Six club cars with twelve members took part in the Tour of Jersey organised by Barbara and me, mostly meeting at Chepstow to start our journey to Poole to board the fast ferry to St Helier. The route took us along country lanes and main roads avoiding motorways to Laycock village near Chippenham for coffee and it was here that the final members of the group joined us. After coffee and a walk around the village we set off for Shaftesbury to take in the local sights and have lunch. The Hovis boy must have had good legs to push his fully laden bike up Golden Hill!
Returning to the cars we set off towards Poole for our overnight stay ready for the early ferry crossing. To say it was a smooth journey would be far from the truth, in fact Jim, the gentleman sitting behind me, said he had never had a worse crossing in all the time he had been living in Jersey! People around me lying on the floor, children and adults being sick, just wonderful.
Jim had talked to one of the crew about the conditions and had been told that they had decided to continue to Jersey rather than return to Poole as we were more than mid way on the crossing. The irony of talking to Jim was he had just been staying at the Speech House Hotel and visited a friend in Yorkley (Yes you have guessed it Margaret Guest knew the people in Yorkley and had gone to school with Jim’s friend). As a result of talking to Jim we got an invite to the Pallott Steam Museum who were having an open day on the Saturday, tractors, classic cars & steam engines – the full works.(www.pallotmuseum.co.uk) Well that’s one day sorted I thought.
Leaving the ferry we travelled to our base at the Prince of Wales in Greve de Lecq, arriving in mid afternoon. Washed and refreshed it was time to meet in the bar for a pre-meal drinks. After a good meal we all felt a lot better and after making plans for the next day it was off to bed.
Jersey is only nine miles by five miles, so you are never very far from anywhere. The north is very much like the north Cornish coast and the south and east are predominately sandy beaches so is quite varied considering the total area of Jersey. The island is criss-crossed with narrow lanes so driving can get interesting when faced with tractors and sight-seeing buses, but with speed limits of forty, thirty and twenty mph no one is in that much of a hurry.
The members in the main went their separate ways on most days, with the exception of the Saturday morning Steam Fair, but we all got together in the evening to exchange stories of the days visits before eating in the restaurant.
All too soon the week was over and the return ferry journey was wonderfully calm, arriving in Poole promptly in the evening. After another overnight stay at the same hotel (Colin remarked that they hadn’t fixed the toaster since our first stay) We travelled back to the Forest, some members visiting Kingston Lacy (NT) on their way.
From the comments we received it would seem that everyone enjoyed the Jersey experience and some want to go back again!
Barbara and I would like to thank all the members who took part in the Jersey Tour. (And also the staff at the Prince of Wales who looked after us all so well.) Who knows we may get to do it again sometime.