MG Live! 2013 Event Report
By Jasmine Cainey
As ever the weekend of MGLive! was all the proof anybody needed, that the enthusiasm for all aspects of the MG Car Club is as strong as it has ever been despite the unpredictable British weather, which fortunately held out for the best part of the weekend!
To see for yourself you ought to look no further than within the pages of this month’s Safety Fast! Magazine, here is proof that we MG-ers are not fazed by predictions of rain showers and continue to enjoy our camaraderie, in ways that only MG Car Club members can!
Long gone are the hassles and frustrations of driving to Britain’s premier race circuit, its central location for the majority of UK members and international members ensures the event is a great success year after year.
The familiar format that has proved very popular with members of the MGCC, sponsors, traders and members of the public over the past years continued to work well at this truly International event. An excellent weekend which enabled all to watch the racing, take in the arena activities, explore traders stalls, admire the cars and chat to like-minded enthusiasts.
Armed with an essential copy of the Silverstone Souvenir Programme there were no excuses for missing any of the action over the course of the weekend.
Again the ‘Marque of Friendship Rally’ took place on the Friday with many members participating in various routes of different lengths from Kimber house in Abingdon, Mallory Park and Gaydon, all proving to be extremely popular with those who participated.
The Silverstone meet proved to be a great demonstration of a successful international MGCC event, with members attending from all corners of the globe proving that when you join the MGCC you truly join an international motoring club. Chairman Bill Silcock takes huge pride in extending the boundaries of the MGCC way beyond UK shores and a very warm welcome was extended to all foreign members at the opening of the event on Saturday morning.
Again MG motor were prominent at this event as they proudly unveiled and displayed many variations of the new MG3 which goes on sale in September. The feedback from the MG Motor staff was very positive with lots of interest and positive comments from members. With the main marquee situated next door members could also enjoy the MGCC display of cars which began with vintage cars like the 18/80 to very latest model, the MG3!
This was a great way to see the MG brand evolving over the years. Also situated next to this strong display of cars was trade city, handily grouped together. With new and second-hand parts available from all of our well known trade suppliers, plus several traders dipping their toes in MGCC waters for the first time. This was a really good way to find a bargain and again talk to some very enthusiastic MG-orientated people. Speaking to a variety of traders the main consensus seemed to be that the weather was not a deterrent and many had enjoyed brisk sales from the beginning of the weekend through to Sunday afternoon.
Macmillan also had a large presence at this year’s meet with stands/banners and merchandise working to raise support for such a great cause, and that they did, through many competitions including the Macmillan Midget photo’s some of which are included in the pages of this month’s Safety Fast!
The Lifestyle marquee also made a very welcome return this year. Located opposite the main marquee, people were able to snap up some magnificent handmade crafts and gifts. The lifestyle marquee was also home to ‘Bridget the Midget’ and owner Roy Locock who retold stories of his many adventure, sold signed copies of his book ‘Not in that car’ and also spoke about his next great adventure. Overall the Lifestyle marquee was a great success with so much to offer.
As action began on the main circuit with race qualifying sessions, so did the action within the Live action arena as crowds welcomed the return of precision driver extraordinaire Russ Swift. Renowned for driving cars on two wheels through a series of planned manoeuvres. He certainly didn’t disappoint the visitors this year as he showed his brilliant skills driving his car precariously around the arena. Russ delighted the large crowds repeatedly over the weekend, regularly involving members and providing memories of the weekend that will last forever!
Alongside the fearless Russ Swift there was also performances from Savage Skills, the UK’s leading freestyle mountain bike stunt team. Ben and his team provided interactive, jaw dropping shows, with a selection of some of the UK’s leading stunt riders. Together they put on an impressive show of tricks and stunts, many of which you would never imagine would be possible on a bicycle.
As lunchtime hit, the overseas natter was in full swing as many enjoyed being reunited with old friends and revelled in being introduced to many new friends. The conversation flow was very enthusiastic and animated as many recalled fond memories of previous MG meetings.
Towards the end of a busy and fun-filled day, if your legs were getting weary you could always rely on one of the classic 1950’s 60’s and 70’s buses courtesy of the Tuesday Bus group with special thanks to the secretary, Mr Gerry Serpell-Morris. The buses ran frequently throughout the weekend around the whole circuit, taking people across to watch the racing, sprint, autosolo and California Cup autotest. For some it gave them the opportunity to see the events from another thrilling angle, while for some it was just a nostalgic circuit trip.
Saturday evening was concluded with excellent live music and much frivolity as MGCC members reminisced and renewed old acquaintances into the early hours, which seemed to co-exist alongside light-hearted dancing and singing when main act ‘Ever-gold’ Abba tribute act took their places centre stage. Glo-car competitions also seemed to attract a large crowd as members with MG models old and new not only illuminated the night sky but also providing up-beat vibes for all to enjoy as they admired the hard work that had gone into making each car stand out from the rest.
Smaller Register and Regional gatherings where apparent in the specially designated camping areas as many enjoyed the companionship that arises from the close racing, arguably the backbone of the meet.
Another option for the Saturday evening was to attend a prestigious three course meal with popular Radio 4 presenter Winifred Robinson who gave an inspirational speech to all that attended in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support – the chosen charity of the MGCC and this year’s MGLive! Meet. The dinner was a great success and helped raise just that little bit more for such a great cause.
As ever at MGLive! There were anniversaries to be celebrated for a few MG models and Registers. This year the celebrations revolved around the 40th Anniversary of the V8, 50th Anniversary of the T Register, and 60th Anniversary of the Z Magnette and finally the 75th Anniversary of the SVW cars. In addition the V8 Register also celebrated 35 years of giving advice and friendship to members and prospective members of this performance-orientated model. The celebrations of each of these models were well worth viewing with circuit parade laps being held on Sunday afternoon.
The Register enclosure was also full for the whole weekend with each register being proudly represented by many members. There was the same presence throughout the weekend in the main marquee as Register stands proved extremely popular rendezvous points for owners, friend and those seeking further information on a variety of popular vehicles. Also in the MGCC were Top Signs who provide members with embroidered merchandise from a lot of the MG Registers and the MGCC itself.
Alongside track action were aerobatic flying displays which would not be affected by the Great British weather but instead left the crowds cheering for more as we saw the return of pilot Gerald Cooper who once again executed brilliant and daring stunts with precision, aggression and accuracy, His aerobatic displays are always distinctive, innovative and hugely popular. Alongside Gerald Cooper was a fly-by ‘parade lap’ by Roger Mills in his Miles Hawk Speed Six- a real treat as this is one of three Hawk Speed Sixes ever built.
Again as we divert from the main racing events and travel to the Live action arena where the MGCC Concours and Pride of Ownership competition was held. This competition is where originality and attention to detail take centre stage. Stunning and immaculate cars graced the arena this years as families worked together to ensure they were in with a chance of winning a coveted MGCC Trophy.
There were also cars for sale in a designated area by Trade City. On offer were MG’s of most model types – some very reasonably priced, but others less so. Several cars changed hands including the MGCCs own George Woodward who snapped up a great deal on a Sunspot Yellow MG ZR! We wish all new owners well in their acquisitions.
The afternoon saw some very close racing trackside and the joy of being able to access the many grandstands was a blessing for anyone with weary feet or who wanted to escape the wind that gradually picked up. The racing proved to be as exciting as competitive as ever with many battles spreading down the entire field in virtually every race. There is a separate race report with more details of each epic race.
MGLive!2013 was again a resounding success with members leaving with many more fond memories. Special thanks are extended to Bill Silcock, the MGCC team at Kimber house and the army of volunteers who put all of their efforts into producing such a successful event that offers so much to us, the lucky members of the MG Car Club.