Saturday 23 January
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Throughout the year we attend events and rallies, both on the Island and Mainland. In the past the group have even taken some of their cars over to France for a short break.
In November 2005, the Group were featured in the 'Antiques Roadshow' programme that was recorded on the Island earlier in that year.
Our ladies actively support these activities and are an essential part of our success.
As of March 2019, we now have 95 members and some 40 active partners.
A breakdown of vehicles that we have in the Club (March 2020), shows that there are,
have in the Club, Austin 7s – 34, American Austin – 2, Big 7 – 1, Austin 10 – 23, Other pre-war Austins, e.g. 12/4, 16/6 etc. – 10, Post WW2 Austins – 16.
In addition to the 86 Austins in the Club, between them, members also own 68 other ‘classic’ vehicles.
The Club has now been in existence for well over 23 years and, over that time; we have able to meet up on a regular basis. Nobody could foresee that this would have to change. However with the onset of the coronavirus it has been necessary to cancel all of our meetings until further notice; this is in the interests of the safety and welfare of our members and others.
In the meantime, it is important that we do try and keep in touch with one another.
I shall continue to produce our monthly Newsletter but it will be a very different in many respects. Until further notice it will be sent over the internet to all those members who have an email address.
I appreciate that there are some members who do not have one and others who like hard copy to file away. If you want a hard copy then you can either print your own, if you have a printer, or I shall see what I can do.
The next few months are going to feel very different for all of us and, maybe, our old cars will be receiving more attention than usual!
Bryan Shaw speaks for us all when he says that 'it is the loss of direct social interaction which will be most odd but at least we are fortunate to have modern technology which allows us to ‘phone, Email and Skype one another, to keep in contact'.
I do know that many members are already keeping in touch with one another to make sure all is well. We do have some very kind individuals checking up to see if any shopping is required.
Mike Johnston is currently setting up an Isle of Wight Austins Facebook page as another means of keeping in touch. Many other car clubs on the Island have already adopted this approach. Talking of Facebook, one of the stars of our November 'Musical Soiree', member Steve Love, has written a catchy song ‘My Coronavirus Hoard is all made on the Isle of Wight’. It has already had more than 47,000 hits. To listen to it, just press Ctrl and then click on the following link,
With no Club events to report on, the format of the Newsletter will be different. First of all, I should like some help from you. I know I have made this plea in the past and appreciate that writing an article can be a real challenge to many. All that is required are a few lines about what you have been doing, be it on your cars or otherwise with possibly a photograph. I do know that some members are working on their cars or having work done on them and I have made reference to this later on.
I am also going to look back at the history of the Club, by including extracts from old Newsletters. Also some interesting material about Austins in general. So, if you find any interesting stories, do let me know.
We have recently heard from former members, Geoff and Sue Clarke. They now live in Shropshire and wish to be remembered to those who knew them. They were stalwarts in the early days of the Club. Sue thinks they have both had a mild form of the virus. You will see that the Clarkes do feature later on in the Newsletter.
However, I do have three events to report on …….
Mar. 1st. Fortunately, we weren’t really affected by Storm Jorge. It left in its wake a sunny morning - well we were going to the Sun Inn, at Calbourne, for our refreshments!
Maybe, because the roads were so wet, we had a modest number of our older cars on the road. 4 Austins and 5 classics. It was so nice to chat in the sun before we made our various ways for refreshments. 25 went to the Sun Inn, where the owners had laid out Coffee/Tea and biscuits for us. They requested that we make a donation of £1.50 each which they were going to donate to the local Alzheimer’s Society. This raised £45 for them.
Mar. 8th. A morning of contrasts! At departure time for Godshill some parts of the Island had heavy showers, including Bembridge, but the weather improved and at Godshill we were able to natter in the sun and I managed to get rid of a lot of Newsletters to the many members there. Car wise there were 7 Austins and 4 of our classics. Most present motored to The Hungry Caterpillar Café, at the Medina Garden Centre, for refreshments. Having met up with some members already there, in the large conservatory area, there were 44 members present. Due to its size it is an ideal venue for us.
However, when the time came to depart we had a very heavy rain shower!
Mar. 15th. Rightly or wrongly we met up as usual. On a dullish morning, members opted to use their moderns and there was only 1 Austin and 1 classic at Godshill. However there were some 30 members at Godshill with most going into the Old Smithy for refreshments. Other than a group from the Jaguar Club, we provided the main business for the Café. Later, many of us motored to the ‘Horse and Groom’, at Ningwood, for Sunday lunch. Some members went direct and 34 of us sat down for lunch in the conservatory area. It seemed like it was still business as usual with many Islanders dining there but, unfortunately, this was to be our last Club event for the time being.

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