In 2014, Ashley Abraham and James Calder set up Midweek Minis, a social group for Mini owners and those who have a keen interest to meet up and share their passion for Minis. Since then it has grown to just over 400 members with about 20 Minis turning up regularly every week. The Midweek Minis group has regular weekly meets every Wednesday evening, meeting at Portsmouth’s famous Micks Monster Burger van on Portsdown Hill at 6pm and then leaving in convoy at about 7pm for a scenic drive to another local venue or a scenic spot for photos.
I’ve always been attracted to classic cars. They have a particular character, a soul, imparted to them from the affection and care of their human maker: the hand-drawn designs that weren’t about aerodynamics or gadgetry, but instead reflect the mood and culture of the time. In 1956, there was a rationing of petrol due to the Suez crisis, which prompted a need for small cars that were economical to run but kept production costs low. This led to the production of the Fiat 500, Trojan 200 (bubble car), Hillman Imp, Messerschmitt and of course the iconic Mini.
I started going to Midweek Minis in 2015 when my friend James, one of the founding members, invited me along after I accompanied him on a few Mini adventures, including the 2013 and 2014 London to Brighton Mini runs.
For me, the best thing about Midweek Minis is getting to know these iconic cars and their history: whether they’ve been in the family for generations, bought as a restoration project or saved from the clutches of the government car scrappage scheme introduced in 2009 which put to death a lot of classic cars. There is also a great sense of community within the group. People from different backgrounds, with varying skills and knowledge are connected by their love for the Mini and they are all willing to help each other out to keep these beautiful examples of British design and engineering on our roads for all of us to enjoy.
All images by Andrew Hurdle.