If you have any memories or pictures please contact the Chairman or Secretary.
Photos can be sent digitally or any printed versions will be scanned and returned.
A Brief History of MG Northumbria
MG Northumbria was formed in November 1993 when Tyne & Wear MG Owners Club was re-named. We have been unable to discover when the previous club started, but in September 1985 it met in the premises of the Hadrian Motor Club on Newcastle Quayside and was being run by Adele McIntyre. In subsequent years it led a somewhat nomadic existence, meeting at the South Northumberland Cricket Club in Gosforth, the Gosforth Hotel where it has been noted only about a dozen people attended, the Holystone pub in North Tyneside, briefly at Sloanes Wine bar near Newcastle Civic Centre then back again to the Holystone. Sometime in 1989 Mrs McIntyre left the area and Chris Wilson took over running the club with Wendy Bingham as secretary.
In 1993 the members decided they wished the club to be more formally run by a democratically elected committee and Chris Wilson stepped down. One of the first actions of this new committee was to change the name to MG Northumbria to reflect the wider area of the growing membership.
As the membership continued to grow, larger premises were needed and in April 1996 Brian Smith, a member of this club, was asked to write to Backworth Welfare where he was also a member, to discuss the possibility of us meeting there. He received a positive response from the Welfare Chairman with the suggestion that we provide a car park steward to prevent vandalism. Following a committee meeting it was agreed to move and the first meeting was held at Backworth on 3/7/96. Social membership was then £4 and it was agreed members would park at their own risk.
By the mid 1990s membership numbers were consistently between 85 and 95, plus spouses or partners, and a wide variety of activities took place including scenic runs, navigation rallies, hill climbs and classic car shows. In 2001 Derek Pickering formed Durham MGOC which inevitably resulted in a loss of members from south of the Tyne. Membership numbers from then on were fairly stable in the 70s, but in the last few years after widening membership to include all classic owners it has grown to over 100 and continues to thrive.
Please see a copy of an original agreement with Backworth hall at the foot of this page.
The Castles Run was launched in 1990 and soon became a popular event, attracting up to 90 entries from all over the country and in particular large club entries from Edinburgh, Harrogate and Chesterfield who vied for the Largest Club Attendance award. Runs started from one of the regions castles and finished at another, often with a lunch stop also at a castle, with many of the entrants in fancy dress or period costume. As the years went by fancy dress became less popular (perhaps not unrelated to the cost of costume hire) and the attendance of other clubs fell as they built up their own events programmes. In 2004 the run was renamed the Heritage Run to widen its scope and it was opened to all makes of classic car and with starts and finishes from venues such as English Heritage & National Trust properties.
Classic Vehicle Show
Our first show was held in 1997 at Kirkley Hall agricultural college. About 250 vehicles of all makes entered, the weather was excellent, and a good day was had by all. The following year was very wet and only half that number turned up. Another two successful shows were held but in 2001 the management of Kirkley Hall changed and we found it impossible to get a decision on whether the show could go ahead. After missing a year the 2002 show was held at Bents Park, South Shields. A warm and sunny day meant a large number of passers-by were prepared to pay to see about 300 vehicles on display and as a result a cheque for almost £800 was presented to the Great North Air Ambulance. With no shows in 2003 and 2004, the 2005 and 2006 shows were held at Dilston Castle, just outside Corbridge. These shows proved a great success with nearly 400 entries in each, raising about £6000 for Dilston’s Mencap College. Sadly heavy overnight rain caused the cancellation of the 2007 show on the morning of the event. In 2008 the event moved to a new venue at Tynedale Rugby Club and despite the wet weather and low attendance about £3000 was raised for the Priory School in Hexham. We returned on 5th July 2009 for hopefully a bigger and better show and raised a further £4600 for the Priory School. At Tynedale again for 2010 we raised £5000 which was shared between 5 local charities. The 2012 show was cancelled due to flooding but we returned, bigger and better in 2013, and again in 2014 we had a bigger and better show, and we organised the 2015 show, and then again in 2016 with over 900 vehicles in attendance, and over £14,000 raised, again the show for 2017 was held at Tynedale park and it was a fantastic show even though numbers we slightly down to just under 900 but still raising a massive £20,000 with more than 20 charities benefiting due to public admission fees increasing and exhibitor donations,
Starting in 2001, a four-night holiday in May became an established and popular event in our programme, with between 20 and 25 people taking part. The first trip, described as “MG Northumbria’s Grand Highland Tour” involved overnight stays at Aberfoyle, Inveraray, Grantown-on-Spey and Pitlochry. Its success led to a repeat the following year with Grantown being dropped in favour of an extra night at Inveraray. In 2003 we toured Yorkshire and the Lake District, staying at Beverley, Skipton, Kendal and Keswick. In 2004 it was the Peak District, with all four nights at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn in Derbyshire. In 2006 we visited Dumfries and Galloway, staying at Castle Douglas, and the following year was the turn of the North Yorkshire Moors at the New Inn, Cropton. With all four nights spent at one hotel a pattern has been established of a one day scenic run and visits to local attractions on the other days. However, one of the most popular activities from the start has been the evening meal followed by a good chat in the bar.
In 2008 the club went to Freuchie in Fife, to Keswick in 2009 which included a visit to the Ford Motorsport HQ at Dovenby Hall. 2010 saw another successful and fully booked trip to Skipton and Yorkshire was the venue for 2011 with another visit to Cropton. 2012 was the 50th anniversary of the MGB and a group enjoyed the trip to the MGOC/MGCC celebration at Blenheim Palace. In May 2013 15 members in 9 cars visited the Netherlands and later some had a trip to Swavesey for the MGOC 40th birthday event. The 2014 trip was a long weekend in the Manchester area to visit the Manchester Classic Car Show, the north Peak District and a run with the North Manchester MGOC.
In 2014 we had a 4 day trip to Yorkshire
In 2015 we had a 4 day trip to Holland
In 2016 we had a 4 Day trip to Northern Ireland
In 2017 we had a 4 day trip to Isle of Man
in 2018 we had a 4 day trip to Yorkshire
in 2019 we had a 4 day trip to the Peak District
Past Chairmen and Secretaries:
1993-96 David Greeves
1996-00 Derek Pickering
2000-03 Jim Jameson
2003-05 Eric Turtle
2005-06 George Swift
2006 pt Paul Humphries
2006-07 Ken Wood
2007-12 John Pearce
2012-18 Tim Cook
2018- Phil Kirkland
1993-97 Wendy Bingham
1997-04 Bruce Beattie
2004-07 Lorraine Hunter
2007-10 Stephen Ruddick
2010-12 Tim Cook
2012-13 Katrina Peddie
2013-17 Eileen Dalgarno
2017- Susan Farley