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Area 4 - Kings, Carter & Scones

Andrew Fawkes (Area 4 Rep) | Published on 9/12/2022

We knew that long standing member, Bob Carter, who bought his gorgeous DB4 and joined the AMOC in 1974, would be celebrating his 80th birthday in September and that we had to mark the occasion in some way. Up stepped Anthony & Barbara King to offer their garden for a picnic and afternoon teas and their paddock for the cars. We also knew that Bob wouldn't want a fuss and so the event was never billed as a party (much less a surprise party) for Bob.

However, we didn't realise until the event was in the Area 4 calendar that we'd picked that actual day. When we first mentioned an Area get together on 4th September, the reply from Bob was "I might have to attend a family gathering" with no mention of why. By then, we were already committed and would instead have to send him birthday cards by post and buy him a pint at the next regular meeting.

Luckily for us, as the date drew nearer Bob's chances of attending were now 70% and improving.

In the meantime, Anthony & Barbara King were planning, tidying, baking, mowing grass, etc. etc. ready for the arrival of 25 guests in a variety of cars. My role was to stand in my AMOC hi-vis jacket directing traffic at the end of the lane and warning those who knew, not to mention Bob's birthday until after the short speeches.

We started from noon, but the last of the expected guests - former Area Rep of 35 years Garry Dickens with Karen Curd - arriving at 14:00. They'd got lost en-route, but all was well as Anthony welcomed all and then handed over to me.

I had with me, the 'register' from Area 4's meetings 1968 - 1984 that showed Bob's first recorded attendance as 12 February 1975. Roger McCouat, my other predecessor Area 4 Rep, was also in the register and in the room with us. A short reference to that and thanks to all for coming and our brilliant hosts, the Kings, was the cue to hand over a birthday cake to our guest of honour.

The cake was decorated with a terrific photograph taken by Member, Ian Foster, back in 2011 that really sums up Bob's character. After blowing out the candles, a few words of thanks from Bob included "I don't feel a day over 79".

Bob, ably assisted by cousin, Judith.

Cake photo by Ian Foster, c.2011.

All the subterfuge was now obsolete. Cards were handed over, kisses and handshakes exchanged and we continued our tucking into the immense buffet provided by all who attended. That was soon followed by a seemingly never ending stream of fresh-from-the-oven scones with jam and cream (or is that cream and jam?).

Chats in the paddock whilst comparing cars, a few glasses of mainly non-alcoholic somethings and we departed replete around 17:00.

Thank you to everyone who came along to what was a truly joyous occasion.

It was also the first time we'd met new Member, Simon Broadhead in his DB11, the newest car at the event.

The biggest thank you goes to Anthony and Barbara who had not only hosted us, but had battled through a covid-shortened holiday, family sickness and other pressures to make sure we had a great time.

Anthony & Barbara King - Rapide S
Catherine, Andy & baby Alana King (her first AMOC event too!)
Andrew & Gillian Fawkes - DB6
Dave & Sarah Bryers - DB6 (first event back on the road after some extensive engine work)
Paul & Jan Gerring - V8 Vantage (supercharged)
Chris & Julia Hill - Jaguar XKR Convertible
Geoff & Sue Cahalin - V8 Vantage Q
Bob & Ginny Sackley - Triumph TR5
Bob Carter and cousin Judith - DB4
Matt Maneely & Mark Pooley - Vanquish
Paul Phelan - DB9
Roger McCouat
Garry Dickens & Karen Curd
John & Liz Cheyne - DBS (1971)
Steve & Joan Cottrell - DB9 Volante (from Area 18, South Wales)
Simon Broadhead - DB11

Anthony (left) says a few words of welcome.

My turn (reading from the 1975 register).

Karen approaches as Gillian, Paul Phelan and Mark ponder.

New member Simon (sunglasses) joins in.