Regis TAP raised thousands

Eastergate residents Adrian and Julie Thatcher's 1969 two tone green Wolseley Hornet MkIII
Eastergate residents Adrian and Julie Thatcher's 1969 two tone green Wolseley Hornet MkIII

A classic car tour and picnic has raised thousands of pounds for Sussex Air Ambulance.

The eighth Regis TAP (Tour and Picnic) took place on Sunday, September 2.

The tour was sponsored for the seventh year by Kevin and Robert Law of Orchard Restorations of Heathfield.

It was a day which showcased an amazing array of vehicles, from a 1926 Frazer Nash Fast Tourer and a 1927 Alvis 12/50 SD, 12 Austin Healeys, a very rare 1956 Daimler Drophead Coupe and a Dart SP250, Sunbeam Rapier, variants of Triumphs, MG and Minis. Many other British and European marques were also entered, plus a Ford Model A and Mustang plus some different eras of Cobra.

The start was hosted by the team at Great Ballard School. The 104 mile route headed north through the countryside, to the lunchtime visit this year at Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST). Within half a mile of the museum, the B.Y.O Picnic stop was at the most unusual venue of The Hub at Farnborough Business Park, under the arches of the original airship factory framework.

The private cream tea and visit this year was at the heathland garden developed around old sand quarries at Champs Hill, Coldwaltham. There is an extensive collection of over 300 heathers and dwarf conifers sprinkled with beautiful animal statues. This is normally only open under the National Garden Scheme a few times a year, so the participants were very fortunate that the owner, Mrs Bowerman, agreed to the visit. She hosted the afternoon cream tea through the Bowerman Charitable Trust.

The last leg took crews through the lanes with views of the South Downs to The Tithe Barn at Old Ditcham Park Farm for a hog roast and cash bar with live music from the Chichester based Tom Belbin Trio. The auction and raffle raised more than £1,000, with prizes, many from local companies, including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Temple Spa, The Spitfire Experience at Wisborough Green, The Body Shop at Chichester, Edgcumbe’s Tea and Coffee at Ford, Autosports Gallery, Motorsport Magazine, Sussex Life, Autoglym plus donated items from participants.

More than £3,875 has been raised from this year’s tour for Sussex Air Ambulance.