UPDATE; DRIVE-IT DAY IS STILL ON SAYS FBHVC - BUT ONLY IN CYBERSPACE FOR 2020
AS WITH SO MANY THINGS this extraordinary month, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs plans for this year's Drive-It Day in April, were redrawn...then torn up as the government put the nation into a virtual lockdown.
Initally, the Federation said that it intended to follow government advice saying: "Drive it Day 2020 will continue to be celebrated on Sunday 26th April. This being closest to the date in 1900 when the One Thousand Mile Trial organised by the Automobile Club started from London on April 23rd and travelled via Bristol, Birmingham, Derby, Manchester, Kendal, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester, Northampton and back to London in order to prove the viability of the motor car.
"Currently, UK government are advising against all non-essential social contact. Our current general guidance to car clubs, that can be found on our website at https://www.fbhvc.co.uk/news/article/coronavirus, encourages the cancellation or postponement of meets, events and gatherings of people. Furthermore, Motorsport UK have withdrawn all Certificates of Exemption required for organised runs and road events for groups of cars.
"However, there seems no reason why individual enthusiasts could not take their vehicles out for a drive on Drive it Day, waving to each other from a discrete distance, so long as that drive avoids physical social contact.”
That advice had to be withdrawn on March 22, leading to an understandable about turn by the Federation.
The following day, March 23, the Federation said: "The FBHVC is committed to following the latest UK Government advice on events and public gatherings pertinent to our member clubs and as such, the following statement replaces all previous correspondence regarding National Drive it Day during this fast-moving situation.
"In response to the updated guidance and restrictions issued by UK Government, the Federation recommends that all activities that involve taking a historic vehicle out on the road specifically for the purposes of Drive it Day, now be abandoned. All enthusiasts are now urged to stay at home on 26 April 2020 and not partake in any non-essential travel for Drive it Day and instead, get involved in a nationwide social media campaign to spread positivity around historic vehicles during this difficult time.
"Currently, UK government are advising against all non-essential social contact. Our current general guidance to car clubs, that can be found on our website www.fbhvc.co.uk , encourages the cancellation or postponement of meets, events and gatherings of people. Additional advice has now placed restrictions on non-essential travel of any kind.
"However, enthusiasts of historic vehicles are still encouraged to participate on 26 April 2020 in the mass sharing, via social media, of images and memories of themselves and their families out and about in their historic vehicles during a previous year’s Drive it Day.
"Use your chosen social media platform to share images and stories of memorable trips with your historic vehicles or indeed, what you might be working on within the ‘self – isolation’ of your garage or shed.
"The FBHVC are asking for all enthusiasts to share pictures using the hashtag #DriveitDayMemories.
"Post your picture on to the FBHVC social media feeds or those of your member clubs. We will be monitoring those social feeds and public posts published with the #DriveitDayMemories hashtag will be gathered onto a special area within the FBHVC website galleries in the future.
"As previously stated, with such a crowded event calendar, the possibility of achieving consensus for a revised Drive it Day date later in the year will be virtually impossible. Therefore, Drive it Day 2020 will not be re-scheduled for later this year, but will resume its normal format on 25 April 2021."
Said CMM’s David Landers: “The initial advice from the FBHVC appeared quite sensible, though I did worry about owners having to fill up their cars with fuel and the potential for breakdown. I applaud the Federation for taking swift action on this; it’s a very fast moving situation, changing not from day to day, but hour by hour - my advice is as the government’s - stay home, stay safe”