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Some basic stuff...

Hello and welcome to the South West Midlands Area of the MX-5 Owners' Club

Our monthly meetings are normally held from about 19:30 on the first Thursday of each month.  Most Members take the opportunity to dine at the venue.  Some even take to drink!

As well as monthly meetings we arrange regular drives and events.  As you will appreciate, the winter months do not lend themselves to open air driving, so January and December tend to get a miss.  There is usually a break for the main holiday month of August. Drives are normally held on the Sunday seventeen days following the monthly meeting.

Apart from the locally organised meetings and drives, Members can enjoy other events and national events.  The club's main site has more details of the national events.

Monthly Drives

Drives 2019

 Click the month name for quick access to the details
February   March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October   November   December  

As well as monthly meetings we arrange regular drives and events.  As you will appreciate, the winter months do not lend themselves to open air driving, so January and December tend to get a miss.  

Drives are normally held on the Sunday seventeen days following the monthly meeting.

Some ideas for future drives and events...

  • visit to a National Trust or similar property
  • take a picnic
  • treasure hunt
Download useful notes for organisers and participants.
Organisers may claim 45 per mile up to £100 for doing their run twice. VAT receipts for petrol totalling minimum of your claim, a copy of the run and  a completed expenses form should be handed to the Area Coordinator.

If you are planning a drive and wish to use Tulip Diagrams then click here

NOTE: always check the SWM Discussion Forum for latest info on drives

Click here for record of previous drives

Drives 2018

Below are the statistics from our 2018 drives that some of you may find interesting.

Number of Drives: 10
Total number of Miles covered: 668 Miles
Average number of Miles per drive: 66.8 Miles
Average number of MX5's per drive: 28.5 MX5's
Overall mileage covered (Cars x Mileage): 18,537 Miles
Longest Drive of 2018: 90 Miles to Barmouth, hosted by Ajit
Largest number of cars at a drive: 42 MX5's. This was Karen & Ian's drive to Charlecote.
Coldest Drive of 2018: Junie and Vince's February drive to the Glass Cone in Stourbridge
Hottest Drive of 2018: Barmouth hosted by Ajit, phew! what a scorcher
Wettest Drive of 2018: Oh no not another Stately Home, hosted by Gavin & David

My thanks to all those who organised drives during 2018, great to see new names coming forward. Thanks too to everyone who attended, we had some great days out.

Drives 2019

February 24th            Vince and Junie

'Wye Oh Wye' with a twist

Date: Sunday 24th February 2019
Start: The Kings Arms, Ross Road, Newent GL18 1BD
Time: Breakfast from 09.00hrs. Bacon or Sausage Baps @ £4.00 plus £1.20 for a cuppa
Depart: 10:30 Latest
Pit-stop: Halfway stop at Tintern Abbey for a cuppa and a loo break (terminate here if you wish to visit Tintern only).
Finish: Raglan Garden Centre, Abergavenny Rd, Raglan, Usk NP15 2BH
Distance: 60 miles

Drive Options:
This drive will take us through some great countryside and scenery and along the Wye Valley. A drive produced and written by Henry & John in 2017, presented and amended in 2019 by Vince & Junie.
If you have mothballed or SORN your little racer for the winter, you can attend the February drive in any car can even come along on your bike if you wish.

Breakfast is available at The Kings Arms with plenty of tea & coffee. The drive will take us through 60 miles of great scenic countriside and the Wye Valley finishing at Raglan Garden Centre with a pitstop midway for Coffee and comfort stop if required at The Anchor Inn opposite Tintern Abbey. The Abbey and visitor centre will be open.

Route Instructions and Satnav itineraries Downloads available on the SWM Forum (login required) at

March 24th            Terry

Chocks Away, We're off to RAF Cosford

Date: Sunday 24th March 2019
Start: Gupshill Manor, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SY, 01684 292278
Time: 09:00 for coffee / breakfast, Please call direct to arrange bacon baps / breakfast etc.
Depart: 10:30
Finish: RAF Museum Cosford, Shifnal, TF11 8UP
Distance:63 miles

Drive Options:
Free entry to the museum, however, parking charges apply.

Discover the amazing stories of those who have served in the RAF. Housed in the wartime hangars and in the National Cold War Exhibition you will find a fantastic display of aircraft and exhibits. Learn about the bravery of pilots in Test Flight and see the last surviving example of a Boulton Paul Defiant Mk 1 in War in the Air.

We will have our own private parking area in between two of the museum hangers, please drive carefully in this area because you will be driving over a pedestrian crossing for people walking between the two buildings.
There is a cafeteria in the information building, and in the main museum is the shop and a snack bar. There is a flight simulator in Hanger 1 if anyone fancies a 5min flight for a small charge.
Parking fees are:
0-3 Hours - £4.00 per car (We should chose this as the museum has given us leeway to the three hours parking as the museum closes at 4pm)
We suggest you bring coins for the parking meters although all parking machines accept both card and contactless payment.

April 14th            Ken and Gina

You've Read The Books, now see the Cars at the Haynes Motor Museum

Date: Sunday 14th April 2019
Start: Toby Inn, Shurdington Rd, Brockworth, Gloucester GL3 4PH
Time: 09:00 for breakfast
Depart: 10:30 sharp
Finish: Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Yeovil BA22 7LH

Distance: 72 miles

Drive Options:
At Toby Carvery
All you can eat breakfast at £4.69 per person
Unlimited Tea & Coffee at £2.09 per person

Discounted entrance fee to museum is £12.50 per person (on production of MX5 membership card)

The Museum was opened on 10 July 1985 by the then Land Speed Record holder Richard Noble OBE. Since then the collection’s international theme expanded as vehicles from around the globe were acquired increasing numbers from a humble 29 to nearly 400 in 30 years; an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.

There is a café on site which provides food and hot drinks, seating is available both indoors and outdoors.

Go – Karting is available on site by booking directly with:

Suggested parking is in the additional parking area to the right hand side of the museum, by the Go Kart track.

May 19th            Ajit and Catarina

A Journey to the source of the Thames......or at least a pub nearby

Date: Sunday 19th May 2019
Start: Gupshill Manor, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SY, 01684 292278
Time: 09:30 for coffee / breakfast, Please call direct to arrange bacon baps / breakfast etc.
Depart: 10:30 prompt
Finish: Ye Olde Swan Inn, Radcot Road, Bampton OX18 2SX
Distance: 47 miles

Drive Options: Lunch is available at Ye Olde Swan Inn. Food is served all day and the pub was voted best Riverside Pub in Oxfordshire 2018. No need to book.
This pub is on the river Thames right next to Radcot Bridge. The inscription on the wall reads that at the battle of Radcot Bridge in 1387, troops loyal to Richard II, led by Robert De Vere, were defeated by an army led by Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, who later became Henry IV.

Things to do nearby:
  • Walk alongside the Thames on the Thames River Path (This runs for 148miles alongside the Thames from its source to the Thames Barrier)
  • Visit Kelsmcott Manor (National Trust) home of William Morris. (Check opening times)
  • Visit Lechlade
  • Visit Cotswold Woollen Mills in nearby village of Filkins
  • Drive to Badbury Clump (National Trust). You can have a picnic here, and go on a 40min circular forest walk (fairly easy walking), with fabulous views over the valley.
  • A little further away, but not too far, is the Uffington White Horse, and Tom Browns school museum (check opening times).
  • Visit Buscot Manor

June 23rd            Gavin and David

Oh No, Not Another Stately Home Drive, The Original Director’s Cut
Oh No, Not Another Stately Home Drive 2, The Sequel

Date: Sunday 23rd June 2019
Start: Gupshill Manor, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SY, 01684 292278
Time: 09.15hrs for coffee / breakfast, Please call direct to arrange bacon baps / breakfast etc.
Depart: All cars need to leave Gupshill by 10:30 latest.
Finish: Broughton Castle near Banbury : Postcode OX15 5EB

Distance: 81 miles or 61 miles

The Original Director’s Cut is a rerun of the September 2018 drive which had a low turnout due to inclement weather. It was a super run with some great driving roads through the beautiful Cotswold countryside and villages to Broughton Castle near Banbury with optional comfort & coffee stops at Broadway Tower and Hidcote Gardens(NT).
The Sequel is similar but different for those who did the Drive last September and fancy a bit of a change.

Both of the Drives include a shallow ford.

Both Drives end at Broughton Castle near Banbury, entrance to the park and cafe are free, the entrance fee for the castle is £7 for MX5 OC members (Gavin negotiated a 30% discount with your MX5 OC membership card).
“The Original” is 81 miles long and takes about 3 hours without stopping whilst “The Sequel” is about 61 miles long and takes just over 2 hours.
There are several places to stop for coffee, cake and a chat:
  • Broadway Tower, parking £2.00 redeemable against the price of food and drink (The Original Drive Only)
  • Hidcote Gardens, free parking and access to the Barn Café, the charges for the gardens are: NT members free, £15 gift aid, £13.50 standard (Both Drives)
  • Whichford Pottery, free parking, the shop and café are open on Sundays (Both Drives)
Broughton Castle is a moated and fortified manor house near Banbury in North Oxfordshire set in parkland and built of the rich local Hornton ironstone.
The core of the house was built in 1306 and the gatehouse in the early fifteenth century, but most of what you see today dates from the 1550´s. It was a centre of opposition to Charles I and was besieged and damaged after the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.
Still a family home, Broughton Castle is lived in by the 21st Lord & Lady Saye & Sele of the Fiennes family. Beautiful formal garden and park. The ownership of the Castle has remained in the same family since 1447

July 21st            Jackie and Dean

A step back in history

Date: Sunday 21st July 2019
Start: Flag & Whistle, Toddington Steam Railway
Time: Cafeteria Open from: 09.00 hrs for breakfast
Depart: 10:15 hrs
Finish: Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ (£10 entrance fee for those with an MX5)
Distance: 65 miles

Drive Options:
Printed route instructions will be provided on the day.
The history played out within Berkeley Castle’s walls make it one of the most remarkable buildings in Britain. The last court jester in England died here in the Castle when he tumbled from the minstrel's gallery in the Great Hall (did he fall, or was he pushed?). Visit the castle and The Tropical Butterfly House which is located within the old walled kitchen garden at Berkeley Castle, adjacent to the Yurt Restaurant.

There are special events on the day we visit -
A Tudor day out with the Boleyns
Encounter Tudor royalty as King Henry VIII arrives at Berkeley Castle on his royal progress, meet his Queen, along with her ladies in waiting and noble gentlemen. Enjoy the spectacle of Tudor dancing in the Great Hall.

Ghosts of Berkeley Castle
Wire Sculpture Exhibition

See this incredible early 16th century craft at close hand and view examples of exquisite items made from lace with a group of local lace makers.

For more information on the Castle see:

Note: No dogs, except service dogs, are allowed anywhere on the premises

August 18th            Keith and April

'A trip round Mortimer country' or 'Meandering in the Marches'

Date: Sunday 18th August 2019
Start: Squirrel Inn, Foldgate Lane, Ludlow SY8 1LP
Time: 09:00
Depart: 10:30
Midway Break: Norton Canon Village Hall, Kitty's Lane, HR4 7BW – Large car park;
Finish: Ludlow Food Centre & Farmshop, Bromfield, Ludlow, SY8 2JR
Distance: 58 miles

Drive Options: A traditional Club Sunday drive (no single-track lanes !) on the good driving roads west of the A49 with lots of photo opportunities along the way

Ludlow Food Centre & Farmshop is a multiple award-winning food and dining complex on the Earl of Plymouth's 8000 acres Oakly Park estate on the northern outskirts of Ludlow. ..Described in one national newspaper as '...Foodie heaven...'

N.B. There are Special MX5 OC parking arrangements:

The Food Centre is a very popular tourist attraction and its three car-parks are likely to be crowded. So that we do not have to queue for parking spaces with the general public, the owners have kindly given us special permission to use the on-site car park of IslaBikes. Please observe the parking instructions on the drive notes.

Cakes, refreshments and toilets are available at the midway break location.

The Ludlow Food Centre complex includes :-
  • The Clive Arms - boutique Inn / Restaurant – advance Sunday booking essential 01584 856565
  • The 'Ludlow Kitchen' Cafe
  • Ludlow Ice Cream Cabin – their own-make, luxury ice creams & milk shakes
  • Ludlow Farmshop – award-winning ranges of foods in various departments
  • The Ludlow Plant Centre – garden supplies shop with plant sales area opposite
  • Toilets / Picnic Tables

For more information see:

September 22nd            Theresa and Ron

The Elgar Route and Other Variations

Date: Sunday 22nd September 2019
Start: Gupshill Manor, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. GL20 5SG
Time: 09:15 onwards for breakfast, tea/coffee
Depart: 10:30
Midway Break: Elgar’s birthplace, The Firs, Broadheath, Worcester, WR2 6RH
Finish: Hanbury Hall, School Rd, Hanbury, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, WR9 7EA
Distance:60 miles

Drive Options: On arrival at Hanbury Hall continue along the drive towards reception. Before you reach the car park you will see the drive up to the Hall on the LHS. Bear left to head towards the House. Weather permitting; we will park on the grass to the Right and Left of the drive. Please drive carefully here; this is also the pedestrian access to the Hall. Once parked, please go to Reception to check in. NT members go free. Non-members should tell Reception you are with the MX5 Club to obtain the Group Rate. It’s £8 each to go round the gardens and £11 each to visit the Hall as well.

If you would like to visit a local craft centre, the Jinney Ring is located 1.4 miles from Hanbury Hall. The address is Hanbury Rd, B60 4BU. It’s 1.4 miles from Hanbury Hall. Turn Left out of Hanbury Hall and continue along School Lane until you reach the T Junction. Jinney Ring is located immediately right of the junction.

October 20th            Debbie, Claire and Terry

Caffeine & Machine

Date: Sunday 20th October 2019
Start: Caffeine & Machine, Banbury Road, Ettington, CV37 7NS
Time: TBA
Depart: TBA
Finish: Caffeine & Machine, Banbury Road, Ettington, CV37 7NS

Drive Options:
A round trip drive in the Warwickshire countryside following breakfast and coffee at Caffeine & Machine. A show of 20 MX5’s at the venue is to be confirmed. Caffeine and Machine is a Coffee house, restaurant, art gallery and general hangout popular with car enthusiasts and is near Stratford on Avon.

November 24th            Gavin and David


Date: Sunday 24th November 2019
Start: TBA
Time: TBA
Depart: TBA
Finish: TBA

Drive Options: TBA

December Sunday 8th

Christmas Meal at Gupshill Manor

Venue: Gupshill Manor, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SY, 01684 292278
Time: 12:00 for 12:30 sit down

Please pay the deposit to Penny by the October meeting and the balance in full by the November meeting.