CELEBRATING ROLLS-ROYCE AND BENTLEY FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS
IN THE BEGINNING
In 1957 an advertisement appeared in the Oxford Mail proposing the formation of a Club for the owners of Rolls-Royce motor cars. Eleven people responded and assembled at Paternoster Farm, Yarnton, near Oxford and the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club was formed. Little more than a month later, fourteen cars attended the Club‘s first event.
Over the next three years, membership grew to over 100, and the Club’s publication, ‘The Bulletin’ was introduced. The scope of the Club was widened to embrace post-1931 Bentleys.
By 1970, membership had reached 1500, of which some 300 were from overseas, resident in no fewer than 37 countries. Eighteen Sections were now operating across the UK and Europe, organising local meetings and events.
By 1976 the growth of the Club meant that a permanent headquarters was needed. The Club formed a charitable trust, The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, which acquired a semi-derelict building, The Hunt House at Paulerspury. After years of careful restoration and development, The Hunt House complex is now the envy of car clubs throughout the world.
1977 saw the Club pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee. At Her Majesty’s invitation, the Club paraded over 400 pre and post war Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars through the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.
THE 1980s & 1990s
The Hunt House became the official home for the Rolls-Royce motor car archives, and now contains some 120,000 car histories, over 500,000 technical drawings and over 15,000 coachwork drawings together with numerous photographs and historic technical documents. This is an invaluable resource for restorers and researchers alike.
The Club’s Annual Rallies were now attracting well over 1,000 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. The Club’s Technical Seminars were instigated: the maintenance and repair of all Rolls-Royce and post-1931 Bentley models, are covered by these weekend events, which include sessions devoted to coachwork and trim.
By the end of the 1990s, the club had launched its website; membership had reached over 9,000 worldwide. Registers devoted to particular model types had been introduced.
INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
In 2002, the Club returned to Windsor Castle to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Some 550 cars took part.
The club celebrated its own Golden Jubilee in 2007.
Membership figures remain stable, and both the UK and overseas sections continue to flourish.
In April 2011, the club had the honour of parading over 100 motor cars in front of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle in celebration of his 90th birthday. This event, in association with the Rotary Club of Windsor and Eton, raised considerable funds for the Prince Philip Trust Fund.
The RREC has grown from strength to strength in its 60 year history. The 2017 events have been centred round the celebration of this milestone.
In particular the Club’s Silver Ghost Register organised the Round Britain Tour in which some 52 Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars (including 16 Silver Ghosts) spent 18 days travelling around England, Wales and Scotland. Cars were shipped from as far afield as the USA, Australia and New Zealand to take part.