Tuesday, June 28, 2011

London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally - 14.11.1968

With all the talk of the 1953 movie 'Genevieve' during the day,  our friend Peter W., who had names for every vehicle he ever owned, christened our much-loved Taxi.  We'd tossed a few names around but our time was up so Peter Christened her 'Tabitha'... and that's who she was known as from that day on.  (Sounds weird now but that's how it was.  Our dear friend Peter died a couple of years ago.)
 Positioned on the A23 at Pyecombe Hill watching the old vehicles pass by on their way to Brighton.
Just looking at this photo reminds me of just how darn cold it was with that freezing wind blowing around us.  That's me sitting on top of our Taxi and Peter W. in the light coloured slacks standing with other friends on the edge of the road.
(The Royal Automobile Club's annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run takes place on the first Sunday of every November and commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896 which celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for 'light locomotives' from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag.)

 Old Steyne, Brighton.

 Marine Parade, Brighton with the famous Pier back left.  I'm glad we didn't own one of these, looks less friendly than our Taxi with it's drivers cabin up front and no passenger seat beside.

(Nine years later, in 1977, we became homesick for our much loved second home so sailed back to England on the 'S.S. Australis' with three of our four children (#4 hadn't been born yet).  Nobody would rent us a house because the rent law was such that if we didn't pay our rent they couldn't kick us out because the children were under a certain age.  So we cashed in our return tickets, borrowed left right and centre and bought a house in Guildford near our old friends and spent 2 years reliving our first time in the UK. 

One weekend we went back to Brighton for a Veteran Commercial Vehicle Rally, David had the three children with him while I did a bit of shopping in the town.  When I'd finished and found him about an hour later,  somewhere near this spot,  the first thing he said to me was 'Have you seen the children?' 

He hadn't lost 6 month old Briony because she was on his back in a papoose, but Nerys aged 5 and Tomos aged 3 were missing.  The Police were searching as were we...  up and down, up and down the sea front... it wasn't a very nice half hour or so. 

Eventually it was discovered that both children were outside one of the Double Decker buses and David was inside, some woman asked the children where their Mummy and Daddy were and they said they didn't know so instead of standing with them for a minute or two she whisked them away to the Police Station which is under that clock just above this driver's head.  They had been there all the time and were sitting up on a high desk eating an ice cream and both burst into tears when their very relieved Mum walked in.  Phew!)

Benz Dog Cart, the oldest in the 1968 Rally.

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