Rally Plates Galore at Annual Lunch

The narrow driveway to the Stanhill Court Hotel Hotel was filled with MGs, many covered in years of collecting rally plates. The Secretary’s challenge involved counting how many rally plates were on a car and how they were displayed. All those attending the Annual Lunch & Awards were given the chance to vote and the results were collated by Alison during lunch.

There was no room for all MGs to park on the driveway and getting them organised in the narrow space was quite fun – thanks Jon! The MGs ranged from an MGA to Cs, Bs, Fs, TFs and a Metro through to an MG3 and the very latest MG4 – they also included an “MG” Mini and VW (both of which had rally plate displays!)

So, now I am sure you want to know who the winners were. Top of the tree for the number of plates displayed on the car were John & Jenny Morgan in their MGB Roadster and parked right next to them the best display went to Alan & Jo Bradley – they collected an item of brand new and not yet released regalia each as their prizes.

After dodging the heavy rain parking up at the start of the event the sun eventually emerged on those dining in the conservatory as the guest speaker, Jonathan Suckling, began his tale of MG’s record breakers and his own experience driving on the salt at Bonneville. No stranger to Bonneville, Jonathan and his partner Daniel Nash campaigned the MG EXF and the MG ZTT X15 on the flats. Jonathan still owns the X15 and it appeared this year at the Gaydon MG100 launch event where he fired it up once again. The tale was of two privateers with a passion for speed – something Jonathan also took further with a passion for hot rods, which he has also campaigned at Bonneville. You will find his talk on our YouTube channel soon.

Jonathan Suckling giving his talk with the X15 on screen

The proceedings continued with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” and a cake for Peter Gray before moving on to the all-important raffle in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity. The £265 raised by the raffle broke the £1000 barrier for our fundraising this year taking us to £1192 – thank you to all those who contributed for this cause which is close to several in the club.

The Annual Awards brought the event to a close in a suitable fashion by recognising members who have taken part and contributed to club activities during 2023. This is the second awards ceremony held this year as in the Summer we held the 2022 awards at the Kingscote Vineyard to bring them into line with the year they were won in. From now on they will be held annually at the end of the season.

The club has a number of trophies to award as well as recognise the winners of the various competitions held at events throughout the year.

You will find the full list of this year’s winners by clicking the button above but congratulations go to our two main sets of winners. The Club Member of the Year award is actually a painting rather than a trophy and is awarded to someone who has made a significant contribution to the Club in the past year. This year that award went to David & Ursula Griffiths who have kept the Sussex Wanderers and Natter running despite David’s illness. Ursula took over much of the running and as a result, the group is still one of the strongest in the Centre. Unfortunately, they could not be with us as David was still too unwell to attend so the award was collected by club secretary Austin Banner on their behalf.

The second main award is a new one and utilises the silver Carrisma Cup which was purchased by the centre having been found offered for sale on ebay. The cup has now been re-purposed as a “Spirit of the Club” award presented to a Natter member for meritorious support of the club and natter. This year it was awarded to Trevor Osbourne and Susan Franklin for supporting the Ash Natter and also attending main events usually dressed in period costume, and that included the Annual Lunch!

Trevor & Susan with the Carrisma Cup

Thanks go to:-

Austin Banner, John Davies, John Morgan, Alison Newlyn, Paula Russell, Jon Glover, Jonathan Suckling & Tim Morris for their help in organising the event.

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