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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.

:: [ SVVS Evening Meeting - The Skimmington Castle, Reigate - May 2004 ] ::

The following text is based on the SVVS Magazine report by Chris Cuss and the photos are by  Bozi Mohacek. Please click on any thumbnail picture below to see the full size picture. To return to the thumbnails please click the Explorer "Back" arrow (top left of screen). Pictures have been prepared for speed of loading, and the page has been sized to be viewed at 800 x 600. Being evening, photos were taken with very little light so have been artificially lightened to be viewable.

Traditionally the SVVS has always enjoyed good weather for its evening meetings. This happy state of affairs has not continued into 2004. In January there was so much snow that the meeting was cancelled although it is rumoured that some super hardy souls still made it to the Hand in Hand by dog sleigh. In February it was dry but temperatures were below freezing. By March the weather had improved enough for two Rileys to venture out but by April it was cold and wet once more and all the proper motors were left tucked up at home again. So we were looking forward to a mild May evening at one of most popular venues and enjoying the long evening twilight looking at proper motorcars. Our hopes were dampened, literally, when the rain started as we descended Pebblecombe Hill, rain that continued for the rest of the evening and only ceased as we climbed Reigate Hill on the journey home. Nonetheless there was a good turnout of cars and almost all the space in the lower car park was taken when we arrived shortly after 7.30 p.m. Once again the landlord acted as a car park attendant to ensure the moderns were kept at bay. The interior of the Skimmy is short of space at the best of times and the pub really does rely on its patio to provide extra room. Because of the rain everyone was inside with the exception of a few of our members huddled under umbrellas and a group of very muddy mountain cyclists. Getting a drink at the bar, let alone being able to carry it out was an achievement. 

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Making its first appearance was the largest vehicle ever to appear at an SVVS meeting at the Skimmy in the shape of ex RAF AEC Matador four wheel drive flat bed truck that was built in the early 1950's. There are so many ex-military army vehicles around that it was a treat to see something in dull blue-grey. Another vehicle that I do not recall seeing before was the 1928 Morris 1 ton van owned by Roger Bishop. This wore the yellow livery of the family's removal firm. At the other extreme in size but still listed under the letter A were the 1921 Amilcar type CC owned by Desmond Peacock and the pair of open Austin Sevens owned by Alan Reid and Tim Ralph. I almost missed listing the 1933 10/4 two seater with dickey Austin owned by David Cole as he sensibly decided not to stay too long in the rain and was the first to set off for home. The final Austin noted was Colin Fytche's 1953 A40 Somerset. John Chapman had brought his 1937 Bentley with drophead body by Thrupp and Maperley whilst Michael Brown was in the Daimler SP250 that was formerly owned by Russel Wilson Kitchen.

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There were a number of Jaguars present. Mike Erroll was looking very wet in his XK120 and left early wrapped in a very fetching yellow plastic bag that seemed to blow away as soon as he got out of first gear. There was another XK120 that I thought belonged to Clive Bracey but the reg. number was wrong so I am once more confused. Lionel Higginson had brought his E type roadster. Bozi was in the V12 device. There were a couple more E types. Nigel Walder had come in his magnificent 1934 M45 Lagonda and John Kirkby was in his 8 h.p. Humber. New member Ted Simmonds brought his 1978 M.G. Midget whilst Alan Rothwell was in his 1972 MGB roadster. 

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Most of the Riley brigade were enjoying a trip to the Isle of Wight. Whilst there they called in to visit Alan and Lesley Milbank at their farm and to check out any additions to Alan's fleet of vehicles. They were saddened to learn that owing to some health problems Alan is thinking of moving to smaller premises and disposing of some of his collection. Those Rileys that were present at the Skimmy were my 1935 Kestrel, Tim Harding's 1929 Monaco and Dave Kilner's post-war RME. John Sheldrake had brought his NG sportscar, John Mortimer his huge 1928 Pontiac Six and Ronald Vincent his 1973 Porsche 911T. The Binghams braved the rain in their 1933 Singer Le Mans whilst Raymond Hobbs was better protected in his 1972 Rover 2000TC as was Trevor Mason in the 1947 Rover 14. Triumphs continue to appear at our meetings in goodly numbers.

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The Hon Ed, as always, was in the Y type saloon and Derek and Jacqui Wright being made of hardier stuff were in the 1946 TC. Bent Wilhelmsen was a late arrival in his 1963 Mercedes 190SL, we also noted a later model 280SL. A second Morris of the same vintage was the 11.9 h.p. Cowley saloon owned by Chas Moody who had rushed to the printers earlier that day to collect the magazines and heroically tramped around in the rain to distribute 55 copies to members present. Malcolm Bailey had brought his 1934 Minor and Bob Drew his post war version of the same name.

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Jon Quiney's 1940 Dolomite was as immaculate as ever as was Terry Mistry's 1947 roadster. Brian Daley came in his TR5 whilst I failed to identify the owners of a TR6 and a very tidy saloon that I think was a Renown. The only other car that I noted but could not place with an owner was an Austin Healey 3000. After I had retired to the comparative shelter of an umbrella on the patio Will How appeared in his Lancia Appia having suffered from a detached throttle cable en route. Hopefully the weather will now improve for the rest of the summer.

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 As his Chrysler is still unwell Tony Tester brought his Ford hotrod whilst our other hotrod owner, Tony Russell, came with his more conventional 1937 7W drophead. The third Ford noted does not appear in my listing but looked like a late model A. A younger Russell was also present as Tony's son Philip, who has just passed the test, came with his Morris Minor 1000 that was formerly owned by one of Bozi's sprogs.

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