Eighty enthusiasts take part in a vintage and classic car rally across beautiful South Leicestershire

Owners came from as far away as West Sussex and the New Forest

Monday, 17th August 2020, 1:38 pm
The Welland Valley Wander first classic car rally this year at Stoughton airport. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Eighty enthusiasts took part in a vintage and classic car rally across beautiful South Leicestershire on Sunday.

Owners came from as far away as West Sussex and the New Forest to get together and enjoy the 110-mile Welland Valley Wander.

And to make the showstopping run-out even more special it was the first event of its kind to be held anywhere in the country since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in March.

Click here to view the photos of the event.

Organiser Andrew Duerden, 67, said: “This was the eighth year we’ve run this and it was fantastic.

“It was so good to get out and about exploring our magnificent countryside after being locked down for so many months.”

Andrew, of Great Glen, added: “We had vintage cars dating back before 1930 taking part as well as classic vehicles up until the mid-1980s.

“Our oldest car was an incredible 100-year-old Vauxhall 30-98 sports car.

“This little beauty packs a powerful 4.2-litre engine and could hit 100mph back in the 1920s.”

Drivers set off at 9.30am from Leicester Airport at Stoughton and stopped for a quick refreshment break at Launde Abbey.

They tucked into a picnic lunch at Burghley House, Stamford, before heading back south and finishing at Sywell Aerodrome, near Moulton, from about 3pm onwards.

“We just about missed Sunday afternoon’s biblical thunderstorms, which was a huge relief,” said Andrew, a photo archivist.

“It was great to see everyone come together, classic and vintage car drivers form a brilliant tight-knit community.

“We are the first rally to go ahead since the lockdown was implemented five months ago.

“I usually navigate in these events overseas and love them all but I’ve already missed nine this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We all kept our social distance and wore our masks or visors on Sunday to be on the safe side.

“The Welland Valley Wander is all about unlocking the fabulous secrets of our amazing local countryside – and everyone goes home with a big smile on their face.”

And it’s not just about getting behind the wheel as participants, who pay £75 each to enter, also pour thousands of pounds into Leicester’s Loros hospice charity.

“We raised £4,700 for Loros last year and will generate over £3,000 this summer.

“That means we’ll have topped £25,000 for this outstanding cause since we started out eight years ago,” said Andrew.

“We explore a different route across South Leicestershire and Rutland every year.

“So I’m already starting to prepare and map out next year’s course – and I cannot wait!”