Wellington British and European Car Day

9th February 2020 by Andrew Weeks

(Credit for this item belongs to “The Dynamo”, February/March issue of the magazine of the British and European Car Club of Wellington Inc.)

Thankfully the day dawned fine: It looked like being a scorcher, foreshadowing a good attendance at the event. Work started at the Trentham Memorial Ground at 07:30 hours. Early starters worked their way in, reserving the ground for their marques. The cricket pitch area was quickly secured with a good array of commercial operations, the Car Club tent and the Price-family caravan that doubled as a trade stand. Without doubt, the earliest starters were the BMW club who rapidly accumulated a good display of their Bavarian masterpieces.

The gate was manned just after 08:00 hours by the Air Training Squadron from Trentham. As usual, they did a wonderful job, collecting the cash and fundraising through their cold drinks stand. The Vintage Machinery Club were also early starters, setting up their equipment and getting the steam engines running. They have been wonderful supporters of this event over the years. They were soon followed by a large contingent of MGs and Jaguars.

The day was enhanced by a first appearance of a local Upper Hutt dance group raising funds for their pending visit to the United States. The 8th Count Dance Troup comprised a number of young girls who delighted the public with two displays. Their fundraising was undertaken by way of a sausage sizzle and it is understood that the organiser was delighted that she had to rush off for additional supplies, not once, but twice. Their sausages were very good and it was noteworthy that they always seemed to have a queue for their products: that says a lot about the quality and associated service. We very much hope that they will come again next year.

Organising the event has become much more complicated than in previous years. The Upper Hutt City Council required a detailed Health and Safety Plan before agreeing to let us use the park. Much work was undertaken by Ric Tyson and Denis Christiansen to get this plan approved – well done guys! Hopefully, we can just replicate the plan for next year’s event. The only visible signs of the plan were the fact that four of our committee members had to wear hi-vis vests throughout the event. Reflecting back over the years, I believe that this was one of the very best Car Days. The weather was great, the crowds were tidy, polite and well behaved and the care and pride in the many exhibits was clear for all to see.

And the youth of today got two very good advertisements of how to conduct themselves through the excellent deportment of the dancers and the ATC cadets: all a great credit to themselves, their families and their organisations. What a shame their example is not widely copied throughout our society.

Financially the day was a great success thanks to the generosity of both those displaying their vehicles and the passing public who were also generous with their donations for Wellington Free Ambulance. This was the third Car Day that has also included the European marques. What a splendid array of vehicles were on show.

To name by a few: Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, BMW, Audit, Porsche, Citroen, Renault, Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey, Triumph, Land Rover, Wolseley and Morris. As usual, we also had a great display from the BSA motorcycle club.

Looking forward to an even better event in 2021.
Andrew Weeks

Last Updated June, 2020