H.C.V.C. Run to Brighton
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mEARLY 100 vehicles were entered for
the second annual London to Brighton run organized by the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club, which took place on Sunday. Although a few vehicles could not be prepared in time, the majority took part. One or two roadside breakdowns were reported but so far as is known none prevented arrival on the Madeira Drive at Brighton, where the line-up of competing vehicles was full of " character " and colour.
Public interest in the event had noticeably increased from that displayed last year, then by no means inconsiderable. Crowds filled the pavement near the Museum of British Transport in Clapham High Road, the starting point, and groups of spectators gathered at most obvious vantage points over the entire route during the run. The weather, after early uncertainties, became fine and warm and at Brighton crowds surrounded the enclosure during the Concours d'Elegance and driving tests.
Certainly the event could fairly be described as even more of a success than the 1962 run. In characteristic H.C.V.C. manner, things once or twice seemed to become mildly chaotic, but the immense fund of good will available on these occasions helped in overcoming the consequences of barely adequate planning.
Variety is always a strong point of events of this character and the vehicles taking part varied in size from a 1914 Warrick news-delivery tricycle to double-, decker buses. Fire engines were, as
usual, strongly represented, with a 1914 Dennis and a 1933 Morris-Commercial among the newcomers. The Dennis is in course of restoration by Dennis Bros. apprentices, the third fire engine to be so treated. The usual contingent of Austin taxis of the 1930s was augmented on this occasion by a Beardmore of circa 1932.
Among goods models, a notable " new " entry was a 1915 Seldon lorry, a product of the Seldon Motor Truck Co. of Rochester, New York. A 1935 A.E.C. Q side-engined single-deck bus, originally operated on London Transport country bus routes and bought by an Ilford enthusiast three weeks ago, was another newcomer to H.C.V.C. events. Another addition to the list of passenger vehicles acquired from the Jersey Motor Transport Co. for preservation was a 1937 Leyland Cheetah single-decker.
The winner of the Concours was another Leyland from the same source, a 1932 Titan TD2 double-decker acquired by Michael Banfield three years ago and now beautifully restored. It could not have looked smarter when new.
Runner-up in the Concours was the 1919 Walker battery-electric van entered by Harrods Ltd. A familiar sight at H.C.V.C. events, it has recently been restored to its original condition without windscreen. The winning vehicle in the driving tests was the 1930 AlbionMerryweather fire-engine entered by R. B. Brittain, with Trojans entered by G. J. Hocking and M. Digby second and third.