Jaguars on the Barbican – Event Report 2013

The weather was with us all the way, for the second year of this recently established event, which was as successful as the first, with the 80 places being over-subscribed, and the promise of more places next year!
My first visit to this event, I was dubious about the prospect of having my treasured Jaguar left on the promenade at the mercy of the general public, but I am pleased to report that not a scratch was put on my car, and I will happily attend next year!
Staged along Plymouth’s waterfront, in the area known as The Barbican beneath Plymouth Hoe, this historic and well preserved area of Plymouth features cobbled streets and quaint buildings.
Much of the area is now pedestrianized, allowing the many cafés, bars and restaurants to provide open air seating and tables, some protected from the elements by glass partitions, canopies and umbrellas, although the only umbrellas needed on 2nd June 2013 were to protect from the sun!
With so many places to eat, drink and relax, complemented by the picturesque backdrop of ancient architecture, yachts and harbour, this was the ideal venue for a Jaguar display!
The atmosphere was quite something – bustling, exotic, moving, and genial, with a band playing live Jazz and the Jaguars intertwined with waterside cafés and shops.
I don’t think this event would work with any other marque – a foreign marque would not evoke the pride and conversation of passers-by in the same way that our Jaguars did, and even fellow British marques cannot claim the heritage or fame, nor conjour the passion and thrill of Jaguar.
This was a Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club joint initiative, having been started by Ian Luck of JEC Devon Region last year. It is to his credit for the thought of the idea of having Jaguars on the Barbican.
With no entry fees for exhibitors or visitors, the event showed to advantage The Barbican, the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, and the idea that there is a Jaguar for every lifestyle and every pocket, one observer commenting to me that he hadn’t realised how many different models Jaguar had produced over the years!
Youngsters were enthralled by the F-types and XK’s and older visitors reminisced over Mark II’s and E-types!
New Jaguars were represented by Plymouth’s recently established dealership, Roger Young who brought along an F-type and an XF Sportbrake, with exhibitors Jaguars from every price range, not that any were considering selling on the day!
Many exhibitors sat by their own Jaguar, ready and willing to answer questions about their car and the marque in general, making the day an interesting one for visitors, with the chance to learn about the cars.
Other exhibitors, like myself, chose to wander among the diverse range of exhibits, and learn more about their fellow Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club members cars. Visitors delighted in having their pictures taken alongside a favourite model!
The invitation was open to all JEC members, but exhibitors were predominantly from the Devon, Cornwall and Tamar regions.
The Team Sky XF Sportbrake was on display outside Rockets and Rascals Bicycle Emporium & Café typical of the many specialist shops in this historic part of Plymouth.
I was sorry to see only one XJ40 on display, which seems to follow a current trend, where this model is either poorly represented, or completely absent. Please don’t let us forget this worthy Jaguar model! Jim Randle has been invited to attend Bicton Park on 16th June, and it would be nice to have a display of XJ40’s in honour of his great contribution to Jaguar! Please contact JEC Devon Region for more information.
Surprisingly, the Series 1, 2 and 3 XJ6 and XJ12 saloons were also represented by one solitary example, which was a credit to its owner, and probably missed car of the day by a whisker!
Car of the Day, a magnificent Mark 2 3.4 in Carmen Red, owned by Mike Nicholls from Weymouth,  was chosen by Sarah O’Leary from the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership.

If I could recommend one thing, based on my experiences at Plymouth Barbican, it would be that other towns and cities should cash in on this as a way to pull in tourists and shoppers, and generally raise awareness of some of the very picturesque town and city centres, and other tourist spots, across England, Wales and Scotland.

All enquiries for next years event should go to Graham Searle, General Manager for the JEC, at JEC HQ, Bristol. Phone 0117 969 8186 or Email: Graham Searle


All information correct at time of publishing.


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