Yesterday was a delight. I attended the Haynes 100, a ‘much more than’ village event where well over 100 vehicles gather, with nearly one for each year over the last 100 years. That’s the joy of it really. As people amble up and down the rows you can hear them reminiscing,
‘My dad had one of those!’
‘Oh look. That’s like our first car.’
‘Amazing, 1913 and it still runs!’
What I like so much about the day is that it’s always so light-hearted, with inflatable activities for the very young, local church and WI stalls as well as trade stalls, music (this year there was an excellent brass band which entertained as you enjoyed refreshments in the village hall) a variety of the usual food stands, birds of prey and dancing displays. The highlight of the afternoon though, was the parade of cars and vehicles around the village. The long trail of vehicular history, oldest first 1913 I believe, drives three times in a loop through Haynes and along lanes in the Bedfordshire countryside, with villagers gathering in their gardens and along the side of the road waving and taking photos, horns tooted on order. It ‘s a truly memorable event. We had two of our best friends as guests in our car and they dressed in their finery for the occasion.
Having a husband who is a classic Jaguar enthusiast I attend several such like events each year but usually they are static. This is the third occasion that we’ve taken part in the Haynes 100 but this year it was different for me. I decided to take a bookstall and despite the wind, and the occasional flurry of rain leading to ingenious ways of keeping the books dry and yet still on show, it made the day for me even more special.
Not only did I get the chance to talk about my writing with interested people, sell some books but I was also able to begin to promote of my next novel, a murder mystery with a large proportion set in Haynes and the Bedfordshire villages. It was a win-win situation all round and since the sun came out for the parade, the day was an unqualified success, thanks mainly to the organisers who will start planning next year’s event shortly!