More of a blast than a break!
Pictures by David Marks and Letitia Mace
|Shetland: Take 1|
|Shetland: Take 2
Shetland Classic Motor Show 2016
Shetland: Take 3
For this one, the team got back together again, with 2 new additions, but this time David Marks had traded the Citreon SM for a Jaguar Mark VII
Tuesday 29th May 2018
After months of anticipation our Shetland experience began on Tuesday afternoon when Paul arrived in his Majestic, swiftly followed by Carl and Nina, for a pre-journey dinner at our local, where we were given an appropriate send off by our friends who were remaining on the mainland!
Wednesday 30th May 2018
An early start from ‘Jenner Towers’ was planned, with breakfast at a roadside cafe. Progress was partially hindered by thick fog which didn’t clear until we were well past Edinburgh!
After breakfast I abandoned Rob in the TR6 and opted for the comfort of the Sovereign Majestic where I stayed for the entire trip to Aberdeen.
En route we collected the 2 way radios for the Shetland Classic Motor Show officials and took them with us to Lerwick.
|Meanwhile, David Marks was on his way back to Holland in the Mark VII, having attended a Jaguar event in Norway at the invitation of Asmund Lindal, pictured right, the editor of the Norwegian Jaguar Club magazine.|
On hearing of the trip to the Shetland Classic Motor Show, Asmund had expressed an interest in attending and combing this with a pilgrimage to the sites and museum associated with The Shetland Bus
In return for the hospitality shown to him in Norway, David had agreed to bring Asmund to Shetland in an epic trip from Norway to Holland, across to Newcastle and then up to Shetland, via Aberdeen.
Bear in mind, of course, that David had set out for Norway from Nottingham on 19th May in a 1952 motor car – a truly epic journey!
As we boarded the boat to Shetland from Aberdeen that evening, news came that David and Asmund were safely ensconced on the Amsterdam to Newcastle overnight ferry.
Thursday 31st May 2018
Disembarking from the boat at 7am, the weather in Lerwick was glorious, and spirits were high. Despite having laid plans for our first day, this was soon to be re-arranged as Rob had immediately been confronted and asked to be back at Lerwick at 1.30pm for a radio interview!
Back in 1988, as the then Chairman of the Shetland Classic Motor Club, Rob was one of the instigators of the biennial show and it was felt by the current officials that his knowledge of the event and flair for public speaking made him the obvious candidate for the interview.
Having agreed to this, we left Lerwick in convoy, destined for breakfast at The Mid Brae Inn. A brief message from David and Asmund confirmed that they were off the Amsterdam ferry and en route to Aberdeen. We were all very conscious of time – any hiccups in their progress, and they would miss the boat from Aberdeen to Shetland that evening! We anxiously awaited regular updates from Asmund as David drove the Mark VII steadily northward to Aberdeen with a 5pm deadline.
After a hearty breakfasted at The Mid Brae Inn, we visited Mavis Grind and Eshaness as an introduction to Shetland, and then returned to Lerwick and checked into The Decca Self Catering (formerly Shetlands Radio Navigational Signal Station) which if not already superb, was elevated further by being positioned opposite Lerwick Brewery with retail sales onsite!
Leaving Nina, Carl and Paul in charge of beer acquisition and testing, Rob and I drove into Lerwick for Rob’s radio interview. The sun was scorching as Rob climbed into the TR6 on Hill Head, hood down, with local journalist John Johnston, from Shetland Radio. It was the hottest day in Shetland for 26 years, and apparently, Lerwick was the hottest place in the British Isles on that day!
Didn’t last though !!!
Friday 1st June 2018
Friday morning we awoke to thick fog, more typical of Shetland weather, and a common consequence of hot weather in the ocean bathed Shetland Islands.
Yesterday we had been on tentahooks, eagerly awaiting messages on the progress of the Mark VII, and were relieved when finally a call from David confirmed that they were at Aberdeen docks waiting to board the boat!
This morning, a corresponding call confirmed that they were about to disembark in Lerwick, so while Carl cooked breakfast for everyone, Rob went down to meet the boat. Returning through the fog, the only evidence of the impending arrival of the Mark VII was the sound of the TR6 as its 2.5 straight six purred up the hill.
Breakfast was a medley of introductions, renewing acquaintanceships, tucking into a generous Shetland breakfast, and general banter, after which we hastily climbed into our respective cars and drove to the ferry at Toft for a trip across to Yell and then onto Unst – the most northerly island in the UK!
We chose to explore Unst first, and work our way back, spending some time on Yell in the afternoon. As the fog cleared, the mists gave a mysterious and haunting look to the picturesque Shetland landscape.
|…….. sometimes of eachother!|
|Coffee time on Unst|
|Stopping at Bobby’s Bus Shelter on Unst|
|Refuelling the TR6 on Yell|
Two of the many things that have emerged from our trips to Shetland are a passion for piers and a memorable catch phrase, the latter of which will be frequently quoted and triggers happy memories in the years following the relevant trip! The 2014 catchphrase had been “That’s not a Classic!” after the gate man at Aberdeen docks spotted the 2007 Maserati Quattroporte V – not a classic yet, in truth, but chances are it will be, and more to the point, it had been selected by the SCMS Committee for inclusion in the show and hence was entitled to be in the compound. Nevertheless, the look on Robs face justified this quote as a suitable catchphrase, and so the tradition was born!
David Marks, had already re-acquainted himself with a pier in Yell on the way up, but for the rest us Rob had selected a pier in Unst and David was carefully ushering the 4 cars individually onto the narrow pier, for a photoshoot. When it came to Paul Keating (a pier virgin) David took it into his head to shout “HARD RIGHT !!”
To David’s utter horror, the ever gullible Mr Keating followed his instruction and in a split second, as the XJ40 was about to go overboard, David’s first instruction was immediately countered with a very loud “NO !!!”
Recovering from the shock, we all dissolved into fits of laughter, with an explanation from Paul that he had been assured that Mr Marks was thoroughly trustworthy, and he had therefore followed his instructions without question! Well, that won’t happen again, and as with “That’s not a Classic!”, “HARD RIGHT !!” was quoted at every available opportunity thereafter!
If you don’t have the mentality of a three year old, don’t even think about joining us on a trip to Shetland!
“Wart” was also oft quoted following Carl’s ill-fated attempt to describe a white car in his broad Lancashire accent, much to the mirth of the remaining group who from then on ordered “wart rarce” (white rice) and discussed the “Wart Warf” (White Wife) – the sight of a shipwreck in Yell.
Following yet more high jinks and photoshoots in Yell, we boarded the final ferry of the day back to the Shetland mainland for dinner at The Mid Brae Inn and then returned to The Decca Station where Asmund introduced us all to “Aquavit” with an impressive presentation which also included a detailed description on how to prepare and enjoy “Lutefisk” – a dubious Norwegian delicacy!
Travelling in Shetland involves a lot of queuing for ferries, efficiently loading an assortment of vehicles into limited space on ferries, many short trips on ferries and safely disembarking from ferries!
Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd June 2018
An early morning breakfast, and then down to the Clickimin Leisure Complex in Lerwick for the Shetland Classic Motor Show.
Carl became aware of a race in Bressay and went off to compete in that leaving Nina to take the Capri to the show with me as passenger …….. David Marks was despatched to find and purchase wax while I cleaned his car …….. Paul cleaned his own car …….. Rob was tasked with keeping the valeters stocked with refreshments …….. Nina refused to clean the Capri …….. I forgot to clean the TR6 !!!
The early morning fog cleared, and although the day was overcast everyone agreed that for the car show this was better than full sun which tends to encourage people away from the show!
You can opt to have your car indoors or outdoors at the show. There are fewer places indoors, but even outdoor spaces are limited, priority being given to more interesting cars or newcomers when applications are made. If your car is indoors it must be delivered for set-up on Friday and cannot be removed until breakdown on Sunday evening, but if you opt for an outdoor space you can come and go as you please which does have some real advantages!
There were fewer Jaguars at the show this year, compared with past years.
Rob and I went into the cafe for coffee and were quizzed about Wroxall – JEC members get everywhere!
Asmund interviewed Rob for the Norwegian Jaguar Club magazine and then Asmund and I did a reciprocal interview for the same purpose, and a feature on Asmund and the Norwegian Jaguar Club will follow.
Rob and I were recruited to sell raffle tickets for local charities, after which we purchased an XJ40 at Classic Car Auctions via a phone bid – a very memorable and exciting day for us!
The Saturday evening ended with dinner at Da Steak Hoose followed by a concert at Mareel laid on especially for the Shetland Classic Motor Show.
|The TR6 was allocated a space with all the Triumph cars
TR car swap!
Mark Fuller sold the white TR6 to purchase the red TR4a but wasn’t prepared to agree to the suggested car swap!
|Rob Jenner catching up with Shetland friends over a coffee in the cafe|
|A real Shetland character and a mainstay of the show, Geordie Jacobson with his Wolseley Six|
|1962 Mark II 3.8|
|1969 E-type Series II 2+2 Coupe|
|David Mark’s Jaguar Mark VII was the oldest Jaguar at the show this year|
|1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Convertible|
|1994 Jaguar XJ40 4.0 Sovereign Majestic
Morocco Red with Magnolia hide trim
Former Mayor of Leicester official car
Graham Johnstone donated a Shetland flag to adorn Paul’s ex Mayor of Leicester Jaguar Majestic.
|1996 X300 4.0 Sovereign SWB automatic
Carnival Red with Cream hide trim
72,000 miles, 1 previous owner, immaculate!
The youngest Jaguar at the show this year
Monday 4th June 2018
Our final day in Shetland this year (Rob and I usually stay longer and then go onto Orkney, but this year we have other pressing commitments preventing us from doing so.)
We’d set today aside for Asmund, going first to Lunna House, Lunna Kirk, The Cabin and finally to Scalloway to see the monument, House and visit Scalloway Museum, all with a potted history of the Shetland Bus in mind. Although this was primarily for Asmund, it was still new to Paul and of great interest to the remainder of our party.
A final coffee at The Cornerstone Coffee Shop in Scalloway and then we were off to board the boat back to Aberdeen.
Dinner that evening was bittersweet – enjoying the company of new found friends, saying goodbye to old friends – it went on until 1 o’clock in the morning!
Six hours later, as the cars were liberated from the boat we all congratulated each-other on a memorable holiday in excellent company and made plans for our return in 2020 before Asmund boarded the bus to the airport, destined for Norway, and the rest of us pointed our cars south for the journey home!