Over £100,000 raised for Prostate Cancer UK via the Keyline Rally 2016!
What a fantastic event to be involved in while raising money for such a worthy cause. Plus Stanton Bonna Superheroes were in the WINNING TEAM! (called team Victory)
A total of 25 cars entered and were grouped into four teams Victory, Super Pigs, Big Cats and Trainers. Altogether around 60 people, including those in three support vehicles of mechanics and caterers, took part in the event.
This year’s theme was superheroes or villains and Stanton Bonna took part with Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader (aka Nick Franklin, Southern Area Sales Manager, and Mark Manners, CAD Technician).
The rally has been running for 7 years now and each year the fundraising target has been excelled.
This year’s rally took the teams from Northampton to St Tropez. The schedule included setting off on Wednesday 22nd June to reach St Tropez on Friday 24th and then return to the UK on the Calais crossing 12.35pm on Sunday 26th June.
No SatNav, no motorways (if possible and only applicable in France) and only French maps to guide them it was definitely going to test even the most avid explorer, especially over those tiny mountain roads with room for only one car at a time!
Tasks included collecting or getting photos of stockings, champagne, nelson, anything orange, lavender, Dijon mustard and completing a quiz.
Points were awarded for collecting all the items, keeping within the proposed mileage between each stop, and value of car. If worth over £1000 points were deducted.
To read more about the adventures of Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader click on each tab to see each days activities!
Thank you to everyone who has donated already. Anyone still wanting to donate – please click the link at the bottom of the page.
Teams of the heroes and villains set off from Northampton on a drizzly morning with a sense of the challenges ahead and an air of excitement!
They had a quick pit-stop at the Travis Perkins Head Office for some of the Keyline people to go and collect donations from all the staff including the top floor. Then everyone headed off to Dover via Maidstone services on the M20 where they were joined by a few more cars to catch the 3.40pm ferry to Calais.
The plan was to arrive around 9pm at the Campanile Hotel at Soissons.
Feeling tired and hungry after their first day on the road Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader sat down to what looked like a healthy salad but then spotted a delicious looking feast of meats and cheeses on a central table. After ravaging the gorgeous food and leaving the table desolated an angry chef emerged from the kitchen cursing the intrepid duo – Sacré Bleu! They had eaten the next parties buffet!!
After grovelling and shuffling away the caped crusaders calmed their woes with a few libations in the evening sun and then headed off to bed.
Miles travelled today = 368 (from Derby)
Proposed route: Northampton – Luton – Potters Bar – Dartford – Maidstone – Ashford – Folkestone – Dover > Cross Channel Ferry > Calais – Arras – Roye – Noyon – Soissons
All ready to go
Queuing for the ferry at Dover
After an early start the sun came out and the temperature rose to around 38C! Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader were part of the early group convoy but as the day got hotter faster cars widened the gap and some cars broke down in the soaring heat so were left to catch up later.
By the time around 25 of the group arrived at the Château de Marsannay for some wine tasting (compliments of Stanton Bonna!) the cool cellars 9 meters below ground were greatly appreciated. The beautiful setting of flourishing vineyards and charming chateau with its traditional oak beams, lime wash walls and rough stone floors, gave a pleasant respite (plus of course a little wine tasting helped!)
600 barrels of wine were stored in the cellar from last year. Each barrel produces 300 bottles of wine (180,000 Bottles per year).
A small group turned up late so our intrepid superheroes, Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader, came to rescue by taking them on the guided tour using what they had learnt earlier. Well done guys!
Some of the other vehicles broke down or got lost due to road closures so not everyone made it to the Chateau.
Continuing their journey they made their way to Vizille where they were scheduled to camp for the night.
Refreshments and a BBQ were provided by Keyline’s own masters of gastronomy Andy Ray and Steve Hurst who had to do all the shopping as well as navigate the route in their Mercedes Sprinter Van.
There was little sleep that night at the camp site as one of the group locked his key (the only one they had) in the boot, which meant the alarm went off several times throughout the early hours, followed by him smashing his rear quarter window to gain access. Once the alarm stopped the snoring and cats screaming kept most of the group awake!
Miles travelled today = 443
Proposed route: Soissons – Reims – Troyes – Dijon – Bourg-en-Bresse – Amberieu-en-Budey – Rossilon – Chambery – Les Vassaux – Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse – Sappy-en-Chartreuse – Vizille
Château de Marsannay
Sampling the wine
With limited sleep and another hot day this final leg of the outward journey was going to be another challenge but St Tropez’s allure and the promise of a hotel bed (rather than tent!) kept them alert and ready for the Nikki Beach party later on.
To keep ahead of the game Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader were on the road at 6.30am tackling the winding, narrow mountain roads on the Route de Napoleon. They continued their scary route with mountain walls on one side and deep ravines on the other down to beautiful Cannes. Having gained some time they stopped off for an ice cream – the Concrete Crusader said it was just like Skeggie Beach!!!! Captain Culvert thought ‘you should have gone to SpecSavers’???
They continued their picturesque journey along the pretty coastal route past busy marinas and cliff top villas to get to St Tropez around 4pm and be the 4th car to arrive.
Their hotel was in Kon Tiki, where they rested their dancing feet ready for the night celebrations. The Superheroes and villains met at 19:45 at the beach bar and headed off on a 20 minute walk along the beach to Nikki Beach (where celebrities go to party) for a special private party. Once at Nikki Beach, those that brought costumes got changed into them (lycra, boiler suits and site boots are not good in the St Tropez heat, even late in the evening!). This earned extra points towards the final result.
A delicious array of continental hors-d’oeuvre’s and drinks were provided before the teams indulged themselves in a mixture of culinary delights. While sat amongst the palm trees and sail cloths shading them the cool sea breeze was delightful.
During the evening’s events, Kieran Griffin thanked everyone for joining the 7th Keyline Rally and brought everyone up to date on the amount of funds raised so far this year. He then introduced Luther Blissett a former professional footballer and manager who played for the England during the 1980s. Read more about him >
Luther talked about Prostate Cancer and how men (and their partners) should regularly check themselves, as one in eight will get it with one in four being black or Asian men.
Later in the evening Kieran called for silence as one of the first timers to the rally talked about his reasons for taking part. Manish Patel (Mani) who works for Wickes (Part of the TP Group and dressed as Thor) then proceeded to give a very emotional speech about how his father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer about a year ago and had it not been for the marvelous work (research) that Prostate Cancer UK do he would not be here. So it is vitally important that everybody continue to raise awareness of this awful disease and raise funds so that there marvelous work can continue.
With a sense of pride in what everyone was doing to help raise awareness and money the trials and tribulations of the last few days faded and the hero’s danced into the night!
Miles travelled today = 276
Proposed route: Vizille – La Mure – Chauffayer – La Rochette – Chorges – Espinasses – Selonnet – Le Vernet – Beaujeu – Digne – Chateauredon – Castellane – Escragnolles – Grasse – Cannes – Le Trayas – Frejus – Sainte Maxime – St Tropez!!
Beautiful but scary!
Nikki Beach Area
Lord Admiral Kieran Griffiths!
After 3 hours sleep and using breathalyzers to make sure they were fit to drive, the teams headed off on an 11 hour marathon drive over 484 miles of urban, countryside and rugged terrain. They headed out of the sandy bays of San Tropez up the winding hills of Grimaud on the most gruelling leg of the journey through to the beautiful Loire Valley, where some crafty villains were waiting in the undergrowth!
On this difficult and demanding day there were further breakdowns and two cars were out of the race. But Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader and most of the teams arrived at Sully-sur-Loire by around 8pm tired, deflated and hungry!
One final straggler from the Superpigs team rolled in at Midnight driving the Jaguar XJ6 – they had got lost!
As Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader got out of the car the devious villains pounced! A plethora of mosquitos decided they were a tasty duo! Quick reaction with jungle formula repellant and long sleeved tops and trousers ensued.
While enjoying the BBQ, cooked up by Andy and Steve, Stephen James and Steve Riggins (some of the Keyline rally organisers) tallied up the points for each team and then asked each team in turn to bring the items they had been asked to collect along the way. The team that Stanton Bonna was in, “Victory”, had managed to collect the most items, even a woman’s stocking and Napoleon (Paul Cartwright from CPM had turned up as Napoleon at the fancy dress) and with the additional items added onto the score, team Victory were the WINNERS!
A special prize (a glass) was presented to Nick Smith from Super Pigs for the person to encompass the “Spirit of the Rally” the most, as he had not brought a modern sports car, or a Transporter van with an electric double bed and TV in the back, like some, No, Nick brought BOR15E a 1986 pink Mini, which all felt was thoroughly deserved, especially when you consider that he did the rally all on his own, without a co-driver or SatNav.
Kieran Griffin gave a final speech, thanking everyone for attending the rally and making it such a success again this year, he also thanked:
- the support guys, Andrew Hollingworths, Sean Cooper, Robin Luck and Adrian Licence for their mechanical skills, which included retrieval of a key from inside the boot of a Mercedes.
- Andy Ray and Steve Hurst for supplying amazing BBQ delights on two nights in the blazing heat.
- Steve Riggens for organizing yet another great rally
. . . at which point fireworks started to explode in the air above as if they were part of the proceedings, although they were nothing to do with the event at all, but everyone enjoyed them just the same!!
Nick Franklin was so tired he decided to sleep in the car as the thought of trying to erect his tent was too daunting. Or was it those pesky mozzies that put him off!
Miles travelled today = 484
Proposed route: St Tropez – Grimaud – Le Luc – Aix-en-provence – Avignon – Malataverne – Chateauneuf-du-rhone – Saint Thome – Aubenas – Mayres – Costaros – Chaspuzac – Vieille-Brioude – Issoire – Bourges – Lamotte-Beuvron – Isdes – Sully-sur-Loire
Or: Allegre – La Chaise-Dieu – Ambert – Olliergues – Courpiere – Thiers – Clermont-Ferrand – Bourges – Lamotte-Beuvron – Isdes – Sully-sur-Loire
Mind the Mozzies!
With the rally nearly over for another year, it was every man (or woman!) for himself, some, including the Stanton Bonna team, left their cars outside for an early get away as the gates didn’t open till 7am. The roar of the Jaguar XK8 and TVR woke the Stanton Bonna team as they pulled away around 5.15am. So the speedy duo (Captain Culvert and the Concrete Crusader) got away around 5:45am to head towards Calais and the ferry home to Blighty.
Speeding past Paris and only passed by the Vito Van from the Superpigs team, they raced to Calais and managed to catch the 12.30 ferry back to Dover. Saying Au Revoir to France they reminisced with other team members on the ferry exhausted and happy and looking forward to their own beds!
Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations on the outstanding fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK.
All in all a very tiring yet rewarding experience for such a worthy cause and something that will be long remembered and shared. Next year’s theme will be a Carry on Theme, something that both Nick Franklin and Mark Manners said they would love to do! oh er matron!!!!
Miles travelled today = 565
Proposed route: Sully-sur-Loire – Orleans – Paris – Arras (Lille) – Calais
Or: Sully-sur-Loire – Orleans – Chartes – Dreux – Evreux – Rouen – Abbeville – Bouglogne-sur-mer – Calais > Cross Channel Ferry > Dover