|Posted by Marie & Buster on March 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM|
On Saturday 16th April, Buster, Marie, Clive, Rick, Julie, Marcus, Cathie and Shaun met up with Bob, Sue & Gavin from the Jubilee club at Dover docks for the trip over to Arras for the 37th Car show. We were booked on the 9.25 ferry, the Pride of France - first stop was for breakfast, it was a bumpy crossing over, but none of us lost our footing!! although Julie came close one time whilst carrying hers and Rick's breakfast tray!
Once in France we all regrouped and followed Bob down to Arras. We could see that northern France had loads more snow than us, it was piled up along the roadside and at times was higher than our MG's!! We made good time to the hotel, parked up in the main square and went off to check into the hotel Ibis. Once there the lads then took the cars off to the show to park them up over night as they had supplied security overnight.
Once back we went off for a well deserved drink! We found a Irish bar in the square so all piling in we had a afternoon of relaxing, talking and some drinking the Guinness! Later that evening we found a nice little restaraunt and afterwards found our way back to the Irish Bar to do some early St Patricks Day celebrations with the locals and to celebrate Marcus' birthday!
The weather was quite good, although cold, and only a small shower of rain on the Sunday. We were parked up outside in the huge car park. There was a lot of interest in our cars especially when Marcus opened up his bonnet and the other lads duly followed suit! There was a very large hall full of ‘spare parts’ for all makes of cars, and a good show of ‘interest’ cars in the other hall where the 'selected' cars we on show. We stopped off at the Franch MG club and spoke to the members there, some of us enjoyed a glass of wine and some nibbles with them. These two halls were also very busy and it was difficult to walk around and take photos. Buster managed to purchase some polish, which he tried out straight away on some of our engine! much to the amusement of the locals, some of whom thought he was giving a demonstration!
Once we had had enough, we decided to drive back to the hotel, and park up in the hotel car park for the last night. Back in the hotel, the talk soon turned to food! and it was off to the local Kebab and burger place for something to eat. After a quick shower and change it was off out, now where to go.....uhmm Back to the Irish Bar for some more Guinness and drinks... well today was St Patricks Day afterall..
Next morning we left Arras and made our way off to St Omer to visit the 'La Couple' in Helfaut. It's a secret base at the heart of Second World War history.
The dome is 72m in diameter, 5.5m thick, 55,000 tonnes of concrete! destined to protect the room for preparing the launch of the V2 rockets.
As we walked around this exhibition you could hear the sounds of the construction and shellings. It's one objective: to destroy London. We entered the tunnel where the trains were loaded up with V2's, and a lift took us up 42m so we were under the dome. There were 2 cinemas where we watched 'Nord-Pas-de-Calais' in German hands slide show and the 'Rex' 'New German weapons' film. Down some steps there was an exhibition showing the invasion, Occupation, Collabroation, Persercution, Resistance, Repression, then the Liberation and finally the deportation and genocide area. There is a very moving Memorial to the deportees and executed of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Projected on the wall is a replica of where people were shot in the citadel of Lille, and a poignant letter of a young 21 year old teacher, 3 hours before falling under the German bullets is read out aloud. Also some displays of items found from that time.
Onto the next area, through a long tunnel there is a projection and re-enactment of how the bombs were erected, timed, filled with exposives and fuel, then moved through to the launch area.
That being the end, we stopped of for some refreshments before heading off towards Calais, to visit some of the hypermarkets before getting on the ferry for home.
Once off the ferry, we called into the Duke of York for some food and then off to the Swingate for the club meeting!! before finally getting home for some rest and relaxtion!
Many thanks to Marcus, Cathie, Rick, Julie, Clive & Shaun for making it a fantastic week-end away, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and Here's to the next one! To be sure!That's to be sure!!
There are lots more photos of our trip in the photo gallery!