This is the second stage of the relay event from Wakefield to Lincoln, where we document the journey from Sheffield to Lincoln.
..... Leaving Sytners of Sheffield, the next stop was at Stratstone BMW of Chesterfield.
Imagine our surprise when we arrived to see strung across the site entrance, a huge banner, as shown in the image below:
I had stayed behind at our last stop to take photos, and had sent the others on ahead. They had been joined by more of our club members, and the two staff members who had been greeting them at the entrance had just started to go inside when we arrived.
Waving chequered flags, they came running back, so I took their picture.
Alicia Cowley, Weekend Receptionist, and Gordon Price (Used Car Sales Executive)
This was typical of the enthusiasm shown all round.
Below – handing over the baton. From left to right – Steve Bostock, club member carrying his Stratstone provided goody bag, (thanks again!) the i8 driver from Sytner (must get his name), Andrew and Alicia.
We moved on to catch the rest of the team at the Stratstone BMW Derby showroom.
This was the first time that I had managed to catch up, and the reason why soon became apparent. They were all gathered amongst a great display of electric cars, consuming the magnificent buffet so kindly provided by Stratstone.
The lady responsible for organising the food was Carol Terry, Customer Service Manager, and a great job she had done indeed, as can be seen in the photo above, where members of staff and BMW Car Club members and friends were tucking in.
I had a better shot of this but it was lost in recovering my images. Pity.
I did however manage to recover this photo of Carol, shown standing between an i3 and the food display. Thanks Carol!
Despite the fact that we were 30 minutes behind schedule, I managed to eat a good portion of the food, before going outside to take a few more images.
First, one of a group of our members looking at some of our cars in the car park:
Then one of a customer’s CSL which had been brought in specially for our members to view.
Finally, I managed to get the senior staff together to hand over the baton.
Left to right, Will Johnstone, Sales manager, Mark Harris, General Sales Manager, the baton, and me, against the background of my wife Jacqueline’s trusty 728i.
It’s a vast building and well worth a look around.
The hospitality at Stratstones can only be described as magnificent.
The next stop was the head office of Sytners of Nottingham famous for the distribution of Alpina Cars in the UK. The communications problem that I had had in their Sheffield Branch was still in force here, but the staff rallied to our support, and soon they were examining some of our cars in the car park, despite it being a very busy Saturday for business. I was impressed by the size of the showroom, and the number of staff and customers in it.
Handing over the baton:
Matt Kidd, Head of Sales passes the baton on.
The journey to Lincoln from Derby is quite a way, and it was nearing the end of the day before we arrived at Soper of Lincoln’s showroom. The message had also not arrived at Sopers, but after a short conversation, we were greeted by a senior staff member, who accepted the baton on their behalf. He was very interested in our cars, and came out to look at some. He is the gent in the blue shirt pictured centrally.
One of our members came to see us in his Alpina on the left of the image. The others are club members gathered around the 2002.
The car in which he showed most interest in was the 2002 belonging to one of our members. This car had been completely rebuilt, and is now in beautiful condition. Pictured below.
Just before closing time, I managed to hand over the baton to a staff member, as below. Unfortunately I have been unable to read his signature, so I cannot name him.
If you recognise him, please contact me.
By now the day was fast coming to a close, and for some of us who had reserved a place, it was off to the Barge on the Brayford, a floating restaurant that the club has visited before. Its in the centre of Lincoln Docks, and is one of Lincoln’s land marks. Should I have said Water Marks? Had a great meal and drove home. Job done.
Members taking part included:
Steve Bostock, Philip Knight, Chris Knight, Dominic York, Jonathon Clark, Lesley and Wendy Bush, Phil and Val Joynes, Paul and Jacquie Rice, Marlene Raper, Neil and Sally Lamb. Guest was Pamela Steven. My personal assistant as usual on the day and much appreciated indeed was my wife Jacqueline, who did a great job taking down details of the showrooms, staff and club members. Thanks a lot guys!
Most of all, the BMW Retailers responded magnificently, and without their help and co-operation, the Eastern Relay would not have turned out to be the succcess it was. Thanks BMW Retailers.
The next part of the relay took place on Saturday June 18th, when we travelled from Grimsby to Huddersfield
Click here to view it.
Howard Walker, temporary Chairman of Eastern Region.