Chair’s Chat

Welcome to the RREC Wessex website where we bring you all the latest news and information about events and social meetings from the RREC Wessex Section.
Sadly events and social meetings have been a bit thin on the ground lately due to the Coronovirus pandemic and very necessary Government strictures on Lockdown and Social Distancing.
So please bear with us, and stay safe, until we all meet up again in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile we are changing the content of our online newsletter to bring you some, hopefully, interesting feature material to read to make up for the current deficit in our social calendar.
Stuart Bladon, after gallantly performing the twin roles of editor and chairman since the 2018 AGM, has now passed over the baton to me. I would like to thank Stuart for handling his duo of tasks with considerable aplomb and for handing over the RREC Wessex Section in good heart.
Stuart has been very encouraging to new committee members like myself, although I’ve known Stuart since I first started on Classic Cars magazine in the late Seventies when he was already a very senior and well respected journalist testing new cars on Autocar. So I was really delighted to rediscover that Stuart was actively involved in the RREC Wessex Section when my partner Keith and I moved down from London to Dorset almost three years ago.
Stuart masterminded the Section’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations last December, the highlight of which for many was the celebratory dinner at Palace House, Beaulieu in the presence of Lord and Lady Montagu along with special guest Wayne Bruce, Director of Communications at Bentley Motors and with Richard Fenner, RREC Board Member, attending.
Stuart, I am delighted to say, continues as esteemed editor of our quarterly printed Torque magazine.
My background as a writer on classic car subjects for a whole variety of magazines as well as being actively involved at committee level with three classic car clubs ( chair of the GCCG for 20 years up to the end of 2019 ) gives me a unique grounding as your new chairman. Recent events suggest we may have to manage a number of things rather differently, so I hope that I can count upon your support.
My current car stable comprises a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn in Shell Grey over Mason’s Black; this has been with me for over 20 years and we have travelled all over the UK and Europe together. I’m always astonished by this car’s capabilities after one of these trips and they really must have seemed pretty special when new if you were lucky enough to have afforded one. More recently a 2000 model year Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph in Deep Aqua joined the Silver Dawn – both low volume models with a certain understated elegance. I love them.
Communications will be doubly important in the months that lie ahead. So we’ll do our bit but it is also important for this to be a two way process.

Hold the Front Page – Your Own Car Highlighted

If you would like your favourite Bentley or Rolls-Royce featured, on these pages or on our sparkling new website do drop me a line at with just a few pertinent details – or simply send a beautifully and artfully composed photo by email so that we can publish in either or both of these RREC Wessex Section mediums.
And, calling all budding David Lean’s out there – why not take a movie clip of your favourite car and send it in? We now have the facility to show these on our new website, so you could be one of the first. Not Gone With The Wind – please – but we’d a Brief Encounter with your favourite auto to share with others and enliven our new website.
County Contacts
We are now also actively seeking County Contacts – especially for Somerset and for Hampshire. Though further volunteers for Wiltshire would be good and even for Dorset to replace Gary and I who put our names down at the beginning just to start the ball rolling.
If you are happy to be a local point of contact, and a catalyst for our Wessex Section supporters, I’d really love to hear from you. A really important task over the coming months will be to establish these key local links so that we have representation in every county in the large area covered by the Wessex Section. When we get released from the current restrictions we will need to devise some quick and easy social events in all of the counties covered by the Wessex Section.
So what better time to start thinking about that happy day than now while we are all still in Semi-Lockdown? You may have a wizard idea for a venue, museum, garden or historic house that would be ideal for our supporters to visit when the time comes. Or even a local pub – perhaps one serving some really good food – that might even be a venue for a regular meet-up point?
Better still, would you be willing to organise something yourself? It is not as hard as it may seem and you will be able to bask in the reflected glory of a job well done from all present. Who knows? You may even make some new friends who also share your enthusiasm for the best cars in the world.
The Wessex Section, 50 years old last December, was founded at the Devonshire Ams at Long Sutton near Langport in Somerset for instance. I’ve already been in touch with the owners and they’d be delighted to see us at any time. All we need is to discover now is a willing local Wessex Section volunteer to act as our genial host.
How’s that for a great idea? Let’s all see if we can make this happen.
Brian Palmer