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It's the Marque of Friendship.

THE MG Car Club was formed in October 1930 and is one of the oldest single-make car clubs in existence.

In the UK, the country is split into 12 centres.

The North East's is known as the Tyne- Tees Centre and it stretches from the Yorkshire border to the Scottish border, and from the eastern coastline to the Pennines in the west.

There are affiliated clubs in most European countries as well as Australia, Africa, Asia, United States, South America, New Zealand and Canada.

Peter Ebdon, chairman of the Tyne-Tees Centre, said: "The motto of the club is The Marque of Friendship and by and large we really try hard to live up to this ideal.

"We are not just a club for old boys with old cars, nor are we a load of "petrol heads" - MGs have been built with a diesel engine, although most do not realise it.

"We are interested in welcoming anyone who either has, or is interested in, the MG marque, be it an MG built in the second half of the 1920s or a modern MG TF Limited Edition 500." The club holds events including races, hill climbing, sprinting and competitions.

Peter added: There is also a social side and we arrange weekends away, visit places of interest and once a month during the summer we have Supper Runs to a restaurant or hostelry.

"Some of the historic sports cars are becoming increasingly valuable and most of the older cars are put into winter hibernation, so the only time that they can be seen and enjoyed is during the summer.

"During their winter lay ups they naturally become a little dusty and spiders have the happy knack of spinning their webs between the parts, so we go on what's known as the Cobweb Run.

"We try, where possible, to link it with The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs' annual Drive it Day, when car clubs across the country will be celebrating in a similar way." The event takes place each year on the Sunday nearest to April 23, which is the anniversary of the 1,000 mile trial that began in 1900.

The Tyne-Tees Centre has this year opened up the event to anyone interested in supporting the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs' Drive it Day.

Peter said: "While we will have a significant number of MGs on the run, we will also have seven other makes of cars joining us for the 85 mile drive through Northumberland national park.

"This year we are particularly pleased to welcome as our official starter Paul Stephenson, dealer principal of Silverlink MG of Vroom Retail Park, North Shields." Paul will be "flagging off" entrants at oneminute intervals and in age order with the oldest car first - a 1937 MG TA.

A total of 38 cars will leave the car park of the Ridley Arms, in Stannington, and follow the route to Corbridge.

It will end with a cream tea at Brocksbushes Farm & Tea Rooms.

The Tyne-Tees Centre will be running two further events during the 2009 season.

The first of those will be on June 7 and is the Prince Bishops' Run, which retraces the steps taken by the Prince Bishops when travelling from York to Durham.

Further details can be obtained by e-mailing On September 13 the club will be running an event known as The Old Speckled Hen Run, named after the beer that was brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of MG's being built in the town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

For information, e-mail barrie.hope1@btinternet.

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 15, 2009
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