Following my election at the SW Centre AGM earlier this month it’s my pleasure to be writing my first Chairman’s chat. Before I say a little more about myself and what I hope to achieve I must first extend my thanks to Jim Lott who has led the centre for the last 7 years, I’m really please that despite stepping down as chair, Jim will be remaining on the committee as our new Competition Secretary. I must also thank the committee who have all agreed to continue in their roles for another year, we will also be welcoming some new committee members following the AGM and we’ll be introducing the new names and faces soon.
The SW Centre is one of the largest in the club and so I’m sure many of you may not know me, so here’s a little about my background. Maybe I should have led with this as I’m new, my name is Ian Beningfield outside of all things MG I work as Head of Fundraising for Meningitis Research Foundation and also serve on the committee of the Classic Marques Sports Car Club.
I’ve been a member of the club for the last 15 years or so and I’ve been on the SW committee for a while now working as competition secretary and helping to keep the website up to date but my MG history goes back further as my Dad has owned MGs since the 70s.
Currently I own 2 MGs a 2004 TF which is my daily driver and a 1977 Midget (for someone who is over 6ft possibly one of the most impractical race cars especially when fitted with a roll cage) which is used as a hillclimb and sprint car in the MGCC Speed championship so between April and October you can usually find me out competing somewhere in the country.
Sadly, and in common with many other car clubs we have seen attendance at our traditional events falling in recent years which has been exacerbated by the inevitable impact of COVID-19 over the last few years. So one of my first priorities will be to work with the committee and event organisers to see what we can do to encourage more members to join in with our activities – you can find a list of all our 2022 events here – https://www.mgccsw.com/events/
We are also a large centre and in recent years many of the our activities have been centred around the greater Bristol, that’s something I want to change to offer more of the centre’s members the opportunities to meet fellow enthusiasts and enjoy your MG.
Very soon we will be sending out a survey to everyone in the centre so get you views on new events, whether they’re competitive or social, also to get your views and suggestions on anything else the centre should be doing, after all as a committee we’re here to help you all as SW Members get those most out of your membership. In the meantime you can get in touch with me directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org