AS A classic vehicle society celebrates its 45th anniversary, members are adamant they are not only reflecting on the past but looking to the future. Reporter BARBARA FISHER went to investigate.
YOUNGER members, attracted by the magnificently maintained cars of the Uxbridge and District Classic Vehicle Society, have been keen to join the group in its 45th year, and they are assured of a warm welcome by long-standing enthusiasts who want to keep the club moving forward.
Formed in the swinging sixties as the Uxbridge and District Vintage Vehicle Society, its founder, Ernie Quinton of Uxbridge, described the growing interest in old cars and his exciting proposal for the association, which started with 40 members and now includes around 250 enthusiasts.
In 1963, Mr Quinton, who ran a paraffin distribution firm in Fairfield Road, Uxbridge, wrote: "Great interest has been shown lately in local events incorporating veteran and vintage vehicles such as steam engines, trucks, buses, cars and motorcycles, and several enthusiasts have suggested a local society be formed.
"Ownership of a vehicle would not be a necessary qualification and membership would be open to allcomers."
This is how it stands to this day, with the only difference being the name; it is now the Uxbridge and District Classic Vehicle Society, and has a shiny new logo to match.
Driving conditions have changed dramatically since the 1960s and as one member remarked, road rage was unheard of then.
In fact if you broke down, you would be sure a passing motorist would stop to help.
Members enjoy raising money for charity and are pleased when their cars are 'borrowed' for films. One of the latest was Mrs Henderson Presents, with Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Will Young, which was set in London in the 1930s and 1940s.
Members take their vehicles to many events, including Cranford Park Fair in Hayes, Harefield Hospital Fun Run and Uxbridge Auto Show, and further afield, to the Windsor Classic Car Show and Cookham Regatta.
The 45th anniversary was celebrated in June when the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon, Councillor Brian Crowe and his wife, Clare, joined members at the home of fellow enthusiasts Norman and Frances Grundon in Beaconsfield.
There were quizzes, including a tongue in cheek 'guess the estimate of the repair to Darrell's Vauxhall VX 220'.
A display of UDCVS history arranged by club archivist, Hazel Webb, sparked a lot of interest, as of course did the cars - from Chryslers, Consuls and Crestas to Skodas, Triumphs, Austins and Morrises.
The celebration was made even more authentic by 1940s and 1950s back-ground music from the heyday of many of the vehicles.
An impressive £650 profit was made for the charity Child Bereavement, which is important to Norman and Frances Grundon because of the deaths of their twin grandchildren in 2004.
The society's chairman, Chris Brooks, of Hayes, joined in 1989 after buying his first classic car, a 1952 Lancaster. He said: "The society is half social, half cars. Friendships go back many, many years, and we look out for each other, but we are definitely not lodged in the past and we enjoy moving forward."
For more information about the UDCVS, call membership secretary Ivan Beckman on 0208 863 2114 861.