The tenth anniversary Pride of Longbridge rally, scheduled to take place in Cofton Park today (16th April) has been called off by organisers due to poor ground conditions – but may be rescheduled for later in the year.

The difficult decision was taken after a site inspection at 6am this morning with recent rain and snow leaving the ground “too soft and dangerous”.

Organisers are looking at the possibility of holding an alternative event later in the year.

With people travelling from around the country, Europe or further, many are already in or en route to the area, so expect to see lots of Longbridge cars driving around and meeting up in the area today!

The Pride of Longbridge event brings together car enthusiasts, ex workers and the community in celebrating the heritage of Longbridge, with thousands of cars with a Longbridge connection on show: Austin, Rover, MG and more. It is held every April at around the time MG Rover closed with people bringing their cars from far and wide on a pilgrimage to the site.

Full statement from Gemma & Andy Cartwright, Pride of Longbridge Community & Heritage Group:

“Sadly POL was cancelled today at 6am. All week we have had site inspections with park rangers. The weather has got worse and the ground on Cofton Park is too soft and dangerous. We did not want to damage the park – as local residents myself and Gemma know that Cofton park is at the heart of the community.

“So POL will still be on the Agenda but when it is safe to do it. We know that people have come from all over the country and we can only apologise but safety and the future of POL come first – we did not want to jeopardise the next years of POL.

“POL is a great community event and is part of our heritage and we will look to having it later in the year.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Why was this event called off so late? I travelled 90 miles to Cofton,only to find the barrier down.
    No official to say what was happening,not even a notice on the gate to say it was cancelled. So I sat patiently waiting for someone to turn up and let me in.
    On my journey home I saw hundreds of cars en-route to Longbridge so there are a lot more than me.

    This is the last time I will ever attend this event, there are plenty of alternatives that are better organised and closer to home. Bye bye POL.

  2. sorry pol has been canceld I was traveling to it myself it may be an idea to plan future shows later in the year to avoid weather problems as much as possible

  3. We have just returned from Longbridge, not realising that it was cancelled. We, along with hundreds of others, lined the roads around Cofton Park, sometimes double parked, and had an impromptu show. Okay, we didn’t travel far but I was not disappointed.

    My thanks go to the volunteers who give their time for this every year. One of the nice things about this Rally is the relaxed atmosphere, where everyone is welcome regardless of car age or condition. I hope to see you at a reorganized event later in the year.

  4. Round trip of 160 miles to attend PoL. Although it would have been nice to have had a bit of notice regarding the cancellation, it was great that we managed to have an impromptu ‘show’ all the way down Lowhill Lane and a large chunk of Groveley Road where the Flight Shed was. This is my favourite show of the year because it’s so relaxed, and the spirit of it was embodied today when so many people stayed rather than go home. It was wonderful to see so many Longbridge cars parked outside the factory gates – just like the old days! I hope we can reschedule for later in the year with even more cars in attendance.

    Thanks to the organisers, and to those marshalling the event who stayed to keep an eye on things.

  5. Its time this event was moved to a later time of year as the weather has always been a problem leading right up to single days before causing issues, many have suggested many times over the years a later time of year for the last 5 shows at least, even when the weather is dry – its still too cold.
    Cancelling at 6am ON THE DAY is really no use to anybody traveling in from a distance as many would have been on the road by then as we were.

  6. Canceling on the day at 6am via ‘Facetube’ is about as much use as NOTHING to those already on the way, move the event until later in the year as suggested over and over again.

  7. POL 2016 Cancelled!!? …well I’d never of guessed this as I turned into Lowhill lane at 10am on the dot!

    The road was already full of hundreds of cars parked nose to tail from end to end of the road in either direction and with many metros crammed in around the factory gate area. I felt lucky to get an empty space, and once parked up was meet with plenty of smiles & chat from many unknown faces.

    The organised part of the event might have been lost without the bulk of the Marshalls, MG’s presence on the field, and the food and drinks wagons, and portaloos etc., all missing from the day, and because of the park being closed, the cars were not grouped as well out on the road as they are with their similar models on the field, but I have to say a great day was had by all.

    The weather forcast for the Day looked good, and as such, although a little chilly at times it was mostly sunny with some cloud throughout the day. (just as forcast.)(Snow could be seen on the local hilltops on approach, as was the overnight forecast. but the roads were dry.)

    The MG-Sales center was open and they probably saw far more visitors inside this year than in any previous years due the numbers of people taking part outside (although some perhaps wanting to use their toilets!).

    There was a distinct lack of the really old cars, but when conditions had perhaps been wet overnight it is understandble that those owners do not want to risk bring theirs cars out.

    I heard a few moans as people arrived ‘that it was not in the park’, which was understandable as they could not park with/find similar owners unless they had arrived with them, but as the day unfolded, a few of those same people said what a great time they were having as they found as I did, that the rolling road show taking place as you viewed the stationary vehicles was adding to the enjoyment throught the day.

    Many owners both singular and in groups appeared to be doing laps of honour up and down the road throughout the day. This was a good chance to see the cars on the move and get to hear their engines too.

    Although a lot of familar faces were not at the event, a lot of newer faces had joined in as they do every year. Those I spoke to were making new friends, chatting with other owners and enjoying the road show, but were willing to visit a proper show again in the future, of which reports were coming through late in the day that one would be taking place later in the year. That might class with lots of other events depending on when it is to be held, but could well be worth the return visit as for many like me POL is the main event of the year for all MG/Rover/Austin owners. Thanks:)

  8. Very angry that no effort was made to let anyone know what was going on, we travelled over 200 miles each way, when it was organised by Alf, we always were kept well informed via email regarding what was going on, where to park etc. Nothing this year, I also sent 3 emails 3 weeks before the show to the now ‘organisers’ all were ignored. I’ve been to all but one so far but this is probably going to be the last time.

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