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Bristol Owners Club

History of the Club

In 1952, a small number of Bristol owners having a common interest in BMW design, engineering, and history, along with a larger number of BMW owners, formed the BMW Car Club, incorporating Bristol cars. Thus the UK BMW Club was founded circa December 1952.

Over time of course, as the number of Bristol owners in the BMW Car Club slowly increased, and as the post-war BMW company developed new designs, the original commonalty of interest was gradually diminished. Clearly there was a need for a new "chapter". Recognition that the Bristol Owners' Club could be formed as an independent club was given by the Royal Automobile Club in September 1964.

The Bristol Owners' Club was properly constituted at a special meeting held on the 6th November 1964. The first committee was elected from many of the office bearers of the BMW Club, including Godfrey Charles Oxley-Sidey, ex Chairman of the BMW Club, who was later elected Chairman of the BOC chapter. It was agreed that it would be operated as a separate section of the BMW club, thereafter sharing a common dual badged quarterly magazine.

In 1970, after operating in tandem for approximately 6 years and finally having achieved viability in terms of membership numbers, full independence was achieved and the two clubs amicably separated.

Subsequently Godfrey Oxley-Sidey was to be awarded the position of first Honorary President of the BOC — a post which he held until his death in March 1999.

During his tenure as Honorary President, Godfrey – as he always preferred to be called in his quiet and unassuming manner – wrote two books on the marque, The Quiet Survivor and BRISTOL – An Illustrated History. These were limited editions and are now long out of print. They remain a lasting testament to his enthusiasm for the marque.

With the advent of information technology in the 1990s, Bob Charlton (General Registrar) pioneered its application for the benefit of the Club. Not only did he transfer the old paper records of the car registry into a computer database: he created the whole public area of this web site. The informativeness of the historical and descriptive pages eloquently attest to Bob's encyclopædic knowledge of the marque, for which every visitor to this site will have cause to be grateful.