The review of the activities of 2014

Review of the Year 2014

Again it has been another good year for the club with many events organised, more of which later but more importantly the monthly club nights continue to be well supported, no doubt everyone is encouraged by the bowls of chips provided by Debbie on club nights. The statistics for the year show we have 115 people on the 'Database' of which 9 were new in 2014 and 72 were active (i.e attended at least 1 event/activity during the year). The events with the largest attendance were the 'Show Night' in August when 38 cars filled the orchard car park at the Cross and 61 people voted and the Xmas meal when 48 people sat down to dine.

What have we done during the year:

1 Chilly Willy Run - Jan

 

Golden Cross to Batsford Arboretum, despite the poor conditions we had 17 cars assemble at the Golden Cross and 8 of those were MGs, including an MG Maestro, 2 MGB GTs, an MG Midget and an MG TF Midget. Most of the route was OK but there were a few 'puddles' after passing Broadway Tower. When we arrived at Batsford Arboretum it was so wet entry to the Arboretum itself was closed but we all enjoyed the refreshments in the café, which we had to ourselves.

2 Quiz Night - February

 

30 people took part in the 'Quiz' at the February Club Night. The quiz was all pictures, the first half being car manufacturer's logos and the second half photos of 'celebs' and motoring people. All the celebs were taken from the Xmas TV Guides, so were current, although the motoring people caused the most trouble!! After marking there were 3 teams tied with 46 points but Allen Smith finally came up with the answer to the tie break question, one of the other names of Colin Chapman (Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman).

3 Guest Speaker - Ron Ball - March

Ron gave us an interesting talk about his career as a Pilot & Captain with British Airways for 30 years, although the discussions about air crashes might have disturbed some of the full room at the Cross.

4 Visit to British Motor Heritage, Witney - March

 

15 of us eventually arrived at the factory most of us having difficulties finding the factory as the address is not quite where they are situated! After coffee and biscuits we were given a short talk about the history of BMH, how they were formed by BL Heritage along with BMIHT Gaydon but were sold off when under the ownership of BMW to a private consortium and is now under the leadership of John Yea. We were then guided into the factory and allowed to roam and talk to the guys on the shop floor, the visit had been planned to coincide with the production of MGB bodyshells but we were also able to see an almost finished E-Type Jaguar bonnet.

5 Skittles Night - March

 

30 of us assembled at the Masons Arms in Long Marston all set for the competition. The now traditional game of 'Boys' against the 'Girls' was followed by the hot supper. We ran out of rice but the landlord soon provided us with a giant bowl of piping hot chips. After supper it was back to skittling, rounding off the evening with a game of Killer. This resulted in a fine tussle between David & Alison Smith, with Alison holding her nerve to take the bottle of wine (I hear it was very quiet in the car going home!!!). Again the 'Boys' took the honours with an average score of 22.7 points against the 'Girls' 22.5. The best Lady prize went to Jill Workman with 28 points, the highest scoring man was myself, also with 28 points. Diane Rayner was very keen to pass the wooden spoon on to someone else and Leslie Gunde was this year's recipient (I was glad to see he had hung the fluffy dice onto his rear-view mirror in the MGF).

6 Malvern Spring Classic Car Show - March

There were 5 cars attending from Arden MG, looks like the breakfast was good.

7 Sunday Lunch Run - March

 

Starting as usual from the Golden Cross but it was an inspired decision to bring the date forward by a week as the weather was fantastic with the sun shining all day. When everyone (well almost everyone) had gathered their cars into the Courtyard at Wroxall Abbey we had a photo shoot and this group photo was the background for this year's Heritage Run Rally Plate and route book Front Cover. The scenic route was set by Mike & Jane Green (and a great job they did too), however Mike was somewhat disappointed that the weather had dried up as much as it did and was not able to award the prize for the Dirtiest car to arrive at Wroxall Abbey after the state his cars got into checking out the roads beforehand! Thanks to Mike & Jane, I think they are talking to each other again!

8 Drive it Day Run - April

 

20+ cars enjoyed a very scenic run, many thanks to Richard Workman for setting the route and supplying the informative comments about things along the journey. There was a slight problem at the Gate Hangs High with insufficient tables available for those that wanted to have lunch. My apologies for this but I did advise the landlord of the expected numbers and he made no comment that he would be short of space and booking would be advisable. I will arrange things differently for the next run.

9 Heritage Run - June

 

HMC, Gaydon to Nat Mem Arboretum. All the comments we received about the run were good, so well done to the committee for another well organised run, helped by the sunshine. It was good to take the 'Run' in a different direction along roads we have not used before and I think it surprised some people how close to Coventry we were but still in beautiful countryside. I hope everyone noticed the memorial in Meriden signifying the Centre of the Country. On arrival at the National Memorial Arboretum we had a vast area to park-up and spread out for picnics. I had my first go at erecting the modified Club Flag, which looked good but did take 3 of us!!! At the allotted hour the convoy formed ready to drive into the Arboretum where we parked among the trees on one of the Avenues, which was much appreciated by visitors to the Arboretum. A brilliant day, thanks to all concerned.

10 Churchill Show - June

7 cars enjoyed the run down in the sunshine for a pleasant day.

11 Quiz on Wheelz - July

 

Won by Caroline and myself. The 8 or so teams enjoyed the run on a fine evening, which ended at the Kings Arms in Mickleton, a big thank you to Graham & Fiona for organising the Quiz.

12 Joint Natter - July

4 cars enjoyed the run over to Malvern to join in the fun and were entertained by a Folk Band.

13 Badsey Flower Show - July

 

6 cars attended this show, lined up under the club flag.

14 Show Night - August

 

A fantastic turn-out for the 'Show Night', thanks to everyone who attended and voted but a special thanks (which I forgot on the night) to the 'Girls' Pam & Caroline for collecting the voting slips and recording the votes to establish our winners and to Graham Robson for taking the photos. I hope you all saw the selection of prizes which included a new award for the 'Best Car' and an award for the best 'Closed' car which was kindly donated by MG Motors, although they were not able to attend this year. The prize for the 'Best Car' was a meal for 2 at the Golden Cross thanks to the generosity of Debbie. It was also a special birthday for Gaynor and I hope she wasn't too disappointed spend it with us all! A great evening filling the orchard with MGs.

 

The winners were:

Best Car: Graham Smith - MG TF Midget (Twin Cam)

Best Car, Runner up: Kevin Carroll - MGA Twin Cam Roadster

Best Car 2nd Runner up: Alan Cleobury - MG ZB Magnette

Best Open Car: Roger Brookes - MGB Roadster

Best Closed Car: Fred Bury - MG ZB Magnette

Best Early Car: Helen Jones - MG TC

Best Coloured MG Car Andy Bourne - MGF in Wedgewood Blue

15 Brailes Show - August

 

At least 2 cars on a fine day.

16 Pershore Plum Festival - August


 

Rain of biblical proportions didn't stop 6 cars meeting at the Cross for a scenic drive over to Pershore Abbey Grounds, however attendance was a little down on previous years, with most of the cars having their roofs up and Alan's gazebo was very useful to keep the torrential rain off for our picnics.

17 Quiz Night - October

Thanks to Doug for this one, clearly won by David Harrison's team. There was lots of comments and banter flying around the room, so it must have been enjoyed by everyone.

18 Malvern Autumn Classic Car Show - October

 

A small display of 4 cars but I'm told the bacon butties and Old Speckled Hen were especially good.

19 Guest Speaker - David Harrison - November

 

An extremely interesting talk enjoyed by a full room, to give you a flavour of the event here are a few of the anecdotes that I noted down:

Roger Clarke was on the rally and when offered the army rations (David was a member of the Royal Artillery) he opted for Steak & Kidney Pie for every day for the run to Bombay, which took 6 days! They would be eaten cold as his Cortina was not fitted with a heater!

David was overtaken by Rosemary Smith on a special stage after about 20 minutes, from 3 places behind (6 minutes gap). He tried but just could not keep up with her!

Later in the rally Rosemary had a problem with the engine in her Cortina, so David had to stop and tow her car all the way across Afghanistan to the next service point, without anyone reporting them, as assistance was not allowed.

Despite a serious 'off into a ditch' which required the axle to be pulled back into place with a tractor David went on to finish the event as the 2nd Ford works car (out of 6 starters) and 30th overall. Well done.

Many thanks to David for gathering his photos and information together for us all to enjoy. He also went on to finish the following Marathons in 1977 and again in 1993!

20 Xmas Meal - December

 

The Xmas Meal, on the usual December Club Night, went down well, the final number was 48 after a couple of last minute cancellations (which we will be able to refund) due to health problems. Roger, ably assisted by Helen & Mike did us proud with the raffle, everyone got a prize, so a big thank you to them for the hard work for the meal and all through the year (it's the monthly raffle that puts some funds into the Club, allowing us to finance any expenditure).

 

As always Debbie provided us all with an excellent meal (I did not receive any adverse comments from anyone) and we had some very well dressed diners.

I would like to give a big thanks to Helen & Mike who organise the monthly raffle which pays for any expenditure we need to make. Can I also thank all the officials; David for keeping the database and all this year has kept a register of attendants at events, Roger for keeping control of the money and preparing the accounts, Alan for adding new events and keeping tabs on events and their entrants, Lech for keeping us up to date with goings on at the Car Club and Richard for stepping into the breach as Chairmanship of the Heritage Run Committee.

Lastly, can I remind everyone that despite all my holidays I only missed 2 club nights, Caroline is very accommodating arranging our trips abroad, around club events!!

Paul Dunster

Chairman

Arden MG Club

January 2015