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Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Report from the Powderham Castle Rally

Second Day's events at Powderham are washed out.

A rainy run in Devon - no stopping a Standard - I think this photo sums up the weekend!"-webmaster

The weather forecast was not looking good for the weekend and we wondered if all the participants would actually show up at one point. I left home with my 1938 Standard Gwynne Fire Pump on tow behind my modern and kept ahead of the black clouds all the way to the site where Steve Lovegrove and Chris Bowden were already cutting the grass and raking away the debris. In between bites of my Cornish pasty and sips of Chris’ flask of tea, I helped to finish the job and then we all set to , marking out our area and getting stakes put into the ground on which to hang our ropes and bunting. Steve then had to return home to collect his Standard, having already trailered a Fergy tractor up from Plymouth for our display. This left Chris and myself to assemble the gazebo which was to provide rain cover and catering accommodation for the weekend. 

A race to the front for fish and chips

Brian drumming up business for the West of England show

No joke to put one of those up in a gale of wind, blowing in from the Exe estuary. We secured it down in the usual way even using ropes to help hold it to terra firma. By this time the New Forest contingent arrived, Dave Lovering being just in time to help put the Union Jack up, the correct way up this time!!!.

All was set then for our fish and chip run to Dawlish but by this time the rain had set in and with high tides and gale force winds the seas were breaking over the railway at Starcross when we passed through. Several returned to their weekend lodgings after the supper but the hardened ones stopped off at the pub on the way back for a nightcap.

I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at Chris and Linda’s at Exeter for the weekend and it was with some dismay that Steve phoned us on the Saturday morning to say that the gazebo had collapsed overnight, more to the point the front support had broken. Chris raided his garage for all manner of timber, cord, gaffer tape etc and stacked it carefully in the Eight to see if we could do some repairs on site. When we got there, the support had snapped but with a piece of broom handle,gaffer taped to the broken bits in the form of a splint, we were back in business.

Who would turn up on this wet and windy day, the wind had swung around, putting our site in more of a sheltered area. The wind was still blowing and shredding tents at this stage, so we got away lightly.

John and Julia Pines lovely Little 9

New Forest guest Dave Salters 10 Tickford with postwar Standard 8

Two cars, unfortunately couldn’t make it but those that did are listed below:-

Most of us did a session or two of tent-hopping, seeing what bargains were in the autojumble area. Much tea was drunk in the shelter of our re-invigorated gazebo and talk was turning to the expectation of a good tuck-in at the Swans Nest that coming evening. We packed away the table, cooker and chairs and departed to our respective accommodation to clean up for the foray. The rain continued to fall, though the wind had dropped somewhat. A superb carvery was laid on for us and the ale and cider flowed freely. I think at one point we were making more noise than all the rest of the diners put together. This is what makes our Club. From whatever walk of life we come from, get us all round a table or on the rally field come to that, and the fun and games start. We were evicted at nearly midnight in the end.

The following morning we had another phone call from Steve. This time to tell us that the Sunday’s event had been abandoned due to the now-waterlogged ground. What a disappointment. We still had to go there to dismantle our stand and unfortunately could not say a proper cheerio to some of our participants, more’s the pity. An added complication was the road to the site became blocked by a bad accident and the diversions were confused to say the least. We met up again with our new found friends from the New Forest before they left and what a lovely bunch of people they were too. I only hope that this Powderham Castle Rally does not put them, or any of you out there, off from coming down to the South-West for an event such as this. The company is terrific, This was the first wet Powderham Rally for eighteen years, so I’m told.


Let's see YOUR Standard! To secure your place on the club stand in 2009 – contact Chris Bowden on 01392 664952  for more info

Report by Brian Murrish

Photos by Linda Bowden and Brian Murrish

I am sure that Len Barr would be delighted to hear from eligible Standard owners who would like to join the Rally next year. You can email him here