In 2023 the HCVS couldn’t get their act together to host a Brighton Run that worked around some old bloke receiving a fancy hat. But no worries, because we made our own run!

On the 29th of April 2023 we hosted the inaugural ‘Run From Imperial’. The idea was simple: we invite all the alumni and anyone else with a tenuous link to the club to bring their own old piles of rust, and some less old piles of whatever material modern cars are made of, I’ll assume plastic. The Rural life living museum was kind enough to be our destination, and Imperial College Sports ground was our start (got to avoid that ULEZ).

We has hoped Clem would make it but her engine was not assembled yet, and for Bo, well it was a nice idea but with exams coming up students didn’t have the time to do what would effectively be a full Brighton-Run preparation for Bo.

At the start line I presented everyone with the most useless directions possible while still being technically correct. As an example the first section was written in badly drawn tulip maps (hand edited at Harlington that morning to account for unforeseen road closures).

The 12 cars (and union minibus) then took to the roads, and I think I can fairly say more than half of them got lost at some point or another. Perfect! That was all a cunning plan to slow them down since Jez was clearly going to be the slowest vehicle of the bunch. It worked so well until the navigator and driver failed to turn right into the first planned stop and had to loop back round.

The drive went without any major problems – just the usual leaks, but by the time we arrived at the museum everyone had an opinion on how to interpret passing on the ‘Rose and Thistle’s port side’. Most were wrong, and as much as that is an opinion, I wrote the route so by definition my opinion is the correct one.

We enjoyed our time at the museum where yet more alumni came to say hi. The narrow gauge railway was ridden and DU179 (a recent acquisition at the museum from Dennis Apprentices) was closely inspected.

As the museum closed fancy brass plaques were handed out – it’s not a proper run without some proper brass! The entrant vehicles were judged inside and out based on the most important of categories such as ‘Most visible rust’ and ‘least comfortable seating’. The overall winner was Tom Poskitt’s ‘The Vehicle Formerly Mistakenly Known as Penny-Marsh’, now sometimes know as Anne.

Tom Poskitt’s ‘The Vehicle Formerly Mistakenly Known as Penny-Marsh’, now sometimes know as Anne. First prize winner at the 1st Run From Imperial (2023)

The next stop was dinner, and yet another alumnus arrived. It’s amazing how difficult it is too book for 30 guests 2 days before an event. But the Kings Head pulled though and much food was had.

From there it was back to the garage – it was cold and Kris got his photo taken. We haven’t heard anything about that since though, so that’s good.

Vehicles lined up at Harlington Sports ground, from the back, for the start of the 1st Run From Imperial (2023)