Petrolheads pack Newport park for Midlands' Motorfest

A new venue and glorious sunshine have proved to be the perfect combination for Midlands’ Motorfest visitors.

Bernard Brett and Simon Ryder with Bernard's MGC Roadster
Bernard Brett and Simon Ryder with Bernard's MGC Roadster

Hundreds of classic and vintage vehicles have taken centre stage at the two-day event, held on Easter Sunday and Monday, at Chetwynd Deer Park, Newport.

A full programme of entertainment attracted visitors from across the region, from owners to individuals and families keen to reminisce about their own cars.

Doug Rushton from Wellington with his Ford Escort Mexico 1976
Christine Green from Cannock in her Lincoln Continental MKIV 1976 Emilio Pucci rare edition

Sponsored by ClassicLine, the event had 38 motoring clubs joining in the festivities including the Shropshire and the South Staffs MG owners clubs, Mercedes Benz Club, Triumph Sport Six Club, Stag Owners Club and TVR Club as well as Black Country Ford, Jaguar Enthusiasts Club Shropshire and North Staffs and Potteries Vintage Classic Car Club.

Classic Car Motor Show at Chetwynd Deer Park in Newport
Visitors browse the vehicles

Gemini events director Stephen Smith said Motorfest kicked off the 2019 calendar of events.

“We have entertainment for everyone from the petrol heads of all ages, to a live area of music and Disney characters for the kids,” he said.

One of the youngest owners was Tom Brocklehurst, 20, with his 1995 Mini.

“Most people my age have something like a Corsa but this has so much character and it won’t depreciate as much,” he said.

More than cars

He is a member of the Curlew car club, an offshoot of the Staffordshire Moorlands MG owners club.

Its secretary Andy Pakeman said the clubs were much more than the vehicles and were very much social and friendship organisations.

Roger Wenlock from Telford cleaning his Jaguar 3.4S 1967

Bernard Brett said that when he bought his MGC Roadster as a teenager, he would never have dreamt he would still own it today, almost 40 years on.

The self-confessed petrolhead from Ellesmere has lovingly cared for the three-litre sports car over four decades.

Ben Hayes from Dudley with his Rover Mini Mayfair 1989

Bernard and Simon Ryder exhibited their MGs are part of the Shropshire MG Club stand at the show.

Bernard said: “I have owned it since my late teens and I am so glad I didn’t sell it. I probably wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it today.

“I absolutely love it. I remember when my children used to go in it and now it’s my grandchildren. It’s part of the family.

“It’s had a lot of work done on it, not long after I bought it, the car had to have new wings.”

Mark Willis and his Land Rover

Telford couple Mark and Kay Willis were both displaying vehicles, Kay her 1968 Mini Moke and Mark a 1998 Land Rover Wolf.

The couple from Eyton said the vehicles give them a shared interest.

"I was in the signals in the army so my interest is in military vehicles," Mark said.

"I enjoy working on them."

Best in show

The best in show award for motorbikes went to John Gidlow from Droitwich, who is lucky to still have his Triumph 21 350cc bike, which he rode to the festival.

It was made in 1961 and he said was top of its league in those days.

John Gidlow polishing his Triumph 21

"I bought it five years ago but two year's later it was stolen," he said.

"I put the theft up on Facebook and thankfully about 20,000 people shared my appeal.

"Within about 10 hours someone reported that they had seen the bike and the police had retrieved it within 25 hours."

Vintage commercials, custom cars, vintage caravans and classic and modern motorcycles were also on display.

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