Once upon a time there lived a mad inventor who had the particular peculiarity of retiring to his bed at the end of the cricket season, refusing to get up again until the sound of leather on willow announced that another new season had begun. The inventor had 14 children – no doubt something to do with his prolonged confinement to the bedroom every year – 7 boys and 7 girls, one of whom was my grandmother. With so many mouths to feed her father never had the means to patent his ideas and so, sadly, the details of his inventions have long since been lost to history except for two family stories which relate how his pioneering design for the hydraulic pump, since used to pull millions of pints for the world’s grateful beer drinkers was purchased from him down the pub for £10 – probably a tidy sum in the early 1900’s – and the story that thrilled me as a child, that long before the arrival on the scene of the money man, my great-grandfather worked with a certain Mr Henry Royce on the development of the earliest of the now fabulously famous Rolls Royce engines. I’m not sure if a passion for cars and engines can be inherited genetically but if it can then I have my great-grandfather to thank.
Where we live in sunny France, just happens to be near the city of Angoulême where each year there is an international vintage and veteran car meeting for the ‘Circuit des Remparts’. For 3 days the old town is cordoned off and turned into a racetrack, and splendid cars from all eras of classic car design hurtle around the streets in a Charentais vintage version of the Monaco grand prix. Here is a selection of images of some of my favourite participating cars……….more to follow in part two……… and possibly even part three!