When our family move to Stowe from England in 1997 we were soon told that we were not the first “Limeys” to have moved to the town to purchase an Inn. There was another “Limey” couple in town, Chris and Lyn Francis, who had beaten us to it and had bought a “fixer upper” and successfully turned it into “Ye Olde English Inn”.
Within a week of arriving in Stowe I arranged to have a meeting with Chris to see what tips I could pick up from a fellow countryman. Over the course of our meal the subject of British cars came up and I couldn’t believe my luck when Chris told me about the “British Invasion”, an event that he had founded a few years earlier.
Having been a British car enthusiast my entire life, to be told that I had, coincidentally landed in the town that hosted the largest “All British” car show in America was, for me, serendipity.
I immediately offered him my help and have worked at the event directing cars to their spaces every year since.
My first car had been a 1966 Mini Cooper, one of the original ones, followed shortly thereafter by a Jaguar “E” Type. That was in the mid 70’s, shortly after the first fuel crisis, when teenagers like myself at the time, were able to buy, for next to nothing, the cars that are now considered to be cherished classics.
My food fortune only lasted 3 weeks as the combination of my young age and a Jaguar “XKE” was not a sensible mix and I totalled the car in a very spectacular fashion. However, I wasn’t put off and was soon out of hospital, insurance check in hand, and went out and bought another.
It would appear that I have learned my lesson as that same car still sits in my garage today. A year of two later I also bought a Jaguar Mk2 which, again, I still own today. The seventies were a good time to be a teenager in England!
As with the Antique Car Show we have our regular guests, many of whom have been staying with us for over 10 years now. There are often a few spaces available during the British Invasion and the Antique Car Show weeks so if you want to hang out and shoot the breeze with fellow British Car aficionados then we would love to have you come and stay with us at The Riverside Inn.
Check out the British Invasion website here.