2012 Abingdon Works Centre Awards Dinner – Saturday 24th March

Steventon House Hotel, the former home of MG racer George Eyston, was once again the venue of the Centre’s Awards Dinner with almost 60 people attending the 2012 event at the end of March. It was quite an international gathering with Carole & David Walker from New Zealand, Diana & Ian Willis who’d flown back that week from South Africa, Chris Callaghan from Scotland, Mervyn Gillespie from Northern Ireland and Pete Davies, AWC Secretary, who spends most of his time these days in Turkey!

Amongst the trophies on display was the Nuffield Gold Cup which had been presented to the Centre at Silverstone during MGLive! 2011.

After a glorious meal, AWC Vice-Chairman, Richard Martin, conveyed the apologies of the new Chairman Phil Grinham, who had a family commitment elsewhere, and welcomed everyone to the Dinner. He then introduced the guest speaker, Ian Pogson, Chief Engineer at MG Motors, Longbridge, who entertained everyone with some of his experiences in China. Ian then auctioned a couple of MG items with the proceeds going to the RNLI, to whom the AWC made a donation in appreciation of Ian agreeing to join us for the evening.

We then moved to the presentation part of the evening with Ian presenting the Ron Gibson Trophy and the John Thornley Trophy. The Ron Gibson Trophy is awarded to the highest placed Centre member in the Triple M Handicap race at Silverstone which, in 2011, was Andrew Taylor. The John Thornley Trophy is awarded for the highest placed Centre member at a Silverstone Autotest who, for the second year running, was Sophy Bassett.

The third trophy, the Charlton Shield for Centre Member of the Year, decided by the AWC Committee from nominations received from the membership, is given for services to the Centre during the year. It was announced that this year’s decision was one of the easiest as the winner received more nominations than all the other candidates put together! For his efforts in instigating and producing the monthly Newsletter, which now has an e-mail circulation list of over 800, as well as his work on a number of AWC events, this year’s winner is Mike Lamb. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to attend the dinner so, on his behalf, the award was accepted from donor Heather Charlton, by Anne Allison.

There was then one surprise presentation as MGCC Director, Ian Quarrington, on behalf of the AWC Committee, presented a personalized clock to Richard Martin for his efforts during his 5 years as Chairman of the Centre.

This was followed by the raffle where we were again overwhelmed by the generosity of those providing prizes. After an energetic performance organising the drawing of winning tickets, Treasurer, Gill Martin thanked everyone who donated the prizes and also thanked them for their generosity.

The evening was wrapped up by a few words from Richard Martin who thanked Brian Moylan and Gill for their efforts in pulling the evening together. He also thanked Ian, for coming to speak to everyone, wishing him a safe journey back to the Midlands. Finally, he wished good luck to all those present running for Sport Relief the following day. He reported that he had it on good authority that MG Benji was running in Oxford so warned that, if anyone should happen to see a large furry thing looking lost around the Northern suburbs, please could they look after him!

Text: Richard Martin.

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