Re-enactment of historic Kimberley Hall race called off due to weather

A re-enactment of an historic race through Norfolk between a sports car and light aircraft had to be called off today (Monday) because of gusting winds.

The spectacle was planned as part of the Wheels and Wings event at Kimberley Hall, near Wymondham, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Sporting Car Club of Norfolk (SCCON).

Organisers had hoped to stage a re-run of the 1951 contest when Lord Kimberley, driving his 1948 Healey Westland, took on his pilot friend Matthew Banks in a dash from Kimberley to Newmarket.

A lack of speed limits on the roads, a strong head wind and the fact that the pilot had had to run from the house to his plane on the other side of the road, helped the driver secure victory.

But while a Healey Westland – a perfect match to Lord Kimberley's – made it to Monday's event, the Auster light aircraft, along with a number of others, were forced to stay away.

Peter Riddle, SCCON member and organiser of Wheels and Wings, said: 'The problem is that the good old English weather gave us a bright day with no rain, which was fantastic, but the wind is very gusty. The Auster is such a light aircraft that the pilots have to be very careful about wind conditions when they are landing and taking off.'

Despite that disappointment, crowds still flocked to Kimberley Hall to see a stunning display of sports cars representing every year since SCCON was formed.

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From a 1951 Jovett Javelin to a 2011 Lotus Evora, they lined up on the lawn in front of the hall.

An aerobatic display by two Nanchang fighter planes also delighted visitors while Scalextric racing, a Formula 1 simulator, and other activities kept them busy.

A number of other light aircraft did make it to the event including a Yak 52.

Mr Riddle said, while organising the event, he had discovered Lord Kimberley had been a member of SCCON during the 1950s, making his former home - now owned by Robbie Buxton – the perfect location for the anniversary celebrations.

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