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Barkaways Tour


20 July, 2019

In addition to their annual Open Day, Barkaways, the independent Ferrari specialists in Kent, organise a driving tour for clients around the Kent, Sussex and Surrey countryside. The route is varied each time, taking in lightly trafficked scenic by-roads as much as possible, interspersed with the occasional spell on a dual carriageway, so that the cars could stretch their legs so to speak. The gatherings are limited to 20 cars on a first come first served basis, not only for logistical reasons, but also to try and engender a sense of camaraderie amongst the participants, which might get lost with a larger party.

This year’s run took place on Saturday 20 July, and after a week of warm, fine and dry weather, there was heavy overnight rain which continued at a reduced rate into the early part of the morning. However, the entrants remained undeterred and all turned up as scheduled at 9.00am for coffee and pastries, prior to the drivers briefing, handing out of the road book and the 10.00am departure in three groups, spaced out, with a lead car for each one. There was no stipulation that you had to ”follow my leader”, just in case a “pit stop” was necessary, one just had to be at the lunch venue by 13.00. Fortunately the rain had all but ceased by the time the first group took to the road, and the weather gradually improved, with the cloud clearing and the sun appearing as the tour continued, such that by lunchtime it was back to a typical summer’s day.

A leisurely lunch was taken in the conservatory at an old English pub-restaurant, the Nevill Crest and Gun in the village of Eridge Green near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. The original building boasts over 500 years of history, starting out as a building to house farm workers and livestock, and is now an attractive watering hole which is part of The Earl of Abergavenny’s Estate. Farewells said, everybody departed for their own respective destinations, after an entertaining and scenic drive exercising their steeds in like-minded company.

Keith Bluemel