V-E-V miscellany, March 1980, March 1980

We were sorry to learn that Sir Giles Guthrie, Bt., OBE, DSC, died at the age of 63 on the last day of last year. Sir Giles was Chairman of BOAC from 1946-1968 and his sporting achievements in the air included winning, with C. W. A. Scott, the England-Johannesburg race at 116 m.p.h. and the King’s Cup Race, piloted by Charles Gardner, the Yardley heir, at 164.47 m.p.h. in a Percival Vega Gull, both in 1936. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, Guthrie served with the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, with the rank of Lt.-Commamder. The Bean CC again has its Daffodil Run, from Knowle Hill to Brighton, this year scheduled for April 30th. Canal & Rivercraft Ltd. are restoring an old Thames motor-launch, circa 1927, which appears to have been powered with a side-valve Anzani engine, driving through a marine gearbox. The Western Mercury recently carried a letter about the lords that have featured in the route of the VMCC Cheddar Trials and also a picture of three vans belonging to a local grocer with gas-bags they used during the 1914 18 war, when they apparently had women drivers. The Carlisle Museum & Art Gallery has published an article about the 1911 Circuit of Britain Air Race, illustrated with some photographs it has acquired, in its publication Gallery. The race started and finished at Brooklands. The article, which was sent to us by Tom Northey of Pirelli, is especially interesting to those who like to trace still-extant contacts with the past, because it seems likely that you can still visit the Turf Hotel, by the Swifts where the aviators landed and took-off at Carlisle. Built in 1839, this hotel had a flat roof to serve as a grandstand at what was then the Carlisle racecourse and during the air race 5/- seats were erected thereon by the then licencee, G. Hindmoor. It was here, too, that Cody had come in a horse-cab, after force-landing, to beg for more time. Presumably the high ground to the north of the river and the paths to the south of it, from which crowds watched for the arrival of the machines, are still there, and also St. Michael’s Church at Stanwix, from where the bell-tower provided a look-out and from which a large flag was flown to show competitors the way; even maybe Eden Bridge, that was a take-off hazard. 

The STD Register, which caters for Wolverhampton Sunbeam and Roesch Talbot cars and STD Darracqs, etc., will hold as Wolverhampton and Sandhurst events again in 1980, the former over the week-end ot the 28th/29th, with an assembly of Wolverhampton-built cars. Rather amusing — from pre-war advertisements reproduced in two different club magazines we note that Armstrong Siddeley were encouraging prospective purchasers of their 14 h.p. model to raise its bonnet and observe “. . . the compact design, the finish of small pieces, the smoothly-flowed enamel, polished aluminium, clean castings, the fit of the flanges, and joints; no bits of bent wire, no black paintwork covering blotchy castings, no cables straggling, untidily round the engine, no tin covers, no oil leaks, no dirt, no apologies. and study the controls with their rods and ball-and-socket joints,” while Thomson & Taylor (Brooklands) Ltd. seized on the introduction of the 30 m.p.h. speed-limit to remind customers that the Railton which was just a very wonderful car before was now something more — almost a necessity, because it would handle on top gear as no other car on the market and accelerage trom 10-30 m.p.h. in 3 sec. and when out of the controlled area from 30-60 m.p.h. on top in sec. — period claims! The active and enthusiastic Austin Ten D C was able to announce the selection of 22 new members, in its January edition of its magazine, their cars ranging from 1933 10/4 to 1939 “Cambridge” saloons and later; details of these “new” cars are given, from which it is seen that they range from very dilapidated ones awaiting restoration to immaculate, long-stored specimens, including one-previous-owner “Cambridge” and a 16/6 “open road” model stored since 1974. Others have been found in barns and orchards and the picture on the magazine’s front cover is of a 1938 “Cambridge” saloon purchased in 1966 for £35 but now in rally-attending condition — which should provide encouragement to others. The Club Membership Secretary is: P. Woodend, 3, Estcourt Drive, Widmer End, High Wycombe, Bucks., HP1S 6AH. — W.B.