A few people have asked how I started doing my charity track days @ Blyton Park, so here it is.
I think it’s best to start with a bit of my automotive history, and background first.
I’ve always loved cars, and machines, it seems to be a genetic thing in my family, we all drive fast and love fun cars.
My earliest car memories are sitting in my dad’s V12 Daimler, or TWR tuned V12 XJS, at well over 100mph, or sitting in the passenger seat of 1 of the lorries that were used to transport our fairground rides around the country.
My dad and his tuned Triumph Spitfire.
Me, my sister Claire, and my dad’s Daimler double six.
1 of my dad’s Scammells.
We moved to Matlock Bath when I was 5.
Fast forward a few years, and I started my own automotive misadventures.
Since I was 15 I’ve bought cars, and messed with them, but I barely took any pictures, did anyone else not take pictures of their cars?
It seems like it was just me, I was always more interested in getting my hands dirty than taking pictures.
Through the 90’s I had all sorts of cars, from a standard MGB GT, to a V6 powered 205 van with a 12,000watt sound system, to a twin turbo’d 535i BMW, and various things in between.
I never took pictures, and because of our family business, virtually never went to any car shows or events, as I was working over holidays and weekends.
Although I was heavily into cars and tuning/messing with them, I had nearly no contact with other car people like me, because back before the T’internet if you didn’t meet in person, you didn’t meet.
So, because of this, most of my car friends have been from recent years, thanks to forums and the like.
Now we get to the story of how the track days started (FINALLY!!).
It all started thanks to Practical Performance Car magazine (PPC), and the forum they had, that’s where I first started making a few car friends.
It was through that forum that I met a lot of great people, that have become good friends.
As some of you will, but a lot won’t, PPC used to run a fun little competition called The £999 Challenge, and a show at Mallory Park called PPC in the Park.
We used these as unofficial forum get togethers, we’d usually all camp the night before and have a laugh and a few beers, and generally have a great time.
We really enjoyed and looked forward to these events each year.
Sadly, 2012 was the last year of the £999, then PPC in the Park finished in 2013.
It was then that we started to discuss on the forum about having a forum get together, or track day.
We talked about maybe all booking on the same track day, and booking a campsite the night before, and use that as an unofficial meet.
Then one of the guys mentioned how the Subaru club he was a member of used to book Blyton for a day, as a club day. This was in the days before Richard Usher took it over.
But a we seemed to do was talk about it.
After a little while I decided to try and get the ball rolling, so I contacted Richard at Blyton, we arranged a date, and I paid the deposit out of my own pocket.
I then got on the forum and told everyone that I’d booked a date at Blyton, and paid the deposit myself.
I told them I needed at least 30 cars at £100 each to cover the cost of the day, and that if we got over 30 cars, I’d split the surplus money between everyone, and everyone a share of it back.
I was happy to cover the expenses and have a cheap, fun day for everyone.
All I was getting out of the day myself was, I wasn’t paying for my car to,which I thought was fair seeing as I’d taken the risk, and was doing the work. This is still the same now, I don’t earn a single penny from the days at all, I just don’t pay for my place at them.
I also posted it on the Locostbuilders forum too.
I the end, the first day had 33 cars at it, which after all was done left a surplus of £290, on the day.
It was on the day that the idea came to me, why not donate this money to charity?
So I went round everyone there, and asked them, do you mind if I donate this money to charity, rather than giving you yourselves back? Which worked out to £8.78 each.
That was that, from then onwards, all the money left after expenses is donated to charity.
It’s been a great few years, we’ve raised a lot of money, tried to do a lot of good, and on top of that, I’ve made a lot of really good friends along the way.
I still don’t take anything from the days for myself, not a single penny, ever. All I do is have my place at the days for free, and that’s enough for me.
This year (2017), will be my 10th, 11th, and 12th days at Blyton.
Apart from the first day, every day has raised around £1000, or more.
I don’t think I deserve any praise for what I do, I think everyone who comes deserves it, without all of them my days wouldn’t happen.
I think that about covers the story of my track days.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has supported these days, and for everyone coming with a brilliant attitude, and making a great atmosphere.