BMW Car Club UK

Michael takes over the Baton from Howard at the Northern Concours

Planning the North East Regional Relay day

It was early this year that we heard that this historic event was going to take place, and we in the North East were keen to participate, so I emailed George Champ to see when we could take part, my first thoughts were we could take the Batons on our first drive of the year, which by chance was a 100 mile round trip. Brilliant idea I thought 100 years 100 miles. George said good idea also, but said he would like the Relay to start at Lands’ End and finish at John O’ Groats, so the following is what we came up with.

 As we have the centre of Britain in our region, it was decided to make the most of this historic place, so we wanted a to make a full day of this event,  I contacted Lloyd Newcastle, and a meeting was arranged with Linda (my wife) and the marketing manager Karin Brownrig, and the outcome was just brilliant. Lloyd would open an hour early and provide refreshments and pastries, and a behind the scenes tour of the state of the art BMW Centre, and entry in a competition to win £100 of BMW Lifestyle Vouchers, and provide an i8 to take the Batons onto Haltwhistle.

Day One, 19th June

We received the Baton from Howard Walker of the Eastern Region, at Castle Howard, Father’s Day Show, and what a great show this was. On receiving the Baton we drove it home, a total of 106 miles back home to Morpeth for a week’s rest. Image at the top of the page.

Day Two, 25th June

As the big day was not planned until the 26th, Linda and I decided to have some fun and take the Baton on a tour of the North East’s famous land marks, we started off by visiting the Angel of the North, which is seen by around 90,000 people each day. We then made our way to Newcastle’s quayside, where we took photos of the iconic Tyne Bridge which was opened in 1928 and Newcastle's newest bridge the Millennium Bridge which was opened in 2001. We then drove the Baton over the Tyne Bridge onto Wallsend where the historical Hadrian's Wall ends, we visited Segedunum, (which means strong fort), and placed the Batons on the remains of the Wall. Total miles travelled today 56.

Passing the Angel of the North on the way.

The baton crosses the river Tyne.

 A view of Millenium Bridge, Gateshead.

 Crossing the Iconic Tyne Bridge

 Sitting on the Roman Wall at Segidunum

Day Three 26th June

The big day arrived 15 Club cars descended on Lloyd Newcastle, who On the Sunday morning opened their doors extra early for us. We had fun shuffling our cars, and Lloyd’s cars around to set up a photo opportunity. We had a behind the scenes tour of the state of the art BMW Centre with entry to the competition (won by Mike Milbourne) to win £100 of BMW Lifestyle Vouchers. Refreshments and pastries were served to us during the morning, in the meantime the Lloyd’s sales team were outside admiring the older BMWs we had brought with us, and it was great that people that see BMWs every day take a great interest in our cars.

Then it was destination Centre of Britain, with Lloyd staff waving us on our way with the Batons making the journey in Lloyd’s i8. The route took us along the Military road (B6318) which runs alongside Hadrian’s Wall for much of its length, and long stretches are built on the foundations of the wall.  We stopped on the way at Brocolitia (an auxiliary fort on the wall) to regroup, chat and have fun. The Relay Baton was then taken to Haltwhistle (which marks the Centre of Britain), and was then handed over to Stuart (Cumbria Region Chair) who will take it on to the Scottish Region.  We ended the day with afternoon tea at the Centre of Britain Hotel, and what a great day we had, thanks to all that made it. Total miles travelled today 57.

Special thanks to the staff at Lloyd Newcastle for hosting us and Lewis Munnelly the i8 driver for their time, Lewis said it was one the best Sundays he has had at work, and thoroughly enjoyed the day with the BMW Car Club.

 Line up at Lloyd Newcastle.

02 in focus

The North East Team

Touring the Workshops


Michael with Baton in the Showroom at Lloyd Newcastle

 Not that one - look over there!

 i8 kindly provided by Lloyd Newcastle

Wide view of the members at ?

Another angle on the Members 

Another angle?

Yet more.

 Photoshoot over?

Centre of Britain.

 The first and the latest.

Words and images by Michael Barron.

Links to historic sites courtesy of and the Ordnance Survey Blog.

i8 and hospitality by Lloyd Newcastle

The BMW Car Club would like to thank all contributors.








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