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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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The Standard Register Rally in Mid Wales

Some of the cars and most of the participants at Glansevern Hall Gardens

This year's Standard Register Rally, to which all pre 1931 Standards are welcomed, was held in mid Wales this summer. Looking at the map, there was no escaping a trip of at least 190 miles each way from St. Albans. That's a long distance for our 1921 Standard Model SL0. The car is very reliable but rather tiring to drive. Other road users have no respect for vintage machinery, for instance, they will pull out of side-roads, roundabouts etc with complete nonchalance, thinking that I can stop, whereas, with no front brakes, it is invariably only just possible. This attitude is prevalent in the South-East of England, because of our crowded roads, but fortunately it becomes less of an issue say, once one moves west of the M5 and into Wales in particular. By that time it is more of a pleasure to drive the car.

The Dragon hotel, Montgomery, our comfortable home for the weekend

The Major of Montgomery greets the organiser Len Barr over the bonnet of the Webmaster's 1921 Model SLO

Our outward route therefore involved an overnight stop about half way, at Stow on the Wold. On the second morning I pushed the SLO on through Tewkesbury, Ledbury and Hereford. A minor road heading north now with a coffee stop at Canon's Pryon and by 12.00non the SL0 pulled up outside the Sun Inn in Leintwardine. Our first highlight of the tour, where we were met by Steve Smeltzer in his Model V4, was this beer guide recommended pub. A great pint served from the wood. The pub doesn't serve food, but next door is a fish and chip shop. Not only is every order freshly cooked, but the chip shop provides a delivery service - our meals were delivered directly to our table in the pub garden. Possibly the best pub service we have yet encountered! Can't wait to go back!

Our visit that afternoon was to Nick Williams's workshop, just 1/2 mile away in Leintwardine, where he is rebuilding the only Standard Arrow. This is a 1930 9Hp with a Coachbuilt body. I have featured the discovery of this car earlier and I  will report on progress in a new feature on this website soon.  After this very interesting visit we made the short journey across country to Montgomery where our hotel, the Dragon, was booked for the weekend. Montgomery is a small country market town, not on any A road, so remarkably unspoilt. Previously the county town of Montgomeryshire, various boundary changes now put it about 3 miles inside the Welsh border in Powys. Our tours for the next two days would start after breakfast here and end here. Over dinner that evening with fellow Standard owners we renewed acquaintances and swapped Standard stories.

John Condor's Model SLS

A lineup of Vintage Standards at Stokesay Castle

A view of the splendid Stokesay Castle

Saturday morning. Our first visit was to Stokesay Castle, back in Shropshire, it being the oldest fortified house in the country. Everyone was very impressed with the visit and the excellent guided audio tour. Then it was on another 10 miles to Acton Scott Working Farm. This farm has been made famous by the TV series "The Victorian Farm" The visit began with a buffet lunch whilst there was a tremendous downpour consisting of marble-sized hailstones! Quite a surprise for early August. Afterwards it was possible to tour the farm, where everything is carried out in the traditional Victorian Manor. Another most interesting visit. Then the party returned to Montgomery pausing for refreshments at Bishop's Castle

Above: Arthur Paddock's Big 9

Centre: Michael Hilditch's Model SL0

Above: Steve Smeltzer's Model V4 with Australian Body

Dinner that evening at the Dragon was a formal affair with speeches and awards. Your webmaster received a cup for travelling the furthest in class. Here is a complete prizewinners list:

Butterworth Cup - winner Michael and Lynda Hilditch (1922 Standard SLO)

For the most improved car over the last 12 months.

Rally to the Event

Class 3 winner: Dennis and Sheila Brown

1930 Standard Selby with 56.5 formula miles from Raglan, Monmouthshire.

Class 2 winner:  Phil and Lynda Homer 

(The Barr Trophy)

1921 Standard SLO with 206.5 formula miles from St Albans, Hertfordshire. 

Car Badges/mascots competition

(kindly devised by Suzie Singleton)

Winner: Steve Smeltzer with 16 out of 20 correct answers.

A special presentation was made to Alfred Breth for his continued support.  Each year Alfred who is restoring a 1922 Standard V2, attends from his home in Vienna, Austria.

On Sunday morning there was a shorter run, to visit the gardens at Glansevern Hall. A spectacular 25 acre garden with a lake belonging to a private house. Then it was time to set off on our long return journey. Reaching our overnight stop at Stow with no incident, the SLO continued to purr quietly along for the last 80 miles on Monday morning. The furthest the car has been in a weekend in my ownership.

All the participants thank the organiser, Len Barr, for an excellently organised rally.

You can read  Len's own report on this rally here

I will report on our SECOND Welsh holiday shortly

Report by Phil Homer

Dear Members, Please send me more event reports to appear here.

August 2012