THE FINAL DINNERS
The Junior Car Club.
TFIE J.C.C. certainly belied their title on the occasion of their annual gathering, for no fewer than 500 guests were present, and even the galleries of the traditional Club Banqueting Hall at the Park Lane Hotel were occupied. In the absence of Sir Arthur Stanley, Professor A. M. Low presided as Chairman, and after a cheerful dinner in no way married by the Belisha Beacon’s which formed part of the decorations on every table, the diners sat back in anticipation of a bright speech by Lieut. -Colonel J. T. C. Moore-Brabazon, M.P., who was proposing the health of the Club.
Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon did not disappoint his listeners ; after reminding them that in the House of Commons the whole body of motorists was a gang of desperate criminals, an assembly such as theirs was regarded almost as a gathering of criminals whose very presence would cause the Management with misgivings to count the spoons, he protested against the misrepresentation of the weekly accident figures, and the hysterical propaganda spread by the Ministry of Transport. The fact that 8,000 people met their ends within their own homes each year might equally well be used by the Ministry of Health as an argument for wholesale desertion of houses in favour of living in tents. He did deplore that the million motorists in this country spoke not with one voice but with two or three, and pleaded for more cooperation between the various motoring interests so that the prosperous and numerous motoring community should receive the fair treatment which had been secured by other and better organised communities, and mentioned the good work which was being done by the Road Federation, with which Lord Howe, whose name was so familiar to his present audience, was closely connected.
After some shrewd remarks about London as an Orange Grove and England as a land of Passovers, the speaker commented favourably on the growth of the J.C.C. Caravan Section and less favourably on the limited accommodation which our modern small cars provide. Professor A. M. Low who was proposing the toast of the guests confessed that Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon’s speech had covered everything which could be said on the present situation, so he could only thank him and remind his audience of his distinguished racing career at the beginning of the century, which made him doubly welcome, while
it was also interesting to know that he held the first Pilot’s Certificate issued by the Royal Aero Club. Professor Low also welcomed Mr. A. P. Bradley, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Colonel Lindsay Lloyd and Commander Armstrong of the B.A.C.
After dinner, prizes were awarded to the holders of numbered programmes, one of the most embarrassing being a large glass bowl in which gold-fish were swimming. The floor was then cleared for dancing, with the further attraction of cabaret turns during the course of the evening.
The Monte Carlo Rally British Competitors’ Club.
“The Rally” is a competition which takes a firm hold on those who have once taken part in it, and there was a fine gathering of former and prospective participants at the dinner held at the Park Lane Hotel at the beginning of December. The toast of the Club was proposed by Major C. Montague Johnstone, who spoke of the improvement of status of the Monte Carlo Rally competitors, who were no longer regarded by the other visitors to Monte Carlo as ” loose-living dreadful people,” as they were when he started
rallying.” He recalled former runs and was glad to see that such stalwarts as Jack Hobbs, Whalley, Symons and Donald Healey were still taking part. They were gathered there partly to do honour to Colonel Lindsey Lloyd, who had rendered the British Competitors and the Club such service as R.A.C. Delegate to the Rally, and who had now accepted the Presidency of the Club in succession to Lord de Clifford.
Colonel Lloyd in reply, regretted very much Major Montague Johnson was this year not a competitor and wished him luck in his venture of camel riding across Africa. He was very sensible of the honour that had been paid him in electing him President, and liked to think of this appointment as showing the close cooperation between the M.C.C.B.C.C. and the Royal Automobile Club. He had for many years been connected for Brooklands, that testing ground of British cars, and was now happy to be associated with the Rally, which taught English manufacturers equally important data as to the behaviour of their finished products. H. B. Brown, who still continues his unremitting work as Hon. Secretary, recalled the President’s early acquaintance with driving on ice-bound roads, when he
accomplished the run from Wolverhampton to Coventry in 24hours in 1903. He welcomed a party of 12 enthusiastic members from Glasgow, and mentioned with gratitude the fine reception accorded to Rally Competitors passing through that city.
Speech-making over, the diners adjourned for dancing and reminiscence, the only regret of those present being the early closing of proceedings at an early hour on Sunday morning.
The Bugatti Owners’ Club,
Mr. Eric Giles, the Secretary of the Club is to be congratulated on his enterprise in choosing Claridges’ Hotel as the venue for the Annual Dinner. Some 150 members attended, and a particularly welcome visitor was Monsieur Jean Bugatti, son of the famous constructor, who had paid a flying visit to England to meet once again the enthusiasts who had gathered on this occasion.
Speeches were brief and to the point. Lord Howe the President of the Club, read a telegram from Monsieur Ettore regretting not being able to be present owing to business engagements, and then went on to say how encouraging was the growth of the Club, the first as far as he recollected of the “one-make “clubs in this country. There was no finer way of learning about a motor car than to own a Bugatti, and the large gathering of enthusiasts there that night was a tribute to the charm of driving and the satisfaction of owning these thoroughbred motor cars.
Jean Bugatti in reply, recorded how much his father, and he, appreciated the keenness of their private owners in England, and his pleasure to be once more present at the Club Dinner. After Colonel Giles had thanked Lord Howe for his active participation and help in the progress of the Club, Monsieur Bugatti distributed the numerous prizes. Alan Bainton who runs a 2.3 litre car secured the lion’s share, while Colonel Giles, and L. G. Bachelier, who secured the Victor Ludorum Cup by winning it three years in succession, were not far behind. A Cup to replace it, it was announced, had been presented by Monsieur Bugatti, and would be competed for under the same conditions during the 1935 season.
Dancing followed the dinner, and proceedings were further enlivened by a quite uncanny conjurer and Ronald Frank.,au the entertainer, whose songs and stories retained their customary piquancy. Altogether a most enjoyable evening.