I thought this event went very well after the Cofton Park cancellation at short notice. We'd left home on a long road trip the week before, and only found out about the change of plan from the waitress in the Longbridge Premier Inn. After our long trip, making POL the final destination, I'd have been pretty gutted if it had been cancelled altogether. Most of the time on our 10 day trip, the weather had been dire - wet and dreary - and I washed the 214 three or four times en-route! Saturday turned out to be a lovely spring day, at last. I got round to Lowhill Lane just after 9 o'clock, and found a lot of cars there already. Given it was impromptu, I thought the whole thing was well organised with plenty of stewards to help us park on the verges and wide pavements.
I don't know Gemma Cartwright, but having seen some pics of her, I realise she was directing things near the MG factory gates. She seemed to be there for several hours and pretty committed to the event - had seen her message on the B31 website about the rejigged arrangements. Why are folk getting on her case? The POL2018 spray paint does look a bit naff, but helped folk find where the event would be and for former Longbridge employees to gather. I didn't see it while I was there, so it can't have been that big a deal. Maybe MG(UK) complained about it. I'm grateful to her for pulling it together
I was hoping to meet some folk from the Club as we live in Scotland and haven't been to any Club events. However, the event was random and I couldn't find anybody though I did chat with many people. There a was a great atmosphere and hundreds of interesting cars including some from abroad. Quite a good video on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6od_yvjT3o
. It was also good to visit the old 1950s Austin building inside the gates. In the photos above, from SD3viking, ours is the beige 214GSi, G259 FSG. The guy looking in the driver's door talking to my wife is a former Longbridge worker, who'd worked on building the early 200s including ours. He helped to fit the interior trim and was quite nostalgic seeing our car. He said it was a big blow when the place suddenly closed down in 2005. They had just taken on a mortgage and had a new baby. The human cost of Britain's industrial decline.
I think "Pride of Longbridge" should carry on as it is. It's a great name for the event. I agree it would be better to time it a month or two later when the park is more likely to be OK. It's incredibly fortunate that Lowhill Lane has such wide verges so the cars can park there. Most events would have had to cancel completely.
We came straight back to Scotland on Sunday, setting off from Longbridge at 9 a.m. Our 214 ate up the miles and seemed to go well at 75-80 mph - very smooth with little wind noise. Our end-to-end average speed on the 330 mile journey back to Fife was 63-65 mph and we got about 43-44 mpg average over the complete 1117 mile tour.