EVENTS With Liese Spencer

The Eye on Events

The RAC Centenary Veteran Car Run is on tomorrow. 7am start in London's Hyde Park with the first car expected in Brighton's Madeira Drive around 10.40am.

The re-enactment of the 1896 Emancipation Run takes place around Whitehall today from 8 to 11.30am

Second-hand car rally, one careful owner, 100 years on the clock. The RAC's Veteran Car Run from London to Brighton celebrates its centenary this year with, you guessed it, a spot of genteel motoring. However, there's also the added bonus of a re-enactment of the very first run in 1896.

THE HISTORY

"No event in connection with transit, traffic or locomotion has caused so much excitement since the world began," gushed The Sporting Life in 1896, breathlessly reporting the first "Emancipation Run" from London to Brighton in which cars no longer had to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag. From the vantage of today's gridlock, road rage, drive- by shootings and pollution, it's tempting to see the Highway Act as more enslavement than liberation. So perhaps the stuffy Sunday Times was right when it refused to be transported by the idea of internal combustion and chose instead to sound an apocalyptic note: "It is difficult to feel absolute confidence in cars, as they seem invested with a gruesome, superhuman power, capable of anything disastrous".

Instructions for the race warned against early joy-riders, reminding participants that "motor cars are on trial in England and any rashness or carelessness might injure the industry". With most vehicles puttering along at an average of 4mph and a legal speed limit of 14mph, it would have been a very determined motorist to achieve anything approximating recklessness. But there were other perils. Mike Mutters, the present owner of an 1896 Whitney Steamer notes that his vehicle has "a nasty habit of catching fire".

THE CARS

Among the ancient wheels around on Saturday are an 1895 Panhard Levassor Dos a Dos, the first car to be imported into England, and an 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux, the world's earliest original working car. The De Dion Bouton was originally fuelled by coke (fossil fuel rather than fizzy stuff) and water and while it may look prehistoric, the venerable old banger has a name to shame today's Unos and Protons. On Sunday, 660 veteran vehicles from Angola to Brazil, from New Zealand to Turkey will be spluttering down to the South Coast.

THE ROUTE

London (7.30am), Croydon (8.05am), Redhill (8.30am), Gatwick (8.50am), Burgess Hill (10.05am), Brighton (10.40am); times are for the first car. The stately procession will take at least three hours to pass each point.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    PSHE Teacher - Chester

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Teachers with a passion for PSHE neede...

    Humanities Teacher

    £85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

    PSHE Teachers needed for exciting project

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Teachers with a passion for PSHE neede...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits