road’ route. The challenge of the latter was too great and off we went. Personally, I have been down the road once before, but going up was another ball game. The series of hair-pins were extremely tight and, two-up, we made ‘full use’ of the road …and a little bit. But we like an opportunity to test our skills! Arriving at the top of the snakey bit, the road emerged from under the leafy canopy onto a plateau of open fields and spectacular views across the Wiltshire countryside.

Arriving at Compton Abbas Airfield, although tucked away, it was clear that, judging by the car park, this was a popular venue. Lunch was excellent, the company enjoyable and the post-prandial entertainment of aircraft movements and wing-walking topped the visit off. Perhaps, the only disappointment was Erica’s refusal to volunteer to demonstrate her wing-walking prowess.
The Fovant Badges
Planning our respective getaways, Tim offered various routes including the kind offer of a stop-off at Chez Marshall for a cuppa and tour of his workshop. This was accepted and off we went in the brilliant afternoon sunshine. Tim has a quite some facility in his garage including several  BMWs, a ‘work in progress, 1951 Sunbeam S8, and even a full, 4 post, vehicle ramp. By the time we had had the tour, sadly, we had no time for the brew but thanks go Tim and everybody else, including James, for organising such an enjoyable day.

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