Day out to Jaguar Land Rover Solihull – March 16th 2023
An ambitious and expensive idea, but the places filled up within 24 hours.
Alan Acklam offered us the new (three weeks old) Hull City team coach, driven by the team driver Martin. This was really luxury travel.
We arrived early, to a reception of teas/coffees & biscuits.
42 of us were booked in so we had to divide into 2 groups for the tour.
While the first group were going around the factory, the second group decided to enjoy cards and dominoes to pass the time away.
During the tour, we saw the museum showing the history of the Land Rover and we were allowed to sit in one. The factory tour was very informative, and it was obvious by the workmanship, why these cars are so expensive. Only 20% of finished vehicles stay in this country – as there is such a demand for this British-manufactured vehicle in the Middle East and Australasia.
On the ‘Team’ coach Inside the exhibition centre, (photos in factory not allowed)
3 of our members decided to take on the driving experience, at a rather large additional cost, but each one agreed that it was money well spent and was an experience of a lifetime, as told by Adrian Ellis below.
Thursday 16th March saw us Senior Tigers take a trip to the Land-rover / Jaguar factory. Three of us had paid extra to have an ‘off road experience’ after the factory tour. Ian, Pete, and myself had the pleasure of meeting Paul who would be putting us through our paces on the off-road course. Paul had served in the Navy for a number of years before joining the fire service and then retiring, not for long though, as he then joined Jaguar Land Rover as
a driving instructor some 5 years ago.
We each took turns for around 35 minutes behind the wheel, doing as instructed. I soon realised why these vehicles cost so much, as the technology and power that is available are truly incredible, you are driving a computer that can change power from one wheel to another, based on the surface and terrain you drive over. We tilted the vehicle to an angle of 35 degrees whilst climbing a hill, going through water up to the door windows, and then descending a steep decline whilst the vehicle drove itself.
Would I do it again? Absolutely I would and probably pay more money to have longer. A once–in–a–lifetime adventure ticked off the bucket list.
Pete Beaumont, Adrian Ellis
& Ian Puckering Ian & Pete going through the experience