North, south, east west – who knew which roads were best?
A total of 22 MX-5s – plus a Vauxhall VX220-
embarked on the Eastern Region Pub Hunt kindly sponsored by EMG
Mazda, Cambridge, on April 1.
Under a blazing spring sun,
each team planned their best route to find 16 Suffolk pubs and
answer a question at each. The winner would be the one getting
all the answers correct, in the shortest possible distance.
Organiser Jon Elsey said: “I
wanted to do something a bit different this year and make it a
little harder, by not giving exact addresses members had to
really hunt for the pubs as well as answer questions.
“When I planned the
challenge I hadn’t realised the significance of the date - now I
just wish I’d built in an April Fool too!”
When Jamie Tinks’s beloved
Sat Nav was confiscated and locked in his boot by Jon, the
Norfolk motor nut said: “You have to be joking!” - and he and
wife Clair immediately teamed up with two other couples with
more local knowledge for help.
One by one the teams left
Needham Lakes car park at minute intervals from 9.40am, having
prepared their route to the final pub, The Manger at Bradfield
Just half an hour in to the
hunt, somewhere near Kersey, area coordinator Martin Curtis
declared: “I’ve had enough of the pot holed narrow country lanes
- I’m sticking to main roads from now on!” as he drove off in
the opposite direction to everyone else!
At Kersey, Gary Smith said:
“You wouldn’t believe the number of things we’ve encountered on
the narrow roads- a huge tractor, then a 4x4 which just sat
there - and I wasn’t about to go up the bank.”
Satellite navigation systems
had been banned, and mileage was double checked by Jon but some
people still found a way to take a few short cuts - by phoning
pub landlords to get the answer to the questions. Luckily one
landlord told them a ‘2CV’ was the vintage vehicle in his car
park- the wrong answer as he’d forgotten the rusting tractor by
the hedge! Maybe mobile phones should be confiscated as well
Many people resorted to
asking local for directions to some of the more difficult to
find pubs, that’s allowed.
After returning home first –
but without all the answers, Kendra Dixon said: “We asked for
directions to the first pub and also the second, so got two for
one. But when I asked the name of the cottage next to the second
pub nobody seemed to know!
“The bin man we spoke to in
Needham Market said how popular the pub seemed to be today -
everybody had asked him where it was!”
Team mate Darren Wragg said:
“I did consider reversing round the villages to keep the mileage
down, but Kendra said she’d get out and walk if I did.”
On his arrival at The
Manger, Gary Hawksworth said: “We were never quite sure we had
it right. We even considered ringing friends at Somersham to ask
them whether the pub next door to their house was pink or beige
– I couldn’t remember!”
Martin added: “I think the
road signs around the Wattisham airbase are all wrong because
all roads seemed to lead to Battisford! It must be a MOD
security thing, that’s my excuse for getting lost around that
area, and its not the first time its happened either.”
Elizabeth Sherwood said: “We
thought it was good to find some new roads to drive in Suffolk.”
John Mellor said: “We know
we didn’t get the answers all right, and we didn’t do it in the
shortest distance, but by asking the locals we made lots of
friends around the county!”
By the time everyone had
enjoyed lunch and a few well-deserved drinks at The Manger, Jon
had calculated the statistics to find a winner. The prizes to
be awarded were all donated by EMG Mazda at Cambridge who’s
support for the day was greatly appreciated.
The First prize winner was
Michelle Workman in her yellow NA MX-5. Coming prepared with a
list of Suffolk pubs helped Norwich-based Michelle and her
passenger in a team called ‘The original yellow peril’. They
got all 16 questions correct and covered just 61 miles, to win a
bottle of champagne and an MX-5 baseball hat.
She said: “That was really,
really fun, particularly when we kept passing people never
knowing who was going the right way.
I love the hat – I was going to buy one so that’s great.”
They were closely followed
by Neil and Amanda Davidson The 50 %ers who did 66 miles and won
a model MX-5.
Andy and Mel “The Engineers”
notched up 67 miles and won an MX-5 keyring.
Various other prizes were
awarded for different endeavours throughout the hunt with Andy
and Mel also winning an EMG polo shirt and Martin and Sharon
winning the ultimate fabled prize of a Mazda beach ball.
The Having the Most Fun
Award went to Keith Augustus who completed the most miles (over
90), to win an EMG keyring, and John Pinn also won a keyring for
taking the longest at 3hours 39 minutes – but he had no
passenger or navigator to help.
The bonus question set by
The Manger landlord Alex was: “How many other pubs are the in
the UK called The Manger?”
Wendy and Ray Black, who
correctly guessed that there were none, won an EMG keyring.
It was the first time Jon
had organised the annual pub hunt. He said: “This was the
region’s first big challenge event of the year and it was great
to see so many people and some new faces.”
“We were extremely lucky
with the weather and congratulations to all the winners. I hope
people got as much fun out the event as I did organising it.
“Thanks to Alex at the
Manger for accommodating us all and EMG for the prizes”