The picturesque Colne Valley Railway at Castle Hedingham, Essex drew a fascinating selection of machinery for its Vintage Rally on 22-23 April. Former Rootes apprentice Peter Knight, who worked with the rally support crew, brought his dream car – a Wardance Red ’72 Hillman Avenger Tiger MkII – having tracked it down after a 40-year search. The Hillman was sold new in Buckie, Scotland, by Millbank Garage, which bought it back from the second owner 10 years later, quickly tidied up the bodywork and then kept the car in a heated showroom for the next 30 years.
Tony Whitehead’s 1955 Mercedes-Benz Ponton pick-up – bodied in South Africa – was on only its second outing since he purchased it from a specialist in Garstang. He joked: “I drove back to Essex a week ago and I wouldn’t say it was slow, but I don’t remember overtaking a single vehicle!”
The CVR operates the Hunslet loco ‘Austerity’ and a Class 121 DMU, with other engines and rolling stock in various states of restoration.