Monday, 2 September 2013

IOW Branch Rally 2013 - Report

The weather was perfect for our 2013 Branch Rally held over the weekend of 31st August and 1st September 2013. On the Saturday we had a run from Havenstreet Steam Railway over the downs, along sandown Seafront to Brading Roman Villa.
Minors parked in front of the Roman Villa, Brading
We were made very welcome at the Villa and enjoyed our afternoon visit. We then returned to Havenstreet for our evening B B Q.

Then on Sunday we all returned to Havenstreet for the main Rally Day.

To view more pictures CLICK HERE

This was my second year as organiser of our Rally, and even though it does become easier, there still are thing that rear up to bite you on the posterior! We once again obtained a fares concession from Wightlink, but it is now based on the fare payable on the time and date of travel, not just a period or day return price, so it was impossible for me to quote a price to intending visitors, they needed to apply to be given a price. This, combined with the fact that we donot need for entrants to register with us beforehand means that I had no real idea of how many to expect.

Thus it was that on Saturday afternoon, with just half an hour to go for our Run to Brading Roman Villa, I was filled with dismay and disappointment that there were so few cars in the Car Park at Havenstreet Station. I need not have worried though, for there was a real flurry of cars arriving just in time to get their route maps and set off in convoy. In all we had 44 Minors and a handful of other Classics in the convoy, and all made it without getting lost! Many spoke to me about the destination, and all were highly pleased with the Roman Villa.

In the evening we had our BBQ on the Rally field, with around 35 people attending. One “guest” will not be attending next year, the half oil drum that we have used for many years is finally burnt through, and was dumped at the tip on Sunday morning Next year the new one will debut!

It all started early on Sunday morning, I set out my “Sales Compound”, where we put most of the Island cars in a rendition of a back street care sales yard, with comic “For Sale signs on them. It did seem to raise a few laughs. Everyone else was allowed to park where they liked, but most close to line up; maybe it is easier for people to view the cars that way. In all, I counted 64 Minors, 38 other Classics, and 3 classic motor bikes, a bit down on last year, and maybe the ferry fares did have an effect. We were entertained during the day by several sides of Morris dancers, Shanklin Town Youth Brass Band, and the Haven Falconry display. We also of course had our usual mystery bus trips in the Southern Vectis OLD GIRL, three trips were done with Paul Robinson driving, and Richard Newman as conductor. Tickets were sold by our Controller of Busses, Edward Joynes, aged eight. He really is an expert on Island timetables, just try asking him what bus to catch from A to B, and the times!

I must not forget the Autojumble, with I think 14 stalls, which seemed to do good business, plus two Minors found new owners on the day.

Tim Lang, our principal sponsor, had set a photo quiz of an item that he had fitted to an MG for a customer. What was it? It was difficult enough that nobody guessed it correctly, but when it was revealed, many kicked themselves! I am not going to reveal the answer in print, for Tim may plan to use it again at another event. I will tell you if you ask me personally. We seemed to get through the raffle presentation much quicker this year, although we still had a huge number of prizes, thanks to Malcolm and Mary, and then it was time for the prize giving. As you know, we do not give class prizes anymore, thus allowing free entry, but there are still four prizes.

Best in Show. Andy Westcott, 1971 Traveller,UWV 548J

Best Island Car, Madeleine Charlston, 1957 Four door saloon, ODL 926

Best Island Restoration, Stuart Scovell with a 1961 1000 van XDL 424

Chairman’s Choice Tim Lang, 1970 1000 van, EYB 137J

We rounded off the day with a meal at the Woodman Arms, Wootton, attended by 23 rally attendees.

Finally, my thanks to our Sponsors, Tim Lang Classic Restoration Centre, WBS printers, and Price’s Garage, both of

Newport, all who helped in setting up and organising the Rally, our hosts at IOW Railway and Brading Roman Villa,

and to all of you that attended the Rally.
Dave Gilliam
Rally Organiser


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