New Year Vintage
That vintage motoring is in good heart in Herefordshire and Wales was evident on New Year’s Day, when, as last year, omens took place at “The Verzons”, just west of Ledbury organised by the area branch of the VSCC. An excellent Christmassy meal was available in the bar and the restaurant was open for full-scale lunches. Many had come in modern cars but more stimulating machinery in the car-park included Gray’s 30/96 Vauxhall, an open 3-litre Lagonda, a 2-litre Ballot saloon, a GP Salmson, two “Chain Gang” Frazer Hashes, a Riley Special, an Ulster Austin with a non-standard radiator cowl, a vintage MS motorcycle, two Austin 12/4s, Macmillan’s Rolls-Royce, that stately 35/120 h.p. Daimler which sustained his occupants with a liquid alfresco meal carried in its trunk (this is not the “Brideshead” Daimler), Price’s Chummy Austin 7 from Rhayader, a Type 55 BMW, a two-seater Railton, a 12/50 tourer, a 9/20 Humber tourer, and no fewer than ten Morgan three-wheelers, including an immaculate Family-model and a s.v.-JAP-engined Aero. These vintage cars were supplemented by grey and bright yellow Ruby Austin 7s, a nice 1932/33 Hillman Mino saloon, a very smart 1½-litre EM Riley saloon, etc. Hamish Moffatt, unable to pass over in his aeroplane, arrived on one of two Scott two-stroke motorcycles and the hot-air balloon was also unable to get aloft, due to the mist on this wintry morning.
The editorial Rover justified its presence by afterwards towing home a 1934 Austin 7 two-seater, also from Wales, that had “retired” at Lyonshall because of a loose flywheel. Prior to which, to flavour a vintage occasion, it had been driven over the course at Rotherwas. outside Hereford, still more or less flanked by factory buildings, where in 1924, a flying ½-mile speed-trial had been held at the WWI shell-filling factory (f.t.d. by H. F. S. Morgan’s Morgan, at some 70 m.p.h.) and then over another old public-road speed-trial course at Whitecross, last used in 1925 (f.t.d. by F. B. Taylor’s Bugatti.) — W.B.