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From the chair July 2014

publication date: Jul 1, 2014
author/source: John Kendall


John congratulates Driver of the Day Gary Cuthbert of FordWednesday 25 June brought the curtain down on yet another Western Group of Motoring Writers PR Driving Day at a sun-drenched Castle Combe Circuit. 


A year of planning and hard work from organiser Alyson Marlow meant that the day ran like clockwork, even though the Goodwood Festival of Speed Moving Motor Show the following day robbed us of several press offices and a number of cars. 


On behalf of the Western Group, I would like to thank Kia for hosting us on tuesday and helping to ensure we were all at Castle Combe bright and early on Wednesday, ready for our guests.  


Assistance from Vauxhall brought ID PR to Castle Combe for the first time, demonstrating that key distribution and car check-in and out was the smoothest many of us can remember. It also brought the data for prize giving at the end of the day up on screen at the touch of a button. Mitsubishi’s generosity ensured that every penny raised from the Indian Head Massages went to charity. 


The event would not be what it has become without Castle Combe and our thanks to Rodney, Maria, Lucy, Mike, Erling and the team for placing the pits and circuit at our disposal and to David and Amanda in The Tavern for keeping the food and drink flowing throughout the day.


Overall we raised £392.50 on the day from the charity collections and special thanks to WGMW member Maxine Ashford for some relentless raffle ticket selling to maximise the total. A special collections of images from the day will be appearing on our site very soon and Mike Lewis is hard at work as I write putting the finishing touches to the video of the day. Thanks to Mike with help from WGMW member John Kerswill in putting the video together and to Reg Burnard for his photographic record of the day. We will soon be deciding on a date for 2015 and would appreciate any suggested dates from our industry colleagues.


In the run-up to the Driving Day the group was saddened to learn of the death of Welsh Group founder member and honorary life member John Edwards and Guild member Clive Jacobs. John was a multiple winner of the Pirelli Award for Weekly Motoring Writers and his writing was highly thought of in the motor industry. Clive was probably best known as host of the BBC Radio 4 Programme Going Places and as the founder of the Guild of Motoring Writers Classic Rally.


WGMW Guild Classic 2014Clive was remembered by participants in this year’s Guild Classic, which took place the weekend before the Western Group Driving Day. The Western Group (left) was well represented at the Guild Classic with me in VW’s 1978 Beetle; Reg and Jo Burnard in John Griffiths’ 1979 MGB Roadster; Andrew and Katherine Morland in their 1950 MG YT Tourer; John and Jan Powell in Ford’s 1976 Mk 1 Granada 3.0 GL; Jeremy Walton and Deborah Parrett in BMW’s 1989 Roberto Ravaglia Edition M3; Kim and Elaine Henson in their Austin A35 – a late substitute for the expected Reliant Regal and finally Western Group friends Julian and Julie Leyton in their 1977 Triumph Stag. What a week! 


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