Former Kennet Valley Group Member reminiscing after seeing 50th Anniversary on the TRR Webpages
TR Register KVG Meeting early 70s
News of the Kennet Valley Group 50th are circulating the Country via our website and we I have had a email from a previous KVG from the mid-70's, his name Peter Bonsall and I am sure our longer term members will remember him. Peter writes:
'I would like to pass on my congratulations to the KVG on its 50th anniversary which I just spotted on the TR Register Website. I was a member of KVG from early 1974 when I bought my TR3A (25 HYO) until late 1977 when I migrated to rural North Wales. I remember those three years with the KVG with great affection and the people and activities in those three years are probably the cause of my continuing TR affliction.
I was working at AWRE (as it was) in my first job after graduation and as young petrol head found my 3A stored in the proverbial barn in a farm near Standlake near Oxford. Having got it on the road and joined KVG I enjoyed many jaunts probably only possible in those none PC days.
The evenings spent at the Coach & Horses in Midgham came back into focus when I spotted your photo (see above) taken in front of the pub which showed my white 3A - the third car along. The powder blue 3A belonged to Stewart Selwood who came from Hungerford and the fifth car along is the late Paul Good 4A Dove. Paul had built the Dove on a 4A chassis having come across a Dove moulding and think it may have been unique in being an IRS Dove at the time.
Paul and Jim Christie were active members of KVG before forming the Chiltern Group closer to their home territory. I also have fond memories of driving in convoy with Trevor (I need to try to refresh my memory about names and am beginning to wonder if Trevor was the name of the multi coloured 3 and not the driver! That's age for you.) in his multi coloured 3 (SUC 567) with one particularly hairy drive back from Symonds Yat where we had a joint treasure hunt with another Group.
Racing at Goodwood
Other events included a KVG 'sprint' organised in a freshly mown corn field somewhere near Swindon on a hot Saturday afternoon. Corn stubble must rival a skid pan surface from memory! A photo of this emerged on the forum a few years ago which I attach. Protective gear included hair blowing in the wind and no shirts as it was too hot! The photo shows 3 x 3A's . In order of appearance is the still cherished 'TRK', my white 25 HYO and Stewarts blue car. The second photo attached is taken at the infamous Goodwood sprint in I think 1976 and includes Paul's Dove, my 3A and Trevor's multi coloured 3. Alec Pringle occasionally turned up at the Coach & Horses to promote his ventures such as Goodwood, the Silverstone 6hr relay etc and I think this encouraged Paul, myself and Trevor to pitch our tents at Goodwood for the weekend.
I could go on , but better stop soon - too much nostalgia. Needless to say I still have 25 HYO which was joined 15+ yrs ago by a 6 (HYO 25L) and more recently a V8 7 (music to mine and your ears). To complete the circle after last years International at Goodwood we took my 3A back to the farm near Standlake having discovered they now did B&B. The car visibly winced when it saw the barn - see third photo attached. This visit prompted contact with its previous owner who now lives near Chichester and had left the car on his In-Laws farm whilst working abroad. He is once more a TR owner and visited us last year to see his old car.
Having left the Kennet Valley area in 1977 I helped found the Red Dragon Group in North Wales (now called the NW Group - but that's another story) before migrating even further north in 2000 to Cumbria where I now hang on to the exhaust pipes of John Morrison and Co.
Viewing the 'Musical Version', with my better half we have just spent the last 10 minutes being very impressed and amused by it. The pictures of Donnington and tug a TR were nostalgic. How on earth do you get TR Drivers to sing so well? The photos have prompted me to promise that I will look back through my many 35mm slides to see what I can dig up, but it may take me some time.
We did go to Hopcroft Holt on the Sunday back in January, our last weekend trip away before lockdown. We also usually make it to the International so will look out for you all to say hello. Malvern is our favourite spot, but I am now banned from camping - pity.
As you can see the KVG has a lot to answer for, all the best to you all for as long as the petrol lasts.
Thanks to Peter and we look forward to seeing some of his archive 35mm slides from way back when. You are always welcome to visit us when you're in the area or virtually.