IT HAS been an important pit stop for motoring enthusiasts for more than 50 years and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Now the Beaulieu International Autojumble, the oldest and most prestigious show held at the National Motor Museum, is in line for a top award.

The autojumble is a finalist in the latest Beautiful South awards staged by Tourism South East.

Events manager Judith Maddox said she was delighted that Beaulieu's best-loved and longest running attraction was in the running for the prestigious accolade.

Recalling the 50th autojumble staged last year she said: "It was an opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to share their wonderful memories with us. We were overwhelmed by the affection it inspired in visitors from all over the world.”

Beaulieu's commercial director, Stephen Munn, added: “This nomination makes us very proud.

"It not only recognises the boost the International Autojumble gives to the New Forest economy but also the loyalty of exhibitors and visitors who come back every year.

"It's a must on the motoring calendar and many of our overseas visitors plan their annual holidays around it.”

Dubbed the largest autojumble on this side of the Atlantic, the event attracts visitors from across Europe and beyond.

It was the brainchild of the previous Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who was inspired by the Hershey Swap Meet in America.

What began as a one-day event with 75 stands has grown into a two-day festival that is spread over 25 acres of parkland and attracts tens of thousands of visitors.

More than 36,000 turned out for last year’s landmark event, which comprised 2,378 stands stuffed full of motoring treasures and elusive spare parts for restoration projects.

The Beautiful South Awards salute businesses across the region that have gone the extra mile in terms of accessibility, sustainability and customer service.

Nigel Smith, chief executive of Tourism South East, said: "The awards are a reminder of the amazing wealth of tourism businesses and experiences the south east of England has to offer.

"This year the overall standard of entries was higher than ever. Some very fine businesses narrowly missed the cut, so the finalists truly are the best of the best.”

The autojumble has been short-listed in the tourism event/festival of the year category in the awards, which will be announced on November 29.


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