Testing…Testing…Anyone There? Biscester VSCC Driving Tests

Frazer Nash 1Ah, 2.30pm at last! Time to pack up and get out of the wind … Been here since long before daylight (the trip took far less time than expected at that time of day) and that wind has never dropped. The coast of Cumbria is being lashed by a hurricane. We’re just getting the ripples off it’s tail but they are bad enough.

Grahame Simpson , exhibiting period motoring and aero photos on my right has already lost one large framed print which hit the floor after a partcularly furious gust and it took a while to sweep up all the glass!  Elinor Fielder of HERGEST DESIGNS, on my left, spent half the day retrieving runaway silk ties.  But it hasn’t rained. Thats the main thing. We were all hiding away in a former fire-engine shed with no doors (or lights – could have done with some of those!) on the former RAF Bicester site where there is now an industrial/trading estate for buinesses who specialise in the field of historic motoring or aircraft.


It’s a maze of proper old brick RAF buildings where you almost expect to see  Guy Gibson stroll past any moment on the way to his Lancaster or Douglas Bader barrel-roll his Spirfire above your head. It has an eerie atmosphere , especially in the grey half-light of early winter. History is here and you can almost taste it.

TrojanOn this partular day there are vintage cars scattered at random near assorted half-restored admin blocks and barracks and sitting on trailers beside huge hangers. A lot of them are familiar : an MG that had been at Prescott, a Riley from the recent Cotswold trial and I’m sure several Austins last seen half way up a muddy bank on the Welsh trial. And that unmistakable noise coming around the corner… had to be a Trojan.

Some of the spectators cars were pretty spectacular : Robin Batchelor appeared in his ex Sir Malcolm Campbell Ford V8 ‘Woody’ station wagon(below left) , there was a glorious Riley MPH parked round the corner and a cute Austin 7 van kitted out in the back with various woodworking tool and resplendant in the livery of a Builder, Joiner…and Undertaker!

Ford WoodyAustin 7 Van

Right outside our location was the scrutineering queue so everyone passed by at some point but after that process was done and dusted we had a bit of a quiet spell before they all reappeared for lunch. Out on the rest of the venue assorted mazes of traffic cones marked out the various tests. Pity I never got the chance to actually watch any of it… but the company was good, the location memorable and the cars were wonderful.

And I sold a few books too.



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