The Skoda Octavia has taken top honours at the 2017 Green Apple Awards.

The awards, presented at the House of Commons, are organised by the Midlands-based The Green Organisation and judged by members of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. They single out cars that are both good to drive and economical in the real world.

One of the judges said of the Skoda Octavia: “Fantastic value for money with a car that offers unprecedented cabin space in this league. Well finished, well-appointed and some exceptionally economical engines that deliver on all fronts.”

The Octavia went on to take the Green Apple champion title having first clinched the category for larger family cars.

The MGMW Green Apple Awards in full:

SUPERMINIS: Suzuki Celerio Dualjet



SMALLER SUVs: Dacia Duster


EXECUTIVE CARS: Jaguar XF, 2.0 litre diesel



MGMW member and events secretary, Enda Mullen, has been named Business Journalist of the Year at the annual Midlands Media Awards. He was also highly commended in the News Reporter of the Year (Daily) category.

Enda, who is a business reporter at the Coventry Telegraph and contributor to Trinity Mirror Driving Force, commented: “After 23 years in the business I can finally say I am an award winning journalist.”

Enda’s portfolio of entries in the business category examined the past and future of the Coventry and Warwickshire automotive industry. The judges praised him for providing much-needed business coverage in Coventry and particularly liked his series on the restoration of Coventry as Car City.

Sponsored by HSBC, the Midlands Media Awards are organised by Birmingham-based Lotty Harper Events on behalf of Birmingham Press Club and were also supported by Bareface, Core, Russell Printers, Staffordshire University, The High Field and Milk and Mayo. This year they attracted more than 200 entries.

Birmingham Press Club, which is now celebrating its 152st anniversary, is the oldest press club in the world and the awards are the highlight of the club’s event calendar.



Scotland and Norway featured as perfect driving destinations in the winning entries for the Midland Group of Motoring Writers’ 2017 award in memory of a member who mixed cars and countries for a living.

Outright winner this year is 14-year-old Dan Walls, from Bletsoe in Bedfordshire (pictured left with Ian Donaldson, MGMW chairman), who imagined driving a powerful Bentley Bentayga into the Highlands of Scotland. Winner Dan attends Bedford Modern School and was prompted to enter the competition by his English teacher Dr Paul Barnes.

Dan’s main prize is a £1,000 travel voucher, sponsored by Audi, which will also provide a car for his parents to enjoy for a week. Also in Dan’s winning package are a guided tour of the Aston Martin plant at Gaydon in the Midlands and a passenger ride in one of the factory cars with a works driver.

A visit for Dan and family to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands is also included in the winner’s prizes and he’ll be able to take a Mercedes around the track or on an off-road course too – and treat the family to a splendid lunch.

The Phils award is named for the late Phil Llewellin, a respected member of the Midland Group whose stories about driving cars in interesting places all over the world appeared in countless magazines and newspapers. The award sets out to encourage creativity in young people interested in telling a story of motoring, cars and travel.

There are two possible awards: the Phil (open to all entrants aged up-to 18) and the Junior Phil (for entrants aged up-to 16). This year, young Dan’s entry so impressed the judges that they made him the outright winner despite being entered into the younger category.

For the first time in the award’s history, a special runners-up prize of a £100 travel voucher was given to another 14-year-old; Daniel Lee from Whittington, near Oswestry (pictured left).

His 500 words story about taking an Aston Martin Vulcan on an imaginary race against the Northern Lights in Norway so impressed the judges they made this one-off special award.



cameron-taitThe winner of the 2016 John Connor Award is Cameron Tait, who graduated from Coventry University in November and has already started work in the industry, as motoring and technology editor for Dennis Publishing’s The Week.

Cameron joins a roll-call of worthy winners of the award which is given to the Coventry University automotive journalism student who produces the best final project as part of his degree. Cameron won for developing a concept for a website that collates web reviews of cars and helps readers to get an overall view of one car compared to another.

The MGMW award is named in honour of highly respected group member, John Connor, who died in a car accident in 2014. He was a strong supporter of introducing the original MGMW Coventry student award and had a long track record of training journalists at his papers.

In addition to the kudos of winning the award, Cameron Tait gets a cheque for £250 and a framed certificate.

Former winners of the MGMW John Connor Award include Sam Sheehan (2015), who is now at Autocar where he is a Senior Staff Writer, and Jan Conesa (2014), who is now working in a media analysis role for Seat in his native Spain.