Tel: 01582 793 449


A tricky decision

Wednesday 18th February 2015

As the years go by, spare parts for my cars are becoming increasingly difficult to find. The Vintage Austin Register is a club for owners and enthusiasts and it is a good source of spares. They arrange the manufacture of many of the most commonly needed items and this has worked well for many years. Until now, such items have been relatively mundane and modestly-priced. However, the technical experts on the committee have identified a critical shortage of useable cylinder blocks, which are large, heavy lumps of cast iron without which the car is fit only for the scrap heap. The problem is that the original moulds have long-since been thrown away and the technical drawings were destroyed in a…

view more »

Wedding Fair

Monday 2nd February 2015

The other day I had a phone call from the father of a bride who has booked one of the vintage cars for her wedding in October. Oh dear, I thought, has she changed her mind and wants to cancel? But no, it turns out he is involved with Porters Park golf club in Radlett and wondered if I would like to take a car to their forthcoming wedding fair in March. My marketing budget is extremely limited. In fact Angela Merkel would smile with approval of my self-imposed austerity regime. I am already committed to attend a wedding fair at the Alban Arena on 22nd March so the thought of paying for a stand at another fair just a week…

view more »

Its getting chilly!

Sunday 18th January 2015

After a very nice lunch in St Albans today we took a stroll around the city centre to blow away the cobwebs. As my fingers slowly turned to ice and all feeling disappeared from my toes, it seems winter has finally arrived. Whilst walking around the Cathedral, my mind went back to the weddings I attended there last year and the bitter cold reminded me why I shy away from winter weddings. Sitting in warm sunshine, gazing over the Abbey Orchard, awaiting the appearance of the bride and groom, is wonderful. It is, however, most unappealing to be shivering in a frozen car, during the bleak winter months. Equally unappealing is the thought of crawling under a car brandishing a…

view more »

Happy New Year

Thursday 1st January 2015

Well, it is the start of a new year; let's hope it a good one! As usual, I am starting the year with a few bookings for 2015, but there are lots of empty spaces in the diary. The same thing happened last year, but a steady flow of enquiries in February and March ensured I finished up with lots of weddings throughout the summer. Looking back, I was lucky to meet some really nice people and have a lot of fun driving the vintage cars. My trips included two visits to St Albans Abbey, which is one of my favourite wedding venues, and two visits to Brocket Hall, which is excellent for great photographs. I somehow managed to avoid…

view more »

Thank you!

Sunday 30th November 2014

I thought our first Christmas card had arrived yesterday when a small envelope dropped through the letterbox. The envelope was about the right size and it had that rigid feel to it that a letter doesn't have. Upon ripping it open, I found it was actually a thank you card from a lovely couple who used my car for their wedding at the beginning of this month. Some customers leave the car at their reception without a word. No goodbye and no thank you. I suppose this is understandable when they are swept up in the excitement of the day, but it leaves me a bit deflated and there is no feeling of a job well done as I drive home.…

view more »

An eventful day out

Sunday 2nd November 2014

That's it for another year! The cars went out yesterday for the last weddings of 2015 and the diary is now empty until next March. Now I have time for the maintenance and renovation jobs that I couldn't tackle whilst the cars were on wedding duty. My last wedding was certainly eventful. I arrived at the Manor Hotel in Elstree to find a crowd of people outside who were clearly delighted to see the vintage Austin. They asked me to pull up outside the front door and then proceeded to photograph each other, posing in front of the car. It turned out to be a meeting of a group of Dennis Wheatly fans on a trip to the hotel, which…

view more »

Busy weekend

Sunday 5th October 2014

This weekend has been hectic. I took one of the cars to a wedding in Harpenden on Saturday and I must admit to feelings of misgiving as I drove away from Redbourn in the pouring rain. The deluge persisted but nobody in the wedding party was disheartened and their positive attitude was rewarded when the skies cleared and the sun came out just as we pulled up at the reception. Everyone was very sociable and I enjoyed the day. I hope they were happy with the car. On Sunday I took the New Zealand car to a wedding fair at the Alban Arena which turned out to be a popular event. The glorious sunshine and the St Albans food fair taking…

view more »

Tour of Britain

Wednesday 17th September 2014

Last week we visited Hemel Hempstead to watch the cyclists in the Tour of Britain finish the penultimate stage of the race. Gadebridge Park was a hive of activity with a host of trade stands intermingled with ice cream and fast food sellers. A big screen was broadcasting the race so we could follow the progress of the cyclists as they peddled hell for leather through the Chilterns towards Hemel. This was all great fun and an expectant buzz went around the crowd as the leading group swept down the hill from Potten End and sprinted for the finish line on the Leighton Buzzard Road. Then 'whoooosh' they flashed past us at lightning speed and the race was over. The teams…

view more »

Heavy Traffic

Sunday 31st August 2014

August has been a particularly busy month and the cars have been out and about every weekend. There have also been some weekday weddings which have kept me occupied. In fact, I took a car out to a wedding in Watford last Wednesday. I know Watford can be congested on a Saturday but I was amazed at the amount of traffic on the roads on a mid-week lunchtime. The reception was at the Bobsleigh Inn in Bovingdon, just outside Hemel Hempstead and I planned to go through central Watford and then head northwards to Hemel Hempstead along the old A41. Sadly, central Watford was gridlocked and surrounding roads were busy due to an accident on the M25 as well as…

view more »

Too young for Whitby

Sunday 29th June 2014

June has been a busy month with seven weddings. That may not sound many but it's a lot for a 'one man band' business like mine. August will be even busier with eight weddings already in the diary. But, for some strange reason, there is only one booking in July, so now is the time to think about getting away for a few days. We had been thinking of a break in Whitby but Pat went onto Google Streetview to have a virtual look around the place and she was dismayed to see the place seemed to be populated by "old people". Regardless of the fact that she is the proud holder of a bus pass and I shall…

view more »

A fine day in Ruislip

Sunday 22nd June 2014

I drove a bride from Watford to her wedding in Ruislip on Friday. It is quite a journey, about as far as I travel for weddings, but I am really glad I took the job. From start to finish, the families and guests couldn't have been friendlier. We were all immediately on first name terms and chatting away as if they had known me for years. We started out a little early so I drove along at a fairly sedate speed. Annoyingly, there were no delays along the route and all the traffic lights seemed to be green so we reached Ruislip High Street much too early. The bride suggested we pull over to kill some time, just as we were…

view more »

Here comes the sun

Sunday 8th June 2014

I had been keeping a close check on the weather forecast throughout last week; a Met Office amber warning for heavy rain on Saturday along with predictions of thunder and lightning made me fear the worst. Sure enough, Saturday morning brought grey skies and a steady downpour. We had cars at two weddings and it looked as if we were going to get very wet. It doesn't matter too much if the cars and chauffeurs have to be dried off after the event but it must be so disappointing for the brides. I went to the check on the cars mid-morning and the rain was relentless. But, by midday, when I left home for the wedding, the rain had stopped…

view more »