Hill Climb Revisited
The Estate, the Feast of St Peter and Celfunde Inheritance (the Village History Society) jointly organised a Hill Climb Parade of Classic Cars on the Estate on Saturday 27th June to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the last Hill Climb held on the dirt roads of the Estate by the Bugatti Owners’ Club and the Middlesex County Automobile Club here in the 1930’s.
The Parade was a great success with 20 rare, valuable classic cars taking part, that included 2 Bugattis, 2 Bentleys, 6 MG’s, 6 Rileys and an Alvis, Aston Martin, Invicta and a Salmson. The cars and owners provided a wonderful spectacle when they assembled in front of Chalfont Park House that used to be a hotel in the 1930’s at the time of the Hill Climbs.
Many of the owners had travelled a considerable distance to take part in this event. The cars retraced part of the original course on Woodside Hill and most negotiated the hairpin around the island at the junction with Lincoln Road that was introduced by the Bugatti Owners’ Club in 1933 to make the course more difficult.
A large number of residents turned out to watch the parade and welcome the drivers and passengers and our thanks to those residents who sent copies of their photos which have helped to provide an excellent record of this historic event. The cars then left the Estate via the Joiners Lane exit and drove through the Village to park on Gold Hill Common in a special enclosure as part of the Feast Day celebrations.
There is a display of many photos of the original events between 1929 – 1935 upstairs in the Community Library until the end of July and it’s well worth a special visit to see these detailed photos of the Estate over 80 years ago. Some photos of the Parade are shown below.
The Chairman of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, who drove his 1927 Bugatti Type 37A here in the Parade, has written as follows:
I am writing on behalf of Paul, Edmund and, of course, Piers and myself to thank you and all your team for such a wonderful day at Chalfont. It was a most nostalgic event, particularly for our Club, in marking one of our very earliest Club events, now so many years ago. To have our Bugatti in the same position as Jack Lemur Burton, on three wheels no less, by a small bush but now a large tree was particularly significant!
All was so very well organised, particularly the maps, and we could not have enjoyed ourselves more. Perhaps too, you could pass on our thanks to the Chalfont Heights residents who, without exception, it seems really entered into the spirit of the event.
We had a good run home down the M40 no less and tea in Burford allowed us to reminisce on a terrific day that we shall remember for a long time.
Thank you again for making us all so welcome and, of course, in involving our Club to such a great degree.
We have had many emails and letters from the entrants all saying what a wonderful day they had and how welcoming the residents of the Estate were. Our thanks to all the residents who turned out to create the same atmosphere that must have prevailed here during those events in the 1930’s and particularly to those residents who helped as marshals.
If anyone would like help in identifying any particular car in their photos please let us know and we will be pleased to help. We would still like to have copies of photos of any of the cars taken on Woodside Hill between the Start at the bottom of the hill and the Finish which was marked halfway up the hill. Most of the original photos we have were taken between those locations and we would like to match some of today’s photos with the originals.
Please email them to [email protected] but please send no more than 5 files with any one email. Also if anyone has taken a video of the Parade on lower Woodside Hill or at the hairpin we would love to have a copy for our records. A video file will be too large to send by email so will you please let us know using the address [email protected] and we’ll arrange to get a copy on a memory stick.