The Festival of Black Country Vehicles was held at the Black Country Living Museum on Sunday 26th July, 2009. The event celebrates the area’s once-important vehicle manufacturing industry, which employed many thousands of people. It is the largest annual gathering of Black Country made vehicles, and always takes place on the last Sunday in July.

Some of the many cars that could be seen at the event.

The oldest entry, Russell Jackson’s Little Briton from 1910.

Visitors to the rally could also see the museum’s own collection of Black Country made vehicles, the largest of its kind.

As usual there were several cavalcades; a unique feature of the rally that allows the vehicle owners to drive around the 26 acre site, and provides the onlooker with spectacular views from our motoring past.

Although the day began with heavy downpours, and it looked like a washout, most of the vehicle owners came along, and a varied collection of locally made vehicles soon assembled in the designated areas. The rain soon stopped and it remained dry until well into the afternoon.

Members of the Clyno Owners Club brought their cars along and celebrated Clyno's centenary.

There were cars made by A.J.S., Bean, Briton, Clyno, Crescent, Jensen, Lomax, Quantum, Rickman, Star, Sunbeam, Swallow, Turner, and Westfield. An Austin A40 with a Jensen body, an Armstrong Siddeley, and a Riley.

Motorcycles included machines made by A.J.S., Clyno, D.K.R., D.M.W., Sunbeam, and Turner.

There were also Guy lorries, Guy vans, a Guy coach, a rare Jensen lorry, and a Sunbeam bicycle.

The many cars included Brian Rolling’s Star 12/40 Pegasus Sports, that has an interesting racing past; Mark Longmore’s Crescent cyclecar, the only known survivor; 11 Clynos, including the earliest example known to exist, and a good selection of Sunbeams.

The motorcycles included the only surviving Turner Tri-Van, that is owned by P. and S. Hardie.

One of the visitors was Chris Smith, the grandson of
Ailwyn Smith, who founded Clyno with his cousin
Frank Smith..

A few of the motorcycles that were on display.

Brian Rolling’s immaculate Star 12/40 Pegasus sports car.

The many visitors included Charles Weight, whose father owned the Briton Motor Company, Peter Waine, whose father owned Wearwell, Chris Smith whose grandfather was one of the founders of Clyno, and Keith Peckmore who worked for Kieft and Frisky.

Music was provided by the Dennis Mowatt Dixie Syncopaters, and there were several indoor displays.

There are a lot of new attractions at the museum, and so there was plenty to see and do.

As usual, a warm and friendly atmosphere prevailed, which is always a feature of the event.

The Clyno owners celebrated the company’s centenary with a large and beautifully decorated cake.

David Evans celebrated the centenary of Briton cars with a large display of photographs.

Many visitors lined the road to view the cavalcades, during which Russell Jackson’s Little Briton from 1910, the oldest vehicle present, toured the site.

All too soon it was over. As people packed-up in readiness to leave, the rain returned, our short break from the wet summer was at an end.

Everyone present seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed their day at the region’s premier vehicle rally. Hopefully they will be back next year to sample more motoring delights from the past.

The only surviving Tuner Tri-Van and its owner Mr. Hardie.
Mark Longmore’s interesting Crescent cyclecar, the only known survivor. This example was made in Smethwick in 1914.
An occasional visitor over the last few years has been Brian Carlos with his impressive Guy Otter furniture van from 1951.

Thanks must go to the dedicated team of volunteers, and the members of the museum’s staff, who made it all possible. Especially Brian Rollings the event organiser, Hamish Wood the museum’s Operations Manager, Jane Allcock the museum’s Assistant Site Officer, Fiona Carding the museum's Media Relations Officer, Ray and Beryl Jones, Trevor and Angela Davies, Audrey and Derek Spencer, and other members of the Marston Group.

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