To celebrate Tamworth's history, for the last few years the second weekend in September has been a Heritage Weekend where folks can walk around Tamworth and visit places (ie: Tamworth Castle, the Town Hall and Middleton Hall etc) free of charge. As Reliant were once one of Tamworth’s largest companies and following last years Reliant display, I was asked if I could organise another Reliant display for this year. Having 96 vehicles last year the aim this year was to see if we could gather 100 Reliants. As so many vehicles arrived last year we were at a new location on the River Drive car park next to the Stykers bowling alley in the Castle grounds.
With the loss of our father in May, this year the Reliant Gathering was in his memory and so I had his name added to both the commemorative plaques and the 6th Reliant Gathering brochures that were part of the Welcome Pack that each driver was given.
As we were in a new location me, my wife Caroline and my son Harvey arrived bright and early at 8am, me in Lucie (a 1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI van) with Caroline and Harvey following in the Jaguar. We arrived to find the car park already had several cars parked in there though after blocking the entrance, I was able to chase up the owners of the vehicles as they were at the skateboard park next door and they kindly moved to another car park. The weather forecast all week had been bad for the day with the tail end of Hurricame Katia threatening to cause heavy downpours on the day which did seem to explain a dozen or so emails from people saying that they would be unable to make it. The day itself was in the end dry though very windy.
That said, as the morning wore on Reliants of all sizes and shapes started to appear and parking them in the car park was a breeze compared with the Church Square as every space was instantly available. In total 73 Reliant vehicles turned up or 76 if you also include a Reliant powered Allet Lawnmowver, Angus fire pump and a Uni-Horse tractor. The 6th Reliant Gathering also saw the return of the 1986 Reliant / Lucas hybrid prototype that also attend the second Reliant Gathering in 2007. Other vehicles that the Reliant Gathering has now seen before included a 1959 Reliant Regal Mk V (brought along by Steve White) and a 19?? Reliant Supervan in “TS Safari” guise. The vehicle in question being the same one that is a new book “The Reliant Three-Wheeler 1935-1973” written by Stuart Cyphus and myself. Speaking of which, the book itself was launched at the Reliant Gathering and Tamworth Information Centre set up a small marque selling the books where Stuart and I also did a book signing.
On the day we again ran a Car of the Day where by the public could vote for their favourite car and there was also a voting slip in each Welcome Pack. This year, by an overwhelming amount of votes the prize went to Malcolm Rush for his 1989 Reliant Kitten estate.
Although the vehicle count was far from the 100 expected vehicles there was a great display with 76 vehicles and again we managed to get a vehicle from every decade of Reliant production from 1935 - 2000. :
For the 1930s we had Geoff’s 7 cwt Reliant, for the 1940s the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley once again let us borrow Old Red. (a 1949 Reliant 8 cwt van). The 1950s were this year covered by a 1959 Reliant Regal Mk V saloon brought along by Steve White.
For the 1960s we had two 3-wheelers this year, my 1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI van and also a 1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI saloon owned by Ray Pound, The 4-wheelers for the 1960s included three Reliant Scimitars owned by Martin, North, John Nutting and Dave Poole along with an imaculate Reliant Rebel owned by Adam Turpin. As always the 1970s was represented with a vast assortment of vehicles which in the 3-wheeled flavour included Reliant Regal Supervans, a Reliant Regal 3/30 saloon, Bond Bugs, Reliant TW9 and Reliant Robin Mk 1.. One rare vehicle was a Reliant Regal Supervan in its “TS Safari” form that was owned by Hans Holselesver who left the gathering early to make his way back home to the Nertherlands. For the 4-wheelers there were the sporting cars like Scimitar GTEs, Scimitar SE6 and SE6A along with economy 4-wheelers in the shape of the Reliant Kitten.
Likewise the 1980s were also well covered with the Reliant Robin Mk 1, Reliant Rialto and also the Reliant Robin Mk 2 with 4-wheelers like the Reliant Scimitar GTC, Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6B and the Reliant Scimitar SS1. There was also a Reliant /Lucas Hybrid prototype now owned by J. Roberts that also made an appeareance. A Jimp, a skulk of Foxes (both pick up and Tandy Camper versions) were also on show. The 1990s also had there part with both Reliant Robin Mk 2 and the streamlined Reliant Robin Mk 3 on display. Amongst the 4-wheelers were Reliant Sabres, and Scimitar SS1s and Scimitar SST. . Finally there was the 2000s that saw two Reliant Robin Mk 3s in both van and saloon form amd, a Reliant powered Liege owned by Paul Wheatley..
The complete list of vehicles were:
1935 Reliant 7cwt owned by Geoff Payne
1949 Reliant 8 cwt owned by the Black Country Living Museum
1959 Reliant Regal Mk V saloon driven by Steve White
1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI van owned by Elvis Payne
1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI saloon owned by R.Pound
1965 Reliant Scimitar GT owned by Martin North
1968 Reliant Scimitar GT Coupe owned by John Nutting
1969 Reliant Rebel 700 owned by A.Turpin
1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5 owned by Dave Poole
1970 Reliant Supervan III owned by Pete Gnosill
1970 Reliant Regal owned by D.Woods
1970 Bond Bug owned by D.Wood
1970 Reliant Scimitar GTE owned by Bob Coles
1971 Bond Bug owned by R.Howells
1972 Reliant Supervan III estate owned by Dave & Trish Wharmby
1972 Reliant Supervan III / TS Safari owned by Hans Holselesver
1972 Reliant Scimitar 5A owned by Dave Tillotson
1973 Reliant Regal 21E 700 owned by Kevin Hallett
1973 Reliant Regal 3/30 owned by Mel Turpin
1973 Reliant TW9 owned by R. Simpkins
1974 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5A owned by Pete Stocis
1974 Bond Bug 700ES owned by Jimmy Lardner
1974 Reliant Scimitar SE5A owned by O.S.Gill
1975 Reliant Robin owned by Stephen Shone
1976 Reliant Kitten DL owned by John Pearce
1976 Reliant Scimitar GTE owned by M.Rowley
1977 Reliant Scimitar GTE owned by David Bowlas
1977 Reliant Kitten DL estate owned by Kirsty Gee
1978 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6 owned by Richard Allen
1978 Reliant Kitten estate owned by S.Hodges
1979 Reliant Kitten van owned by Kerry Croxton
1979 Reliant Scimitar GTE 3.0 owned by Kevin Beitany
1979 Reliant Scimitar SE6A owned by B.J.Kenyon
1980 Reliant Robin 850 estate owned by Terry Waghorn
1980 Reliant Scimitar GTC owned by Keith Walters
1980 Reliant Robin 850 owned by Graham Unwin
1981 Reliant Scimitar GTC owned by S.A.Skinner
1981 Reliant Scimitar GTE 6B owned by John Feay
1981 Reliant Kitten estate owned by Malcolm Rush
1982 Reliant Rialto owned by Dee Gnosill
1982 Reliant Scimitar GTC owned by Graham & Jane Downs
1982 Jimp owned by S.Clough
1982 Reliant Rialto owned by Dave Hassall
1982 Reliant Rialto owned by Ian McPherson
1982 Reliant / Lucas Hybrid owned by J.Roberts
1984 Reliant Rialto 2 owned by John White
1984 Reliant Rialto 2 van owned by Kerry Croxton
1984 Reliant Fox owned by Glenis Gittus
1984 Reliant Fox owned by Keith Gittus
1985 Reliant Fox Tandy Camper owned by Phill Williams
1985 Reliant Rialto GLS Estate owned by G.Gregory
1985 Reliant Rialto owned by Kevin & Sheila Thompson
1985 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1600 owned by M.J.Rowley
1985 Reliant Rialto owned by R.Simpkins
1988 Reliant Rialto SE saloon owned by Dan Rodd
1988 Reliant Rialto SE owned by Aaron Hemsley
1988 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1.6 owned by Robin Cook
1989 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1800Ti owned by Mark Cropper
1989 Reliant Rialto owned by Mark Wright
1989 Reliant Robin Robin LS
1990 Reliant Robin LX owned by Geoff Payne
1991 Reliant Rialto owned by N.Elsey
1991 Reliant Scimitar 1400 SST owned by I.Leese & V. Forrester
1993 Reliant Sabre 1800Ti owned by D.Black
1993 Reliant Robin LX owned by Roger Hassall
1995 Reliant Sabre owned by Victoria Barker
1996 Reliant Robin owned by N.Bittany
1997 Reliant Robin SLX owned by Gill Roper
2000 Reliant Robin SLX owned by Terry O'Keeffe
2000 Reliant Robin SLX van owned by Sue Cropper
2002 Liege owned by Paul Wheatley
Allett Lawnmower owned by James Holland
Angus pump owned by James Holland
1970s Uni-Horse Tractor owned by C.Crawley.
My sincere thanks goes to everyone for coming along. Thank you. We hope to see you again in 2012. Next year is the 7th Reliant Gathering and again so we still hope to break the 100 vehicles target. The location for 2012 however is still under debate.
Thanks also go to:
Geoff: My brother who helps tirelessly to get things sorted, Caroline Payne, Kirsty Gee, Pete & Dee Gnosill, Big Daddy & Micromma (Steve & Janet), Dave Poole, Kerry Croxton, Stuart Cyphus, Doc (aka Graham Penlington) for letting us advertise the gathering via the R3W forum and reaching as many Reliant owners as possible, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley for again lending us the 1949 Reliant 8 cwt van for the day, Tamworth Borough Council and the Tamworth Information Centre for giving us the opportunity to put on this display.
My apologies if I have forgotten anyone.
Elvis Payne. September 2011