August 20 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The Ipswich to Felixstowe historic vehicle rally was the second largest in its 44-year history.
Todday’s event involved more than 500 vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
Members of the public visiting the free event in Christchurch Park were able to wander through the lines of vehicles which ranged from motorbikes and humble 50s family runabouts to brightly coloured commercial lorries and glamorous sports cars.
Speaking before the rally left Ipswich for the coast organiser Peter Cansick said things had certainly started well
“We’ve got rather more commercials than we thought this year,” he said.
“We won’t fill the park up but we’re not far away from it.
“We’ve got 545 vehicles registered this year but we’ve had a few drop out. But there’s certainly in excess of 520.
“It’s probably the second biggest (rally) and we’ve been doing it for 44 years.”
Mr Cansick said one of the reasons they get so many vehicles turning up is because the owners see it as a social occasion.
“The participants enjoy coming along because they get to meet up with a whole bunch of their friends,” he added. “And they get to talk about their vehicles that they’re very enthusiastic about.
“It’s as much a social event as anything else. When you’ve got something that looks this good you want to show it to other people.”
The first vehicles started leaving the park at 11.30pm to make their leisurely journey to Felixstowe.
“Mr Cansick said: “At Felixstowe we get all the commercial vehicles and the buses parked along the front from Undercliff Road West to the Spa (Pavilion) and the cars go on the promenade and drive towards the pier.”
Even though the historic run takes place every year there is always a lot of planning to be done.
“We’ve been working on it on and off for six months,” Mr Cansick said. “It culminates in probably the last six to eight weeks with the more intense work.
“It’s all paid off. I can’t argue with it. This event is our premier fundraising event of the year.
“Last year we raised slightly in excess of £6,000 which is pretty good for a one day event. We hope it’ll be a similar amount this year.
CASE STUDY ONE: ALAN RUSSELL
Alan Russell is a member of Ipswich Transport Museum which hosts the event and brought his 1951 Morris Minor to the rally.
Mr Russell has owned the car for more than a quarter of a century and has lovingly restored it over that time.
He said the atmosphere at events like the Ipswich to Felixstowe run is one of the reasons he keeps attending.
“You meet such nice people and see some extraordinary motor cars,” Mr Russell said.
“I tend to go to about a dozen rallies in the so-called summer season. I thoroughly enjoy it.
“I’ve had this Morris Minor for 26 years now. I’ve restored it over that 26 year period.
“The difficulty is getting the parts these days.”
The four-door vehicle has an old side-valve engine and was originally built for export. A lot of cars built at that time were sent to America.
CASE STUDY TWO: BERNARD GREEN
One of the more unusual vehicles taking part in the run was a steam powered car.
Being driven on the day by Bernard Green it was restored by a group of friends after being brought to the UK around a decade ago.
Mr Green explained: “It’s a Stanley steam car built in 1923 in Massachusetts.
“It was one of the later steam cars that they made and it spent its life in Australia until 2003/4 when it came to this country.
“It took us about three years to do it to where we are now. There’s always something to do on it every year.”
Mr Green echoed most participant’s comments about the event being a popular and friendly occasion.
“The weather’s great and we meet up with a crowd of mates. It’s a good day out,” he said.
However sometimes his lovingly restored vehicle can confuse members of the public because of its alternative method of power.
“They don’t understand it because it’s totally silent,” he added.