Essex Austin Seven Club takes in Saffron Walden on tour

A picture of a man, Peter Lawson, with an Austin Seven in Saffron Walden. Picture: Will Durrant

Peter Lawson, of Essex Austin Seven Club. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

"Our county has a strange image," Essex Austin Seven Club's Peter Lawson said.

"Nobody really comes to this part of the world, so I'm on a mission to showcase Essex away from the world of TV."

Peter is leading a group of nearly 30 classic car drivers around the county in what he has called "The Only Tour is Essex" to show off the area he calls home.

Among the troupe is 95-year-old driver Ron Lowe, from Liverpool, who has looked after Austin Seven cars since 1972.

He is touring Essex in a car nine years younger than him - his 1935 Austin Pearl Cabriolet.

A 95-year-old man, Ron Low, next to his 1935 Austin Seven

Ron Low, 95, from Liverpool. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Others are on tour from as far away as Dorset, Yorkshire and Manchester.

On Tuesday, September 7, they set off from their base in the Colne Valley to take in Sible Hedingham, Thaxted and Saffron Walden.

Most Read

Peter said: "North-west Essex is always a surprise.

"We stopped off at Thaxted which has a really special place in English culture.

"Saffron Walden is an excellent spot for lunch and coffee, visiting the market. We have done Audley End in the past, but this year is the first that we have taken in the town.

"This is really only a bit of fun, but we started doing this five years ago because there are organised tours all over the country.

"I absolutely had to arrange one in Essex - and parts of Suffolk - to showcase what this part of the world really has to offer."

A badge on the front of a car - "The Only Tour is Essex"

The Only Tour is Essex. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Peter said there is a real joy in driving and fixing classic cars.

He said: "Reviewers of contemporary cars all say their new models are fun to drive - but an Austin Seven is really fun to drive.

"I started looking after Sevens 35 years ago.

"I've had my current car for 14 years, taking it all over the UK and Europe.

"It's definitely a talking point and something to bond over. And you can't beat parking it up on a common or next to a beach in the summer.

"It's an adventure, definitely."

Three Austin Sevens - black, green and blue - on the common in Saffron Walden. Picture: Will Durrant

Austin Sevens on the Common, Saffron Walden. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

An Austin Seven bearing the Essex flag. Picture: Will Durrant

An Austin Seven, proudly from Essex. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant