Chairman  Vice Chairman Secretary
Dr Valerie Smallwood Russ Herbert Margaret Ball

 Valerie Smallwood

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 Treasurer  Webmaster  
Keith Taylor  Neil Sturgess John Ball

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 Neil Sturgess

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Ted Carver Reg King  

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Meet the people behind the names


Valerie is a founder member of the Great Western Section, has served as treasurer and events secretary and was appointed Chairman in November 2009. Even as a non committee member she continued to organise events and over time these often reflect her liking for machinery and “ anything that is man made and demonstrates ingenuity, taste and, all importantly, style”. Valerie has a passion for industrial archeology, in particular the history of the canal system, which she says, “has been something to wonder at when compared to what is happening today when almost everything has inbuilt obsolescence” She is an Ottoman scholar and Turcologist and “other obscure languages also have occupied my time”. Valerie and her late husband Simon took their 1932 20/25 by Freestone & Webb on a RREC Euro Rally to St Moritz , their most adventurous journey , and an experience they both said they would never forget. The Section owes its name to Valerie, who was a member of its first Committee. Following Simon's death, Valerie recently married Michael Broadbent but has again sadly been widowed again


Roger and Margaret Stowell joined the RREC on the 29th July 1985 having purchased their Gurney Nutting bodied 3½ litre Derby Bentley the previous year.

In 1986 they attended the inaugural meeting of Great Western Section and later joined the committee. They took on the production and distribution of the section newsletter from Nicholas Finch, then Section Secretary. Roger died suddenly in January 1997 but Margaret was prevailed upon by family, friends and Committee to continue to organise a presence at Stanton Drew Steam Fair in August 1997 and there met engineer and fellow motoring enthusiast, John Ball, a widower of only 8 weeks. John was there with his newly restored 1927 Flat Nosed Morris, and knew Roger’s nephew.

In 1998 John accompanied Margaret on the Welsh Weekend. They married in August 2000 and shortly afterwards John was invited to join the Committee. In 2009 John spent 11 months of hard work totally restoring a 20/25, purchased for that purpose by Roger many years earlier, so that it could be used for the wedding of John’s son that December.

They also have a bright red 40/50hp with a three position body by Gill of Paddington, a 20 hp tourer, a Silver Cloud II, another Derby Bentley which has been used many times for frequent rallying on the continent, a Phantom I, a 20/25 and a Silver Shadow 2, all of which they are thoroughly enjoying. 

At the 2012 Section AGM, Margaret, then Vice Chairman, agreed to become ‘acting’ Secretary and subsequently Secretary in 2013. John was appointed Vice-Chairman in 2012 and continued in that role until January 2020. Between them they produce the Newsletter and are still enjoying all aspects of this great club.

KEITH TAYLOR bought his l975 Silver Shadow in April l994. Since then, he has had the body completely re-sprayed from bare metal, the back and side bright work re-chromed and the wood renovated. More recently, he has renovated the engine bay. the project is described over 5 episodes in the Club magazine - the Bulletin, issues B342,B341, B339, B337 and B336. Link:

TED CARVER As a three year old his first car was pedal powered, built by his father despite wartime shortages ! In later years he graduated from a BSA Motor cycle to a Ford 8, duly repaired/rebuilt over time. However from an early age he decided that he wanted a Rolls Royce but that had to wait when marriage, children and work necessitated cars within his budget. When a second car for commuting required transport, he bought and restored an original Series 1 Land Rover, a fun vehicle also used for Lions charity events. He admits that it was a big mistake to delay joining the RREC until finances permitted his ownership of a ‘proper car’ but having done so, his first rally was in Greece in 2004 which was a life changing event. Since then he has travelled far and wide and has Rolls Royce friends country -wide. Now retired, he describes his professional life as "Nuclear Physics-Production management- Import/ Export-Event Management". However retirement has left him more time for his many interests which include that of a model railway enthusiast. 

REG KING joined the R.R.E.C in 1968, shortly after buying his 1933 3 ½ Derby Bentley, and by chance finding a Club Bulletin in a Gloucester car park a few weeks later ! A sports saloon by Rippon Bros of Huddersfield, it featured as the Company’s exhibition car on the stand at the 1933 Earls Court Motor Show and was the twelfth of the model produced by the Derby works. By 1968 it was in poor overall condition and needing serious overhaul, so Reg dismantled the car down to the bare chassis and after thousands of hours burning the midnight oil , the Derby Bentley was just about back on the road, Reg’s career has been in Civil Engineering and Building design, as well as Surveying and Design Consultancy. As one of his hobbies, he has the world’s largest collection of around 450 different types of rolling pins, is the author of books on the subject, has staged Museum exhibitions, and gives talks to Ladies groups (and others) which he finds great fun. 

VICE-CHAIRMAN RUSS HERBERT and wife Jackie joined the RREC in 2010 after acquiring a Rolls-Royce 20/25 with a single coupe body by Park Ward, having purchased his first classic car, a 2.5 litre Riley back in 1978 which he still owns. Starting his engineering career in 1961 with a formal apprenticeship, Russ qualified with Chartered status in four professional institutions, in time becoming a main board Director of a top 20 PLC and subsequently Chairman of a high-tech software company. Since retirement he has been involved with various charities at local and regional level. A motor cyclist for many years, he has spent many years preparing candidates for their IAM Advanced Motorcyclist Test with the Bristol Group of Advanced Motorcyclists. Russ sold the 20/25 after seven years and invested in a Bentley S1, James Young Sporting Saloon (1956) which he has regularly campaigned on the RREC Continental Rallies.

NEIL STURGESS. Neil is the newest Member of the Committee, having been elected in 2019. He and his late wife Barbara first joined the RREC in 1989 and he currently owns a Bentley S1 and a Mulsanne S. He has previously owned 2 Silver Shadows and a Bentley R-Type. During his time in the Club, he has served on the Paulerspury and Wessex Section Committees, becoming Chairman of both. He has had a long standing association with all types of classic cars and recently bought a 1965 Sunbeam Rapier - his 70th car! As well as contributing to the general running of the Section, Neil's main role will be to act as Webmaster and to manage the development and maintenance of the Section's website. Neil had a long career in Local Government, working at senior management level in a number of Departments, ranging from Social Services, Education, Leisure and Fire & Rescue. Neil was widowed in 2014 and has recently married fellow Classic Car enthusiast, Jean.