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First  recorded UK car journey is marked with historic plaque 

Evelyn Ellis drove the first documented motor car journey in 1895 leaving Micheldever Station, near Winchester, Hampshire on a 45 mile journey to the village of Datchet in Berkshire. The journey took eight hours and 14 minutes.

 

Evelyn was driving a new 4hp Panhard and Levassor car which had been shipped from Paris to Southampton and on to Micheldever for the journey. He was constantly on the look-out for the police during the drive as he regularly broke the then speed limit of 2 mph in towns and 4 mph in the countryside. It is said he hoped to be stopped so he could start a test case against the unreasonably low speed limit.

 

A plaque to mark the event has been installed by the National Transport Trust at Micheldever railway station and the unveiling was watched by many vintage car enthusiasts on Saturday 3 July 2021.

 

The original car is still in existence housed in the Science Museum collection.

 

News from the DfT ... standard petrol is changing to E10 very soon 

  This summer the standard petrol grade in the UK will become E10. Currently, UK petrol is E5, meaning it contains up to 5% bioethanol. E10 petrol will see the amount of bioethanol increase to 10%. 

Petrol cars manufactured after 2011 and most modern motorcycles are E10 compatible. However, around 5% of petrol vehicles made before 2011 will need to continue to use E5 petrol which will remain available as the super grade petrol option at the pumps. 

Using E10 fuel in an incompatible petrol vehicle will not cause immediate harm but its continued use could damage the engine’s parts. If in doubt about the compatibility of your vehicle, use the online E10 vehicle checker or seek further advice from the vehicle manufacturer or garage.

 Check if your vehicle is compatibe with E10 petrol at:-

www.gov.uk/E10checker

Euro symbols and a new British Standard for number plates 

 

From 1 January 2021 it is no longer permissible to fix a new number plate displaying a Euro symbol to a vehicle. Number plates already fixed to vehicles are unaffected.

 Also a new British Standard, BS AU 145e, for number plates produced from 1 September 2021 becomes mandatory and coincides with the ‘71’ plate introduction.

 The main changes relate to the space between the bottom of the registration mark and any other mark must not be less than 7 millimetres, dealer logos (at the bottom centre of the plate) can only be one shade of a non-reflecting colour and be between 3 and 10mm high (inclusive), and optional borders must be 5mm or thinner in width, can only be one shade of a non-reflecting colour and must not infringe closer than 10mm from the edge of any registration digit.

 

Black & Silver number plate regulations ... DVLA confirms the new rules 

 New rules were introduced on 1 January 2021 affecting the ability of vehicles registered in the historic class to display old style pre-1973 black & silver number plates.

 Following the change in definition of an historic vehicle for vehicle tax exemption purposes in 2015, an issue was identified in the regulatory requirements for the valid display of a black & silver number plate. This resulted in an unintended consequence where any vehicle over 40 years old and registered in the historic tax class would be permitted to display an old style black & silver number plate. This was despite the law previously requiring all vehicles first registered after 1 January 1973 to only display yellow & white number plates with black characters.

As this was never the intention, the DVLA has sought to rectify this through a legal correction which prevents any vehicle constructed after 1 January 1980 from displaying a black & silver number plate despite being recorded in the DVLA’s historic tax class. Those vehicles with a construction date prior to 1 January 1980 will continue to be able to legally display black & silver number plates to avoid any undue costs of replacement.

 

Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs invites museums to join its directory 

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) was formed in 1988 and for the past 33 years has protected and maintained the right of UK citizens to use ‘yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads’.

Historic Vehicles are formally recognised by the UK Government when they attain an age of 40 years.

The FBHVC successfully represents historic vehicle clubs and has recently been inviting museums to join its directory and tell enthusiasts of the exciting displays and activities they offer. The directory is being continually updated so if you’re looking for an interesting day out, just take a look at what the museums have to offer. As so many museums have been closed due to Covid-19 for so long, the FBHVC is sure enthusiasts will value the opportunity to get out in their vehicles and seek Covid-19 compliant venues.

A full list of participating museums can be found at:-

https://www.fbhvc.co.uk/museums  

 

The Queen of the Nurburgring, Sabine Schmitz passed away on 16 March 2021 aged 51 ... RIP Sabine

Sabine was a German professional motor racing driver, driving for both BMW and Porsche. She was the only woman driver to win the Nurburgring 24 hour race in 1996 and 1997 in the touring car class driving a BMW M3. Known also as the 'world's fastest taxi driver' she was renowned for taking visitors on rapid laps of the Nurburgring in a BMW M5 and claims to have driven round that circuit more than 20,000 times.

She will also be remembered for appearances on BBC TV's 'Top Gear' in 2004 and co-hosting the show with Chris Evans in 2016. 

 

The voice of F1, Murray Walker OBE, passed away on 13 March 2021 at the age of 97 ... RIP Murray

Murray commentated on his first grand prix at Silverstone in 1949 and he became a full-time commentator for the BBC in 1978. Later he moved to ITV and and by the time he retired in 2001 he had covered over 350 events. He was respected by drivers and fans alike and many motor sport legends have paid wonderful tributes to him.

Murray's early career was in advertising and he worked for Dunlop, Aspro and Esso before joining an advertising agency where he increased the billing dramatically. He was well known for his 'Murrayisms' and one of the most well known - 'Unless I am very much mistaken .... yes I am very much mistaken' - is the title given to his autobiography published in 2003.

 

 

Captain Sir Tom's original trials motorbike now on display at Bradford Industrial Museum

Sir Tom was a keen motorcycle trialist and campaigned a Scott Flying Squirrel motorbike built in Shipley, not far from his Yorkshire home, when it had an early York registration DN 3612. The bike was acquired later and restored by C W Wood, a renowned Bradford professional photographer, to compete in vintage motorcycle trials. It appears to have been re-registered after this work with an early Bradford registration AK 222 which it bears to this day. 

The bike is on long term loan from C W Wood's son and takes pride of place in the reception area of Bradford Industrial Museum.

     

 A young Captain Moore on the Scott motorbike (left)

 The 1912 Scott Flying Squirrel in Bradford Museum (right)

'Rest in Peace Captain Sir Tom - you have inspired a nation'

 

Following his successful campaign last spring at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Captain Sir Tom Moore raised around £33,000,000 for the NHS charity by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

Sadly Sir Tom was hospitalised after being treated for pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19. His daughter announced on 2 February 2021 that he had sadly passed away at the age of 100 years.

 "Stay home, stay safe, tomorrow will be a good day" was Captain Sir Tom's inspirational message.

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