Southern Group membership update: January 2024

As 2024 begins, the committee is pleased to announce that Maxine Ashford is the latest member to join the Southern Group. Maxine has over three decades of journalism experience, and been a specialist in motoring for 23 years. She has written for several national and regional newspapers, as well as running her own dedicated motoring website,, and is a member of the judging panel for the Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY).

As a new member arrives, another one sadly leaves with Tom Scanlon announcing his retirement from the SGMW. Tom has been a long-standing member of the group, starting out as a motoring journalist in 1973. He was the motoring writer for the Reading Evening Post for a decade and worked as a freelancer from 1993 contributing to an array of magazines covering both new and classic cars. 

Tom has been a regular attendee at the SGMW’s social events in recent years, including last year’s SMMT Test Day South. The good news is that while Tom is retiring from the main group, he is now one of the group’s retired members, meaning we look forward to seeing him at future events. 

SGMW Chairman Ian Robertson said “As the new membership year starts, it’s always great to welcome new members, especially one that is so well thought of as Maxine. On the flip side, often we have members that join the retired list, and it is with sadness that Tom will be hanging up his pen. That said, we actively encourage retired members to join us for our quarterly breakfast meets and the group’s annual Christmas lunch, so there will be plenty of opportunities to stay in touch.”