2006 is a most memorable year for the Bentley Drivers Club. On the 9th September the contractors handed over the keys to the Club's brand new purpose built headquarters. This closely follows the Concours in June where the 70th anniversary of the Club was celebrated with a birthday party and dinner dance.
The 6,000 square foot building is in the village of Wroxton, a few minutes from the M40 near Banbury and thus easily accessible. The Club House provides a base for the office staff and is also home to the W O Bentley Memorial Foundation, a registered charity devoted to the work and legacy of W O Bentley. The President, Andrew Day, explained "This new Club House is very much more than another administrative office. It provides the BDC with a focal point which members can visit; we can hold seminars and social events for up to 150 people; a shop will be selling regalia; a new museum is being established and the W O Bentley Memorial Foundation will have dedicated offices, storage and archive facilities."
The Club has been extremely successful with membership close to 4,000. Members recognised with regret that the Club had simply outgrown the offices in Long Crendon and this led to a search over several years for a building in the same area. Nothing suitable was found and the decision was taken to commission a purpose designed Club House on the site in Wroxton.
The Chairman, Jenny Ford, told us: "It was a momentous decision. We have been able to finance the project with a combination of the Club's savings, the sale of our previous offices, some help from the bank and most importantly, via generous donations from our membership and Bentley Motors. The door, by the way, is still open to anyone who wishes to be associated with the Bentley Drivers Club as fund raising continues."
Jenny concluded: "I do believe that W O Bentley would approve of this building. He was at the leading edge of technology and quality: he would be really proud of this building."Published 31 October 2006