Arden MG Club Monthly News. Previous months newsletters can be found in the Archive.

Newsletter October 2018


30th Anniversary of the Arden MG Club:


The Arden MG Club had it's first meeting around October 1988, so this month we have celebrated the 30th Anniversary. There was a cake, a free prize draw, a film of Club events and everyone received a memento of a coaster with their car featured. Over 60 people turned up for the celebration including 3 people who were there at the very first one. It was great to see John, Eddie & Steve. Some time ago I asked John if he could give me an accurate idea of when the first Club meeting was and this is what he sent me:

"I can only tell you my version of events leading to the first meeting, bit long but hope you can take out what you need! Julie & I were having a meal at the Cross, we had parked our MG next to a very smart GT . Over dinner & ear wigging, the couple at the next table owned it, it was newly restored and the couple were Steve & Carol. We had a very pleasant chat, I went for drinks & Roger was wearing an MG T shirt so I said “we ought to start a meet up here”, Roger agreed I called back to ask if we could arrange & Sept / October was agreed and Roger would mention in the right places, 6 turned up! Richard, Eddie, Steve! Gordon, myself. Roger welcomed us and let us use the snug. I put forward all the things we needed, all was agreed & I ran for 3/4 years, it all seemed simpler then, £1 in the jar, no committee, or licences. Julie & I say it's 1987/88? October 1988 would be my guess. The Arden was my suggestion so much hinged on the name it just seem to fit."

This was confirmed by David Witham (who attended the second meeting) and Fred Bury who joined in the very early days. What I found out at this meeting from Steve Farr was that the reason John & Julie were having a meal was to celebrate John' 40th birthday and he has just had another 'special' birthday, which confirms that the first meeting was 1988.

A lot of work went into the preparation of the evening, the coasters were produced by Norman who spent many hours on photoshop to ensure all the photos were suitable for use and he printed and assembled them, a very big thank you to Norman. You may have noticed the film running in the background, this was put together by Graham, under a bit of stress I might add. Due to theatre comittments it became a last minute job, so I think some 'midnight oil' was burnt, many thanks Graham. The film was based on the early Heritage Run film and photos as well as lots of photos from the more recent events. If anyone would like a copy of the film just bring me a memory stick with at least 5 GigaBytes of space and I will down load and return to you. You can also have the shortened version of John Horn's video of the first Heritage Runs.

Heritage Run Revisited:


It was a damp start at the Golden Cross for the Heritage Run Re-visited and therefore half the cars were not MGs but as you can see in the photos the skies cleared for a sunny afternoon. The rain had actually stopped by the time we were leaving the Cross and as we drove over the Cotswolds you could see the line of cloud passing by to leave blue sky. It meant it was easy to choose the 8 cars to park in front of the Museum as there were only 8 MGs, however it was a tight squeeze to get them in but Fred did a grand job marshalling everyone into place. The rest of us, with me in my MGB, carried onto the Cotswold Cricket Club and once we got the gate open had lots of space to spread out. That's my car in front of the Club House. We all had a good look around the Museum, with everyone saying how interesting it was, not so much the cars but all the memorabilia attached to the walls, in the cars and cabinets. It turned out to be an enjoyable day. This was the run from 2001, which one should we do next year?


For those who didn't have time to stop in Adlestrop here is the poem that was written about the station:


Yes. I remember Adlestrop

The name, because one afternoon

Of heat, the express-train drew up there

Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.

No one left and no one came

On the bare platform. What I saw

Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,

And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,

No whit less still and lonely fair

Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang

Close by, and round him, mistier,

Farther and farther, all the birds

Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

(Nigel) Hook Norton Brewery Visit:


As I was not at this vsit I need to rely on others for a report and Andy Bourne is the only one to send some words as follows: We had a very good Brewery Tour at Hook Norton and the food in the re vamped Restaurant is excellent (as of course the beer tasting was!). The shop was too tempting too, had to fill the boot with beers!! Another good day from Nigel then. Those in their MGs at least made a display!

Future Club Events:

Tuesday 6th November – Club Night:

Guest speaker with a talk titled “Vintage Bentleys in the Roaring Twenties”

Tuesday 4th December – Club Night:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Tuesday 11th December – Xmas Meal:

The Menu and Booking form is now available and was emailed earlier in the month but can be downloaded from the Club Website. Bookings are coming in quickly, however there is still plenty of space in the pub but don't wait too long to book. I will not present the cheques until the end of November/early December. It will be the usual tried and tested formula of a short quiz and a free prize draw with a prize for every couple, Matt's food has always been good.

Tuesday 1st January – Chilly Willy Run:

Finish at the Golden Cross for lunch.

Tuesday 8th January – Club Night & AGM:

A change from the 1st Tuesday to miss New Years Day.

Friday 7th to Monday 10th June 2019 - Weekend Away to Devon Valley Holiday Village:


This is where Nigel has booked us in for next year and as I understand it 48 people have reserved places, however if you have not already paid the £20 per person deposit to Nigel he needs it before the END of October.

If you have not reserved a place and would like to join in for the trip please contact Nigel or let me know, I'm sure he will be able to find a space for you but the longer you leave it the less chance there will be.

To explain further we are going to the Devon Valley Holiday Village in Shaldon, South Devon and the format will be the same as the last 2 years with 3 nights. There will be a run out on the Saturday, which will be to Slapton Sands, with Sunday free to explore yourselves, just be back in time for dinner. The cost is £190 per person to include dinner, bed & breakfast and the 'Show' on the Saturday evening. The previous years have been very entertaining with everyone having a great time.

Other Events:

Advanced planning for 2019 – The Peaks to Lakes Run, 7 & 8th September 2019:

The Cat & Fiddle, Peak District to Wrynoes Pass, Lake District. Details from Norman Verona, email:

Other Matters:

Norman Large's Website Photos:

Norman is happy to share his photos taken on Club Events and the links to this year's events are as follows:

Show Night July18

St Audries Bay June18

Chilly Willy Warmer June18

Stratford Races May18

Heritage Run 25th Ann May18

Drive It Day Apr18

MGC Malvern Apr18

To download a viewable size: Click on the image and wait for it to enlarge. Once enlarged this can be copied, saved or dragged to your desktop (usually by right click but not always). These images are good for iPads, iPhones, desktop use and small prints. If anyone would like a high resolution (HiRes) for large print or commercial print then I am happy to oblige. Just drop him an email with the photo ref (

Enjoying MG Binders: Helen has 10 of these (donated by members), if you are interested in having any, please let me know and Helen will bring to the Club Night.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Some of you have been busy this month but Graham Robson had some amusing experiences:

Well, the main thing I did with mine this month was leave it in the garage because the great summer meant I was treacherously close [30 miles] to exceeding my annual insurance limit”.

He followed this up with:

I also had a grand picture under the heading of “What I did with my MG” . . . . I ran out of petrol, [oops, embarrassing] . . . about twenty feet from the pumps at Tescos. Just a case of finding it . . . .”

There is a bit of a theme running through the Club of running out of petrol in your MG, who else is going to own up!!! I'm still waiting for the photo though Graham.

Next was from Peter Maxwell who was on holiday in Puerto Pollenca in Majorca and saw this lovely MGA one evening. Lovely car.

Andy Bourne has been busy in his many sheds and sent the following message:


Just thought you may like to see how spoilt my (now clean) MG is,- apart from her main garage ,her bits and bobs occupy two additional sheds! I'm sure that's not why I cant attract a girlfriend!!”


Answers on a postcard to.....

Phil Bawn sent me this write-up some time ago and I must admit I forgot to include in the Newsletter, thanks for the reminder Phil, so please read on, especially if you own an MGF or TF and even more so if the Hood needs replacing.


Hampton Ferry Evesham June 23rd 2018 was the 10th anniversary of this lovely classic show, it certainly has grown in size over the years and if you think your car or bike is a classic then you drive straight in or if not pay £2.00 to park all day in the adjacent car park. Some most interesting vehicles were there this year including the 'fastest shed on wheels' which you may have seen on TV and a wonderful oily rag condition Brough Superior motor cycle as used by Lawrence of Arabia, you won't see any of those in your Tesco car park. As well as a big variety of other vehicles.

Now it was fortuitous for me since some members of the Cotswold Classic Club were there and I met a couple with what I think was a Mulberry red MG F 75 LE with lovely special badges both inside and out, unfortunately I didn't take a photo, so I rely on my very old memory, in fact I didn't take any photo's at all at that stage since I didn't think about doing this write up then. Now the nub of the matter was that this couple were having a new hood fitted to their car and I expressed interest since I needed one as well but I had been told by my dealer I could only have black and I wanted green as was my present hood to set off the British racing green car colour. I got the details of the company in Glossop and rang them to find that yes they did have a green hood and could fit it in about half an hour because it was a complete new hood and frame, so it was a straight change over without waiting a few days for the fabric to stretch.

The price seemed very reasonable with just a bit extra for wiring up the heated glass rear window (another bonus) and it looks so much better than my scratched perspex one and yes it was well worth driving up to Glossop to have this fitted by the experts who gave me instructions about loosening off the front catches after a few days to stretch the hood forward a bit, also written instructions on lubricating the pivots say twice a year and how to adjust the door window glass if necessary due to the rubbers being new.

This hood was one of a load of MG parts which got sent over to China when MG Rover failed and then were brought back again unused. It was suggested I spray it with water when I got home to help remove the dust and to help it stretch a bit, which I did leave until next morning only to find it covered in white spots and the boot lid, {Paul please blank out my expletives, done} although I did manage to wash off most of it and I'm well pleased with it.”

Thanks Phil, although we hope you won't need to use the hood much, it's much better going 'Topless'!!


My MG:

Steve Farr – My MG Story (Part 2):

Last month we left Steve having to buy Vauxhall cars due to the discounts his father (a Vauxhall dealer MD) could get, so let's continue from there {I have repeated the last paragraph):

The Mini served well for a few years but with a mortgage to fund I was finding that I had to be frugal with my car fund. To this end and with my Dad being the MD of a Vauxhall Main dealer I decided to buy Vauxhall cars because of the huge discount I could get through my Dad.

Mortgage now settling down and earning a few more pennies I managed to persuade Carol that we needed another MG. In 1976 I bought MUY 1D a 1966 Mk II in need of TLC. I used and enjoyed this car for a few years till deciding it was time for an MGB

In 1982 I bought GAB 35S a 1978 MGB GT in black and silver, I paid £900 for it and used it daily for 8 years before deciding to restore it at a cost of £2900. I sold it after 9 years of ownership for £4500 (not a bad investment being used daily for almost 9 years).

It was about this time that Carol and I went to the Golden Cross for a birthday meal and met John Saunders who was dining at the next table. We got chatting and found that we both lived in Alcester and both had an interest in MG's. The landlord Roger Vardy Smith overheard our conversation and shortly after that the Arden MG Club was formed.

A short break from MG's as we decided to spend more time using our caravan. I was hankering for an old car again and decided to go pre war. CVE 414 was bought, a 1938 Morris Eight series 2 which was a fantastic little car and we used it regularly when we were not away in the caravan. My dad also loved the Morris and used to come with us for outings in it after my Mum passed away. My Dad then passed away and while I was going through some old Photos I found the picture of the P type again and thought it was time I had another MG!

I was finding the Morris to be a bit slow in modern traffic and thought that a P type would not be that much better so I started looking for a T Type. In March 1997 I bought GJY 181, a 1952 MG TD first registered in Feb 1952. I still own this car after 21 years!


I now had the trusty Vauxhall for towing the caravan, the Morris and the TD. I wasn’t using the Morris now so decided to sell it and after 8 years of ownership I sold it and I was able to source an MGB GT with the proceeds of the Morris.

We are now in the Millennium year and after moving house disaster struck, I had to have major heart surgery at 50 years old. I came out of surgery in Feb 2001 and thought I need to get rid of a car or two as I didn’t feel much like working on cars at that time. but fortunately I only sold the MGB GT. I had six months off work and gradually with the help of family and one dear friend, Graham Heally, who I had met while a member of the Morris Register, who literally walked me back to health, by taking me on 1 then 2 then 3 mile walks every day for 5 months. I returned to full time work in August 2001.


I was feeling fit and healthy again so back to some serious MG owning. I bought and enjoyed the following over the next 17 years:

1973 MGB GT YWY407L

1961 MGA Fixed Head Coupe NAS 911

1966 Austin Healey Sprite (couldn’t find a Midget)

1963 MGB Pull Handle KGW 482A (Now residing in Japan)

1972 MGB Roadster (Great every day car)

1966 998 cc Mini Cooper 924 BRX (trying to find my teenage years again but sadly didn’t work)

1964 Singer Gazelle EEV 480B (Great car)

1999 BMW Z3 roadster (Fantastic run around)

1972 Triumph Stag (Nuff said)


So after 51 years of motoring I now own the TD, the Z3, the Stag and our VW Tiguan which we use for our other passion, caravanning and through the various clubs that I have been a member of over the years we have met a great bunch of people within the MG fraternity.

Hopefully I still have a good few years motoring left in me so who knows what lies ahead, maybe an MGB GT V8 but that still needs petticoat approval.

Fantastic story Steve, thanks for sharing it with us and confirming the 30th Anniversary of the Arden MG Club, I hope you have enjoyed all those years with the Club.

This is the last MG story that I have got but someone must be able to write a few words about their MG history, why did you buy your first MG, what MGs have you owned, how many MGs do you have now, what other interesting cars have you owned and why. Please jot me a few words down and add some photos and send to me to share. Don't leave it to someone else.

Caption Competition:

Caroline Phipp sent me this photo of Nigel, from the Heritage Run Revisited and suggested we have a competition for the best caption. As ever the prize will be a bottle of Old Speckled Hen for the best caption received by email before 5th November. My Caroline will be the judge, I look forward to receiving all your entries (no limit per person).

Safe MGing