At the beginning of July the group arranged a trip to Hanningfield Reservoir meeting at the Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre – parking was in the shady but dusty car park (car washing was required afterwards). The group had an enjoyable walk through the 402-hectare nature reserve but they were surprised how little wildlife they saw. Some of the group captured pictures of ducks and the few insects they found.
In view of the good weather another photo trip was planned for a trip to Chelmsford where there was less walking and more coffee shops and lots of subjects to photograph.
With the group leader being absent the meeting at the Kings Hall on the 16th July was led by Philip Snell who provided a special automotive display in the car park.
Yes, the car was the “star”. A 1960 Triumph TR3A, two litres with twin 1-3/4 inch SU carburettors which was fully restored about eight years ago and then hardly used until I captured it early last year. It was launched primarily to compete in the rally scene as it was then. The car was delivered with around a hundred brake horsepower and a hundred miles per hour. The hand-brake is a flyaway type, that is to say, that its operation is in reverse to normal so you can use it to throw the back out on a tight turn without the ratchet holding it. Having said that, using that power and agility on our local roads with rear wheel drive is not a good idea, very exhilarating, but definitely not a good idea!
This was the car that I saw in my mid-teens and only dreamt of owning. Brands Hatch racing circuit is also my favourite track ever, so, for my last birthday I drove it around the short circuit of Brands Hatch with my partner Yvonne; a dream come true. Also when this magical piece of automotive engineering came off the production line, I was only twelve years old. Life’s good, very good.
I wonder if more of our members have something similar in years tucked away? Perhaps a new U3A activity.
Stop Press: Since this article was written Phil has exhibited the TR3A at the recent Tillingham Show and is now the proud holder of the Donald Hewitt Memorial Trophy. Phil, car and trophy are shown in the photo below. DG