A RECORD 88 cars enjoyed fine weather for the 22nd Rotary Wye Run staged by the Chepstow & District Rotary Club on Saturday 04 May.  

Included in the line up of cars there were a 1937 Standard Flying 10 stood next to a 1951 MG TD.  A clutch of Jaguars were parked close by including an XK150, 2 burgundy XJ40R’s, and a XJ6, together with a brace of E Types, one a convertible.  Plenty of MG’s, Morgans, Triumphs and an unusual 1962 Lancia Appia.  

A fabulous range of treasured cars from the year 1935 right up to 2021.  With the Standard 10 in the lead, the chequered flag heralded the departure of each car.

The 105 miles run north west went through the Wentwood forest to Llandegfedd reservoir where drivers took a moment to enjoy the view over the very-full waterscape in a beautiful setting.  Then it was through Llantrisant and Pontypool and north through Nantyglo situated deep within the South Wales Valleys between Blaina and Brynmawr.  “Nantyglo” translates as “coal brook" referring to the stream near where coal was extracted.  

Soon the industrial terraces werereplaced by wide expanses of high ground around Llangattock mountain with the spectacular heights all-around of the Brecon Beacons national park.   Continuing north the cars arrived at Llangorse Lake, near Brecon, the largest natural lake in mid and south Wales.

Here there is a Crannog, an ancient lake dwelling in the form of an artificial island of timber and stones, used up to 5,000 years ago.  While the views over the water were uplifting there was also plenty here to quench your thirst, although most settled for coffee and cake. 

As lunchtime approached it was noted that several cars were parked outside local hostelries where they were enjoying a leisurely lunch and a pint of something cool.   The next point of interest was Tretower Court with its massive circular tower, it’s walls 9 feet thick, built in the 14th century.    After those narrow mountain roads drivers could relax on the final leg, joining the A40 through Crickhowell to Abergavenny, then taking to back road to Monmouth and the finally the beautiful Wye Valley. 

While The Run was planned to end at The Anchor Inn, Tintern, the extreme wet weather had made parking on grass impossible and so the cars continued to park at Chepstow Leisure Centre where they finished to be marshalled by the Rotarians in their Day-Glo jackets. 

It was clear that everyone had enjoyed the drive, the waypoints and meeting the other competitors.  And they also spoke of the magnificent Monmouthshire and Powis scenery that everyone had enjoyed in the bright sunshine. 

All but one of the teams completed the 105-mile Run and received their Finishers Certificates that included a photograph of their car as it started the event.  Rotarian Mac McCARTY then awarded the prizes.   Paul Hudson won the prize for the oldest car at the finish with his 1951 MG TD, while the Presidents Choice was the sporty 1960 Jaguar E Type driven by Ben Sanchez.  The Ladies Choice, chosen by the organisers daughter, was awarded to the beautiful Jaguar XK150 of Mike Brown.

Much discussion, both social and technical, followed the Run but all involved spoke of the great organisation, our beautiful location, the splendid cars and those narrow lanes.  The event was a great success with £2,500 raised to be donated to Rotary charities.   The 2025 Rotary Wye Run will take place on Saturday 03 May and so put the date in your diaries.

If you are interested in joining or supporting Rotary or seeking more information please see www.chepstowrotary.co.uk or Chepstow Rotary Facebook