Athelhampton 2019

1020’s big event of the year – our annual Garden Party and Picnic at Athelhampton House near Dorchester on Sunday 11 August – proved another huge success with in excess of 150 cars attending.

Owners travelled from across the south to take part in the event which, and while other parts of the region suffered from gale force winds and flooding, basked in sunshine with just a moderate breeze to keep everyone cool.

Cars on show spanned more than 80 years of MG production from pre-war representatives from the Octagon Club to some of the latest company products such as the MG3 and GS. The bulk of the attendees, as ever, brought along their MGBs and GTs with a strong showing of MGFs and TFs as well as a fair representation of Midgets, V8s, MGCs, MGAs, Y Series and the occasional ZS and ZT.

A large continent travelled from Chichester MGOC (detouring flooding on the M27), near neighbours Durnovaria and Dorset Area Midget and Sprit Club came out in force while guest club this year was the Mercedes Owners.

Car of the Day, selected by public vote, was the immaculate green and black pre-war VA of Mike and Sarah Benton from Durnovaria and the Octagon Club.

In addition to viewing the assembled automotive history and chatting to fellow MG enthusiasts, visitors, as part of their entry fee were able to tour the historic Elizabethan manor house and its ornate gardens, both of which have featured in numerous films and television programmes including the movie Sleuth starring Michael Caine and Lawrence Olivier and the BBC series Dr Who.

Fun games and competitions run throughout the day including the famous duck race on the River Piddle, a grand tombola, musical entertainment from Dean Palmer and his miniature fairground steam organ and a new innovation ‘Ball in a Bog’ which all helped to raise in excess of £1,500 for the club’s two chosen charities Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Macmillan Caring Locally.

The well supported duck race was won by Jenny Bailey, while the ‘Name the Dog’ was taken home by Rita Mullins who correctly named her Lucy.