|SOUTH OF ENGLAND RALLY, WELLINGTON COLLEGE, CROWTHORNE
Sunday 18 May 2014
|This year's South of England Rally at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire on 18 May was, without doubt, one of the largest and most successful we have had for many years. The new and impressive venue not only drew in a healthy number of pre-booked entries but the glorious sunny weather saw a stream of additional cars turning up throughout the day. Total entries were not far short of 250 motor cars.
With such a perfect day in a beautiful setting it was ideal for car-gazing, picnicking on the lawns, drinking chilled champagne and eating ice creams whilst being entertained by the relaxing music of a strolling jazz band. The Club Shop (most ably and cheerfully run by Jaclyn, Ailsa and Lucy) also attracted a great deal of attention as too did the presence of the latest and most magnificent motor car yet to come out of Goodwood, the stunning Rolls-Royce Wraith.
The staff and pupils of Wellington College were excellent hosts, making us feel very welcome and providing all the help we could ask for. Very popular were their guided tours around the College which contains many artefacts and paintings of the Iron Duke himself (including the cloak he wore at the Battle of Waterloo) as well as plaques and memorials recording the huge number of famous people who have passed through the college doors. During the day I lost count of the number of RREC members who approached me to state proudly that they or members of their family were, in fact, Old Wellingtonians.
Included within the day's event were our now well-established and popular motor car awards. These are of a light-hearted nature with different judges selected each year to give a subjective view of what, in their opinion, is the best in a particular class. This does, for the organisers, remove the problems of recruiting sufficient experts for specialised judging and subjecting them to the pressure they inevitably come under. Although the best car might not always win, we invariably come close enough that everyone is happy and we have never had any complaints. If you would like to judge a class at a South of England Rally sometime in the future please let me know. I promise it will be hassle-free fun and you need no expertise whatsoever other than a love of our marque.
Incidentally we were very pleased that the Club's Chairman, Duncan Feetham, travelled all the way 'doon sarf' (his impersonation - not mine - of what we Southerners think of as a Northern accent) and to have him judge the Best Car in the Show and to present all the awards.
My personal thanks, as Secretary of the Meeting, not just to the organising team who worked so hard and enthusiastically beforehand and on the day but also to everyone who turned up in their polished and gleaming Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars to make it such an enjoyable and memorable event.
Well, now to the good news and the bad news; the latter first. The bad news is that there will be no South of England Rally next year but instead - and this is the good news - it will be incorporated in what is expected to be the largest international event ever held by the RREC. Planning for the International Weekend at Folkestone Westenhanger, near Hythe in Kent is well under way and is being carried out by the organisers of the South of England Rally, in conjunction with a number of well-known RREC members both here and on the Continent. The event is over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 23-25 May 2015, so make a date of it in your diary and think seriously about stopping over at a local hotel (with many other RREC members) for a day or so. I promise it will be spectacular and, while the venue is not within the general area of our normal SoE Rallies, it will be well worth travelling the extra distance.
Andy Courtney - Secretary of the MeetingAwards
Best Pre-War Car (judged by Stephen Gray) Paul Buckett, 1930 RR Phantom II, 4-door Open Tourer by Tony Robinson,
Best Post-War Car (judged by Chris Tween) Chris Mott, 1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur by H J Mulliner,
Trophy of Elegance (judged by Stephen Fabman-Beker) Jackie Gray, 1937 RR 25/30hp Sedanca de Ville by Gurney Nutting,
College's Choice (judged by Jane Lunnon, Deputy Head and pupils of Wellington College) Leonard Horn, 1926 20hp Tourer by Connaught, Reg YP4209
Best Car in the Show (judged by Duncan Feetham) Graham & Sheila Smith, 1920 RR Silver Ghost Tourer by H J Mulliner,
|The Courtyard and Cloisters of Wellington College.|
|A splendid display of the motor cars in front of the College.|
|Some of the award winning motor cars. 1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur by H J Mulliner, Reg 349MTX. 1937 RR 25/30hp
Sedanca de Ville by Gurney Nutting, Reg ELL583. 1930 RR Phantom II, 4-door Open Tourer by Tony Robinson, Reg DS8033.
|Photos: Ian Burt|