Isle of Wight provides a Classic backdrop

We didn’t make it to France this year, but we still managed a ferry, so it felt almost like old times. For the 2021 Classic, Guild members travelled to the Isle of Wight in early September. A total of 16 cars made it to Southampton for the Red Funnel ship to East Cowes, with 31 occupants plus Mickey, Stuart Bladon’s very well-behaved Jack Russell. 

The cars ranged from the 1933 MG LI Tourer of Andrew and Katherine Morland and Kim and Elaine Henson’s 1938 Standard Flying Fourteen Touring saloon, through the Loveridges’ 1963 Lancia Appia (never seen one of them before) Paul and Josie Buckett’s fabulous Citroen DS20 Break, Bladon’s immense 1979 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible and the 1990 Alfa Romeo SZ of Matthew and Tricia Carter.

As usual, we tried to stay in a nice hotel, and the Royal at Ventnor lived up to expectations. It was the perfect base for our sorties out around the Isle of Wight over the three days.

Remarkably several participants had strong connections to the Island. Paul Buckett was born and brought up there. Julian Leyton lived there for a short while as a child where his dad was chief development engineer of the Black Knight rocket project at the Needles. 

Which helped form the basis of our Island tour, ably constructed by Paul and John Griffiths, with help from me on the logistics.

Although the scope for open road driving was obviously limited, we had a great run from Ventnor to the Needles, followed by a trip to the classic car event in Ryde.

Sunday morning involved a manic drive to the steam railway around roads closed off for ‘Walk the Wight’, then a more relaxed time at Queen Victoria’s Osborne House before catching a late afternoon ferry home. It was, as always with the Guild Classic, as much about the socialising as it was about the lovely old cars. 

Peter Burgess

Photos: Peter Burgess and Eric Dymock