Classic Nostalgia at Shelsley Walsh
Ten years ago, if anyone had told me that I would be stood in the rain, watching cars driving as fast as they could up a hill and actually enjoying myself, I would have thought that they were crazy. Yet there I was last weekend at Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, enjoying the Classic Nostalgia weekend.
The warning signs were there from the start. On our first date, Rich told me all about his old VW (complete with many photos), against the advice of his friends I believe! The red flags (or should that be checkered flags?) that cars were going to be part of my life whether I liked it or not, had been raised. I have tried to take more of an interest – but the drone of F1 cars would often send me to sleep on the sofa on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb is different to F1 though. The 1,000-yard course up a slope with an average 1 in 9 gradient relies on power. The Classic Nostalgia weekend featured vintage and retro cars (the difference in these two categories depends on the age of the car apparently!) climbing the hill as fast as they could.
As you can probably see from my photos, it rained for pretty much the whole weekend. However, a bit of rain doesn’t put off car enthusiasts, so everyone there was genuinely interested in the cars. This was particularly evident in the paddock area, which all race-goers had access to. There were all sorts of different cars here. Obviously Rich was in his element, but the girls enjoyed looking at all the cars too. Emily decided that the coolest cars were those which had the most headlights, whereas Freyja really likes red cars.
I’m not great with makes and models of cars, but more than happy to discuss cars on the same level as the girls – i.e. “look at that red car with 4 lights on the front!” and this was how we chatted happily whilst Rich tried to take a few (lots) of photos of different cars. Unfortunately for him, Freyja doesn’t really understand why anyone would want to take a picture of a car without her being stood in front of it! As we were being kindly hosted by Stratstone Club, the girls and I were able to make use of their covered seating area with childrens activities whilst Rich carried on enjoying the cars.
The theme for the weekend was “F1 Through the Ages” and there was a display of modern and classic F1 cars in the paddock. This included the 1992 Williams FW14B in which Nigel Mansell won the 1992 championship, which even I will admit was pretty cool to see. It is fascinating to see how F1 cars have evolved over time.
We started the day watching the racing from the grandstand in the Stratstone enclosure. Here we had a great view of the start line and the girls were able to see the cars really easily. Later on in the day, we decided to walk up the hill and watch the racing from there.
Despite the rain, we didn’t get too wet. We had our waterproof coats and wellies, but the trees in the beautiful woodland surroundings offered shelter. Emily did moan about walking up the hill – but she moans about walking in general! However, there were lots of spots to stop for a rest, or to just sit and watch the racing. Shelsley Walsh is the oldest motorsport venue in the world, and it must also be the most picturesque!
Rich was going to enjoy this event regardless, but I was amazed at just how much the girls enjoyed it too. I would happily go back the Shelsley Walsh again – I would love to see the cars going up the hill in dry weather. They do have various events on over the year. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with children (including man-sized ones) who like cars. It seems like there will be more car-related events in my future!