Elan Valley 2022
As part of our new Pembleton Blog we want to share another side of life at Pembleton, and this time we’re looking back to our official owners club event from this summer – Elan Valley 2022.
Aside from our desire to keep pushing on our designs and create the best Pembleton yet, we also have a strong desire to build and grow the Pembleton community further. Whilst for some people, owning their Pembleton may be an experience they may want to enjoy on their own, or limit to just friends or family, for others it’s important to be part of a community of like-minded people. Many become close friends and share memories that stay with them for years to come.
Whilst the core of the business at Pembleton is focussed on creating the perfect car, we also believe strongly that the experience shouldn’t end the day your car leaves our workshops. We therefore have been working in the background to build a growing community that ensures there is still plenty to look forward to and get involved with, and ultimately means that we get to keep our special relationship with many of our owners going for years to come.
As part of our owners club, we’ve always wanted to organise meet ups and trips away. They’re the perfect excuse to get everyone together, create new friendships, and to really get the best out of everyone’s Pembletons by finding some great roads and having some fun.
This year, we decided to organise a weekend away in mid-Wales. It was a very easy choice for us in all honestly. We knew the roads very well and how good they were, and we also knew the scenery was spectacular. Being just a couple of hours from HQ also made it a no brainer.
We knew the route we wanted to take, but because everything would need to be carefully planned to ensure we would be in the right places at the right times, we decided to carry out a reccy of the route. In hindsight, early February wasn’t the best time of year to test out the route, especially given we did it on two motorbikes and a 1920’s Austin 7 special. We got a complete wash out during a full weekend of amber weather warnings. But despite the drenched socks and dripping gloves, the trip was a success as we had finalised all of our checkpoints and were happy with the route.
So we got the team together, along with the help of some friends to support the trip. We wanted a support vehicle to follow the group, just in case anyone got separated from the rest of the cars, or needed any refreshments. And we also wanted a lead bike to ride ahead and direct at any tricky turns that could be missed.
With the team in place and prepped for the weekend, the route finalised, a summer date locked in for the event, and owners signed up and ready to go, it was time to enjoy a great weekend away.
We started the trip from HQ, with the early morning set aside to allow owners to arrive and sign in. Then of course, plenty of time for tea, coffee and biscuits and a good old natter before getting under way. We provided welcome packs for the event which included Elan Valley 2022 t-shirts, checkpoint cards (these would be stamped at each checkpoint during the weekend), direction maps (should anyone lose the group between checkpoints) and other goodies such as coffee mugs and embroidered patches.
With everyone signed in, briefed and raring to go, it was time to get underway. We got loaded up, fired up our engines, and with the drop of the flag we were all off and on our way to our first checkpoint on the route.
Our first stop on the route would be at Crossgates, Powys, around an hour and a quarters drive from HQ, and 30 minutes over the Welsh border. Immediately as we set off we started to get glimpses of the scenery to come, with stunning views off the top of Clee Hill within 15 minutes of leaving. We began working our way towards the Welsh border and the roads began to get progressively more exciting, just as the scenery became more spectacular. The unbroken views from the Pembleton cockpit and the glorious weather just enhanced the experience even more. Once we arrived at Crossgates we had a quick check of numbers and signed everyone in before moving on to our next stop at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre.
Nestled in the foot of the valley and below the Cabam Coch Dam, this was the perfect location for a stretch of the legs and a spot of lunch. Refuelled with paninis and chocolate orange cheese cake, we were ready to start our tour of the dams.
We did a full loop of the valley including a drive up to to Claerwen Dam and reservoir, one of the most dramatic dams in the Elan Valley. We then worked our way back through some great roads that followed the waters edge all the way out of the valley, passing several other dams in the process. Many of our owners had never visited this area before and were blown away by the beauty of it, as well as the fun that the roads provided.
We then followed even more windy and enjoyable roads that began to open up a little, giving the opportunity for some to have a slightly more ‘spirited’ section of driving. We worked our way towards Devils Bridge for a coffee stop and look at the waterfalls before looping around to what would be the last stop of our day, just north of Llandovery, below Llyn Brianne reservoir.
Everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the first day of driving and many were blown away by both the roads and scenery. It had presented an opportunity for many to use their cars in ways they hadn’t before with such flowing and enjoyable roads, without being held up by traffic. We all went for a meal at a local pub and chatted away over dinner. Inevitably the main topic was anything and everything Pembleton related, and it was a really nice opportunity for us to be there in person and have a good laugh and a drink with everyone.
Our second day started very much like the first, great weather and fantastic roads from the beginning. Our first stop was only 15 minutes into the day at Lynne Brianne reservoir. Whilst the roads along this section of Mid Wales were some of the best in the country, there was also another reason for visiting this part of Wales; this was an area we had used to shoot the T24 launch video. We worked our way through the valley, descending down Devils Staircase before working our way back towards the English border and into Ludlow, our penultimate stop. We spent around an hour in Ludlow, taking in the Castle and the late 11th century parts of the medieval town before grabbing a bite to eat.
It was then time for our last leg of the journey, back to HQ.
It had been a wonderful weekend and was in all, a great success. We got back to HQ and everyone got their final checkpoint stamps and said their goodbyes. The weather had been perfect, the roads were fantastic and the cars had been faultless. So all in all, we felt really happy with how everything had gone, and the feedback really reinforced this for us.
A big thank you to everyone who was part of the weekend and to everyone who helped make it happen. We’re very much looking forward to the next one!
If you want to be part of our growing Pembleton family, then we welcome you to explore this by coming to meet us and having a look our cars up close. You can book in your one-to-one visit here.