Pride of Long­bridge

More than 6500 ve­hi­cles gather to pay homage to Long­bridge’s mo­tor­ing achieve­ments

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - John Lakey

‘A unique gather­ing open to any ve­hi­cle with a Long­bridge connection’

This one-day event’s re­turn to Cofton Park – af­ter be­ing sus­pended in 2016 due to in­clement weather – man­aged a record-break­ing turnout of more than 6500 British clas­sics from across the UK.

This rep­re­sents an amaz­ing achieve­ment for an event that starts of­fi­cially at 10am – but was in fact more than half full by 9am.

Part lo­cal fête, part car rally, POL is a unique gather­ing open to any ve­hi­cle with a Long­bridge connection. It draws many lo­cals to rem­i­nisce about the cars they used to pro­duce and own­ers keen to show off their restora­tion work.

It is or­gan­ised by a com­mit­tee put to­gether by Gemma Cartwright OBE, the wife of Rover worker Andy Cartwright, who came up with the idea of cel­e­brat­ing Long­bridge’s achieve­ments in 2006.

POL has be­come a pop­u­lar sta­ple of the clas­sic car cal­en­dar, al­ways tak­ing place on the sec­ond week­end in April, when the fac­tory fi­nally fell silent in 2005.

Art stu­dent Ge­orgina Shel­ton came up with the idea of do­ing a POL art car on which peo­ple could write mes­sages. The MG ZS 110 (which was orig­i­nally starlight sil­ver) was painted in wa­ter-based zinc primer as a can­vas for per­ma­nent mark­ers.

Adam Mar­shall from Droitwich with his 1968 Austin 1300 MkII DeLuxe – and a great back­drop! Mark and Maggy She­p­ley from Ox­ford­shire with their 1963 Austin A110 West­min­ster MkII. They ar­rived with Tanya Field’s Cow­ley Con­voy. The Cow­ley Con­voy marks the 25th birth­day of Paul and Joyce Jef­ford’s (right) Mon­tego. Trevor Ri­p­ley’s South African 1975 Austin Apache pro­vided a rare sight. Chief POL or­gan­iser Gemma Cartwright, OBE, signs the art car.

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