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South of England Gathering 2014


On the Friday night after some of the visitors had booked in to their accommodation they joined members of the New Forest Group for a Fish & Chip Supper at The Bear & Ragged Staff where the local club meet every second Tuesday in the Month.

SATURDAY ROAD RUN (report by Kim Henson)

For those members of the Standard Motor Club who were unable to get to the International Rally in Wirral in June (as well as those who did!), Darrell Cunningham’s Hampshire-based ‘South of England Gathering’ over the weekend of 16th/17th August represented another excellent opportunity to meet up with like-minded owners of our beloved old Standards.

The activities on Saturday 16th were scheduled to take the form of a road run during the day, followed by an evening meal. By contrast, on Sunday 17th participants were to display their cars on the Club’s stand (hosted by the New Forest Group) at the third Hampshire Motor Show at Breamore Countryside Museum, near Fordingbridge in Hampshire.

I know that other members are writing in detail about the Saturday’s evening meal and Sunday’s participation in the Hampshire Motor Show, so in this report I’ll focus on the road run which took place on Saturday 16th.


The meeting point for the start of the road run was the Mill Arms at Dunbridge, a few miles to the north-west of Romsey. Some members had arrived in the area the previous night, staying either at the Mill Arms or in other nearby hotels/guest houses, while more local participants had driven to the starting point on the day of the run.

As welcome teas and coffees were consumed in the bar, the car park (under grey skies which were beginning to lighten up) was gradually filling up with a fine selection of Standards and Triumphs – plus a solitary 1955 Austin.

Standards on parade (in order of vehicle age; oldest first) included Phil and Lynda Homer’s 1935 Avon, my 1938 Flying Fourteen Touring Saloon, Darrell Cunningham’s 1939 Flying Eight Tourer and Brian Parkes’ post-War Flying Fourteen. Triumphs joining in the fun included the Roadster 2000 belonging to Keith Gulliford, the Stag owned by Mike Beavis, and the TR7 drop head of Steve Smeltzer. They were joined by a two door Austin A30 belonging to a local couple.

Arriving in a ‘future classic’ Ford Focus, as their pre-War Austin was temporarily out of action, were Bob and Val Richardson, Club stalwarts over many years. My wife Elaine and I were pleased to be able to give Bob and Val a lift on the road run in our Flying Fourteen.

At 11.30am the cars departed from the Mill Arms, driving through the lanes towards the nearby New Forest to the south, with the navigators following the comprehensive and clear route instructions devised by Darrell and Josephine.

As the sun began to shine more prolifically, bathing the tree-lined roads and lifting the spirits, the local countryside’s natural beauty shone through too…

The happy convoy passed through Wellow and eventually on to the village of Nomansland, past its typically English cricket pitch and up its famous, twisting hill onto the higher, wide open expanses of the Forest. In all directions, as far as the eye could see, the ground here was carpeted in heather which was just beginning to blossom; indeed the ‘sea’ of purple was wonderful to see.

Driving carefully across the long-abandoned World War II Fritham aerodrome, those taking part were able to marvel at the wide variety of New Forest animals which had collected at the roadside (and, sometimes, on the road itself). The magnificent cattle and the beautiful ponies (large and small!), also the inquisitive donkeys, seemed to be enjoying the sunshine too. In fact the animals often collect in the Fritham aerodrome area, where breezes over the high ground here ensure that it is comparatively cool for them during the summer months.

The lovely but very busy (tourist-magnet!) village of Burley was reached after passing through yet more attractive countryside, but lunch beckoned, so, for the moment, participants pressed on.

Soon, after a fabulous 29 miles, the lunch stop at the Old Station Holmsley Tea Rooms was reached, and our classics were parked in a ‘set-aside’ area of the car park.

Everyone sat in the Tea Rooms gardens, bathed in warm sunshine, and enjoyed a tasty lunch. There was plenty of chat about the run so far, as well as some technical talk too about the intricacies of old Standards (etc.)…

After lunch there was a 26 mile run back to the Mill Arms at Dunbridge, with an optional stop at Burley on offer, and the charms of the village were enjoyed by many of those taking part.

All the passengers travelling in my Fourteen had visited Burley quite recently, so we elected to carry on without stopping back to Romsey, where we briefly visited the nearby Sir Harold Hillier Gardens for a break from driving, and a cuppa.

We then drove back to the Mill Arms, and Bob and Val returned to their hotel in Romsey. Elaine and I relaxed for an hour or so in the bar of the Mill Arms, looking forward to the evening meal.

Due to work commitments, Elaine and I were unable to attend the Breamore Rally on the Sunday, but as we drove the 35 miles back home late on the Saturday evening, with the Fourteen purring along in the darkness, we reflected on a wonderful, well-organised, relaxing day out. We had enjoyed meeting up with everyone, and it had been great to have the pleasure of the company of Bob and Val in our ‘Flyer’ during the run.

On behalf of everyone who took part, grateful thanks to Darrell and Josephine, who had worked so hard to put on a brilliant day for everyone.

Kim Henson

Post Script… Standard Memories

From a personal point of view, it was very strange, but purely coincidence, that the Mill Arms at Dunbridge (adjacent to the main line railway crossing in the village) should be the chosen starting and finishing point for the road run. Elaine and I attended in my 1938 Flying Fourteen Touring Saloon, and it was wonderful to be able to bring this car on the run. However, this was not the first occasion that I had been very close to the Mill Arms in a 1938 Fourteen Touring Saloon…

Back in 1957, one of my very earliest memories was being in my grandfather’s 1938 Fourteen (an identical model to the one I drove on this year’s road run!). Unfortunately at that time my grandfather had just fallen from a chimney and been taken to hospital to recuperate (he had broken his jaw), and my mother was driving Grandad’s Fourteen to nearby Whiteparish, to take my grandmother home for the night.

In the midst of a heavy thunderstorm, and late on a dark night, we had to stop in the pouring rain at the railway crossing opposite the Mill Arms in Dunbridge, while a train passed. I can vividly remember that day… Until 16th August this year (amazingly, some 57 years on) I had not revisited this scene in a 1938 Flying Fourteen!!

1. The Mill Arms at Dunbridge was the starting point for the South of England Gathering’s road run on Saturday 16th August. Here the participating vehicles are just about to set off for a meandering route to, then across, the nearby New Forest.

2. Contrasts in Standard Fourteens… On the left of this shot is Brian Parkes’ post-War example, while on the right is Kim Henson’s 1938 Flying Fourteen Touring Saloon.       

3. Phil and Lynda Homer brought along their oh-so-stylish 1935 Avon, and in this photograph are seen here just about to leave the Mill Arms at the start of the road run.

4. The ‘set-aside’ parking area at the Old Station Holmsley Tea Rooms was greatly enhanced by its line-up of Standards and Triumphs (plus the Austin A30!).

5. Contrasts in rear end designs! The relatively modern Triumph Stag stands out among the three pre-War Standards, all featuring very different rear end styling.

6. This 1936 Flying Twelve is a very rare beauty. It is owned by Ellis Bates, who joined everyone at the lunch stop.

7. Happy Travellers! Participants in the South of England Gathering’s Saturday road run enjoyed lunch outside in the sunshine at the Old Station Holmsley Tea Rooms.

The Evening Dinner (report by Josephine Longland)

We arrived back either home for those living locally or at accommodation for those stopping over after a lovely road run and lunch in the beautiful New Forest in the sunshine in plenty of time to shower and change (or even 40 winks) before our evening at The Mill Arms, Dunbridge, Hants.

Everybody gathered in the bar for pre-dinner drinks and a chat. Darrell had kindly acted as chauffeur and collected members from their accommodation so that they could enjoy a drink without having to worry about driving.

Dinner was served in the lovely light conservatory of The Mill Arms, just a comfortable size for 19 people. The evening was very light hearted and jovial. The food was very good and plentiful and enjoyed by everyone. Just a couple of short speeches were made.

Darrell thanked everyone for turning up and making our first South of England Gathering a resounding success. The first of many we hope that will attract more members in the future.

Lynda Homer kindly presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a thank you to Darrell and me for arranging the weekend. Phil and Lynda Homer also presented Brian Parkes with a very well deserved Chairman’s Cup and lifetime membership to the club. Kim Henson thanked us for inviting him and his wife Elaine.

We said our goodbyes and were all looking forward to a good night’s sleep before the static rally at Breamore House Fordingbridge the next day.

SUNDAY AT BREAMORE HOUSE (report by Darrell Cunningham)

Early Sunday morning saw Dave Salter and Alan Tibot on route in their Standards direct to The Hampshire Classic Motor Show at Breamore House near Fordingbridge run by Gemini Events to set up our Stand and to welcome early arrivals who were going direct.

Meanwhile a group of members, some of whom had stayed overnight at The Mill Arms Dunbridge assembled in the car park. A surprise arrival was a 1957 Vanguard Sportsman from the Isle of Wight. After a natter and coffee everyone headed for their cars ready for the Road run through the New Forest to the Show ground.

At 11 am the Classic Standards following behind a 1939 Flying Eight Tourer moved off under a fairly clear sky. The convoy of cars arrived at Breamore at 12 noon just as a shower started.

Despite the shower the cars proceeded to do a tour of the main arena stopping by the announcer to be interviewed.

As the shower stopped the cars proceeded to the Standard Stand.

The members were able to show their cars to the public view the many other car club stands and partake of the refreshments on sale around the site.

The organisers asked the Club for two cars from each club to enter the arena and a representative of the Club to be interviewed. The two chosen were Alan Tibot in his pre-war Flying 8 DHC and Dave Salter in his 1934 Tickford bodied 10. Lynda Homer volunteered to be interview and gave a detailed account of the club.

During the day Brian Parkes proceeded to judge the cars and allocated 6 prize notifications.

At 3.30 the six winners entered the main arena and lined up abreast to receive their plaques which were awarded by Lynda Homer.

A surprise was the arrival of Stephen Smith of Gemini Events the organisers of the show to award our Standard Motor Club the Concours 2014 Best Club Stand (The Second Year). Darrell Cunningham of The New Forest Group accepted the Trophy and a rosette for every car on the Stand.

Soon it was time to depart It was an excellent show well organised and with a top class very knowledgeable commentator. We hope to repeat The South of England Gathering in 2015 watch out for details.

A full list of ALL cars attending will appear in the You Tube video entitled “THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND GATHERING 2014” which will be published in September.

More pictures of the event from Phil Homer can be seen here

A video of the event can be seen here

1. Best Coach Built Standard Phil & Lynda Homer with their 1935 Avon Standard 10/12 Tourer VG 7297

2. Best Club Stand

3. Best Club Stand Award

4. The Winners

5. Best Guest Car Andrew Williams with his 1938 MG TA EKT 274

6. Rosette for all attendees

7. Best Post War 10 Geoff Winnicott with his

1957 Standard 10 Super.

8. Best Pre War 10 Dave & Val Salter with their 1934 Tickford Bodied Standard 10 Drop Head Coupe BLN 658

9. Best Triumph Peter Bailey with his 1965 TR4A KYC623D.

10. Best Standard  Alan Lock  with his 1957 Vanguard Sportsman NX 726