The Daffodil Run

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 However on the other side of the coin, there was a letter in the May Magazine written by one of the cars(!) entered, full of praise for the whole event, despite the bitter cold and snow on the day.  Subsequent magazines had several letters from entrants who had thoroughly enjoyed the event (though possibly not the teas) and praised the organisation.  The committee unanimously agreed to find another place to end future Runs.  Bracknell, too was becoming unsatisfactory for the Run's start as the increasing number of entrants was causing congestion.

It seemed that Bournemouth's Publicity department would be likely to welcome the Run. !

In 1967 the Daffodil run was from Bracknell to Bournemouth and one happy entrant said that it was 'the best yet'.  Bournemouth Corporation wanted to present an award, which has become the Long Distance Award.  In 1967 and for many years after, the police controlled the traffic in Bournemouth, so those on the Run could keep together, mainly for the movement from the Front to the Pavilion where the prizes were presented and teas taken.

In 1970 the Run was advertised in the magazine as starting in Bracknell which changed to The Swan in Odiham, though it actually started from the Village Hall in North Warnborough. The official reason for the move from Bracknell was 'to avoid the long haul down the A30'.  In 1970 came the first mention of using Stockbridge for the coffee stop, rather than somewhere in the Winchester area or even once, the Winchester bus station where there were many complaints about the parking (non-) arrangements.  In these earlier years there were always two starting points, one near Worcester (Strensham Services on the M5) and the one at Bracknell or its successor.

In 1972 there was 'the loss of the use of the regular venue at Bracknell Sports Stadium and the proposed starting point for the Daffodil Run was to be 'in the Camberley area', though in the report of the Run it was mentioned that the start had been at the Seven Stars, Knowl Hill, though there were still some starting from the Worcester area, but from there on the Run was from the Seven Stars (only) to Bournemouth for many years until Bournemouth started their "Classics on the Front" happening on every Sunday throughout the season and did their best to discourage the Run ending there. (No tea, charging £6 per car to park at the Pavilion and so on.)

Starting from the Seven Stars ended when the pub closed for eventual conversion to housing, a sad fate for a Coaching Inn.  The Frog & Wicket at Eversley Cross was tried for two years, (2012-13) but lacked the parking room which was when the current start at the New Inn at Heckfield was adopted.

For the finish, from 2003 the Quomps at Christchurch proved to be an excellent alternative to Bournemouth with the council enthusiastic, but with the ever-increasing paperwork of modern life, this may not last.

From 2010 entrants were officially allowed to sign on for a start from Stockbridge, previously this had been slightly unofficial in that those designating Stockbridge as their joining point were sent the route for the rest of the run in the post, now a signing-on crew borrowed a room in The White Hart (which promptly changed hands) or latterly the Grosvenor Hotel.  This helped with collecting donations for the Marie Curie cancer charity, whose emblem is the daffodil.

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Illustrated seed packet from Coleman & Moore, early 1900s

Illustrated seed packet from Hendersons - 1915

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 Daffodil Run

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The 2019 Daffodil Run details will be available next year in March

Daffodil Origins

The first Daffodil Run was in 1964, so discovering how it came about in the face of lost paperwork and hazy memories is difficult, sadly many of those involved are doing their vintage motoring in a higher place now!

The consensus is during 1963 there was talk of a run from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare, but this changed to Bracknell to Beaulieu, possibly because the Club's founders Rex and Joan Tapley were good friends with Michael Sedgwick who was working at the (then) Montagu Motor Museum for a time. He and Lord Montagu had attended an earlier Bean C.C. rally at Bracknell in the capacity of judges. At the time the Bracknell Sports Stadium was the "headquarters" of the club.  Joan Tapley was well regarded for her organising abilities and almost certainly it was she who thought of the name Daffodil Run. (In those days daffodils flowered in April!)

By 1966 problems were reported at the Beaulieu end notably in the use of the restaurant for teas and the presentation of awards and despite appealing to Lord Montagu who held the opinion that the Run was becoming a national event, the solution of having the teas in three railway carriages proved unpopular with the entrants, one of the complaints concerned "the foul language of the waitresses"!

The teas were considered to be of poor quality too.  To add the the air of discontent the winner of the HCV class complained about the quality of his trophy, an engraved silver plated beaker. The committee decided to ask him to return it.  It would be replaced if the committee thought it necessary.

 

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History compiled by M. Jones