BRC Website Home
Quainton Virtual Stockbook
Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976
The Vintage Vehicle Rally - Peter Hanscomb
An additional attraction on August Monday at Quainton was our Annual Vintage Vehicle Rally. Owners of motor cars and motor cycles built before 1st January 1940 were invited to bring their prized possessions and there were 28 entries in all, comprising 16 motor cars and 12 motor cycles. A further six entries failed to turn up. The oldest car in the competition was a 1914 Standard which was entered by Mr B. R Weatherhead, and gained second place. Of the motor cycles, there were two built in 1921; a Royal Enfield entered by Mr P O MacDiarmid and a beautiful BSA motor cycle with sidecar which won the Quainton Trophy.
The onerous task of selecting the best three entries from such a wide variety of cars and motor cycles was cheerfully and competently shouldered by Val Biro, the author and illustrator of the "Gumdrop" books for children and owner of the original Austin Heavy 12/4 which bears the same name; Wallace Collier, well known in the world of vintage and veteran motor cycles, and two members of the QRS, Ted Rogers and Alan Vessey. From 2.00 to 3.30 pm they were to be seen peering diligently at every piece of mechanism and coachwork of these ancient and most honourable vehicles. They awarded first place to the 1921 BSA motor cycle with sidecar owned by Mr R Newell of Naphill who records that it was originally used as a taxi sidecar and had been on show at Olympia as such. Second place went to the 1914 Standard owned by Mr B R Weatherhead of Woburn Sands, and third place to the 1933 Aston Martin owned by Mr E A Goble of Oxford who also gained third place in the 1975 event.
Peter Clarke, our Chairman, then expressed his thanks on behalf of the QRS to the competitors for their participation in our rally and presented the Quainton Trophy, (a mounted whistle from the boiler of a Southern Railway 2-6-0 locomotive), together with an inscribed pewter mug, to Mr Newell, and inscribed mugs to Messrs Weatherhead and Goble.
The stewards for the occasion were Frank and Jenny Frodsham, Alan Wheatley and me. Throughout the day the upyard gate was manned by Ronnie Mitchell who had the unenviable task of enthusiastically welcoming to the site anything that looked like a vintage vehicle and firmly directing all others to the visitors' car park!
From the number of enquiries made by members of the public on entering the site it was evident that the rally was an additional attraction, though one cannot judge precisely how many came to Quainton solely because of it.
Though the competitors found themselves in a strange railway world of "eccentrics", "blowing off" and "crosshead guides" they apparently enjoyed themselves and particularly liked the small commemorative plaques designed by Ray Horsley and presented to each competitor on arrival. All competitors were asked to complete a brief questionnaire asking their views on a number of points, and the answers will serve as a guide to the Society for the future events. There were two general comments that it is pleasant to mention here. One said, "Very enjoyable, thank you," the other, "As a family we are pleased that refreshments, train rides and so on are reasonably priced".
For my part I was left with mixed feelings. The event brought back memories of the exciting days of motoring when one had to deal with strange devices such as magnetos and autovacs but it also brought back rather different memories when I noticed that one of the motor cycle entries was the same model as the one on which I managed to smash up a leg many years ago. When I unthinkingly mentioned this to the owner he said he sincerely hoped I was more competent aboard a steam engine!
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 11 November 2017