Sun shines on Rotary’s annual parade of classic cars

Tuesday 10th May 2022 11:00 am
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Small Crossley Rotary classic cars Chepstow
(Chepstow Rotary Club )

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With a cool breeze but a beautiful clear blue sky the weather was ideal for the 20th Wye Run event organised by Chepstow Rotary Club.

The public enjoyed examining the record 80 cars lined up at Chepstow Garden Centre, while many also popped in to the Restaurant for an early breakfast of bacon rolls and hot tea after their early start.

With teams from as far apart as Portsmouth and Devizes, Cheltenham and Weston there was a very interesting mix of vehicles. A Manchester built Crossley 19/6 Tourer of 1921 was certainly the oldest car and harked back to the days of horseless carriages, although it was still to complete the challenging 100 mile run. The 1935 Riley 12/4 Lynx was a beautiful car, long and sleek with cut away doors in a beautiful, original and unusual colour of pale green. In amongst the many British cars there were some interlopers too. A Volvo Amazon of 1967, a 1971 American Plymouth Cricket, a pair of French Citroens and, surely the daddy of them all, a 1954 Chevrolet Belair convertible with its dazzling excess of chrome and gleaming turquoise paintwork. Amongst the E-Types, the Morgan’s and the MG’s lurked a British Sunbeam Stiletto, a pair of Swallow Dorettis, a Gilbern Genie and a Lotus Europa Special. There really was a car choice for everyone.

The competitors were launched into The Run at one minute intervals by the chequered flag and off they drove, into the Gwent countryside, with their co-pilots following their junction-by-junction tulip diagrams to find their first feature location.

Down they drove through the lanes and arrived at the RSPB Newport Wetlands Centre where the twitchers enjoyed themselves. Then north and through Newport, past Cwmbran and Pontypool, through Ebbw Vale and Merthyr Tydfil where suddenly the Welsh Valleys gave way to the wonderful scenery of the Brecon Beacons. Wow. All the teams found views totally stunning and since their next point was the Brecon Mountain Railway most stopped to wonder at the old locomotive and take advantage of the coffee shop. Then it was onwards, through the mountains, where the drivers wondered at the dozens of parachutes circling above during the British Parascending championships. At Talybont-on-Usk the teams enjoyed lunch at one of the village’s old pubs before heading east towards Crickhowell, Abergavenny and Raglan where the garden centre provided a welcome pit stop. The Wye Valley then had to be crossed from West to East and so their brakes were severely tested on the descent while their horse power was stretched on the ascent. Cars were pleased to find that their Run terminated at The Pavilion & Playing field at the charming village of St Briavels with its 12th century castle.

Smiling faces showed that this had been a really enjoyable day for competitors and spectators alike. The crowds mingled and enjoyed the cars while tea and cake were enjoyed. And, of course, the non-too serious prizes were awarded as follows:

Best pre-1960 car was the pale green Riley 12/4 Lynx of Ian Whitehouse and the Ladies Choice was the beautiful turquoise 1954 Chevrolet Belair Convertible owned by Robert Kynaston. The best historic display was the green 1954 Swallow Doretti by Mike and Victoria Nangreave while the Sponsors Choice was the red 1997 Mini Cooper 1275 of Richard Gregory.

The Rotary Club was thanked by the entrants for organising this special annual event and the President, Richard Wickham, thanked all those who contributed to its success for their unstinting hard work and the resulting funds that have been raised, all of which will be used for charitable purposes. The 21st Rotary Wye Run will take place on Saturday 29 April 2023 If you are interested in joining or supporting your local Rotary club please see www.chepstowrotary.org.uk

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