North Weald - a first-timer tells the story

I booked my place quite a time in advance for the North Weald Activity Day, and as the date drew closer I contemplated cancelling my booking several times. I had a real case of the \'do I – don\'t I\'s with it - partly due to the distance way from home, partly to the fact that I would be faced with Bank Holiday traffic on the journey home, and partly (mostly) because I was just very nervous of taking part in such a day. I\'m extremely glad to say that I didn\'t cancel.
I got to North Weald to be greeted by dull grey clouds and a pretty chilling wind, but that didn\'t dampen my spirits – I was excited yet nervous all at the same time. Whilst waiting for the briefing, I found that I knew a couple of other participants from having met them at previous events – and it was reassuring to find they were feeling as apprehensive as I was.
After the briefing was over, we were to make our way to our first chosen event. There was lots good humoured \'after you\', \'no, after you\' gesturing before we set off across the airfield to our first chosen activity – the Cone Slalom.
Whilst awaiting my first attempt at the slalom course, my hands were shaking and my teeth clenched. The marshall put me at ease and just said to take it steady and see how I felt. After weaving in and out of the first few cones I could feel a grin appearing and this continued to spread across my face all the way through the course. On completion, I felt relieved to have got my first run over and done with but also the adrenaline was starting to flow and I realised I had really enjoyed it! So much so that I went to the back of queue and couldn\'t wait for another go!! I had several runs at the slalom course, and my grin, confidence and competence increased with each turn I took.
The second activity consisted of a fairly large cone circuit laid out to encompass a large figure of 8, a short sprint to a 90 degree turn followed by a loop around a cone with another short sprint to finish. I watched others completing and again the feelings of apprehension returned. The first time I completed this circuit an instructor sat in with me and explained the ins and outs of the course. After that I was on my own – and I loved it. It was great to feel my confidence increasing with each run of the course and it was also interesting to see that my car handled much better than I thought it would. There was no sliding out of the back end, the turns were tight and my car felt like it was supposed to be driven this way.
The final course was laid out in the shape of a big square with loops around each of the corner cones followed by a sprint to the finish cones. It was great again getting a real feel for the turning circles and speed my car could do with me behind the wheel.
The end of the day came around too quickly for my liking as I had just had so much fun and it had given me so much more confidence both in my own driving abilities and also in the abilities of my car. I couldn\'t have wished for a more enjoyable or relaxed day in which to explore these abilities.
The only slight disappointment for me was that there was no high speed 90 degree bend to play on due to the usual area currently being resurfaced. But hopefully it will be available next time. Yep that\'s right, I did say next time, as for me there is no question of \'if\' - it is simply a \'when\' I do it again - for I will jump at the opportunity to take part in another activity day in the future. Whether that opportunity comes before or after my first MG on Track day remains to be seen – if I can have the fun that I did on a cone circuit, I can only imagine how much fun I\'ll have when I get onto a \'real\' track.
Jan Carter - MGF

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Recent Events.

Blyton Park
6th July 2020
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Croft-on-Tees, North Yorkshire
3rd July 2020
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North Weald
Epping, Essex
26th June 2020
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