My wife, Jane and I, have not been on a Run since the 50 year Reunion in Le Mans in 2005, so I am not able to compare the St George’s Day Run this year with others. I had my MGA converted to Le Mans specification for that event.
We met in the Miele factory car park in the retail park in west Abingdon at 10am on Sunday April 17th. First, we were incredibly lucky with the weather, the sun shone all day and the temperature remained high, great with the hood down!
We were given a route plan and a St George’s flag by Peter Davies, who was organising the day and told to leave as soon as we liked.
I understand that over eighty MGs of all types were entered, plus a number of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs Drive it Day entrants and their cars, who were going to follow much the same route as us for the first few miles.
The course was about fifty five miles to the finish, passing along country lanes of three English Counties, through some gorgeous villages and towns, and viewing some splendid and interesting sights. To reflect the theme of the Run, this year the route passed by the location where St George was reputedly in battle and eventually slew the Dragon!
After the villages of Stanford and Uffington we were taken towards White Horse Hill via the Dragon Hill Road. This is a single track, with passing places and potholes, but giving a magnificent sight of the three thousand year old White Horse of Uffington, thought to be the oldest hill in England.
Dragon Hill is a low mound lying in the valley below the White Horse. Legend describes it as the the place where St George slew the Dragon, spilling its blood on the hilltop and leaving a bare white patch where no grass can grow. It is suggested that the horse is a representation of St George’s steed or even of the slain dragon itself.
Then on through Longcot, Highworth, Lechlade and on to Fairford past the RAF Fairford airfield, which, as it happens was my wife, Jane’s, father’s farm until it was commandeered at the start of World War 2!
After Southrop and Eastleach, we passed through Ablington, and on to Bibury, where we parked at the Trout Farm. This an amazing development containing breeding and growing lakes full of trout. There is also a café and shop.
After the Trout Farm, you pass or call into the Swan Hotel. On the opposite side of the road you can spot the famous Arlington Row which has appeared in some period films.
Here the route ended and we returned home after a delightful day of great experiences and marvellous weather.
Text: David Luscombe Elliot. Photos: Malcolm Bailey.