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West Midlands Rally Report


The Road Run prepares to leave Moira on the Saturday, led by Steve O'Hara in his 1935 Nine

Mary, Queen of Scots with the Standards and Triumphs at Tutbury Castle

THe cars within the Castle walls, the beige Ten came all the way from Holland

The 2002 West Midlands Rally, organised as usual by Alan Withey, was based in Moira, scene of last year's National Rally. On the Friday several participants arrived and the grounds of the Miners' Welfare Club, now renamed the Moira Social Club, once again saw gleaming Standards. In the evening the group enjoyed a pleasant meal at the nearby Navigation Inn.

We assembled on the rally field on the Saturday morning after some heavy rain, but the forecast for the day was not too bad. One welcome sight was the Super Ten of Cees Spek, who had driven the car all the way from Holland. At length we set off on the road run, passing on the way through the pleasant village of Repton, famed for its public school. The bunting was out in abundance, along with that traditional Standard emblem, the Union Jack; however, the decorations were not for us, but for the Queens' Golden Jubilee. Also there was an Alvis gathering, although when I reported this to someone later they thought it was an Elvis gathering. Slight difference there!

On we drove towards Tutbury; I was in my 1935 Nine and was nearly demolished by a speeding Land Rover as we negotiated a narrow section of route. We arrived in Tutbury and parked up in the car park of Tutbury Crystal, where we were able to watch demonstrations of glass blowing. The heat from the fumaces was intense. AAer browsing in the factory shop we went our separate ways to explore the small town and find something to eat. Peter and Graham Lockley and I tried

to find a pub to eat in, but they were either basic or too posh. Eventually we were running out of town, but Peter suggested we press on to the station, because 'there's always a good pub near to a station' he said, no doubt speaking from the benefit of great experience. But he was quite right - the pub near the station was excellent.

Rejoining the group at Tutbury Crystal we drove in convoy the short distance to Tutbury Castle. This is defrnitely one of the ruins Cromwell knocked about a bit. We parked up in the car park and went through the gates of the castle, where we were met by none other than Mary Queen of Scots. Although she had been dead for well over 400 years she looked well on it, and immediately issued the royal command that we bring our Standards into the heart of the castle. This we did, and they looked good on the lush grass. Indeed, we though it would be a lovely place for a National Rally, although rather exposed on its hilltop above the Dove valley.

The Queen (in reality Leslie Smith, the curator of the castle) explained the history of the site, and how Queen Elizabeth had imprisoned her there. Most of the history of such a place is grisly, and I'd rather not have walked there alone at night. After a pleasant stay we resumed the toad run to return to Moira in good time for our fish and chip supper.

Are the gallows for the  winner of last place in the Concours!? -Webmaster

Cess Spek, from Holland, on the left enjoys his Fish and Chip supper with otther Club members

Part of the line-up of cars in the grounds of the Moira Social Club on Sunday

The Sunday was wet and miserable, but a good line up of cars materialised. Selfjudging produced a number of ties and it was difficult to decide the winners, but in the end John Maxwell won the prewar prize for his Flying Nine, and Trevor Walker the post-war, for his Super Ten. Trevor also won the prize for best 8 & 10, and no doubt went back to Huddersfield a very satisfied man. The rally was shared with the Triumph Sporting Owners Club, and they nominated what they felt was the best Standard - John's Flying Nine.

Alan presented us all with a Tutbury Crystal glass engraved Srandard Motor Club 2002, which was lovely. We all owe him and May a debt of gratitude for his work in organising the weekend.

Trvor Walker

John Maxwell

The prizewinners receive their btrophies for best Postwar Car and Best Prewar car, respectively from the organiser, Alan Withey and Club Chairman, Peter Lockley.

Report and Pictures by Steve O'Hara