Classic car show forced to move to new location

CLASSIC cars will be paraded across a blossoming green space for the first time after organisers of the city’s motoring celebrations were forced to change location.

The team behind the Cowley Classic Car Show have revealed the festivities will takeover Cutteslowe Park when the 10th annual event returns to Oxford.

It comes after Oxford City Council told organisers their usual base was off-limits due to the £2.2m Northway and Marston flood alleviation project.

Alicia Goodey, president of event organiser Oxford Isis Rotary Club, said: “Since the city council realised quite recently that the Marston site would not be ready in time for this year’s show, it have worked with us to find a suitable alternative.

“Thanks to them and the local residents association, we are delighted to be holding the show in Cutteslowe Park.

“We are now working to make it the biggest and best show yet, with plenty to do for all the family in addition to the 250 Classic vehicles that will be on display.”

Car lovers from across the country were preparing to roll their vintage vehicles into Marston’s Court Place Farm to celebrate Oxford’s motoring industry.

But they will now fill Cutteslowe Park, boasting their Cowley-made Morris Minors and Abingdon-made MGs among masses of visitors on August 13.

The show comes more than 100 years after philanthropist William Morris began manufacturing cars at in Cowley, where the BMW Mini now rolls off the production line.

Committee member Malcolm Fearn, who will make sure the 250 vehicles make their way to the green space, said: “Most people who have lived in Cowley all their life, or have relatives who have worked in the plant, have come along and looked at the cars they have helped build over the years.

“It’s quite interesting to meet some of the people. We have a fantastic range of vehicles.”

Cash raised at the show will support The Footsteps Centre, in Dorchester-on-Thames , which supports children and young adults with disabilities.

Funds will also be donated to Abingdon-based charity The African Children’s Fund, which aims to help African youngsters lead ‘ happy and fulfilled’ lives.

Merrymakers visiting the show will have the chance to enrol their pooches in a dog show, enjoy a display by RAF Brize Norton’s police dog team, and ride along in a vintage bus, Maserati, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Performers the Strawberry Fayre Majorettes will make an appearance, alongside fairground rides, musical acts and a host of stalls.

The flood alleviation project, which began last October, aims to reduce the risk of surface water flooding to 110 homes in the Northway and Marston.

Councillor John Tanner, Executive Board Member for a Clean and Green Oxford, said: “The flood prevention work is complete at Court Place Farm Recreation Ground, but we now need to give the new grass seeds a chance to bed in before we allow people to use the site.

“If we don’t do this, we’ll need to close and replant the field again next year. We have been in contact with the Cowley Car Show organisers about this since receiving their event application in April, and have been working with them to find alternative sites for this year’s event.

“We don’t like to disrupt annual events, but we hope they and local residents will understand.”