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ANGLIA ROAD RUN MAY 2015
Robin Wilson’s impressions as a first timer on this famous Standard Club run.
Our first taste of this event was a hearty (heart stopping?) Friday lunchtime fry-
Since joining the club 5 years ago we’d heard glowing reports from lots of people about this annual fixture, so had put our names down for the 2015 event and now the time had finally come to “go east”. By the café stop we’d done about 170 miles from home near Worcester, avoiding the motorways to enjoy the A roads at a less hectic pace, but there were still some 26 miles ahead of us on the busy A14, and I was a bit worried we’d be jostling with all the container trucks heading for Felixstowe docks. However, I soon discovered there was a cunning plan to deal with the big trucks …
The Anglia Run was the brainchild of Suffolk based club members Ian and Vera Leggett back in 1995. And it’s been held every year since, a remarkable achievement for a regional event in any car club! As in most previous years, Ian and Vera were the main organisers and with our hotel and dinner arrangements already done and dusted, it was now time for them to hand out the route packs and the special A14 Standard Defence System: union jacks on sticks with plastic clips for your side window glass. The convoy set out in great splendour and presented a united British force to be reckoned with – we hit the A14 in style and headed east with flags flying high -
There was an optional visit to Jimmy’s Farm where we saw rare breed farm animals and could buy delicious looking cheeses and meat produce from the farm shop. The outdoor clothing store had very posh green wellies at £245 a pair! Luckily the forecast was dry, and meat wouldn’t keep, so after a cup of tea and some local real ale we left empty handed! A short drive took us into Ipswich to the Belstead Brook Manor Hotel, a quiet and comfortable place in its own grounds with a nice swimming pool, real ale on tap and a secluded car park. What more could you want? This was to be our base for the next three days. The welcome introduction from Ian was followed by an excellent dinner and a relaxed evening. By this time about 10 more people had arrived, including the McDowells in their Sportsman and our youngest participant Josh, along with his dad, Conan Lewis, driving the oldest car in the rally, their lovely 1928 Standard Kenilworth.
On Saturday morning we visited the Transport Museum with its fascinating collection of buses, coaches, trams, lorries and other wheeled machinery, all found or donated from the local area and carefully restored. Some we could see still as-
The afternoon was in Felixstowe where we could enjoy the breezy beach and sea-
On Saturday evening after dinner we were treated to an hour with Suffolk’s most famous raconteur, Charlie Haylock, who gave us some amusing insights into Suffolk’s quirky customs and could do all the different dialects from around the UK. He recalled funny anecdotes from his grandfather Bill about such things as 6-
A wet Sunday morning saw us head north to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stoneham, which also had a colony of Meerkats, plus craft shops and restaurant. Here we were joined by Norfolk club member Brendan Doyle in his smart blue 1929 Little Nine. Over lunch he told me his mother bought it for him exactly 50 years ago -
The sun shone as we headed further north to Thetford to see the Dad’s Army museum. This pretty Norfolk village was chosen by the BBC as the base for all the on-
Monday morning was warm and sunny; some of us even had a swim before breakfast!
The final day visits were to Rougham Airfield and Bury St Edmunds. We were one of the last to leave the hotel and decided to go straight to Bury before heading home. With its Sportsman engine, our Vanguard is OK at 50mph but gets rather rough and noisy by 60. However, it quietens down again by 70mph, so this is its best cruising speed. Well, that’s my excuse for blasting past the convoy of Standards on the A14 that morning. It was great to see all those cherished cars doing what they were designed for: being driven and enjoyed on the open roads. Long live the Anglia Run !