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01 Oct 2019

Photos by Rodney Hyne-Jones, Anne Marie Amos

R11 WOTY 2019

The Weekend of the Year for Essex Region was held in Snowdonia Wales where we occupied a whole hotel.


13-16th September 2019
For our WOTY this year Martyn arranged for us to visit the delightful area of North Wales with emphasis on Snowdonia. For three nights we were based at the very pleasant Craig-y-Dderwen (pronounced “Therwen”) Riverside Hotel on the banks of the Conwy River just outside Betws-y-Coed which we took over completely. Michelle (the Manageress), Mark and Sion went out of their way to make us comfortable.
A grand total of 18 Porsches turned out, including 4 air-cooled, ranging from 993’s, through 996’s, Boxsters, 997’s (one Gen 1½), Caymans to a 991.
Most had set out 1 or 2 days before staying at places en route including The Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Ironbridge, Oswestry and Ludlow in order to break up the journey. Some had even arranged to stay extra nights either side of the weekend at the hotel. The rest arrived independently or in small groups on the Friday afternoon having had the benefit of some beautiful autumn sunshine on the way to welcoming us to The Principality.
We all congregated in the bar for a welcome drink before moving to the dining room for a well-earned dinner where the menu was adequate, to say the least.
We awoke the following morning to more brilliant sunshine and, after a hearty “full Welsh breakfast”, people went their various ways either as a couple or in small groups. Our worthy RO had prepared a drive, but some felt that, given the warnings about driving on single track roads that were included, it was not such a good idea. However, about 4 cars, including our RO, did venture out. The unmarked roads were, as he was heard to say afterwards, “not for the faint-hearted” and after about 10 miles of them it was decided that a further 15 miles going round blind corners and over steep summits hoping not to meet a tractor coming the other way was, perhaps, stretching a point. That having been said the countryside was stunning and North Wales was looking at its best.
Others pursued less strenuous routes to places such as Port Meirion, Caernarfon Castle, Bodnant Gardens and the Swallow Falls whilst some wanted to go on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, but failed owing to it being fully booked. The prizes must go to Steve & Anne-Marie Amos and Martin Larcombe & Lynn Ager who successfully walked to the summit of Snowdon – congratulations to them.
After what everyone appeared to agree was a very good day, we, once again, gathered in the bar before another full three-course dinner.
It was too much to expect three days in a row with beautiful sunshine in Wales and, sure enough, Sunday dawned grey and overcast, just in time for the planned photoshoot of the whole group with their cars.

However, after taking quite a long time to organise, not only the cars, but also their respective owners into position, it was achieved.  By that time everyone was keen to head off in, again, all kinds of different directions, but Michael Taverner’s 993 decided it was not keen to start. After some assistance from members of the group plus a handy 997 with some jump leads, the car was persuaded to start, but that was not the end of it as, after stopping near Caernarfon Castle, a similar episode occurred. Michael managed to limp back to the hotel where the RAC was called out. It appeared the battery had had its day. What with that and, dare we mention it(!), a little bit of “curbing”, it was not his best day.
In the afternoon the rain began to set in and so people tended to return to the hotel somewhat earlier.
After another excellent dinner, Martyn thanked Michelle, Mark and Sion for all their hard work making sure we were well looked after. As usual we had all clubbed together to get some mementos for our RO and Marie as a token of our thanks for all they had done to put together, what all of us agreed was, one of the most successful and pleasurable WOTY’s. Ray Chapman presented Martyn with some fine Welsh whisky and, as it was somewhat impractical to take a real sheep home, a stainless steel one instead plus, to his obvious delight, a blow-up Welsh dragon.
Having arrived in brilliant sunshine it was a pity to have to leave in pouring rain on Monday morning, some returning home direct whilst others went on to other destinations for 1 or 2 nights.

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