Clubman Estate Register Thong Run, 2005

Report and pictures by our roving reporter Martin Lewis!

Thong run report begins : The Thong Run. Yes, I know what you're probably thinking. Thong Run ? Sounds a bit odd however you say it, but don't worry because it involves Mini's and it's all for a good cause. Started by Liz Rogers a couple of years ago, the Clubman Estate Register (CER) is an online mini club for owners and fans of this more unusual model of mini. After deciding it would nice to host our own event, the Thong Run was born ! That was just over a year ago and now I find myself in my estate beginning a 230-mile trip on a Friday afternoon to a small campsite in rural Oxfordshire. This was to be our base for the weekend and the start of the run itself on Sunday morning. Having greeted the 10 or so other members who had already arrived, I pitched my tent and unloaded the car. Then we all set off for a local village pub for some dinner. One hearty meal, several drinks and a couple of hours later, we returned to the campsite and crawled into our sleeping bags hoping to get some rest for the long weekend ahead.


Awaking at first light on Saturday morning, I was first to sample the campsite shower block. After a modestly warm shower, I made the 5 minute drive into Banbury to pick up some supplies and get some breakfast. Returning to the campsite to find a few more weary souls up and about, we began preparations for the day including assembling a large gazebo, marking out areas for games and blowing up lots of baloons. The day began to pick up speed as more people arrived after lunch, and fundraising continued into the night with a raffle, charity auction, quizzes and games (including thong-flinging !), a glow show and disco be Central Mini's very own MC Nige. Unsurprisingly a few hangovers required nursing on Sunday morning but all participants managed to recover sufficiently to tidy the site ready for the 11am start of the run. Glorious weather followed our merry band of Minis through the lanes and along the roads of Oxfordshire towards our destination - the National Motorcycle Museum at Shipston.

We made a breif petrol stop along the 20 mile route, invading a forecourt to the surprise of the staff, other customers and a few passers by. All managed to reach the end of the run without breakdowns and the one and only Dr Dave announced the results of his 'best minis of the show awards', which included the award for 'most artistic use of a thong'. From here, people started to disperse. Some visited the impressive museum, others had some lunch and the rest headed for home. By 3-o'clock, all had departed having had an excellent weekend and raising over £1000 for the National Autistic Society. Thanks go to all who helped to organise the event, took part in the run and of course the companies and individuals whose sponsorship, donations and pledges made it all possible. I for one can't wait to see what we come up with for 2006 ! Report ends :

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