Saturday, 14 May 2016

HUSARIA - In the Spirit of the Winged Cavalry

Comrades in Arms

                                         'One Club, one family'   
                                                                                     Former RREC President Col. Eric Barrass

              HUSARIA - In the Spirit of the Winged Cavalry

This was not exclusively a CCC affair but members were invited. 

When Poland energetically shook off the shackles of communism in 1989 the idea of founding a Polish Section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club would have been considered hopeful but bordering on the delusional. However a great Polish historical racing tradition existed before World War II. Count Louis Zborowski, who lived at Higham Park in Kent, drove his aero-engined monsters at Brooklands. Count Maurycy Potocki and the ‘fast lady’ Maria Koźmian battled in their Bugattis in the Lwów Grand Prix, a city now in present day Ukraine.

In July 1993 I took part in the first international car rally in Poland since 1913 in my 1974 Silver Shadow (SRH18723). Boys fell off their bicycles and we were showered with rose petals. Surely it is a symbolic indicator of the miraculous regeneration of the country that on 23 April 2016 a group of Polish Rolls-Royce and Bentley enthusiasts and owners (one an Australian) assembled in Kalisz, the oldest town in Poland, to form the Polish Section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club. 

Kalisz is beautifully situated in the Prosna River valley some 270 kms west of Warsaw. The town is mentioned by the Greek scholar Ptolemy as lying on the trade route known as the Amber Road which stretched from the Baltic to the Mediterranean (this electrostatic resin was considered to possess magical properties and was valued above gold in ancient times). Although badly damaged in the Great War, Kalisz possesses superb Baroque churches and fine parks bursting with the flowers of the Polish spring. Polish theatre is famous in Europe and certainly a theatrical atmosphere accompanied the festive party atmosphere at our base, a former doll factory that exported internationally. It has been converted into a commodious hotel named Komoda Club Residence.

The Old Town of Kalisz  
(Kalisz - Unigraf, Bydgoszcz, 2011)
Allan Rosetzsky from the RREC Board of Directors generously agreed to attend from his home in Denmark. By extraordinary serendipity his family originated not far from Kalisz but emigrated to Denmark in 1721. Polish RREC members soon arrived from all over the country, some of them with their cars. By 3.00 pm the following had assembled:

1934 20/25 Kellow-Falkiner open tourer ; 1948 Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine; 1949 Silver Wraith (WDC57) Park Ward Sport Saloon ; 1958 Silver Cloud ; 1963 Bentley S3 (B782CN) ; 1974 Silver Shadow (SRH18723) ; 1995 Flying Spur - this is the limited edition (134 cars in total) of the turbocharged Silver Spur III (SCAZG03C95CX55200).

A delicious buffet lunch was served with all the Polish specialties before the serious matters of the day got under way. The cars were arranged in the historic street outside the hotel for the residents of Kalisz to admire and photograph. As all owners were dressed in costume appropriate to the period of their vehicles a rather high-spirited and colourful spectacle unfolded. We then set off in ‘close-order’ with some lucky passengers for a tour of the historic city.

Change into more conventional attire for dinner. More Polish specialties splendidly laid out in a banquet accompanied by spirited toasts. This was followed by a refreshingly informal meeting to propose and second candidates for the Polish Section Committee. Enthusiasm could scarcely be contained by the members present as glasses were raised. Much useful clarifying advice was given by Allan Rosetzsky on the cloudier aspects of section formation, regalia and regulations concerning section car badge design.

Dariusz Brudkiewicz (CCC Member) was elected Chairman, Andrzej Roszkiewicz elected Treasurer and Michael Moran (CCC Chairman) elected Secretary.  Paweł Sławiński was elected Vice-Chairman. These four ‘worthy coves’ then had a short meeting apart from the main party to discuss their roles in detail. Two main events for this year were immediately placed in the diary. A meeting entitled Classica Mierzęcin at the magnificent Mierzęcin Palace Wellness & Wine Resort between Szczecin and Poznań from 15-19 June.

Later in the year the Motoclassic at Topacz Castle near Wrocław from 12-14 August. Arguably the finest classic car event staged in Poland. Definitely worth a special visit.

More congratulations, photographs and general excitement until our beds in the former doll factory became irresistible.

Intense discussions on Rolls-Royce and Bentley matters erupted over breakfast until we set off to our various homes. Polish mechanics were among the best Spitfire fitters during the Battle of Britain and developed close emotional bonds with their machines and their Merlin engines. This deep love and encyclopaedic knowledge of Rolls-Royce was again in evidence at this remarkable event. A new world of cultural experience, historic landscape and the friendship of a lively people has opened for the adventurous RREC membership to explore.

Michael Moran – Secretary RREC Polish Section 

1934 20/25 Kellow-Falkiner open tourer  

Festive RREC Polish Section Foundation Dinner 23 April 2016

Lt. to Rt. 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine owned by Dariusz Brudkiewicz, 1949 Silver Wraith Park Ward Sport Saloon owned by Paweł Sławiński, 1934 20/25 Kellow-Falkiner open tourer owned by Andrzej Roszkiewicz

RREC Polish Section Chairman Dariusz Brudkiewicz beside his 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine admiring the street display in Kalisz

The immaculate engine of 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine 

Excitement at the street display

Poland meets Downton Abbey
Andrzej Roszkiewicz and his partner Barbara having alighted from their 20/25 Kellow-Falkiner open tourer
Chodyński Street, Kalisz
(Kalisz - Unigraf, Bydgoszcz, 2011)

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