HomeLifestyleBundaberg’s oldest cars re-enact London to Brighton

Bundaberg’s oldest cars re-enact London to Brighton

London to Brighton
Dressed in fitting attire of period clothing, car enthusiasts travelled along Sea Esplanade at Burnett Heads, in the re-enactment of London to Brighton.

Forty of Queensland’s oldest cars were proudly displayed at Burnett Heads as part of the 125th anniversary of the London to Brighton car run.

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the world's longest-running motoring event, held on a course between London and Brighton, England, on the first weekend of November each year.

Organising the local re-enactment of the famous London-Brighton emancipation run was resident Chris Sorensen.

He said as Australian vintage car owners couldn’t attend the event in the United Kingdom, it was fitting to give the locals a treat.

Chris said vehicles made during 1900 to 1930 were on display at Burnett Heads, including Bundaberg’s oldest surviving car.

“We own Bundaberg’s oldest surviving car. A 1904 De Dion-Bouton,” Chris said.

London to Brighton
Dressed in fitting attire of period clothing, car enthusiasts were greeted by town crier, Max Scholefield, as they watched the proceedings unfold with the red flagged being ripped to pieces.

“The manager of Bundaberg Foundry in 1904 Mr William Parry sent his foreman to London to purchase it. It was shipped to Bundaberg,” Chris said.

“An ambition of mine since school days was to own this car and we were fortunate enough to purchase it in 1986.

“The other part of my ambition was to take it back to London to do the London to Brighton Run, and we did that in 1989.

“Since then, we have done several London to Brighton runs with other cars that we have.”

Chris said the London-Brighton emancipation run was formed to mark the end of the Red Flag Act.

The Red Flag Act, in the United Kingdom and parts of the United States of America, required self-propelled vehicles to be led by a pedestrian waving a red flag to warn bystanders of the vehicle's approach, which was restricted in towns at just 2mph (3.22km/h).

On Sunday community members gathered for a picnic at Sea Esplanade, Burnett Heads to take in the sights of the automobiles.

Dressed in fitting attire of period clothing, car enthusiasts were greeted by town crier, Max Scholefield, as they watched the proceedings unfold with the red flagged being ripped to pieces.

London to Brighton
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey assisted in the ripping on the red flag to signify the 125 year history of the reappeal of the Red Flag Law.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey assisted in the ripping of the red flag to signify the end of the Red Flag Law.

Chris said the Red Flag Law was repealed in 1896, by which time the internal combustion engine was well into its infancy.

“I am often asked what the attraction is of going all the way to London and taking a car to do this run,” he said. 

“My answer is: it’s the thrill of driving such an old car through London. Past the Palace down the mall, past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Over Westminster Bridge and then all the way to Brighton – it’s an incredible experience.”

3 COMMENTS

3 COMMENTS

  1. How good was that ?
    To everybody who arranged or participated in this day, well done, and thank you for allowing the community to be part of it.
    We accidentally found this happening while passing through the esplanade
    and had a wonderful couple of unintended hours. Truly awesome to see such a much loved display of costume and vehicles. 👏👏👏👏👏
    And as night follows day, so it seemed, so did the politicians : )

  2. As stated on another forum : Not sure what more small organisations can do regarding advertising, the event was listed in ‘What’s on Bundaberg” there was a half page in the Bundaberg Today newspaper, also listed on the Facecebook page, Burnett Heads Re Enactment London to Brighton Car run at Burnett heads, also a full page in the free Burnett Heads ‘Most Wanted News’ and in other Car club Facebook pages, as well as a local letterbox drop. A ‘not for profit’ club or organisation can not afford to pay for top end advertising.

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