Over 100 cars roared, spluttered and growled as they rocked up, many competing for sound with rock music and show tunes into the early Friday morning mist as they lined up in front of one of England’s greatest stately homes.
Each souped-up vehicle, which (allegedly) had cost their owners no more than £500 and driven by the cream of Oxfordshire’s business community (dressed in the most wonderful, tackiest fancy dress costumes) was bound for Le Touquet in northern France as part of the Twin Town Challenge 2018. Over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the teams will complete a number of fun points-based challenges to raise money for Charlbury-based charity SpecialEffect.
And heavy showers over Oxfordshire wasn’t going to dampen the huge anticipation and enthusiasm of the 400 or so participants as they downed coffee and croissants provided by a stalwart team of helpers at the UE Coffee Roasters of Witney pop-up.
The Twin Town Challenge is organised by Brendon Cross, Managing Director of STL Communications and a SpecialEffect Vice President.
All the costs of the event have been covered by sponsorship and every pound paid in entry fees as well as the fundraising by the teams goes straight to the charity. The Twin Town Challenge has already raised £500,000 in 2014 and 2016 but this year Brendan Cross predicts it could raise over £400,000 in on year alone.
The cars arrived and set off in the pouring rain, but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the drivers and passengers, all dressed in fancy (or not so fancy) dress, from vicars to smurfs, a brace of Cruella de Villes, four ghostbusters, skeletons, Bridezilla and two very brave (and cold) men in bikinis.
Details of all the companies taking part are on the www.twintown.org website. This magazine wishes the teams the very best of luck and hope there are enough AA men (and their French equivalent) to keen the motors roaring on the 400-mile round trip to Le Touquet.