The Group Diary

9th October 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

As has unfortunately been the common theme of the weather in 2019, the October meet was a cold and damp evening, but our spirits were certainly not dampened. Fortunately, we still saw many beautiful array of Fords including a stunning Mk1 Escort and a rare Mk2 Fiesta XR2. Due to the dark nights setting in there was no SAS Car of the Night Award at this meeting, but our resident photographer @Alex.kn1ght was on hand, and he doesn’t let a little thing like darkness stop him from snapping some great shots of the cars.

22nd September 2019 – Sussex RSOC hosts it’s first Cars n Coffee morning

The Sussex RSOC group has had a very successful first show session with a really friendly atmosphere amongst the group, we continue to welcome new members and look forward to building on our learnings and successes next year.

However, before the nights draw in completely, and before some of the cars hibernate away for the winter, it was decided that we should host a Breakfast meet at our monthly venue, The Plough Inn at Plumpton Green. The date was set, 22nd Sept and the media campaign to attract as many as possible cars begun.

The weather forecast was hot conversation on the lead up to the day, with a week to go the forecast was heavy thundery rain, then just two days to go the risk of rain was midday onwards so we crossed our fingers that people wouldn’t be put off and would chance a soaking.

Time 10:30 Sunday 22nd, with the roads wet from the night before the sky’s were bright enough to give everyone confidence that we had at least the morning of dry weather. I’m pleased to say that we attracted over 40 cars which is an amazing turn-out, a superb range of RS’s and ST’s. Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 focuses of all stages of tuning and upgrades, a couple of Cosworth’s both Sapphire and 3dr examples, a Mustang and a great range of ST fiesta’s and Focus, including the very latest models; courtesy of our club sponsors.

We, Sussex Group, continue to be impressed with the support we have been given in our first year from our members and the Kent RSOC group, whom again made the journey down into Sussex to support this event, and a massive thank you to The Birchwood Group for your continued support and making the trip over from Eastbourne.

11th September 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

Cloudy, cool, and scattered showers throughout the day, meant it was a wonderful surprise that the evening was graced with a great number of beautiful and exciting cars. Around 20 turned up, the usual suspects were all there, a few members who hadn’t visited for a while and three new faces all arrived to what turned out to be a very enjoyable evening. Bob Kane won the SAS Car of the Night Competition with his fantastic RS2000; which. in Serena’s absence was judged by Serena’s husband Colin and last months winner Andy.

8th September 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends the 1st Ford Power Live

With beautiful weather; An early, but not terribly anti-social start for this event saw us meet at Maresfield Services at 6:30am for a quick coffee and a chat before the convoy of eight RS’s set off for Brands Hatch. The relatively straight forward drive to the venue to less than an hour and although Sussex did not have an stand booked for this event, we did all manage to park together when we arrived. Although mot new to the social media group, for many of us, it was the first occasion we had got to meet Richard & Charlotte face-to-face, and we were all very impressed with Richard’s stereo (pictured below). The organisation of this event was excellent! All fords were in attendance, with some great display stands, local groups and individuals, as well as the usual trade stands. There was an arena for cars to do burnouts if the so wished and some great track action, including twenty minutes or so of F1 cars doing laps of the famous track. A fantastic day was enjoyed by us all with a unanimous vote to attend next year with a Sussex Group stand. Jason had a slight problem with his 3dr Cossie loosing power on the way home, but we wouldn’t leave a man behind and it seemed to be a temporary glitch, so after a short stop, Jason (and his gorgeous Cossie) made it home ok.

1st September 2019 – Birchwood Ford lend our Chairman a Mustang

Our club sponsors offered to lend me this 2019 Mustang 5.0 for the weekend with permission to use the line lock function, in exchange they asked me to write a review of the car for their website …..As you can see I had no hesitation in accepting their offer!! Go and have a look at their Ford Performance website

25th August 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends RSOC National Day at Donington

A very early start for those of us travelling up on the day, Dave, Joe & Billie, Eric & Jason, Emma & I had all agreed to meet up at Pease Pottage Services at 4:00am and Dave got there early and first!  This was a surprise as for those who don’t know, poor Dave gets a lot of stick for usually being late so he has now proved that he can be early!  After a brief comfort break we all set off in convoy with the group suggesting I (Andy B) lead due to my by now infamous need for frequent “comfort” breaks!

In view of the early set off traffic was light and my bladder was holding up well so we made good progress through the 50mph average speed limit on the M23 and on to the M25 where again for once traffic was light and moving well.  Onto the M1 and cruise control set I was surprised to get a (hands free and with Emma as passenger) call from Joe asking me to slow down as we had lost sight of Eric, Jason and Dave.  This again was surprising as I get the mickey taken out of me for not fully exploiting the capabilities of my car.  Eventually my need for a comfort break arose and so we stopped for breakfast at Northampton Services where we indulged in MacDonald’s, only to be interrupted by the sight of clouds of thick smoke coming from the car park.  We all rushed out, firstly checking our cars were OK, which they were, and then seeing a fairly new Discovery was the source of all the smoke.  Dave quickly diagnosed that the diesel car was running on its own engine oil but Dave, Jason and Eric managed to eventually stop the engine.  The poor owners and their dogs were grateful for our intervention and we earned some more fans of our Sussex Group!

Eric then lead the convoy and it was his turn to surprise us all as we had to “slightly” exceed the speed limit to keep up with him, much to the amusement of those of us following, proving once again that jokey reputations are not always valid!  By now daylight had arrived and it was hot and sunny without a cloud in sight.

We arrived at Donington at 8:00am on the dot and after a bit of queueing got to our stand where Jackie, Andy C and Harry were waiting for us, having camped the night before.  We found Phil on the MJP Stand and then set up our banner and flags, all doing final clean ups on our cars so that we could proudly represent Sussex. The day just kept getting hotter so, cars all done, we set off on a walkabout where we spotted Brett’s lovely RS1600i, he booked too late to join us on our stand but it was great to see his car and, later, to chat to him as well.  We also saw Colin S and Serena with their cars in the Concours Area frantically fettling so we tried not to disturb them for too long.  Some of us sought shade in a trackside stand where we watched some racing but the early start was catching up with some of us who started nodding off (mentioning no names of course) so we came back for refreshments and re-joined our stand.  Other nearby stands, notably Kent and also South London, came over for chats and the atmosphere at the show was great, as was seeing all the other cars and stands there. There was certainly plenty to see and do and the weather also helped to make it a great day surrounded by fellow petrol-heads.

Eventually prize-giving time arrived and we did ourselves proud as follows:

Sussex RSOC   –           Best Local Group

Colin Stone       –           1stPlace post ’81 modified Concours      –           Escort RS Turbo

Colin Stone       –           4thPlace Non-RS Concours                   –           Transit Custom MSRT

Serena Stone    –           1stPlace Standard 3 door Cosworth       –           Cosworth 3 door

Serena Stone    –           Chairman’s Choice Award

We left shortly after prize-giving had finished and set off in convoy for the return journey, re-fuelling being the first stop.  Phil joined us on the M1 and Joe’s scenic route due to heavy traffic meant we had quite a different journey back with a few pops and bangs on the way.

I think you will all agree that we did well on behalf of all of you in our great club, onwards and upwards guys and girls, already looking forward to next year.

17th August 2019 – Sussex RSOC visit Birchwood Ford in Hastings for the Ford Performance Event

Once again as guests of our club sponsors; The Birchwood Group, hosted a Ford Performance event which we simply couldn’t miss out on.

We all met as before at Light Bites Bistro in Polegate for a some fuel of our own. Then we convoyed through Little Common, for the mass arrival at Birchwood. As always we received a very warm welcome from our friends at Birchwood Hastings, and were spoilt with drinks and food on arrival. The Ford Performance event gave us the opportunity to look at the new Raptor, Bullitt Mustang, Fiesta & Focus ST’s. There are some fantastic performance cars coming through from Ford at the moment and we were only too please to get to experience them in the flesh. A really enjoyable morning was had by all and once again it was a pleasure to support The Birchwood Group with their event. A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this day.

14th August 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

Another a very wet day, meant the evening wasn’t graced with quite so many gorgeous RS’s. Around 7 cars turned up but many of our regulars arrived in their daily drivers rather than their immaculate RS’s, and a few new faces which is great! Andy Coleman won the SAS Car of the Night Competition with his beautiful Ultimate Green Mk2 Focus RS; judged by Serena and in the absents of last months winner; our chairman, Phil Adams.

28th July 2019 – Sussex RSOC Breakfast Meet

A fairly impromptu event which was arranged by our Social Media Co-ordinator; Joe Dale. We met at Maresfield services at around 8am and drove in convoy to the Harvester in Haywards Heath for a slap-up full English breakfast, and our beautiful little RS-ettes had pancakes with chocolate sauce which of course was gobbled up in no time. After we had filled up our own fuel tanks, we drove in convoy towards Beachy Head in hope of getting some great photo opportunities. Unfortunately, we hadn’t realised that there was a cycle race being held at the famous Sussex cliffs on that Sunday, so we found ourselves sat in a long traffic jam by Friston. Unperturbed, we diverted through Jevington and made our way to Arlington Reservoir for a much needed comfort break. As the time had flown by it was agreed that we would go to Buffalo Bills restaurant in Halland for a spot of lunch while we tried to think of somewhere else to capture some photos of our cars. We found a great spot at the East Sussex National Golf Course to get a few shots. A spontaneous day which was very much enjoyed by all.

10th July 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

The sun was out and it was dry, which means expectations of a good turnout were high, and we were not disappointed.  The Sussex group is going from strength to strength with what must have been our busiest night yet.  

As I pulled into the car park I was greeted by the regular cars to the meet and some I hadn’t seen before.  There was so much to look at from mk4 turbo charged cortina’s ( not seen this set up before! And was very nice ) to a concourse RS3100 Capri and RS2000 and an extremely rare concourse 280 Brooklands Capri that has a fantastic story to tell, I’m sure if you ask Glenn he will only be too happy to explain.   

The evening was a fantastic summers night and allowed us to stay in the car park and spend time looking at all the cars.  As I was last months ‘car of the night’ winner it fell to me to join Serena to pick July’s ‘car of the night’. Now I hear the words “it was a close run thing” and “tough to choose” but honestly it really was a tough decision.  Serena and I narrowed it down to 2 cars and then, more or less a flip of a coin, we agreed it. Wayne’s gorgeous RS3100 Capri was the car of July’s meet – congratulations to Wayne.

It was a great evening speaking to you all and I must end by saying a massive thank you to everyone that attends our monthly meeting, we can’t do it without you, and Serena Stone (SAS Valeting and Detailing) for your continued sponsorship of the Car Of The Night award.  

23rd June 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends Cars & Coffee at The Plough Inn, Plumpton

As on previous occasions the meeting kicked off at 10am at The Plough Inn, which is home turf for the Sussex Group. Significant numbers were expected so we arrived early to claim our spot. As it turns out we ended up with a Ford takeover, with members from the Kent RSOC and ROSE (Rolling Oval South East) in attendance there was nearly 60 cars crammed into the car park. Some real classics Fords graced us with their presents including a peach of a Mk2 Granada. It was as always a very friendly atmosphere with some stunning cars on display and a great opportunity to share ideas with other Ford enthusiast groups. As always the staff at The Plough provided lovely food and refreshments. A great time was had by all.

15th & 16th June 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends Groombridge Place for Fathers Day Weekend Special.

An early start for this event meant that we all met at the McDonalds in Maresfield at around 7:45am for a spot of breakfast before the convoy through the Ashdown Forest. Groombridge Place is a truly beautiful venue situated right on the Kent/Sussex border, and other than a strong breeze the weather was doing it’s bit to help enhance the beauty of the place. For Mikey in particular, this was a very special day; as it was the first time ever, that he’d had the opportunity to drive an 800hp RS200; however, just like Mikey; the temperamental old girl was showing her age and wouldn’t start so poor old Mikey had to make do with just steering while we all pushed her into place. After the cars were all set up, cleaned and gleaming; we all set about enjoying the beautiful surroundings, some were happy just to kick back and do a spot of sunbathing; whilst others preferred to take a walk around the grounds; the really brave amongst us tackled the treetop walk. Our little RS-ettes had a whale of a time on the climbing frames and swings, and at midday we watched the Birds of Prey display; which was very good up to the point where the Eagle flew off over the woods and out of sight.

Our Chairman & Treasurer had agree to attend both days of this event so the Sunday involved an equally early start at Maresfield. Unfortunately the weather decided not to play ball and rained all morning up to lunchtime. We’re all hardy old bunch some a bit of rain didn’t dampen the spirits; brollies out whilst we set the cars up; a quick wipe over to make them presentable and off to the restaurant for a cuppa was the order of the day. Eventually, the weather perked up and the motorcycle stunt team started their display; so all was not lost.

There were some wonderful cars on display at the event but I have to take my hat off to the members of the Sussex RSOC who’s efforts really made our club stand out above all the others in attendance at the show; and the crowds that came to our stand said the same. A great family event that we will happily be part of for the years to come.

12th June 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

Following a very wet day, the evening did brighten up for our meeting. Around 20 cars turned up but many of our regulars arrived in their daily drivers rather than their immaculate RS’s, and several new faces which is great! We also welcomed back as some members who we haven’t seen since last summer. Colin Knight won the SAS Car of the Night Competition with his beautiful Sierra Cosworth; judged by Serena and last months winner Joe Dale.

27th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends Motorsport at the Palace in Crystal Palace as guests of the Kent Group

We had six cars confirmed to attend; Shaun’s 3dr Cossie, Jason in his Saph Cos, Mikey’s Escort Cossie, Dave in his Mk3 Focus, Phil, Mk3 Focus and me in my 3dr.  An early start was planned, to meet up at the A23 service to make the hour trip into the big smoke to Crystal Palace, pleased to report that the journey at 7am was easy.  Unfortunately, Phil had to cancel last minute due to enjury while tinkering on the car.  The 7am meeting was great timing and we joined the Kent group as they pulled into the grounds of the palace.

The event is an established racing event that saw some meticulously prepared cars to take on the short, but very technical, sprint around the picturesque grounds.  With plenty of old school fords; Mk1 & 2 Escorts, Sierra Cossies and early Formula Ford cars all competing.  It was the Escorts that really entertained as they loved to go sideways around the corners, that’s not to mention the distinctive induction and exhaust noise, it really took me back to the ‘good ole days’ when these cars were a common sight on our roads…

Fortunately, the weather was kind to us, although it threatened all day to rain, but thankfully it held off with just a few spots early afternoon. The Kent Groups gazebo was welcome shelter from the sun and was eyed-up by Mikey when we thought the rain was coming, he suggested everyone vacated and he parked his car in there, not sure we would be that welcome… however it did also start some interesting gazebo envy and future plans were discussed for Sussex RSOC’s own one. 

Journey home was equally as easy as the journey in, with minimal traffic, this meant when we hit the A23 we had some fun and stretched the legs of the RS’s, the site and sounds of Sierra’s and the new Focus together is such a fantastic view and reminds me of how great these cars really are. We would like to, again, thank the Kent group for the invite and for making us feel very welcome. We will no doubt have a long and enjoyable relationship with our regional neighbours.

26th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC attends Cars & Coffee at The Plough Inn, Plumpton

We all met at a civilised 10am at The Plough Inn, which is home turf for the Sussex Group. We were expecting lots of people so we had arrived early give us time to set up on the grass at the front of the pub. It seemed many others had also had this idea as by 10:05am the car park was almost full!
With 10 members cars on display and claiming our patch early we also had the opportunity to use our group flags and banners provided by our sponsor Birchwood Ford. Greeted by tony the event organiser on arrival to assist with ensure we had the space we needed, this successful monthly breakfast meet was on this occasion attended by 48 cars and over 100 people. It was a very friendly atmosphere with some stunning cars, and we were able to speak to so many people as well as managing to recruit 3-4 new members to the Sussex RSOC. We all thoroughly enjoyed this meet and I can say with confidence that we will continue to frequent this meeting.

16th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC visit Birchwood Ford in Hastings for the reveal of the Mk4 Focus ST

We were very pleased to be invited to come and see the new ST at the Ford Store in Hastings. Our sponsors Birchwood were (as usual) very accommodating and stayed open late in the evening to give us all time to make the journey once we had all finished work. We were all quite surprised at how large the car seemed in comparison to its predecessor. It was a very well appointed car with some similarities to the Mk3 and of course some obvious improvements too. We were all very happy to hear the pops and crackles from the exhaust is a feature that has been carried over from the Mk3.

8th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC Monthly Meet

As usual we met at 7pm on what was a dry, cool and windy evening. Around 25 cars turned up and about 40 people. We held the first SAS Car of the Night Competition which was won by our social media co-ordinator; Joe Dale with his spotlessly clean Mk3 Focus RS.

6th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC visit The Holbrook Club in Horsham for their annual Family Fun Day

We met at midday at Pease Pottage Services on the A23 (apart from our Chairman who was half an hour late, heavy traffic, apparently!) We convoyed a short distance to the venue; our biggest concern being the kerb we would have to get up to gain access to the field. As it turned out, the only problem was getting past the stack of Harley Davidson motorcycles which had also turned up to support the event. Upon arrival we received complimentary food vouchers which we wasted no time in spending. We gorged on burgers, hotdogs, chips, all topped off with ice cream and candy floss. Our little RS-ettes had a fantastic time on the bouncy castle, the funfair rides and of course the face painting. It was a very enjoyable day with a relaxed family atmosphere, and we very much hope to be asked back again in the future. A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this day.

4th May 2019 – Sussex RSOC visit Birchwood Ford in Hastings for a meet & greet with our club sponsors

Our generous club sponsor; The Birchwood Group, provided our club with flags and a banner to use at all the events and shows we attend. Once we had taken delivery of the items, we were invited as a group to visit the Birchwood Ford Store in Hastings for tea and coffee.

We all met at a very civilised 9am at Light Bites Bistro in Polegate for a bacon sandwich and to distribute the new group clothing which arrived the day before (just in time!). Then we convoyed through Hailsham, Boreham Street, Battle and Johns Cross to pick up the A21 for the mass arrival at Birchwood. We received a very warm welcome from all at Birchwood, the coffee and the chit chat flowed very easily. It gave us the opportunity to look at all the new Ford’s in the showroom which included a 5.0 Mustang, and it gave the Birchwood staff a chance to look at all our cars too. A really enjoyable morning was had by all and we feel it has been a very positive start to the partnership between The Birchwood Group and Sussex RSOC. A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this day.