WB Rumblings, March 2005

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The Hants and Berks MC, which was formed in January 1946, and which has members who come from outside those two counties and which publishes Sidelights magazine with its entertaining accounts of motoring experiences and events, is already planning its Diamond Jubilee. To join this jolly organisation, members of which help marshall at important trials, ring Pam Roper on 0118 9787 684, or there is a website, whatever that is!

***

The Amilcar-Salmson Register magazine for January included reports of adventures with a 1925 CGS Amilcar in last year’s Mille Miglia Retro, which included snow on the route to Rome, and with a supercharged CGSS in a German International Rally, plus a piece on Amilcars in Australia. The club, although specialized, is no less enthusiastic, and numbers 24 CGSS Amilcars in its membership, which embraces all small French sportscars. Membership Secretary: Len Battyll. tel: 01428 645724.

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The R-R EC continues to publish its truly magnificent Bulletin: its 2005 fixture list, of events divided among 19 sections, is too long to publish here. The Bulletin is a mix of technical, historical and maintenance material: the last 2004 issue included articles about Offords coachwork, a life with Bentleys, owning a Derby Bentley, the Bristol R-R Heritage Collection, an apprentice’s memories of Crewe, and what R-R thought of the SS Jaguar, etc. There is also a video/DVD available about how the R-REC has remembered a centenary of Rolls-Royce. Contact The Hunt House. tel: 01327 811489.

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The Preston District VCC thrives, with a good magazine and varied events. Membership secretary: P Milne-Taylor. tel: 01772 862451.

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In spite of a very wet New Year’s Day and a new venue, near Hereford, more vintage cars arrived at this gathering formerly held at The Verzons than in the last three years of these winter and summer socials some 133 in all. The distance award went to Robert Craven, who drove his 3-litre Bentley all the way from Swansea, the concours prize to a Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce, ahead of Mike Marshall’s methanol-fuelled T35B Bugatti, with Matthew Blake’s BNC third. The oldest car to make the journey was David Groves’ 1911 White.

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Commendable plans are in hand by the Vintage Austin Register for the Austin Centenary, to be remembered with a special event on July 8-11. Austins from far afield are expected, a German contingent already entered. The place? Longbridge, of course. An Austin Whippet ‘plane will be on display and it is hoped to have a cavalcade through the town. Contact Barry Davis on 0121 7111 452 or 07929 588 357

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The Ulster Pre-War A7 Club is having its own centenary celebrations, with 140 or so Austins of all kinds expected for a 100-mile run. etc, in Ballymena. One of the cars expected is the oldest Austin still in road use, a 1907 18/24. Contact UPWAC on 02825 880 666.

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The Singer OC has its Centenary commemoration in Coventry from August 12-14, when Singer vehicles are to be displayed in order of age at Stoneleigh Abbey. There will be no concours awards, the age line-up taking preference. Interest is being displayed in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and America. The event is open to anyone with a Singer, not just club members. The usual social events will be held at the Royal Court Hotel, Keresley, Coventry. Contact the Events Organiser Richard Wheatland on 01293 771 722, between 7-9pm.

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The Inter-Register contests, mooted originally by Motor Sport, continue this year, providing an annual competition among one-make organisations for normal cars. Dates are not finalised, but the 750 MC, Riley Register and Austin Ten OC intend to provide suitable events, of map-reading, ‘scatter’ rallies, driving tests, and night rally diversity. The final 2004 event was the Austin Ten’s contribution, its Nightjar Rally, which had 21 crews of which 10 were pre-war cars. The Inter-Register Team Shield was won by the Alvis 12/50 Register, just ahead of the Riley Register.

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The VSCC held driving tests at Brooklands in January. These were more a test of drivers than of cars, especially the manoeuvres on the steep Members Banking, except up the Test Hill, where the cars came into play. First Class awards were won by: Charles Mill (1913 Humber), Paul Rogers (Morris Minor), Miss Annabel Jones (A7), Edmund Burgess (T13 Bugatti) and Andrew Marsh (A7). Seven Seconds and nine Thirds were won.