All clubs have mechanisms for thanking people who have done great service. AMOC is no different, not least in its awards for all kinds of merit at both the national and international level.
The Area 4 Hall of Fame recognises those people who have contributed greatly to the health and well being of the AMOC in Somerset. At its inception (April 2017) it is an informal initiative from the Area Representative. It may become a permanent mechanism of local recognition or it may wither on the vine. At least in the short term, here are some people from Area 4 who have gone the extra mile and who deserve our collective thanks:
Keith Ashcroft (1927-2015)
Keith became the Area 4 Representative in 1974 at a time when the Area was relatively inactive. Along with then Asst. Rep, Garry Dickens, he set about restoring the Area’s social calendar, the legacy of which very much survives and thrives to this day.
Garry joined the AMOC in the early 1970s and remains one of seven Area 4 members with a four figure membership number. Garry was the Area Representative for 35 years following a short period as Assistant Rep soon after joining the Club. During that time he organised countless events and encouraged many new members to join and to become active in the Club (NB - Area 4 then also included Gloucestershire). Garry has owned a selection of Aston Martins, including a ‘DB1’. He is a long-serving concours judge who founded the 'Pride of Ownership’ Class and remains active in many aspects of the Club. Garry is also a recipient of Club's Merit Award.
Roger undertook the role of Joint Area Rep with Garry Dickens and latterly Andrew Fawkes for a total of 25 years. He is a regular concours judge, usually for Feltham era cars. Roger has restored many cars to a very high standard, including Elite Class concours winners and the DB2/4 Bertone Spider that won its class with a record score at Woburn Abbey in May 2004. Roger won the Club's Merit Award in 2004 was the recipient of the Club’s premier award, the Bertelli Trophy, in 2011.
John is another long-serving member of the AMOC who has added his inimitable contribution to events, especially racing, over a number of years. He is perhaps the last person to commute to work on a daily basis in a DB4GT! John can always be relied upon for a colourful anecdote (or heckle) and remains active in the Club when work commitments allow.
Bob bought his DB4 in 1974 and set about its long-term restoration whilst working abroad, after which it won an AMOC Concours award. Retirement in the last 10 years or so means he is now able to fully enjoy his car. Bob is a regular attendee at Area 4 events and his car has been displayed at a variety of shows, not least the Bristol Classic Car Show. He is a ready source of valued engineering advice for AMOC and other classic car fans. Bob won the ‘Area Rep’s Award’ in 2014.
James Denham 'Ned' Thorburn
Ned Thorburn (1949-2017) photographed at the Gerring Garden Party in August 2017
Ned contributed greatly to Area 4's social calendar from the moment he joined the Club. He regularly attended more events than anyone else in the Area and helped out when required on the admin side. Losing his beloved wife Bev and struggling with personal illness didn't diminish Ned’s enthusiasm for and involvement with the Club. Ned was the hugely popular winner of the Area Rep’s Award in 2015. Ned died on 14th October 2017. His son, James, and daughter-in-law Jo, drove Ned's beloved V12 Vantage S 'T15 NED' to lead a convoy of 11 Astons from his funeral service on a bright and sunny October day. He would have enjoyed the spectacle and the noise!
Michael bought his DB6 new in 1966 and so completed 50 years of single ownership in 2016 (a fact that was celebrated by a presentation at the Aston Martin Bristol dealership in September 2016 - see here). Michael’s other claim to fame was his presence at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1959 when Aston Martin won the race outright for the first and only time. He was also present a few weeks later when the team secured the World Sports Car Championship at Goodwood, thanks to one of many amazing drives by (Sir) Stirling Moss. Michael was a great supporter of the AMOC and regularly provided his car for events and displays. He was instrumental in creating the Club's successful 'Millennium Tour' in 1999. Michael won the Area Rep’s Award in 2016. Michael passed away in April 2018.
------------ The following were inducted into the Area 4 Hall of Fame in November 2020 ----------
Gillian was a popular winner of the Area Rep's Award in 2017 for her tireless work behind the scenes supporting the Area Rep (her husband!). She has been both a practical and inspirational supporter of Area 4. Her ideas are regularly factored-in to events; she often dons a hi-vis jacket to provide parking and other assistance to Members enjoying events. In recent years, without being asked to do so, she has taken on the role of 'social media manager', thus easing further the burden of the Area Rep. When not in and around Astons, she likes nothing more than travelling around the world to spend time in the MotoGP paddock.
Mike has been a long-term Aston fan and Member of the AMOC, albeit he didn't manage to acquire his first Aston until 2013. Since then, he has become even more active in many ways: suggesting and contributing to the delivery of events, such as the hugely popular 'Show & Shine' at the Aston Martin Bristol dealership in 2018... the year he also won the Area Rep's Award. Mike has been a tireless raiser of funds and awareness for Sparks, the children's medical research charity which Area 4 Members have kindly supported from time to time. Mike has written a series of in-depth articles for 'Aston', the AMHT's annual publication, one of which inspired two inter-Area events sponsored by Avon Tyres. Mike continues to provide much appreciated help and ideas generation for the Area.
Paul & Jan Gerring
Paul & Jan's collection of Astons and other notable cars has enabled them to delight Members by attending Area 4 events and suggesting events that in many cases they have also organised. Their garden parties are always very popular, as have been the various tours and drives-out that they have researched and delivered, such as the Autumn 2019 North Wales & EVO Triangle tour. Paul and Jan continue to be great supporters of and attendees at Area 4 events (and further afield) and as such became the very deserving winners of the Area Rep's Award in 2019.
Hugh & Lynn Williams
Hugh and Lynn have been Members of the AMOC for over 30 years. Their 1933 Le Mans model Aston Martin has graced many Area 4 events during that time. It's regularly the only pre-war car seen at Area 4 events. Hugh & Lynn were awarded a 30-Years Award pin in 2020 in recognition of their long term and much appreciated support for the Club.
John & Liz Cheyne
John & Liz have been attending Area 4 and national events for over 30 years, as recognised by the Club's 30-Years Award pin in 2020. Their 1971 DBS has been owned and loved for over 20 years. Not only has it (and they) been a regular attendee at Area 4 events, it's also been the stalwart transport for annual pilgrimages to the Le Mans 24-Hours and further afield, including visits to family in Scotland and being their daughter’s wedding car in Durham.
John Hazzard & Bernie Graham
John is another recipient of the Club's 30-Years Award pin in 2020. During that time, he and partner Bernie Graham, have been proactive supporters of Area 4, especially in creating a series of 'Portway Classic' events that encourage a diverse range of cars and people to enjoy the combination of Petrolheads pleasure and charity fund-raising - the emphasis being on fun - at their home.
Anthony & Barbara King
Anthony & Barbara have been immensely supportive of the Club and Area 4 in particular in recent years. Both are never slow to offer help and support when required and never miss an opportunity to recruit/entice new Members when seeing another Aston out and about. Both can be relied upon when needed and are never short of good ideas to keep up the Area's variety of offerings. They're also good at rolling-up their sleeves... a characteristic that's always appreciated by event organisers everywhere. That is why they are the deserving recipients of the Area Rep's Award for 2020.
If you would like to recommend someone to be inducted into the Area 4 Hall of Fame, please contact your Area Rep, Andrew Fawkes.