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LONDON TO BrightON VETERAN CAR RUN
Sunday 3 November 2002 at Pease Pottage service station

The club has rallied at venues ranging from pubs to museums, gardens to châteaux but never at a motorway service station (to my uncertain knowledge). This meeting bore a weather warning of heavy showers and high winds and on our way to the Moto service station at Pease Pottage your correspondent was concerned, not only about the weather, but about the successful outcome of our first meeting at this new location; but our welcome was positive and we were fortunate to have such a large area reserved for our cars.

This event gives all participants the opportunity to show off, not only their magnificent old cars but also their period costumes and other attire. Parked on my right hand side was Chess and Karen in their newly acquired Ghost. Chess could have been mistaken for Sherlock Holmes complete with deerstalker and whirly moustache and Karen made a wise decision having an upturned brolly (fuchsia style), whilst parked on my left hand side the first arrival was Bernard Goodwin in his smart green 1930 20/25. He was soon followed by Simon and Andrew in Simon's Corniche, both dressed for a formal occasion in the warm winter sunshine but with drop head firmly in the closed position just in case of weather change. Peter Waller was also an early arrival in his 1950 Mark VI Bentley with a friend in an immaculate Morgan. Colin Kraines, a member from South Africa arrived in his 1956 Wraith. Over the morning thirty-two club cars came and went. And whilst the pleasant sunshine continued stories started to be told of impending storms raging around our serene area . It was not long before heavy rain arrived and either forced members to the restaurant or their cars. Opposite us was the aforementioned Morgan and Peter Waller provided some excellent entertainment whilst he tried to fix a cover with clothes pegs from the windscreen until his umbrella inverted and he nearly achieved take off.

This was a clearing shower and afterwards many of us went to watch the veteran cars making progress up the incline on the old A23. It was a parade of wonderful old vehicles from motorised bicycles to throaty two-cylinder three and four wheelers. One vehicle approached in silent fashion and appeared to be on fire; this steam driven car was fortunately followed by a veteran fire engine and later by a Wolseley 6/110 police car which threateningly clanged its bell at Dick Lees. There were many lady drivers clad in gloves, bobble hats, balaclavas, knickerbockers, helmets and goggles as they waved at the half way stage to Brighton. The veteran vehicles were intermingled with Austin 7s, MGs, Morgans, London Taxis, and our webmaster, Ian Burt, clicked his digital camera endlessly.

Meanwhile it was midday and time to draw the prizes. Simon, now clad in distinctive safety yellow anorak and looking like a north sea fisherman held the woolly hat whilst I drew out the lucky winners: Ian Niblett, Ron Tuck and Derrick Hurrell. Each went away with a bottle of sparkling wine.

At a committee meeting the following evening it was decided to do it all again in 2003. When informing Su of this decision she told me to discard my M&S jacket and trousers and go for a Burton.

Hope to see you next year.

Michael Marriage - Section Treasurer


1904 Speedwell   RREC at Moto Services   1903 De Dion Bouton
Club members met at Moto Services, Pease Pottage, to view the Run. (L) 1904 Speedwell 6hp dogcart. (R) 1903 De Dion Bouton 8hp tonneau.
1904 Bayard   1904 Pope Toledo   1901 Darracq   1903 Richard-Brasier
(L-R) 1904 Bayard 10hp tonneau. 1904 Pope Toledo 14hp tonneau. 1901 Darracq 6.5hp tonneau. 1903 Richard-Brasier 12hp four-seat tourer.
Halfway to Brighton   1905 Rolls-Royce 20hp
1904 De Dion Bouton overtakes a dogcart. (R) 1905 Rolls-Royce 20hp Tourer, reg AX 147, driven by John Kennedy.   Photos: Ian Burt