A classic car visitor attraction near Derby is celebrating its first birthday by welcoming a one-of-its-kind Rolls-Royce – Scout founder Lord Baden Powell’s prized vehicle presented to him more than 90 years ago.
Dubbed ‘Jam Roll’ – and bearing the Fleur de Lys Scout emblem, etched with the motto ‘Be Prepared’ instead of the traditional Spirit of Ecstasy or ‘Flying Lady’ – the car is now on display at the Great British Car Journey in Ambergate.
The most important car in the Scout movement’s 114-year history, the 20hp Rolls-Royce, which was manufactured in Derby, was originally presented to Baden-Powell, along with a caravan (Eccles), at the 1929 World Jamboree, the Scouting movement’s 21st birthday.
Scouts around the world were asked to donate a penny per member and enough was raised to buy the gifts, and the iconic car became known as ‘Jam Roll’ in recognition of its connection to the Jamboree and Rolls Royce.
Now, 93-years after it was presented to Baden Powell, ‘Jam Roll’ has joined the collection of classic cars at Great British Car Journey.
Fittingly, it was given a warm welcome by a group of Derbyshire’s Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers when it arrived at the popular visitor attraction.
The Rolls-Royce is now on display alongside more than 135 British-built and manufactured cars which have long since disappeared from the roads, including the Austin Seven, Morris Minor and Ford Escort as well as cars with equally famous owners, including Elton John’s Bentley Continental T.
Featuring a host of classic British cars in a covered exhibition, the Great British Car Journey – which opened on 22 May 2021 – takes visitors on an interactive journey through the golden years of British car design and manufacturing from the 1930s to 1990s.
And alongside the exhibition, visitors also have a chance to ‘Drive Dad’s Car’ – joining an instructor to take a spin in one of over 30 iconic British cars, from the Austin Seven to a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit, on a special onsite driving experience.
As well as the opportunity to literally take a trip down memory lane, Great British Car Journey celebrates Great British innovation, charting the rise and demise of the nation’s car industry with an audio-visual guide transporting visitors through the decades as the cars roll out before them.
Lord Baden Powell used ‘Jam Roll’ and Eccles for many years and after his death in 1941 his family sold it to private owners. It was seen infrequently at Scouts events before being acquired by B-P Jam Roll Ltd, a trust established to purchase in the car in 2008 ensuring it stayed in the country.
Following its purchase by the trust, of which Lord Baden Powell’s grandson the Hon. Michael Baden Powell is a trustee, the car was sympathetically restored by Scout volunteers and members of Rolls Royce Heritage Centre where it was stored until it arrived at Great British Car Journey. But even though on display there, it will continue to make special appearances at Scout events.
Located beside the River Derwent on a former Wire Works site within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, the attraction is a 20-minute drive from Derby city.
To find out more about the attraction, and to buy tickets for an interactive experience, visit https://greatbritishcarjourney.com.
For those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane, and get behind the wheel of their favourite classic car, check out https://drivedadscar.com.
For tourist information about Derby as a destination, see www.visitderby.co.uk.
Photos: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press