Sadly we announce that the MGCCSE President, Derek Edwards, passed away on 15th of November 2023.
Derek was a stalwart of the South East Centre for too many years than I would care to mention. I first met him in the early noughties when he was vice-chairman of the South East Centre with Doug Bush as Chairman. He was judging my nearly new MGF in a concours competition at Paddock Wood and this is something he greatly enjoyed doing at a huge number of events over the years. He took over as Chairman when Doug emigrated to Australia and led the centre through some difficult times as key members of the committee left. Ill health forced him to step down and Chris Leigh took over as Chairman on a temporary basis in the hope he may return. Sadly, that was not the case and I took over in 2021 and the committee and council approved Derek as the first President of the South East Centre.
Derek had a good collection of MGs and Austin-Healeys and was involved with the Austin Healey Club and MGOC as well as the MGCC. John Davies remembers that “he once said he always made a point of buying red cars as he hoped Anne would then not notice how many he had!”.
As his health failed he sold his car collection and some of those remained in South East hands and still appear regularly at our shows and events.
His widow, Anne, has provided an obituary for Derek below, some of which was presented at his funeral on the 15th December 2023, attended by many friends, family and South East members, and appeared in the February 2024 Safety Fast magazine.
Tim Morris, Chair MGCCSE
1933 – 2023
It was with much sadness that we received the news that the MG Car Club South East Centre President, Derek Edwards, passed away on the 15th of November.
Derek was a long-term member of the MG Car Club and served on the Centre’s committee for many years, including in the role of Chairman. In later years he was given the honour of becoming the Centre’s President in acknowledgement of his committed service to the Club. He was also a long-standing active member of the Epsom Area MGOC and a director of the Austin Healey Club.
His passion for motorsport began on two wheels in the 1950s competing in scrambling, trials and road racing. A major accident at Brands Hatch in 1959 forced his retirement from motorcycling and progression onto sports car and single-seater motor racing. His first race cars were a Frogeye Sprite and a Lotus 7. He moved on in the late 1960s and 1970s to single-seater racing competing in Formula Atlantic, F2 and F3 with Merlyn and March cars.
His working life began at the age of 16 as a shipping clerk in London. He went on to become an Exhibitions Manager organising international industrial exhibitions for British companies working in close association with the Board of Trade. He travelled extensively to far-flung places around the world over many years and as a result, had many stories to tell about his experiences.
His involvement with classic cars began in 1988 with the purchase of a wrecked Frogeye Sprite followed over the years by MGAs, an MGC GT and a pre-production MGF. Still keenly competitive he took part in many overseas classic car rally events. The Euroclassic European events of the 1990s, Le Jog three times and the achievement of which he was most proud, the Monte Winter Challenge of 2000 and 2001.
He fully engaged with the social side of club life and enjoyed leading MG tours to Europe, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight along with local runs and treasure hunts. He gave willingly of his time, knowledge and experience to club members.
His outgoing personality, sense of humour and adventurous spirit will be fondly remembered and missed by the MG fraternity at large. To his wife Anne and daughter Katie we offer our deepest sympathy on their loss.