Vintage tour to visit Felixstowe

A TWO-man team on a round Britain challenge will visit Felixstowe tomorrow in a vintage vehicle.Driver Steve Unwin and navigator Martin Males are travelling anti-clockwise round the coast in a 1923 Hupmobile model R sports car to visit all 24 Coastwatch Stations.

By Richard Cornwell

A TWO-man team on a round Britain challenge will visit Felixstowe tomorrow in a vintage vehicle.

Driver Steve Unwin and navigator Martin Males are travelling anti-clockwise round the coast in a 1923 Hupmobile model R sports car to visit all 24 Coastwatch Stations.

They will arrive at Felixstowe's station – the Martello Tower at Wireless Green, Langer Road – between noon and 12.30pm tomorrow as part of the group's annual open weekend.


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It will be the first stop on their 3,000-mile journey, which is raising funds for the Cape Cornwall Coastwatch station.

The three-litre city-to-city racer Hupmobile has had an eventful life and has broken land speed records as well as being involved in a famous race against the Cape Town-Johannesburg train in 1924.

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It lost that race but owners of the car are hoping to restage the 38-hour marathon race next year to see if there will be a different outcome.

John Lowery, public relations and recruitment officer for Felixstowe Coastwatch, said the station was very excited about the car's visit.

"We are delighted that the car is coming here and we hope lots of people will come along to welcome it – it should be quite a spectacular sight," he said.

"Steve and Martin will not be stopping long as they have a tight schedule to keep up with, but they will sign our visitors' logbook and have a cup of tea."

The station will be open both tomorrow and Sunday from 10am to 4pm for people look round, learn more about Coastwatch's work and see the view from the top of the Martello Tower, from where volunteers keep watch over the resort's seafront, alerting and liaising with the emergency services on incidents.

There will be a some fundraising activities, too, as well as refreshments, with any money raised going towards Coastwatch.

The group has 23 volunteers and mans the lookout at the top of the Martello Tower, which was the Coastguard Station until 12 years ago, every weekend all year round and during the day in high summer when the beaches are busy.

The National Coastwatch Institution was founded in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores after most coastguard stations were closed.

There is no government funding, so each station is responsible for raising enough money to keep operating, train new recruits and update equipment.

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