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May 2018
May 2018

Amersham Fair Organ Museum

Our visit to The Amersham Fair Organ Museum proved to be a very popular event with over 30 attending. As somebody said in a review – “A secret gem hidden in an industrial estate, it's more a collection of working organs than a museum”. The people behind the museum have done a brilliant job in saving the organs and keeping all in such excellent working condition.
 
As can be seen from the photo the organs are beautifully decorated machines – more a piece of art - and belt out raucous tunes to which we listened with a cuppa and some excellent cake. The explanatory talks about each machine provided a great insight into their history, how they work and the variation in pipes etc. It was fascinating to look around the backs of them to see how the music is fed into the machinery and that the tunes primarily come from the folded stacks of card.
 


A really great evening and we are grateful to our hosts at the Museum for entertaining us so well.
 

The Daffodil Run – April 8th

Bearing in mind the relatively poor weather on the Sunday for the latter part of the run to Christchurch, we had a really good weekend. Monday’s weather for the run home was even worse.

This year we again had in our trusty group from the Thames Valley, three Rubies, our Opal and an Austin 10 plus Ray Bickerton in his Morris 8. Additionally, 4 further members/friends came down in their moderns to enjoy the ride stopover at the hotel Roger Clark had again so well arranged.



We all had a great time despite the weather, with most of us still picnicking outside at lunchtime – albeit looking a little miserable! Even the donkeys did not trouble us this year – to wet for them perhaps? Thank you to the Bean Club for organising the event.   
 

Hyde Heath Classic Car Display – 12thMay

Firstly, the good news, the Spitfire was able to undertake the much appreciate flypast but only due to it being just as the fete opened – immediately thereafter the rain started and gradually got worse through the afternoon. However, we still had over 100 cars with Keith Wright’s car winning “Best Austin”. We thank all of those who came along and stayed for so long despite the worsening weather.
 

Forthcoming Evening Meetings & Agendas

Whilst most of our meetings are based at our new home (Burnham Cricket Club).  There will be evenings when we have Road Runs to other pubs as well as the occasional “Noggin & Natter” evenings at other locations so do keep in touch.  If you are coming to any meetings and are unsure as to where to come please check with any member of the Thames Valley Committee
 
New members and visitors are very welcome – whether you have an Austin 7 or not or just have an interest in Classic Cars – we will be pleased if you can join us at our monthly meetings or on such as Road Runs. 
 
3rdJuly – Evening Road Run – 6.30pm start Great Missenden Car Park– finish at Burnham Cricket Club around 8.15pm Details of supper available to follow. Please encourage friends etc to contact us and join in this pleasant evening run
 
7thAugustLadies Night at Harleyford– from 6.30pm. Weather permitting; enjoy a boat ride on the Thames. Please contact David Coulton to confirm if you are attending and for any further information that you might need.
 
4thSeptember– Auction Night with Bob. Please do come along, bring items to sell and we need people to purchase them!
 
Future Events
 
The Littlewick Show – August Bank Holiday Monday – 27thAugust
Yes the show is on and again at Knowl Hill (as per last year) – the site is on the A4 just after Littlewick Green as you go from Maidenhead towards Reading. We are all looking forward to another great year for the Classic Car Display. Book in now online at http://thamesvalleyclassiccars.org.uk/LittlewickShow/Register
 
March 2018
March 2018

March Meeting:

For our meeting the evening was the second part of our talk upon Maidenhead’s Motoring Heritage. Richard Poad of Maidenhead Heritage Centre provided an extremely interesting talk primarily covering Vanwall Cars. The talk was particularly relevant as 2018 is the 60thanniversary of Vanwall winning the Grand Prix World Championship, being the most successful season for the team in its relatively brief history.
 
Vanwall was established by Tony Vandervell in the early 1950s, initially racing with a series of modified Ferraris. The first actual Vanwall was built for the new Formula 1 regulations in 1954 at Cox Green, Maidenhead. The first race win was the 1957 British Grand Prix at the Aintree Circuit with Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks sharing the drive. The following year saw the team’s greatest success with Moss and Brooks each winning 3 races in the season and securing the Constructors Championship for Vanwall – being the first British team to do so. Moss and Brooks finished second and third in the Driver’s Championship – won by one point by another Englishman – Mike Hawthorn. The top 5 drivers in the Championship were all British. The following photograph is of Stirling Moss in his Vanwall at the 1958 German Grand Prix – sadly he retired from that race. 
 
Vanwall F1 & Stirling Moss - 1958 German Grand Prix Formula 1 - photograph
 
1958 was to be the last great season for Vanwall as Tony Vanderwall’s health was failing and he was advised to rest. The last racing Vanwall was an “unwieldy” rear-engined machine produced for 1961 which although it did show some promise when raced by John Surtees its development was stopped. 
  
 
Forthcoming Evening Meetings & Agendas
Whilst most of our meetings will be based at our new home (Burnham Cricket Club) there will be evenings when we have Road Runs to other pubs as well as the occasional “Noggin & Natter”evenings at other locations so do keep in touch.  If you are coming to any meetings and are unsure as to where to come please check with any member of the Thames Valley Committee
 
New members and visitors are very welcome – whether you have an Austin 7 or not or just have an interest in Classic Cars – we will be pleased if you can join us at our monthly meetings or on such as Road Runs. 
 
22ndApril – Drive It Day – Our World War I Run revisited
We are proposing a run similar to our last WWI Run so make a note in your diary – details next month
 
1stMay Amersham Fairground Organ Museum– 6.30pm for 7.00pm prompt start. £11.00 per person to include teas/coffees and cakes. Partners and guests most welcome. Please book with David Coulton
 
Hyde Heath Fete and Classic Car Display – 1.00pm Saturday 12thMay
The fete is a really popular traditional event attracting large crowds - with up to 150 cars on display we hope for a great day – all welcome. No pre-booking – please arrive before 12.30pm. For further 
information please do contact me
 
5thJune – The Pann Mill, The Rye, High Wycombe – 6.30pm -last year we heard about the Mill – now we intend to visit the Mill in High Wycombe and see it working. Pub afterwards TBA

 
February 2018
February 2018

February Meeting:

Yes it’s that month when we have our AGM – fortunately, we had Bob’s “The Price is Right” quiz after the AGM so it could be our good attendance was down to the latter.
 
At the AGM our Chairman was able to report another good and active year with highly successful events such as The Littlewick Show, Auction Night and as reported last month, our Annual Dinner. Additionally, our monthly meetings were increasingly well attended – perhaps somewhat due to the variety of speakers booked and things we have done such as Ladies Night at Harleyford and the evening Road Run. Having to move premises late in the year did initially worry us about finding somewhere suitable but we are delighted with our new “home” at Burnham Cricket Club and the hospitality of Michelle and her team. 
 
For 2018 we have several really good speaker evenings as well as the chance to do some interesting visits –  1st Masy at Amersham Fairground Organ Museum and 5th June the Pann Mill in High Wycombe. There are some changes to our programme so an updat3ed version has been published. If you have not received a copy of the new programme please contact me and I will either email or post one to you.
 
All Officers of the Committee volunteered to continue and were duly re-elected – following which the AGM was closed.
 
Post AGM we had Bob’s excellently presented Quiz – guessing the auction price of cars and motoring related items – Morris’s were particularly well represented this year! It was amazing how much some items achieved whereas items you would have expected to sell well did not.
 
Forthcoming Evening Meetings & Agendas
Whilst most of our meetings will be based at our new home (Burnham Cricket Club) there will be evenings when we have Road Runs to other pubs as well as the occasional “Noggin & Natter” evenings at other locations so do keep in touch.  If you are coming to any meetings and are unsure as to where to come please check with any member of the Thames Valley Committee
 
New members and visitors are very welcome – whether you have an Austin 7 or not or just have an interest in Classic Cars – we will be pleased if you can join us at our monthly meetings or on such as Road Runs.
 
3rd April – At Burnham Cricket Club – Note: Change of agenda with our programmed meeting now being Searching for the Million Pound Mercedes.This month will see the return of John Bond to tell us the follow up to his previous fascinating talk on Uncle George’s car collection which included this spectacular Mercedes
 
The Daffodil Run - 8th April
Have you booked? To book in to take part in the run or for further information contact David Main – bccdaffodil@hotmail.com or call 0118 934 1670
Sunday Night accommodation: Please contact Roger Clark (01494 729290) if you have not already booked.
 
22nd April – Drive It Day – Our World War I Run revisited
We are proposing a run similar to our last WWI Run so make a note in your diary – details next month
 
1st May Amersham Fairground Organ Museum – 6.30pm for 7.00pm prompt start. £11.00 per person to include teas/coffees and cakes. Partners and guests most welcome. Please book with David Coulton
 
Hyde Heath Fete and Classic Car Display – 1.00pm Saturday 12th May
The fete is a really popular traditional event attracting large crowds - with up to 150 cars on display we hope for a great day – all welcome. No pre-booking – please arrive before 12.30pm. For further information please do contact me
 
David Coulton Tel. 01494 775967
Email address: davidcoulton@yahoo.co.uk 
 
January 2018
January 2018

January Meeting:

Despite the 1st Tuesday being the 2nd of January and our not having a formal meeting, we had 10 of us go to the Royal Standard for a “Noggin & Natter”. Beyond discussing events such as Boxing Day at Sarratt and various Classic Car gatherings in New Year’s Day the evening provided us with the chance to finalise our programme for the coming year.
 
2018 looks to have several really good speaker evenings as well as the chance to do some visits to such as the Pann Mill in High Wycombe. The programme was circulated at our annual dinner with copies available at meetings. If would like a copy of our programme please contact me and I will either email or post one to you.
 
Annual Dinner – 13th January
Once again Roger Clark did a terrific job in organising the dinner at Ellesborough Golf Club – this year he managed to even get decent weather for the evening! With 61 attending it was a really good event – the food was excellent. Even Roger’s jokes were quite good this year.
As is customary we had prizes to award with our Road Run won by Geoff and Carol Pelling (see photo). The Concours Award went to the Morris 8 of Den Jarrott – we do allow the Morris Club to win our events! To Roger and to his wife Carol (head of Finance) may we all say a big thank you for working so hard to make the evening so successful and enjoyable.
 
 
Forthcoming Evening Meetings & Agendas
Whilst most of our meetings will be based at our new home (Burnham Cricket Club) there will be evenings when we have Road Runs to other pubs as well as the occasional “Noggin & Natter” evenings at other locations so do keep in touch.  If you are coming to any meetings and are unsure as to where to come please check with any member of the Thames Valley Committee
 
New members and visitors are very welcome – whether you have an Austin 7 or not or just have an interest in Classic Cars – we will be pleased if you can join us at our monthly meetings or on such as Road Runs.
 
6th March – At Burnham Cricket Club – Part II of “The Motor Manufacturing History in Maidenhead” – the talk will be commencing 7.45pm sharp as there is a lot of history to cover.
 
3rd April – At Burnham Cricket Club - Gordon Bennett – the story and the 2017 Rally
 
The Daffodil Run - 8th April
Have you booked? To book in to take part in the run or for further information contact David Main – bccdaffodil@hotmail.com or call 0118 934 1670
Sunday Night accommodation: Please contact Roger Clark (01494 729290) if you have not already booked.
 
Hyde Heath Fete and Classic Car Display – 1.00pm Saturday 12th May
The fete is a really popular traditional event attracting large crowds - with up to 150 cars on display we hope for a great day – all welcome. No pre-booking – please arrive before 12.30pm. For further information please do contact me
 
David Coulton Tel. 01494 775967
Email address: davidcoulton@yahoo.co.uk 
 
December 2017
December 2017

London A7OC - Thames Valley Centre

December Meeting:

For our last meeting of 2017 we welcomed another guest speaker from Maidenhead Heritage Centre. Our talk for December was provided by Richard Poad the Chairman of the Centre.
 
We have all probably heard of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and in particular the exploits of the brave flyers moving planes between the airfields, factories and maintenance units during the war. Based at White Waltham just outside of Maidenhead, this was truly an important part of local history. Richard brought to life the story of this civilian organisation which made an enormous contribution to victory by taking over the ferrying tasks previously undertaken by service pilots.
 
During the war, 1245 men and women from 25 countries ferried a total of 309,000 aircraft of 147 types, without radios, no instrument flying instruction and at the mercy of the British weather. Frequently they were presented with a type of plane they had never seen before. Having seen the small instruction book with flying notes for each type of aircraft you quickly realise the lack of training these pilots – just written guidance sheets.
 
The best story of their exploits probably being the case of a lady pilot who delivered a Wellington bomber (flying alone) – upon landing the ground crew searched the plane as they could not believe this small lady had delivered the plane single handed. The most famous female ATA pilot, who also lost her life in service, was of course Amy Johnson but luckily many of these ladies survived and some are still active today.
 
We all thank Richard for a fascinating talk and look forward to further ones by members of the Centre during the coming year.
 
Boxing Day at Sarratt
As I say each year, to me Sarratt is the last event of the year for our Classic Cars. Whilst the weather conditions were very wet overnight, the surface of the Common was surprisingly good and cars had not too much difficulty in getting on and off. Numbers were perhaps down a little on previous years but still there was a great turnout of all types and ages of vehicles. It was a really enjoyable albeit bracing morning. Our picture shows member Roger Clark inspecting the Berkeley – we are not sure if he was looking for the small engine or indeed for his next classic car! The Austin tow truck looked superb.
 
Forthcoming Evening Meetings & Agendas
Whilst our meetings will generally be based at our new home (Burnham Cricket Club) there will be evenings when we have Road Runs to other pubs as well as the occasional “Noggin & Natter” evenings at other locations so do keep in touch.  If you are coming to any meetings and are unsure as to where to come please check with any member of the Thames Valley Committee
 
New members and visitors are very welcome – whether you have an Austin 7 or not or just have an interest in Classic Cars – we will be pleased if you can join us at our monthly meetings or on such as Road Runs.
6th February – At Burnham Cricket Club – AGM followed by Bob’s “The Price is Right” Quiz – a chance for you to see how good you are at guessing at auction prices.
 
6th March – At Burnham Cricket Club – Part II of “The Motor Manufacturing History in Maidenhead” – the talk will be commencing 7.45pm sharp as there is a lot of history to cover.
 
4th April – Gordon Bennett – the story and the 2017 Rally
 
David Coulton Tel. 01494 775967
Email address: davidcoulton@yahoo.co.uk
Dated: December 2017
 
Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run - weekend of 2nd June
June 2017
Due to other commitments, I am a month late with my write up of our experience in Ireland. For several years we have wanted to take part in this Run and this year was the opportunity. We took our “7” Opal to Holyhead by trailer to save a day each way. Taking the early Friday morning ferry to Dublin was ideal - with the Tall Ships in Dublin and it being the Irish Bank Holiday weekend, the city was extremely congested to drive through especially with the “7”. Having taken us one hour to cross Dublin, we managed to get onto the motorway to Portlaoise – the base for the Run and where we stayed for the four nights.

The Friday evening saw a gathering at the County Hall for a civic reception - many of the cars taking part being displayed for the public to have a look around. Austins were well represented, mostly much larger models - the only 7s – a Special and a Big 7. As can be seen, our Opal is the little of the “Little & Large” Austins in my photo.   

 
The second day was the first road run of the weekend (covering nearly 100 miles) – with over 140 cars starting from Treacey’s Bar and going to the medieval city of Kilkenny. Parking the cars on the lawn in front of the Castle made a terrific sight and attracted a lot of attention from the many tourists in the city. The evening saw all the entrants get together and enjoy the Gala Dinner.

Day Three is the big event – driving much of the original figure of eight Gordon Bennett route of 104 miles with stops at places of interest and those associated with the original event, including in Kildare where the Car Club did a brilliant job in getting all the cars parked up in the compact old centre.

Day Four – is the leisure run which took us to the Irish National Stud and time to visit the exceptional Japanese Gardens there. These are musts to visit in our view.
 
The following day we departed and decided to come back through the Wicklow Mountains via the Sally Gap – which is pretty steep for a 7 and extremely remote – especially on a windy and wet day – we only had sheep for company at the top! Coming down from the mountains and continuing back towards Dublin we decided to visit Powerscourt Gardens – you can see why they were voted number 3 in the world’s top 10 gardens by National Geographic. Our route back to Dublin port avoided going through the middle of the city – by coming up from the south along the coast roads made it a lot easier and is something we would recommend.

If you are considering doing the Gordon Bennett Classic Car Run we would recommend it – the people are wonderful, great food and lost of chat – plus some really interesting cars (including the Titanic Rolls Royce). Be aware, this is Ireland - the weather can go from sunshine to rain in minutes and back again!

Ladies Night @ Harleyford
July 2016
This year our Ladies Night at Harleyford benefited from good weather and a great turnout of members and guests from the Morris Club and North London – most coming in their old cars. We were made most welcome by the golf club’s staff who in particular arranged for our cars to be at the Clubhouse rather than in the car park – attracting interest from golfers as they came off the course. Several took the opportunity to take the boat trip and see the new marina which opened this year – it was also good to see the Alaska in the “flesh” having Richard the owner giving us a talk about it back in March. Once again the Golf Club’s catering team came up trumps and provided an excellent buffet. Great evening and enjoyed by everyone.