London to Brighton 2017

John and Helen Smith were the successful bidders for a seat on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run at the 2016 Annual Dinner. Helen has sent us a lovely write up of experience they had:

”Our first glimpse of what was to come on Sunday started on Saturday afternoon.  We wandered up Regent Street and saw about 100 veteran cars, at this time we had no idea this was just the concours and that on Sunday there would be some 400 cars taking part in the event.  Looking at the cars all I thought was this is probably going to be a cold and bumpy ride!!

We had a very early start on Sunday, my alarm call was at 4.45am.  We met in The Royal Lancaster at 6.00 for breakfast with Mary Montagu –Scott, her husband Rupert, Doug Hill, Russell Bowman and David Shaw who we had met on the Yorkshire Rally, David Lillywhite, Octane Editor, and several other guests .

After a quick breakfast we all convened outside the hotel, in the cold and dark, at 6.30 to prepare to set off for Hyde Park. Beaulieu had 4 cars in total in the rally.  So far, so good, we all arrived in Hyde Park and took our places ready to start.  We had time for a quick walk around the other vehicles, during this time we finally saw daylight.  Back into the car to set off just before 8am.  What an absolutely amazing sight, all the veteran cars making their way out of Hyde Park.


Within 5 minutes of leaving Hyde Park we encountered the first problem, Mary and Rupert had broken down!!  Man of the moment, Doug Hill, soon sorted the problem and we were off again.  It was an amazing journey through London, everyone was waving to us, I felt just like The Queen and before long I was waving just like Her!!

Everywhere we passed people had to come to wave and cheer us, there was an amazing spirit of goodwill throughout the journey.

We hadn’t progressed too much further and Mary had broken down again, this was to become a regular occurrence.  Doug was amazing and mended the car every time.  We even broke down at the side of Gatwick Airport, this looked like it may be terminal, I knew it was serious as Doug took his coat off.  John was impressed as he stripped a valve down and fiddled with a few more parts and before too long Mary was good to go again.  Whilst we were all waiting a family were watching from the grass verge in their mobile home, they very kindly made us cups of tea and coffee, very welcome indeed.

We made it to Crawley, the half way point, I was hoping to stop in the Harrods café but that didn’t happen, Doug just drove through, no mince pies for me!!  Doug knew something I didn’t, we were not making good enough progress so we had to pass by.

More breakdowns followed and every time Doug was the hero of the hour, or half hour as it seemed to be!!  Ever the gentleman, Doug stayed behind Mary all the journey.

We arrived at Pease Pottage hungry and shivering.  As ever Doug didn’t get any refreshments but the rest of us all managed a quick coffee and cake.  At this point the sensible decision had to be taken, Mary’s car saw its last moment of the rally and went home in a transporter.  Mary could not carry on as we would have run out of daylight long before Brighton.  It was such a shame as Mary had soldiered on all day under very difficult circumstances.  Up north we would say Mary is a top bird, I guess down south you would say she is a jolly good sport!!

We were soon motoring again and Doug got his foot down good and proper, we were doing speeds over 25mph!!. The scenery from here was really very pleasant and the traffic was much quieter.

We arrived in Brighton just before the cut off of 4.30 so we got the medal, we were the only Beaulieu car to do so.  Russell very kindly gave me the medal.

Despite the cold and hunger we had the most amazing day.

Everyone should do it at least once in their life.  John is really taken with the event so he may be bidding at next year’s dinner.  Be prepared for a long night in the auction ……..and a pound!!

I would like to thank everyone at Beaulieu for making our day so memorable.”

-Helen Smith

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2017 Annual Dinner and Auction

Great fun was had in the museum where members had cocktails among the cars, where a magical mirror took some fabulous photographs, Rob Berry busked out some incredible blues and Magician Roger Lapin brought some more magic to the evening! Members then moved over to the 800 year old Domus in the double decker bus – in between the heavens breaking! – for a fabulous dinner followed by an Auction which raised close to £7000 for the Trust.

And from the comments below, everyone seemed to have a fabulous time!



Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much we both enjoyed last night’s dinner. This was my first time so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. All your hard work really paid off as I thought it was a brilliant and well-choreographed event. I’m already looking forward to the next one. I particularly enjoyed the guitarist, the magician, the company and of course the ambience of the venue. I hope you were able to raise some worthwhile funds to carry on your good work. Best wishes, Julie x

Another fabulous evening – thank you so much!.All best wishes and see you soon Richard

Just a quick note to thank you for a terrific evening at Beaulieu yesterday. It was a privilege being asked to do the auction in such splendid surroundings. A very jolly crowd!…Duncan.

A magnificent event which you organised to the highest professional standards. Well done indeed. Our table was such fun and started new motoring adventures starting with the London to Brighton rally. Perfect. Lastly, thank you for inviting me to join the Beaulieu One Hundred Club – All the best, Roger

And many others commented it was the best one yet,

See you next year!

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The Beaulieu One Hundred Yorkshire Tour


The first Beaulieu One Hundred ‘weekend tour’ was by general consensus greatly enjoyed. Despite the M1 doing its best to deter those heading north, people arrived at various times during the course of Friday afternoon. The weather was benign and the views from The 3-Acres across Emley Moor were stunning. The views from the more modest Foxglove just down the road in Kirkburton, were less spectacular but the compensation was that John Smith joined us for a drink in the evening and entertained us with his Yorkshire tales and humour.

On Saturday morning we made the short drive down to Mirfield to see John’s wonderful and truly eclectic collection of beautiful cars which were displayed in his various garages and around his drive. John explained the significance of each of the cars and the passion for each one was obvious. He admitted that if there was a ‘first among equals’ it would probably be the green Series 1 E-Type Jaguar FHC. The Healey 100 however is clearly a favourite and the Ford Popular was probably the first car he ever travelled in. The Jaguar Mk II under restoration has family connections and the Ferrari, which first attracted the attentions of Helen, clearly has a very significant place in the collection.

After enjoying the tour of the collection at the house, a short break for some northern hospitality as Helen and her mum served us with tea and biscuits (and yes, there were the promised Wagon Wheels!). Next stop was down to John’s business where he was delighted to explain how he had developed from a car breaking business into a sophisticated car component procurement operation with some very attractive margin opportunities – so the link to the fine car collection was apparent. Then there were more cars! Another garage with more beautiful cars including a Daimler Dart, MG, Mini Cooper etc.

On Saturday evening we had arranged a private dining room at The 3-Acres. The room was perfect and even though the complementary glass of sparkling wine was a little suspect, the food compensated for that. The evening was progressing beautifully and then John’s friend Richard was persuaded to entertain us with a few songs from his Elvis repertoire. This totally unplanned development transformed a lovely evening into something that was truly fantastic and will not be forgotten quickly.

On Sunday morning, we left Kirkburton in convoy and took an absolutely beautiful route through South Yorkshire into Derbyshire and to Alan and Tina Beardshaw’s home in Curbar. The roads were superb, the weather remained dry and the views were gorgeous. Tina and Alan made us very welcome with drinks and biscuits while Alan told us a little about his business. Both he and John made this business stuff seem so straight forward we were left wondering why we had all not managed to do the same!

Alan’s collection appeared to have two dominant themes – Aston Martins and Endurance rallying. Quite amazingly he combined these two with a rally prepared DB5!! Once again Alan’s passion for each of his magnificent cars came across as he told us about each one in turn. He naturally values his privacy and all there is to say is that if you weren’t there and want to have the opportunity to view the collections of our fellow Beaulieu One Hundred members, in future make sure you join us!

Sincere thanks to John & Helen and to Alan & Tina for their hospitality and generosity and a special thanks to Richard Green for giving us a little bit of Elvis.

Thank you to John Reed and Tony Vroon for the photographs
Mike Timmins – Yorkshire Tour organiser and “Reporter”

Suggestions for the next Beaulieu One Hundred tour are welcome!

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Workshop welcomes new apprentice Emily

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has appointed a new workshop apprentice as an investment in the future of its historic vehicle collection at a time when few specialist workshops are taking on trainees.

Classic car fanatic Emily, who has been a volunteer at the National Motor Museum since the age of 14, is starting a four-year apprenticeship which is being generously funded by a small group of Beaulieu One Hundred members. The Beaulieu One Hundred membership is committed to supporting the work of the National Motor Museum Trust to preserve Britain’s motoring heritage for future generations.

New apprentice Emily Leese, aged 18, joins the museum’s experienced workshop team to help maintain and restore its collection of more than 250 historic vehicles. A young woman in an industry traditionally dominated by older men, Emily’s training will help to keep alive the essential skills needed to look after and preserve the museum’s remarkable machines.

When she completes her apprenticeship, Emily will become the first to do so since Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill finished his apprenticeship 40 years ago.

The Interviews with Emily and Doug have been plentiful and if you have not caught any of them below is an indication of the media coverage so far:


o BBC That’s Solent are filming (which may act as a taster to draw in BBC South Today).

o Online article for Honest John Classics.

o Online article for Wheels Alive.

o Mention in Practical Classics.

o Classic Car Buyer

o Classic Motor Monthly (Michael Ware)

o Classic Car Weekly

o The Herald

o Lymington Times

Social Media 

o Facebook 32,186 people reached

o Twitter 5,439 impressions

o Beaulieu Website 309 page views

o Beaulieu Blog 116 views

Emily’s training will be overseen by apprenticeship provider Heritage Skills Academy, which specialises in enabling trainees to work towards industry-standard qualifications as part of its Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships programme, tailored to the specialist automotive restoration industry.
Spending most of her time based in the museum workshop at Beaulieu to gain vital hands-on experience, Emily will also study the skills of the trade with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist P&A Wood in Essex as block release study, working towards Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Classic Vehicle Restoration.
Funding for this block release part of her training will be covered by the Automotive Apprentice Bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London, a charitable association which promotes excellence in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries.
Draper Tools has generously donated a comprehensive tool kit and chest to Emily from its Draper Expert range, which will be indispensable to her over the course of her apprenticeship.

National Motor Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill said:

Ever since Emily first visited us for work experience four years ago, I have been impressed by her enthusiasm and determination. I was the last apprentice to complete my training here at the National Motor Museum 40 years ago, so it makes me exceptionally proud to offer this opportunity to a new recruit by employing Emily as our apprentice in the workshop. It has been a long process to make that happen but with the help of our sponsors, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and many others, we can move a huge step forward in ensuring our legacy of knowledge is safe for the future.”

National Motor Museum Trust Chief Executive and Beaulieu Managing Director Russell Bowman said:

We are delighted to welcome Emily to the workshop. In her previous role as a volunteer, she has already proven herself to be a very dedicated and hard-working team member. By learning specialist maintenance and restoration skills from our experienced engineers, she will be helping to safeguard the museum’s vehicle collection. We wish her a very long and happy career at Beaulieu.”

Emily is launching a blog to follow her apprenticeship story. Click here to read the first post with a Q&A with Emily.

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Goodwood Revival & Annual Dinner

Here comes the rain again!
Wet and windy was the order of the day for Goodwood Revival this year, but many members, all dressed in period garb, popped into our stand where we had the Brough Superior on display together with some great handling objects from the NMMT. It was a good place to shelter from the rain and catch up with each other!


Annual Dinner and Auction and accommodation details below:

Join us for this year’s Beaulieu One Hundred Annual Dinner, being held on Saturday, 21 October at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and enjoy an evening of magic and music, where you will be served cocktails and canapes amongst the cars from 6:15, followed by Dinner in the wonderful 800 year old Domus at 8pm.

E-vites with further information will be sent to you this week, but again, be sure to book your accommodation from the following Hotel options below:-

The Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard 01590 616253 where we have asked them to set aside some rooms for members please reference that you are from the Beaulieu One Hundred

Montagu Arms 01590 612324

Careys Manor Hotel 01590 624467

Balmer Lawn Hotel 01590 421059

Chewton Glen 01425 282212

Limewood and The Pig are other luxury Hotels in the vicinity.

For local B&B’s 

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International Autojumble

Well, the International Autojumble was certainly a tale of two halves!

Whilst we enjoyed glorious weather for visitors on Saturday, Sunday was by comparison rather damp and just not cricket for most!

Nonetheless the blazing sunshine saw more than 34,000 motoring enthusiasts from across the world turn out for Beaulieu’s International Autojumble to mark the 50th anniversary of the popular event. Read the full release here.

Many members popped through on both days. Some were successful when the hammer went down in the Bonham’s auction (reaching a sale total of £3,271,000!);  others were here on a search for something specific and some were content to rummage around the many stands to dig up a bargain.

As always there was good fun had in introducing the members to each other and a great time was had by all.We are now winding down from a very successful year where all the events were fully booked and in some instances oversubscribed!

Next up!- Tie a knot in your handkerchief!

8-10 SeptemberGoodwood Revival (we hope to see you on our stands 134-135 in The Market 11am-2pm)

29 Sept -1 OctYorkshire Trip FULLY BOOKED (final information about the trip will be sent after Goodwood weekend!)

21 October – Annual Dinner and Auction (information will be coming through shortly for your response) Act now and book your accommodation from the following Hotel options below:-

The Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard 01590 616253 where we have asked them to set aside some rooms for members please reference that you are from the Beaulieu One Hundred

Montagu Arms 01590 612324

Careys Manor Hotel 01590 624467

Balmer Lawn Hotel 01590 421059

Chewton Glen 01425 282212

Limewood and The Pig are other luxury Hotels in the vicinity.

For local B&B’s 

Saturday 28 October Beaulieu does Broadway Fireworks!

Friends evenings:

Saturday 14 October 2017 – An Evening with Stuart Graham

Saturday 18 November – Patrons of Motor Sport

Saturday 9 December – The Secret Spitfires

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New honorary member

On Friday Top Gear presenter Chris Harris, and  the indomitable Stig launched the refreshed World of Top Gear at The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where many Beaulieu One Hundred members came through for the occasion. It turned out to be a lovely warm morning where many members got to meet each other for the first time.

Chris regaled us with some great stories before putting on an amazing driving demonstration,  posing for photographs with members, and then accepted Honorary membership of the Beaulieu One Hundred!  We are very happy to welcome Chris on board!

What’s coming up:

On Sunday July 23rd member and visitors to Beaulieu can see TV presenter and inventor Edd China driving two of his craziest creations around the grounds of the attraction to launch the summer exhibition Wacky Record Breakers in the National Motor Museum.

Then it is Beaulieu’s Supercar Weekend on August 5th and 6th, an unmissable two-day showdown gathering together more than 450 of the most impressive supercars on the planet. A Supercar newsletter all about the weekend will be circulated.

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