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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Lynda Homer reports on the Standard Motor Club International Rally 2016:

Departure: Thursday 23rd June 2016.

Phil set off in the Avon 10/12 Tourer mid-morning after checking the oil and water, loading tools etc. I was travelling in our modern car following on later. This was for a number of reasons, mainly due to the volume of equipment needed for the event including a projector and laptop for the presentation at the Saturday dinner.

We were not the only early arrivals at Norton Park. Members of the New Forest Group had set up the rally field right opposite the hotel and it all looked great apart from the weather which kept us guessing whether the sun would come out or we’d have a rainstorm.

The first day: Friday 24th June 2016

The morning was spent checking the car, adjusting brakes etc and catching up with everyone. In due course we set off on the road run to Laverstoke, stopping for coffee then an excellent lunch at the Watership Down Inn, together with Steve Smeltzer in his newly acquired Vanguard, Len Barr with another newly acquired car, a Falmouth plus Paul Newsome in the Charlecote. This was followed by a tour of the Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery. We parked together in a reserved area and the display of vehicles created much interest. Darrell Cunningham greeted us and the 60 club attendees booked in for the tour.  The highlight was the opportunity to smell the various aromatics used in production of the gin- you could pick out your favourites then sample the cocktail of your choice at the end of the tour. Drivers could opt for a “mocktail” and a “driver’s pack” complete with gin and tonic to try later. The Distillery buildings are right on the banks of the river Test and used to be a paper mill.

By Friday afternoon the rally participants staying at Norton Park Hotel had booked in and collected rally packs from Josephine Longland. We enjoyed a buffet supper and lots of chat, meeting old friends and welcoming club members attending the rally for the first time.

The second day: Saturday 25th June 2016

Our destination was the Hawk Conservancy Trust, an 18 mile road run away from the hotel. Here there was the opportunity to see three displays, set off in an imaginative arena based on the African savanna. We watched, fascinated, as the trainers flew black kites, vultures, egrets and more all at the same time. The café provided welcome shelter from the frequent showers that day. We can recommend the home made pork pie served at the local hostelry, well named as The Hawk.

Later the annual dinner took place at Norton Park. Our new projector came into its own as Graham Lockley gave a short photographic presentation illustrating a range of Standard events, members and their cars.

The third day: Sunday 26th June2016

Excitement abounded as the cars lined up on the grass and we welcomed 12 late entries in addition to the 74 pre booked entries. Steve O’Hara organised the field layout. Rally control kept Josephine busy, the bring and buy stall run by Steve Smeltzer attracted a lot of interest, Lynne Tibot and Val Salter ran the tombola stall expertly, and Rachel Maxwell took charge of raffle ticket sales with help from Margaret Park. We were entertained by the Michelmersh Silver Band with 22 musicians of all ages playing two sets of enjoyable themes. Rally participants were involved with self judging and Peter Lockley and Brian Parkes were judges for the Open Class and Master Class as well as other special awards. Lynda Homer and Peter Lockley tallied up the scores. A team of runners notified the award winners and after the raffle was drawn the prize giving commenced.

The weather had been kind all day and as the afternoon drew to a close the general consensus was that this had been a very successful event. Thank you to everyone involved in any way in way in the organisation – especially Darrell Cunningham and Josephine Longland together with the New Forest group and members of the SMC Committee.

A fair number of people stayed over for Sunday evening, this involved a dinner for some of us in the Coach and Horses in Sutton Scotney.  An enjoyable and relaxing way to end a busy weekend.

Next year we’ll meet to do it all again at the Woodside Hotel, Kenilworth, a venue that is in a very central position in the country. It will be held over the weekend of 30 June to 2 July 2017. It would be wonderful to see even more members and cars there.

Lynda Homer