By Tony Demicoli (former member and founder) and later Geoff Johnston (Chairman)
Somewhere back in the mists of time, and after being seduced as a mere lad of about 10, I finally bought a 1964 3.8 MK X. Desperate for advice and information on this piece of yet to be restored quality, I turned to the JDC, then on display at a rally at Himley Hall. Strange isn't it that after all these years how you remember saying with pride to their members that I had a MK X, and not even raising anyones interest in the tent! I honestly wondered what I said, and left within a moment: should I have had an E Type or MKII, the Central Region may never have come to fruition
The JEC was in its infancy in the very early 90's and keen to show a practical alternative to the cheque book restoration and give genuine practical support and advice to anyone with a Jaguar, as we all know, no matter what its marque or condition nad in my case I needed a lot of both so I joined.
I found then that the Central Region Club night was on a Thursday evening based no less at the Jaguar Sports and Social club, Browns Lane, what a venue:- Local lads from Coventry, Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick, etc, along with a troop from Birmingham, came together and swapped stories.
I can't quite remember why the committee fell apart in early '91. I had been elected Social Events Secretary: Paul and Gill Swingler - Technical Advisors. We were the only members to attend most meetings. After about three unstructured evenings, we would sit expectantly along with 1 or 2 other members , waiting for direction - it never quite happened.
One evening in the winter, we decided this situation could not continue and decided to move the club to West Bromwich - most active members were Birmingham based anyway. So has novices we gave ourselves 6 months to turn it around, after which time, if we hadn't moved forward then the Central region would be wound up.
Gill spoke to the JEC explaining the situation. They supported us by making the relevant press changes etc . We changed our bank details and off we went with 150 quid of existing founds on a relaunch campaign.
One of our first tasks was to find a meeting place. Working for a large brewery at the time with 50+ function rooms at my disposal, we found ourselves at the Hawthorns (next to the West Bromwich Albion ground)
The rest is history - our first evening saw the three of us having a beer and planning the way ahead at the time of the 2nd meeting when the weather was starting to improve we saw 8/10 new faces. The 3rd we had 16 and off we went - the Central Region was reborn.
I have many fond memories of the many events that we organised
Tony is no longer a member of the club and Geoff Johnston, one of the first members, has continued to run and support the region since the early 90's in his role as Chairman . Geoff will be making his contribution to this page in the near future.
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