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The Traditional Car Club of Doncaster Autumn Closer Run 8th October 2017

This is the post excerpt.

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We were delighted to welcome the Traditional Car Club of Doncaster to The Waterwheel for the first time last Sunday.

This was their traditional end of the season run out before people start to put their cars away for the winter and took them from their home base in Doncaster via various highways and byways to end up with us for lunch.

The first person to arrive was the Chairman, Stuart Carey, in his new (to him) Morris Oxford.  I’ve never seen a saloon Bullnose Morris before so it was interesting to be given a guided tour.  It’s a nice looking car and did impressively well to run smoothly from Hornsea across the Wolds to Howden.

By the time I’d had my guided tour vehicles were arriving in a steady stream and clearly demonstrating the Traditional Car Club ethos of owning “vehicles from every period of classic motoring, from the very earliest days to the more modern classics and exotica of recent years”.  There was a wide age range from Stuart’s 1925 car to early 80s vehicle and they cover the whole range from mass market to luxurious.

As well as receiving our Car Club visitors we also had a few other visitors who’d come specifically to have a look round the cars.  As a fellow car owner I can confirm that whilst it’s great to meet up with your friends and have a “noggin and a natter” it’s also very enjoyable to be able to show off your car to friends you haven’t met before.

Thanks to everyone for coming to The Waterwheel and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Click here to find out more about The Waterwheel Tearoom & Bistro

Click here to find out more about the Traditional Car Club

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Chairman’s Awards 2018

On Tuesday evening a small group of us headed for Bridlington Spa to the ERYC Chairman’s awards.

Someone who visited The Waterwheel had nominated us for the Business Under 50 Employees award and we’d made the shortlist.  Chatting to one of the judges who was sitting on our table I understand that making the shortlist isn’t a foregone conclusion even when you’ve been nominated.

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The first thing that impressed me was how well Clare Frisby had done her homework.  When Andy said we were from The Waterwheel she knew a bit about us and what we do.  It takes time and practice to do that amount of research and remember something about every one of the 28 shortlisted nominees.

The second thing that impressed me, reading through the nominees, is just how much there is going on in this remarkable County of ours; business partnerships, charitable work, sporting excellence and ways of improving our environment.  I’d like to think that we have contributed to this not just creating job opportunities by opening the Tearooms and Bistro but also through building using reclaimed materials, having fresh, healthy choices available on our menus and creating a space for business and social meet-ups.

We didn’t actually win the award we were nominated for; it was deservedly won by Fangfoss Pottery who have achieved an incredible amount in the 41 years they have been going.  It was, however, a privilege for us to be on the same shortlist after a mere 12 months of existence.

Congratulations to the winners of all 9 awards, you’re an impressive group.

Click here to find out more about our amazing venue and mouth-watering menus

Click here to find out more about ERYC Chairman’s Awards

Britains First Female Racing Driver

Talking to members of The Traditional Car Club of Doncaster the other week, some of whom I’ve known for years, made me think about the people who have influenced me when it comes to cars.

One of the biggest influences – in life as well as in cars – has been Dorothy Levitt.  I suspect not many people will have heard of her; she isn’t especially famous or well-known.  I only found out about her by chance because my then boyfriend brought me a book back from Beaulieu Autojumble called The Woman and the Car by Dorothy Levitt.

Her book, as described on the cover, is “a chatty little handbook for all women who want to motor”.  Essentially, a car maintenance book for women.  What interested me more though was the biography of the author who was described as racing for the Napier Motor Company…in 1902!

Who was this woman?  How did she become a racing driver?  How successful was she?  And how come I’d never heard of her or any other female racing driver before?

I assumed – always a mistake – that she must have come from a very affluent background to be the sort of person who could afford a car and afford to race during the early days of motor racing.  In fact, although she didn’t come from a poor background she became a racing driver through her need to work.  She went to Napier Motor Company as a temporary secretary and caught the eye of Selwyn Edge, the Managing Director, whilst she was there.  Edge was looking for a woman to rival the French racer Madame Camille du Gast and so promote Napier cars.  Fortunately for him once taught Dorothy could race as well as look the part!

Because of British attitudes towards women drivers Dorothy mainly competed in speed events and distance races in the UK.  In Europe, however, she competed in all types of races.  During her time racing she was the holder of the women’s land speed record, set the first water speed record and won various distance races in Europe.

In her book Levitt encourages women to take up motoring and to be self-reliant, an early feminist.  She also has some really practical tips, one of which introduced a feature we now take for granted on cars; a rear view mirror.  She suggested that women should carry a hand mirror so they can see what is happening on the road behind them.

One of her other suggestions would be frowned upon nowadays; to always carry a handgun in the lockbox under the seat.  Her recommendation is a Colt because the lack of recoil makes it easier to handle!

Regrettable, Dorothy Levitt died young at the age of 40.  It seems such a shame that she didn’t live long enough to become a Grande-Dame of British motoring and motoring journalism.  But we should celebrate the fact that she lived and took up the challenges offered to her.  Women’s place in motor racing history needs pulling out of the corner it’s hidden in, dusting down and sharing with the world.

If you’re interested in motoring history we’d be delighted to welcome you to The Waterwheel to see our collection of automobilia and to enjoy a meal or snack.

Click here to find out more about The Waterwheel Tearoom & Bistro

Click here to find out more about Dorothy Levitt