Motoring festival for stately home

Nicholas and Alexandra Verney with James Beckett, centre PNL-151218-113304001
Nicholas and Alexandra Verney with James Beckett, centre PNL-151218-113304001

A new festival of motoring and motorsport is set to take place annually at the Claydon Estate, from next year.

Cars in the Claydons will celebrate all aspects of motoring and motorsport, and the date for 2016 will be Saturday, September 3, with a preview afternoon and VIP event on Friday, September 2.

The Claydon Estate, in Middle Claydon, will act as a backdrop to the festival, which will play host to vintage, historic, classic and modern vehicles.

Racing cars will form an important part of Cars in the Claydons, with motoring and motorsport personalities attending to join in the fun.

Home to the Verney Family since 1620, Claydon House and the surrounding grounds were laid out in their current form for the 2nd Earl Verney in the 18th century.

Claydon House was given to the National Trust in 1956, but the family retained and still manage the estate, part of which includes the courtyard, gardens and parkland that will form the backdrop for Cars in the Claydons.

In 2014, Sir Edmund and Lady Verney handed over management of the estate to their son Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, who moved back to Claydon.

With professional backgrounds in property, events, and luxury goods, Nicholas and Alexandra are keen on developing visitor attractions and events on the estate, and now open Claydon’s historic gardens to the public in tandem with the National Trust.

They also have plans to open new enterprises in the courtyard, starting with a new café in 2016.

The seeds of Cars in the Claydons were sown during a chance meeting between Nicholas and motorsport events manager James Beckett, of James Beckett Motorsport.

Formally launched last week in Claydon’s courtyard, Cars in the Claydons aims to bring together local people and enthusiasts for a day of motoring-themed entertainment.

Nicholas Verney said: “All of us at Claydon are hugely excited about creating this new event, not least me as I have always been interested in classic and vintage cars and thought that my family home would be a superb location for a car event.

“When I met James and he told me that he had often thought the same, it seemed like a really exciting opportunity to get together and turn some of our ideas into reality.

“I hope everyone will enjoy the event we plan to put on and join us each year as it evolves into the festival we believe it has the potential to become.”

Further details will be released early next year.