The Stag Owners Club was founded in November 1979 by Tony Hart, proprietor of Hart Racing Services
who have been specializing in the Triumph Stag since 1974. In response
to questions from customers about forming a club, Tony first handed out
questionnaires at the classic car show at Alexandra Palace, where Hart
Racing Services had a stand, to ask if people were willing to help run
such a club. Receiving encouraging replies he arranged a meeting on 6th
November at his home in Kingsbury NW London. It was attended by 9
people, including Ken Hudson whose first job for the new club was as its
Treasurer. June Armstrong, Tony’s secretary at Hart Racing Services,
was appointed Secretary and also handled membership, Kim Gollard took on the role of Newsletter co-ordinator and Tony Hart became chairman.
The first Newsletter, consisting of ten A4 pages, was published in December 1979 from the office of HRS. As well as arranging discounts from spare parts suppliers the new club was keen to promote social events and its first pub meeting took place on 18th December at the Prince Albert in Golders Green Road, London. About 100 people attended this meeting and more than 30 Stags were parked outside.
Around this time Ken Hudson received a telegram from the Swiss club congratulating the UK for setting up their club and asking "What took you so long?" As more and more members joined the UK club, area meetings were arranged. Stuart Lowe arranged the first one in Newcastle on 19th February 1980. Norfolk, Bedfordshire/Warwickshire, Kent, South London/Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Avon, South Wales, Northampton and Birmingham all established their own areas soon after.
The Newsletter continued to be published monthly; Issue 14 saw a change to A5 size, Ken Turner having taken over as Editor. One endearing feature of most issues up till the end of 1985 was the cartoon stag on their covers; these were drawn by Tony Hart’s father. A competition was held to give this stag a name, and in October 1981 Jim Freyler's suggestion of 'Socrates' was deemed the winner. Although some colour had been used on the cover since April 1983, it wasn't till December 1987 that Jean Vesey, the then Editor, introduced the first full colour photographs. It was now definitely a magazine rather than just a newsletter.
Competition was encouraged from the start, and the first national Concours D'Elegance was held in Coventry in September 1981. Twenty Stags were entered in 5 classes. The first National Day was held at Weston Park, Shropshire, on June 30th 1984, with some 125 Stags in attendance. In May 1982 the UK club hosted the second European Stag Meeting, based in Canterbury. Enthusiasts attended from the 3 other European clubs in Holland, Germany and Switzerland and no less than 85 Stags travelled in convoy from Canterbury, via Chilham, to Leeds Castle.