POL by starbug2

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My view of POL or Pride of Longbridge … the first was at first meant to be the marking of 100 years of car making at the factory but just a few weeks short of the date sadly the gates closed and the MG/Rover was no more and 6000 + lost their jobs …..while the government of the day didn’t start the ball rolling they certainly kicked it out of bounds and so cutting of any hope of a life line……. The first POL was part protest / a remembrance of 100 years and show of support to the factory . I did not know about the first POL till after the event when I saw it on the telly. I was sad that it had ended so badly and the waste of opportunities that maybe could of saved the place if only in part….
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 POL’s started at Hopwood services and since some still do meet there but the services aren’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 “sold” 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 what’s left is still a fair size and it can make a lot of cars if they wanted…. 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 don’t seem to be telling anyone outside of car clubs or racing as many I fear don’t know that MG is still going and New MG’s can be got. In the past since the first POL you don’t seem to get much press interested in reporting about it .This year I’m told 1800 cars turned up for the event and even with the bad weather , how many more if the weather had been better… 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 group…
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 don’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 …… will the new owners learn anything . I rather get the impression they don’t want to be connected with the past but want to use the past… as long as it is only old MG very old I think. Given most Mg’s are rebadged something else and few mg’s are only MG it saddens me that some will not welcome anything that is now from MG but then that’s happened throughout MG’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 …… together we can get the word out and just maybe we can give honour to what has been while giving it a future ….
Well that’s my thoughts on it.
Stephen Wright

Posted 24 Apr 2013, 22:26 #1 

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well this got a lot of likes on face book........ which was nice..

Posted 28 Apr 2013, 07:46 #2 

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Gate Keeper
Hi Stephen, I will say something.... Well written points of view and thanks for posting them up. A good topic Stephen :)

I suspect that new bosses at LB keep away from the MGR past as they look towards the future. The design team at LB have to be innovative to keep ahead of the competition and must be able to come up with some radical looks and technology. Will they hold onto part of MG's roots in their new models? I doubt it. Except for the badge, everything else will go. I hope the Chinese have learned from MGR's / BMW mistakes.

What about LB's perception of the POL - What is their take on it, are they supportive of the event?
All the best


Posted 28 Apr 2013, 08:12 #3 

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they have had a presence at a few pol's i assume sponsor it to some level but beyond a sales tent i don't know what they think

Posted 28 Apr 2013, 11:09 #4 

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but again unless your there you don't know , i've know of folk who live near don't know about POL

Posted 28 Apr 2013, 11:11 #5 

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Excellent post Steve!

I won't say much, as my view on what the LibLabCon have done to the manufacturing base in this Country, is well known!

For me (and Mrs D) it was our 1st POL and the 1st time I'd been back to Longbridge since I had a factory tour in the late '80's, and to see the destruction of the factory at 1st hand, along with some of the great cars it produced brought about a mix of pride, sadness and anger of it's destruction, along with skills that will be lost forever to this Country!

It's nice to see the Marque survive, but if they were badged as SAIC's (which is what they are) I doubt that anyone on any of the owners clubs sites would even give them a 2nd glance!

Free vehicle valuations available to Club Members by PM!

Posted 28 Apr 2013, 12:09 #6 

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i've driven a MG6 and it is within the limits of a rest drive with a mg man next to you a fair drive , it would be interesting to see how the diesel drive... some folk will always look down at newer cars who ever made them. the car lacks the proper support from long bridge to tell non car folk that MG is even still around . the bottom line is MG/ROVER Was ended as a home owned firm in 2005 but some of longbridge is still around under new management and if they get the word out better just maybe longbridge will not just finish cars but could make them and given much of the tec is British and it is the only true DNA left of what was MG Rover i hope it will get its together and sell some worthy cars

Posted 29 Apr 2013, 14:53 #7