Sid Armstrong's BLOG - December 2014

Sid Armstrong, a proud member of the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia

Some end-of year Club Outings

I've ended 2014 by travelling to a couple fo Club functions with President Tony and First Lady Tina.

I grumped a bit because we didn’t travel in either of the Carter Sapphires - Tony offered the usual excuse, they were being seen by Dr Siddeley. His Sapphires must be the most pampered beasts in any stable!

The first club function was the NSW Branch Christmas Party held at John Graham’s retreat in the Yarramalong Valley. We spent two memorable nights at this beautiful place hosted by John and Leslie and we indulged in a great spread to celebrate Christmas at the party.
John is passionate about several car makes and I renewed my relationship with a couple of Standard Vanguards. During the fifties and sixties I often used Vanguard vehicles for my work. They had very strong construction, but could resort to two wheels on corners, which was a little unsettling even when I was sober.

Fortunately in John’s collection are Armstrong Siddeley cars, my first love. The Mendip gleamed and the Sapphire shone to bring me back to a red wine induced reverie. What more happiness can an old man have - remember Dear Reader, I was born in 1919.

I had a memorable weekend - it was all great fun!

A fortnight later we were on the road again, this time heading to Canberra. Two hailstorms lashed us as we drove along the Hume Highway. A lovely green Jaguar and a Rolls Royce were seen unhappily surrounded by light ice on the side of the road. We finally arrived at Geoff and Doreen Tuckwells after a long, slow journey and I was feeling very tired, Dear Geoff immediately understood how I was feeling and showed me to my usual accommodation. Camping beside his beautiful Hurricane once again, I was soon in a restful slumber.

Next day I settled down to read Penn’s last book ‘ARMSTRONG SIDDELEY CARS The Complete Collection 1919-1960’. I was a little miffed not receiving a mention - but these oversights do sometimes happen. That night, totally refreshed, we all went to the ACT Branch Christmas Party. This was a really great occasion with many ASCC Members and their families joining with the Rover Club to celebrate the joy of friendship and Christmas.

On Sunday I was again in seventh heaven even though suffering a slight headache from drinking too much Punch the night before! I travelled in Geoff Tuckwell’s Hurricane to the Terribly British Day.

I must say, Dear Reader, that the Armstrong Siddeley display on the day consisted of eight excellent cars, all stimulating discussion amongst visitors about the marque.

I think I spied this lovely Jaguar while we were driving the Hume Highway. It is certainly a grand car.

There were many interesting cars to be seen. The Austins always fascinate me and also there was a pristine Bullnose Morris on display. The terms Bullnose, Flatnose and Snubnose are used to describe the radiator shape of the Morris Oxford and Morris Cowley cars produced by William Morris. The story of William Morris - who later became Lord Nuffield is well worth reading.

I was also reunited again with some Vanguard cars, including the second Vanguard Sportsman seen in a fortnight.

There were apparently only thirteen Sportsman brought into Australia, one more than the select dozen 4Lt Sapphires.

In the afternoon we travelled back to Quirindi via Young calling in for some cherries as the Cherry Festival was on the same weekend. What further joy I had as I greedily indulged in fresh cherries all the way back home.

I would like to extend my thanks to John and Leslie for their hospitality over the weekend, to Doreen and Geoff Tuckwell for looking after me in Canberra and to Tony and Tina for allowing me to be their travelling companion.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you all,