Wakefield to Lincoln Relay - by Eastern Region members
Text and photos by Howard Walker.
The Plan? To visit every BMW Retailer in the Western part of our region, starting at Sandal BMW, Wakefield, on to Stratstone in Doncaster, Chesterfield and Derby, Sytner in Sheffield and Nottingham and finishing at Sopers of Lincoln. Followed by a meal on the Barge at Brayford.
Photos - some are on this page. Later a link to all those taken on the day will be here
It all started in the wrong way for me. Having cleaned and polished the 635, we set off and after half a mile the brake warning lights came on, along with a rather worrying rattle from the front offside wheel. We turned around and went home to change cars – luckily I had prepared my wife’s 728i Individual the day before, so we used that. A few days later I took the 635 to Sandal BMW Huddersfield who quickly found and fixed the culprit, a faulty connection on a brake sensor!
Arriving at SANDAL, of Dewsbury Road, Wakefield we were greeted by a parking attendant who showed us where to park. Nice! Inside, refreshments and coffee were awaiting us.
The showroom, shown below, was vast, complete with reception, lots of cars plus a seating and café area for visitors as well as the spares and office departments.
From right to left on the back row, Alison Taylor - Sandal's BMW i Genius, Jason Carter - who is Head of Business and Operations Director, finishing with Richard Avery - Head of Business.
Club members Donna and Peter Waud, Howard Walker complete the row. Left to right on the front are Marlene Raper, Jacqueline Walker and Pamela Steven a friend of ours who just came for the ride!
Very modern indeed. Across the car park, the finishing touches were being put in place for the enlarged MINI showroom, which has doubled in size, and is now almost complete. Two days prior to our visit, the car park had been mainly a rubble patch due to the alterations. Now it was all laid out in a rather grand manner, with block paviours and tarmac finish.
I passed the baton on to the Wakefield Head of Business and Operations manager, Mr Jason Carter, shown on the right in the image below.
We were entertained with refreshments, talked to the staff, had a look around the showroom and then it was time to head off on the short drive to Doncaster, with the i8, driven by Alison with Richard in the passenger seat carrying the model i8 Baton.
Arriving at Stratstone BMW of Wheatley Hall Road, Doncaster about half an hour later, we were very pleased when most of the staff came out to greet us. Some of them are shown in the image below, but there are too many to list so I will just say thanks a lot for the enthusiastic welcome. They were expecting lots more cars than we actually had, so I am sorry if they were disappointed. By this time we had 5 cars and 8 people, which was less than we expected. More joined us as we travelled.
Entering the showrrom we were again offered a great selection of food and drink for breakfast, and were getting more and more pleased by the reception that the Retailers were giving us. Below you can see the two receptionists with the Baton.
Below is a photo of Richard Avery (left) handing over the baton to David Seaton, Head of Business Doncaster, together with the two i8s, one from Sandal and one from Stratstone. Alison Taylor is just in shot on the bottom right.
We were about half an hour behind schedule, so despite the warm welcome, we had to move on. The white i8 (seen below) came with us on the next leg to Sheffield.
The staff at SYTNER, of Hollis Croft, Broad Lane Sheffield were a little surprised when we arrived at their showroom. Seems that the person who I had been corresponding with was on maternity leave, so the staff were unaware of the fact that we were visiting. Hope the infant is fine! Despite this, we were made very welcome, and at very short notice, they found an i8 with its specially trained driver to accompany us on our way – much to my wife’s delight as she sat in the passenger seat. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the car.
Below you see the baton being received by Matt Kid, head of sales at Sytner. Smart team this in their blue bow ties! They were holding a sales event, and dressing for the occasion I think. They are standing in the Used Car section, with the main showroom being in the background.
Thanks to all the above retailers who provided magnificent support on the day.
The next stage can be viewed by clicking here.