A Vintage New Year’s Day Treat – Much Marcle VSCC Gathering 2016

The weather has sure been frightful, but the cars are so delightful… New Years Day 2016: 150 pre-war cars, motorcycles and one steam truck, cram into the car park of the ROYAL OAK at Much Marcle for the annual gathering. This is the way to escape the repeats on TV and the endless temptation to eat yet another chocolate or down another glass of grogg. By the entrance a huge leviathon of a Sentinal steam wagon chuffs it’s own white clouds into the already grey and ominous sky. The large badge on the nose reads “Typhoo”. Intrigued onlookers swarm all over it and the scent of a steam engine perfumes the winter air. “I love the smell!” enthuses my 9 year old daughter Charlotte. Good girl!

Sentinal  Douglas

Alongside is a wonderful Douglas flat twin racing bike which fires up and does a slow lap between the parked MGs and Austins , it’s open exhausts raucous and angry in a way we seldom get to here in these days of silencers. The rider is respeldent is a white boiler suit and evokes an image of George Formby on the Isle of Man.

microcarAt the end of a long line of 3 and 4 wheeled Morgans is a curious (very non vintage, but who cares?) microcar which my two girls saw driving in at about 20mph and fell in love with.  So do a lot of the crowd, it’s probably garnering more attention than the Bugattis or Bentley’s and the owner is happily explaining the performance potential of the 49cc engine . Younger daughter, 7 year old Georgie, says she wanted this one more than anything else in the entire multi-million pound car park.

Big sister Charlotte, is buzzing around with the camera she got for Christmas and snapping everything that catches her eye – especially the amazing array of weird and wonderul badges and mascots on display, and the wooden boat-like body of a very cute Amilcar. She also manages to capture a vintage monoplane which flies low overhead, waggling it’s wings.

HickySunbeamIt’s starting to rain around 2pm. Nothing drastic but cars are beginning to drift away home into the Ledbury road. There’s a fantastic pale blue Lagonda which I could not resist photographing and dodn’t notice untill I’ve taken about 5 shots that the lady sitting inside is gestuing at me. The door opens and it’s Sandra Tomlin, former ladies record holder at most of the hillclimb venues around the country  “I’ve been waving at you!” she says “Didn’t you seem me?”  I tell her I was too busy admiring the car . “I prefer more modern cars myself” she says – in her case a Pilbeam single seater with an ex Mikka Hakkinen F1 V8 engine in the back.

Lagonda  Lagonda tail


The Lagonda is her husband Bill’s. He’s got a Delahaye in the garage too, and an Alta. I tell her that I always have a fondness for Lagondas because my grandmother worked as a maid for Lagonda director Lord DeClifford back in the 1930s and she used to recall house parties where the drive way of his country house was lined with Lagondas and Bugattis.

It was a good day for seeing familiar faces and shaking hands, wishing one another a Happy New Year. So muh better than watching FROZEN for the 252nd time…

Alvis MGs

astonmartin MG and GN   Morgans1 Derby Bentleycropped-sltb-lettering-logo-30th-small-banne.jpgLagondatiny



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