A very warm welcome to the Dorset Group of the Austin A30 and A35 Owner's Club
A website dedicated to all things Austin A30 and A35 related within the Dorset Group and the surrounding areas. Living in the extreme South West of Dorset, I do tend to attend quite a lot of the Somerset Group events to. The website is here for several reasons. The first is to try and raise the profile of the Dorset Group and to try and bring it into the 21st century. The second is to try and get everyone to share his or her experiences of the Group throughout the years. The third is to try and collate all of the archive material into one logical place. But, 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 been a great support throughout. Also, thank you to Henk Keulemans for allowing me to use quite 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 somewhere in the region of 1600 photographs, postcards and archives featuring baby Austins. 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.
I have recently been in touch with Emma Airey who is one of the main people involved within the RH insurance group. Emma would like a small piece added to the website to help promote RH insurance. This will be done as soon as I hear from her. If you would like to know more about RH insurance and what they can do for you then please feel free to get in touch with Emma directly via.
Above: Dorset Group members Keith and Christine Bennett's award winning Austin A35 at the Wareham International Rally May 2019
A brief history of the Group.
The Dorset Group of the Austin A30 A35 Owners Club is a subgroup of the National Austin A30 & A35 Owners Club. The Dorset Group was first 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 around 1980 when Fred Symns took the helm. In 1984 Kim Henson took over the role and 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, but with only 3 or so interested members, the Group very nearly folded. Kim went on to keep the Group in control for the next 30 years before handing the position over to Keith Bennett.
Since then, the group has grown from strength to strength and is now recognised as one of the largest and 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 about 2002 due to owning his Ford Classic, but is now back and is the current Group Chairman. Allan and Barbara Hilling left for a while. But they have since returned and are both active members once again. Kim finally retired from his post as Chairman in around 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. We also have a newsletter that is produced by Jeff Carter 4 times a year. The Group now meet at the Bridge House Hotel, 2 Ringwood Road, Ferndown. BH22 9AN on the 3rd Tuesday, January, March, May, September, and November 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 and Christine Bennett at the 2019 International Rally, Wareham
One of the biggest turn outs for our annual Purbeck Run in 2017
Derek Lewis and Rob Stanley at the 2019 International Rally, Wareham
The future is bright
Dorset Group Committee Members 2021
Dorset Group Chairman: Rob Stanley
Vice Chairman: Stan Chatterton
Treasurer: Derek Lewis
Membership Secretary; Len Jeanne
Web Site: Jeff Carter
Newsletter Editors: Rob Stanley and Jeff Carter
Spares Secretary: Keith Bennett
Committee Member: John Bellows
Above: Len Jeanne's Award winning A30 at the Bath International Rally 2016