The organisers of this year’s St. George’s Day Run pulled off yet another successful event as part of the AWC’s contribution to the Federation of British Historical Vehicle Club’s National ‘Drive It Day’ on Sunday 27th April. Despite many challenges along the way, some 33 MGs of various types and ages departed from Lodge Hill Garage in Abingdon, their drivers having stocked up on bacon sandwiches, tea and coffee that had been so generously prepared by our hosts on the morning. With flags of St. George fluttering in the wind, everyone made the 48 mile journey in mixed conditions.
For most of the entrants, the poor weather – particularly the rain – was the only challenging issue of the day. Not so for the event’s organisers, though, with a fair share of last minute surprises thrown at them to overcome. Not least of which was the parking arrangements at our destination, the wonderfully quaint Cotswold Motor Museum at the delightful Gloucestershire village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Having secured prime parking for a well-planned Red & White display of MGs directly outside the museum several months earlier, our organisers were OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcontacted by the FBHVC on the eve of the run itself who declared that area was theirs for the taking. Needless to say, the MGs outside the museum were proudly displayed, and attracted much interest from tourists, especially Malcolm Bailey’s V8 BGT Police Car.
The rest of us were parked a short walk away in the British Legion car park. Arrangements had been made in advance for us to use this car park, for which the organisers are most grateful to the Bourton Royal British Legion. Also on display in the car park were a fine collection of classic vehicles, including members from our neighbours the Oxfordshire MG Owners Club, who had also organised a run to the same location though via a different route; Jaguars, Triumphs, Corvettes, classic Fords and many more. Some drivers from South Wales had just gone out for a drive, and arrived by chance at Bourton. They were amazed at the turnout, and chatted away with fellow classic owners for most of the afternoon.
As the car park began to fill up with classics of all ages, a few 4x4s started to arrive with small people dressed as Beaver Scouts. Unbeknown to the organisers, there was a scout event taking place in the British Legion Hall, which was to be attended by 100+ people! The role of the parking marshals then changed from organising MGs and other classics into nice neat rows of ‘pride and joys’, into trying to find space for dozens of huge 4×4 all-terrain vehicles carrying little Amelia and Jasmine. Many being driven by people clearly unable to navigate around tight corners, or on wet grass. Oh the joy!
Once the car park was full, time to wander around the museum – always a delight. There’s so much ‘stuff’ in there, you always seem to see something you’ve never spotted before, no matter how many times you’ve visited. Then, finally a late lunch in one of the many hostelries in this lovely village before returning to our beloved classics.
It was great to see so many lovely cars being driven, even the rain didn’t deter the hardy souls. But just a few words of thanks to the organisers that made the event so successful. And the hope that until now, most of our members didn’t realise just how challenging this event actually was. We hope you enjoyed the day, and look forward to seeing many of you at our next event, the 22nd Old Speckled Hen run on 25th May.
“Never in the rain or urban parking has so much been owed to so few by so many.”
With apologies to Winnie.
Text: Tony Cotter. Photos: Malcolm Bailey.