History of the Association of Land Rover Clubs…
At about this time a group of Land Rover Enthusiasts approached the Rover Company with the proposal that a club be formed to cater for private Land Rover owners. The Company took this idea on board and formed the LAND ROVER OWNERS CLUB Ltd. This was wholly owned by the Rover Company and the central organisation was based at Solihull.
The Company funded and provided staff for the club. Separate area branches were set up in different parts of the UK and also abroad. These were self-governing but all abided by the central organisation rules etc. All funding went through the central body. A journal called ‘Land Rover Review’ was published by the Company and mailed to each individual member on a quarterly basis.
By this time the Rover Company had introduced the Rover 2000 car. This was a much sportier model than previous ones and appealed to younger drivers. These new drivers also wanted to join a club that had company backing. As a result of these requests the Company revised the Club Structure. The branches of the Land Rover Owners Club were made into autonomous bodies, each self-funding etc., and were asked to rename as Rover Owners Clubs. These new clubs were in turn affiliated to a new body, again owned by the Company, called the ROVER OWNERS ASSOCIATION (ROA).
Each member of an affiliated club could, on payment of a small fee, be a life member of the Headquarters Club of the ROA. The Company again funded the new central body and provided a secretariat. Each year the ROA (Headquarters Club) organised a National Rally. As each member of an individual club was also a member of the ROA, he or she could attend this National event. The quarterly publication continued, now titled ‘Rover Review’. Each new Rover product, be it a car or Land Rover, had in the owners handbook, an invitation to join the Association. The newly formed autonomous clubs were given the legal approval to use various Company logos in their title after the designs were approved.
The ASSOCIATION OF ROVER CLUBS LTD (ARC) was established in 1978 to replace the Rover Owners Association. British Leyland was now the owner of the Company and decided to withdraw from club organisation. The quarterly publication ceased soon after. The previously affiliated clubs formed a new association. The general Committee proposed an association of clubs, not individuals, and this was adopted. Individuals were encouraged to join their local club. The Company approved an Association Badge and member clubs were allowed to incorporate Company Logo into their title and Badges.
At its inception most, but not all, clubs were area based, catering for all ages and models of vehicle. The area clubs have continued but recent times have seen a rapid growth in clubs specifically for one particular model in the range, such as the land Rover “101 Forward Control Club & Register”.
Following the departure of the last “car” club from the Association, the ASSOCIATION OF ROVER CLUBS LTD became the ASSOCIATION OF LAND ROVER CLUBS LTD in order to better describe the intentions of the Association.
In 2016 the Association had some 37 UK based member clubs and 10 overseas clubs, representing approximately 10000 individuals in the UK alone.
ALRC Chairmen – past and present
- David Crewdson – 1977 to 1979
- Brian Hartley, Pennine LRC – 1979 to 1981
- Chris Gregory, Southern ROC – 1981 to 1983
- Tony Hutchings, Land Rover Register – 1983 to 1987
- Tony Holder, Rover Sports Register – 1987 to 1991
- Peter Oakden, Midland ROC – 1991 to 2000
- Denis Bourne, Southern ROC – 2000 to 2010
- Paul Barton, Southern ROC – 2010 to 2019
- Richard Smith, Midland ROC – 2019 – to present