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Paulerspury People October 2013

The Newsletter of The RREC Paulerspury Section


Paulerspury People - October 2013

Paulerspury People

October 2013

The Newsletter of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club - Paulerspury Section

Contents Not a Lot of People Know That


The Chairman’s Bit


Annual Picnic


Little Gransden Airshow


Treasure Hunt and Lunch


Aston Martin Works Service and Heritage Centre


Forthcoming Event - A Steam Hauled Train Trip


A Tribute to Hubert Vass


Future Events


Committee Contacts


Front Cover Photograph: Peter and Audrey Nightingale’s Bentley Brooklands at Hughenden Manor

Paulerspury People - October 2013


Not a Lot of People Know That In 1926, the screen’s greatest lover, Rudolph Valentino, died. While millions sobbed, he went to his grave in New York with a cortège of eighteen Rolls-Royces.

Lord Baden Powell’s Rolls-Royce was a gift from Scouts, Cubs, guides and Brownies, each of whom had contributed one penny to the magnificent gift.

The world’s best-read romantic novelist, Barbara Cartland, had a Rolls-Royce to match her gorgeous ensembles. Miss Cartland’s choice of number plate was a reflection of her perennial youthfulness, BC 29. The first member to tell us where this car is now will be mentioned in despatches. Email:

In 1961 Lord Derby was fined five pounds for colliding with a halt sign. His defence: that the bonnet of his Rolls-Royce restricted his vision. A spokesman from RollsRoyce commented huffily: “The visibility is quite satisfactory.”


Paulerspury People - October 2013

The Chairman’s Bit Where does time go? No sooner has the season begun, winter is upon us. It has been a very busy season for the Section with a range of events to suit most, we hope. Our evening pub meets were very successful and brought out some new members for the first time, sampling the Paulerspury Section hospitality firstly in an informal environment. More casual pub meets will be included in our calendar at the start of next season. Barry Gallafent

Having mentioned events, can I urge you to consider the calendar as soon as you receive your copy of the Paulerspury People, and ask you to complete and return the relevant forms for events you wish to attend, to the organiser as soon as possible please? Our events take a lot of organising by the individual members concerned and often pre-orders are required by venues, whilst others require table plans etc.. These things are very time consuming and last minute bookings can cause an awful lot of unnecessary work in rearranging things. From 15th to 17th November, The RREC will have a stand at the NEC Classic Car Show at the NEC in Birmingham. The show stand this year has been organised by an all new team and promises a few surprises for visitors to it. If you do get a chance to go along, make sure to stop by and say hello. If you hand your ticket stub in on the stand, the club can recover ÂŁ1 for each one received. If you have friends thinking of joining the club, bring them along to the show, they will save the joining fee and benefit from an initial reduced membership fee, in effect, this will more than cover the cost of their admission to the show itself. The Section AGM will be upon us soon. Val Yates has once again organised this for us and it will be at the Mitchell Hall, Cranfield, Beds., as seems to have become tradition. It will be held on Sunday 8th December and will be followed by lunch. A booking form is enclosed with this edition of the Paulerspury People. As above, fill your form in quickly and get it back to Val as soon as possible please. Moving forward with technology is an excellent way for the Section to disseminate information to our members and many of you have embraced this with open arms. Email certainly, is available to almost all our members according to our latest membership return. Email enables us to communicate with members quickly and easily, at no cost to the Section. For example, when your booking forms are received for an event, a confirmation can be sent to you. Our website is another valuable source of information and can keep you up to date with news and events, not only of our own but others of possible interest to you as well. Paulerspury People - October 2013


Social media is now a part of Section life too, ‘Facebook’ predominately; although our posts there are automatically broadcast on ‘Twitter’ too. We have a magazine so why do we need it some ask? I look forward to reading my Paulerspury People and I want to continue receiving it say others. We do not intend to substitute the Section magazine with any electronic media and that is not the purpose of us utilising it. Facebook allows us to instantly communicate early notice of an event, changes to an event, and even news from an event, instantly to anyone who has ‘liked’ our page. Try it and see for yourself. Open your internet browser and enter rrecpaulerspurysection our ‘Facebook’ page will open and you can see for yourself what it is all about. If you like what you see, then ‘Like’ it. Simply click on the like button. The Section monitors statistics on its website and Facebook traffic and can see at a stroke, what the activity has been like. It is growing as more and more members just have a quick look. Why not join them? David Davis retired from the committee earlier this year after many years service to the Section. The Section would like to acknowledge his valuable input over that time and to wish him well in the future. Finally, The Paulerspury People continues to be available quarterly at no cost to our membership due to the continued support of our advertisers. Do please take a moment to study their advertisements and avail yourselves of their services or facilities as and when you require them. Similarly, if you have a business you would like to promote to your fellow members, let us know about it. It will cost less than you think. Email: to enquire. Safe driving, Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to those of you I may not see before.

Barry M Gallafent Chairman Annual Picnic - Hughenden Manor - Sunday 18th August The weather was perfect, sunny and not too hot. We all parked on the circular drive at Hughenden Manor, the grass area in the centre was absolutely perfect for our picnic. There were 15 cars in total, incidentally all post-war. The National Trust guide took us round the south face of the Manor. He gave us a talk on the house, the Estate and of course its owner, Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli’s parents lived at Bradenham Manor, about 4 miles away and young Benjamin was brought up in the area. He decided to go in politics but was twice unsuccessful to acquire a seat for Wycombe, eventually he was selected Member for Maidstone. 6

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Picnickers chatting in the sunshine

Steve Dolan marshalls Amarylis in to place

After entering Parliament, he looked round for a suitable property to purchase and reside in, as in those days, suitable for a Member of Parliament. In 1848 he found a small manor house at Hughenden including a park and an Estate comprising of several tenanted farms, therefore providing a modest income. We understand Disraeli had to borrow a fairly large sum of money to finance the purchase. The Title Deeds do reveal loans made by the Rothschild family and others. On acquisition, Hughenden Manor was not in a good condition and Disraeli then undertook a considerable amount of work including removing all the external stucco work, revealing the attractive red brickwork as it is today. The Manor was therefore converted into a typical mid Victorian gentleman’s residence. Disraeli also had a town house in London. Section members paying attention to House Manager, Nicholas

Paulerspury People - October 2013


Disraeli was also on very good terms with Queen Victoria and as we all know, while he was Prime Minister, he made her Empress of India. The Queen visited Hughenden twice. The Queen was not very tall and prior to her visit, ¡t was found that the chairs in the dining room were a little on the high side. To avoid the Queen’s legs dangling, Disraeli had the legs of one chair shortened for her use. This chair can be seen today In the dining room. In about 1850, Prince Albert was on his way to Oxford by coach and was caught In a snowstorm and unable to proceed further than High Wycombe. Disraeli was pleased and indeed honoured to provide the Prince Consort accommodation for about three days until the weather improved Disraeli died in 1881 at his London residence and was buried in a vault in Hughenden Church. The Queen of course, did not attend funerals of her subjects but just after Disraeli was laid to rest, she came down to Hughenden and laid a posy of primroses on his coffin. Disraeli was married fairly late in life to a rich widow whose funds were a considerable help in the restoration of the Manor. There were no children and the Manor and the Estate was left to Disraeli’s nephew, Coningsby. In about 1900, Coningsby added a new wing to the west side of the Manor comprising two self-contained flats. These flats were tenanted and indeed still are to this day. Coningsby died in 1936 and being a bachelor, left the entire Estate to his two sisters. The sisters then put the Estate up for sale and it was bought complete by a brewer from Horsham by the name of W H Abbey. Mr Abbey purchased the Estate as an investment and sought to sell off the various properties to finance his purchase. In 1939 your correspondent’s parents purchased the 100 acre Manor Farm which adjoins the woodland to the west of Hughenden Manor. The other four farms were eventually sold. The Manor itself, in 1939, was taken over by the military and used throughout the war in connection with aerial reconnaissance work of enemy territory and map making. During the afternoon of our visit, we were given a tour of the remainder of the facilities and another talk. This work was kept very secret and although our correspondent lived less than half a mile away during the war, he knew at the time absolutely nothing as to what was going on. Early in the morning of August bank holiday Monday 1944 (which was the first Monday in August), a Doodlebug fell in the woodland just under half a mile away to the east of the Manor. The stained glass windows in the Church were broken which was the only damage done except that the ceiling fell down in the toilet at Manor Farm! At that moment, your correspondent heard the engine of the Doodlebug cut out and realised 8

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there was only about half a minute to get to the shelter in the cellar. Running downstairs past the open landing window, the bomb went off and the blast could be felt coming in the house. The window being open of course saved breakage of the glass. During the war one flat was occupied by a tenant by the name of Mr Langley Taylor and the other flat was occupied by the well-known social reformer, Mr Seebohm-Rowntree (of chocolate fame) who was a widower and lived with his daughter and granddaughter throughout the war.

A view of the beautiful gardens How summer Sunday’s should be

After the war the Manor itself was now vacant and Disraeli contents were reinstated by the National Trust who took over the property in 1947.

Don White

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Section cars neatly arranged around the circular lawn


RESTORERS OF ROYAL ROLLS-ROYCES Chris Lee’s personal association with the Rolls-Royces of royalty dates back to his days as a Hythe Road apprentice, during which he ZDVVHFRQGHGWRZRUNRQWKH+RXVHRI:LQGVRUÂśVĂ€HHW)ROORZLQJWKH establishment of his eponymous business specialising in the service, repair and restoration of the products of Crewe and Derby, he had the pleasure of tending to the cars of the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Margaret, and her personal letter of thanks is among his more treasured 5ROOV5R\FHUHODWHGNHHSVDNHV Now, forty seven years after its foundation, Chris Lee’s Ltd can boast an endless list of famous connections, and the line-up of celebrities that have been served by the garage reads like the Who’s Who of the entertainment industry. The 5R\DOFRPPLVVLRQVFRQWLQXHWRĂ€RZ too, and in recent times work has been carried out both for the King of Malaysia and the Emir of Kano. The trigger to the latter association was a Silver Cloud III that had been treated to a lengthy bodyoff restoration in the UK but subsequently developed problems. Responsibility for rectifying the gremlins was placed with Welshman Ken Jasper who, after much research beat a path to Chris Lee’s Ltd’s SUHPLVHVLQOHDI\%HDFRQVÂżHOG Bucks. An agreement was made and it was while in Nigeria investigating WKH6LOYHU&ORXGWKDWWKHWHDPÂżUVWVHW eyes on ‘ALW 11’.

Immortalised in miniature by the French model makers FYP, body No.9867 to Hooper design N.833 was originally commissioned in 1952 by the eccentric Turkish-born playboy Nubar Gulbenkian. An extremely elegant and capacious four-door cabriolet, it featured numerous unique touches including: a folding roof structure that was way ahead of its time in retracting completely from view; a rear mounted speedometer so its master could encourage his

‘ALW 11’ undergoing restoration

The Emir of Kano’s car awaiting return to Nigeria following its complete restoration

chauffeur to ever higher speeds; and fully-faired in front lights. Famous for transporting her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their 1956 visit to Nigeria it was, by 2009, in desperate need of restoration – a no-expense-spared task that ultimately occupied 100 per cent of Chris Lee’s director Martin Hawes from June 2010 to July 2011. Long since back in Kano, the Emir’s pride and joy is once again enjoying state duty. One thing’s for sure, life is never dull at Chris Lee’s Ltd and the company’s latest major project is a contract to assist a global Philippines-based restoration company in the renovation of classic Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, as a result of which no less than 18 straight six and V8 engines are currently in various stages of rebuild. Says Chris, who had a hand in building the Phantom VI he now owns

while serving his apprenticeship: “A Rolls-Royce has featured in pretty much every day of my working life to date, and I really can’t imagine things any other way!�

Chris Lee’s Phantom VI

Chris Lee’s Ltd is based at /RQGRQ(QG2OG%HDFRQV¿HOG Buckinghamshire, HP9 2JH ZZZFKULVOHHVFRXN LQIR#FKULVOHHVFRXN +44 (0)1494 675211

Little Gransden Air Show and Classic Car Show - Sunday 25th August Little Gransden Airshow was such a knife edge event that I cleanly forgot to recruit a journalist to write a report for us, so here is my account! After the inaugural event for the Section last year, many of you asked if we were including it on the calendar again for 2013. We deliberated and then decided to. Just as well as we had twenty cars registered to attend bringing fifty people on the day. Yes, we will do it once more in 2014. August Bank Holiday, Sunday 25th August, Hertfordshire, England. What better place and timing could there be for a perfect summers day out? As I cleaned our car on the Saturday afternoon, the weather looked slightly inclement. No matter, a shower perhaps, no more, I could just leather it off again. Car cleaned and ready to go, we set off in the direction of Therfield where we would be staying with Mark and Kay Warnock overnight in order to be close the airfield Sunday morning. As we made our way across country, the rain came down harder and harder. It was relentless. As we turned right across the A505 uphill towards Therfield, the rain came down the hill in torrents. We could not see a hand in front of us. We arrived at the Warnock’s building site, yes, new garage under construction, and ran for the house, almost ankle deep in water. Never mind, this ‘shower’ would soon stop, wouldn’t it? No, it didn’t. We walked to the local pub for a meal, very nice it was too, and staggered home in the rain. Still, it must stop soon. It didn’t.

A huge turnout of classic vehicles as always

A view accros the Triumph TR Register

Don’t even think about touching the basket!

A Section member lookalike. Any idea who?


Paulerspury People - October 2013

At 06:30 Sunday morning I was delighted to receive a call from David Morgan (always a pleasure to talk to), asking what was happening? I opened my eyes, looked out of the window. It was raining. I said I would investigate and call him back. Having checked the organiser’s website and Facebook page, the event appeared to be on. A final decision would be taken at 07:00. Good to their word, at 07:00, the event was declared live! It was still raining by the way. Mark and I readied ourselves, our very excited wives too and our equally as excited but sceptical, tired and less than enthusiastic grown up children. We loaded the cars and set off for the airfield. Oh yes, it was raining. As we made our way, some fifteen minutes, that is all, the rain stopped. Yes, after probably sixteen hours, it had stopped. We arrived at the airfield and were directed to our club position. The ground was very firm. Only the visitor parking had to be redirected as that was not. Well, we thought, we have made the effort and should any brave members decide to join us, we were here to greet them, with the Section flag flying in the wind. Almost unbelievably, the clouds began to break and yes, it was slightly warm but surely too late to expect any more Section cars. Wrong. One by one, nineteen of the twenty cars booked, arrived and all before the 10 o’clock deadline. Each set up their tables and chairs behind their cars, confident that the weather was now settled. Luckily it was.

Three wonderful classic aircraft

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Paulerspury Avenue

Don’t try this at home!

13 Ruth discovers a MKVI hauling an Airstream

It’s the Pitts! No, really it is

Any inspection invited Hiding from the sun

The Lancaster arrives

The last flying AVRO Vulcan Bomber - Truly spectacular

We are delighted then to report, that almost fifty members, family and friends, were able to enjoy what was another excellent day at Little Gransden with a fantastic turn out of more than three hundred classic cars, including a MKVI Bentley towing a vintage Airstream caravan. 14

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The flying was superb with an array of vintage aircraft arriving from all over throughout the morning. Display flying started around midday and continued until 5 o’clock when the show closed. There were many super stunts performed that would have left most of us disorientated for a week had we been passengers! The sure star of the stunt flyers is airfield owner, Mark Jeffries in his Abarth liveried, Extra 330 SC. To everyone’s delight, there were other stars too. The Battle of Britain flight passed over without the Lancaster which had been delayed because of the weather and arrived separately to give its usual awesome display. Then came the real star of the show, the Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558. This monster of the skies treated us to several fly pasts/overs enabling some superb photographs to be taken. We know the Vulcan is vulnerable and that it costs a phenomenal amount of money to keep her flying. What we did not know, was that this was her last appearance this year, having now been grounded with a leaking fuel tank. The repair lead time means she will not fly again until next season. Let us all hope she does. In all, it was a great day out, enjoyed by all who attended. Why not come along next time and join the Section in our own area, right in the middle of it all. Our thanks are due to Mark and Kay Warnock for helping us on the day and providing an excellent picnic and everyone who came along.

Barry and Ruth Gallafent

Teasure Hunt and Lunch - Sunday 8th September The Treasure Hunt on the 8th September organised by Barry and Ruth Gallafent was a great success. The weather forecast was not good which meant that Danny and Val and ourselves kept our hoods down on our Corniches. We were all warmly greeted for coffee at The Old Swan by Barry and Ruth Gallafent and by Kathy and Mike Martin with the owners Bob and Janet. We were able to sit outside until it was time to go, armed with our excellent and imaginative clues which were compiled by Kathy and Mike Martin. The route through Buckinghamshire was very beautiful and was also being enjoyed by nearly 100 MG sports cars using the same road but coming towards us. The clues were all visible from inside our cars so we were not worried about bad weather. The first clue was given to us earning 3 points to start. Of course the answer was Three Willows. We however counted 25 trees in a field!! Paulerspury People - October 2013


The beautiful Old Swan at Astwood

The Freeman’s grandchildren, Alfie and Lily with mum and dad Steve and Janet Dolan ready for the off

Early arrivals ready to rumble

Douglas Newton chauffeurs Maragaret & Alan Fuller with guest Poppett Batten as his navigator

Lily Beament returns from the run

16 Guess the year of the Frowde’s Corniche

Some peoplePaulerspury have gnomes, People - October 2013 The Old Swan have Rolls-Royce’s

Arriving back at The Old Swan there was an eclectic mix of Rolls-Royces parked on the front lawn. It was like a mobile exhibition enjoyed by members of the public as well as the RREC members. Starry-eyed youngsters were asking their equally starry-eyed fathers “Why can’t we have one?” The food was excellent traditional fayre superbly cooked and hosted by Janet and Bob served by a very efficient young staff. Unbeknown to us, the cars were being judged by detective xxxxxxxx. The Freemans won the treasure hunt and the best car was won by Steven and Mia Murray (Silver Wraith) with second place going to Peter Bell (25/30). It was an altogether a thoroughly enjoyable day. Well done to all who worked so hard so that we could all have a good time.

Paul and Judi Frowde Visit to Aston Martin Works Service & Heritage Centre 25th September No surprise that this visit was well oversubscribed. The name Aston Martin is legendary in motoring circles throughout the world, so the opportunity to visit the hallowed turf at Newport Pagnell was a must. No production of cars is carried out now at Newport Pagnell however as this has moved to their modern facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire. On arrival we were treated to coffee and biscuits, served by the delightful Wendy and Judith, until all 48 of us, had arrived. We were then addressed by the most eloquent Kingsley Riding-Felce, Managing Director of Aston Martin Works, who welcomed us all and then told us a little about the marque. This is the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin, which was produced at Newport Pagnell for 54 years until the move to Gaydon. Interestingly enough apparently 11,000 of the 13,000 Aston Martins made at Newport still exist. This is higher than the percentage of Rolls-Royces and Bentleys still surviving. Kingsley thanked Alan for organising the evening and there followed two videos detailing the history of production at Newport Pagnell together with footage of racing and the Royal visit by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1966. We were then split into 5 groups for our visit of the facility. I was in the group led by Kingsley. The new showroom is opposite the old HQ

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Outside the original Aston Martin HQ


We started with a view across the road to the old house, Sunnyside, once owned and lived in by the owners of Aston Martin and to the old Salmonds-Tickford building, incidentally used by the observer corps during WWll, where they fitted the turrets on the roof with wind-up windows from cars. David Brown purchased the site in 1955. The first car manufactured was the DB4 and production continued there until 2007, when production moved to Gaydon. Next the main show-room, a superb new building with spacious proportions which showcased five superb examples of Aston Martin sports cars, representing the current production. They were: Vantage S Coupe, new DB9, Vanquish Coupe, new DB9 Volante and a Rapide, quite magnificent cars, ranging in price from £91,000 to £189,000. Although this of course does not take account of any of the bespoke additions available, from cigar humidors to Champagne fridges, different leather combinations etc.. No two cars need be the same as the range of options and personalisation is almost endless. We entered the workshop, from the rear of the main show-room, where servicing is carried out. An air of organisation, style, professionalism and above all cleanliness greeted us. The shop is run on a computerised daily schedule, which given that at the time we were there some 30 cars were either being worked on or waiting, is a necessary requirement. Interestingly, all components, wheels etc from cars are stored in a long corridor which runs the length of the shop keeping the floor area free from obstructions. As this also contains the services, this allows maintenance of electrical, air, heating systems etc to be carried out without entry into the workshop. Some wonderful cars were present included a Zagato, and no less than three One-77 cars, all left handdrive (worth about £1.3m each). They have carbon fibre chassis and aluminium bodies and were all being prepared for a track day. Apart from the 14 lifts there is also a rolling road allowing accurate alignment of cars prior to return to the owners. An absolutely superb facility with great space and light. The accident repair area followed, with some unfortunate looking cars present. All types of damage to cars can be repaired from extensive bodywork repairs to a small touch up. Interestingly front to rear shunts are now not the norm due to better braking and warning systems, but side swipes are more common. Each car during repair has a cage into which all components from that car are placed ensuring that nothing ends

18 Handy for shopping is this DB6, a snip at £600,000

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The Section paying attention once again

up on the wrong car. Needless to say when completed all cars leave looking as new and all oils and levels checked. Adjacent is the paint shop. Eight technicians are employed here. Whilst water-based paints are now the norm due to EC pollutant controls, Aston Martin can still refinish a car in cellulose, acrylic or two pack due to special dispensation, so there is no compromise on the cars’ paintwork. Paint is mixed in a computerised paint mixing room. This accurately matches the paint, ensuring that a perfect colour match is produced. Examples of the paint finish demonstrated the skill of the sprayers and finishers. Faultless smooth paint, also of course showed the exquisite panel work on the cars. No room for bad fit up here as every little blemish or ripple would stick out like a sore thumb! We entered the panel shop. Being somebody who loves formed metal I was blown away by the skill of the craftsmen who worked here. There are 7, (or 8 if you count Charlie!) who work with equipment which was old when I was an apprentice, but which it appears cannot be beaten. To see what a craftsman can do with a flat sheet of aluminium on an English Wheel is just amazing. Two wings demonstrated this to perfection. Cars are finally completed here after the panel restoration where all bright work is applied prior to painting and then removed to ensure that each component fits exactly, so that after painting no adjustments are required. Restoration of cars can take up to two years. Currently there are 18 cars in progress which is the maximum which can be worked on at one time. The Heritage restoration/ service area contained some very rare examples. A beautiful DB2 destined for Hong Kong was just stunning. Finished in flawless white it had been updated at the request of the owner to include air conditioning and electronic ignition, plus changes to hoses etc., no doubt thinking ahead to the continued increase of ethanol in fuel. The DB35 car from the film “The School for Scoundrels” starring Terry Thomas was also there valued at about £3-4m. Incidentally a “Heritage” car is one that is no longer in current production. Extensive work is carried out on the tubular framework of cars prior to manufacture and fitting of new panels. As you can imagine chassis are bead blasted, treated and the whole car carefully reassembled to an as new condition. Timing is an issue with

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Original DB panel formers, still in use today

A lesson in the trim shop


Yes of course madam, any colour you like

Looks like the Davies will need another garage

restoration as each element has a different time scale, and the skill is to have all the components coming together at the same time. This is no mean feat to balance plating, refurbishment, remanufacture, components purchase, repair, specialist input etc., to all meet at the right time. There are 28 cars currently waiting for restoration, with costings up to a sobering half a million pounds per car! Finally the trim shop, where all cars are still finished in leather, though not from Connolly, but from the Bridge of Weir, though a small amount from Connolly is sometimes used for special projects. The leather no longer has the same smell as the earlier cars, as most of us will have experienced. This is due to a change in the chemicals used, and you guessed it due to the EC. Like Rolls and Bentley, the leather is obtained from hides not in contact with barbed wire. Kingsley reiterated the treatment of leather in our cars, lightly clean with soap and water, though do not get it too wet then an occasional application of hide food to keep it supple. Patterns for all cars are kept here so a replacement hood or seats are not a problem. Special embroidery is also possible as the lady operatives are (as you would expect) very skilled. We left the trim shop, the last area on our visit where Aston Martin refinishing is carried out and walked back to the reception area past a wonderful retro Shell petrol station, beautifully restored. What a great bit of fun! At the reception area we were all given a hard bound copy of ‘Aston Martin – A Celebration’ as a keepsake, a beautifully bound and produced book detailing the production of cars during the 54 years at Newport Pagnell and so ended a fascinating visit to a world-class facility. For those unfortunate not to have been able to attend this visit hopefully we will be allowed a second bite at the cherry. To Kingsley my thanks for his excellent commentary during our visit, to running his eye over my article, and for giving us the opportunity to see behind the scenes and of course to Alan & Margaret for taking the time to plan and organise the visit. We than departed to The Cock in North Crawley, for an excellent steak pie dinner washed down with pint of excellent IPA and a load of noisy chatter. Evenings don’t get much better than this!

Mike Martin 20

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Steam Hauled to Buxton Spa - Saturday 15th March 2014 This day trip by special train offers a rare opportunity to travel from London, Watford Junction, Bletchley, Bedford, Kettering and Melton Mowbray to Buxton in the Peak District. The journey includes an interesting mix of high profile main lines and picturesque rural routes. Our train will be hauled by Britannia class 4-6-2 ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” between London, Buxton and Stockport. The “Buxton Spa Express” leaves London Euston at around 08:00 hauled by our steam locomotive No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell”. We head north up Camden Bank and through Willesden to Watford Junction where we stop for more passengers. We continue along the West Coast Main Line stopping at Bletchley for more passengers. We join the truncated Cambridge to Oxford line and travel cross-country to Bedford where we stop to pick up further passengers. We then travel down the Midland Main Line to Kettering where we stop for passengers and for our locomotive to take on water. We take the former Midland Railway Main Line for Nottingham, passing through Corby and climbing up to the magnificent Harringworth Viaduct, the longest masonry viaduct in Britain. We then face a stiff climb up to Wing Tunnel, run downhill to Manton Junction, and pass through Oakham, the county town of Rutland, England’s smallest county. We make our final stop for passengers at Melton Mowbray, famous for its pork pies, before continuing along the Wreake Valley to the Midland Main Line at Syston North Junction. We pass through Loughborough and take the Erewash Valley line at Trent Junction on our way to Chesterfield and Dronfield. We take the Hope Valley Line at Dore South Junction and pass through Totley Tunnel into the Peak District. This picturesque hilly area of wild moorland is popular with hikers and walkers. We pass through Edale en route to Buxton where there will be well over two hours to explore the highest market town in England. The Spa town of Buxton is well known for its thermal springs and bottled water. Our train leaves Buxton at around 17:00 for the return journey. “Oliver Cromwell” will haul our train through Whaley Bridge to Stockport where a class 47 diesel locomotive takes over for the remainder of the journey back to London Euston. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers. Paulerspury People - October 2013


Train Timings - Approximate timings shown Station



Watford Junction Bletchley Bedford Kettering Buxton

08:25 09:00 09:30 10:30 14:15

22:35 22:10 21:40 21:10 17:00

Premier Dining includes full English breakfast, light lunch and four course dinner silver served at your seat. The cost for the Premier Dining package is £195 per person (subject to a full carriage), inclusive of all meals on board. Forty two passengers are required to secure an exclusive carriage for the Paulerspury Section. From the feedback we have received when this trip was first suggested, we should easily achieve that number and you are therefore advised to fill in the application form enclosed with this issue of the Paulerspury People and send it with your deposit cheque for £100 per person, made payable to RREC Paulerspury Section as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. In the event that we are not able to reserve enough spaces, your deposit will be refunded. Once we have paid the deposit, the tour company terms and conditions will prevail. This is not just a trip for train enthusiasts’, it will be a memorable day out from start to finish for all, travelling in 1950’s style, enjoying quality food in both directions, served at your table as the English Countryside passes you by. In fairness to all, places will be allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis. For further information see

Cedric Hubert Vass - Hubert Following the sad loss of Hubert in July this year, some Section members, have expressed a wish to say a little more about him from their own memories and experiences of time spent with him. Hubert, who died in July this year was a well renowned member of Paulerspury section and a member of the Club for more than 30 years. Hubert was a Pulloxhill lad his father being a local baker. Hubert lived with his parents and took over the house after their passing. He was an Engineer with L.W. Vass before the war and returned to them after the war. Hubert was called up into the RAF and was a flight engineer on Sterling aircraft. His squadron 570 was employed dropping supplies to the SOE and then the army after the 22

Paulerspury People - October 2013

invasion. His squadron towed gliders to Arnhem. It is reported that his aircraft towed the most gliders to Arnhem during that operation. He returned to Arnhem in 1994 to meet up with members of his squadron as well as members of the 1st Airborne division. Hubert always had an interest in cars and had various makes during this life. He owned a Lagonda Rapide 1935, BYT 111. Among the other cars were a standard 9, Morris Cowley flat nose and bull nose, as well as an ex-police Riley. His Club cars included his 20/25 BYT 101, a 1935 Derby Bentley drop head in which he and Elspeth took part in the Jordan Rally. Hubert and Elspeth were regular attenders at home and abroad and one year won the Shanks Rose bowl for most meetings attended. Hubert and Elspeth went one day a week to the Foundation for approximately 5 years, filing records. They were presented with a mounted foundation badge for their efforts. Hubert and Elspeth met around 30 years ago, but looking after their respective parents meant that they did not get together for several years. Marriage came 7 years ago and they were very happy together One memory of Hubert was the comment he made, when he saw Carole wearing a sheepskin flying jacket. Hubert said he had one at home with bullet holes in. I am sure he had, as I know that he was shot up very badly on one mission with flack etc. but managed to get home safely. Hubert will be sorely missed not only as a wonderful gentlemen, but also by the Club for his significant support over the years.

Rodney Gunn I first met Hubert some 20 odd years ago when Diana and I joined the R-REC as young members, that is a relative term, and it was obvious from the first few occasions at various club events that Hubert was held in great regard and respect by the section members generally, not just by those who knew him well. His delightful down to earth sense of humour and humility made him a pleasure to be with and his friendship was freely given and he received in return friendship in abundance. I had not appreciated until quite some years after I first met him that during the second world war he was a bomber pilot with a squadron equipped with Sterling heavy bombers. Well, as most of us know Hubert was not a physically big man but despite that, he had courage and ability which all of us would instinctively recognise and admire but like so many of his generation he preferred not to talk about his time in the RAF, in those very demanding and difficult days. For those of you who never had the pleasure of meeting or knowing Hubert, he epitomised all that was good about the club he joined, quiet unassuming personality, welcoming, outgoing, friendly, honest and with a great affection and enthusiasm for his fellow man and club members. Long may his memory remain with us and Elspeth Paulerspury People - October 2013


I know will be greatly supported by the friends they both made in the Paulerspury Section of the R-REC and beyond.

David Davis Hubert was a member of Paulerspury Section for many years and was always accompanied by Elspeth who in later years became his wife. They were a familiar sight in their brown and cream 20/25 and in fact attended so many section events over the years we thought something was wrong if they weren’t there! Needless to say they were winners of the Shanks Rosebowl for enthusiasm in the section. There are too many reminiscences to remember but one particular occasion springs to mind when we were on a section weekend based in Dorset a few years ago. We were all taking part in a drive through the Blackdown Hills and several cars stopped at the same inn for lunch. Hubert ordered Spotted Dick for pudding so there was a lot of hilarity about his selection though of course it was all perfectly innocent. Hubert also took great delight in posing for photographs behind bars in the pink cell at Milton Keynes Police Station during a tour there. Hubert never spoke much about the war, like many of his contemporaries, so it was interesting to hear his comments the day in 2006 we visited the Mosquito Museum at Salisbury Hall, where the Mosquito Bomber was designed. Reg Davy our guide was explaining about the tow cable from Horsa gliders to the towing aircraft. He told us that there was a communication line within the cable to enable the towing pilot and the glider pilot to communicate. It turns out that Hubert’s planes had towed more Horsa gliders to Arnhem that any others in Bomber Command and he piped up with the comment that the communication line ‘never bloody worked!’ Hubert’s flying training took place on the Shorts Sunderland Sea Plane. Having passed this test he was transferred to the Shorts Sterling bomber, one of the first four engine “heavies” of Bomber Command, a plane which had design problems due to the Air Ministry specification but which had great affection from the crew who flew in them. Another of his flying exploits was to take supplies to the Maquis in various parts of France, a perilous exercise fraught with danger about which he said very little. Hubert was so matter of fact about what, to the layman, were supreme acts of bravery. He was a man of diminutive size but a giant in stature.

Mike and Kathy Martin A fond memory of Hubert Vass and how the Section Marmalade came about. Hubert had the RREC and the Paulerspury Section running through him like a stick of rock. His application and cheque for events was always the first to appear on the mat. When he and Elspeth went off quietly in 2006 to get married, no one from the Section 24

Paulerspury People - October 2013

realised, except eagle-eyed Val Yates who noticed that, at a weekend rally in Kent that same year, Elspeth was wearing a wedding ring. The unfortunate thing was that at that rally, the hotel ran out of marmalade and Hubert and several other members became quite upset. At the subsequent 2006 St George’s lunch, Hubert and Elspeth I presented Elspeth with a bouquet of flowers to celebrate their marriage and gave a jar of marmalade to Hubert for missing out on the stuff at the earlier rally. The precious jar was given to Danny Yates, who duly fashioned a beautiful box so that the marmalade could accompany the Section on all future rallies in case any of the hotels that we visit run out of marmalade. So, dear members, Hubert will always be with us in spirit whenever we venture forth on weekend Rallies, etc.

Chris Ball Future Events Sunday 8th December AGM and Christmas Lunch The Mitchell Hall, Cranfield, Beds. Organiser: Val Yates

Sunday 19th January - Sunday Lunch Greens Restaurant, Collingtree Park Golf Club, Collingtree, Northants., NN4 0XN Organiser:David Cooper

Sunday 23rd February- Sunday Lunch TBC - See website or January PP Possibly New Members Lunch at THH Organisers: Barry & Ruth Gallafent

Saturday 15th March Steam Hauled to Buxton Spa See Page 21 for full details. Early booking essential. Organisers: Barry & Ruth Gallafent Paulerspury People - October 2013

Sunday 23rd March - Sunday Lunch Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel, Redcoats Green, Herts., SG4 7JR Organisers: Steve and Janet Dolan Weekday - March - Visit to Jaguar Cars Details to be confirmed. Organisers: Barry and Ruth Gallafent April (Date and details TBC) Visit to DAF Trucks Plant and The Commercial Motor Musuem Leyland, Lancashire This will be a two night stay, (one prior to the visit). Organisers: Barry & Ruth Gallafent Sunday 27th April St Georges Day Run and Lunch Venue TBC Organiser: TBC 9th - 12th May 2014 Shropshire Hills and Ludlow Organisers: Steve and Janet Dolan ** FULLY BOOKED** 25

Paulerspury Section Committee

Attention Smart Phone Users

Chairman and Editor

Scan any of these QR codes to find out more about what the section is up to.

Barry Gallafent (Ruth) 222b Wolverton Road Blakelands Milton Keynes, MK14 5AB Tel: 01908 216804 Mobile: 07785 398271


Section Website

Steve Dolan (Janet) 191 Baldwins Lane, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth Hertfordshire, WD3 3LL Tel: 01923 778207 (Home & Fax)

Treasurer Kathryn Martin (Mike) Tel: 01234 714092

Events Coordinator Ruth Gallafent (Barry) Tel: 07900 523152 (Mobile)

Membership Coordinator Mark Warnock (Kay) Tel: 07792 906771 (Mobile)

Committee Members Val Yates (Danny) Tel: 01480 810395 Derek Freeman (Sylvia) Tel: 01234 823255 (Home) 26

Paulerspury People - October 2013

Paulerspury People - October 2013


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