Tynemouth was the place to be in the North East yesterday as it hosted the 1st Annual Classic VW Rally. On a gloriously sunny Saturday, around 4000 visitors flocked to the village to see up close a selection of fantastic vintage Volkswaggens, from campers to bugs and more. The first vehicle most people saw was the 'Doodlebug' featured below which was parked outside the Priory and Castle. The 'Doodlebug' was a massive success with many visitors including my girlfriend, writing their own messages and drawings and really getting up close with the vehicles.
With many VW owners and fans coming from all over the country the atmosphere was buzzing with a mixture of excitement and pride. As someone who knows very little about Volkswaggens I was amazed at the variety of vehicles on display and all of the unique customized features lovingly installed by their passionate owners.
One of the fantastic things about the rally was the range of the ages of the spectators who turned up for the event and the amount of fun being had by everyone, I nearly dropped my camera laughing at the picture I saw below.
The owners of the vehicles were all friendly and very proud to show me their campers and bugs often opening doors for me to get interior shots or engine close ups. I can now say that I really want a VW of some description and that I have the 'Bug' myself. A number of the vehicles were for sale yesterday, sadly for me I can guarantee the bank manager would say no if I tried to buy one. I did see a VW camper hire company there so my next holiday may be an exciting road trip.
The retro vibe was amazing yesterday, I had to keep pinching myself and reminding myself it was not the 60's or 70's. I think the mixture of people, vehicles and sunshine gave the event a sense of golden nostalgia - don't we all remember our childhood summers as baking hot and full of adventure?
One of the things that really made an impact on me was how important VW is to so many people and how big a part of their life this motor manufacturer has become. This was summed up by a lovely young couple who asked me to take an image of their new baby on his first VW rally (below) I look forward to taking his portrait on the 2nd rally next year.
To Jill Snailham, all of the members of the Tynemouth Business Forum and all of the other people involved behind the scenes I would like to say Thank You. This was the regional event of the year by far and as I heard so many visitors say 'I can't wait to see next year's event.
You can check out the Tynemouth Classic VW Rally facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tynemouth-Classic-Volkswagen-Rally/206689336015444
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