I love cars, old cars that is. With a few exceptions, modern cars do nothing for me. They are mainly designed by committee, computer or focus group. Older cars have grace, beauty, quirky ugliness, individuality, seductive faults and personality that are all lacking in most modern vehicles. Well they don’t all have all of those qualities, but go back only twenty years or so and byond and generally you will find at least some of them.
I remember my Father’s passion for cars. Huge, cavernous Austin Princesses used to drive brides to their weddings and collect movie stars from airports. Big black Ford Zodiacs, the earlier ones soft and rounded at the edges, later, I still have its number plate, sharper, more American in styling with aggressive fins, like upturned knives running forever back alongside the enormous boot so big that my brother and I used to lay out a picnic in it. They were all female, these cars, described as ‘she’, as was the way back then, a way that seems so old-fashioned, even patronising now.
What I marvel at is that those childhood memories were of a time when the motor car had only really been accessible to the masses for such a short time, maybe thirty years or so. Even now, thirty years further on, the motor car has only really been around for the briefest moment in time, and may not, in comparative historical terms be around for that much longer.
I attended the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the P6 Rover at the glorious Waddesdon Manor a few weeks ago. The sight of a hundred and fifty or so gleaming examples of these cars that were so cutting edge in the earliest years of my childhood was unnerving in a way, as was the passion and intensity of the interest present in their owners. These people are the curators of one small part of our heritage, and on a larger scale the people who came here to Northfield Farm on Wednesday 4th September share that same role, just with a much morediverse collection of vehicles harking back to the early 1930’s.
The best known car & bike meet for miles around was held on the second Tuesday of the month in the tiny Leicestershire village of Ashby Folville. Running for many years, this event attracted thousands of people on Sunny afternoons and evenings. I started going a few times a year and marvelled that so many people could gather so calmly and with so little trouble. Sadly the behaviour of a minority of drivers has now led to the decision to cease holding the event, as reported on in the following article in the Melton Times:
The demise of the Ashby Folville event was the main topic of conversation among the enthusiasts who attended Northfield’s event on Wednesday. All felt that it is sad that the behaviour of a small minority should stop an event which had such a long and positive history and contributed so much to the activity and economy of local rural life.
Northfield will continue to hold a meet on the first Weds of the month, the next one being 2nd October 2013 from 17-00hrs.