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:sofa: I'm ashamed to admit it and expect suitable punishment to be meted out by the mods shortly :cool: , but I'm afraid being stuck in black Esprit for 45 minutes in the sun, and only inching forward every 10 mins, was too much for my Victor Meldrew alter ego, and so I legged it off down some lanes to try and approach from the East... and guess what ... yep, I ran into a queue just as long and just as slow, if not slowe ... and so after another 30 stationary minutes I three point turned and went back to Dunston for a coffee :innocent: with a return trip planned for later on ... BUT when I came back down the A11 at sometime after noon the queue was now 0.5 miles back along the A11 towards Norwich with police in attendance .. So with a heavy heart, and heavy right foot I pulled back into the outside lane and headed south to try and get home for teh GP :cry:

I was amazed after 30 mins of heading south to see the A11 northbound with several Loti stuck at a standstill miles from Hethel.. little did they know what awaited them...

I daren't ask what time you guys that left Dunston in the convoy finally got parked up at the factory in case it was 5 mins after I abandoned ship... :( but i did read elsewher that some guys that arrived later on took 2 hours to get from the A11 to Hethel... :o

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We got to within half a mile of the factory by about 9:40 - at which point everything stopped...

At least we managed to get parked byt 10:20(ish) - but kept hearing tales of major queues...

I guess it's really good for Lotus to see such great support for a Factory event - but perhaps traffic needs revisiting for future events.

Suspect we were waiting for Gates to open? If so - perhaps they could do what a lot of the airshows do and say gates open for parking from early o'clock and that way spread the loading on inbound roads a little?

Iain

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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We only got in by queue barging a mile of stationary cars on the A11! Still took us 1 1/2 to get in.

Don't understand why they didn't open both fields at the same time, would have speed things up a bit.

I understand the local garage had taken in 12 Lotus's, most of which had over-heated.

The parking for the 40th was much better organised, with parking at the local showground and buses taking people to the Factory. Don't know why they didn't do that this year.

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From the stories I had heard during the day I'm glad now I didn't go and film on the A11, I just went straight there, left my house at 9am, was in and parked up by about 9.40am. I spent the first hour in the car park just taking pictures of all the cars.

It's a pity you couldn't make it as it was a great day, but I suppose as this isn't a regular thing then the Norfolk roads can cope with everyday traffic heading towards Lotus. The queues were lucky a Norfolk farmer and tractor didn't make an appearance! :innocent:

Owen

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It was a right Fooking cock up as far as I could see, no f-ing police when you need them and no bottle necks at Hethel...just bad management in the field. I was going to turn back. I said I would give it 2 hours. By this time we were then stuck on potash lane. Why they didnt do the parking at the showground again with the staff who can manage parking I dont know!?!???! :innocent:

On a more poss note I thought the new cars all looked great Elise Exiege and the Evora. I loved seeing all the old ones too

 

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In years gone by (1980) they have had cars parking on the opposite side of the race circuit in the corn fields, allowing people to enter via different roads, not just one lane, I suppose it depends how willing the farmer is to allow his fields to get chewed up with cars.

Owen

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Well - it was great to be able to park the Esprit on site - wouldn't have been the same parking at the showground...

Perhaps splitting out Lotus and Non-Lotus cars - with the latter parking somewhere off-site?

All I know is Lottie seemed to know she was going 'home' - she seemed to speed up as we came past Snetterton - as did the others in the convoy. I can't believe it was their drivers getting carried away - *must* have been a 'homing instinct' in the cars themselves B)

Edited by Iain

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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Having stayed up till 3.30am with Mat and Dave, proping up the Dunston bar I was a bit slow the following morning. At 9:15 I had a quick browse through the car park and decided to have breakfast instead of joing the convoy. Shameful I know! But in the end it was a wise decision because I left the hotel at 10.00 and made a left turn out of the hotel which took me cross country to Hethel. I did have to crawl the last stretch untill pc plod made potash lane a oneway road but basically i was parked up by 11am and was wondering where all the Esprits were?!

Mike Kimberly at the launch of the Lotus Evora,

"These cars will be for the few who know the difference!"

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From what I understand it only took me a few minutes longer to travel up from Essex than it did for the people from Dunston. I left at 10.35 (was supposed to leave at 7.30 but the car played up :innocent: ) and was in by 12.30 as we waited to watch the red devils at 1.00

Last year it was a lot easier just drove in and also the same when I left.

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Iain

Know what you mean about the cars wanting to return "home" even quicker!

I meant to say to you that I noticed when you hit your brakes your fog lights came on too. Is that on purpose?

As for entering the site through the field (like we did on the 50th and other times). I was thinking the access has been blocked due to the construction of that Hethel Engineering Complex just before Potash lane.

Cheers

Peter

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I meant to say to you that I noticed when you hit your brakes your fog lights came on too. Is that on purpose?

Erm...

No - wasn't aware of that - I've got some electrical gremlins nesting somewhere... :sofa:

If you switch the hazzards on the headlights pop up and down as well! :cry:

Oh and the inducators flash at warp speed... :innocent:

Bad earth?

Is there an auto electrician in the house? :cool:

Iain

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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Well it took us two hours to get from Oxford to within 500 metres of the turning off the A11... Then we just sat there. My g/f was dying for the loo so we ended up taking off up the A11. Luckily, at the pit stop I met a chap in a scoobie who'd just got some directions and between us we managed to get to a B-road that cut out the traffic. Still took over two hours from hitting the traffic on the A11 to getting parked up (I was in my Elise for this one as I didn't fancy sitting in one of the Esprits in traffic...)

We had a quick look around before hunger kicked in... And after waiting in line for 45 minutes got a lovely burger... Left early to try to avoid the traffic but we hit four jams on the way out, on the M11, M25 and M40 so it took 4 and half hours to get home. So we spent NINE hours in the car for three hours at the event (45 minutes of which was spent in the burger queue and 15 watching the end of the Grand Prix! Now I love driving my Lotus's but I do prefer to be moving...

I was looking forward to the technical talks but these were in a tiny room and each time I tried you couldn't get anywhere near getting in...

To make matters worse, like a total twat, I'd left the memory card out of my camera and so the only pictures I could take were on my phone.

Now the good stuff:

It was a great day, fantastic to see so many cars, fantastic to see so many enthusiasts, and great that the weather was good.

I really liked the pictures I'd seen of the Evora, but this thing is bloody beautiful in the flesh. I totally want one. Not usually a fan of green, but for some reason the green one looked great. The colour just totally suited the car.

I couldn't believe that the parts bins were within easy reach and with out a lot of security about I reckon I could have walked away with a handful of instrument binacles etc. I'm hoping that Lotus enthusiasts are an honest bunch and that the factory won't suffer from seriously depleted stock!

It was great to see the factory and to really see that these cars are still genuinely hand built (and hand sprayed!)

Also, I enjoyed taking the chicane and the north hairpin on my way out of the car park!

The problem getting in was that the entrance was single file via a 90 degree turning over a bump and into a unmade road. I am sure that if this was two lanes (there was enough room) then things would have flowed much better. Oh and four fast food vans was never going to be enough for 15,000 people!

Still, good on Lotus for putting this on. Hope they sell boat loads of Evoras...

Ian

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Just back after the long haul up to Scotland. Firstly yesterday was a great day - not least of which was my car being voted car of the show by Martin Donnelly, which was a bit of a surprise.

As to getting in, as arranged with Bibs, I got there early, being an exhibitor. The queue on Potash Lane was no more than 20 cars long when I hit the back of it, about 150 yeards from the gates, at around 09.10 taking no more than 15 minutes from Caisterhall Hotel. And there we sat, for over half an hour.

Best information was that the security guys insisted it opened at 10.00 and wouldn't open the gates! So trade and exhibitors who had arranged to get there early were stuffed. When eventually they saw sense and opened up they wouldn't let us in through the main gates (even as exhibitors) and so we got shunted to the (public) Lotus only car park on the far side of the track. A panic call to Bibs and then we took matters into our own hands - the wife dismantled the barrier and I drove through, tried to look official and went round the track to get to the Owners Clubs bit.

In mitigation, Mike Kimberley did apologise profusely at the end of the day but he alluded to major problems with the local council not helping out with their plans, in particular not opening up the other end of Potash lane for the day. Letters to the council leader were called for.....

BTW. attendance on the day was 22,000 including 7,000 owners. A guess the weather helped but thats a hell a lot of people!

Edited by hedgerley
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We left Dunston (by hire car) after most of the Esprits and Elans had gone and tagged on to the end of some Elans who went a cross country route (about 9:30 I think).

I think M100 KAY was the lady we followed in a green Elan??

Anyway

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It was 10am Owen.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Wondered where you'd gone, Paul! Bad luck - let's meet soon...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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Lotus asked the Police and Council for assistance a dozen times. From 4 months ago to 3 panic calls last week. In response they sent one traffic warden who didn't know the area.

MJk has had a telephone apology from the Chief Constable assuming half the blame. The rest firmly lies on the council who refused several times to open the other end of potash lane up thus allowing 4 lanes of traffic into and out of the event. Double the amount they actually had.

As for the Police starting to turn people away, without asking Lotus, you can imagine the response from MJK and more pertinently Nigel, the facilities Manager in charge. Needless to say the Police acted beyond their authority several times that day. Nigel sprinted all the way up Potash Lane to give the Police there a swift metaphoric "kick in the goolies" and shortly after everyone started getting in ok!

Mark. to answer your question, they didn't want to open the other car park up because of the ground conditions and TBH they didn't expect the awesome turn out they got.

I think they did suprisingly well getting 22,000 people down one lane!

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I did hear MJK then Hazel officially opening the proceedings on the tannoy as I walked from the car park. I took a photo of Hazel Chapman as soon as I got to the VIP tent which is time stamped at 1125.

Edited by Kimbers
Who's Barbara?

Mike Kimberly at the launch of the Lotus Evora,

"These cars will be for the few who know the difference!"

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Well Kimbers I did have a little moan to the missus about the time it took to get in'but hey I did'nt leave till I think 6 ish. Had the best day ever mate.Your dad is a god as far as i'm concerned and him and his team done a great job.Big thanks from me and Yvonne.I hope I will get to meet him before he hangs his lotus keys up.Also a massive thanks to Bibs and Laura for sorting the Hotel and puting on a great show as usual.

Great to see every one again and some more new friends your all Top people THANKS

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I did hear MJK then Hazel officially opening the proceedings on the tannoy as I walked from the car park. I took a photo of Hazel Chapman as soon as I got to the VIP tent which is time stamped at 1125.

whoops! still got guiness in them cells! :innocent:

Edited by botus

Mike Kimberly at the launch of the Lotus Evora,

"These cars will be for the few who know the difference!"

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Well I think Lotus will get away with it cos we were all die hard fans in the queue - but I think it would be worth their while making a bit of noise that showgoers get to hear, passing the buck to the police/council cos it certainly took the gloss off the day and meant the first hour or so at the show was spent up-tight and recovering rather than revelling. I got to the back of the queue on the A11 about 400yds from the northbound exit at 10:10am, and finally got into the show well over two hours later. Missed the opening and half the programme. I'd witnessed cars just parking up in the queue and even the lady drivers having to rush into the bushes for a leak. This was annoying having come up from Finchley in under two hours, but would have been unbearable if we'd already spent 5 hours driving up from Somerset. In that situation I too would have given up...

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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I left at 7 and it took me 5 hours just to get to the traffic jam so there was no way I was going to turn around...I had a feeling that they would start to turn people away but I think I would have been tempted to just drive over the copper's feet and crash straight through the main gate...although being in an Esprit I reckon it would fit underneath the barrier at the security hut...

Marge: Homer, I don't want you driving around in a car you built yourself.

Homer : Marge, you can either sit there complaining, or you can knit me some seat belts...

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