What could be more delightful than lazing around on the driveway of one of England’s finest country houses watching vintage motor cars parade along sections of the tarmac performing acute driving manoeuvres, whilst plenty of picnic hampers with their owners line the elongated private roadway all this accompanied by yet more vintage motor cars parked up and all remarkably good looking.
I am talking about Madresfield Court, the house that inspired Evelyn Waugh to write Brideshead Revisited, and rated by Simon Jenkins as amongst one of the ‘fifty most glorious houses in Britain’, is now inspiring me to soak up the September rays with a jolly good dollop of mad dogs and Englishman out in the midday sun. A Delarge a few Rolls Royce’s, a bouble of Bentleys, an AC (of special interest to me seeing as the honourable Mrs Victor Bruce drove just this marque in the year of 1927), a whole army of Austin 7’s charged, blown, super charged, you name it they came by their droves, “historic quad bikes” I overheard one ‘competitor’ saying. Cars all playing a vital role in what I can quite easily describe a sort of dressage for 4 wheels.
But this is a serious competition, although I have made slight of the day, to perform anything in these cars that is not straight, fast or without precision is a remarkable feat. These cars are about 100 years old, my Grandma is 98 and I can hardly see her putting her back wheels into a square chalked out box or drive round the ‘pork chop’!
It is an annual event and only open to the members of the VSCC (Vintage Sports car Club), which makes the day super special. I sit with Mr John and Mrs Stella Wallis beside their 1935 Rolls Royce and Mr David and Mrs Sheila Mitchell beside their 1927 20 horsepower Rolls Royce. Both couples enjoying a picnic and the fun and games of the day. Neither of them are competing today and that’s just how they like it. A jolly good day out to see old friends. The Mitchells, now retired have travelled all over Europe in ‘Victoria’. Just after the war this Rolls Royce obtained a C license so it could receive red petrol – It does have seven seats within is wooden body and sometimes they even take the seats out and sleep in the back!
I found it remarkably hard to be busy running around grabbing stories and stealing photo frames, it really is a day for just enjoying the Vintage cars amongst the grounds of Madresfield and soak up the last days of summer.