Local Community News


AustinshospiceMembers of the Isle of Wight Austins car club have rallied round the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Several members rolled up at the Hospice this week in their classic cars to donate £500 in memory of the group’s founder, Mr Viv Orchard, who died there in February last year.

The group is a keen supporter of the Hospice and the latest donation, made from club funds, is in addition to money raised from collections at its regular functions.

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Current chairman Mike Howell said:

“The staff at Earl Mountbatten made Viv’s last few days very comfortable. He was looked after extremely well and we wanted to recognise this by donating money in Viv’s name”.

Following the presentation, group members were given a tour of the Hospice’s John Cheverton Centre.

Mr Orchard formed the IW Austins club in 1996 shortly after moving to the Island and remained the group’s leader until his death. The club now has 83 members who between them have around 102 vintage and classic Austins. Mr Orchard had always been a stalwart of the Austin Seven movement. In 1963, he was one of the organisers of the very first 750 MC National Austin Seven Rally at Beaulieu. He also helped to produce the first ‘Austin Seven Register’.

Mike, who owns five Austins, said:

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“Viv was such an enthusiastic and nice man. He was completely committed to old Austins and was also a very keen supporter of the IW Steam Railway and its project to restore an old Ryde Pier tram. We were very pleased to mark his life by making a donation to such a wonderful place as the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.”

Receiving the cheque from the car group at the Hospice was Dani Johnson, EMH event fundraiser.

She said:

“It is always great to see the Austin group members and their fantastic cars. Their fundraising efforts make an important contribution to our work in providing care to people with life-limiting illness and we are extremely grateful for this latest donation in memory of Mr Orchard.”

Photographed L-R: Dani Johnson with Mike Howell

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