2011 Rally - Rushall, Norfolk

The eagerly awaited annual rally must have been one of the wettest on record, but this did nothing to dampen the spirits of all those who attended - some 30 odd souls in all with AJS cars the furthest travelled of which was "Dolly" which had been driven by Mark the entire journey from Cork. It was especially good to welcome our President "Young Jim" and family. Everyone congregated on Friday evening in the Half Moon in Rushall which was the chosen hostelry for the weekend and enjoyed a "catch up" over dinner. 

Saturday dawned with the first expedition. The first stop was for coffee at Langley Abbey a 12th century monastrythe remains of which have been splendidly restored. Reedham Ferry followed with a ferry crossing over the River Yare in driving rain and some of the bleakest Norfolk weather imaginable. 

Thence to Fairhaven for lunch which gave those who wished to explore the woodland walks and gardens and experience a trip on the private broad - again in somewhat damp conditions. 

Spirits damp but still undaunted we resumed our journey through the villages of South Norfolk and headed for the museum of 100th Bomb Group close to the end of the days expedition.  This museum commemorates the prescence of the USAAF Eighth Air Force at Thorpe Abbots airfield from 1942 to 1945. the museum spread across several buildings including the control tower and housesan impressive collection of memorabilia, personal records, photos and the like. Standing in the control tower it was possible, even today to visualise an aircraft appearing through the dusk which created a slightly eerie atmosphere. 

The atmosphere lightened with the conviviality of the annual dinner/AGM held at the Half Moon on Saturday evening. 

Notwithstanding the socialising of the previous evening everyone emerged on Sunday morning to embark on the second leg of the rally, the first stop of which was the Garrett Works at Leiston and in particular the Long Shop Museum. This stop gave a photo opportunity for a club line up. 

We were given a short talk about the company and the Garrett family by whom it was founded over 200 years ago before making our way around the extensive displays of machinery and steam engines for which the works were famous. The recently renovated Grade II Long Shop now run by a charitable trust was the highlight of the visit as one of the first production lines for steam engines. The engineering fame of the family was matched by the fact that Elizabeth Garratt was the first woman doctor. 

Leaving Leiston the convoy headed to the Eels Foot Inn for lunch and thence to a very grey beach stop at Dunwich with no temptation whatsoever to swim. 

Two days packed with local interest and variety and without major mechanical incident failure culminated in a wonderful supper  at our hosts. A great weekend over for another year - congratulations and thanks to Peter & Suzi for all their hard work and careful planning - only got lost twice!!!

Photographs of the Norfolk Rally 

Click here to see photographs of the Norfolk Rally