We attended the UK Coach Rally this weekend at a Alton Towers theme park, it was an altogether great weekend in which we met some amazing people.
The trip started early Friday morning when we loaded the two new coaches full of cleaning equipment and ladders ready for the trip north. Matt and Dave Mcglynn in the Irizar and Ian, Helen and Mark in the VDL. As soon as the coaches arrived at the venue out came the ladders and the cleaning equipment ready to bring them back to their pristine best in preparation for the show.
Saturday started early, we were back at the coaches around 7am preparing for the days tests. The first test was a timed road run for both coaches with the directions issued to us 20 minutes before our departure and with help of a map we started, Dave McGlynn was Matts navigator and Helen assisted Ian.
It took us 45 minutes to do the first 2 miles as the traffic trying to get into the theme park was so bad and the tight roads in 2 brand new coaches was a little hairy! But we successfully navigated our way around the course and back to the Alton Towers where Matt and Ian joined the queue for the driving test, the course had 5 sections, section 1- Narrow bridge, 2- Garage, 3- Tyre pad, 4-Parallel parking and 5-The wall. The name of the game was to score as little points as possible, points were added on for penalties such as hitting barriers, crossing lines and momentary stop whilst reversing. After a nerve-racking 10 minutes completing the course we were sent back to our parking spaces. The rest of the day was spent cleaning and polishing the coaches.
The Saturday evening we all got into our finest attire and attended the dinner and dance which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Sunday morning arrived and with a few sore heads (Matt and Ian) we got back to the coaches for the last bit of cleaning and to prepare for the vigorous judging process, by 2pm this was complete and we had time for a spot of lunch before the awards ceremony began.
The awards were presented by the Traffic Commissioner for the north, Kevin Rooney, as they proceeded down the long line of coaches announcing winners they got to us and over the tannoy we heard entrant 47 Galleon Travel has won two awards , best Irizar integral and best livery/décor, then moments later another announcement Entrant 49 Galleon Travel, best VDL synergy in show! This was an amazing outcome and we were all very proud.
The end of the awards saw the end of the show and all that was left to do was take the long drive south to Essex, bringing an end to what was a fantastic weekend.
For more information on the rally please visit www.coachdisplays.co.uk