Leeds Castle “Motors by The Moat” Report 2019

Kent & East Sussex
12 May 2019

Leeds last year was good, Leeds Castle in 2019 was even better with even more classic vehicles and even more to do. There were three Jet Ski stunt demonstrations on the Moat by Jonathan Kavenagh and his team, three stunt driving demonstrations from Terry Grant and more than 500 hundred classic and club cars to keep you entertained. There were multitudes of food stalls from converted vehicles as well as dealer stands including Lipscombe’s who had a rather envious Stelvio QV on display that I just had to have a sit in and listened to the fantastic Ferrari engine giving it a full 510 BHP. Totally unscheduled was a Spitfire in tandem with a U.S Air Force plane circling the display but again a sign that the weather and temperatures are improving.

What was there not to like? Exhibitors even had free tickets to look round and appreciate the castle itself, which has existed on the site and built on three islands in the River Len since 1119.

“The River Len rises at a spring in Bluebell Woods to the south-east of the village centre of Lenham two thirds of a mile from the source of the River Great Stour; both rise on the Greensand ridge and it is ten miles long entering the River Medway at Maidstone. The river flows in a generally westerly direction. Today it runs parallel with the M20 Motorway for much of the first part of its journey: it passes between the hamlet of Fairbourne Heath and Harrietsham; after Broomfield the river becomes the lake adjoining Leeds Castle. The River Len enters Maidstone south of Bearsted and its waters become the lake in Mote Park and it enters the River Medway about 1.1/4 miles beyond. The river used to power a number of watermills on the river itself and its tributaries in the parishes of Ulcombe, Leeds, Hollingbourne, Boxley and Maidstone”… but I digress and often do.

The castle has had an incredible history over the centuries and a quick visit to Wikipedia will fill in the gaps for you.

The Sunday of the two day show was glorious and the spring sunshine put in a consistent and warming presence. Attending Alfas and their owners were John Dray; Phil Davis; Amanda and Dave Norman; John Third; Craig Archer; Pierre Coussey and family including Phil who has just bought a Mito and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of him. Colin Craven: Adrian and Niki Fielding; David King and his wife in a Giulietta which replaced his GT which had been written off in an RTC. Richard D’Cruz;  Jeff Kaby; Colin Alexander with Cynthia and myself. As always there is a very good turnout from the section for this event and this year was no exception.

Attending on the Saturday was Chris Francis in his white 4c Spider, Don Gilkes in his black S4 Spider together with Luigi & Jacky Serra with the Giulietta. They all got very wet in a perfect re-creation of last year’s Saturday washout, history having repeated itself again two years in a row.

David King and his wife had a bit of a chat about their recently replaced GT and the new Giulietta and jolly good it looked too in white.

This weekend we had plenty of space for a gazebo (As opposed to Eastbourne a week earlier that didn’t) but sadly it was not permitted at this event. The weather however more than compensated for it and were all able to sit outside and put the world to rights like we all like to at such events and John Dray,  Our Chairman – John Third, Dave and Amanda Norman, Richard D’Cruz, Colin Craven and Phil Davis can be seen doing just that.

There was also a really good display from Terry Grant who is a Stunt Driver who performs at live events around the world. He is the holder of multiple world-records, including having executed the highest loop-the-loop in a car, the fastest two-wheel mile, the furthest barrel roll jump, the most doughnuts standing on the roof of a car, and the highest number of doughnuts in 100 seconds and certainly entertained at the show. Incidentally Terry Grant did the Aquabatic Challenge and got his 20th world record in a MiTo!

Later on we had Johnathan Kavenagh doing exactly the same but this time on the waters of the castle Moat. Although the photo is not mine and was taken during the event, it does show what a real professional can do with a jet-ski.

After that it was time for lunch and a bit of a chin wag with the other members as well as some photos of the owners with their cars. Phil Davis’ 4c was as popular as ever and accumulated lots of comment.

As did Colin Alexander’s series 4 spider… together with all the other Spiders on display.

Adrian fielding with his V6 Brera:

As well as our Club Secretary with his JTS Spider:

You will have to excuse my indulgence and apologies, again to those I missed but it was particularly good spider weather and let’s face it any excuse to get the hood down is a good excuse to show off your vehicle on such a lovely day. Richard D’Cruz did not miss the opportunity either and is quite renowned to getting the flags out and why not? I also was trying out some new club flags that can be seen in the background. General opinion is that they will need slight modification and I hope to get this right for the Hever show in June.

There were of course other Alfa’s on display from the club and I apologise if I haven’t included a photo but getting a good shot is often down to lady luck to get the right angle but I am sure I will get round to all of you in the coming months.

On the 25th, 26th and 27th of May we have The Deal Classic Music and Motors Show, The Historic Masters at Brands Hatch and a new show for this year, “Motorsport at The Palace” at the Crystal Palace Sprint circuit and organised by the Sevenoaks District Motor Club. AROCKES has attended there before in 2012 and below is a picture from a previous year’s display in 2012 it looks like the gazebo was the current one’s predecessor and also contains six other spiders. Research of the AROCKES archives by Jeff Kaby revealed first in line as Doug Field’s 2600 Spider, second being Doug Hodson’s Boat Tail Spider and then a London member’s Spider. The rest have succumbed to the vagueness of time but would be interesting to know if anyone has any ideas?

I hope to make it to two of these bank holiday events, so hopefully see you there.

Share this article