MGR@10 Month : Preview – Pride of Longbridge 2015

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

This year’s Pride of Longbridge event takes place this coming Saturday, 18 April 2015, and AROnline will be there to cover it.

POL overview

This year’s event promises to be especially poignant, as it marks the 10th Anniversary of the closure of MG Rover and the original ‘Save MG Rover Rally’ that kicked it all off. Little did organiser Gemma Cartwright MBE realise at the time, but the event would grow to be the single biggest gathering of MG, Rover and related cars in the calendar and a not-to-be-missed event for all fans of the marques.

A further attraction this year will be the opportunity for visitors to drive away in a freshly restored ex-British Telecom Maestro Van, donated by enthusiast Anthony Ellis to raise money for both Pride of Longbridge and the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Not since 'Bullseye' in 1986 have you been able to excitedly try to win a Maestro...
Not since ‘Bullseye’ in 1986 have you been able to excitedly try to win a Maestro…

Anthony, whose brother Darren had to rely on Midlands Air Ambulance in 2009 after being involved in a road traffic accident in Northfield, decided to put his passion for repairing classic cars and vans to good use by using it to raise money for the charity that helped save his brother’s life, and has restored a 1989 Maestro van to give away on the day. Anthony and the two charities hope to sell 2,000 tickets, which should raise £30,000.

Anthony Ellis's Maestro van, mid-restoration
Anthony Ellis’s Maestro van, mid-restoration

Adam Williams, Regional Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, comments: “Anthony’s support is incredible, he’s admitted this will be a labour of love and will take him over 100 hours to complete, but the outcome will be fantastic as someone is going to win a van and raffle ticket sales help fund ten air ambulance missions across the region – there’s no greater result than that.”

Pride of Longbridge has taken place at Cofton Park in Cofton Hackett for the past nine years, and was designed to bring the local community back together for a fun-filled day, following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.

Event organiser, Gemma Cartwright, adds: “Each year Pride of Longbridge has continued to grow. It’s the only event of its kind to attract all the MG and Rover appreciation clubs across the world, and we proudly attract people who have a connection to Longbridge from as far as Australia. Alongside Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, we are extremely grateful for Anthony’s support, which will help fund our show for the following two years.”

Raffle tickets cost £15 each and are available on the day. £10 from each ticket sold will be donated to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, while £5 will be donated to the Pride of Longbridge event.

The editor's new 214 will be making its show debut...
The Editor’s new 214 will be making its show debut…

AROnline’s Editor, Craig Cheetham, will be there in his “new” 23-year old 214Si, which you can read about here, while Features Editor Mike Humble will also be along in his revitalised 75 (the one he’s owned three times) with the Cowley Convoy. Not only that, but he’s also bringing an S-Series-powered MG Maestro, too – if you spot either of us on the day, be sure to say hello.

So, who else is going, and what are you bringing along?

Mike Humble's 75, on the other hand, has been seen around 'a few times'
Mike Humble’s 75, on the other hand, has been seen around ‘a few times’

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

16 Comments

  1. I am planning to bring my 28k ‘Project drive’ ZS, it’s the car I attended the first POL/Save Rover rally with ten years ago.

  2. I am looking to attend and will be bringing along the last diesel-powered MG ZR Trophy/Trophy SE to be registered. Even though it has just 24,000 miles under its belt it is now ten years old (in terms of build), so had the cambelt changed last week in time for PoL.

    Now where’s that tin of wax (for the car) and my matching Ignition Blue attire to wear…

  3. I will be coming along with the Rover 75 & ZT Owners Club in my 2003 Rover 75 Club SE, along with the other 126 (Currently) Rover 75`s & MG ZT`s from the Club !

    Its going to me an emotional day.

  4. That’s my silver 820 vitesse in the foreground! I’ll be there again this year. I’ll be taking a bigger coat this year. It was freezing cold in 2014!

  5. Well, my ZR will be making its third appearance at Pride Of Longbridge. Its been serviced, checked over by my trusted garage and waxed YET AGAIN.
    I’ve offered to help out this year so I’ll be on Cofton Park early on.

  6. Will be there as well with my 75 launch car (Wedgwood Blue), will be parked with the 75&ZT Owners’ Club (only LHD car parked there, so easy to spot).

    Nicolas

  7. How many more perspectives on the fall of Rover and mawkish wallowing in automotive misery can we stand?

    This week saw the start of full Jaguar XE production in a brand new manufacturing facility at Solihull. Time to start looking forward and demonstrating that most un-British of character traits – optimism – I think.

    • Thought this was just a fairly happy article about a car show lots of people are looking forward to. With the added bonus that hopefully a few thousand will be raised for charity.

      There have been a good few MGR articles recently but that’s because it’s the 10th year since the companies demise. I’ve found every single one so far an interesting read. Look back before that and there’s been regular, upbeat coverage of new MINI models, major events at JLR and news from MG/SAIC but not much ‘mawkish wallowing’.

  8. Funny that Paul, I thought this thread was very upbeat: with people looking forward to an enjoyable car show.

  9. Is it the same as other years this year? Can I just roll up and show my car? I haven’t been for a couple of years and it all seems very club oriented from what I can find.

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