SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

Southerners dine ’50s style

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An authentically decked out 1950s diner was chosen as the venue for the SGMW Christmas lunch

Our search for a motoring- themed venue at Christmas time brought us to the fabulous 7 Hotel & Diner. Located in Polhill, near Halstead in Kent, it’s got a real 1950s American diner theme, with vintage Coca-Cola machines, handmade furniture and a great ice cream parlour.

SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

We were delighted to welcome Cathy Rogers to the event

A special seating area was set aside for the SGMW – yes, even the venue recognises we are special! – so our impressive complement of 15 writers, plus partners and even the odd offspring, could celebrate in comfort. We were also delighted to welcome Cathy Rogers to the lunch – great to catch up with all her news. Stuart Bladon also arrived with a box full of his new book, “No Speed Limit: Sixty Years of Road Testing Classic Cars.”

SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

Fun times at the SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

Sadly the December weather hit in full force, and the heavy rain dissuaded almost everyone from bringing along their beloved classics. Great shame – I was very much looking forward to seeing Tom Scanlan’s new (well, old actually) Ford Fairlane. That meant the area prepared for our motors in the diner car park was actually populated almost entirely by test cars.

SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

Fun at the SGMW Xmas Lunch 2016

After some cracker-jacking, Christmas hat-donning and general joke-groaning, the gathered cream of motoring expertise were subjected to a ‘fun’ quiz that had been prepared by the committee. This was far from an easy test, as it turned out.

Congratulations to Kevin Haggarthy and Charis Whitcombe, who won joint first prizes of chocolate goodies. The conversation in Charis’s car on the way home may have been interesting, though: her partner, Tony Dron, got the wooden spoon for the lowest score.

Chris Rees

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