A site for the news and history of the RCSMC and their pride and joy Jezebel

Author: Edward (Knifey) Stow

Dennis Vehicle Extravaganza at Rural Life Living Museum

Jezebel was invited to join her kin at a show just for Dennis vehicles old and new at the Rural Life Living museum. The plan was to make it a day trip, leave nice and early, minimal stops on the way and spend as much time as possible interrogating other Dennis owners on who they get to repair their radiators. But that plan would be partially foiled by the po-po on the A3. Just as we left the A3 at Surbiton for a water stop the police officers asked us to pull over – no sirens, just a polite request from down within the open window of a police car.

They were not best pleased – they were scared for the passengers and like most officers they found it hard to wrap their heads around people sitting on Jez’s back. In fairness they did see a HGV make a particularly bad and close over take on the A3… but that’s a reason to pull them over, not us, right?

So there we were, driver waiting to see if they’d have a licence by the end of this interaction, and unsure if they’d force us on public transport while Jez is ‘recovered’ back to Imperial. Luckily the officers were able to admit their inability to properly assess the safety and legality of the situation, unfortunately this meant waiting for a specialist officer to arrive instead. This delayed us somewhat…. Once this specialist had arrived they soon resigned themselves to the fact that a 1916 fire engine is still legal, and given those are the seats, people can sit on them. But a compromise was made in the interest of everyone getting along – we would stick off the big duel carriage ways (a relief really, I don’t think we we’re gonna like the A3 getting any bigger than it was when we pulled off).

After establishing we weren’t a danger to traffic the police couldn’t resist a photo!

The rest of the driving was joyfully uneventful, so we made it to the show, fashionably late as always.

We saw many vehicles from LP8370 to DU179, to Mr Dennis’s VCC Dennis, and Dennis’ latest electric and hydrogen powered coaches. There were even an array of new and old Dennis lawn-mowers.

Jezebel enjoying the event with her fellow N-types LP8370 and DU179.

After much time basking in the sun, getting recommendations for various suppliers and peering into all manor of vehicle the time came for us to hurry home before it was too dark and gloomy. The trip back entailed far fewer police officers and Jez was back in the garage ready for a day of Great Exhibition Road Festival Alumni Tours the next day.

The Run from Imperial

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)

Hello world!

The Union have said they are no longer going to host clubs and societies websites, this decision in our opinion is dumb, but alas the RCSA to the rescue. They have graciously agreed to host our website so we can continue to maintain a functioning web presence and publicly accessible information about the club, Jezebel, and Dennis fire engine in general.

Now in better news, how about a new old photo, or an ‘old’ new photo?

Photo of Jezebel taken on a period early 1900s camera.

This was taken with Eric’s new-old toy, after repairing the tripod, cutting new frame glass, fixing several other problems and then spending upwards of 30 minutes just trying to get Jezebel in focus, here we are – and I think it came out quote well too. Jez is mid 500 mile service – there’s no slowing down progress for photography (well there was a little, the exposure time was 45 seconds!).