12th Dec, 2019

Pride of Longbridge Rally volunteers honored by Mayor

Tristan Harris 14th May, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A TOTAL of 20 volunteers who were involved with making this year’s Pride of Longbridge Rally such a success were honoured by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

The group went for afternoon tea at Birmingham City Council House with Coun Shafique Shah and his wife Sadia Shafique.

Among them were organiser Gemma Cartwright MBE and her husband, Coun Andy Cartwright, who was a former MG Rover worker.

This year was a poignant one for former employees of the Longbridge car plant as it was the tenth since the demise of the firm.

More than 10,000 visitors descended on Cofton Park on April 18, where there were thousands of cars which had all been made in South West Birmingham.

Among them were Austin 7s, classic Minis, Rovers, MGs, Maestros, Metros, Allegros and more.

There were also fun activities for children and hot and cold food and drink available.

The Mayor, Coun Shah, said he did not quite know what to expect when he was invited down to the rally, adding he thought it would be rows of cars in the park.

But, he added, it was a lot more than that and it was great to see the community spirit fostered in the area.

Gemma said: “It was a true pleasure to be invited for afternoon tea with the Birmingham Lord Mayor a great way to thank and recognise  those who volunteer for POL.

“It was also a wonderful achievement to receive an award from the Lord Mayor which we will display at next years POL on April 16.

“I’m so grateful to all those who volunteer and make it such a success.

“We even had businesses in Bromsgrove and South Birmingham how trade increased over the weekend.

“Pride of Longbridge brings together the community, schools, businesses and ex-employees to share the great that came out of Longbridge and also puts the beating heart back into the area.”

Coun Andy Cartwright added: “Longbridge is an exciting place to live.

“We have wonderful community groups that network and complement each other.

“Together we are working towards creating a Community Development Trust (CDT) bringing the businesses, community groups, Schools, religious services together Longbridge will become a sustainable area led by the local residents.”

As well as the volunteers, the Bromsgrove Standard was also praised for the pre-publicity it has given to the event over the years and the coverage of the day.

A community book is currently being compiled of memories of the Longbridge plant.

Former workers, their family and friends and those living in Longbridge are urged to visit prideoflongbridge2006@gmail.com to share their memories.

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