Twin Town Blog Part 2

Twin Town Blog Part 2 News

It’s three weeks on since we finished the Twin Town challenge but we wanted to wait until the final donations were in before releasing this part of the blog. With over £111,000 raised the event has blown away everyone’s expectations.

Before we get back to the story we need to say a few thank you's

The Twin Town Challenge was a privilege to be a part of. However we could never have participated if not for our amazing support network.

  • The team at Urban Element were eager and enthused from the start of the event. Even though the vast majority would not attend the Twin Town challenge, everyone did their bit to ensure the Urban Agility team left Cornbury Park ready to face the challenge.
  • Matthew Baker turned up in order to hand out 200 cup cakes
  • Mac’s Garage were fundamental in the preparations of the Urban Agility car, offering us a free service for taking part. Take a look at them on Facebook
  • Brian Hicks was a fundamental part of the team, building the Urban Agility bar, fitting the LED lighting, and driving for massive chunks of the journey.
  • A huge thanks goes out to Caroline Hicks who with Sophia Etherington baked the 200 Urban Element cupcakes that we handed out at the start of the event.
  • Thank you Blue Print Imaging for the last minute social media packs and car stickers. 
  • Our Social Media community is of huge importance to us and our team of supporters, followers and friends did a wonderful job of spreading the message of SpecialEffect and the Twin Town Challenge.
  • Urban Element are pleased to have been involved in the event, but hats off to Brendan Cross and the STL team who did such a wonderful job of organising the event.

  • Lastly, Urban Element have been proud to support SpecialEffect through the years. We’d like to thank them for the wonderful work they do.

So back to the story…..

Day 3

When we woke the following morning, the sun was bright. It was our last full day in Le Touquet and we were determined to make the most of it. The teams were to meet at a car park in the town centre. So after a relaxed breakfast, ordered with some dodgy French, we left our hotel in high spirits. Unfortunately these spirits were dashed as the big red Citroen, elated to be in its home country, came over all French on us. The check engine light was flashing, indicating that fuel depollution system was not working. We lost all power to the car and could a reach flat out 30 mph meaning that, despite the fact we were about to attend a 15 lap race day, we were the slowest thing on the road. Nevertheless we arrived to the meet on time and as we left the engineers to scratch their heads we did the only thing that seemed appropriate and opened the bar. Despite the early time, the bar was once again a popular destination and proved to be an effective way of connecting with potential clients and talking through their wants and needs for web design and online marketing.

Mechanical difficulties on Day 3

After a few diagnostics were run we were asked if we had turned the car on and off again. We did so and like magic the car purred into life. It was just in time as we were about to leave for our last race track, Croix En Ternois.

Croix En Ternois

The track was an hour’s drive away from Le Touquet. We weaved through beautiful country roads and reached the track at about 11. Here we had two main challenges.

Jon and Tash were bought a beer by track owner, Andre Hequet

The first of which was the culmination of the car booty challenge, where a member of the team would have to wear everything we collected and pose on the bonnet of their car. We were still two items short, needing a beret and a string of onions. Luckily Jon was on the case and within moments he arrived with a string of garlic that we cleverly passed off as onions. We tied a scarf around Douglas’ head as a beret and the costume was complete scoring nearly maximum points.

Don’t tell Hobgoblin but the garlic was pillaged from their boot

The next challenge was entitled “Tyred and Emotional” and would involve us changing a tyre on the Citroen. Matt our online marketing manager took the opportunity to bond with Brian over the challenge and we finished well, in a top 10 position. It was turning into a good day for the Urban Agility team. We were unsure as to exactly how long we had on the track, however after some brilliant bargaining from Brendon we were given three sets of 5 laps. Jon took the first set of 5 and hammered the automatic around the track reaching speeds of up to 100 miles an hour. Next it was Douglas’ go, and having never driven an automatic, Matt and Brian bravely decided to watch from the side-lines. Matt took the next stint and even managed a few over takes. Not bad for an Automatic. Whilst being great for charity, events like these also offer ideal opportunities for us to showcase our services and expertise. With many companies attending, we took the opportunity to demonstrate our own skills by handing out free social media and website audits as prizes to certain teams. These prizes included:

Each lucky winner had their company’s website audited with recommendations by our online marketing experts.

007 party

We made our way home, the car smelling like warm rubber and burnt breaks. Tonight was to be the main party night. As Le Touquet was the home of Ian Fleming the party had a 007 theme and all the teams made an effort. SpecialEffect had arranged a street closure complete with live music, charity bars and a ‘money can’t buy’ auction. Brian even managed to get the Urban Agility bar invited along with two charity buckets.

Our Casino Royale Challenge Photo

We dressed up our finery with tuxes and ball gowns, and Douglas – our token Scott – even brought his kilt along. Here we completed yet another challenge by taking a James Bond inspired photograph. With Food music and drink we celebrated the success of the Twin Town challenge with the locals. Music came from the Village Idiots featuring bassist Mark Saville, a member of the SpecialEffect team. The auction Half way through the night the band took a break and the auction began. Featuring prizes such as a tour around the Wychwood Brewery and an F1 hospitality package, the auction raised over £15,000 for SpecialEffect with some bids in excess of £4,000. Ken Norman from Brethertons Solicitors LLP even stripped for donations. However, the photos have been censored for the time being. After this the Village Idiots took to the stage once more and the Twin Town Challengers carried on into the night.

The journey home

During the night we had raised over £300 from the bar for SpecialEffect and despite our sore heads we were feeling good. We snacked on croissants and set off around 11 hoping to make a 12:30 train. The journey home seemed to take longer than the journey to get here. We hit the road for the last time with heavy eyes. It had been a gruelling weekend of early mornings and late nights. In three days we drove over 1000 miles in the south of England and North of France, all of it in a car that had been bought from an auction for just £450. In the last 4 days that car had been our home, our offices, our entertainment, and at the end of a long day, our favourite bar. And now we were going home. We arrived back in Witney at 15:00, an hour too early for the celebratory BBQ, feeling tired but happy. We knew from social media that some cars had broken down and there were now Twin Town Challengers strewn on both sides of the tunnel. We felt among the lucky ones. A couple months previous, our journey begun at the Twin Town safety briefing at the beautiful Witney Lakes Resort. It was here we parked for the culmination of the journey. We ate food and shared drinks with our fellow challengers. It had been a long, fun, and sometimes hard journey. We had woken early, slept late and broken down. But we had made it and the charity we have supported for the past three years, and continue to support, is now at least £110,000 better off. The Twin Town Challenge had been a huge success. So who is up for it next year?????

Jon Ellard
- Director

A results driven, self-motivated and resourceful director with a proven ability to develop and strengthen client relationships. With 14 years marketing experience Jon’s main focus is to ensure clients receive return on investment from their online investment. Jon has excellent people skills and possesses the valuable ability to explain technically-complex subjects and make them comprehensible.


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