The Masonic Classic Vehicle Club has undergone a makeover and been re-branded 'Square Wheels' at the NEC’s Classic Motor Show
This is the largest indoor classic car show of the year, attracting nearly 71,000 visitors over the long weekend of 10-12 November. The theme of the stand was the Classic 300 - a series of vehicle runs which took place throughout England this year.
Vehicles on display at the NEC were a stunning 1922 Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Tourer, a 1967 Ford GT40 in Gulf livery and an XKSS Jaguar, as well as a 1957 BSA A10 Super Rocket and a 1999 Honda VTR Firestorm, both courtesy of the Widows Sons Chapter.
On the Square Wheels stand, 20 new members were signed up, whilst lots of little teddies were also sold to visitors to help swell funds for the Teddies for Loving Care campaign.
As part of the rebrand, meetings will now be centralised in the Midlands to make the club more ‘national’ and the range of activities will offer members many additional diverse events, to help it appeal to all interests. The new Officers are: Chairman Mark Pierpoint, Hon. Secretary Phil Cottrell, Hon. Treasurer Mark Bigam and Press and PR Secretary John Cole.
The latest Classic 300 run saw the travelling gavel cross the River Tamar, affectionately known as the Cornish border separating Cornwall from England
It arrived safely in Saltash, which is located in the South East of Cornwall, to begin the Cornish Leg of the Classic 300 on 20th August 2017.
The idea for the Classic 300 was conceived by the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club to celebrate the United Grand Lodge of England's Tercentenary. A series of 15 non-competitive classic car runs taking place in England and Wales throughout the year, it was launched back in May at Windsor Great Park when the first vehicle was waived off by The Grand Master, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent.
Hosted by the Cornwall Masonic Classic Car Club, 12 cars from across the county braved the wet conditions, created by the tail end of hurricane ‘Gert’, to converge at the designated starting point.
Before embarking on the 120 mile plus coastal trail, the travelling gavel, which was fashioned from a Jaguar ‘Con-Rod’, was formally handed over from Bro Kit Marquand to W Bro John Cole PAGDC, in anticipation for the next stage of its epic journey to the most South Westerly point in the England.
The route deviated from what would traditionally be the quickest road to Land’s End, with the cars peeling off towards the historic town of Looe at Trerulefoot. This was the start of a series of B roads that would dominate the day, winding their way down through to Lostwithiel and beyond towards Fowey.
The route ended with everyone arriving at the final destination of Land’s End with the addition of a beautiful post vintage Austin RP Standard. It was here that the finish line arch was inflated and positioned behind the iconic ‘Land’s End Sign Post’ – a real challenge to achieve in the wind, situated 250 feet above sea level and perched on top of the cliff.
Roy Harry-Young, one of the passengers from New Zealand, and a relative of one of the entrants, volunteered to act as an anchor holding on to the guide ropes behind the arch whilst the gavel was presented to the Provincial Grand Master of Cornwall Stephen Pearn. The sign post itself adorned the Grand Lodge address.
Roy Harry-Young commented: ‘I am not a Freemason myself, but I have been overwhelmed by the warmth and sense of inclusion that I have felt today. These sorts of events really put a human perspective on to your Fraternity, making them very visible and accessible to a greater audience. It’s obvious everyone is having a great deal of fun and sharing in a common passion of classic cars.
'This morning I never dreamed that I’d flown half way round the world to hang off a cliff holding on to a giant inflatable arch!’
Revving up for the Tercentenary
Celebration of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary year will continue this Sunday when the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club launch the Classic 300 at Windsor Great Park – the first in a series of individual classic vehicle runs
A large gathering is expected as UGLE’s current Grand Master, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent will be in attendance and will be officially starting the event.
Fans of classic cars will certainly be in their element, with a vast array of vehicles set to be displayed on the Review Ground, a large grassed area, from 10 am before proceeding on a short symbolic run at 2:30 pm.
The Classic 300 has 18 national classic car runs taking place across England and Wales this year at famous venues including the Isle of Man’s TT, Brands Hatch and the Brooklands motor circuit in Surrey. The runs are open to Freemasons and those with an interest in Freemasonry and classic or future classic cars.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire will also be holding a number of Tercentenary events on Sunday at Windsor Great Park including a 300 mile walk, which refers to 300 people walking one mile, and a teddy bears’ picnic. Everyone who takes part in the mile walk will receive a commemorative certificate to celebrate the Tercentenary.
Entrance to Windsor Great Park is free and parking is available for everyone.
You can find out more about the Classic 300 here
Delivered to London Transport in January 1952, the bus was selected as one of three similar vehicles to represent London Transport on a tour of the US and Canada to promote travel to Britain and the purchase of British products.
At the show, the club launched a major series of classic vehicle runs – Classic 300 – which will take place throughout England and Wales this year to commemorate 300 years of Freemasonry.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - NO. 38 SUMMER 2017
WE WILL REMEMBER
Having received spring’s magazine and opening the first page, I was returned to my military time in Germany, 1956. The photo of the London bus took me back to my visit to Berlin on the same type bus, which took a party of members belonging to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and 17th/21st Lancers to Berlin for bank-holiday weekend. I am now 80 and a proud mason of 45 years. I wonder if any other masons of today may have been on that trip?
Phil Holmes, Liverpool Mercantile Lodge, No. 4319, Liverpool, West Lancashire
Classic car club’s record signings
The car, owned by Berkshire mason Gerry Hann, had a big teddy as the driver as part of a special display for the Teddies for Loving Care charity.
This prestigious Formula One car, the first model of which made its debut in 1954 with world champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel, attracted a large number of visitors to the club stand. During the three open days, a record number of 40 new members were signed up.
French lessons in Jersey
The Masonic Classic Vehicle Club has made an annual visit to Jersey for eight years, each time touring the island in vintage and classic cars, as well as enjoying a fraternal visit to Loge La Césarée, No. 590. Of the 11 lodges meeting at Stopford Road in St Helier, Loge La Césarée is the only one that conducts its ritual in French. The La Césarée songbook includes many World War II songs and the visitors joined in with gusto on their latest visit.
Classic cars and bacon butties
The Masonic Classic Vehicle Club held one of its Sunday Breakfast Meets at the restaurant Zest at Lime Square, near Reading, involving a varied collection of 20 vehicles and their owners.
Coffee and bacon butties made this an enjoyable, informal morning gathering with advance publicity attracting members of the public. Among the vehicles on show were Jaguars, MGs, Bentleys, Triumphs and a few motorcycles. There was also a tiny Subaru 360 rally car, one of only three in the UK.
Classic visit from sir stirling moss
For the past 10 years the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club (MCVC) has mounted displays at the NEC Birmingham’s Classic Motor Show, the largest indoor classic car exhibition in the UK.
In 2013 the club’s display theme was Historic Competition Cars, with exhibits including a 1958 Maserati 250F F1 car owned by Gerry Hann, Berkshire Deputy PGM; a 1953 C-type Jaguar (replica) constructed and owned by Phil Cottrell of Lodge of Aviation, No. 7210, in London; a 1932 Austin 7 Ulster displayed by Roger Gourd from Merantune Lodge, No. 6149, in Surrey; and a 1922 AC Sports from the Brooklands Museum, loaned by Steve Gray.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the club year was when Sir Stirling Moss, considered by many to be the greatest British racing driver, visited the MCVC stand at the NEC.
The 2012 Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC was the biggest in its history, with a record visitor attendance of more than 60,000 over the 3 days. For the 7th consecutive year the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club had a stand at the event, resulting in the recruitment of a record 30 new members. The Club also held its annual meeting, chaired by Club President and former Essex PGM Sir Neil Thorne, in a private room provided by the show organisers.
With the Jaguar E-Type, arguably the most iconic motor-car of the 20th century, turning 50, all eyes are on classic cars this year - providing lots of opportunities for the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club to parade some rare gems.
At the 32nd annual Bristol Classic Car Show, Phil English (Eldon Lodge, No. 1755) displayed his stunning red 1965 E-Type Roadster alongside the original Jaguar, a 1932 Austin 7 Swallow Sports, as well as a beautiful Jaguar D-Type in British Racing Green, which had just been completed by Phil Cottrell (Aviation Lodge, No. 7210) of Newbury in Berkshire.
Over in Kent, the Club put on a display of rare cars at the Bromley Pageant of Motoring, the largest one-day open-air
show in Europe. With 45,000 visitors, the pageant is a huge advertisement for Freemasonry.