Bodle Street Green FBHVC ‘Drive it Day’ report

Posted by Chris Graham on 17th June 2022

Peter Love reports on this year’s successful, charity fund-raising Bodle Street Green FBHVC ‘Drive it Day’.

Bodle Street Green FBHVC 'Drive it Day'

Martin Nutter is off! The high-geared 1907 Stanley 20hp steam car was a great hit at Bodle Street Green.

The tiny village of Bodle Street Green, East Sussex, saw some 250 exhibitors turn out for Peter Love’s FBHVC ‘Drive It Day’ Charity Gathering & Road Run event. He was helped by some very experienced marshals including Bryn Kemp, Trevor Manuel and John ‘D’; the secretary was Richard Wade with the raffle was under the control of Wendy ‘D’. 

Bodle Street Green FBHVC 'Drive it Day'

Even at 9.45am there was lots on show for the early visitors, from an 1949 ex-1952 RAC Rally Allard L type, to a 1926 Trojan two-stroke car.

The sleepy village had not been visited by so many veteran, vintage and classic vehicles until Sunday 24 April, and in glorious weather. Remember, where we were standing, a fleet of Wallis & Steevens engines lived until after World War Two and the Star Brewery delivered its beer to the now defunct White Horse pub, with a Foden Speed-Six steam wagon.

Bodle Street Green FBHVC 'Drive it Day'

Driving by the premises where it had been supplied new from, is the former John Barnes & Sons 1964 Massey Ferguson 35.

The exhibitors comprised the FBHVC ‘family’ from steam vehicles, cars and tractors to light commercials, 4x4s and motor-cycles. In the village hall were model railways for the children (and grown-ups) besides a fine horticultural machinery display including working stationary engines from members of the Weald of Power Club under Lynne and Alan Cullen, all in the wonderful Sussex countryside. With food and licensed drinks available, The Cabin was kept busy all day and the day’s compère David Vaughan kept everyone informed what was going on during the gathering. The PA was provided by steam owner Guy Osborne who made a special effort to bring it over early for the event. There was certainly a good atmosphere to the gathering with exhibitors given a free drinks ticket by the organiser as a way of thanking everyone for coming. 

Bodle Street Green FBHVC 'Drive it Day'

It was great to see a good number of lady drivers at the event, including one with her Fiat 500.

At 11am some 52 of the 79 tractors went off on a 13-mile road run which went up hill and down dale as it travelled around Penhurst and the like, lead by top Scout Colin Anton. In the fine car line-up, perhaps the highlight was Martin Nutter’s just finished 1907 Stanley 20hp Roadster, which was originally Stanley’s works back-up car for the Vanderbilt races in the USA. The owner gave many rides around the village to people who wanted the experience of open motoring and steam acceleration in this very important historic car. 

Bodle Street Green FBHVC 'Drive it Day'

This ex-French Model T Ford truck was a big hit with the crowd.

Other steam vehicles included Austin Hawkins’ fine 1923 Aveling & Porter E No.10574 10 ton roller Lion Heart. Although getting lost along the way, it was good to see Peter Haining’s ‘Rolls-Royce’ chain-drive 1918 Tasker Little Giant No. 1765 Jolly with John Taylor on the steering.  

Visiting the farm where the tractor originally worked is Nathan Tompsett’s Fordson E27N p/p, with Fisher Humphries vaporising unit.

After the raffle winners were announced people didn’t want to leave when it finished at 3pm and some were still on site at 5pm. The last to leave was FOT secretary and treasurer David Esmond with his 1950 Land Rover Series One at 6.45pm, after the organiser welded his broken gear lever back to its selector fork, marshal Trevor Manual had stripped it all down for the 80-year-old. Colin Anton and Phil refitted it, which involved removing the heater! 

Old and new; there’s 50 years between the Stanley steam car and this Austin Healey 100.

Thanks to the team under Wendy ‘D’ over £1,600 was raised from the raffle for Prostate Cancer UK and Ukraine Refugees which was an excellent amount. 

A 1949 Field Marshall Series 2 contractors model heads back to base.

OG editor Peter Love says, “Thank you for supporting the event; it was a great start to the season for many and in wonderful weather conditions. I really appreciated everyone coming and giving to the charities with such a variety of the sort of vehicles which Old Glory magazine is all about. There was a great atmosphere. Thank you.”  

Alan Cullen with a leading member of the Maldon District Vintage Tractor & Engine Club.

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


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