Hinton Ampner House and Gardens near Alresford in Hampshire was the setting for this year’s Summer Day Out excursion for the Abingdon Works Centre. Sunday July 25th, a warm summer day, saw seventy MGs covering a good selection of the marque arrive for their picnic in the grounds after a road run starting near Reading and passing through the country lanes of Berkshire and Hampshire.
Cars ranging from Peter Down’s 1935 PA to Bob Foster’s 2009 TF LE500 and most of the models in between congregated for the traditional summer picnic and get together at the house and gardens given to the National Trust by Ralph Dutton, the eighth Lord Sherborne in 1985.
The site of the house dates back to the 16th century although the present version is relatively modern. Ralph Dutton inherited the estate in 1935 and set about remodelling the entire house and gardens to its present form. The work was completed in 1950 but a fire in 1960 destroyed the house. He immediately set about rebuilding the house which you see today in the same neo-Georgian style. When you walk through the house it’s hard to believe that the structure and furnishings have only been there for fifty years.
Our thanks go to the National Trust for allowing us to use the venue and for providing us with a private picnic area. Thanks also to the start team in Reading and the marshals at the venue, all of whom worked hard to make the day a real success. Our events always allow us to meet old friends and to make new ones in a very sociable setting and this one was no exception. So thank you all for supporting the Centre and let’s do it all again next year.
Text: Mike Lamb. Photos: Malcolm Bailey.