New South Wales Branch - Early memories

by long-term member Helen Andrews

Helen Andrews - long-standing member and past Chairman of the New South Wales Branch of the Armstrong Siddley Car Club

These memories are of necessity, personal; but they well illustrate the large part that the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club has played in my life since 1971. Note that names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

Monthly meetings at Ryde Civic Centre with 40 plus members present, lines of gleaming Armstrong Siddeleys in the car park and suppers (to die for) catered by Nan McMinn (1)

Driving around in the 236 on Sunday afternoons and telling my mother that we were not going home until we saw another Armstrong Siddeley on the road. We nearly always did as there were a lot more in everyday use then and in any event, Peter Hills and his mother were doing likewise in the Hurricane.

Annual weekend camping trips in the 1970s to Lake Conjola on the New South Wales South Coast where too much red wine was drunk around the campfire.

Organising the 1977 Cootamundra Federal Rally with the two Peters (Hills and Woodward). This was good practice for the Bathurst 2009 Federal Rally - some people never learn.

Being thrown fully clothed into the motel pool at the Deniliquin Rally by some South Australians during one of the infamous after dinner drinks parties at Lee Rodda's room.

Watching Frank Hammond make roadside repairs to the "double bass" Whitley (2) on almost all the Sydney outings while his ever patient housekeeper Mrs. Burton, watched and pacified the three black poodles who went everywhere with them in the Whitley.

New member Alan Purss who did not have an Armstrong Siddeley to take to the Federal Rally in 1972 but who managed to squeeze himself, Val and four children into my 236 while I played the Lady and had copious room in my white Sapphire Mk2.

A number of older well-dressed gentlemen such as Armand Frisee and Tom Leafe who always looked the part in their Sapphires.

Peter Hills, a long-term New South Wales Branch member and current webmaster of the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club with his son Simon after completing a Club event in 1986 (1) Nan still makes a great supper.

(2) Frank played the double bass in the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and had modified the Whitley to carry it by cutting a large hole behind the back seat so that the bass could be accommodated in the boot.

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