Update March 2020: Well the start of 2020 has certainly turned out to be a very strange time indeed. Concerns about the Covid 19 Coronavirus has hit the whole of the Country and beyond. As such many events, meetings and car shows are being cancelled and more are being added daily. Please keep checking back for updates as I receive them. 
Events that have been cancelled or postponed 2020

March 20th - Haynes International Motor Museum is closed to the public until further notice. 

March 20th - Classic Cars on the Prom have cancelled all 2020 meets until further notice. 

March 20th - Beaulieu Visitor Attraction is now closed until further notice.

The Austin A30 A35 Owners Club International Rally 2020

Despite desperate efforts by the International Rally Committee they have taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 International Rally.


We have made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 International Rally, due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. As we are sure many will appreciate, this is a decision that has not been taken lightly. This being said, we feel strongly that the health, safety and well-being of our members must be our top priority.

This year, as was widely advertised, was due to be our 50th anniversary celebration so we are keen to still mark this event as soon as it is safe to do so. Full details are available by clicking the link below. 

Saturday 13th - Sunday 14th June. West Bay Vintage Rally. Melplash Showground

Sunday 28th June - Alan and Leonora have taken the difficult decision to cancel their famous BBQ this year. 

Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th July - Club Stand at the Pilford Heath Transport & Heritage Show.

Friday 24th - Sunday 26th July - Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show

Friday 31st July - Sunday 2nd August - Gloucestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza. South Cerney Airfield.


Dear All

Following a further review by the Great Dorset Steam Fair Board of Directors, it is with much regret and sadness that I have to announce that the 52nd Great Dorset Steam Fair will no longer be taking place this year and will be postponed until 2021 (Thursday 26th to Bank Holiday Monday 30th August 2021).

We have been closely monitoring the unprecedented Coronavirus situation over the past few weeks and have explored all options. However, it has become increasingly evident that it would be both irresponsible and unfeasible to continue with the event this year, during these uncertain and challenging times.

This difficult decision has not been taken lightly, however, the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors, traders, staff and contractors is always our primary concern, combined with the effect to the local area, towns, parishes and residents.

We are also very conscious of the impact that the event would have on the NHS, emergency services and local authority, they are doing an amazing job and we do not want to unnecessarily stretch their resources any further.

We offer our sincere apologies to all involved and I can assure you that we at the GDSF are equally as disheartened and disappointed. However, this is the right thing to do. Over the past 51 years we have managed to run the event in difficult circumstances and during sometimes impossible weather conditions, but the current situation is simply beyond our control.

For those of you who have already booked their tickets and/or camping in advance for the 2020 event, these bookings will remain valid for the re-scheduled 52nd event in 2021, this will happen automatically. Alternatively, should you prefer a refund for the 2020 show, please contact us at enquiries@gdsf.co.uk. quoting your Order Number and we will arrange this as soon as possible.

We were so looking forward to welcoming you all to this year’s show but sadly it is not meant to be. I would like to take this opportunity of personally thanking you all for your continued support of the GDSF and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2021. Keep safe everyone and look after yourselves.

In the words of our Queen “we will meet again”.

Kind regards

Martin Oliver, Managing Director, Great Dorset Steam Fair Ltd

Bournemouth and Poole Preservation Club

BPPC Bournemouth & Poole Preservation Club

Honiton Hill Rally 2020 POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

It is with much regret and sadness that we announce that the 47th Honiton Hill Rally will no longer be taking place this year and will be postponed until August bank holiday 2021 (Sunday 29th & Monday 30th August 2021)

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic we have been closely monitoring the situation and after considering the safety and well-being of our visitors, exhibitors, traders, stewards, committee members and ongoing uncertainty we have today taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Honiton Hill Rally. It has become increasingly evident that it would be both irresponsible and unfeasible to continue with the event this year, during these uncertain and challenging times.

For those of you who have already sent in entry forms these will be cancelled and you will automatically receive one next year, cheques received will not be banked . If you have any concerns about this please call Clare Walker on 07929 534277

For all of those who enjoy displaying your International Rally Boards here is a novel idea that will help raise money for the NHS

Silverstone Classics has now been cancelled
Dorset Group 2020 Diary

Wednesday 1st January 2020

2020 started off with a few of the Dorset Group members attending the annual classic vehicle meet at Haselbury Mill, just outside Crewkerne in Somerset.

Organised by the Yeovil Car Club and held in the lovely grounds of Haselbury Mill. Nigel and Janice bought their beautiful A35 soft top conversion. Colin and Ruth drove their bright green Citroen 2CV. Alas, yet again, I had to arrive in my modern. Zak and Mel along with Paul and Lisa from the Southwest Group travelled down from Taunton and Sparkford. Then Marion and Keith, from Yeovil,  joined us with Marion's beautiful little A30. Alas Marion's little Chugga Bug decided that it would fail to restart after it's short run from Yeovil. Luckily Zak was on hand with Buddy and a set of jump leads. Hopefully Keith will have soon found out what the problem was as they are hoping to join us all again at the Haynes Motor Museum's breakfast club meet on Sunday 5th January 2020. Paul and Lisa also had a small problem driving home from Lyme Regis, when one of the fuses failed. Paul did a quick swap and managed to nurse the car home without indicators etc. Lisa assures me that she will now be carrying a boot load of spares every time they take the car out. A valuable lesson learned, but it could have been worse.  Paul and Lisa also hope to attend the breakfast club meet. Seeing as they live in Sparkford they have no excuse really...... It was a great little show held in beautiful surroundings despite the slightly damp weather conditions. Hopefully, next year will be even better and several more of the group attend. It was a great way blow away a few cobwebs to start the new year. 

Haselbury Mill Gallery
Sunday 5th January Haynes Motor Museum
The first Sunday of each month sees the Haynes Motor Museum holding it's now famous Breakfast Club Meet. 1000's of like minded people flocking to show of their pride and joy and enjoy a fabulous breakfast. I met up with Zak, Lisa, Paul, Marion and Keith. Lisa, Zak, Marion all bought their Austins, whilst Paul brought along his lovey TR 250. Keith is hoping to bring his Sunbeam Talbot Mk 111 sometime soon, although he is recovering from an an operation on his gear changing hand at the moment. He wasn't brave enough to allow me to drive it for him..... Update February 2020. As from the first Sunday in March the Haynes Breakfast Club meet will be changing its format slightly. 

The first Sunday of the month will be open to all vehicles registered post 1980. The second Sunday will be open to all 

vehicles registered pre 1980. The third Sunday will be the Haynes Bikers Breakfast ride in 

Haynes Motor Museum Gallery
Tuesday 21st January 2020

Tuesday 21st January saw a smaller than usual amount of Dorset Group members attending the annual A.G.M. Rob led an informal meeting outlining previous events that we had held or attended over the past 12 months. The big one of course was the 2019 Jurassic International Rally. All of whom agreed that is was a great success. Despite lowering the normal Rally Fees and the camping fees, after taking out all expenses we managed to hand over to the National Club just over £1550 plus the initial £500 loan that helped get us going. All in all a great time for all of us in Dorset. Derek gave a brief outline of the accounts and we are quite well off financially. Due to the amount of money that the Group managed to raise over the Rally weekend it has been decided that all pre-paid up members will get their 2020 membership free of charge. All new members wishing to join will still be charged the nominal amount of £6.00. Derek was thanked by all for his hard work throughout the year, this year was especially hard with the International Rally. Keith reported that the spares scheme had been very slow throughout the past 12 months. Hopefully this issue can soon be resolved. We are planning on making a list of spares available from Keith in each issue of The Austin Express. Speaking of the Austin Express, Elaine Henson has sadly decided to give up her role as magazine editor. We would like to thank Elaine for all of her hard work over the previous years. So that now means that Rob Stanley and  myself (Jeff Carter) will be taking over as joint editors. Hopefully between us we can keep the magazine a viable contribution to the Dorset Group. Regarding the website I am a little concerned that it is not really conveying what we do as a Group. Obviously we are doing something right as we have had in excess of 800 individual visitors in just over 12 months. This is not 800 hits, but 800 people. Many thanks to you all., It makes all of the hard work worthwhile. But I would like to expand the website and try and collate much more from the archives. I have now amassed a large quantity of old Dorset Group magazines and I will try and scan some of the pictures. Unfortunately many of the pictures are low quality resolution and may not scan at all. But I will try. If you have any old articles that you feel would benefit fellow Dorset Group members, then please get in touch. Finally, Len Jeanne has decided to hand over the post of Dorset Group membership secretary. If anyone would like to take on this role, then please contact Rob and he will guide you along the way. The committee members were all then voted back en mass and Rob thanked everyone for attending.  

As is standard practise after our A.G.M. Stan Chatterton had organised a light hearted "easy" quiz. In Stan's words "well it's easy if you know the answers" 15 Austin A30 A35 related questions were read out by Stan with the possibility of 20 points on offer. Stan had also very kindly supplied a book about travelling around Dorset as a prize. Questions included: What was the last vehicle that was fitted with a Zenith 26 J.S. Carburetter? What is the longest A30 A35 vehicle produced in feet and inches? In Austin terms, how do you spell carburetter......? By the way everyone spelled it C A R B U R E T T O R. But check your workshop manuals..... Many thanks again must go to Stan for producing such a fun quiz at such short notice. The winner with a very impressive 19 points out of 20 was Alan Hilling. Very well done indeed, you certainly know your Austins. 

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February 2020

 The Great Western Classic Car Show. Royal Bath and West Showground. Shepton Mallet. BA4 6QN

The Great Western Car Show has come and gone. Although the weather wasn't too bad on Saturday storm Ciara turned up with a vengeance on Sunday. Despite the high winds and torrential rainfall. A few hardy souls made the trip. I was a bit more sensible and travelled up on Saturday. The classic carpark was jam packed with classics from all eras. I stumbled across  what looked like a rather down at heel Austin A35. After poking my head through the drivers window, the interior was absolutely mint. Then the owner came over and started chatting. It was in fact a very well used but totally sound vehicle that he had owned for a while. Several major mechanical changes had been made including a twin carbuttored 1275cc MG Midget engine, disc brakes and some small changes to the suspension. The owner, sorry I forgot to ask your name, said that one day the car may get painted, but for now he is enjoying the patina look of the car. 

The International Group were very well represented on a new Club stand. Maned by a small group of Club members. On Saturday it was announced that one of the vehicles on the stand had been voted Car of the Show. Sunday the Group went one better and won Club Stand of the Show. Very well done to all concerned.  John Bellows, Colin Hughes, Terrie and Shane Fenton also made the journey. Some of you may remember Shane brought his stunning Pontiac Firebird to the International Rally last year. Shane bought his Firebird to display along with a small family of mice that Terrie proceeded to feed with Cornish Pasty crumbs. Shane also brought along his lovely Bedford CA van. The van was found after having been left unused for many years. Shane had the vehicle rewired, completely overhauled the brakes with new pipes and often uses it to drive to work. The van is lovely and seemed to gain much more interest than the Pontiac. By the way, if you see Shane or Terrie at a show and Terrie asks if you would like a cup of coffee, say yes. Terrie makes a mean cuppa. 

Great Western Show Gallery

©2020 by Austin A30 A35 Owners Club. Dorset Group.

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