LONDON TO BRIGHTON PICTURE (NOT SO) SPECIAL: They started coming through just before 8am, six miles or so from the start in Hyde Park into their 50-mile trek to the south coast. And after the spectator buses and stewards’ cars had passed through, there were still some stragglers from the 2014 Veteran Car Rally drifting through Croydon more than two hours later.
There were fire engines…
Seriously… the vehicle on the right was powered not by the infernal combustion engine, but by a puffing steam engine; it was pictured here by David White while stopped on Southbridge Road to add water. It even had a trailer attached with extra fuel for the journey.
We caught a glimpse of Olympic oarsman Sir Steve Redgrave and his wife Lady Anne in their car, while sailor Sir Ben Ainslie was also taking part.
But was the rider of this penny farthing Sir Bradley Wiggins?
Vehicles in the official were all made in 1905 or earlier, and some of them fitted the early description of a horseless carriage, looking little different from a 19th century carriage but for their lack of a horse, with wagon wheels and no protection for the passengers from the fickle autumn weather…
And there were plenty which looked as if they could have served very well on the set of CODA’s excellent production of Wind in the Willows, which finished last night: ideal cars for Mr Toad. Poop! Poop!
That any of these museum pieces are still on the road is a tribute to their enthusiast owners, some of whom even indulged in (not so) high-speed overtaking manoeuvres. Where was the man with the red flag?
But this was still the Croydon stage of the rally, as some of the drivers must have noticed if they looked along the pavements.
In the picture below, look to the left, and the spectators on their own doorstep, standing amid the bin bags left overnight. Classy.
Those “Don’t Mess With Croydon: Take Pride!” T-shirts don’t seem to have “hit home” in parts of South Croydon, as our sloganeering councillors would have us believe…
Coming to Croydon
- MOPAC policing meeting, Surrey Street, Nov 4
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 4
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- David Lean Cinema: Two Days, One Night, Nov 6
- Park Hill School fireworks display, Nov 7
- Grange Park bulb-planting event, Nov 8
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 9
- Brook recording studio open day and party, Nov 9
- David Lean Cinema, Paths of Glory, Nov 11
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- David Lean Cinema, Ida, Nov 13
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Nov 14
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 16
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 17
- David Lean Cinema, Effie Gray, Nov 20
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- David Lean Cinema, Lilting, Nov 22
- Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby training, Frant Road, Nov 23
- David Lean Cinema, Wakolda, Nov 27
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Dec 7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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