Report by Chris Simpson
Last year I was encouraged to join the Sevens to the Sea event by a good friend, Nick Turley assuring me I would not be disappointed. He was certainly right and so we immediately put our entry in for the 2017 event which we successfully completed on 9th April.
The event starts from Hartsholme Park close to Lincoln city centre and finishing on the esplanade in Cleethorpes. Entrants lined up for a 9.00 am start on a spacious grass area within the park grounds. Signing takes place at the park cafe, greeted by members of the committee, with hot drinks and breakfast sandwiches being served. The drivers briefing was presented by Peter Rowlands, secretary of the meeting and Paddy Malone, course organiser. Unknown to the organisers they were presented with a late challenge, a professional cycle road race which was also taking place on parts of the route, however after some route changes alterations were provided in the final instructions.
Typical of the detail by the organisers the Lady Mayoress of Lincoln was invited to welcome everybody and flag all the cars off. Within a mile of the start we hit a busy A46, however within 4 miles we proceeded down a single track lane to the beautiful village of Burton by Lincoln. A simple easy to use road book takes everyone over the 98.6 mile trip. Avoiding all local towns we arrived at our first stop for coffee at the Black Horse pub at Donnington on Bain. After coffee more superb lanes take the cars south, within 3 miles we take a left turn to head north east within striking of Caldwell Park circuit.
The route proceeds taking in what must be some of the most beautiful undulating agricultural land in the UK. Another 27 miles of beautiful lanes and we enter the village of Walesby for the lunch stop in the village hall. We are welcomed by a number of friendly locals and members of the village hall committee. Everyone is encouraged to bring along a picnic lunch which is then consumed in the hall, however with the most superb weather many eat out on the grass verges.
After lunch we soon encounter a road closure at the Claxby Moor level crossing, a quick look at the map and a 4 mile detour takes us back on route. We are now not far off the coast and the finish but approaching Normanby Lodge we are stopped by a police road block for the cycle race. Chance for a break and a chat whilst watching the racing cyclists go by at break neck speed. More beautiful villages and scenery a further 23 miles and we are entering a very busy Cleethorpes, the sun has brought everybody out for the day. The crowds watch the cars enter the short drive down the esplanade and the finish to a fantastic run.
Most participants stay the night at Kingsway Hotel providing some of the cars with undercover parking, the staff are friendly providing a comfortable overnight stop. For dinner 52 sit down at The Petit Delight restaurant for an excellent dinner, this brings to an end a great day of vintage motoring covering some of Lincolnshires most scenic country lanes. It is certainly a great promotion for the county of Lincolnshire.
This event is a credit to the Lincolnshire Group, the committee taking much care, time, and attention into its organisation and is most evident throughout. Long live this event which I most recommend to other Pre War Austin 7 owners.
Pre War Austin Seven Yorkshire Group.