When Philip Porter asked me if I was willing to navigate for him on the Berwick to Beverley stage of XK RBCD which took place on Sunday 25th June 2017, I couldn’t believe my luck!
I regarded myself as highly privileged to be taking part in this event, but later, the responsibility of what I had taken on kicked in and I felt quite nervous about letting Philip down.
Philip had intended to be very brave and drive an XK120 with aero screens for the 18 day event which would cover over 3600 miles around the coast of mainland Britain, but at the very last minute became conscious of the reality of spending what could potentially have been almost 3 weeks of driving in cold, wet clothes for around 8 hours a day.
The sensible decision was to take a fixed head coupe instead!
I must say, I was quite relieved about this, as my sense of adventure falls short of sitting shotgun in a bath of cold water, while being battered by icy wind and rain – and you never know on the north east coast what the weather might bring!
As it transpired, the weather was truly generous and at one point, as we drove along with both windows right down, Philip commented that he should have brought the convertible!
I am not keen on the looks of the XK120 fhc, but from a practical perspective, I found it an amazing car, and I am now genuinely in love with the XK120! I have always liked the look of the dhc, and every now and again I wish I had one, but I dismiss them as being out of my price range and take comfort in my XJ40 and X300. From now on, though, it is going to be a little harder to find that comfort!
I was very impressed with the refinement and ride quality, as compared to our TR6 which is 20 years younger. I would imagine that Jaguar really had the edge on everyone in those days, whereas now, perhaps they have caught up?
We set off from Marshall Meadows , just north of Berwick-upon-Tweed at 9.30am and when we arrived at Tickton Grange, Beverley at 5.50pm we were still speaking to each other, despite the occasional blip in my navigations!
Philip sets out a basic route for participants to follow but it does not have to be strictly adhered to, as he stresses it is meant to be for fun – there are no penalties or prizes, just the satisfaction of achievement and the joy of exploring our wonderful coastline in exquisite cars!
Because it is a Coastal Drive and Philip is the host, he prefers to stick to the route and stay as close to the coast as public roads will allow, hence the need for a co-driver. We had great fun following the coastline, driving along mile after mile of promenades, and through lanes which ran parallel to rugged coves and inlets.
Normally, in the interest of speed, I would head straight down the A1 and A19 to travel as far south as Beverley, in Yorkshire, so it was wonderful to discover all the places along the coast which I have heard of but never visited, and never thought I would. Places such as Whitley Bay, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough. Not to mention the myriad of small coastal villages and resorts that I was formerly completely unaware of!
My sincere thanks to Philip for inviting me to join him on an amazing and unforgettable adventure.
Due to its great success, Philip intends to make the Round Britain Coastal Drive, which is in aid of Prostate Cancer UK an annual event, and next it is the turn of the E-types again, so if you are interested in joining in, please email Louise Gibbs
A report on the entire XK Round Britain Coastal Drive, along with lots more pictures of coastal views, as well as XK’s, will follow.
|This is such an important cause and it is vital to raise awareness. Men need to get checked. Catching prostate cancer early is crucial. THANK YOU.|
The Round Britain Coastal Drive has already raised £34,221 in aid of Prostate Cancer UK
For more information please contact:
The International Jaguar XK Club
Tel: +44 (0) 1584 781588