More than 50 people trekked to Gaydon in order to join the AROnline 20th birthday bash, and were treated to a fantastic Q&A with Denis Chick, Kevin Jones and Ian Pogson before bidding generously in a charity auction to raise £515 for Dementia UK.
AROnline is 20 years old this year and for those who came to the British Motor Museum there was an interesting walkaround of the museum’s reserve collection, where Keith Adams and Mike Humble talked about some of their favourite exhibits as well as opening the floor to questions from the site’s readers.
Top chat was reserved for Keith Adams’s passionate recounting of the stories of the British Leyland Technology ECV3, Austin AR6 and Triumph SD2, before Mike Humble extolled the virtues and drawbacks of the Austin Montego, told alongside the last example off the line.
The group gathered in Conference Room 2 and, before the main activities began, Steve Cropley gave a rousing introduction about what AROnline means to him and motoring history in general – which was greeted with a warm round of applause from all of the attendees.
This was followed by AROnline’s (almost) world-famous Product Knowledge quiz, where a selection of tough questions was asked – so much so that no one managed to get all the questions right.
The star turn of the day was a Q&A with ex-Rover apprentice and Group Product Communications Director Denis Chick, former press fleet boss and MG Rover PR Manager Kevin Jones and Dr. Ian Pogson, former Engineer at Land Rover and MG in both the UK and China. Some searching questions were asked – which were answered with knowledge and honesty from the panel.
Finally, a selection of artefacts supplied by Kevin Jones, Denis Chick and Keith Adams were auctioned off for the panel’s chosen charity Dementia UK. Bidding from the audience was incredibly competitive and generous and, at the end of an emotional and highly-charged session, we made a grand total of £515.
If you fancy adding to our tally, which has now all been donated, you too can Donate to Dementa UK here. We’ll also be adding to this event report with more images, memories and impressions from the day, as well as information – and a transcript of the best bits from Messrs. Jones, Chick, Pogson and Humble.
But for now, thank you for everyone who’s taken time to read, contribute and enjoy this website over the past 20 years. It’s been emotional at times – here’s to the next 20!
Thanks to the British Motor Museum, Stephen Laing, and everyone who generously gave up their time to make this possible.
Photography: Adrian Wagstaff, Sue Long and Warren Whyte