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Future classic car makes its debut

A huge range of classic and performance cars and motorbikes will be on show at Saint Francis Hospice's Classic Car and Bike Fest later this month and among them will be a car making its debut at the show.
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The show is back for a fourth year and takes place at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre, Laindon, on Sunday 20th September. Hospice supporter Brian Bracken from Brentwood will be exhibiting for the first time a car that holds a very special place in his life. It's a red Jaguar F Type convertible 3 litre V6 supercharged car that Brian's wife Ruth loved. Sadly Ruth had cancer and died on 26th December 2013 and Brian purchased the car in honour of his wife.

"It's my wife's car really. I bought it in her honour and it will never be sold," said Brian.

Pic B Bryan at wheel of car front web sized
Ruth was at Queen's Hospital when she was referred for care at Saint Francis Hospice.

"I thought you just went to the hospice for a day of two! I wasn't aware of any of the therapies and treatments that the hospice provides to patients," recalled Brian.

Ruth was a patient at the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower for the last few weeks of her life and Brian was able to spend a lot of time with her, including staying overnight with his wife in the Abridge suite that is designed to allow families to stay together during the final days of life. 

"There's a feeling of peace when you come into the hospice," said Brian. "One of the nursing staff used to say "go gently" instead of just "goodbye" and I always thought that was a very nice way of putting it and also summed up the way the hospice cared for Ruth."

Self-confessed car freak Brian says he was very happy to help the hospice by displaying his Jaguar at the Classic Car and Bike Festival. "I feel better when I do something for the hospice," he said.

Jim Biggs, 56, from Doddinghurst (pictured) has been exhibiting his cream 1959 MGA since the event started.

Pic B Bryan at wheel of car front web sized
"I was looking at what cars were available from the year I was born and this is the nicest car I found," said Jim, whose wife Sylvia Biggs worked as a nurse at Saint Francis Hospice.

"What I like about classic cars is you can work on them yourself and they have a wonderful style about them.

"It makes you appreciate how far modern cars have come and it brings back memories." The retired Bank of England worker said he has always enjoyed the show because it is a great day out and for such a good cause.

"It is lovely to meet people with a similar car as well as other classic car enthusiasts," he added.

Alan Mason, from Brentwood, who is organising the event for Saint Francis Hospice where he volunteers as part of the education team, said: "There's something for everyone at this event that we are hoping will be even bigger than last year's show. Brian's magnificent Jaguar will be one of our "future classics" that we will be displaying on the day alongside hundreds of other cars and motorbikes. We are hoping for another big crowd as the money raised means that people affected by cancer, heart disease or other life-limiting illness can benefit from the wide range of specialist services Saint Francis Hospice can provide at their time of need."

In addition to the vintage and future classic vehicles on show there will be a carousel, spinning tea cups and inflatables for the children and the return of the Vintage and Retro Fair that will feature stalls selling vintage clothes, accessories, home ware and furniture, homemade crafts as well as a pop up vintage tea tent, where you can drink from the finest bone china.

The show takes place between 10am and 4pm and entry is just £5 for adults with children under 12 free on the gate. 

To learn more about displaying your car or bike at the show please email fundraising@sfh.org.uk or call 01708 771427. 

Pic B Bryan at wheel of car front web sized

Brian Bracken with his cherished Jaguar