End of an era for Swanage’s classic car show

The Swanage Charity Day and Classic Car Show, which motored back into town after a two year break, will be the last for the show’s founder who is handing over the controls to a new team.

After running the event for the last 27 years, Swanage resident Jenny Lazenbury is stepping down, however local car enthusiasts Culvin Milmer and his son Eddie have volunteered to take over for 2023.


Lots of people came to view the car display in the spring sunshine

Jenny Lazenbury at Swanage classic car show

The Swanage Charity Day and Classic Car Show founder, Jenny Lazenbury

Gleaming in the spring sunshine

With the vintage cars gleaming in the spring sunshine, lots of people came to see the display at Main Beach Car Park in the centre of Swanage on Sunday 24th April 2022.

This year there were 124 cars taking part, along with lots of stalls raising money for charity.

Vinatge car at Swanage classic car show

Popular local musician Bruce Evans was this year’s winner of the Best Car award with his lovely blue Austin Atlantic

“Slow to start with and then just grew and grew”

Jenny Lazenbury explained why she founded the event back in 1996:

“At the time, we had a 1934 Morris Eight and enjoyed going to car shows and I thought ‘why don’t we do this in Swanage?’ and of course, if you want something doing, do it yourself, so I did!

“I started with very little money and just went to all the car shows handing out leaflets to publicise the new event. It was slow to start with and then just grew and grew.

“In 1997 there was the bright idea to introduce a bit of a competition to the event and we created the Best Car award, voted for by the public. It all took off and it allowed us to raise lots of money for charity.

“Over the years, we must have raised at least £30,000. Charities that have benefited include the air ambulance, Marie Curie and the British Red Cross, as well as lots of local good causes. My main aim is to help people help themselves.”

Culvin and Eddie at Swanage classic car show

Culvin Milmer and his son Eddie are taking over the driving seat for the car show in 2024

No major changes

The annual event raises money by charging the car owners a small fee to attend. Also the stall holders pay for their pitch, which enables them to keep all the money that they make on the day.

Culvin Milmer said:

“We’re not looking to make any major changes – it’s already a successful format.

“We like that it’s not just all about the cars but also raising money for good causes. It’s good to get involved and put something back into the community.

Vintage cars at Swanage classic car show

Volunteers from the stall raising funds for the Marie Curie charity admire the vintage convertible

Eddie, Culvin and Jenny at Swanage classic car show

Jenny is stepping down after 27 years and handing over the organisation of the event to Eddie and Culvin

“I’ve planted the acorn and they can now grow it on!”

So is Jenny confident that the show’s future will be in safe hands?

Jenny laughed:

“No comment! The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

“It’s certainly not as easy as it looks. I do wish Culvin and Eddie the best of luck. I’ve planted the acorn and they can now grow it on!

Vintage cars at Swanage classic car show
Stall at Swanage classic car show

The toy versions were also available to buy and take home from this stall

Further information

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

Most recent

Parents warned after illegal drugs seized in Swanage raids Colourful pouches containing cannabis but designed to look like sweet packets have been seized from several addresses in Swanage in Dorset. 10 hours ago Swanage Library to reduce opening hours on Saturdays 1 day ago Medieval cargo of Purbeck stone is raised from Studland Bay 2 days ago Swanage remembers D-Day sacrifice 80 years on 3 days ago Eight candidates compete to become next MP for South Dorset 4 days ago