I was moved by the show of support and the mass convoys going to Longbridge and sad that I was not there .( granted at the time we was with out a Longbridge car but we got a Rover 45 soon after and since replaced it with a Rover 75 and a MGF ) many lives am sure have been affected by events at Longbridge but I can only say what I know from my point of view . apart from the first I have been to all but one since and the last 3 with both the 75 and MGF alas the weather this year was not the best but most years I have been it has been mostly good. The first few POLâ€™s started at Hopwood services and since some still do meet there but the services arenâ€™t to keen I gather so convoys now start from many locations and even had a big convoy come from Cowley a once sister plant before the breaking up of MG/Rover when BMW â€œsoldâ€ Rover but kept Cowley and the Mini .
The mini was due to be made at Longbridge but when BMW spilt MG/Rover the 75 moved to Longbridge and the mini moved to Cowley . the area that Longbridge once covered has mostly been knocked down and redeveloped but given how big it once was whatâ€™s left is still a fair size and it can make a lot of cars if they wantedâ€¦. Over the years POL has been getting bigger and is now very much a case of honouring the past and trying to keep the flag flying at Longbridge not just at the factory but the area and community of . POL is a not run by a business but by the community and clubs of the area which hope to keep the history alive and just maybe have a future of some car production .
Fair to say the area was very effected by the events at Longbridge and maybe for years to come . But at least some work is going on at Longbridge even if they donâ€™t seem to be telling anyone outside of car clubs or racing as many I fear donâ€™t know that MG is still going and New MGâ€™s can be got. In the past since the first POL you donâ€™t seem to get much press interested in reporting about it .This year Iâ€™m told 1800 cars turned up for the event and even with the bad weather , how many more if the weather had been betterâ€¦ as long as your car has some link with Longbridge you can enter the park be it a Austin MG or a Rover and I guess a BMC/BL or even a Morris as in the end they were all once part of the same groupâ€¦
The question is will the new owners of the MG name and Longbridge get the word out that they are open for business and are selling cars as to me they donâ€™t seem to be telling normal car buyers or press very much . to often the bosses at Longbridge have let the bad press comments go unchallenged and so let stories snowball which have damaged sales and in the end may of caused the collapse â€¦â€¦ will the new owners learn anything . I rather get the impression they donâ€™t want to be connected with the past but want to use the pastâ€¦ as long as it is only old MG very old I think. Given most Mgâ€™s are rebadged something else and few mgâ€™s are only MG it saddens me that some will not welcome anything that is now from MG but then thatâ€™s happened throughout MGâ€™s live of some not welcoming new cars preferring only to have the older cars as true MG .
We can but hope that POL can help to bring back the pride in the area and believe in better times ahead which can only come if we can get the word out that Longbridge has a past to honour but also has a future and if we can get enough pride going just maybe we can get another 100 years of car production â€¦â€¦ together we can get the word out and just maybe we can give honour to what has been while giving it a future â€¦.
Well thatâ€™s my thoughts on it.