History

How it all began.....

 2002

 A group of Porsche owning friends ( I was running a ‘94 928GTS ) met at a local Inn for lunch and a quick drive through the Essex countryside.There was 6 of us and we thought we might try something bigger the following summer.

 2003

In the spring I had bought my first Elise..a ’98 S1 135. I fell in love with the car as soon as I sat in it. My previous Lotus had been a new Elan Sprint 32 years earlier !

 I had begun to post on BBS and had an idea to mention a summer get together…..that summer there was 22 of us,all Elises. There was a Sunday morning run and BBQ in Gt Bardfield.

 2004

The interest on BBS began to build and when I suggested another meet the response was instant. We limited the event to 50 cars plus a selection of non Lotus.I had sold the S1 to a friend and had progressed to an S2 to compliment the 360F1.

 

We had a Sunday morning run in a figure of 8 out towards Sudbury in Suffolk and then back to Bardfield for a BBQ. 

The afternoon run was optional…in fact 2 runs in a day was dismissed for the future.
As the BBQ was free we decided to ask for donations to our chosen charity..Little Havens Children’s Hospice. We raised a little short of £1000.
This was a good event and well received.

Castle-Lotus Stansted supported us giving drives in the then new S2 Exige and 111R.
I had invited James Elliott, the editor of Classic & Sportscar magazine, and he wrote us up with photographs in 2 issues of the magazine.
The event had now achieved credibility.

2005

This meeting represented a quantum leap. A Saturday night supper,after dinner speaker and auction.And of course the Sunday run and BBQ.
The cars lined up in Suffolk for an aerial photograph spelling L-O-T-U-S that made the magazines.

 

The event had to be invitation only as it was obvious the numbers would be unsustainable. My wife and her friends fed 108 wonderfully on the night. Sir John Whitmore was our speaker.

 

2006

Luck started to turn with a late change of venue over insurance concerns and the weather finally let us down (after previous years EGP at 100 Fahrenheit) but being British we were not going to let it stop us.

Dinner was served in a traditional Essex barn to 80 hungry guests. Racing Lister’s, Elise after Elise and the odd Ferrari parked up to hear the speaker F1 correspondent Alan Henry with some frilling insights in to the Grand Prix circus past and present.

 

The auction then followed taking us toward the £10k we so hoped to achieve. The next day had some seeing track action with Andy Walsh at North Weald while others had the more sedate visit to Terry Hoyles Ferarri Restoration Workshops.

All routes converged to Castle Hedingham for some warming hog-roast on a tradition English summers day. Enthusiasm was not dampened as the total swung past £10k...... how to top such a success?

 

2007

To expand we had to go international..... a conversation with Paul Golding launched an idea about going to Northern France and a offer of a circuit for our exclusive use.

So we took EGP into Europe with a stay at the Westminster Hotel in Le Touquet for a bit of glamour at the beach resort where Parisians spend their summer months.

An emotional speech by Louise Warren of Little Haven's insured the donations rolled in.

 

Raising £20,200 meant we could all enjoy a play at Abbeville with Karts, microlights and a trackday all on offer.

2008

EGP08 came home to Lotus's own backyard in Norwich Norfolk. A year of hard work meant we had Andy Green on-board as speaker and some of the most exciting auction lots EGP has seen.

 

To top the exciting lots we also managed to secure an Evora prototype from Lotus accompanied by two of the engineers to talk through the impressive features

The weekend finished on the lawn of Rainthorpe Hall and a total that exceeded £50,000 - we have come a long way since 2002 to the benefit of the Donations for Lt Havens and the fun of all those who have attended the proceedings.

2009

This was a real first !

Before being heaved out of Group Lotus by the new broom CEO Mike Kimberley sanctioned the use of the Hethel facility and test track for our fund raising.

The hottest day of the year produced a spectacular event………..we had everything.

282 guests,delicious BBQ,the Chapman family out in force, track places sold out, Ferraris and Porsches, happiness all around sprinkled with stardust.

 An auction from the Clubhouse balcony with star auctioneers raised over £5000.

 2010 - Back to Norfolk !

 

 

 Dinner at the Wensum Valley was a sell out…….speaker was The ‘original’ Stig…auctioneer Richard Noble OBE….he raised £20,000 for Little Havens and £4000 for the 1000mph world record contender Bloodhound SSC.

 

 Motorsport stars in abundance and a wonderful display by Flashpoint Fireworks. 

Hethel the next day..all track places sold but a bad weather day produced a lower turn out. Here £10,000 was raised for Quidenham Hospice.

PS…..A new world order has taken place at Hethel .
It is unlikely that the ‘home of Lotus’ will be available to us again.

Thank you one and all for you participation and generosity..........