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2018 Wessex Advanced Motorists Classic Car Show

Posted on 23/10/18 |

What a glorious summer we’ve been having… and, I’m happy to say, continue to have. The grass is struggling a bit and the ground is a bit on the hard side, but from my point of view, that made for absolutely perfect conditions for the amount of cars that were parked on the Lady Alice Memorial Ground at Hatch Beauchamp on Wednesday 18th July at, yep you guessed it, our 2018 annual classic car show.

The WAM Committee, our Volunteers and I all arrived on site early at 3:30pm and started setup almost immediately. Certainly Tracey Bristow, our outside Catering guru was on site by 4 o’clock and already cooking by a ¼ past in readiness for the expected hordes. (

Our Guest of Honour this year should have been Paul Woozley IAM RoadSmart Head of Membership Services, but unfortunately he had to withdraw at almost the last minute due to urgent IAM RoadSmart business that needed his personal attention in Welwyn Garden City. Instead, and at very short notice, Steve Williams, the Chairman of the Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall Committee stepped in as our Guest of Honour, and what a sterling job he made of it too. My sincere thanks to Steve for coming to our rescue.


Steve Williams, Chairman of HBVH Committee being greeted by Andrew Griffiths, Chairman of WAM

His usual Assistant Judge and trusted friend, Andy Harris being unable to attend this year, our Judge-in-Residence, Mr. Tony Vaughan-Read, had asked for some support in the judging team to help spread the load. We were very fortunate to be able to solicit the brilliant services of :

  • Christine Williams, wife of our Guest of Honour who very sportingly stepped into the breech left by the absence of Mrs. Woozley.
  • Bob Northover, who kindly donated the Sir John Timpson Cup which will now be awarded to the overall runner-up.
  • Mark Deacon, last year’s show winner.
  • Hazel Prior-Sankey, last year’s Guest of Honour and good friend of the Wessex Group.
  • Alice Howe, wife of our esteemed President.
  • Maggie Keenan my very own wife and muse.  As well as
  • Colour Sgt Andrew Kemp,
  • Cadet Samuel Ping and
  • Cadet Max Brooks, all of Somerset Army Cadets.

Organising the show wasn’t that onerous a task, believe it or not, but running it on the night, well that was definitely a ‘team effort’ and would have been a whole different kettle of fish if it were not for the superb efforts of each and every one of them. And whilst I’m sorry if this is going to sound a little like an excerpt from some speech at the Oscar’s, but aside from our Judges, I really would like to name and thank the following people for their unstinting help in making the whole night the success it was.

  • Andrew Griffiths (WAM Chairman) who worked tirelessly as our meeter, greeter and MC.
  • Brian Howe (WAM President) our VIP’s escort for the night.
  • Isobel Jennings (WAM Treasurer) & Andrew Harrison (WAM Volunteer) who both worked wonders with running the raffle and raising such a great amount of money for the group.
  • David Walton (WAM Secretary), our indefatigable Chief Marshal who directed all the arriving vehicles to their relevant marshals for parking.

Our ‘Class’ Marshals without whom the whole field would have degenerated into an unruly car-park: John Gilbert (WAM Associate Co-ordinator); Mike Wotton (WAM Support Officer): Guy Tucker (WAM Observer); Joe Caruso (WAM Volunteer) and Ella Waude (WAM Volunteer).

Supervising the Cadets on the main gate & manning the visitors car park: Sian & Glyn Bowen. (WAM Volunteers).

Running the Registration Tent & General Admin: Paul Green (WAM Observer) & Anne Bull (WAM Volunteer).

Photographer: Matt Murray (WAM Volunteer). What a busy little snapper he was… and the pictures? Well follow the link and judge for yourself.

To each and every one of you; thank you from the very bottom of my boots! The show would not have been as successful without your wonderful and sustained effort, all freely given. Thank you one and all! … See you again next year, by chance?!

(Please note that the copyright for these official images taken at the show belong to Matt. For permission to use and reproduce these images, please email him directly at  (Please note that any photographic images not taken by Matt were not sanctioned or approved by the WAM Committee).

For those of you who were able to attend, you will also have seen quite a few Army Cadets wandering around. (Including our 3 Cadet judges). These young men and women were courtesy of Major Glyn Lancey of Somerset Army Cadet Force who fielded 20 Cadets to serve as Marshal’s runners. (My son commented that whenever he saw me I had a military escort. He didn’t know if they were my honour guard or I was under Military Arrest!)

And finally I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank the entire Committee of Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall for allowing us free reign of the hall and grounds and for the support that they gave us. Without their generous and enthusiastic input the show definitely wouldn’t have happened!

Last year we had 64 cars and a classic ‘bike on the field; this year we had 145 cars registered, with a whole pile more who arrived too late to register (for the judging) plus a contingent of classic ‘bikes. Clearly next year I have to add in a ‘bike class!

Once again we had a really eclectic mix of cars (and ‘bikes) turn out and what a really sporting bunch of owners, too!

This year we split the show into 6 different ‘age’ classes ranging from pre-war to cars of the millennium, plus of course, the American Contingent. With so many cars from so many eras (and continents) I really didn’t envy the role of the judges in trying to work who should be ‘top of the class’ or ‘best in show’. But judge they did and eventually selected Barry Griffin’s superb 1970 Mk.1 Lotus Escort ‘twin cam’ as our 006 Cup Winner (1st) and James Hickman’s beautiful 1935 Singer 9 ‘le Mans’ as our Sir John Timpson cup winner (2nd).

Unfortunately it seems that our Singer 9 left the field before Matt was able to immortalise it in pictures, but he did get one of Barry’s immaculate Mk. 1, albeit with the bonnet up. (What is it with the classic owning fraternity that they keep wanting to show the oily bits and not the sleek lines of the car? I mentioned that to one of the said fraternity who accused me of being a philistine!)


Now, whilst we may not have a picture of his car, here’s James being presented with his cup by Bob Northover who kindly donated the cup to us.

But enough of me prattling on, here’s a sneak peak at just a small selection of the cars that were on the field. To see the rest, follow the link to have another chance to see what was there… or, if you weren’t able to attend on the night, to see what you missed. And boy, did you miss a treat!

To be fair, there were far more vehicles on site than Matt was able to photograph, but that was mainly due to the fact that they kept coming after he had to leave. As you can imagine, we didn’t turn anybody away but even so, I was still very surprised to see ‘new’ exhibits entering the gates as some of our ‘old’ exhibitors were trying to exit it and we were thinking of closing the show! What a fantastic turnout.

 Jim & Jean White’s pretty little MGC GT
   Mike Wotton’s gorgeously throaty Triumph Stag
 DSC_7539    DSC_7479
 Martin Bowden’s ‘cool’ Sunbeam Rapier Fastback
   David Gough’s wonderful 1964 Austin A40 Mk.2
 DSC_7507    DSC_7406
 Claire & Julian McLaughlin’s really stylish Morgan Aero 8    David Ramsbottom’s superb Aston Martin DB7
 DSC_7548    DSC_7399
 Nick Gibbon’s really appealing 1960 Borgward Isabella    Andrew Griffiths’ lovely Jaguar XJ-SC which, he tells me, is a completely original example

(Click on thumbnail images to see full size picture)
So there you have it. Just a few of the wonderful machines that were brought along by their proud and loving owners to support our show this year. And just in case you were wondering, yes, I’ve already starting working on next years meet which will be held on Wednesday 17th July 2019. Same time, same place.

Our Guest of Honour next year is Amanda Smith IAM RoadSmart Head of Field Service Delivery, and I know that already she’s looking forward to joining us at our little soiree. As indeed, I look forward to seeing you there too. So, bring a car; bring a friend, but definitely… bring yourself!

And finally, just to show that the night wasn’t all about the exhibitors and their wonderful machines, here’s Perry Chesterton being awarded his very well deserved ‘F1RST’ pass certificate by our Guest of Honour, Steve Williams.

Perry’s Observer was Hugh Todd. Well done Hugh, yet another ‘FIRST’ to your credit. And who knows, hopefully we might be able to persuade Perry to train to be an Observer? Perry? …

So again, my sincere thanks to all the helpers, caterers, exhibitors and visitors who helped to make this, our 2nd WAM annual show a really wonderful success. If you’d like to register your vehicle for next year’s show, then please feel free to contact me on either 01823  254621 or 07776 124001 or email me at