Saturday, April 25, 2009
Clara girl, Clara girl, where have you been?
Not to London to visit the Queen, but to Windsor (where she happened to be in residence, but I did not see her) to see HRH Duke of Edinburgh. To celebrate 85 years of the MG marque, the Windsor Rotary Club and several MG clubs organised the Royal Windsor MG Heritage Festival to as fundraiser for The Prince Philip Trust Fund and other Rotary charities. (They raised over £50000 I'm told.)
The aim was to get a representative of every MG model from 1924 to 2009, the very newest 85th Anniversary Edition, which was unveiled to the public today. The earliest models that made it were two from 1925. Apart from the war years 1940-45 and 1947 & 1962 every year up to 1980 was represented by at least one variant. After that, with the fickle fortunes of BMC, British Leyland, MG Rover etc the representation was a bit lumpy.
However, it was a fantastic turnout of some extremely beautiful examples of the MG Marque down through the years and I was lucky enough to be chosen to represent 1950 and the sole YA.
We had to assemble bright and early for security checks and what-not and to get organised into the specific running order. I was number 77 out of 221 cars that had the rare priviledge of driving up Castle Hill and through St George's Gate into the private area of the Castle. We then drove around the Royal Quadrangle where HRH gave me a cheery wave and then out of the castle and through the private grounds into Frogmore Drive and down to a parking area by the cricket grounds.
Once we were all assembled there HRH drove himself down in his Range Rover and planted a tree, as did Mr He Xiaoqing the Chairman of MG Motors UK. Mr He then presented HRH with the keys to a brand new MG TF LE500 which will be auctioned as part of the fundraising. HRH then got back into his Range Rover and drove right past where I was parked on his way back to the Castle.
With the formal bits over, the public were allowed in to look at the cars so I sat there and soaked up the admiring glances and posed for hundreds of photos. I even had two young lads ask if they could sit in me for a while; they seemed quite amused by my opening windscreen.