The 2016 rally was such a success that it has become well established in the official mind that it is an annual "must" - so much so that within days the local authority had not only given the go ahead for 2017 it had also given all the necessary consents. On one occasion in recent years the actual consent documentation was received three days after the rally had taken place!
We have traditionally expected fine weather - although our unbroken run since the exceptional summers of the 70s was interrupted by wet weather in 2014 and 2015 - at least we were able to retire to the comfort of the adjacent Grand, and despite everything over 200 cars turned up on each occasion.
However, 2016 was again superlative weather and over 400 cars squeezes into every available space we had set out on The Leas. It was the most fantastic atmosphere, which with a bit of luck will be replicated again in 2017.
For a rally entry form to download and print,click here.
Those not on the internet can obtain a paper entry form by sending a Stamped Addressed Envelope to the Secretary, Eileen Watling, Lynsted Cottage, Farthing Common, Lyminge CT18 8DH.
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Below is a resume of our traditional annual Oldtimer Rally on The Leas in front of The Grand in Folkestone on August Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2016.
Fortunately it was a gloriously warm windless sunny day as in most of the previous 40 years save for the last two. Folkestone Town Council again generously sponsored the entrants’ plaques and prizes which are splendid engraved glassware. Over 400 entrants came, and the rally culminated with Folkestone's mayor presenting prizes to the winners from the Palm Court with their cars assembled immediately below.
‘Oldtimer’ is the modern Continental English for ‘classic car’. Car rallies have been held here at least since 1896 (just before the first London-Brighton run); the first one marque car rally ever was held here in 1933, for Rileys (one of the Riley brothers lived locally); in 1964 there were more Rolls-Royces per head of population in Folkestone than any other town in the world, and in the 70s the rally became established as the Rolls-Royce Parade. In the 80s & 90s it became part of the local authority sponsored Shepway Airshow.
In the 21st century our main rally has reverted to its roots as the Oldtimer Rally – a good day out for participants and anyone else who wishes to visit and enjoy the atmosphere.
Its situation, on The Leas in front of The Grand, is probably one of the finest such spots anywhere in the world, with a backdrop of majestic late Victorian and Edwardian buildings and views across the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel to France on clear days. And clear days they usually are – since the summer heat waves of the mid 70 there has almost invariably been fine weather on the day of the rally - save for 2014 & 2015!
Should it rain, The Grand’s Palm Court, a glazed terrace overlooking the rally site, couldn’t be a finer retreat, and was well put to the test these last two years. As can be seen from the links from this page, refreshments and meals are readily available there and in the adjacent accommodation which also contains rooms and apartments for those who wish to make more than a day’s outing for the annual occasion.
Chairman Michael Stainer
Secretary Eileen Watling
The Grand supports
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