(aka a new way to get lost in a Lotus)
By Giles Cooper.
Daryl Wilson recently decided to take a step back in time and resurrect the Club Navigation Run concept, and after several days (and kilometres) of research and preparation, he came up with a suitable route – all located in the Greater Brisbane area (which, as you will see, will have more relevance later!).
So at 9am on Sunday morning, 28th March, five intrepid drivers, and their navigators, met at a carpark in Woolloongabba. Although it should be said that Steve, el Presidente, forgot his navigator, so had to do it all on his own! Daryl was also on his own as Moira had had a sleepless night – but as Daryl knew all the answers, and had already driven the route numerous times, this was a minor inconvenience for him.
More importantly, Peter and Leanne Drane had driven an hour and a half from the Sunshine Coast, while Janet and I had come an hour up from the Gold Coast, so we didn’t have a lot of sympathy for people with excuses (even for flat batteries!).
We set off with a list of 40 (mostly devious) questions for which we had to find answers during the 50-odd kilometre route, and it wasn’t long before a couple of people were seen going in the opposite direction to the others. The answer to an early question had us all in fits – “Name the web address on the 8th house on the left” – and when we got there, this old geezer was sitting on a folding chair taking photos of us all stopping outside his house. We thought he was planning to put in a complaint to the council, but just as we sped away, we realised it was Dick Reynolds – past Vice President of LCQ!
The directions themselves were not always totally clear (like there are NO traffic lights at the junction of Old Cleveland Road and Glenora Street – it’s a roundabout!), but that just kept us on our toes, and we all made it safely to our first refreshment stop at Frankie’s Coffee Bar. Did anyone spot the helicopter in the port? We never saw it at all, so couldn’t answer the question regarding its colour! And apparently the two 64 pounder Rifled Muzzle guns at Fort Lytton had been moved away the day before. But our discussions over the coffee were about what a great time we were all having.
Coffees finished, on we went, weaving our way down the Manly Esplanade and Marina, and eventually to the Holland Park Sports Club, who were celebrating their 80th birthday – and the Lotus cars (and a stray VW) had designated parking as a display!
There were lots of people enjoying the day, with food trucks, a band, model railways, barefoot bowls, as well as face-painting for the kids in order to keep everyone well entertained. (Current LCQ webmaster Vyvyan Black was even in the excellent band, singing and playing his trumpet!).
In the middle of it all we found two more Lotus – Mark Forrester-Jones and Alan and Gerry Kenn in their respective Excels, who had missed the start due to car issues.
A few beers and some excellent pizza made for an excellent social lunch to end off the day, and President Steve Lennox made sure everyone received an award, which were all richly deserved. I am still not sure who won, but in this inaugural navigation run, we all agreed this was totally unimportant. It was SO good to have a different type of run where drivers and navigators all had to do a bit of work and communicate, finishing up around a table laughing at the enjoyment we had all had!
Many years ago we used to do these navigation runs with other clubs, and we would pile all the kids in the back of the family Falcon and EVERYONE was involved trying to spot the clues. It made for a fantastic and fun family outing, and to this day even 30 years later, my kids all fondly remember the fun we had on these events.
A BIG thank you to Daryl Wilson for his efforts in organising the day (a bit like herding sheep, I suspect). All of us agreed it was a great day, and we all look forward to doing more of them, and getting a few more people to come along. The more the merrier, and if families want to come along in the back of the family wagon, I am sure they would enjoy it too.
An overnight announcement by the Queensland Premier states that anyone who visited Greater Brisbane since Saturday must now go on a 3 day coronavirus lockdown – so even though we live outside that area, Peter Drane and I, plus our wives, are all now in lockdown because LCQ held the run totally inside the Greater Brisbane area!