Brands Hatch, UK
April 2012 - Organiser - Roger Cook (MkIII GT) & Roger Anderson (MkI GT)
The day began at Brand's Hatch, Ken's local circuit, where his victory in the final round of the British Saloon Car Championship won him the 1967 series. Brands treated us royally with our cars on show at the Britten's Display area, a lunch at the nearby Kentagon Pavilion; several laps of honour of the circuit and a hospitality box from which to watch the day's racing - a championship round organised by the MG Car Club. Lots of close racing and some vey hairy moments in the wet. Ken's arrival in the box was greeted with a spontaneous round of applause. As the unbeaten rainmeister of his day, he could be heard encouraging those on the track to 'try harder'. Out on the circuit during the laps of honour, he was urging his chauffeur to overtake the pace car!
In the evening, a convivial dinner was had at the Farmhouse restaurant in the picturesque nearby town of West Malling after which we (eventually) retired to our respective hostelries.
Next day we met up to convoy through Kent on Roger Anderson's planned circular route of the county. Rain or no rain, springtime in Kent amply justifies its title of 'the garden of England', with fruit trees and hop vines all coming into leaf. Unlike Yorkshire, there are not much in the way of long straights, but there were plenty of interesting corners and lots to see before morning coffee at Hawkshurst. Then we were off again, winding our way through the countryside, line astern, turning heads in and raising waves in villages as we burbled by. At lunchtime, in the old hunting lodge at Pluckley, now doing duty as The Dering Arms, we were joined by Lee Thomas and his very tidy and original Mk II rubber bumper GT. It was also good to welcome our Continental contingent.
The Costello Kent gathering was voted another great success by all attendees, dominated as it was by an entertaining day at Brand's Hatch Circuit. Here's who came along:
Ken Costello & daughter Julia (Mk I GT), Roger Cook & Vince Harding—sharing Lawrence Wood's car (Mk I Roadster) in the absence of the latter and of Roger's Mk III GT, Laurie & Pat Way (Mk I GT), David & Wendy Wiggins (Mk I GT), Ben Mullaert & Sophie (Mk II Roadster), Brian & Barbara Perry (Mk III Roadster), Juergen & Heike Hauber (Mk II Roadster), Harry & Janet Irvine (Mk II Roadster), Roger & Gay Anderson (Mk I GT), Biek Engelaar & father Henk (Mk I GT), Lee Thomas (Mk II GT).