AT CHOLMONDELEY CASTLE
The calm of the Cheshire countryside will come alive with the roar of powerful engines on August 9 and 10 as the first Pageant of Power gets under way at Cholmondeley Castle, South Cheshire.
Historic and modern cars of every variety – including the 2003 Le Mans winning Bentley - will set records on a newly-created course through the grounds. Power boats will race on the mere and the UK’s largest gathering of modern and historic helicopters will fly in.
But the pageant is much more than petrol head heaven. Celebrities will mingle with the crowds, champagne will be served for the beautiful people, the seafood restaurant will be dishing up local specialities, bands will play and the trade village will create a shopping paradise for all the family.
“Although the focus is inevitably on the cars, boats and planes we have deliberately set out to create an event that anyone will enjoy,” said Pageant Director James Hall. “The wonderful thing about Cholmondeley is that the grounds and gardens are among the most beautiful in England. If people just want to bring along a picnic, spread a rug and watch the events taking place below and above them I guarantee they will have a wonderful day out.”
For anyone wanting a closer involvement – particularly motorsport enthusiasts – the first thing that will strike them is the informality of the event. Deliberately there is no such thing as a fenced off paddock for competitors. The concept of the event is to allow everyone to get up close and have personal access to the huge variety of machinery, and the owners, drivers and pilots.
James Hall again: “While safety is of paramount importance, when the machines are stationary we want our guests to be able to mingle with the competitors. Our aim is to create a slightly noisier than normal garden party!”
A feature of the event is the diversity of machinery that will be on show. For example, the fastest accelerating may not be a car or a plane – but a catamaran capable of 0-100 mph in 4.5 seconds or slightly quicker than a modern F1 car.
Lord Cholmondeley himself is an enthusiastic supporter of the Pageant of Power which follows a family enthusiasm for classic cars. “My grandparents were avid collectors of fine vehicles in the early 20th Century,” he said. “They owned models by Alfa Romeo, Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce. They were friends with Ettore Bugatti and he was commissioned to build them a number of iconic cars.”