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

Newsletter September 2017

Hi All,

I reported on three events at the Club Night, starting with the Chairman's Picnic and I think I'm safe in saying it was enjoyed by everyone. Several people took advantage of the fayre at the Golden Cross before setting off on the run over to Batsford. There were no dramas on the route and the sun was starting to show when we arrived to see the 'storm shelters' ready for action, although the wind was blowing hard. A fantastic spread of food was then laid out and enjoyed by us all, well there was not much left at the end! Everyone had finished the first session in time to see the

3 o'clock flying display which was both informative and entertaining, even though the big birds were struggling in the high winds!! The rest of the food was then finished before some of us went back to see the next flying display which involved different birds. Thanks to Mike, Jane, Alan, Julia, Steve & Gaynor for setting up the picnic ready for us when we arrived at Batsford.

Our next event to report on was the Brailes Show and we had a good turn-out filling 'our' corner of the field. The storm shelters were again put to good use providing shelter from the sun!! All the usual stuff was going on to keep us entertained through the afternoon.


Lastly was the Pershore Plum Festival which was blessed with a beautiful day and consequently the fields around the Abbey were filled with classic cars, one official told us they had over 1400 cars attend, their best ever, so lots of interesting cars to view and most folk looked to have bought some fruit to take home. We even managed to pitch ourselves in our now traditional pitch with the Abbey as a backdrop, well done Alan.

Future Events:


Thursday 28th September - Unveiling of the Memorial Retreat at Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, Toddington. Some of you may know that we made a donation earlier in the year, from the Heritage Run Funds, to sponsor the building of a Memorial Retreat at GWR Toddington. The idea of the retreat is for people to be able to purchase and place a memorial plate in the retreat as there is no longer space at the station for more memorial benches. We provided the funds to build the retreat which is now almost finished and we have the chance to attend the official unveiling. The date is now confirmed as Thursday 28th September. The plan is to have the official unveiling at 2pm and then we can all have a ride on a steam powered train to Cheltenham leaving Toddington at 14.45 and returning at 16.20, this will be at a very concessionary fare (may even be complimentary). We would like to have a good line up of MGs along the fence to have a photo and lots of people for the unveiling photos. If you would like to bring your MG along on the day please let me know as soon as you can.

Tuesday 3rd October (Club Night) - Presentation of Donation Cheque to Shakespeare Hospice.

A representative from the Hospice will be attending this Club Night to give us a short presentation about the work the Hospice is involved in and receive our donation cheque.

Thursday 5th October - Cheque Presentation to Alcester Day Care. The second charitable donation that we agreed to make was to Alcester Day Care and I have now arranged a date for us to present our cheque to them. Some of you will remember the passionate talk we had from Carole about the Alcester Café, well this is the extension to that project and I think it would be good for us to try and help them get some additional publicity out of our presentation. On the day we are going to have 2 MGs on display (an MG TF Midget and a modern MG TF, both in red) outside the venue for the Day Care Centre. It would be really good if we could also get a group of us to show support, so if you can make yourself available and come to Alcester on the day that would be great. The current plan is to make the presentation at the start of the day from 9.30), so that the carers can see the cars when they do the 'drop off'. Please let me know if you are able to join us. The Day Care Centre is located in the hall to the side of The Baptist Church in Henley Street, opposite the Town Hall set back from the road.

Tuesday 10th October - Visit to British Motor Heritage, Witney.


Richard Avery is arranging this and at the last count he was fully booked but it may be possible to arrange another visit, let Richard or me know if you would like to be included. The plan is to arrive at 10am for a 10.30am tour. For anyone who is not aware BMH are the company who manufacture the Heritage Body Shells (MGB, Midget, TR6, Mini etc) and you will be able to see the full manufacturing process in operation, well worth a visit if you have not been. Richard is also looking for a local hostelry for lunch after the visit.

Friday 27th October - Skittles Evening.


At the Butchers Arms in Mickelton. Start time is 7pm, however it is now fully booked, should be a good evening.

Tuesday 7th November - Club Night, Quiz. I have persuaded Nigel to put together another of his quizzes, so will be a lot of fun, don't miss it.

Tuesday 5th December - Club Night. General natter evening

Tuesday 12th December - Xmas Meal.


I'm still waiting for the Menu from Matt at the Golden Cross but if you want to reserve your place for the Xmas meal, drop me an email. As in previous years the first to book will be seated in the restaurant.

Friday 8th June 2018 to Mon 11th June 2018 (3 nights) - St Audries Bay.


Nigel has 38 people pre-booked for the week-end but not too late to be added to the list, however Nigel would like to collect the deposits at the October Club Night (£20 per person), very latest November Club Meeting, so he can pay the funds to St Audries Bay. Cheques made payable to Arden MG Club.

Other Events:

Sunday 24th September - Autumn Trial. Burton Dassett. MGCC Mid Centre. Due to the Council declining to issue permits in the future this will be the last trial at Burton Dassett. Come along and spectate, it's good fun to watch or they are always looking for marshals, why not volunteer!!

Sunday 15th October - Production Car Autotest. The Bright Sparks PCA will take place on Sunday 15 October 2017 at Curborough Sprint Course. Fradley MR 128/134128 This exciting event is renowned for its long, fast flowing tests. No reversing is re... If you are interested it is organised by Owen Motor Club, look for the invitation on Facebook.

Saturday 24h February 2018 - Samantha Hinton Wedding. Samantha is the Granddaughter of the MGCC President Bill Wallis and she is getting married on this day and would love to have some MG cars to transport the bride and wedding party to the wedding. I have already circulated this request to those people I know have 4 seater cars but if I missed you off the mail and you would be in a position to help let me know and I can forward the details to you.

Spring 2018 - MGCC AutoSOLO. The Midland Centre are looking to run an AutoSOLO next year and are trying to gauge interest, I have attached an invitation for the event, if you would like to get involved let me know and I will collate the replies to pass onto the Centre Committee.

18th August 2018 - Coast to Coast. I will attach a flyer for this event which is next year, however they have stated that the hotels are getting booked up so you may need to pre-book as soon as you can.

Other Matters:

If you would like a copy of the photo/video presentation Graham Robson put together for showing at the Quiz on Wheelz evening, just let me (or Graham) have a memory stick (minimum 6Gb) and we will download the file for you to enjoy. It is good fun trying to spot people you know and of course yourself. All the photos and videos have been shot on the Heritage Runs and other Club events.

What Have You Done in Your MG This Month: From Graham Robson

We went out in our MG, on a flimsy excuse, involving food purchase. And we decided to go to Evesham, avoiding the perils of pre-Bank Holiday Stratford.

All back roads from our house in Lower Quinton. Therein lies the problem, as we were trolling through Pebworth and . . . . the engine died.

It's at about this point you remember that you'd meant to look up what your breakdown cover was.

Whatever it was, there was no evidence of it in the car, so the trusty iPhone came into use, straining on one-and-a-half blips.

"Just try the engine", I thought - ever the optimist. Bursts into healthy life - engine full of vim, vigour and rev.

Abandon iPhone idea, enjoy the sun. Until the engine cuts out again.

This time we are on some road somewhere [Geography is not my strong point]. Fiona raises friend who comes and picks her up, and we have raised trusty mechanic who is in on a Saturday and prepared to come and find me. Fiona gives him instructions as to where the car is [Geography is not my strong point]

So I remain with the MG. I put the bonnet up to show there was trouble. And people very kindly stopped; frankly some unlikely looking people, too. It was very kind of them.

After about three-quarters of an hour I started to have horrors of George the trusty mechanic ringing and saying "tell me again, where are you?". [Geography etc etc....]

Nice people in Audi stop . . . "can we help?" . . . "Yes", says I . . . "can you remind me where I am?"

George appears, but we have to tow the car in - it's not something simple.

The moral of this story? You might think it's "make sure you know about your breakdown cover" . . .

No . . . the main moral of this story is that if you're out in an old MG which has a chrome exhaust pipe extension . . . and you're wearing shorts . . . DON'T LEAN NONCHALANTLY AGAINST THE BACK END OF THE CAR . . . .

Next email on 1st September:

The later part of the "broken MG" saga is that the car was displaying, to explain concisely, the exact symptoms of having run out of petrol.

Got it to the friendly local spanner-monkies. They tried it a couple of days later . . . and it started first time. So they took it to the garage and put what seemed to amount to a full tank of petrol in.

Working perfectly since.

So, what felt like it was a car running out of petrol . . . was probably a car running out of petrol.

Petrol gauge and sender now under severe scrutiny . . .

However . . . the moral of the story is STILL: don't stand by a hot exhaust when you're wearing shorts. See attached picture.


Thanks Graham, let me know what you have been up to this month, drop me an email, even better with a photo.

Look who I met up with when I was working on the stand for the British Motor Museum at the Goodwood Revival, great costume getting into the mood of the Revival.


My MG: Fred Bury

I hope you all enjoyed the first instalment of Fred Bury's MG Story in last months Newsletter, as promised here is the conclusion to that story (I have repeated the last paragraph for continuity). Thanks again Fred. I now need some more stories, so please put pen to paper and send me a few words with some photos of your 'MG Story'

I bought an MGB from Selly Oak in 1990 which had been completely stripped and partly restored. The owner had abandoned the rebuild. I bought a new heritage body shell and, when Richard had painted it, I slowly built a concours car. We had to make quite a few adjustments (those early heritage shells were not great in terms of fit). Though I say it myself the result was beautiful but I soon became disillusioned with concourse and sold it in 1993 before using it enough to ruin the wonderfully painted underside. The purchaser contacted me nearly twenty years later asking for confirmation that it was a wide tunnel shell capable of taking a five speed gearbox. He reported that it had covered 100 000 miles since he bought it!


During the same period I had an opportunity to acquire a brace of MGC GTs (part payment for a job). One was a basket case but the other was worth saving, so I restored it and used it as a winter MG for a few years. Fun on ice and wet roads (the rumours are true!) I also had a Datsun 260Z for a while around that time. (Would love another).


Around the millennium I was seduced by V8 power and bought a nice rubber bumper factory car from Burford which I eventually debumpered and fitted with Sebring valances.


I ran it for a few years and then bought a real flying machine from Farringdon. It was Richard Walden's prototype car (he of Walden independent suspension fame). This is basically what the Hoyle conversion consists of today. Richard raced Bs in the 80s and 90s and decided to invent a fully independent suspension. He actually only sold a few kits but I can tell you this car was quite something! It had a tubular steel subframe bolted under the rear Ford Sierra LSD and shortened drive shafts. It was fitted with adjustable "Avo" coil overs on all four corners and Ford twin pot calliper disc brakes all round. It was powered by an "Osselli" machined 3500cc V8 with Vitesse big valve heads and Hurricane cam developing 220BHP. It was fed by a Holley 4 barrel carb on "Offenhauser" 360 manifold. Tony Pond Helped him set it up on Enstone airfield, eventually discarding the rear anti-roll bar originally envisaged. All that power and handling together with a really throaty twin exhaust system made for a very exciting experience. I am sure those who rode shotgun up Shelsley Walsh would agree.


During the time I was running that I spent three or four years restoring a red V8 roadster HUU 500 K (again may sound familiar!) I had just about completed it when a friend made me an offer I just couldn't refuse and I let the flying machine go.

A few years later Mike Green persuaded me to sell him the V8 which he still brings to the club regularly.


I then bought a nice old black BGT from Somerset and gradually improved it during use while restoring my current MGB GT FPH 21 J(another three years!) which is a great car having had only two owners before me and full service history. It had been off the road since 1991 following an MOT failure - just parked in the garage in disgust with keys still in the ignition when I bought it in 2012. There were mountains of electrolyte on the battery terminals which had eaten through the cover plate under the back seat. Though it needed a lot of work it is beautifully straight and original with all its history.

It has been through a complete rebuild with new sills etc. The original engine has been reconditioned. It is not really tuned in any way (having got through my racy period) but I have fitted V8 brakes, telescopic shocks all round, unleaded head, roller bearing clutch thrust bearing, uprated heater, gas boot and bonnet struts etc etc just to make it a bit easier to live with. I am quite pleased with the result, having done a few thousand miles (including a Welsh Rallye), and feel I have a car that will last as long as I want it to without major work.


So that's most of the MGBs although there have been others which I just bought and sold for fun or profit along the way.

I also have a wonderful 1958 MG ZBV Magnette VRW 765 which I bought from Mike Barnett in Leamington Spa in 2002. He had owned it since 1967, so as of this year it will have had only two owners in fifty years! Mike was meticulous in its upkeep and maintenance having cleaned and painted the underside three times during his tenure. I have fully documented service history and everything done to it from new. It is marvellous to work on as Mike replaced nuts and bolts with stainless steel and even put plastic sleeves on exposed threads so that nuts just spin off when loosened. The Magnette is a great car to drive and Jane and I have been on about ten Welsh Rallyes in it. It's low gearing and positive steering makes it ideal for those Welsh hills. However, 1950s drum brakes are less rewarding on long descents!! We have grown to love this car over the years and it is hard to imagine ever letting it go while I'm still able to drive it.


I bought an NG TD in 2001 which was standing unloved behind some stables not having ran for a few years. These were sold as kits since the 1980s to transplant mechanics from your rotten MGB into. This one was actually built at the factory by NG in 1985 based on a 1965 MGB roadster. My son Tom and I have campaigned it in MGCC trials ever since as well as road use when the weather permits (with no doors and feeble weather equipment it can only be described "not for the faint hearted" on anything other than a glorious hot sunny day). I once remarked on the way home from an Autumn trial at Burton Dassett, with aching hips and bruised elbows that I wouldn't be doing this for ever (we double enter; so it involves swapping drivers at each hill-some 30 times a day as well as bouncing!) Tom said "you wouldn't sell the car without giving me first option would you Dad?" I rashly replied that if he achieved a first class degree I would give it to him-the rest is history and it now resides with Tom in Milton Keynes! But to date I still manage to trial with him although he nearly always beats me these days which didn't used to be the case.


My most recent venture has been to restore an MG 1300 Mk2 which I purchased from an MGCC friend mid 2015 in a bit of a sorry state and off the road for about 8 years. I just fancied something a little different to fiddle with and this car was very straight (if a bit rusty) with good glass and trim-so worth a go. Boy has it brought back memories! Having last worked on an ADO 16 about 40 years ago I had forgotten how inaccessible everything is, particularly behind the transverse engine-lots of skinned knuckles!! Still I have finished it and it passed the MOT without advisories and I am now using it, rekindling memories of that "magic carpet ride" that BMC referred to in their adverts. By coincidence this particular car was owned 20 odd years ago by our then club events secretary John Horne. Those of you with teeth as long as mine may remember it. It has a full history file and has covered only 55000 miles from new.


So that covers the highlights to date. What next? I have no idea but have little doubt something will tempt me to get my hands dirty again before too long.

Happy MGing,