Discovering shere bliss

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Old-fashioned pursuits brought alive in a quiet Surrey village

When a friend invited me to a hill climb in Surrey I thought he mean rambling; instead we watched E-type, Bentley, ’Nash, Integrale, 2CV, Griffith and a puttering two-stroke 360cc Subaru slither up a narrow lane and disappear over the crest of the North Downs. An untimed event raising charity money, the Shere Hill Climb ran on a closed public road and attracted 123 cars to the normally quiet Staples Lane, offering sinuous bends, high hedges, straw bale chicanes and a magnificent view out across the Weald – if you weren’t trying to slow down before reaching the tree-tunnelled double downhill hairpin of the exit route.

It was Kop Hill without the historical precedent though, according to Julian Hunt’s gloriously detailed Motorsport Explorer, there was a climb near here in 1921. In fact the return loop took cars up it, that long A21 haul up to Newlands Corner.

With a stubble-field paddock, a burger van for refreshments and a ‘run what you brung’ ethos, this felt a bit like the Fifties – just enthusiasts eyeing each other’s cars and having some fun on a hill. Especially when the rain arrived. That made traction tough for the heavy hitters – the Jaguars, Healeys and Ferraris – and for the lone Morgan

Three-Wheeler with but one toe on the ground. It didn’t seem to affect the pre-war cars so much – a low-chassis Lagonda, the ex-Hawthorn Riley Ulster Imp, a polished AC Sports, and unusually an SS90 – but then no one was timing.

Replicas galore gathered mud as the rain fell – C, D, GT40 and two V12 Ferraris, a very persuasive Testarossa and a short wheelbase without the capital letters – while a McLaren MP4-12C and the AC Zagato prototype kept things up to date.

Organiser Esmond Foster (who once loaned me a Renault Turbo 2 for a day, a riotous roller-skate that never let on which way it was going next) says the road closure was no problem – until there was a backlash after extensive closures across Surrey for this year’s cycle races. “Then it became a nightmare! But when we made clear it was cars, not bikes, it went through.” That’s not a sentiment we hear often nowadays.

Having raised £10,000 for a local school and other charities, Foster aims for another event next September, with a longer course and better viewing: “We’re going to cut the hedge back!” That’s the sort of ‘facility enhancement’ I endorse, even if it took a helpful pal and a pressure hose to clean my chrome wires afterwards.

Gordon Cruickshank