Monday, 10 September 2012

A 'Brideshead' Experience..

On Sunday Dad, Mark and I went to a Vintage Sports Car event in the shadow of the Malvern Hills.  It was a lovely - slightly quirky - day where we saw loads of beautiful and unique cars.  The event took place on the drive of Madresfield House - a private property on the edge of Malvern.

Madresfield House is interesting in lots of different ways.  The author Evelyn Waugh stayed there regularly and it is said to be the real 'Brideshead' of 'Brideshead Revisited' fame.  When the book was made into a television series in the 1980s the owners were asked if the house could be used for filming.  They declined so the film makers went to Castle Howard instead.
In the 1940s the house was idenfied as the home of the British monarchy, should there have been an invasion during World War 2.  I've also been told that some very interesting, 'Profumo-style' parties were held there during the 1960s....!
The Vintage Sports Car Club have been holding a rally on the drive since 1947.  On Sunday 50 cars from the 1919 - 1936 era carried out a series of 'mobility tests' against the clock.  It was so interesting to see such rare cars actually moving on tarmac.
The parking areas were as interesting as the paddock. The decent weather encouraged lots of people to bring out their 'pride and joy'...
I was very amused to see that people brought picnics that were completely in keeping with the style of the event.  At lunchtime tables were set with real linen and cut glass, and I saw more than one group of people snacking on quails eggs, salmon and cold chicken.  Plenty of people had interesting bottles of wine and one lady had a boxed bottle of Bollinger!  My 'normal' picnic seemed a bit tame in comparison...!
Normally motorsport events can be a bit expensive to attend.  This event had almost 1930s entrance fees - £3.00 for all three of us AND parking for the car.  Not a bad price for a really alternative day's entertainment!  It was a great distraction from some of the hassles of the first week of term.


  1. Hello Jan:
    What a wonderful day out and, as you say, exceedingly good value.

    Madresfield is a house we should much like to visit, knowing it only from occasional articles in 'Country Life' and similar publications. But, as far as we are aware, the public are never permitted into the house and the grounds are rarely open other than for this annual fun event.

    The cars in your last photograph look simply splendid.

  2. What a lovely day you had. Other people's picnics always look better than ours don't they but I'm sure yours was equally delicious. Have a good week.
    Patricia x

  3. Dear Jan, The property is amazing. What luck to have the opportunity to visit. The cars and picnic lunches are wonderful as well.

    I don't believe I have thanked you for the award. I am afraid you caught me mid water crisis and trying to get away for a planned holiday. I will acknowledge it on my blog soon. Again thank you and I apologize for my negligence. Bonnie

  4. What a fabulous day out - and such a bargain price!

  5. What a wonderful day out, and in such beautiful surroundings. Hope your return to school has gone well.