SALT 9 Norfolk Campaign B-Roads and Broads took place 5-7 June 2015. SALT HQ was The Swan Hotel in Harleston where we received a fantastic welcome from hotel owner Robin Twigge and what seemed to be the whole town dropping by to see us. Robin and Ian Carstairs even dressed the hotel for us with suitable flags.
For 2015 our usually good turnout of UK based vehicles was boosted by an impressive convoy of Trabants and a Wartburg from the Mittelhessen Trabant Club who drove over from Frankfurt for the weekend. Most of them were camping at the nearby Orchard Cottage campsite along with a few UK Tourists.
As the German contingent and several other Tourists arrived at HQ on Thursday night an impromptu tour to Southwold was arranged for Friday. The Suffolk town has probably not seen so much two stroke action on the harbour since the demise of the British Seagull outboard motor.
Friday night the rest of the Tourists arrived in Harleston with a grand total of 23 cars and each getting a goodie bag. Excellent coverage from the local press and radio meant that we were joined by many locals who called by to see us, including a local Trabant that lived nearby.
Saturday morning started with a visit from BBC Radio Norfolk’s Wally Webb for a live outside broadcast as we set off for a day touring the Broads and north Norfolk. If Harleston didn’t already know that we were in town, two laps of the one way system made our presence felt.
First stop on the tour was Reedham Ferry which coped well taking us across the Yare three cars at a time. The RAF Radar Air Defence Museum at Neatishead opened especially for us with the Cold War Ops Room being the highlight of the weekend for many.
A traditional part of all SALT Tours is an opportunity for intrepid motorists to get their wheels wet with a ford or watersplash. SALT 9’s offering was one of our more challenging crossings, locals on Beck Lane in Horsham St Faiths insisted that the gravel bottomed ford was impassable by all but 4x4s. As it was, the Moskvich, Lada, Trabant and Skoda that attempted it all made it through with no problem.
Our final visit on Saturday was the City of Norwich Aviation Museum who parked us under the wing of their Vulcan before taking our Tourists on tours inside the bomber and their Nimrod.
Saturday night was time for our Gala Dinner preceded by a talk about Cold War public information films by Richard Deswarte from UEA. The Spirit of SALT trophy was awarded to Adam Drake-Brockman for his boundless enthusiasm and infectious excitement, the long distance ward went collectively to the Frankfurt contingent.
Sunday morning took us across the border again for some touring in Suffolk, firstly for a coffee stop at St Peters Brewery then on to the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, where, again, local press coverage meant we were expected by staff, volunteers and visitors alike.
Our final visit of the weekend was a stop at the Norfolk Tank Museum where a number of (foolhardy) Tourists took their superior Eastern Bloc vehicles for a spin around the museum’s tank course with varying degrees of success.