Cholmondeley Pageant of Power
The inaugural Pageant of Power was held over the weekend of August 9th and 10th in the grounds of the 7500-acre Cholmondeley Castle estate on the Cheshire/Shropshire border.
As headline sponsor, nearby Crewe-based Bentley Motors displayed an original ‘Blower’ plus two EXP 8s, including the 2003 Le Mans winner. Bentley’s sporting ambassador and five-times Le Mans winner, Derek Bell, was very visible over the weekend; as was the winner of the 1970 Targa Florio, ex-pat Lancastrian Brian Redman, at the wheel of Speedmaster’s Sunbeam TT.
With 80 cars and 40 bikes taking to the 1.2-mile track, there was plenty to see. Although it was about demonstration rather than competition, Kingsley Ingram achieved FTD in his immaculately prepared Ford RS 200, with Steve Tandy runner-up in his Lola T70 C.
The backbone of the entry was provided by enthusiastic members of the VSCC and HGPCA, supported by the collections of local residents Peter Neumark and Alan Minshaw, as well as cars provided by Sir Anthony Bamford, John Hanson and Steve Tandy. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust brought the unique quad-cam XJ13 for a run and, thanks to Tom Wheatcroft, father/son ace race preparers Rick and Rob Hall demonstrated the sole Alfa Bimotore and Vanwall VW7.
For those more marine-minded, there were rounds of the British Inshore Powerboat Championships and a demonstration of super-quick hydroplanes on the adjacent 25-acre lake, while in the air a 1956 Bell Huey helicopter led the aviation display.
Said Event Director James Hall, “At one stage I was able to watch a Le Mans-winning Bentley screeching away from the start while a Formula 2 powerboat simultaneously carved the most extraordinary turn on the mere and a Squirrel Helicopter buzzed overhead. That must be unique.”
The brainchild of local resident Peter Rickett (who was once linked with the acquisition of nearby Oulton Park), the first PoP should be considered an overwhelming success. With continued support from, among others, Bentley, H&H Classic Auctions and Breitling, the event has a firm foundation and plans are already being made for a second Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in 2009.
Text and photos: Ed Brown
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter