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5th Jul, 2022

'Old Lady' brings the memories flooding back for Doreen

Ross Crawford 11th Sep, 2021

A TREASURED icon of Solihull history has journeyed to Lymington to be shown to the daughter of its first owner.

‘The Old Lady’ – a Rover P5B Coupe – rolled off the production line in April 1970 and was bought by local businessman Henry Plester

from the Solihull dealership RH Collier in August of the same year, complete with a Solihull numberplate.

Since then The Old Lady has enjoyed a much loved and cossetted life, winning over the people who have owned her, eventually coming into the possession of Rover car enthusiast Martin Robins, from Wiltshire.

The P5B Coupe was designed by David Bache who was from Solihull and lived in Lady Byron Lane.

This particular eye catching car has, through the years, found itself as the centre of attraction at countless shows with Martin even producing a special booklet to mark its 50th birthday, and now a 2022 calendar celebrating the vehicle.

Martin was keen to trace the car’s history, but the trail went cold when it came to finding out about Henry Plester, until he discovered that he’d lived in Woodside Way, Solihull.

He sent a letter to and there where, through a friend of a friend, it came to the attention of Doreen Nicholls, Henry’s daughter, who now lives near Lymington and who hadn’t seen the car since 1976.

Writing in the newsletter of Solihull Inner Wheel, Doreen said: “I rang Martin at his home in Wiltshire and this set the wheels in motion to bring the car here for me to see.

“I must admit it was a touching experience to see again my father’s car which had been his pride and joy.

“To sit in the driver’s seat and just remember my father and those days long ago.

“The old Lady is beginning to show her age but her nobility is definitely still there.

“It really was a journey into the past and I really am so grateful to Martin for bringing the car on a visit and for the wonderful way he takes care of her.”

Doreen herself has a considerable connection with Solihull, having been headteacher at Chapel Fields Infants and Blossomfield Infants.

She then trained teachers at Bordesley College of Education, later part of Birmingham Polytechnic.

For a copy of the calendar of the Old Lady email Martin at: martinrobins@btinternet.com

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