Maidstone, Kent, September 2019

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The RSSOC - ScimitarWeb
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Jerry Ree's site, Magpie Micros
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Sabra Sabre Meeting 2019

This year’s Sabra Sabre weekend was held in Kent, the Garden of England. Our base was the Great Danes Hotel near Maidstone. Friday 6th September saw us arriving from all directions and 11 Sabras/ Sabres and 21 people renewed acquaintances or made new ones before enjoying a nice dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

On Saturday morning we left the hotel in glorious sunshine and made our way to the Historic Dockyards at Chatham, a distance of 14 miles. The navigation was a bit tricky as we had to negotiate the centre of Chatham but everyone arrived in good time albeit some by slightly different routes. After a brief introduction to the dockyard by one of their staff we walked to the ropery for a tour led by a very amusing guide. Rope has been made at Chatham Dockyard for almost 400 years and its rope, still made commercially on the Ropewalk, has been used to rig the mightiest vessels ever to take to sea. Chatham is now the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and together with its related buildings forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain. After the ropery people were free to explore the rest of the Dockyard which includes the Victorian Sloop HMS Gannet, the 1944 destroyer HMS Cavalier and HM Submarine Ocelot. Launched in 1962 the Ocelot was the last Royal Navy warship to be built at Chatham.

Back at the hotel we enjoyed another excellent dinner this time in a private dining room. It was nice to be able to give a small award to Jef and Els who are the only people to have attended all 20 of our meetings in the same car, their trusty Sabra.

We were able to leave a little later on Sunday for the short drive to Hush Heath Winery, one of the biggest producers of sparkling wine in the country and the winner of many international wine awards. We enjoyed an interesting tour of the facility followed by a tasting of their most popular wines – sips only for the drivers. After a light lunch we headed north to the Priory at Aylesford where there was much to interest us. As soon as you enter the grounds you enjoy a sense of calm, peace and tranquillity. The Priory is steeped in history from the 12th Century and is home to Carmelite fathers.

Coincidentally on the day of our visit there was a large classic car show being held in the grounds so many of our party decided to spend an hour or so there. Back at the hotel we were able to reflect, whilst enjoying a drink overlooking the extensive gardens, on another most enjoyable Sabra/Sabre weekend. To our knowledge none of our cars suffered any reliability issue whatsoever either during the weekend or travelling to and from the event.

We are now looking forward to our next meeting in 2020. We already have volunteers to organise the event and it will take place between 4th and 7th September in a location to be confirmed – watch this space.



The Great Danes from the sky

Parked up at the hotel

Jef and Els's trusty Sabra

Luc makes rope

Lunch at Hush Heath

Cars and owners at Hush Heath