Exmouth RNLI host Jurassic Classics on Mini run
On 15 September, classic Mini enthusiasts throughout the South West raised over £1,000 for Exmouth RNLI’s latest appeal. This was the third year running that the annual event, organised by the Jurassic Coast Mini Club, finished at the lifeboat station.
In total, 62 Minis started the run from Weymouth Pavilion at 9am. Taking in a tour of Portland before cruising along the Jurassic Coast, the Minis visited a number of stop-off points, such as the Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth. Mini Club members paid to enter the run and also collected donations in buckets for the charity’s launch and recovery vehicle appeal, en-route.
By the time the first Minis arrived at the lifeboat station at 1pm, both the all-weather lifeboat Margaret Jean and the inshore lifeboat George Bearman had been strategically placed on the beach with their launching tractors, just in case there was a call-out. The charity’s volunteers Dave Ashman, Geoff Bowen, Neil Cannon and Paul Fox directed the drivers of the diminutive cars to park on the slipway. This spectacle attracted many locals and beach-goers to admire the classic cars. Some drivers had chosen to park in Foxholes car park for the event.
In slight drizzle and blustery conditions, the Exmouth Town Crier, Roger Bourgein rang his bell and greeted the drivers. He also announced the local musicians and stalls within the boathall. Exmouth Town Mayor, John Humphreys also attended and chatted to the visitors and volunteers throughout the event. RNLI crew volunteers, Roger Jackson, Paul Balbi and Ian Taylor gave up their Sunday to keep the barbeque going for hours, to keep up with the demand for Porky Downs delicious burgers and hot dogs. Exmouth fundraising volunteers Brian and Beryl Cole along with Deputy Launching Authority, Neil Hurlock served teas and coffees all afternoon. There were plenty of cakes available, generously provided by Fundraising Chair Don Hodgkinson and his partner, Sue.
Volunteer Lifeboat Visits Officer, Caz Ashman had been busy displaying posters throughout the town and collecting raffle prizes, generously donated by local businesses. Caz said;
‘I would like to thank everyone who has supported our fundraising event, especially Porky Downs butchers and Greggs bakery who gave us a discount on the food for the barbecue. Also special thanks to Chris Austin who organised and performed with the Shelley Beach Boys, Dave Ward, Jeff Lewis & the Wheezing Duffers, Robbo Lees and Megin Edlin. These musicians performed free of charge and we are so grateful for their generosity. Many people commented on the great atmosphere it produced which was the icing on the cake for this event.’
Richard Darville from the Jurassic Coast Mini Club organised the event and commented;
‘It’s been a great day with lots of other Mini clubs joining us from Winchester, Bristol, Cheddar and Torbay. We really look forward to coming to Exmouth RNLI as we always get a warm welcome. In fact, it’s a highlight of our calendar. We’re overwhelmed to see so many here, there must be around 300 people.’