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Autumn 2019 - by Richard Edgell
Welcome to the Autumn Newsletter. We are now coming towards the end of our season which has seen a number of opportunities to use our club cars, and I believe that those who have attended them have had a good time. Some of these events take a great deal of organising, for example the Road Run took four reconnaisances and over 800 miles of driving before it was ready to roll. Others, such as the pub meets at The Colney Fox and The Winning post are simple affairs, but all of these events need your support of we are to prosper in our 51st and future years. The big event of the year will be our anniversary dinner on Tuesday 1st October. Our section is celebrating its Golden Jubilee and we shall dine in style at The Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, one of the world’s most prestigious clubs. Planning for this event is now complete and invitations have been sent to all club members have paid for their tickets. We are pleased with the good number of responses we have received, it should be a great evening.
Will Bate continues to look after our magnificent website: which has full details of forthcoming events, lots of photos of recent past events and a section members forum page.
David Siegal, our treasurer and membership secretary will email this to all those on our database for whom we have an email address, and I will post it out to paid-up Section members without a known email address.
Finally, can I remind members to advise us of the club cars that they own? We would also love to include photos of your cars and some of their histories on our website. If you are able to email me with details including chassis I would be grateful.
REPORTS ON RECENT EVENTS
The Middlesex Section Road Run 14th April
This was the longest Road Run we have arranged, involving a roundtrip of over 200 miles for most of our participants. We met bright and early in Hemel Hempstead at the Frogmore Papermill, the World’s oldest mechanised papermill and now preserved under the protection of a charity. We were given a brilliant tour by their general manager and fellow car enthusiast Paul Botje. We saw close up their 1902 paper machine which had been donated to the mill, and which is used for small runs of specialised papers. These include their famous ‘Elle poo’ paper which has been adopted as the paper of choice by RREC Middlesex members. The same machine has been used to make the specialised paper used in ballet dancers’ shoes for the last 60 years. Equally impressive is their 1895 machine, the mill race and the heritage fire engine. I can strongly recommend a visit.
Twenty- six of us then set off though the Chilterns and the Cherwell Valley driving along some roads which many of us had not seen before and which afforded us some wonderful views in the spring sunshine. After a swift lunch stop in a proper pub we drove through some unspoiled roads before ending our drive at the utterly charming Cotswold Motoring Museum at Bourton-on-the-Water.
I am grateful to our intrepid participants for joining the run, the 2020 run will be a little shorter.
Visit to the Magic Circle 28th March
Our first 2019 central London meeting was at the end of March and was in the Euston area, so naturally all but one of our group used public transport. 23 members and friends attended the event. Jackie Sandell organised this for us and writes that it was 'Close-Up' show where we watched professional magicians performing up close.
We had the opportunity to look around the amazing museum before the show started. Our group saw four magicians perform fascinating tricks that we had no idea how they had done it! The magicians moved round our groups to show us their skills.
Many thanks to Jackie for arranging this popular event, which will be repeated sometime in the future.
Kings Road 300 6th May
One of the most unusual events of the year took a select group of us to The King’s Road, Chelsea. This was in support of a small commemorative exhibition put on to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the opening of the reopening of this road by George I to members of the public after it had been closed by Queen Anne some years earlier. The exhibition illustrated some of the connections of interest to our club members.. Hooper & Co. (Coachbuilders) Ltd were at 77 King's Road until the 1930s. J. Gurney Nutting & Co moved to the their new Elystan Works off the Kings Road in 1924 before moving a short distance into to the former premises of Elkington at Lacland Place, World's End.Post war H. J. Mulliner & Co. occupied 212 New King's Road as a repair centre. Eleanor Thornton, who famously became the model for the 1910 Rolls-Royce mascot, lived at The Pheasantry,152 King's Road.
Five cars represented some of this history, comprising my Gurney Nutting Bentley 3 litre built at the Elystan Works. Peter Blond’ 20/25 faux cabriolet and Simon Taylor’s 4.25litre sedanca coupe, both built by Gurney Nutting at Lacland Place. The post war era was represented by David Siegal’s H J Mulliner S3 Continental and Godrey and Margaret Bailon- Bending represented the swinging sixties with their very early T series Bentley. None of us were troubled by ULEZ.
Sunday 14 July 2019 Visit to Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey
Despite some competition from the Cricket World Cup final, the Wimbledon Men’s final and the British Grand Prix, Tony O’Brart had mustered eleven club cars and 27 people to tour this fine estate overlooking the Mole Valley near Dorking. In the morning sunshine we climbed aboard carriages being pulled by a Land-Rover up into the hills of Surrey. Climbing slowly uphill enabled the most stunning views of the vines and magnificent views of the estate and the North Downs. We had commentary throughout the entire trip and learned that with climate change the vines do not need watering as the chalk hills retain enough water to feed the grapes so much so that the French are looking to grow their grapes over here ! At the top of the hills we learned about the history and the beautiful mansion built by Cubitt and modelled originally on Osborne House. Like so many houses it was put to use during the 2nd World War.
We then descended to the restaurant for lunch and a look around the large gift shop . Most of our group were then given a guided tour of the winery, shown how the grapes are picked stored, selected and finally turned into wine , red ,white , rose and sparkling ,we all were treated to several glasses of each wine just to prove how good the wine was. We all returned back to the shop to purchase our several mementos of a very memorable day ,lucky that our cars all had large boots judging by the number of crates being loaded up for the journey home .Our thanks to Tony O’Brart for organising the visit and the sunshine.
This was the first section event organised by Will Bate, who has contributed the following for us:
Bruntingthorpe Aviation maintains a fabulous collection of Cold War Jets at their airfield in Leicestershire. Although retired from active duty, many of the jets remain in fully working order and therefore, twice a year, it opens its doors for visitors to experience a truly unique event. We met at The Elms Pub car park in Lutterworth and departed in convoy at 9.30am. Twelve of us travelled to the airfield in an assortment of cars including a 1951 Bentley MK VI, 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur, 2007 Bentley Arnage T and two non- club cars, a Jaguar F Type and BMW 5 series. Upon arrival at the airfield we parked next to the Super Guppy, an aircraft built in 1970 and used extensively by Airbus to transport component parts for their aeroplanes. We had fantastic weather during the day with temperatures reaching 30C. The heat had turned the vast loading bay of the Super Guppy into something of a greenhouse as we discovered when we visited. Although we did have the chance to cool down under the vast wings of the Guppy which in the shade also made for a good picnic spot. The major highlights of the day were the fast taxi of iconic British aircraft including the a 1963 Comet Mk 4C (incidentally, the Comet was the world's first Jet airliner), Vickers VC10 which first flew in 1962, Nimrod, English Electric Lightning and one of the V Force Nuclear deterrent bombers from the 1960's, a Victor, to name just a few. Throughout the day members had the chance to sit in all of the aircraft and some even took the captain’s seat for the full experience. We were able to speak with the countless volunteers who maintain this unique fleet at Bruntingthorpe.
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th September Section weekend at The Knoll House Hotel, Studland -
Jackie Sandell organised a wonderful weekend for us in Dorset and writes as follows:
On the weekend of 6-8th September, a group of 16 members stayed at the Knoll House Hotel in Studland, Dorset. It was a superb weekend in a traditional English hotel with beautiful sea views and great amenities including an outdoor pool. We grouped together for dinner and bubbly to celebrate 50 years of the Middlesex Section. On the Saturday, we set off with an entourage of classic and modern cars including a Mk VI an S3 Continental, a Shadow II, a Silver Spur and an Arnage T. Our first stop was the village of Corfe with some of us going on the steam train to Swanage and some going into Corfe castle ruins or just browsing the village with model railway.
We then drove in convoy to Lulworth Cove with a scenic stop where we were joined by a T2. We visited the quaint village and had chips at the small cove and then to burn off those chips, did the hill walk towards Durdle Door, while two of us also did a boat trip to see Jurassic Coast from the sea.
On the Sunday some mad Bentley drivers had to leave at 5am to go to the Bentley Drivers Club Concours at Blenheim Palace The rest of us stayed in Studland, some relaxing at the hotel using the facilities and some who needed some more car activity, went to a local Classic and Steam show. It was a lovely weekend. Thanks to all those who made it great.