Mid week between Christmas and New Year has become well known over the past few years for the Stotfold Christmas Road Run held on December 29th Many spectators broke away from the mince pies and sherry for the chance to catch up with friends from the preservation world. The event is organised by Dave Roberts under the guidance of our Society who support the Road Run, raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The start of the week saw much snow throughout the country and some in Bedfordshire that was still apparent, along with it was a chilly winter breeze throughout the day.
The run started from Arlesey Road, Stotfold, home of the Saunders' Collection where several engines were in steam, before heading into Arlesey, the longest village in the country. The first stop was at the Three Tuns in the High Street where 10 engines assembled, eight of these Saunders' owned and joined by Michael Watts' Marshall "Punch" and Stuart & Chris Gray's Aveling & Porter Tractor "Clementine".
The run then headed towards Ickleford before turning to Letchworth and some picturesque countryside before returning into Stotfold to The Stag where the engines were joined by the Saunders' large 98 Key Gavioli Fair Organ playing festive tunes, and Stuart Gray's immaculate 1910 Stanley Steam Car, which only made its rally debut at the end of the season. Rowan Clark steamed there with his 6" scale Foden that is resident in the small town.
Burrell's "Ex-Mayor", "Majestic" and "Lord Kitchener" all towed trailers whilst Fowler Showman's "Carry On" had a different form of passenger transport in the form of an ex-Zoo land train carriage. The first engine in the Saunders' Fleet, the Fowler roller was back out with its smart living van.
Joining the engines on the run were two Scammells, one on its first outing in the ownership of Dave Roberts, and the ex Harry Lee AEC Matador. From the Stag the run passed through Stotfold and out to the Tudor Oaks beside the Al where the organ played again and the trailer passengers and engine crews went inside to warm up from the bitter cold outside.
This was the final stop before a short trundle to the Stotfold Football Club where food was provided for engine crews and evening entertainment was the popular local group 'Maxwell's Hammer' who played late into the night. A raffle raised money for the Charity.