Home • Know your Sunbeams • Sunbeamland • Running 'n' Riding • Workshop • Marston Sunbeam Register • Events






Marston Sunbeam Register Rally
RAF Museum, Cosford - Sunday 6th July 2008

This year the Marston Sunbeam Register’s annual rally returned to the RAF Museum at Cosford, some 5 miles north-west of Wolverhampton on the A41.

The venue is a fascinating - and prize-winning - museum that recently added Cold War exhibits to its substantial collection of aircraft and all things RAF. Four huge hangers house a collection of planes. These include a good array of Second World War machines as well as more recent examples such as the Valiant, Vulcan and Victor nuclear bombers as part of the recent Cold War exhibition. This exhibition wonderfully evokes the post-war era with an interesting mix of exhibits - that icon of East German two-stroke engineering, the Trabant included! Although, a NATO observers' car decked out with surreptitious espionage devices galore held my attention.

But, on to the Sunbeams ...

Unfortunately for the Register, the weather leading up to the event had been an almost continual downpour of rain, rain … then more rain! The Register resolutely continued on with the event, and it even brightened up for them later in the day but unsurprisingly the number in attendance was down on that expected.

The ‘Beams gathered in the shelter of one of the hangars – a meeting of vintage car buffs looked like as if they had 'pipped' the motorcyclists to one of the museum's prime spots near a collection of more modest-sized and picturesque buildings.

The Register's judges for the event assembled about lunch time, including an appearance from George Peck. George, having worked at Sunbeamland in its heyday, was introduced as the Register’s senior adviser on all matters relating to the judging of machines. Now in his late 90s, he is the most likely to have a keen eye for authenticity, having seen first-hand the making of most of the components on the various machines on show!

As Register organiser Trevor Davies explained to those who had braved the weather, the number of machines making an appearance on the day had halved from the 40 or so that had indicated they would be turning up. But, a good selection of machines of various age and styles were lined up. Alongside them, motorcyclists and bicyclists awaited the judges' announcements, resplendent in waterproofs and warm woollies!

Accordingly, the Register’s annual prizes for motor cycles and cycles were awarded. They will be reported fully in the Register’s 2009 newsletter. Those handing out the awards did so in good spirits. Malcolm Webster, from the Register’s ‘home team’ at HS Marston made light of the day. There were quips about the difficult decision that judges were called upon to make over the best motor cycle combination – as rain water glistened on the fine enamel coat of a solitary side-valve Lion of c.1932 with its aluminium-panelled ‘torpedo’ sports chair.

With a good number of family and friends present, and what looked like a local press photographer (or a bloke with a really big camera!), the atmosphere was warm and good-spirited despite the weather. The assembled crowd clapped and cheered as prizes were awarded. As the afternoon wore on there was even a glint of sunshine!

But not enough sun to make anyone want to linger! Awards handed out, many made there way to the museum café (within the 'artfully silhouetted' building below) for the sustenance provided by hot food and pots of piping hot tea.


Return to: Events