The brilliant Drive-it Day at Bodle Street Green

Posted by Chris Graham on 24th May 2024

We report on the many interesting vehicles taking part in this year’s Drive-it Day at Bodle Street Green, in rural East Sussex.

Photographs: Mark H Hughes

Drive-it Day

Martin Nutter’s 1907 Stanley was on top form with its new engine.

Bodle Street Green saw an incredible 342 vehicles of all types come to this little village in East Sussex on Sunday 21 April for the charity FBHVC ‘Drive It Day.’

Drive-it Day

Looking good as always, Aveling Barford AC606 Prince of Wales outside the White Horse.

They were made welcome by Peter Love and his helpers and besides vintage and classic cars, motor-cycles, commercial vehicles, military, steam cars, road steamers, stationary engines and agricultural displays, the event saw 72 antique tractors and some Model T Fords take part in the 17-mile road run around the area, with vehicles ranging in ages from 1913-1992. This included the Jardine family from Faversham, Kent. In fact it was reported in the August 1968 Motor Sport that father Robbie took part in the June Oulton Park historic races with his 1921 16-valve Bugatti, those were the days!

Drive-it Day

The fresh food from ‘The Cabin’ came well recommended during the day.

Jamie Croft brought along his well-presented ex-Eddison 1937 Aveling Barford No. AC606 10 ton roller Prince of Wales and stood proudly outside the White Horse Inn. It was pleasing to see Martin Nutter here with his 1907 Stanley 20hp Speedy Roadster with its new piston-valve cylinder block, replacing the previous cracked unit. The new unit was made by David Nergaaro in the USA. It’s coupled to the Southern valve-gear which the car will run for the season before another trip to the workshop and the fitting of Stevenson’s gear which it would have had originally.

Drive-it Day

Great to see out and so quiet now 1931 Aveling & Porter L-type tractor No.12766 Orinoco.

It was good to see JK James out and fully recovered from his leg injury sustained at the 2023 High Weald Rally during the Saturday evening of this great show. His ex-Scottish 1931 Aveling & Porter L-type tractor No.12766 purred along with its new gears in places all fitted. Guy Osborne and partner Ben Floyd brought along their 1920 Wallis & Steevens Oilbath tractor No. 7641 Gunner which was good to see.

Drive-it Day

Seen at 8.30am they certainly arrived early with 1977 John Deere 1130, ex-RAC Rally 1949 Allard L, 1937 Love tractor with Ford 23hp B engine, an MG TD and two MG Bs.

People came with vehicles to the event from as far afield as Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and the boroughs of London and were all given a free refreshment and cake voucher for making the effort to attend.

Drive-it Day

It was good to see members of the Ford & Fordson Association here taking part in the road run.

Inside the village hall were seven model railway layouts and Brian Hope’s superb German pre-WW2 Dole stationary steam engines. This Jewish family luckily fled to the USA and the company was sold for nothing to the Nazi-favoured Fleischmann company.

Making its debut at a rally is this so-original ‘eye brow’ 1960 Case 930.

Refreshments were served by two hard working village hall ladies Maggie and Philippa, with Caroline Croft’s famous cherry buns on offer. The Cabin provided breakfast baps and lunch rolls and if you needed a drink then the White Horse was the place, just across the road.

Oldest tractor on the road run was this Marshall single-cylinder M.

With the well-known David Vaughan on the PA and the host joining in, people knew what was going on all the time. Peter Love said he was delighted to stage the event again, but he was under some stress at the same time with work schedules as they are. But it could not have happened without his many friends from all over the place who have come here to help and to keep this tight site free rolling and connected to the road run. He gave praise to Bryn Kemp, Trevor Manual and John Gee for their skilled marshalling.

Mark Brett’s Vauxhall 14/98 which he has driven to Corsica and back.

Peter also praised the ladies who booked everyone in and sorted out the raffle, particularly Wendy and Annette. From the day some £1,500 was raised. Asked if he was set to do another one in 2025, he said yes, people looked happy so we will go again God willing, but as always developing the day further. But he could do with more marshals for the road run and Dave Vaughan will be inviting more model railways to show at this very popular charity event next year, which is an event for everyone.

A WW2 Mack with gun that came from Battle to the show. The owner’s 1908 Aveling & Porter A7 left-hand cylinder traction engine No. 6601 is back in steam after a major rebuild.


The hobby is not just for men, as seen here.


Peter H Marshall came from near Maldon, Essex with his rare Fowler FD2 which operated a winch in Grimsby.


It was great to see the Model T Fords at the charity event.

This feature comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE


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