Boanerges leaves for Brighton

Boanerges leaving Hyde Park at sunrise.

Please note: This is a guide to the VCC London to Brighton run and as such timings and other details vary from year to year. If you are interested in going please contact the club (jez@ic.ac.uk) for more information.

Jezebel travels from London to Brighton and back twice each year. In November she lends her support to Boanerges who, with a birth-year of 1902, is eligible to participate in the famous “London to Brighton Veteran Car Run“.

The 60-mile (each way) event sees over 500 veteran cars, all built before 1905, travel to Brighton. The run, which used to be considered a “race” involving many motor racing stars, replicates an identical run which took place in 1905 to celebrate the repeal of a law which required someone to walk infront of any motor car waving a red flag.

How and when?

The November Brighton run takes place on the first Sunday in November. We drive all the way there and back, unlike many vehicles who return home on trailers.

To take part in the November Brighton run, you need to buy the relevant ticket for the event in Jezebel’s online shop. Please make sure that you can attend the 06:15 start! The event normally costs £15 per person (including fuel and a superb cooked breakfast).

Why Should I Go to Brighton on Jez?

Many of the cars are powered by steam

Many of the cars are powered by steam

The November Brighton Run is the first big adventure that new students take part in with Jezebel. It’s an early start and a late finish, but the day is extremely rewarding. The sight of 500 veteran cars, many powered by steam, getting waved through every red traffic light on the way out of London is not to be missed.

It is estimated that over half a million people line the route to Brighton to watch the vehicles go past, and given Jezebel’s uniqueness in comparison to the smaller cars there are plenty of spectators, young and old, to wave at along the way.

Such is the popularity of the Brighton Run that many people choose to go on an open-top bus along with the veteran cars. Tickets on these buses normally cost around £90, so it’s much cheaper (not to mention more exciting) for students to ride on Jezebel!

Plus, there’s the all-inclusive BJ’s breakfast – which always manages to beat all expectations…

What do I eat, and what happens in Brighton?

Soggy club members enjoy a "BJ's breakfast"

Soggy club members enjoy a "BJ's breakfast"

Breakfast

Food is a big part of the Brighton Run. It is usual for alumni BJ to offer a free breakfast to all participants en-route. We say offer, however there generally isn’t too much choice! Masses of food, which has previously included such delights as kippers and battered haggis alongside the traditional “full english”, are piled onto plates… which is normally enough to stop people moaning about the early start (if only so that they have time to moan about being too full!). If you enjoy it as much as we do, you’ll most likely have your name down for May Brighton before we’ve even left BJ’s kitchen.

The display of cars in Brighton is spectacular

The display of cars in Brighton is spectacular

Lunch

Upon arrival in Brighton we usually park up at a pub named “Bird in Hand”, since Jezebel is not able to join Boanerges at the finishing point on Madeira Drive. Some members choose to have a rest in the pub, have a drink and perhaps even some food although many will head to Madeira Drive to congratulate Bo’ and take a closer look at the other vehicles. There’s also a lot of food stands by the beach and a large contingent usually have fish and chips!

Dinner

On the way home, we generally seek refuge in a pub on the way back. We grab a nice meal in a lovely setting to round off the day.

Planned Schedule

Below are the planned timings for the day. As always, things might change and vehicles might break down.

Estimated Time Plan
06:00 Meet at the Garages for vehicle preparation.
06:15 Get Jez out of her Garage.
06:40 Depart College for Hyde Park.
07:00 Watch some Veteran Cars leave Hyde Park, wave off Bo’ then jump on Jez to get going!
09:00 Stop for Breakfast at BJ’s house in Coulsden South.
13:00 – 14:00 Arrive in Brighton, have lunch.
16:30 Leave Brighton.
18:30 Stop for usual Pub lunch.
22:00 Arrive back in South Kensington, just in time for last orders at the bar.

Does it usually go to plan?

Some of the cars don't make it to Brighton

Some of the cars don't make it to Brighton

Sometimes, yes. More often, no. We’ve done everything on the way back from Brighton, from running a big end bearing to spraying the wheels to cool them down. The run can be a little unpredictable, but that’s part of the fun!

We’ve even appeared in a national newspaper accused of “Holding up the Bank Holiday traffic” after a clever photographer saw us stall and have to try re-starting her on a dual carriageway!

What should I wear?

The November Brighton run is, well, in November. It can be cold, and sometimes wet. It’s also usually very dark on the way back (which makes things even more fun). When choosing what to wear, plan for the weather. Waterproofs are advisable, and normally several layers (and even gloves and a warm hat) are too.

Remember that you will also be wearing a tunic. If it rains then they do soak up a lot of water, but they are very warm and very windproof. If you have a light waterproof jacket then the chances are that you will actually be able to wear it underneath your tunic.

What if it rains?

Team Bo have the right idea: scarves and warm jackets!

Team Bo have the right idea: scarves and warm jackets!

Jezebel can travel in all weather, apart from snow (where the wheels/brakes don’t work) and hail (which hurts). Other than this, Jez does get wet… along with any crew travelling on her at the time.

We will normally book a minibus for Brighton with enough capacity to carry most attendees, so there is always somewhere to seek refuge from the rain. We only usually have two planned change-overs on the way there and back, making six “legs” of the journey in total, but this could be reviewed if it’s decided that we need to make more changes on the day.

It is advisable to keep mobile phones and other things that don’t like water in a waterproof bag, either on or (even better) inside Jezebel.

Does Jez need any preparation?

There is usually a garage/workshop session the day before the Brighton Run, when any outstanding tasks are carried out and the 100-mile maintenance is carried out. It is sometimes also a good idea to carry out the 500-mile maintenance.

Since Jezebel is not formally judged in the November Brighton (like the May Brighton) and is likely to get wet, we tend not to polish her before this event. It is still important that she is presentable, though, and attaching the Imperial College London banners is a good way to publicise the club.

If enough members are willing to do so (and Jezebel is working), there is often a trip out for a curry in the evening. We recommend Little India on Gloucester Road or Kwality Tandoori near South Kensington Station.