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Midland Lunch, Gaydon

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pm


Our ever-popular Midland Lunch took place on the 3rd April at the British Motor Museum Gaydon, where 160 Fellows and guests gathered to enjoy a day of fun and fellowship.

The day kicked off with a very informative lecture from Steve Young who outlined the challenges and opportunities our industry faces, and it was rewarding to see so many Fellows enjoying this insightful start to the day. Our thanks again to Steve. Our AGM followed where normal formalities were dealt with, and then our President, Peter Lewis-Jones, presented Brian Spratt, who is standing down from the committee, with a tankard in recognition of his long and valued service including his time as Chairman and Honorary Secretary. His experience and humour will be much missed by all of us.

We then gathered in the bar of the Sky Suite for pre-lunch drinks, giving everyone the opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues before sitting down for a splendid lunch.

After lunch our Chair, David Manchester, introduced Richard Usher, founder of the Great British Car Journey, who after a brief overview of his own automotive career gave a hugely entertaining and interesting address about a lesser known racing driver, John Cobb, who held the World Land Speed record three times in 1938, 1939 and 1947. His land speed record of 403 mph stood until 1963! Despite his illustrious career in motor sport he was overshadowed by the more flamboyant racers of the time, namely Malcolm Campbell and Sir Henry Segrave. Also, despite being born into a very wealthy family his personal life was blighted by debilitating illness in his younger years, his father committing suicide, and his first wife dying after only two years of marriage. These sad circumstances made him a very introverted character, but despite that he went on to achieve great things in his chosen sport. In later years he turned his mind to becoming on water what he was on land and commissioned a jet-engine powered speedboat from Vospers, named Crusader to set a world record. Sadly, on the 29th September 1952 he was killed on Loch Ness when at speeds of over 200mph the boat lost stability and he was thrown into the waters. Whilst in a way a sobering story the audience clearly enjoyed Richard’s speech and we thank him for giving his valuable time to the Fellowship.

The day’s event was concluded by the entertaining “Head and Tails” competition run by our energetic President, Peter Lewis-Jones, ably assisted by his unpaid adjudicator Phil Wilkins! After a number of rounds the winner of the Magnum of Champagne was David Main. Proceeds of the competition, amounting to £1725 with Gift Aid, were presented to Matt Wigginton of our very own industry charity BEN.

Many people stayed on afterwards to enjoy each other’s company, so hopefully a pleasurable day for all concerned. I would like to thank everyone for supporting this event, and great to see so many smiling faces. It was also rewarding to not only see our “regulars” but also a number of first timers.  Thanks also goes to Lisa Locke and the catering team at the BMM who looked after us so well.

I trust that you all had safe journeys home, and whilst it is called the “Midland Lunch” we had Fellows from all corners of the UK, so a special thank you for those making those long trips. Fellows who brought guests please do encourage them to join the ranks of the Fellowship – we already have one new member!

Peter Cottle, Vice Chair






Event gallery


April 3
10:30 am - 4:00 pm


British Motor Museum
Banbury Road, Gaydon
Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ
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Peter Cottle


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