NOSTALGIA: Classic motor takes Buxton historian on a journey into the past

David Owen with the 1946 P2 Rover 16, which has just 25,000 miles on the clock, and was last taxed in August 1970.
David Owen with the 1946 P2 Rover 16, which has just 25,000 miles on the clock, and was last taxed in August 1970.

A blast from the past brought childhood memories flooding back for Buxton historian David Owen.

David was recently sought out by a man who had read one of his local history books on Fairfield, Burbage and Green Fairfield, in which reference is made to a car which David last clapped eyes on as a 15-year-old boy.

As a consequence of this chance meeting, David was re-united with the black 1946 P2 Rover 16. The last time he had seen the vehicle was in 1976, in a barn at Orient Lodge, Green Fairfield.

David said: “I was taken aback when Jim Wain arrived at our home having read the book, asking my wife Katie about the car.”

Jim invited David and his son Glyn to his home to see the car, which had been purchased during an auction at Orient Lodge in 1976 and was owned by two of Jim’s friends, John Lowe and Bill Webster.

David said: “I was really pleased to see the car again after almost 40 years. It is still in need of major renovation, however the engine starts and despite being in a poor condition the bodywork is all intact. The chassis is good and the brakes still work.

“Among the items still with the car is a part toolkit, starting handle, and a stick on fog diffuser that was located in the glove compartment!”

Orient Lodge, a splendid house and its model farm, was built for Samuel Swann Brittain and his Egyptian wife Emma in the early to mid-1890s.

“Their wealth was linked to their cotton interests in Egypt,” David explained.

“In time, the house and land became the property of Ben Bingham, his farm manager in 1928, later passing to his sons Robert and Wilf and daughter Mary.

“In 1976, Bob Bingham sold Orient Lodge and its land to ICI for £70,000. Shortly after this time the house and buildings were demolished.

“Many houses in Buxton have fireplaces containing stone from Orient Lodge, and some with full marble fireplaces with Egyptian pelicans on them,” he added.