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The Chiltern Rally and Road Run Report 2015
Glen Miller is missing….
Sunday 27 September 2015 was the date of the annual Chiltern rally and Road Run, which Phil and I have organised. This was the 30 event! The first took place in 1985.
This year we met up at the Flying Horse in Clophill, Bedfordshire. When we arrived there was already a good turnout of club members cars lined up in the car park. We welcomed Frank and Lou Darby who visited to return the Chiltern cup, their Park Lane now belongs to Ian Burt. After lunch the group set off on a road run of about 15 miles to the Glen Miller Museum, at RAF Twinwood. The route was faultless – almost – the museum entrance was reached by following a side track off the concrete road to the airfield, but this track had not been mentioned when I phoned to book our visit.
Despite its location quite close to Bedford, the airfield is in a remarkably remote rural location. During World War II it was an RAF base. Glen Miller and his Orchestra were based in nearby Bedford rather than London. They regularly flew from Twinwood to concerts elsewhere. In December 1944 Glen Miller boarded a Norseman aircraft bound for France, but the aircraft did not make the destination and was never found.
John Russell and Sheila Sewell joined us at the museum. Our group consisted of ourselves in the Flying 12, Steve Smeltzer in the Ensign Estate, Rob and June Hebditch in the Phase 1 Vanguard, Pat and Mike Beavis in the Stag, Brian and Betty Parkes with daughter Susan and husband Dean in the 14, Paul Newsome and Dicky Brightwell in the Charlecote, John and Rachel Maxwell in a Flying 12, Peter and Graham Lockley in the Doretti, Norman and Hilary Wright in their A35, Peter Pearce and family in a Phase 2 Vanguard, Stephen George in an Eight Delux, and guest Richard Carding and his wife in a Vauxhall Cavalier Convertible and their friends in a Ford Capri.
The Chiltern Cup was awarded (on the whim of the judges) to Steve Smeltzer’s Ensign Estate, this is the car that we decided we would most like to take home with us. Well done, Steve for also driving from Bristol, making you the furthest to attend.
Apart from the Glen Miller section this museum has a number of other collections including the restored Control Tower, vintage costumes, Motor Transport, Fire Service museum, a model railway, aircraft and remains of crashed aircraft from World War II, rescued by the keen volunteers who run the museum. These volunteers explained what a bleak place Twinwood is in winter, and even on the lovely late summer day in the sunshine we felt chilled by a brisk breeze as we sat with our cups of tea outside the long hut which houses the café and some exhibits, we could only imagine how it would have felt to be stationed there in the war.
We had a great turnout this year for the Chiltern run and hope to organise another in late September 2016, to a new place of interest in our region. Perhaps we will meet you there!
Phil and Lynda Homer
Line up of Standards at the "Flying Horse" at lunchtime
Lynda presents the Chiltern Cup to Steve Smeltzer and his Ensign Deluxe Estate. This was the car that she would most like to take home with her and the furthest traveled to visit the event. Steve's car is parked outside the Control Tower at RAF Twinwood