After another superb meal served by the ever attentive friendly staff, Phil Grinham, in his last official duty as AWC Chairman since he was standing down at the AGM the following week, welcomed everyone to this year’s dinner and introduced the guest speaker, Peter Browning. Peter, who was BMC Competitions Manager during their most successful period, regaled the audience with tales of rallies around the world. There were also stories of what it was like behind the scenes and dealing with the company’s hierarchy as it moved to becoming part of British Leyland and finally the closing of the department. An extremely entertaining talk conveyed in a most engaging manner.
We then moved to the presentation of the trophies with Peter being asked to present the Ron Gibson Trophy and the John Thornley Trophy. The Ron Gibson is awarded to the highest placed AWC member in the Triple M Handicap race at MG Live which, in 2012, was Jane Metcalf. Since Jane was unable to attend the dinner, the trophy was accepted on her behalf by Richard Martin. The John Thornley is awarded to the highest placed Centre member at the MG Live autotest, which for 2012, was Peter Van Onselen, driving, fittingly in it’s 50th Anniversary year, an MGB.
After accepting his trophy, Peter thanked the organisers and all the marshals at the event without whose efforts the event simply would not happen. The third trophy, the Charlton Shield for Centre Member of the Year was awarded to Nick Holland whose distinctive yellow ZR – best viewed at night – has become familiar on the MG scene around the country. Nick has been a regular supporter of Centre and Club functions during recent years, but as he was unable to attend the meeting, his award was accepted from Heather Charlton by Club membership secretary, Liz Allsworth.
Text: Richard Martin. Photos: Robin Cloake.