The Coronavirus put paid to the FBHVC's annual Drive-it-Day in April when all
owners of historic vehicles are normally encouraged to take them out for a drive
on the public roads to publicize the popularity of our movement. In view of the
ban on public meetings, the FBHVC encouraged all members instead to take
photographs of their machinery and then share them on Social Media. Many of our
Members are of the 'elderly variety' so were hankered deep down thinking of
survival rather than cars, and anyway some are probably too old to know what
this new fangled social media is all about. Instead, some sent photos to
us. PHOTOS WELCOME !!
Our Membership Secretary Chas Moody
apart from being keen on vintage cars is also a very keen 'two-wheels man' and
does not particularly mind if he falls off a motorcycle or a bicycle. Just as
the Coronavirus lock-down was about to happen, he had taken his 1914 Triumph TT
Roadster Motorcycle on the "
Virtual 81st Pioneer Motorcycle Run - 2020 " of which some
photos are on our website,
Chas is a regular modern sports biker, and he has a much broken leg to prove it,
- he is also a collector of old bicycles. One of the oldest he had was a
"Penny Farthing" which we could control relatively expertly,
except for the time he turned into the Dog & Duck Car park bit sharpish at
one of our Sunday meetings and took out the side of our then Chairman's newly
restored Jaguar XK120.
Chas is also a convert to photography and he now sends a 'ride-it-day' photo
taken in Staffhurst Wood with the Bluebells in full bloom. He advises that the
bicycle is on the SVVS Register and qualifies as a 'vehicle', being 'a
machine that transports people or goods' even though it doesn't have an engine
and is probably the only type of SVVS vehicle which can be used in the present
'Essential use only' conditions, as daily exercise!
Historic data on the machine: The bicycle is a 1909 NEW HUDSON 'Royal'
3-Speed Gents Cycle, No.37, Fitted with '1909 Patent Brakework' and Armstrong
Mk.2 Triplex 3-speed Hub Gear. The original purchase price was £10.10s.0d (Not
by me, of course. he says!). Data on the site: Staffhurst Wood is a
51-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest south of Oxted in
Surrey. It is a Nature Conservation Review site: Grade 2. An area of 38.1
hectares is a Local Nature Reserve, which is owned by Surrey County Council and
managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Our long-term Member and a previous Honorary Secretary Mike
Gorman has a bunch of old cars in which he
alternates according to the weather as to which one he comes to meetings in.
Cannot help noticing the Bentley has been out a lot! Or is it perhaps that Mike
is getting older and likes his comfort?
26th April - Drive-it-day. Mike Gorman set out to drive all three of his cars to
the end of his drive and back. Pleased to report a faultless run both ways
Mike said that he had lost count of weeks he has spent in isolation
but believes he is not going stir crazy yet. The Drive-it-Day spurred him
into great excitement of activity. In preparation on the Saturday he trimmed the
hedges around the front garden, and on the Sunday morning he fired up each of
the three cars and ran them until they got up to working temperature. As he has
not used any of them since last year he finds it necessary to run them
occasionally to make sure the clutches do not stick. The brakes in the Sprite
and the Morris 10/4 both have silicone fluid in them so he no longer has the
worry of corrosion caused by water getting in to the systems and causing damage.
Quote : " I washed the cars and left them out for about 4 hours. To the
best of my knowledge no cars of note passed up or down my road, in fact there
was very little vehicle or pedestrian movement. I posted a picture of the cars
on the Midget and Sprite Club Facebook page and had about 20 thumbs up. Apart
from that my effort to fly the flag for the old car movement seems to have gone
Historic data on the machines:
1950 Bentley Mk VI Saloon, 4,500 cc straight 6 doing about 18 miles to the
gallon. Supplied to the chairman of Yarrow Shipbuilders for $3,674. Spent part
of its life in the USA, returning late 1980.
1934 Morris 10/4 Tourer, 1141cc straight four sidevalve. registered in Croydon
and has remained local. One of 664 manufactured in three years of production. 35
survive. Central accelerator pedal.
1971 Auistin Sprite Sports, 1275cc straight four A series engine, first
registered in Birmingham. Mike's brother swapped a Citroen 2CV for this car in
1975. Mike bought it in 1978 being third owner.
Our Member John Rennie was equally keen to get
his car our and was able to do so in their closed street. The car is a
1929 Austin 7 Chummy, known as Sammy, The car came over from Northern Ireland
about two years ago. John acquired it last summer after selling his 1933 Type 65
Austin 7, as a more durable and stronger car than the 65. Since then he has
tidied it up a bit, and it shares the garage with an unrestored five owner 1934
Austin 12/4 Ascot saloon.
John says " Both cars get regular use in and around Surrey, 'when we are
allowed to'! Our Austin 7 group held a virtual Drive-it-Day, where we all
put our cars out on our drives or gardens, and shared the photos. It was all a
bit of an incentive to get much needed works done on them. I had taken the
radiator off the Chummy to clean it all up and then give it a spruce up."
Our Membership Secretary Chas Moody
has also sent us the photo below which proves that he does 'modern' bikes too.
This is another from his collection which is a 1949 Higgins 'Ultralite' cycle.
Higgins bicycles were hand made by Fred Higgins in Portland Road, South Norwood,
London SE25 and were well known for their tricycles and tricycle
conversions. T. Higgins & Son Ltd were formed 1933 and closed 1966.
The Higgins 'Ultralite', bronze-welded frame weighing approximately 22lbs when
built as a complete machine for time-trialling, slightly more as a
touring/clubmans machine. Price £10 17s 6d, but road-racing specification as a
complete machine for £55 15s 10d included sprints on Gnutti QR hubs, Stella
chainset, Alp or GB brakes, and Simplex Tour de France 10-speed gears. It seems
they produced some 5000 cycle, tricycle and tandem frames during their years in
Photo was taken at the Old Mill Pond weir in Spring Lane, Oxted. The 'Middle
Mill' was recently for sale as office accomodation for offers over £1 Million.
This mill can be traced back to 1890, but others were mentioned in the
Doomsday Book. The mill was one of the leading corn mills in the area and was
powered by the nearby River Edenr
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