The Pre-War Prescott 2017 Souvenir Programme was sent to our printers in Cheltenham today. The cover depicts the record lineup of eight D Type MG’s that were assembled at Pre-War Prescott last year. This year, we have another bumper 44-page issue, containing not only the vital information about the day but also a number of fascinating in-depth articles, making this another family heirloom in the making! There is a fascinating historical article by Alf Tudge on his wonderful Beckenham Special which he campaigned for the first time at Pre-War Prescott last year. In it, he remarks that he cannot wait for this year! There is an article by Bob Jones outlining the history and development of the cyclecar and another on the development of the vintage Morris Minor which includes a comparison with the contemporary Austin Seven (spoiler – the Minor wins hands down!). There is also a comprehensive article describing the history of the RAF Battle of Britain’s C-47 Dakota and the part the Daks of 233 Sqn. played in the Normandy landings, as well as the incredibly brave nurses who flew in them to Normandy immediately after the invasion to bring back the injured and dying. This reminds me that we offer COMPLETELY FREE entry to ANY World War Two veteran. If you know of any who might like to come along, please make every effort to help them, and let me know so we can give them the full red carpet treatment on the day.
You don’t have to bring a pre-war car to enjoy Pre-War Prescott! Spectating at Prescott is a superb way to send a pleasant and fascinating day in a gorgeous setting and among great company. Spectating at Pre-War Prescott has to be a truly great deal, as entry is just £25 per car, which includes as many people as you can cram in! There is NO per-person charge!
You can simply turn up on the day and pay at the gate. The Prescott gate opens at 9 a.m. and the first climb will head off the starting line at 10, so you have plenty of time to wander around the Paddock before the day really gets underway. You have full and free access to the entire Paddock, all of the trade stands and displays and all of the comprehensive catering and licensed bar that will be open all day. Or why not bring a picnic and kick back on the hill and watch the fun unfold before you?
And for the first time this year, we will be raffling FOUR supercar climbs of the hill – one in each of the four fabulous Course Cars being provided by Cheltenham Aston Martin dealer H.R. Owen and Cotswold Motorsport. So everyone will have the chance to blast up this historic hill including in an iconic Ferrari 458 or one of the other supercars! Tickets will be available all morning in the Paddock for £5 each and 100% of the funds raised will be donated to the RAF Charitable Trust. What better way to support a truly great cause! The draw will take place in the lunch break, immediately after the vintage auction and just before the arrival overhead of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s C-47 Dakota at 1355 hrs precisely!
Just one week after the Pre-War Prescott weekend we will be holding our inaugural Pre-War Shuttleworth at the unique and timeless Shuttleworth Trust at Old Warden, Bedfordshire.
ALL pre-war cars are invited and ALL will enjoy completely FREE entry! Just turn up at the gate on the day! Not only that, but we will be parked right on the flight line as we join with the de Havilland Moth Club for their second annual Gathering of Moths. Like Pre-War Prescott, the watchword for the day will be RELAXED!
The weekend will include an informal pub reception on Saturday evening, a pre-war Garden Party and Vintage Picnic at the Shuttleworth Trust in conjunction with the de Havilland Moth Club on Sunday and the weekend will conclude with a farewell pub run on Sunday evening.
Depending on the success of the day, there are plans to develop the occasion into a full weekend, mirroring Pre-War Prescott, with a scenic tour on Saturday and the Moth day at Old Warden on Sunday, together with Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening social gatherings.
Full details of the inaugural Pre-War Shuttleworth can be found here.
In past years, we have enjoyed the awesome sight and sound of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster over Pre-War Prescott. This year the Flight has allocated us their iconic 1942 Douglas C-47 Dakota ZA947.
The Flight has now confirmed that the Dakota will arrive over Prescott at 1355 hrs precisely, which is perfect timing – immediately before the hill re-opens for afternoon climbs at 1400 hrs, and immediately after the conclusion of the lunchtime auction being organized by Hereford Vintage Auctions.
ZA947 is currently painted to represent Dakota FZ692 of No 233 Squadron, around the D-Day period in 1944. This aircraft, which was named ‘Kwicherbichen’ by her crews, was involved in para-dropping operations on the eve of D-Day and subsequently in re-supply and casualty evacuation missions into and out of forward airfields in the combat areas. The female nurses who escorted the casualties on these flights became known as ‘The Flying Nightingales’.
By the end of 1944, 1,092 stretcher cases and 467 sitting wounded had been evacuated to England by the 233 Squadron Dakotas. The Dakota will make a stirring sight and sound over the hill on Saturday. To read more about the 233 Squadron operations, Dakota FZ692 ‘Kwicherbichen’ and aeromedical casualty evacuation in 1944, go here.
In other news, we hear a distinct rumour that there might very well be a Vulcan flight simulator in the Paddock on the day for YOU to fly – watch this space for further news!
Just a quick word to say that it is NOT too late to enter Pre-War Prescott 2017 – regardless of the June 30th closing date on the Entry Form! Space age technology, along with a little gumption, ingenuity and native cunning permits us to accept entries virtually up to the day. Leave it to us to get your tickets to you, one way or another. I just uploaded the latest entry list as of this morning, which shows that we have 411 climbs allocated, so with a maximum of 475, that means there are 64 left right now. We have a total so far of 153 entries, but we do have space in the Paddock for up to 200, so no problem there.
Remember that all advance entries receive a free climb of the hill. You can simply turn up on the day and pay at the gate, but on-the-day entries don’t come with a free climb.
Sunday is a different matter. Right now we have 58 entries out of a total capacity of 60, so just TWO more slots to allocate!
All in all, a tremendous weekend is just around the corner!
A few important points as we count down to the best weekend of the summer!
First and foremost, entries are STILL OPEN! You can still enter online (at http://prewarprescott.com/?page_id=161) or send the attached Entry Form by post to John Hicks (without delay!). We have about 65 climbs left and ONE more slot for Sunday! If you absolutely cannot confirm before the day, you can simply turn up on the day and pay at the gate, whether you are entering a pre-war car or spectating. I hope to be able to hold back a handful of climb tickets which will be available at the gate on the day – ONE per entry. The gate opens at 9 a.m., the first safety briefing will be at 9-30 a.m. and the first climb will be at 10 a.m. If you have a pre-war car and arrive after 10 a.m., come to the Paddock gate, not the main gate, as the hill will be active and you won’t be able to get into the Paddock from the main gate, against the flow to the start line!
All tickets for entries received so far will either have arrived or will imminently do so. Please check your tickets meet your expectations and let me know immediately if they do not. You can also double-check your entries (and everyone else’s!) at http://prewarprescott.com/?page_id=547.
Regarding the Sunday Scenic Tour, note that there has been no specific paperwork or tickets issued in advance. All you need to do is turn up in the Prescott Paddock between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. (at the latest) where you will receive your Tour Handbook which is all you will need for the day. Bring along OS maps 150 and 162 if you have them, but you shouldn’t need them – your Handbook will contain full and clear route instructions, but a map of some sort might be useful if you inadvertently stray from the route!
A few other reminders:
Everyone will be made very welcome at the Royal Oak at Gretton on Friday evening. If you have not been there before, it is a wonderful venue with great views to the Malverns, not to mention good food and local ales. There’s no better way to kick of the weekend if you are planning to arrive in the area on Friday.
Similarly, we will be running out to the Pheasant at Toddington on Sunday evening for a farewell gathering. Both pubs are expecting us.
Please don’t forget the lunchtime auction – being organized by Hereford Vintage Auctions. Lots are invited right now and will be immediately uploaded to the website for online viewing at http://vintageminor.co.uk/Auction%20PWP%202017/Auction.htm. Just send a phot, some brief details, and your reserve. Since we only have about 45 minutes for the auction, we are looking for quality items that will appeal to the owners of the main marques gathered or are of general interest. So far we just have a few lots, and we want many more please. The net takings will go to YOU, and the commissions are being donated by HVA to the RAF Charitable Trust.
Thanks to those who have responded to the draft marshaling plan that I circulated earlier in the week. If you received it, it is because you volunteered! If you have not yet responded to confirm your availability and your assigned time slot, please do so ASAP so that we can finalize the plan, re-circulate it and print it out by the middle of next week at the very latest (I fly to London on Wednesday 19th).
Watch closely for further updates on the website (www.prewarprescott.com) or via e-mail.
If you have ANY questions about the day, do please e-mail me and I will do my utmost to sort you out in advance, so the day itself goes as smoothly and as enjoyably as possible!
Apologies to those of you who cannot make it to Prescott, including our members around the world – we will be returning to general Register news and business shortly!
Finally for now, the 14-day weather forecast is showing great weather for the weekend!
See you soon!
Just a quick note today to confirm that entries are still open for Pre-War Prescott 2017! We have had a couple of owners asking if it is too late to enter. Certainly not! We have the infrastructure in place to get you your tickets, no matter how late you enter, but of course we would prefer you to get your entry in as soon as you can so that we can refine the Paddock parking plan, provide numbers to the caterers and generally make sure everything is in place for the big day. But most importantly, as of this morning, we have allocated a fantastic 406 climbs which means we have just 69 to go. So if you would like to climb the hill – you know what to do!
If you literally cannot commit for any reason to attending until the night before, you can simply turn up at the gate and pay on the day. We will be holding back 25 climbs to allocate on the day (one per car) and these will be available at the gate which opens at 9 a.m. precisely, for early arrivers. You have been warned!
Right now we have 151 wonderful entries spanning a tremendous variety of marques and models, not to forget a display of wartime military vehicles coming from the Ashdown Military Camp.
In other news this morning, we are now just inside the ‘window’ for the long-range weather forecast – and it is looking very good for Gloucestershire for the weekend.
We already have many spectators who have pre-entered using the online form on this website. Spectating at Pre-War Prescott is incredibly good value at just £25 per car which includes ALL of the occupants and gives you all completely free access to the Paddock, all of the trade stands and displays, catering facilities and of course the hill path that almost reaches the finish line. Bring the family, bring a picnic, don’t forget the wine glasses and come and soak up the pre-war atmosphere of the day – all in the most glorious Cotswold setting.
And as an added bonus this year for spectators, everyone will have the chance to climb the hill in one of four fabulous supercars that are being provided by Cheltenham Aston Martin dealer HR Owen and Cotswold Motorsport who are bringing a wondrous Ferrari 458. We will be raffling these four runs throughout the morning and making the draw in the lunch hour, just before the arrival of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s historic C-47 Dakota. Taking a spin in one of these cars will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, and to blast up Prescott in one is bound to be a truly life-changing experience!
Stop by here again in the next few days for all the latest news as we count down to Pre-War Prescott 2017.
As the big day approaches, a few words about actually climbing the hill might be useful.
At Pre-War Prescott, we use the long course that sweeps around Ettore’s Bend, a distance of 1,128 yards, with an overall rise in elevation of 150 feet from start line to finish line. If you have not climbed Prescott before, compare the track map above with this video of an Austin 7 climbing the hill at Pre-War Prescott 2015.
After the finish, there is a sharp left turn that takes you down the return road to the Paddock. Be careful and drive slowly down the return road (the speed limit is 10 mph) – it doubles as a bridle path.
Before you head for the start line, all drivers and passengers climbing the hill today MUST attend a briefing before entering the hill. The first briefing will take place at 9-30 a.m. and further briefings will be held throughout the day as required.
As of this morning, we have 397 climbs pre-booked, out of a likely maximum on the day of around 475. The exact number of climbs that we can fit in to the day depends on a number of factors including the weather, whether we have any ‘red flags’, but mainly depends on maintaining the flow of cars to the start line from the moment the hill opens at 10 a.m. There is a lunch break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and the hill closes at 4 p.m. sharp. So if you have booked multiple climbs, do make sure to start using them in the morning so that everyone will have a good chance of making their climbs. If you still have a climb to make at 3-30 p.m., you should head for the start line gate at that time, because the hill WILL close at 4 on the dot, regardless of how many cars are still in the queue! The start line and everything trackside are managed by the Prescott Marshals, and we must abide by their rules if we are to be welcomed back next year!
We do not time the climbs but there is noting to stop you timing your own climbs. The hill record is held by Jos Goodyear, who set a time of 35.51 seconds on 7 September 2014 in his GWR Raptor Extreme. Jos will have nothing to worry about – even if we were timing our climbs! However, if you are a true speed junkie, we will have four fabulous modern supercars at the hill, including an iconic Ferrari 458, and we will be raffling a run in each of them in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust. Buy your tickets in the morning because the draw will take place immediately following the auction in the lunch break and the climbs will take place in the afternoon.
Right now we have 148 cars entered for the day and entries are still open. So if you would like to enter and drive this historic hill, we suggest you enter as soon as possible while there are still climbs left to allocate.
VMR Summer Rally 2015. The rallyists witness the Stanway gravity fountain in all its glory.
Our Sunday Navigation Rally and Scenic Tour will take place just four weeks today! Pre-War Prescott is the highlight of the Vintage Minor Register’s Summer Rally weekend which will start on Friday evening at the Royal Oak at Gretton (all welcome) and end with a farewell run out to the Pheasant at Toddington (all welcome too!). Both hostelries have been warned of our visits and will lay in extra beer for us! And of course, the kitchens will be ready to provide is with more substantial sustenance.
On the Sunday after Pre-War Prescott, we traditionally hold a tour around the Gloucestershire area which is rich in history and incredibly scenic. This year, we will start bright and early as usual from the Paddock at Prescott (where bacon butties and fresh teas and coffee will be available for those who missed breakfast!). The Navigation Rallyists will be handed their route and clue cards and the Scenic Tourists will receive their Tour Handbooks which will contain clear route instructions. Only the Navigation Rallyists will require maps – OS 150 and 162 this year.
The route this year will take us west from Prescott into an area we have not explored before and lunch has been arranged for us at an ancient and quirky pub out that way. In the afternoon we will circle back eastward, ending up at Stanway House for traditional cream teas, results, awards and our own private viewing of the incredible 300 foot gravity fountain – the tallest and most spectacular in western Europe. By courtesy of Lord Weymms, owner of Stanway, we will also be able to par our cars in the courtyard directly in front of the gorgeous Jacobean House for photographs. There can be fewer more idyllic settings in all England.
Right now, we have a fantastic entry of 55 cars for Sunday, and our limit is 60, so there are just FIVE more places to allocate, so if you would like to make a weekend of it, I recommend you put in your entry as soon as you can.
As for Pre-War Prescott, entries are still arriving daily – the latest being a Tamplin and a 1921 Grahame White, a brace of M Types and a Hillman Aero. Keep them coming!
Finally for this post, a couple more lots have been added to the auction page on this website. We’ll be holding our auction in the lunch break on Saturday, with the proceeds going to the sellers and the commissions generously donated by Hereford Vintage Auctions to the RAF Charitable Trust. Before the day we are expecting many more lots to be added, so keep an eye on the link as the weekend approaches, and please submit your lots as soon as possible.
There are just 28 days to go to Pre-War Prescott 2017! Planing will be an almost full-time job between now and the weekend. The tickets are being printed this weekend and ticketing will commence next week. But it is NOT too late to enter. As of this morning, we have an impressive entry of 141 for Saturday and 54 for Sunday. 382 climbs have been allocated, we have 76 booked for the evening BBQ and 91 cream teas for Sunday!
And of course there will be plenty of catering options available throughout the day on Saturday at Prescott. The Clubhouse will be serving meals all day, the bar will be open all day, and there will be snacks and cold drinks available in the Paddock. Alternatively, you are more than welcome to bring along a picnic hamper!
Everyone is warmly invited to gather at the Royal Oak in Gretton, just a couple of miles from Prescott, on Friday evening. The Royal Oak is superbly located, offering views along the Cotswold escarpment and across to the Malverns. It has a huge car park and offers great food and fine local ales. It is the perfect venue for us and a great way to kick off the weekend with old friends and new.
We have a record number of trade stands this year, and a record number of supporting clubs and registers. We are expecting a unique gathering of cyclecars this year as well as GN’s and early Morgans. We also have a superb Edwardian entry lineup this year for the first time.
Another first for Pre-War Prescott this year will be the raffling of runs up the hill in four drop-dead gorgeous supercars, being brought along by Cotswold Motorsport and HR Owen. Four climbs will be raffled through the day and the draw will take place immediately after the lunchtime auction. All funds raised will be donated to the RAF Charitable Trust, our nominated charity.
Talking of runs up the hill, it might be worth mentioning that the unique formula of Pre-War Prescott which permits passengers, including children, to climb the hill is the perfect way to introduce newcomers to our sport, including those of the next generation, without whom, our passion for early cars will die. With the pressures of modernity encroaching on our sport in every way, there has never been a time when this has been more important. So please, if you have a spare seat, offer that seat to bystanders at the start line, and especially the dedicated Cadets of the Air Training Corps who support us every year. Those under 18 will have had indemnity forms already signed by their parents or guardians before the day and will also have had their safety briefing, as witnessed by their blue wristbands.
Of course, we will be supported by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight once again. This year they are bringing their historic 1942 Douglas C-47 Dakota ZA947. The type was immortalized by the massed parachute jumps that were a vital tactical element of the D-Day landings at Normandy. The RAF Charitable Trust, the Royal Air Force Association and the Air Training Corps will also be joining us on the day.
If you have not yet entered and are thinking of doing so, please get your entries in now without further delay. The task of ticketing is not in any way insignificant and I will be starting it next week. We can always accept late entries and you can even simply turn up on the day and pay at the gate, but it makes everything much easier if we know who is coming in advance – from parking to catering, etc. And if you turn up on the day, the likelihood is that there will be no climb tickets left.
And so to Saturday evening. Ciaran is all set to put on another sumptuous spread for us at the Clubhouse. You should order your tickets in advance using the entry form, so that we can give Ciaran good numbers to work with, but I will also have a few spare tickets with me on Saturday if you change your mind at the last minute! Mike Dowley of Sports & Vintage Motors has once again generously sponsored the weekend and will be entertaining us in the evening with his jazz band at the evening buffet BBQ at the Clubhouse.
In other news, the writing of the Souvenir Programme is well under way and another bumper issue is in store. Every entrant will receive a free copy at the gate. Additional copies will be on sale throughout the day. Collector’s items in the making!
Spectators. Of course, spectators are invited! At just £25 per car, which includes all occupants, this is surely tremendous value. Spectators have full access to the Paddock and the hill path which offers some spectacular vantage points all the way to the finishing line. You can pre-book or simply turn up on the day and pay at the gate. You will be parked in the Orchard, directly adjacent to the start line. And you will have every opportunity to climb the hill in a passenger seat!
See you very soon!