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