On Sunday 14th April, we welcomed nearly 1,400 Land Rover Defender and 4×4 enthusiasts, as well as their friends and families, looking for a great day, and that is exactly what we gave them! Although we didn’t quite order the weather right this year, it was fairly chilly, but with extra layers a bit of cold weather wasn’t going to stop us having fun – after all there was not a drop of rain in sight.
The car park was filled with hundreds of interesting Land Rovers and 4x4s, which made a real show itself before visitors even got down to the main event at the Castle.
New for this year was the Darkside Crawlers, a group of radio controlled 4×4 off road vehicle enthusiasts, who were based in the American Gardens – each visitor would have to walk past their display on the way to the Castle and had chance to either watch the groups skills over their off road course (which they had built especially for the event) or have a go themselves.
The main attractions of the day were held at the Castle. There were over 55 vehicles in our ‘Ultimate Display’ on the Castle lawn – everything from a limited edition Camel Trophy Defender to an ex Royal Logistic Corps Series, and even a Bowler retailing at a whopping £180K.
Around the event there were a variety of motor and country related trade stands, including; Steve Toyer Parts, Stags, Woodland Trust, Roger Young, Pioneer 4×4, Tamar Country Cars, Jack Fielder Land Rover and Dartmoor Feather and Fur.
Another new edition for this year’s event was the adventurer talks. We had 3 talks taking place in the Castle dining room throughout the day. The first was Team Wyvern, otherwise known as Gary Parkinson and Julia Hobday, they talked about summer touring from the UK to above the arctic circle in Norway and explaining all that is needed for trip planning and route choice. Next up was Guy Cashmore, of the Devon & Cornwall Land Rover Club. Guy’s talk was about his Land Rover Camper, ‘The Adventures of Mabel’. Last up was Mike Andrews who spoke about his famous trip from The Beagle Channel (Cape Horn) to Fairbanks Alaska in 1960. The team were forced to quit their tour, but Mike returned with the very same vehicle and two companions in August 2015, driving the last 500 miles from Fairbanks to Endicott Island in the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean)! Mike’s trip even made the newspapers!
There were mouth-watering smells bursting out of the food stands, woodfired pizzas from Kernowforno, ultimate steak burgers as well as pork and venison burgers were a hit from Good Game, keeping the Cornish lunch real was Helluva Pasty, and a hog roast from D.H Dawe and sons. The Off Road Cafe and The Little Brew Bar kept everyone warm by serving excellent hot drinks and delicious crepes were made by Coastal Crepes. Our Skinner’s sponsored bar was, as always, a hit and many a pint of Betty Stogs was enjoyed! This year we had an additional bar – the Honky Tonk Bar, renovated by Jack Feilder Land Rovers, serving wine, fizz and Trevethan G&Ts.
Our pledge to reducing waste and single use plastic at our outdoor events is ever growing. Since investing in eco cups from Branded Cups, and operating a deposit scheme on our bars, we have continued to reduce our waste by at least two thirds. We noticed quite a few of you chose to take home your eco cups this year so we hope you have many more adventures reusing them!
Landulph Under Fives pre-school provided some fabulous entertainment for the younger kids, with face painting, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts an egg hunt and a bouncy Castle – all money raised from donations went to the pre-school. Down on the old tennis lawn, overlooking the river Tamar was a Toylander course – once again the kids amazed us with their incredible driving skills – better than some of the adults seen around the off-road course! Older kids and adults were entertained by air rifle shooting, laser clay shooting and archery.
As previous years, the 6 kilometre 4×4 off-road course was extremely well received, the ‘sleeper challenge’ was once again enjoyed, as was the water cutting feature – with the dry weather, this year was the first year we could route the course to climb the steep hill. We have already got some ideas floating about on how we can challenge you and your vehicles next year!
Many chose to have a chauffeur driven experience on the 4×4 course. Cornwall and Devon Land Rover club were offering rides for £5 per person.
Thank you to Bearmach for sponsoring the people’s choice Best in Show award – the two prizes (each a £50 Bearmach gift voucher) were awarded to Jeremy Pascoe and Dave Gualtieri. Voters paid £1 per sticker to take part, with £70 being donated to Devon and Cornwall 4×4 Response, alongside the additional monies raised from the event activities.
A special thanks to Launceston First Aid who once again were on hand in case of any medical incidents.
We hope you all agree with the Pentillie Team, that 2019 was our best Defender Day to date. The whole event went well and we have received some really positive feedback from those who came, which makes all the hard work extremely worthwhile.
Pentillie Defender Day will return next year on Sunday 29th March 2020 – we look forward to welcoming you back.