16 July 2012

Grand Prix Weekend part 1

As promised I bring you a brief report on my Silverstone Grand Prix trip which I won in the Plymouth Citycoach Facebook draw.

We set off from a dry but dull Bretonside at exactly 7AM on the Thursday morning with a feeder driver to Exeter where we had our first short stop and picked up our driver for the trip, Kevin. The journey up the motorway was uneventful with no traffic issues at all even around the Bristol area where we stopped at Gordano services for a break. We then continued up the motorway to the Heritage Motor Centre where we had three and a half hours free to look around…


I have to say that the museum comes under the worthy but dull category as far as we were concerned. There are some fantastic cars there and I took loads of pictures but after about an hour or so we had seen everything and there was little left to do. The place felt very corporate and was clearly geared up for conferences more than anything else. The cafe was incredibly expensive so that ruled out a slow cup of coffee to while away another half hour or so. We did go for a ride on a brand new RangeRover  on the off road course which was twenty minutes but felt like a lot quicker as it was great fun.

We were not the only ones who felt that we had too much time there so the driver tried to round us all up onto the coach an hour earlier than the planned departure and we were all keen to get going again onto the hotel in Hatfield.


The Comet hotel was in the centre of Hatfield. It was clean and tidy and the staff were very friendly It has to be said that the food was adequate rather than brilliant. It was hot though which isnt always the case in hotels.  There was not a lot of choice on the menu and the vegetarian option was lasagne on both Thursday and Friday! The breakfast though was fine, a nice decent full English along with all the other options meant you could fill up at the start of the day.


The room was surprisingly big with both a double bed and a single bed. I have never found a hotel bed anywhere near as comfortable as mine at home and these were  no different!


Early Friday morning and we set off for Silverstone only to be sat in heavy traffic on the A40 for ages not getting into Silverstone until gone 11am. This was all down to the extremely wet weather which turned the car parks and camp sites into mud baths as was reported on the national news all weekend. It pretty much rained all day. We were able to get some cover for the practice sessions but eve then were getting wet from the rain being blown in under the grandstands. I managed to get a few photos but nothing like as many as I hoped.

One thing we did find funny was that by pure chance  I ended up sitting next to my colleague from work who sits at the desk next to mine!

I think thats Alonso somewhere under all that spray!

To be continued...

Citybus changes

Thanks for all the comments over the last day or so about your thoughts on the proposed changes to routes which were featured in the local press this weekend. I will be going through these over the coming week so please keep your thoughts coming in the comments as I will be using them!


  • these little quirky Marshall bodied Bristol LH's reinforced the idea that I was visiting somewhere a bit different in character Busworld Photography
  • The aim was to take a break from Largs, Glasgow, Scotrail etc. and take a look at bus/ferry (dis)integration at East Cowes, Isle of Wight. This will appear tomorrow (Friday) not-very-broadband permitting. In the meantime, the first in a series looking at the development of rail termini in Scotland's second City Public Transport Experience
  • My experience of buses moving from garage to garage is that the receiving engineering staff will always tut and moan, no matter from where the bus has come. And no matter the condition of them. No one maintains & presents buses anything quite like *them* Omnibuses
  • Since the 1880s East and West Cowes (Isle of Wight), situated on opposite sides of the mouth of the River Medina, have been linked by a chain driven floating bridge. Public Transport Experience
  • The sorry conclusion is that integrated transport can be provided but ONLY if it is convenient for the bus operator. And, we are told, this reduction of service has come about because of "harsh times, commercially Public Transport Experience
  • Though Blogger does its job at preventing readers having to wade through tons of unwanted spam, the blog owner (that’s me) gets every tiresome spam message. Every single one. Omnibuses
  • When discussing the withdrawal of service 3 between Poole and Wimborne Minster, maybe I was a little premature, when I said, “Passengers are a hardy bunch and they’ll obviously adapt” Dorset Bus Blog
  • Well, it seems that Plymouth Citybus has come up with a solution to the problem that many of us foresaw with the new livery PTOTPA
  • Not for Gillian is there any skulking at the back of the queue, saying nothing, being ignored. She’s in your face. She manages to combine charm & political nous in equal measure to Get Things Done and in that one year has already moved BUUK forward considerably Omnibuses
  • Today's Sunday Lost Scenes comes from First Devon & Cornwall's Falmouth outstation in 2005... Southern England Bus Scene
  • The vehicle was last noted with First King's Lynn back in 2010, it was then thorght to have been sold for conversion into a playbus given its good condition and the fact it had only recently had a reconditioned engine fitted, Andys Bus Blog
  • Sunflower Exeter TGP
  • Monochrome Tate TGP


  1. I've only been to Gaydon motor museum once and I have to say I spend more than 3.5 hours there. It was fascinating to see our motor heritage before our eyes, especially those prototypes that never actually made it into production. Plenty to see and read about. For those who were on your trip who liked motor racing, I'm surprised people got bored!

  2. Perhaps I am being a bit unfair, not being a true car enthusiast. I enjoy the races rather than the cars!

    You cant fault the actual collection as there are some stunning motors there, I just wish there could be a bit more to do.


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