Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 – Sywell Aerodrome

Date: Saturday November 24th 2012
Location: Sywell Aerodrome & The Aviator Hotel, Northamptonshire
Weather: Very wet and foggy!

The Build-Up

Organising this year’s Vel Satis Owners Club UK meet for late November was bound to involve the weather entering the equation at some point – and indeed it did. But considering that large swathes of England and Wales were covered in flood water, the turnout was pretty decent. Nine Vel Sati and thirteen hardy souls made the trip to Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. We salute each and every one of you and very much appreciate you having made the effort. For those who didn’t make it in the end, owing to the awful weather, illness, family problems and one case of a very poorly Vel Satis, we missed you and hope you will be able to make it to one of the meets in 2013.

Click to WATCH SIX VIDEOS from the meet

Sywell Aerodrome, The Aviator and lots of Vels

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It’s a popular venue with other car clubs, owing to its fairly central location, excellent access to both the M1 and to great rural roads, and its quirkiness. Sywell Aerodrome is home to a splendid little airfield, hangars, a hotel, a bar and restaurant and also an aviation museum. We didn’t go to the trouble of asking the museum to open up specially for us on such a grim day, but it’s nice to know they would have done. The nine Vel Satis cars parked up in a line outside the aviation museum. An old fighter plane conveniently parked at one end added to the aura. All we members then piled into the warmth of the Aviator bar for several teas, coffees and the like, chatting about our cars, backgrounds and all kinds of other things, before heading into the restaurant for our pre-booked lunch. It was great being surrounded by all things aviation, from wall paintings and posters to large displays of memorabilia and artefacts. We would like to thank the staff at Sywell and the Aviator for their hospitality.

What rain? Let’s go for a drive!

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Vel Satis owners are, by and large, a committed lot, so we weren’t going to let the weather prevent us from going for a drive along the pre-planned route. David H took some great footage of all the Vels snaking out of the car park in convoy. The first port of call was Pitsford Reservoir. A Lexus was inconsiderately (only joking) parked in the causeway layby, but fortunately, the main car park next to the water was completely empty. Oh, except quite a lot of geese, ducks and a few swans. They promptly cleared off and we all took umpteen photos each before climbing back into our cars out of the rain, to continue the route. It saw us meander through the gorgeous, picturesque villages and towns of Lamport, Maidwell and the historic Naseby with its battlesite, before cutting west through Creaton, then down towards Spratton, a brief stop-off at the Brampton Valley Way Country Park car park, then east to Brixworth and back to Sywell. For us Vel Satis drivers, it was marvellous to be part of a convoy of such rare, distinctive cars. For onlookers, it was equally a spectacle, with one motorist in particular having to proverbially pinch himself nine times as we all drove past. The route itself worked out well, taking in the aforementioned locations over a distance of 30 miles, driving past lots of thatched, sandstone buildings, with barely any other cars on the road to spoil the occasion. That’s one thing we can thank the weather for, then!

Good times and then goodbyes

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After the drive, all members bar one came back to Sywell for more drinks and good-humoured chatting. Only three out of the nine cars in attendance this year were present at last year’s club meets, so it was fantastic to get to know six new cars and their owners. As always with Vel Satis Owners Club get-togethers, the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming and we all gelled very well. Our group had a somewhat international flavour, with four nationalities represented. Dave Ardley, a regular on the Vel Satis forum, brought along his whopping collection of mostly-eBay-sourced Vel Satis memorabilia, and David H brought a few items along too. Inevitably, it got dark quite early and many of the members had considerable distances to travel to get home. Fortunately, they all had problem-free, safe journeys, and we thank them all once again for coming along to this year’s meet at Sywell. New friends made, mutual admiration for the Vel Satis stoked further – we look forward to seeing you all along with additional new members next year! Take good care ‘til then and happy Vel Satis-ing!

Oliver, Luke & the two Daves

Attendees:

Oliver (3-litre diesel Initiale)
David (3-litre diesel Initiale)
Isaac (3-litre diesel Initiale)
Bob (3-litre diesel Initiale – with sunroof!)
Mike (3-litre diesel Initiale – 2005 model!)
Robert (2.2-litre diesel – converted to Initiale!)
Paul (3.5-litre petrol Initiale)
Dave (3.5-litre petrol Initiale – V5 WTF plate)
Roger (3.5-litre petrol Initiale – LPG)

Feedback:

“We are now safely at home. Weather on our way back was terrible, but there was no incident on motorways, so we manage to do it in a little bit than 3h + a stop. With a little trip to Chester on our way to the meeting, Vel’s clock show 530 miles and 42mpg. Not bad I suppose. It was a great pleasure to meet you all and to spend this few hours in such a good company. We both really enjoy this day, and it was definitely worth the driving! See you all on the next – 4th Vel Satis meeting :) Here is a link to flickr page with some selected photos. I will send a package to Oliver tomorrow as he requested :) Enjoy!
Robert & Kasia”

“Dear Oliver,
I must say that coming down to that meeting at the location was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed the trip, the location and the people. Above all, I salute your courage to put the event together. I also admit that behind every successful man is a woman. Thanks to your wife for the support throughout the period I was over. What about your parents? They have been wonderful supporting your course. The meeting was an avenue of joy…meeting with people of similar vehicle and with senses of humour. I actually saw 2 vel satis on motorway wheile returning from the meeting. 05 and 03 reg. The 03 went on the Heathrow M25 while I went through Dartford crossing M25. Expect the pictures and many thanks for the wonderful planning.
Kind Regards, Isaac”

“Oliver,
Just a quick line to say thank you for a most enjoyable day on Saturday – even with the appalling weather! I enjoyed meeting yourself and the rest of the group and appreciate the effort that goes into organizing such an event. Always amazes me what a cross section of people are drawn together by one make of car! Certainly provides interesting conversations! Hopefully will see all again next year.
Regards, Roger”

“Dear all,
Absolutely wonderful day up at Sywell despite the weather. Well done Ollie!! What a great venue (loved the Art Deco and a aviation details throughout). Really great to meet up with such a wonderful bunch of folk and fantastic to see all the cars lined up and cruising on that very scenic (no Renault pun intended) drive. Looking forward to the next one….. So, to Ollie, Isabel, Robert, Kasia, Bob (sunroof) Smith, Issac, Paul (7 foot Russian – love the black Vel), David and Mrs H, Roger (great to see a lowered Vel). Mike, Moira…..
Thank you – Hope you all had a safe trip back and see you all again sometime soon. I’ll get my photos up sometime soon too (Fantastic shots there Kasia and Rob!)
Dave”

“I must say that Moira and I both thoroughly enjoyed attending our first Vel Satis Owners Club meeting. It was great to see so many VSs lined up in a row, and also to drive in the middle of a 9 vehicle VS convoy. The venue you chose was excellent, but the best part of the day was the interesting and friendly group of people that we met from so many different different backgrounds. The Vel Satis does seem to attract a nice set of owners.
Mike & Moira

“Oliver,
Just a quick note to thank you for organising a fun day, it was such a shame about the weather! It was great to meet some new friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the company. I saw Paul drive past me as I walked out of Surbiton station the other day, tried to catch him but he got away.
Best Regards, Bob Smith

“Hi Oliver,
It was very nice and warm meeting, great I could take part in it. I enjoyed our meal, local tour with photos, and I really liked to talk all day about VS, usually my friends could not coop with lots of technical information). Journey back was not bad.
Best regards, Paul”

Vel Satis Owners Club Nov 2012 Sywell (Northants) Meet – Videos

All videos embedded on this page are Copyright © David Hammond

All videos embedded on this page are Copyright © David Hammond

9 Responses to Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 – Sywell Aerodrome

  1. Pingback: Vel Satis Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 – Sywell Aerodrome | vel-satis.org  | Owners Forum, Photos, Reviews, For Sale & Parts

  2. kontir says:

    Greeting from Hungary
    wonderful cars, fantastic company….:) I congratulate the organizers!

    I wish you a Merry Christmas
    Agnes (velsatis2.0t 2002)

    • Team says:

      Thank you very much, Agnes! It is great to hear from a Vel Satis owner in Hungary! In the UK, there are very few 2.0T models. I am glad you like the photos and information about our meeting at Sywell. Best wishes and greetings in return :-)

  3. I really wanted to come down from Aberdeen, but my Avantimes had other Ideas. I have just watched the videos and must say I will be at the next meeting if it’s in the UK.

    • Team says:

      Cheers, Bernard! Glad you enjoyed the videos and other info on our Sywell meet. We would love to see you and your Vel at a meet in 2013. Best wishes until then and take care.

  4. I was surprised that there were no 2ltr turbo petrol Privilege cars there, but then I’ve just checked the How many left web site and see there are only 14 of us registered anyway. I am hoping to organise a small gathering in the central belt of Scotland for next year, with the Renault Owners Club, Avantime Owners Club, Renault Alpine Owners Club and Club Alpine Renault. I’m sure it will be quite a sight to have such cars gathered in one place. I’ll let you know how things go.

    • Team says:

      That sounds like a great idea, Bernard – go for it and keep us posted! Brian Neil, who came to the mini-meet we had in December 2011 at Tebay, was interested in organising a VSOC Scotland meet in the Trossachs. I’ll see if he’s still keen to do that, too.

      Re the 2-litre, it’s the rarest variant, for sure. But strangely enough, I was speaking to a David this morning, who owns a 2.0T which came with all the trimmings, including a sunroof.

  5. grandadkeith says:

    Hi,just come into the house from under my snow covered three wheel v e l,Blue with cold and really fed-up,then i found the pictures of the meet which cheered me up no end.You must organise the next meet at a more favorable time of year so that i can bring my caravan to a site nearby and attend.The 13 brave souls at this one deserve medals.

    • Team says:

      Good afternoon Keith. Your comments are very kind and I’m glad reading about and seeing pictures and videos of our meeting cheered you up. I’m sorry your Vel is poorly at the moment with a wheel off while you try and sort the suspension. I’m sure you’ll get there in the end. And yes, we’ll try and organise a meet for Spring/Summer 2013, so you can come along and stay locally. You’re on! Best wishes. Oliver

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