Rest of the World News
‘1923 and All That’: The MG Car Club’s position regarding the origins of the Marque.
Various individuals and some magazine editors have claimed that the MG Car Club is out of kilter with a general consensus that the first MG cars were sold in 1923. The claim, stated by those who have not taken the trouble to actually consult the MGCC and by others who refuse to correct their error, is that the MGCC believes the correct year is 1924. This assertion is simply untrue. The identity of what was possibly the first Morris Garages ‘Raworth (FC 5581) was stated in the February 2018 issue of Safety Fast! The same car was identified the previous month by a member of The Early MG Society in Enjoying MG, the MG Owner’s Club magazine.
In spite of this clear indication of where the MGCC stands on this matter there are some who, for reasons of their own, wish to claim otherwise.
“I don’t know if many of you have realised but we are getting very close to the centenary date of the foundation of the MG Car Company. There has been plenty of confusion as to when the MG Car Company was formed, either 1923 or 1924. The MG Car Club insist it was 1924, all the advertising advice it has given the Chinese and Indian MG companies …..”
“This is an interesting article written by Brian Rainbow, with the exception of the MGCC all other MG clubs believe that the centenary celebrations should be held in 2023”.
The errors in the above are threefold. If it is the centenary of the MG Car Company which is to be celebrated then we have nearly seven years to wait, for the Company was not registered until March 1928. Second, the MGCC has not given ‘advertising advice’ to the Chinese and Indian manufacturers, we have supplied material from our extensive archives, but as with BMC, British Leyland, Austin Rover, and Rover Group the context in which they place archive material is entirely their decision and independently of the MGCC.
Dealing with the major error, the position of the MGCC on 1923/4 has been consistent for decades, and possibly since the founding of the club in 1930. The first MGs were made and sold in 1923. The photo below from Thoroughbred & Classic Car of October 1985 states clearly in an advert composed and paid for by the MGCC that 1923 is for us the correct year.
A detailed account was published in the February 2018 edition of Safety Fast! of what is believed to be the first Morris Garages Sports Special registered on 1st June, 1923. This why we have chosen 1st June 2023 as the start of our year-long celebration of the MG centenary starting with a small display adjacent to the original showroom where the first MGs were sold by Cecil Kimber in Oxford. Three other MG clubs were invited to participate two years ago but have yet to respond. As a club with many international affiliates across the globe we decided that a full year would enable all our affiliates wherever they are to enjoy a summer event of their choosing. The culminating event for us will be in June 1924, in the meantime we hope that other MG clubs will come together for common purpose. Should other MG clubs feel that they don’t wish to celebrate with the MGCC, then for whatever their reasons, chronology cannot be one of them.
MG Car Club, Vice-chairman and Overseas Director.
KSA MG Car Club
We welcome a newly affiliated club from Saudi Arabia. Especially welcome as we have not previously had affiliates in this part of the world.
MGCC Overseas Director & Vice Chairman.
MG South Cape Centre
The MG Car Club 90th Anniversary.
12th 2020 will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding
of the MGCC. The club’s origins lie in an advert placed in the Light Car
magazine suggesting the formation of a club for MG owners. The venue was the
Roebuck Hotel, Broadwater, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
which still exists. Over thirty cars and their drivers and passengers attended
to the inaugural event and a
club was quickly formed. The following year the first club dinner was held with
Cecil Kimber as the guest speaker. In 1932 the first dinner-dance was held at
the Café Royal in London
where Sir William Morris, George Eyston, and Earl Howe were among the guests.
To celebrate the 90th year of the MG Car Club, we would like clubs to mark the occasion by organising a contribution to a world-wide event on the following lines:
- The celebratory event to be organised is a run or rally by every club, register and centre in both the UK and across the world.
- The date for the event will be Sunday 11th October, 2020.
- The run or rally should be as far as possible different from the usual runs put on by the club, register, or centre. One suggestion is that an approximate ‘octagonal’ route is devised. Another could be passing over a river on a bridge or a ferry. Essentially something which is different, acts as the focal-point for the run, and enables some memorable photos to be taken.
- Mid-day local time should be used as the start of the run, or the point at which an unusual feature is crossed, passed, seen etc. – the focal point. In this way the event becomes a ‘whole day’ global event from New Zealand, Australia and Japan in the east, to Brazil, California and Hawaii in the west.
- As far as possible local and national media should be alerted and used as a means of raising both the MGCC’s and the marque’s profiles. Local media especially is often open to a prepared ‘feel good’ human interest story.
- Consideration could also be given to video and photos being uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc. which have a wide reach and enable comment and participation.
- As we get closer to October 2020 I hope to provide more information on the founding meeting and those involved in getting the MGCC off the ground in 1930.
MGCC, Overseas Director.