Lord Montagu waved the tinsel-adorned starting flag as 116 VWs set off from Beaulieu to deliver Christmas presents to youngsters at the Piam Brown unit at Southampton General Hospital.
Lord Montagu waves off Ken Griffin's Beano-themed VW T4, which took the Best Dressed Van award
Numbers for the colourful convoy were at an all-time high, with 235 adults and 94 children riding in impressive classic and custom VWs laden with gifts, making the annual charity run the biggest and most successful yet.
Not only were presents gathered for the Piam Brown unit for children and teenagers with cancer and haematological disorders, but there were enough gifts for children spending December in other wards across the whole hospital.
In beautiful winter sunshine, Lord Montagu presented Beaulieu’s gifts to event organiser Phil Ashby, before the assorted VW campers and Beetles hit the road to collect even more gifts en route. Phil led the procession in his classic T2 camper, while stewards and outriders on motorcycles accompanied the convoy.
Prizes were given to the most eye-catching participants who entered into the Christmas spirit, with jolly festive costumes for themselves and their VWs. Ken Griffin, from Winchester, was dressed as Father Christmas and won the Best Dressed Van award for his bright yellow 1995 VW T4 with Beano comic graphics. Ken had laden his van with strands of tinsel and secured cuddly toy animals to his roof-rack.
Tamara and Martin Andrews and their dog Oscar receive the Best Dressed Family and Dog award from Lord Montagu
Many participants and their VWs were dressed up for the occasion with festive costumes
The Best Dressed Family award went to Sheryl, Katie, Scott and Adam Hayward, from Holbury near Southampton, who arrived on their VW-powered custom trikes in North Pole-style attire, dressed as an elf, reindeer, Christmas gift and Father Christmas. Taking the Best Dressed Family and Dog title were Tamara and Martin Andrews, from Ferndown near Bournemouth, who along with their Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Oscar were dressed in elf costumes. Lord Montagu presented all of the winning families with a VW cushion, special Beaulieu biscuits and Beaulieu bear key ring.
Lord Montagu presents the Best Dressed Family award to Sheryl, Katie, Scott and Adam Hayward
Sunday’s event (Nov 26) was the fourth Santa Run at Beaulieu which collected and delivered gifts for youngsters in hospital, as well as the doctors and nurses who work there.
Beaulieu continues to celebrate the festive season with a magical Victorian Christmas on December 9th & 10th, then 16th to January 1st. Click here for further information.