Sabra-Sabre Meeting in Kent (23/12/08 )

September, 20-21 2003 The RSSOC (Jaki Heath) organised our meeting in Elham - Kent.

Jacques Vandevelde and André Delouvroy had arranged to be on the same boat so we bought tickets from P&O-ferries for the same departure time on Friday Sept 19.  We had decided to meet on a parking lot half the way and though Jacques told he would be late we hadn't yet turned off the engines as he arrived.

In convoy further towards Calais, as André had asked to stick to 100 km/h the engine was effortlessly singing like a sewing-machine.  On the boat our time for a chat was too short as we arrived 15 minutes after our departure.  Driving on a roundabout is different here, in Belgium we have painted lanes on the roundabouts trying to restrict the movements of the drivers, here you have to guess whether a car is gonna leave the roundabout next exit!  I wouldn't know which system is better, as in Belgium switching lanes is tricky.  And switching must be done unless you want to stay on.

Soon after leaving the highway  the Sabra was getting to feel comfortable - home ? - and I couldn't stop it from going faster than André (behind me) liked.  Sorry André but it's only on these narrow winding roads that the Sabra can "meet" other cars.  As there's not enough power to accelerate, or to gain speed on straight  roads you can only try to keep the main speed up and a small car can go a little faster on curvy roads.
I also wanted to prepare us to follow Jaki the next days.

Arrived at the Rose & Crown Hotel too early: and immediately got an excuse from Tony..(and Jaki) "The bar is closed an will only open at 6pm."  Oh yeah, we're in Britain.

Fine, neat, large rooms and waiting for the first pint of bitter didn't take too long. Had a walk trough the village.  Soon Chris Gallacher arrived (just after we took a picture of 3 Sabra's in a row), so we took another of 4 in a row.  Then Malcolm and Val arived, but the camera was put away already.  (Made it up to Malcolm's car by taking lots of pictures of it for my "differences-page").

Mine and Jacques' Sabra were very pleased to meet their friend again.  I.e. they met 4 years before in Bruges when Tony Heath had borrowed the Sabre-6 from (then) Jerry Cuningham.  The six was obviously prepared for the Classic rally. 

The kidney pudding was delicious.  The beer was rrrrrrrrrrr British.
Why do English pubs close so early??....the English must physically, mentally and emotionally prepare for their breakfast.

The Rose & Crown

Four in a row


I wasn't prepared to have those quantities on an empty stomach.   Lucky they had coffeee too, as it prevented me from blacking out totally.    
Next day Geoff Cooper dropped by, also prepared for the rally, nice to see you Geoff.
Don't remember if Roger and Julie Parton and Paul Turnbull & Kathryn arrived this day or yesterday?  A young girl with racing interests!  John restauring a six.
Lots of time to overcome the breakfast - then up to "The Romney, Hythe an Dymchurch Railway".  Wonderfull of these people to keep these "little" trains running for almost a century.  They show some oil-leaks though.  And amazing that in fact one person (though rich) could buy all that land and arrange for such an gigantic job to be done and kept going.


Cooper showing his regards

Fordwich town hall

After a ride in the train, in convoy back to the Rose & Crown hotel where we were amazed to see:

A RHD Sabra...?? No it was Arthur Lock's Sabre-GT (S200150) the first RHD. Perhaps the factory still had a long nose they wanted to get rid of??  I should have taken twenty pictures of this car, I'm wondering now: what were the doors like, what was the inside trim of the doors like? and the hinges? and the dashboard??
Malcolm Marchbank has an older, and a younger Sabre (both short-nose) but this Sabre has a lot of Sabra-properties.  After supper (nicely prepared liver) I started wondering: which one is the uniquest: Arthur or his Sabre?
By the way.. Arthur is on the right hand side of the picture.
Arhur, you'll be attending next years meeting I hope? I'll take care for your health again by drinking 3/4 of your wine, no problem!

Next day, Geoff and Chris had started the rally yet. Several Scimitars drove in: Tony tells me I met John Turner and Nigel Newth-Gibbs (co-founder of the RSSOC - I read somewhere), Colin and Mo Burrows, Peter Rix, John McKendrick.  John Valler phoned;  he had his car towed back home, floating-chamber ripped off.
So off we went to Fordwich: "ford" doesn't have anything to do with strongholds I learned, and we saw a real dole in the church: an open cupboard, where wealthy people could leave some bread or cheese (deal them [dole them with]) for the poor who were i.e. living "on the dole"!   

We got there in convoy. Tony was driving, it had been useless preparing André to Jaki's speed but on several occasions we noticed that the car in front of the convoy did indeed have a lot of power power and speed.  With Tony on the wheel the car luckily goes slower (by his greater weight).  The above picture showes the car in front of the oldest Brittish City Hall.

In Richborough we learned that  the Romans had conquered almost all of Britain but then went back to Rome, perhaps they had also problems with the breakfasts - or the roundabouts. 

And there was the S300307, Tony Seddon's car, a convertible-six with Sabra rear and sabre-nose but Sabra front-suspension and six-rear-suspension, but Sabre-doors and dashboard, and the small vertical bar behind the windscreen (is there a name for it??).


Let's try: from left to right: 

Malcolm & Val, Jacques, Jaki & Tony, Julie, Carine & André, Peter Rix, Jef ,Paul, Kathryn, Els, Tony
Sitting Ellie Seddon and  mother Sarah

Must confess we had some UK-prompters that helped us with the names!

Thanks Patrick (Gundry): the one that does the hard work is always missing on a picture

A Real convertible Six - short nose,  with Sabra-flailing arms            and MKI Sabra-Sabre-doors
But Sabra MKII rear-lights! What do you need more to get mixed-up??

Do they still make new Scimitars???  Oh it's Geoff Eldridge's car.

Back home (Elham) some pictures, people getting prepared to go home.  

Bye Patrick, it was nice to meet you, Tony (Seddon) getting his car up on a trailer, surely must be nice driving a light-weight-car with a 2,5 engine. 
Don't remember what I ate last supper, it was also typically English they recommended (my grey cells)!
Next morning, after our last breakfast, said goodbye to Malcolm and Val, Tony and Jaki.

Thanks Jaki & Tony (and Geoff) for doing a great job organising a lovely weekend; the Belgians were outnumbered for the first time.  See you next year in Wrexham - or sooner!

Following Jaki's advice: visited St. Margareth's cliff (where they threw dead-sentenced people down the cliff) before we left England ...and had a horrible encounter there.
at St Margaret's cliff

They had "Rochefort" on the card: a renown, and one of the best Belgian Trappist beers. Though they're all (6) of the best. 


After ordering, and waiting for the Rocheforts, !!!! to be served !!!! 

We couldn't stop our imagination from presenting us with what was coming to us:
the colour,
the taste,
the fragrance,
the collar (as we call the foam),
the spranklings,
the chalice (to accentuate and preserve the above),

and with our eyes on the waves, the sun playing in them, the foam playing on them, we almost reached  Nirwana,
now just the beer.........

to compare with what we imagined.














Horrible, isn't it?

Jef Neefs