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The Faberge Fiesta Championship Stories

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The Final "Event
The Championship Reception

Marilyn Tricker

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With. all 12 competitive events finished, there was only one event left on the calendar and that was the Championship reception and dinner on 17 December. It was at this evening that Fords were to announce the awards for the Championship winners and since they were footing: the bill for food, drink and overnight accomodation at the Tower Hotel, we were determined not to miss it.

The evening started with us all meeting at the Tower Hotel to check in to our rooms before taking taxis over to a champagne reception at Ford’s lavish premises at Grafton St.   Graham Robson had stressed the importance of being at Grafton St. at 7pm sharp, as the top brass would take a dim view of being kept waiting, so we duly turned up on the steps of the hotel at 6.30 to pick up a taxi, only to find about 50 people trying to do the same thing - and not a taxi in sight.   Someone had forgotten to order the taxis. 

By 6.45, it was obvious that most of us were not going to get to Grafton St by midnight by this method and one of the doormen at the hotel was persuaded to divert the hotel courtesy bus to drop us at Grafton St.  By 6.50 we were all safely aboard the bus and set off at a smart pace.  At least we wouldn’t be more than 10 mins late.  We should have known better. Quarter of an hour later, fighting our way through the evening traffic, it suddenly dawned on us that we had already driven down this street before. It turned out that, whilst our trusty driver isn’t exactly lost, he is not sure where Grafton St is located and London’s one way system had seen to the rest.  A hurried consultation on the bus established that, with approximately 10 so-called navigators aboard, no-one possessed a map or knew where Grafton St was. 

However, just to prove that trial-and-error works in the end, we finally arrived at Grafton St at 7•35, expecting a blast of wrath from Graham and, even more frightening, from John (Taylor). In fact there was such a crowd in the reception, busily pouring champagne down their throats, that hardly anyone noticed our arrival - rather an anti-climax !

The formal part of the evening began a short while later, with a presentation of the championship awards, each girl getting a souvenir candlestick with Ford Faberge Championship engraved on it.     In addition to the awards, it was also announced that Geunda, the Championship Winner, would be driving a Ford Fiesta next year in the saloon car championship and Louise, judged the most promising rallyist, would be driving a Ford Fiesta in a number of international rallies.

With the formalities over, we were all bundled into coaches and driven over to Bennett’s night club in Battersea where we would spend the rest of the evening. This started with a lavish meal, written in French of course, which only meant that I didn’t know what I was eating until it was put in front of me. After dinner and several bottles of wine we had gained enough courage to venture forth onto the dance floor. Our reluctance was due to the fact that the dance floor at Bennett’s consisted of plate glass sheets suspended over a tank of live pirahna fish – and some of them were cracked (the glass not the fish). Still we managed to survive the evening and were eventually bundled (or tipped) into the waiting coaches. My sole recollection of this drive was of John (Taylor) bawling instructions into the unfortunate ear of the driver- " 90 left ………second gear now…….brake ……..90 right. …. GO, GO, GO !….....etc." Still we got back to the Hotel in one piece and .after an abortive effort to rouse the night porter into supplying us with more booze, we retired to our respective beds- or some of us anyhow.

But that is another story !!!

Marilyn Tricker


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