|Sunday 31st July, 2011 was a lovely and
unforgettable day. There were long warm sunny spells,
and the Festival of Black Country Vehicles, which was
held at the Black Country Living Museum.
This is the Black Country’s premier vehicle rally,
celebrating the once important local vehicle
Some of the cars from the 1920s and 1930s.
|The many visitors to the museum
were treated to the sight and sounds of our motoring
past. Vehicles from before the First World War, right
through to the early years of this century, that were
made in the Black Country, were on display, and could be
seen travelling around the site. The once-important
local vehicle manufacturing industry was represented by
bicycles, motorcycles, cars, and lorries, all built
within a few miles of the museum. There were the older
vehicles made by A.J.S., Bean, Clyno, Crescent, DKR, DMW,
Frisky, Guy, HRD, Jensen, Star, Stevens, Sunbeam,
Swallow, and Turner, and more modern vehicles produced
by Lomax, Quantum, Rickman, and Westfield.
This part of the display included Beans,
Clynos, Stars, Sunbeams, Swallows and Jensens.
|There were many regular visitors
including Mike Dancer who brought along his lovely 1923
Sunbeam 14/40 Tourer, and his 1926 Clyno Royal Saloon.
Another regular, Jim Thomas displayed his 1828 Clyno
Royal Tourer, and his 1925 Bean 12hp. Tourer. Brian
Rollings’ impressive 1926 Star 12/40 sports was on
display, as was Terry Bouncer’s 1925 Sunbeam 14/40. A
good selection of Clyno cars, Turner sports cars, and
Jensens were to be seen, along with the oldest visiting
car, a 1914 Crescent cyclecar.
Mike Dancer's 1923 Sunbeam 14/40 Tourer.
Jim Thomas's 1925 Bean 12hp. Tourer.
|A good selection of motorcycles
were on hand, including several DMWs owned by Arthur
Stubbs, a 1919 Clyno Lightweight belonging to Rikk
Harrison, and an immaculate 1926 HRD Model 80 belonging
to Don Alexander. Eric Loffman’s 1959 DKR Defiant was
there, along with Paul and Yvette Webb’s 1950 Swallow
Gadabout Commercial. The display included a number of
immaculate A.J.S. machines, many Sunbeams, and a good
number of DMWs. All-in-all an impressive sight.
Ray Jones gives last minute instructions to
the many motorcyclists at the event.
Paul and Yvette Webb's Swallow Gadabout
Regular visitor Mark Homer riding
his 1932 Sunbeam Lion combination.
The commercial vehicles included
Daniel Batham’s 1930 Bean Lorry, Bill Lucas’s 1950 Guy
Otter, Chris Huffer’s 1950 Guy Otter, Keith Ball’s 1949
Guy Wolf, and David Cookson’s 1947 Guy Vixen.
There were several newcomers to the
event including Mike Nagrave who displayed his Swallow
Gadabout scooter, and the prototype Rainbow Joyrider,
both made in Walsall.
Tony Hickling came along with his
excellent 1926 Bean 14hp. Tourer, John Cullis brought
his MKIII Turner sports car, and David Spruce brought
his recently acquired Stevens light van.
|The event included the very first
public showing of the Museum’s first complete
restoration of a Black Country made car, a 1914 Briton,
manufactured in Wolverhampton. The work was carried out
by the Black Country Living Museum's Vehicle Volunteer
Group. The car made an impressive sight travelling
around the museum during the cavalcades.
The 1914 Briton car. At the wheel is Malcolm
Webster, with Brian Rollings in the back seat.
Another view of the Briton car.
The visitors included several
people with direct links to the manufacturers. Chris
Smith, grandson of Ailwyn Smith of Clyno came along with
his 1926 10.8 Clyno Tourer, and John Meadows, grandson
of Henry Meadows, was there with his Frisky Coupé.
visitors included Peter Lisle, grandson of Edward Lisle,
founder of Star; and Keith Peckmore who worked for Kieft
A pleasant surprise was the arrival
of Jim and Joan Stevens whose family founded A.J.S.
Exhibitors came from as far afield
as Agden in Cheshire, Belper, Blackfordby, and
Swadlincote, in Derbyshire, Beriew in Powys, Bromham in
Bedfordshire, Bristol, Gloucester, Monmouth, Ormskirk in
Lancashire, Rugby, Swindon, and Welshpool.
Peter Lisle, whose family founded
On the right, viewing the Friskys is John
Meadows, and to his right, Keith Peckmore.
Guys and a Bean.
|A large number of visitors watched the magnificent
and unique spectacle of the cavalcades, during which
many of the vehicles toured around the site, allowing
drivers, and spectators alike to relive our motoring
past. There were also indoor displays provided by David
Evans and Bev Parker. A
new and popular attraction, a second-hand book sale was
provided by Roy and Heather Lote. There was also a sale
of old tools by the coal mine.
Roy and Heather Lote.
The book sale.
The indoor display.
John Goodall and his 1926 A.J.S.
Mick Knowles and his 1957 DMW
Derek Spencer and Trevor Davies in the pace
car, a 1930 A.J.S. Nine Tourer.
|As usual, background music was
provided by a traditional jazz band. The visitors also sampled the museum’s many
attractions including the shops, pub, and canal, the funfair, the coal mine, and the museum’s
collection of Black Country-made vehicles. Excellent
food was also to be found in the Café Bar, the Canalside
Restaurant, and the renowned fish and chip shop.
The jazz band.
Some of the riders in the motorcycle
||Another regular, and welcome
visitor to the rally is Eric Loffman, seen here riding
his immaculate 1959 DKR Defiant scooter.
Another view of the rally.
Some of the Clyno cars and Turner sports cars.
A.J.S., Clyno, and Sunbeam motorcycles.
The commercial vehicles.
Westfield sports cars.
As usual it was a friendly event,
greatly enjoyed by everyone present. All too soon it was
over, and by 5 o’clock the site began to empty. This was
the tenth annual vehicle rally to be held at the museum,
and like the others, was a great success.
The event was made possible by the
hard work carried out behind the scenes by many people,
including museum staff and volunteers. Special thanks
must go to the museum’s Events Coordinator, Jane Allcock,
one of the most dedicated, and efficient members of
staff. Without Jane’s organisation and enthusiasm, the
event could not happen.
Thanks must also go to the event
organiser Brian Rollings, and members of the Black
Country Living Museum's Vehicle Volunteer Group, who
worked tirelessly on the day to ensure that everything
ran smoothly. Thanks also must go to Ray and Beryl
Jones, and Trevor and Angela Davies.
Another view of the 1920s and 1930s cars.
Some of the older cars.
The last few remaining cars as everyone
made their way home after an enjoyable day.