Austin Seven Centenary
In 2021 we were advised that there would be a gathering of Austin seven cars in 2022 to celebrate the centenary of the first Austin Seven cars manufactured in 1922.
Until covid arrived we had exhibited one of our vintage cars at the great Dorset steam fair for some 14 years, so we decided for a change we would attend the Austin Seven event whenever it would be in the UK.
We had already booked boat tickets for the steam fair in 2020 and due to Covid these tickets were still available. We entered the Austin Seven event around October 2021 as entries closed in November as by that time there were over 1000 entries. The event was to take place in Moreton in Marsh which was very handy for us as our daughter and family live only 15 miles from the event.
Due to Brexit there was all sorts of information about, as to what paperwork would be required for the trailer and our Austin Seven on the trailer. We filled out a C110 form but I still do not know whether it is the correct form are not. On the way home in Rosslare, we were asked had we just purchased the Austin Seven. I pointed out that it had an Irish registration number which did not go down well, then asked if we had any paperwork for the car, and was then told to go on “this time” so I’m still not sure what do I do the next time.
We took the Rosslare to Pembroke Ferry on Friday, 15 July, and had a nice drive over the Brecon Beacons (A465) even though there was a 9 mile speed restriction due to roadworks, but this did not delay us as we were able to stop in Cheltenham on the way to purchase a new 6 volt battery for the Austin Seven. It.was only 12 miles on to Laverton where our daughter and family live.
Saturday and Sunday were easy days, and on Monday we had to stay indoors as the temperature reached 37°. On Tuesday the 19th it was also due to reach 37° so instead of the Austin seven we used the modern car to travel tthhe 15 miles to Moreton in Marsh to enter the event. We were in and out in 20 minutes due to the magnificent organisation, the rest of the day spent indoors.
On Wednesday the 20th we drove straight to Prescott Hill climb as it was only 9 miles from where we were staying. We were treated to all sorts of events at Prescott. At one stage we had 50 “normal” Austin sevens driving up the famous hill. Then we had many of the circa 1930 racing Austin sevens taking on the hill. This for us was one of the highlights of the event.
On Thursday the 21st we were a little apprehensive setting off as just after Broadway village we had the famous Fish Hill to contend with. It is a very long climb with the steepest part just at the end. About a quarter way up the hill it was necessary for second gear, and remarkably the car completed the hill in second gear. On arrival at Moreton in Marsh we were directed to a grass area, and on looking around there were Austin Sevens everywhere.
The site was an old airfield used during the Second World War and is now a training place for firefighters, and it felt like home when we saw a Dublin fire tender in for overhaul. Friday was a similar day, and again we were able to climb Fish Hill in second gear. On all the three days we had to use first gear on the way home on the short steep hill in Bourton on the Hill. Also, on the Friday there was suggested places to drive to for any of the entrants. We visited the local Wellington air Museum, but on our way home we met Austin Sevens going in all directions. Also on the way home we took a short detour to get some E5 petrol as most of the petrol in UK is now E 10.
Saturday arrived and this was the day when there were well over 1000 Austin Sevens on site. The weather was excellent for the whole event and we had a wonderful sound of a World War II Spitfire making three “passes” over the airfield. When late afternoon came it was rather sad leaving the event, as we will probably never see the like of it again.
At the event there were many items to see especially the set up Museum in the sign in Hall. A collection of cars from the Mawby family were also on display, as well as a few Austin Dixie’s (Made under license by B.M.W.) and Austin Rosengarts (Made under license in France).
For those requiring spare parts there were many stalls, mostly selling Austin seven parts.
I believe this event will stay in our minds for many years to come and we certainly made many new friends. A great compliment to all concerned for putting on such a mammoth event, and for the smooth running of same.
As we had not seen our daughter and family for nearly 3 years we stayed over for another week.
On the Tuesday we spent most of the day on the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire steam Railway which runs from Broadway to Cheltenham racecourse (14 miles) It is interesting to hear that with the present price of coal, some of it coming from Colombia, it takes £450 worth of coal just to get steam on the engine in the morning, and £1000 to run the engine for a full day. It is lucky that this railway has over 950 volunteers.
A visit to London on the Thursday, and a boat trip on the River Thames completed our very enjoyable holiday in the UK
Peter and Hazel Miller, Wexford