Veteran’s Car Run 2022: Waddon shows its support despite the rain
An annual delight came to Waddon once again this year as the 126th RM Sotheby’s Veterans Car Run brought vintage vehicles of all shapes and sizes on to Croydon’s roads.
The tremendous people at St. Andrew’s Church on Southbridge Road were kind enough to provide their beautiful place of worship for our Sunday car-spotting. Waddon’s Labour councillors Ellily Ponnuthurai and Rowenna Davis organised an array of refreshments for a crowd braving the dispiriting weather, including a whopping 100 freshly baked Greggs sausage rolls – surely a record for the most sausage rolls made in one go!
Nearly 350 vehicles passed the church on their intrepid journey to Brighton. Most of the participating cars were roofless – an unwelcome experience on an already gruelling 60-mile journey. Our eagle-eyed observers saw many weird and wonderful contraptions, ranging from a Renault from 1902 to an 1896 Salvesen steam-powered car. Our praise must go, however, to the rider of an 1884 penny farthing who plundered all the way to Brighton despite the elements!
It is fitting that this festival of vehicular antiquity should come through Croydon given its interesting automobile heritage. The founder of the long-forgotten Trojan Cars, Leslie Hayward Hounsfield, opened his first factory on Vicarage Road in Waddon. Trojan were perhaps best known for their iteration of the bubble car produced in the 1960s. The company produced automobiles from this small factory in the first years of the 1920s, until production volumes necessitated a move to a bigger factory only a stone’s throw away on what is today known as Trojan Way.
Of course, with the rain, the history, and the masses of veterans old and new, there was a certain quintessence about the day. The sheer Britishness of it all with the Union Flags, soggy sausage rolls, and umbrellas galore was not lost on the crowd!
Throughout the day, we politely asked for contributions towards the hosting church, and the generous residents of Waddon didn’t let us down! On top of that, the congregation were delighted with the leftover food and tea after a heavy morning of car-spotting and umbrella-hoisting, but despite seemingly feeding the five thousand, we were left with dozens of sausage rolls tantalisingly waiting to be gobbled.
But waste not want not! Councillor Rowenna volunteered to take the remaining snacks to His Grace Evangelical Church in Thornton Heath which runs a tremendous foodbank for those most in need in the north of the borough. The morning, then, was as much a leisurely viewing of vintage cars as a communitarian effort for those facing a choice between heating and eating.
A big thank you goes to all of those who attended on Sunday, and an even bigger thank you is in order for those at St. Andrew’s Church who gave up their kitchen and furniture yet again at such short notice!
Umbrellas galore as local car-spotters are undeterred by the wet weather