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Automobiles and Archives – the 2021 Autumn Seminar weekend

After two years (what with one thing and another), we returned in good order to the traditional venue of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation in Paulerspury for the SAHB Autumn Seminar, AGM and Motoring Literature Fair on Sunday 10 October 2021.  This followed an informal dinner the evening before at a Holiday Inn nearby, where members and partners could finally once again natter about cars and other things (no – mostly cars).

We also took the opportunity to present the SAHB’s Michael Sedgwick Award for the best motoring book on an aspect of British motoring, and the Malcolm Jeal Award for the best motoring article written in the English language.  That report is in the News section.

But first, a very small group from the SAHB Board (Covid still rules) had a most rewarding visit on the Saturday, to the Aston Martin Works Centre at Newport Pagnell. Steve Waddingham, SAHB member and purveyor of all things fascinating about Aston Martin, took us round the service centre, heritage restoration workshops and the showroom where classic Aston Martins were on sale. We are working very hard to organise a larger visit for members for next autumn.

Julie Dawson, Craig Horner, Steve Waddingham, Guy Loveridge and Richard Roberts at the Aston Martin Works ‘Classic’ showroom


Sunday: The Autumn Seminar

The spaced-out seating filling up just before the start of the talks. Fewer attendees than last time, but well attended in the circumstances

After the literature fair, the AGM and the Micheal Sedgwick and Malcolm Jeal Awards presentations, we were regaled with five excellent talks:

  • Tony Bagnall:  “The Alfa Romeo 2000 & 2600 Series: Success or Failure?” – the story of these underestimated saloon, sports and grand touring cars
  • John Bradshaw: “The Spiders’ Web” – a beautifully researched history of Basil Davenport’s Spider 1 and Spider 2 hill climb cars, taken from his new book
  • Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis: “DAF” – the history of these remarkable Dutch cars and their unique transmissions
  • Peter Moss: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” – the history of the Richard Roberts Archive of advertising and magazines, and the delights to be found there
  • Glen Smale: “Porsche at Le Mans: 70 Years of Porsche’s Participation in
    the World’s Greatest Motor Race” – a journey through Porsche’s astounding and totally unequalled success in the race from 1951 to today.

Our thanks are due to all the speakers, and the organisers and staff from the SAHB, Aston Martin and The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation who made this another weekend to remember with great pleasure.


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