The Tyne-Tees Centre of the MG Car Club is celebrating 50 years since the group’s founding, and is planning some special events, with South Tyneside getting a starring role.
Club members are taking part in a ‘Beating the Bounds’ Run which will see 22 MG sports cars and grand tourers from the 1940s to the 2000s being driven 378 miles over two days, traversing the entire boundary of the club’s centre, stretching from Berwick to North Yorkshire and mid-Cumbria to the East Coast.
The Tyne-Tees Centre supports all MG Car Club members across Northumberland, Durham, Teesside, East Cleveland, the Tees Valley and parts of North Yorkshire.
The group has chosen to start and finish in South Shields, where Mayor of South Tyneside will flag the first car away at 9.30am on Monday, May 16, at the Little Haven Hotel.
The 378-mile route will take the cars as close as possible around the Tyne-Tees Centre boundary.
Day one will see drivers head down the Durham and Cleveland coastline, cross the Tees over the Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough, then turn inland along the North Yorkshire border, on to Alston and and overnight stop at Wetheral in Cumbria.
The second leg will see the group head North East along the Scottish Border to Berwick, then head down the Northumberland coast to Newcastle, with a drive along the Quayside, crossing the Tyne over the Swing Bridge and then back to South Shields.
Noel Lindford, secretary of the Tyne-Tees Centre of the MG Car Club, said members were looking forward to the event.
“The MGCC Tyne-Tees Centre came into being on December 1, 1971, so this is our Golden Jubilee Year,” he said.
"We currently have 180 members in the North East, with MG cars spanning nine decades, many regularly out on our events.”
Noel said the MG Car Club Ltd. (MGCC) was formed in conjunction with the MG factory in 1930 and has provided support for MG enthusiasts worldwide ever since.
And he explained how the ‘Beating of the Bounds’ was a tradition dating back much further in history.
“‘Beating the Bounds’ or ‘Perambulating the Bounds’, is an ancient custom still observed in parts of England and Wales, which traditionally involved people learning the boundaries of their community by foot, to create a mental map of the parish, to ensure that the neighbouring communities couldn’t encroach on their land,” he said.
“They carried a flag and used slender willow branches to swat the landmarks that separated one from another.”
“The custom dates from Anglo-Saxon times.”
Members will also be part of the MG Car Club’s gathering at Silverstone in June, where club is hosting the largest MG gathering in the World for MG Live! where MGs of all ages will be out racing on the F1 Grand Prix circuit, and Autotesting (driving tests against the clock) on the infield area.
Noel said MGCC Tyne-Tees members are actively involved in this International event, be it in part-organising or competing.