Club News, October 1939

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At present the future plans of club secretaries are very much in the sky, like those reassuring barrage sausages, but we give such news as we have gleaned. It is to be hoped that some social events and just plain gatherings at which people can ” talk shop will happen very soon. Miaroa SeoaT will gladly publish news of such fixtures and looks forward to hearing from the clubs for this purpose. There follows some news of clubs whose committees have taken -a decisive line from the commencement of hostilities.

J.C.C.

The Club suspended activities from September 3rd. The ” Gazette ” will appear in abbreviated form quarterly and newa al all members is craved. R.A.C. Assaciate privileges continue until date of expiry and may be renewed at old rates if desired. The secretary still remains in office, at 14, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex.

SCOTTISH SPORTING C.C. All activities and subscriptions cancelled until Hitler is cancelled,

M.G. C.C. Overseas branches earn’ an. Club suspended over here, but secretary still in office at. 30, Holborn, E.C.1, and unexpired subscriptions to continue as from

the next Armistice. The September 19th issue of a The Sports Car ” was schedided a, appear as a final issne. LIGHT CAR CLUB Standing by far a whia•

WEST ESSEX C.C.

11 acti -itiea postponed indefinitely,.

MIDDLESEX COUNTY A.C.

h.old its A.G.M. on OctOber 29th Imt has closed down until further notice on eompetit iVe events. GENERAL The Brighton & Hove M.C., M.C.C. and. littgatti Owners’ Club are standing by and hope to take advantage of any possibilities for holding meetings or events. At present the ban On public meanies has not been cleared so far as outdoor apart is concerned—apart from

petrol rationing. Motoring film shows should keep us together . . .

SOUTHSEA M.C. S. H. Allard’s 3.9-litre Allard maths fastest time of the day at the Horndean hill-climb, in 19.6 secs. The runner-up was Sumnees Ford V8 Special, in 21,0 secs., until Leslie Johnson’s 11.M.W. went up in 20,9 sees. and Price’s Ford Special managed 21.9 secs. Class winnres were : Pearson (Morns), Brymer (Riley), Hutchison (Ford V8), Lemon (750 M.G.), Morrish (M.G.) and Page (T-type GENERAL NOTES There was certaiely a strong flavour of impending trouble in the air when, at midnight On August 25th last, we met a friend at Turnham Green with the Austin and had, at his own request, a slightly inebriated Irish soldier as extra passenger as far as Victoria. Our new friend insisted that we should keep his regimental badge in return for transportation and we parted extremely good friends—though such are the nerves of the populace these days that our alarm clock ticking under a rug on the back seat was promptly suspected of being an I.R.A. bomb by the remaining passengers ! The scheme was to tow a ‘IT, Austin down to the Vintage meeting at Prescott, meeting its owner at the

tilt’ of the Watford By-Pass. Arrived at the appointed meeting place his Austin ” Chummy,” of the distinguished late type with tall radiator, was nowhere to be seen—admittedly our oiler of a lift to two charming girls, due to catch the 1.25 a.m. Cornish express, had put us behind schedule ; especially as reversing the Anstins in a one-way area inadvertently entered at Paddington was a ticklish business, if good driving practice should Wt.’ ever evacuate ourselves by trailer caravan. The driver duly located, after a most eerie wait in a heavy ground mist through which lightning flashed at remarkalily frequent intervals, We parked the Chummy and proceeded on our way. Al dawn two Triumphs elected to .stage a head-on crash in Our path, which snapped our wooden tow-bar, but otherwise Prescott was achieved without incident, breakfast at Start Farm having been more than usually acceptable. The meeting itself was thoroughly enjoyable, if damp. The atmosphere was entirely right, there was very little talk of war, and it was satisfactory to attend our little car, which, if too high-geared and a thought temperamental for the job in hand, was every inch the thoroughbred. And there was a tremendous run up the hill in the rain with Allard, on his fastest ascent—probably the most exciting thing I have experienced. The speed reached wtwetn the corners, which the big car took almost at skid-point, and the very late braking, were a revelation, albeit 1 he Allard is absolutely fight for this kind at work ; it woidd be positively frighten ing if it were not ! 1 then drove the Austin back to Start Farm, cockpit full of oil smoke, a good deal of oil on the pedals, and floor, but the exhaust note delightfully crisp, the rev. t’ muter ever willing to walk round to ” four-five on the gears, and the little ear absolutely controllable through the light direct steering. The next day we all set out again rather late for Honidean, and I had another flip with Allard. This time not 80 successful, for the car went into the last righthand bend very fast indeed, slid outivarda on the loose surface, ‘went into some bealtes . . Next I was put ting my glasses on, getting up, Allard was doing the same, and the car lay some way off, on its side, fairly extensively damaged. However, no One was hurt,

bar scratches and brushes and, personally, 1•.’0 celebrated a very lucky escape by an evening in Southsea, returning to London very late in a thick fog. Next, three of us decided to go up and have a look at Lake Vvrnwy in Wales. At first, we intended to use the experimental four speed Chummy Austin Seven, affectionately known , in memory of George Chaplin’s aS m.p.h. Chummy’, as ” The Flying Bath.However, being a party of three, we eventually went in the long suffering Austin saloon, leaving at midday on the last day of August. Alrtanly the T.T. had been cancelled, aml undertaking so long a run seemed a trifle more adventurous than usual. But we were reassured •by C. G. Grey’s leading article ill the current issue of ” The Aeroplane ” and started in high spirits, after taking the precaution of tanking up fully at Moon’s, ? hir range was at least some 280 miles. At a small caf6 we were infornasl that war was declared_ : we were vele( ane to hear it for ourselves on the 2 o’clock news bulletin. The B.13.C., however, talked only of the forthcoming practice evacuation. So on to Nottingham, where we saw a certain variety show and at. the stage door of which one of the party, waited after it was over, for one grows older every day, does one not, and one should live while one is young . . Later, on what must have been the beginning of another day, the car went off cross-country for Wales. Roads were almost empty. Came the dawn, and a welcome breakfast at a large, bat deserted hotel. We then successfully climbed Bwyleh, pushing only once, and came upon Lake Vyrnwv as the sun was rising. The scenery defies description and was a fitting prelude to the days that have followed. But, while we were still drinking in the beauty of that great, placid lake a police ()Meer stopped his Morris Ten and broke to us the latest grim news. Reluctantly we changed plans and tea-time saw us hurrying London-wards, eating a hastily procured meal with the car in fast motion. Others were apparently on similar bent, though traffic was not congested and two girls were making poor work of conducting continued oz page 292