A CONVOY of 200 Minis both new and old were driven across Oxfordshire this morning as part of a charity event.

Mini enthusiasts were delighted to be out again driving their beloved cars across the county to raise funds for Buttle UK - which is supporting children who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

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Originally planned for 2020 but pushed back due to the pandemic, the Mile of Minis event returned after an eight-year gap by organisers The Italian Job.

Oxford Mail: Dean and Melanie Fowler, from Woodstock travelled in their1961 Morris Mini Minor

Drivers gathered at the Oxford Mini Plant in the morning for breakfast and an official welcome, before being flagged off to start their driving adventure to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

En route, people took part in a photographic treasure hunt.

Siblings Dean and Melanie Fowler from Woodstock drove their 1961 Morris Mini Minor which they inherited from their father who bought it in 1978.

Harry Mayo, 19, from Marlow, who drove his blue Mini which he has had for five years, was happy to participate.


He said: “I sometimes take it (his Mini) to car meets, but it’s great to do something for charity, and get out in to the community after Covid.”

Ron and Julie Mobbs from Wheatley also took part.

Mr Mobbs said: “[We] saw the event advertised and thought it would be great to come down and support as it’s for charity.”

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All participants agreed to raise £40 for Buttle UK - with many fundraising much more. One driver, Keith Cowley, raised a staggering £700.

As 200 cars only were allowed at the event due to restrictions, the organisers were unable to line up cars to actually complete the Mile of Minis challenge as 350 cars were needed, but a great time was had by all and the event will return next year to complete the challenge.

Oxford Mail: Drivers travelled to Warwickshire

Organiser Freddie St George said: “We’re delighted that we finally managed to hold the Mile Of Minis event and that it has proven to be so popular.

“It will definitely be returning next year. We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of the classic and new Mini community to the event. It’s clear to us that the Mini community have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to jump in their cars and stretch their legs.

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"The fact we will also raise lots of money for Buttle UK is a genuine bonus. A big thank you to the Oxford Mail for helping us to raise awareness of the event and ensuring it was a complete sell-out.  We hope Mini enthusiasts in Oxford will join us on our first fully-fledged staycation Rally in Yorkshire in October."

Mr St George and his mother Giulia St George have raised just shy of £3million for children’s charities through the Italian Job Rally events. 

All of the money raised today will go to supporting children living in poverty and who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Oxford Mail: Ron and Julie Mobbs participated

These monies will be allocated to families in need through Buttle UK’s £2,000 Chances for Children Grants which has seen a surge in applications during the pandemic. 

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Joseph Howes, CEO of Buttle UK, thanked participants this morning before the adventure began. He said: "I just want to thank you so much for being here, raising your funds that you've raised. Every single pound that you have raised for the Italian Job Mile of Mini goes directly to help children in need and who have been so impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic."

The Italian Job is holding another fundraising event in Yorkshire in October.

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