October 2020 Scribe Notes

Posted on May 19, 2021
  1. SOUTH EAST SCRIBE NOTESAs I write these notes on 27th September the Brighton Run is just 5 weeks away. By the time you are reading them the Run will either have taken place or will have been cancelled due to further Covid-19 restrictions. Fingers crossed it can go ahead. Last weekend I checked over and lubricated Penny’s De Dion Bouton. With the battery connected the engine started easily and ticked over nicely even though the petrol in the tank is nearly 11 months old and the engine hadn’t been started since last November. We now need to take the car out for a drive in the next week or two.
  2. New from this year is the need to pay the London Congestion Charge for all veteran cars taking part in the Run. Previously the charge only applied from Monday to Friday during the day but now it applies from 7am until 10pm 7 days a week. The route of the Brighton Run passes through the congestion charge zone and there is no exemption for early cars so we have to pay the £15 charge. Non-payment of the charge means a fine of £160!
  3. Looking at the entry list there are about 200 cars entered, including a few new ones or cars that haven’t done the Run for a while. One entry that I hope to see is the 1904 Wolseley 6hp, registration number Y384, from the Ward Collection. This is a rather special car as it has been taking part in the Brighton Run since 1930 when it was owned by Captain J.H. Wylie. 90 years ago this month, at the end of the 1930 Brighton Run, Captain Wylie met up with Sammy Davis and Jackie Masters in the bar of the Ship Hotel and became the founder members of the VCC. Initially the Wolseley was listed as 1903 in the Run programme during the 1930’s. The car was said to be in original condition except for the tyres. The programmes say that it was found in a car dump in Devon, where it was a comfortable home for a large family of rats living in the undertray. My collection of Brighton Run programmes show that 1937 was the last year that Captain Wylie entered the Wolseley but after that it’s unclear which Runs it took part in and who the owner was as the programmes did not include registration numbers until 1970. Very frustrating when you are trying to trace the history of a car. VCC Headquarters have now confirmed that in 1946 and 1948 to 1957 (no Run in 1947 due to petrol ratioing) the Wolseley was entered by G.J. Allday who was VCC President for most of that time. After that the car rested until 1985 when it was first entered by the Wards, and since then it appears to have taken part in just a further 9 Runs with the last time being in 2009, although I don’t recall seeing it then.
  4. Last time I reported that Mike Sewell was working on the c.1900 Bruneau for Ivan Odds with the hope of getting it ready for this year’s Brighton Run. Unfortunately delays in getting a registration number from the DVLA means that it cannot take part even though Mike has it running and is eager to test it on the road.
  5. Due to the continuing restrictions on gatherings it is with regret that the South East committee have had to cancel our AGM on 22nd November. We are considering the best way forward with the AGM and by now all members should have received more information by email. With every SE event cancelled for 2020 we are now looking ahead to 2021 and are planning a one-day driving event every month from April to September which will cover all parts of our area. Mid, East and West Sussex, Surrey, East and West Kent will be covered so hopefully all members will have at least one event near them.
  6. I was interested to read the report in the last Gazette about the SF Edge Bexhill Trophy that was presented to the VCC at the 1954 Bexhill Speed Trials. I have many photographs in my collection that were taken at that 1954 event. I have sorted out some that show SE member’s cars plus some of the 1903 Cadillac owned by the then President of the VCC, F.S. Bennett. I hope you enjoy looking at them.