George Jackson, John Bancroft and Ian Squire report:
“It was great to see over 100 TRs from all of the South East assembled at Hever Castle on Drive It Day 2014. Many thanks to Mark Treadwell for initiating the day, and to Rod and his helpers in Kent Group for making the arrangements. Hever Castle and Gardens is a super location, with lots to keep visitors entertained, and its appeal was further enhanced by the magnificent array of TRs displayed in the beautiful parkland surrounding the moated castle. The weather was overcast and threatening, but the rain held off until after the assembled cars started their homeward journeys. South Downs Group was well represented with fourteen cars attending from all points of our catchment area and we were particularly pleased when Glynn Boyd’s beautiful TR3A was chosen as car of the day. This was a fitting award for Glynn who spends a lot of time on his car as well as actively contributing to SDG’s committee work.
A bright and sunny Sunday morning greeted day 2 of the 10th annual ‘Magnificent Motors’ show in Eastbourne, on the 4th May. The show is jointly organised by Eastbourne Borough Council, Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club and East Sussex Omnibus Society. Fourteen SDG TRs joined historic and classic cars, motorcycles, scooters, buses, military and commercial vehicles, totalling in all some 400 exhibits. British motoring heritage was well represented with fine examples from the 20s through to the 70s. Worth a mention was an immaculate 1933 March Riley in British Racing Green - superb! However, the oldest exhibit was an 1897 Henriod, built in Switzerland. As the day progressed, the temperature increased and so did visitor numbers, reaching an estimated 30,000.
May club night at Chailey was due to be Best Presented round one, but this was rained off - such a shame as the following day was wall to wall sunshine. Oh well, at least we had the opportunity for a chat and a beer. A week later John B had organised a visit to Oldlands Mill in Hassocks. We congregated at the Thatched Inn, ordered our food for later, and then walked up to the mill. As we strode up the hill the Jill windmill (of the Jack and Jill pair) came into view on the South Downs, but no sign of Oldlands Mill. Near the top the mill appeared, partially surrounded by trees. Surely even some locals are unaware of this treasure hiding in their midst. Built in 1703, Oldlands Mill saw over two centuries of service before being abandoned in 1912. Restoration started in 1980. It took fifteen years to strip the mill to its bare bones and then it was rebuilt by hand, by skilled volunteers under the guidance of an experienced millwright. The mill is a reconstruction masterpiece, beautifully engineered and fully working, but mind your head as you tour around its confined interior. Thanks so much John for organising this visit, and the meal at the Inn.
Coming soon will be our second visit to Raystede Classic car show on the 6th July and the SDG summer BBQ on Sunday 20th July. See http://www.southdowns-trs.org.uk for more details.”
I know you've all been waiting to hear the results of the skittles match between Goodwood and South Downs which took place back in March. Well, without further ado, I can confirm that a fantastic day was had, the pizzas were superb and the pints slipped down nicely (passengers only). The car park was bathed in spring sunshine, which glinted off two new SDG TRs - Martin's new damson TR6 and Tony's dark green TR3 - as well as all the other TRs from the two groups. Well done to all who took part, and to the travelling supporters who spent most of their time enjoying the sunshine. Many thanks to GWTR for their sportsmanship and company. Oh, the result? South Downs successfully defended their title, winning both official matches and the unofficial fun match.
For a treat, on the 5th April Glynn had arranged a visit to CKL Developments, a brilliant company who specialise in Jaguar sports and race cars from the 50s and 60s: C-Types, D-Types, LWEs, E-Types & XKs, plus the occasional Lister, Ferrari and other exotica. The day started with a run from Battle to CKL, with a brief stop at a local garden centre to allow those not interested in wheeling machines, bending rolls and blue printed engines to spend a couple of hours in retail therapy. CKL did not disappoint. We were split into groups of 6 or 7 and guided around the facilities by knowledgeable and interesting employees who had come in specially to share their enthusiasm. Hand crafted aluminium panels created by a combination of engineering and artistry were a beautiful sight. There were more desirable cars than you could shake a stick at, as well as a showroom full of cars without price tags... if you had to ask, you probably could not afford! After the main event we adjourned to the Two Sawyers pub at Pett for an excellent lunch. Many thanks Glynn for arranging a most enjoyable day.
Club night at Chailey featured “Toad in the Hole” - not something you eat, but a traditional Sussex game. Who could throw the metal discs (toads) into the hole in the lead sheet and ring the bell? Well Hugh certainly could. He had obviously played the game once or twice before, and was always a popular choice as a team member.
On Tuesday 20th May we have a visit to Oldlands Mill, Sunday 1st June Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway trip, Tuesday 10th June Canonball Run, June 20th to 23rd Continental trip to Chartres. See www.southdowns-trs.org.uk for more details.
Ian Squire reports: “On the 19th January the annual SDG Awards Lunch took place at the Bear in Burwash. The day dawned fine and bright, resulting in a good selection of TRs (3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, Dove), and one Sebring, glinting in the sunshine, though (as expected) only Willie was in top down mode. Food was excellent, as was the company. Following the culinary delights came the awards: Clubman of the year - Hugh Adkins, Best Presented - Glynn Boyd, Members favourite - Glynn Boyd, Event Attendance - Martin Jane, Club Nights in TR - Willie Felger, Photo Competition - Rosemary Jackson, Special award for overall contribution - Paul Lucas, Club Spirit award - James Kearney. Also Glynn presented a bottle of wine to George in recognition of the hard worked required from a group leader. Well done one and all, and many thanks to Dawn and Bob for arranging this event once again.
SDG often attend the Southdown Stages, but this year the early start and the appalling conditions on the day appear to have made a Sunday lie in much more appealing.
Many thanks to John B for the following report:-
“Well, at least it is not raining” was the general feeling as intrepid SDG’rs set off on the now famous ‘Midwinter Blast’. George, our GL, had planned the run to take in the fine Sussex countryside and had included a ford, which surprisingly, in view of the torrents of rain we have had this year, was pretty shallow. Although many of the main roads had managed to dry out quite well, the less used were still fairly testing of underbody treatment. The run of around 50 miles took in little used country lanes, where the main obstacles seemed to be horses and bicycles, but these did not prevent us from enjoying this first run of the year. John and Jill in their TR3 were the bravest, being the only ones with the top down. The rest of us, one TR4, two TR4As and two TR6s kept our weather gear firmly in place. Turnout was completed by three ‘Euroboxes’. Finishing up at the Cat Inn, West Hoathly, for a glass or two and a traditional Sunday Roast, experiences were shared before heading home to spend the rest of the day (and I suspect the rest of the following day) removing the mud and checking the underside. All in all a really good day out.”
We are now just a few weeks away from Drive It Day 27th April, the Spring Burn Out 4th May, the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway trip, and monthly club nights in both South Chailey and Netherfield. As always check out www.southdowns-trs.org.uk for the latest information.”