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Midland Lunch, British Motor Museum

April 12, 2023

Over 180 Fellows and guests gathered for the Fellowship’s ever popular Midland Lunch on the 12th April at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon. This year, prior to our AGM and the lunch, we held an augural lecture given by Steve Young on the challenges facing our automotive industry. Feedback has been very positive indeed and has encouraged us to make a lecture a fixture for future years.

The main purpose of the lunch is for fellows to enjoy meeting up with ex colleagues and make new friendships, and judging by the interaction prior, during, and after lunch this objective was achieved. David Manchester, our newly appointed Chairman, welcomed everyone and provided an overview of his time in the industry and updated fellows on the rebranding of the Fellowship and our soon to be launched new website. After lunch David introduced well-known TV presenter, Mike Brewer of “Wheelers Dealers” fame amongst other ventures. Mike explained how he got into the automotive industry, starting with buying back his “written off” Mini, repairing the modest damage and subsequently reselling at a very worthwhile profit. Channel 4 then recognised his presenting talents after he was filmed showing them around a used car being sold at the dealership where he was employed. The rest, as they say, is history. Mike generously gave his services free of charge, but the Fellowship were pleased to donate £500 to his chosen charity SeeSaw, who support young children and their families in Oxfordshire when they have been bereaved or when somebody close to them is terminally ill.

Our President, Peter Lewis-Jones then preceded over the “Heads and Tails” competition, helped with the coin tossing by immediate Past-Chairman Peter Leake. Great fun as usual but judging by how many times the coin was dropped you would not wish either of them in the slips for England!! The winner of the magnum of champagne was John Ward. We were delighted that the competition raised £1777 for our fabulous industry charity, BEN.

After formal proceedings ended fellows and guests spent time in the bar to carry on conversations and meet up with people they had not seen over lunch. I would like to personally thank everyone for supporting this our largest event of the year, and do hope that some of the guests will see the benefits of becoming a member. A personal thank you to Monica Lewis-Jones for manning the reception desk and to Brian Spratt for taking many photographs during the day.

Peter Cottle, Vice Chairman

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April 12, 2023