A website dedicated to all things Austin A30 and A35 related, in and around the Dorset area. Vehicles, restorations and of course, the Group Members. Living in the extreme South West of Dorset, I attend quite a lot of the Somerset Group events as well. The website has just entered into it's fourth year of existance and has proved to be a very popular addition to the Group. Whatever the reason you are here I hope you enjoy the site and please tell your friends and family. I couldn't have put anything like this together without the help of Rob Stanley and Kim Henson who have both been a great support throughout. Also, thank you to Henk Keulemans for allowing me to use a lot of his photographs in the Archive sections. I will try and keep the website as up to date as possible, so please keep checking back for news, events and of course updated Archives. For everyone who has access to Facebook, Rob Stanley has been very busy uploading over 2000 photographs, postcards and archives featuring baby Austins to the Dorset Group pages. These will be added to the website. But this will take time as each image will need to be renamed. But please keep checking back for updates.
Above: Keith and Christine Bennett's beautiful, award winning Austin A35 4 door saloon
A brief history of the Group.
The Dorset Group is a subgroup of the National Austin A30 & A35 Owners Club. It was formed in 1975 by Alan and Barbara Hilling along with a few others who loved to drive, restore and generally enjoy their baby Austins. Alan and Barbara guided the Group through to 1980, when Fred Symns took the helm. In 1984, Kim Henson took over the role. But, with only about three people interested in the Group it became very close to folding. Kim called an emergency meeting in October 1984 and it was decided to keep it going, and the membership numbers slowly climbed.
Alan and Barbara Hilling. Two of the founding members of the Dorset Area Group. Both Alan and Barbara left the Group scene for a while, but are now both active members once again.
Fred Symns took the helm in around 1980.
In 1984 Kim Henson took over the post. Kim went on to keep the Group in control for the next 30 years before handing the position over to Keith Bennett.
The future is bright
Since then, the group has grown from strength to strength and is now recognised as one of the largest and most active area groups in the United Kingdom. We have, in the region of 40 members travelling from all over the county and beyond. Long-term members such as Dave and Elaine Mallet, Ian and Shelagh Aggas and Kim and Elaine Henson have stayed with the group throughout the years, whilst many others have come and gone. Rob Stanley left the Austin scene in around 2002, due to his love of his Ford Classic, but is now back and is the current Group Chairman. Allan and Barbara Hilling left the group for a while. But they have since returned and are both active members once again. Kim finally retired from his post as Chairman in 2014 after 30 years service and Keith Bennett held the post for a year. In 2016 Rob Stanley was somehow voted into the post and here we are now. We hold various group events throughout the year including quiz nights, an auction night, where various spare parts and bargains can often be found, cars in the field and our ever popular Purbeck Road Run. Taking in some of the spectacular views in and around the Purbeck hills, Corfe Castle, Wareham and Swanage with the traditional pub ending. August 2021 saw a new event in the Group calender. I had arranged for some of the Group to meet up in Dorchester and give them a chance to drive around some of West Dorset and South Somerset, meeting up with a few members from the South West Group into the bargain. It's hoped that this will become a regular occurance. We also have a newsletter that is produced by Rob Stanley and myself, 4 times a year. We meet on the 3rd Tuesday, January, March, May, September, and November at Hamworthy Social Club, Canford Magna starting at 7.30 pm. If you would like to join us at any of our meets then please contact our chairman, Rob Stanley, via the contact us button at the top of the page. We would love to see you there.
Keith Bennett (right) and Christine (left) at the 2019 International Rally, Wareham. Note that Christine is trying to look busy with a tent peg....
One of the largest turn outs for our annual Purbeck Run in 2017. One noticable absentee, I was taking the photograph.
Derek Lewis (left) and Rob Stanley (right) at the 2019 International Rally, Wareham
Dorset Group Committee Members 2022
Dorset Group Chairman: Rob Stanley
Treasurer: Derek Lewis
Membership Secretary: Derek Lewis
Website Design and Updates: Jeff Carter
Newsletter Editors: Rob Stanley and Jeff Carter
Spares Secretary: Keith Bennett
Facebook Admin: Rob Stanley
Committee Member: John Bellows