Out and About - 2019
Here you will find a brief summary of the events in which our Branch members have been involved. Full accounts are published in the members' Branch Newsletter each month.
Branch New Year Lunch - Sunday 27th January 2019
Our annual New Year lunch was again a great success with over sixty people enjoying a lovely meal at Ferraris Country House Hotel. This was the 20th year the Branch has held this event at this great venue and it is always one which never fails to provide lovely food, lively company and lots of laughter. An excellent event which cheered everyone up after the frenzy of the festive season.
Mechanics Day - Saturday 9th February 2019
This was the first of our monthly Mechanics Days which was enjoyed by several Branch members who arrived and left at various times during the day. As always , a variety of jobs and projects were tackled, lots of parts found from Branch stock and lots of tea and chat enjoyed by all!
Manchester Branch Winter Rally - Sunday 24th February 2019
A total of 47 Morris Minors from various Branches attended this year's Winter Rally held at the Museum of Transport, Manchester.
This great event which is organised by the Manchester Branch MMOC was made even better this year due to fabulous weather and the usual free bus rides were available to tour parts of Manchester that you might otherwise not see. Several Branch members enjoyed both the museum exhibits and bus rides. We were delighted that two of our members' cars won prizes. Congratulations go to Steve and Wendy for winning "Car of the Show" with their maroon 2 door saloon and Bill and Kathleen with their blue traveller which took third prize. A very good start to this year's show season.
Branch Visit to Klassic Toyz - Saturday 30th March 2019
Several Branch members took this opportunity to visit Klassic Toyz in Pilling. Having met up at The Flower Bowl at Barton Grange they travelled in a convoy of Morris Minors to hear Gary Winfield, owner of Klassic Toyz, enthusiastically explain the process of detailing and restoring the paintwork of classic vehicles. Who would have realised how many stages were involved in getting a car look pristine? Gary explained that power washing was good and that we should never use a leather to dry off a vehicle as they can scratch the paintwork. A lovely old Italian Fiat stood in the workshop showing just what can be achieved. Gary is willing to give advice to any member wanting to liven up their car's paintwork. A most interesting and informative visit.
Branch Visit to Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway – Good Friday 19th April 2019
Good Friday was a warm sunny day for the Branch’s annual visit to Bolton Abbey Station on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Sixteen Morrises arrived at the station, some in convoy and they all looked resplendent in the sunshine outside the station building joined by a super Riley RM and an ex London taxi! One of our member's lovely convertible had a model railway display including several moggies in the boot - when have you ever seen that before?
North Euston Hotel Classic Car Show, Fleetwood – Easter Sunday 21st April 2019
On what was the hottest day of the year so far the North Euston Classic Car Show was a complete sell out with the gates closing at 10:00 am after around 120 cars had been parked in front of the impressive curved North Euston Hotel. Club members met at the River Wyre Hotel before travelling together in convoy to the event. There were some beautiful cars of all marques on display and a Minor 1000 once owned by two of our members was sold on the day to a couple from Southport who had come in their lovely Morris 8 Z van. We look forward to seeing them at some of our events in the future.
Vintage trams added to the variety as they stopped in front of the hotel. The beaches were crowded and everyone was clearly enjoying an old fashioned day by the seaside. A great way to spend Easter Sunday.
Shackleton’s Super & Classic Car Show, Clitheroe – Easter Sunday 21st April 2019
Our Branch was represented by a few members and their Moggies at this great event. There were some super vehicles on show and it was extremely lively and busy.
Branch Visit to the William Hunter Museum, Tarleton – Wednesday 24th April 2019
A visit to this small but beautifully preserved collection at Holmes, Tarleton is always special. The exhibits, which were wonderfully maintained and presented, are not just museum pieces but are also taken out on a regular basis to shows and displays throughout the region. To prove this point two of the oldest vehicles were started up, instantly, for us. The building, which was purpose built by William Hunter before he passed away in 2014, is a testimony to his love of the vehicles, and is carefully constructed with materials from as far away as Canada.
In amongst the vehicles is also a beautiful Compton organ saved in the nick of time when the Grand Theatre in Southport was being demolished. Fully operational, we had a real treat when one member's 93 year old dad played the organ for 45 minutes without any music to read from. What a wonderful treat!
The museum also holds a really interesting collection of transport memorabilia and pictures. The lovely weather over Easter had been replaced by heavy rain and thunderstorms but even so 14 members, and two brave Minors, attended to enjoy this great evening at a very interesting venue.
National Drive It Day - Sunday 28th April 2019
This year we took up the open invitation from Sefton Branch MMOC and joined them for their National Drive It Day event, organised by their Chairman. What a wonderful day it was! We met up with them at Formby, along with some members from the Merseyside Branch. We were made to feel really welcome and everyone was so friendly.
There were seven Minors, two Austin Cambridges and one modern car. Our convoy made its way through Southport stopping briefly at the RSPB car park at Marshside, then drove to the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank. There we enjoyed a ride on the train and were treated to a fascinating “behind the scenes” tour, visiting the workshops and other parts of the Railway not normally seen by the public. On arrival there were other classic cars already there from the North West Casual Classics Car Club so we had time to admire their vehicles as well as each other’s cars. There was even a guest appearance by an Aveling & Porter steam road roller! The visit was followed by a drive to the Kicking Donkey pub near Ormskirk where we all enjoyed an excellent meal. A lovely day, with good weather and great company.
BVPG Classic Car Meet, Jubilee Gardens, Cleveleys – Sunday 5th May 2019
BVPG events are always well organised and well attended and this year at Jubilee Gardens, Cleveleys was no exception. Lancashire Branch now has a stand at BVPG events and twelve club members displayed their cars magnificently – and clearly the judges thought so too as we won the best club stand award! What was forecast to be a dull cold day turned out to be sunny, if a little chilly, but the display of a huge variety of superb vehicles looked fantastic on this lovely site by the sea. Lancashire Branch won “The Best Club Stand” Trophy with our display of 12 Minors at this show. The judge commented on the range and variety of Minor types on display, ranging from a 1949 Low Light Saloon, 1950’s Split Screen Convertible and Saloon, 1960’s Convertibles, Saloons and Travellers and a later 1970’s Traveller. The LCV’s were represented by a 1969 Austin 6cwt pickup.
Scorton Bikes & Barrows Festival, Scorton – Monday 6th May 2019
This was the first time the club had attended this event and what a lovely low key event it was too! Members met up and then drove in convoy the short distance to the village. We were displayed on the field next to the children’s playground and our 12 cars attracted a lot of interest and attention. Isn’t it great that villages continue to arrange and host these local events. Everyone there seemed to really enjoy themselves listening to “Mr Wilson’s 2nd Liners Band” and watching the Morris men dancing in their bright get ups. They were very happy to be photographed with our cars – how apt!
North Euston Hotel Red Plaque Award – 6th May 2019
On the day after the BVPG event at Jubilee Gardens members attended this event at the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood on Bank Holiday Monday May 6th. A Red Wheel plaque, awarded by the national charity The Transport Trust, was unveiled outside the North Euston Hotel. The presentation was part of Fleetwood Day, which took place in the Euston Gardens and celebrates the town and its rich heritage. The Red Wheel plaque recognises the town’s role in creating, in the early 1840s, a West Coast route to Scotland. Fleetwood is acknowledged as the first resort linked to the railway system, as the North Euston Hotel provided overnight accommodation for travellers from London Euston, before they boarded the steamer to Ardrossan. In later years Victorian travel agent Thomas Cook organised his first tour of Scotland, through the port of Fleetwood. There was a small display of classic cars and music was provided by the Fylde Ukulele Band and demonstrations by taekwondo students and Fleetwood Army Cadets.
L V C Classic Car Show, Astley Park, Chorley - Sunday 19th May 2019
This was another well attended show with over 150 cars on display in the grounds in front of Astley Hall. The weather was overcast but the rain stayed away and the sun decided to make its appearance just before the Raffle was drawn. Lancashire Branch was represented by several members with their Moggies and a lovely Riley RM.
Chipping Steam Fair – Saturday 25th–Monday 27th May 2019
Chipping Steam Fair is a three day event over the late Spring Bank Holiday which is always so well organised and attended. From the magnificent displays of steam vehicles, to the food and craft stalls and of course the displays of classic vehicles this is an event not to be missed. This year the weather started sunny and warm on the Saturday when ten Minors looked great lined up on the display field amongst a wealth of other magnificent classics. One of our members did the club proud by winning a “highly commended” award out of around 150 vehicles for his lovely and rare Lowlight MM. Mixed weather on the Sunday and Monday did have an effect on the numbers attending but hey who cares about a bit of rain – there were still Minors on display.
Great Harwood Show – Monday 27th May 2019
This excellent show is always held on the late Spring Bank Holiday and this year the day started dry and 26 fantastic Morrises in virtually every guise turned up to provide a brilliant display. Ranging from an early MM to a lovely split screen Traveller and a Police car complete with “inmates” the cars just looked great on the club stand. Sadly as the day went on the weather got worse and torrential rain put a “damper” on things but this didn’t stop club members enjoying each other’s company and chatting to those members of the public who braved the elements.
Heskin Steam Rally - Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd June 2019
The official name was the ‘27th Vintage & Steam Rally and Country Fair’ and it is now held at nearby Eccleston. This is a huge event with entertainment and bars for three days. Over the weekend of 1st & 2nd June there were over 500 exhibits ranging from antique cycles, motorcycles, commercial and military vehicles of all sizes, Land Rovers, stationary and mobile steam engines from micro to massive and classic cars - complemented this year with a stand of Morris Minors from our Branch and guests. Of course there were lots of retail opportunities from auto jumble to craft stalls.
Given the very wet weather over the whole weekend, the show was a great success and it was pleasing for our first Branch stand there to have about 18 Minors showing over the two days. Several of our Minors joined the parade of vehicles in the main arena and the drivers were interviewed by the commentator.
Yorkshire Rover Club Classic Car Event, Oakwell Hall, Batley – Sunday 2nd June 2019
Although ostensibly a Rover Club event this meet is open to all classics. Held at Oakwell Hall near Batley it is a small and friendly gathering in the grounds of this lovely old house. A couple of our Branch members took their Rover P6 and made a weekend of it but it was good to see four Morrises including a lovely green pickup on show. The weather forecast was not good but in the end the sun shone and there were only a few spots of rain. There were some beautiful cars on display and everyone was friendly and welcoming.
Cleveleys Classic Car Show – Sunday 9th June 2019
Another Sunday, another show but what was the weather going to be like? The previous day had been a very wet Mechanics Day and we had 2 very wet shows at Chipping and Great Hardwood to look back on but we need not have worried. The sun was out and the crowds followed suit and on the next day Monday, the weather was back to normal – very wet again.
We met with other members of the Blackpool Vehicle Preservation Group on Morrison’s Car Park for 08.30 and drove in convoy to our allotted display area off Victoria Street West. The main street and side roads were reserved for Car Clubs with some Clubs and private entries parked on the promenade. The American Auto Car North West Club put on a good display with their Mustangs and Corvettes, quite a few different models from over the years.
The numbers of “Classics” were in a minority but that did not detract from the quality of the other cars on display. We only saw 1 Minor, a “J” reg Old English White Convertible but we did not get to talk to the driver. On the prom, we found displays from quite a few clubs; Land Rover, VW Campers and Audi TT but these were outnumbered by the “modified Ford’s” in various states of Tune and Colour Combinations.
3rd Branch Visit to the Isle of Man – Thursday 13th – Monday 17th June 2019
This was our third visit to the lovely Isle of Man and 22 members with their Morrises enjoyed five days of exploring places both old and new. This year we were based at a hotel in Ramsey in the north of the island and each day we had a full and varied itinerary. The roads on the island were ideal for our classic cars and we were blessed with good weather with lots of photo opportunities along the way. A brilliant few days away with a great group of people.
Lancashire Vehicle Club at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland - Sunday June 23rd 2019
A few Branch members attended this event which was quite busy despite there being a lot of shows on at this time of year. There were about 65 vehicles on the car park opposite the museum, in all shapes & size. Members all enjoyed a brew & natter in the new Museum Café and the opportunity to view the new layout of exhibits in this really interesting museum. The event attracted a lot of visitors, both young and old and families.
Todmorden Game & Country Fair, Saturday 29th June 2019
Boy was it hot! The hottest day of the year saw club members meet up at The Ram at Cliviger before progressing to this small and low key show in the centre of Todmorden. There were not many classic cars on show so our display of five Morrises plus Catrina and Peter’s Riley RM really stood out. The show included camel racing, sheep shearing and horses being re shod as well as the usual stalls selling lovely local fare. Plenty of water was drunk and ice creams eaten in an attempt to combat the heat and overall a great day was had by all.
Leisure Lakes Steam & Vintage Rally – Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th June 2019
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that any man in possession of a good Morris Minor must be in want of an interesting event to which to take it." - Jane Austin.
Such an event is the above Rally where the organisers welcome participants with pride and without prejudice and which we attended on the 30th June. Some members had met at the usual lay by at Hutton before driving to the Leisure Lakes Caravan site where we were joined by other members waiting to go in with us.
The organisers had used common sense and sensibility in positioning us not too far from the toilets and having inspected these it was found that there was an
adjacent produce and plant stall raising funds for the William Hunter charity. Arriving back with some lovely begonia bedding plants it didn't take much persuasion for the others to head off and spend some money themselves.
It was then time for a look around and there was lots to see. The many classic cars, lorries and steam traction engines tended to make the site look more of a man's field. Parked next to them, however, were lots of stalls with a vast variety of items to tempt folks to part with their money. Another big attraction was the fairground with a Big Wheel, which gave one an opportunity for some aerial photography, and a steam driven roundabout. After lunch we all decided to take a ride on the roundabout but were then faced with a dilemma. Not having our master negotiator with us what were we going to do? All was not lost however as one memberl, who has obviously spent many years at Flookburgh learning the ropes, took over and saved the day and us some money by negotiating a discount for us all!
An interesting competition involved a motor crane with a very large tyre suspended on its hook the weight of which you had to guess and 1 ton could have been an estimate. Another entertainment was 'Mr. Alexander' a magician and multi-talented entertainer who put on a show three times during the day. Before watching him perform three members took up the offer of using one of his props to produce a Seaside Postcard worthy of Donald McGill himself. Mr. Alexander's main trick was to balance a series of folding chairs on top of each other whilst ascending them at the same time before juggling a set of knives at the top. On his last daring performance of the day he then started throwing the knives up whilst balanced on the top chair facing north. Anger abeyed fortunately as he maddeningly lost control and the knives dropped to the ground but luckily did not hit any of the audience!
Thus another very enjoyable Vintage Rally came to an end having been blessed this year by good weather.
Goosnargh and Longridge Show Saturday 6th July 2019
A dull start turned into a warm sunny day at this lovely local show. Dozens of tractors – some absolutely huge - were joined by a smaller number of classics including 10 Morrises which were all widely admired by show visitors. Our club did well – two of our members won 2nd and 3rd prize. First prize was deservedly won by an immaculate Series 1 Land Rover. And we mustn't forget the animals – from the wonderful shire horses to the hunt hounds who excitedly ran round the public in the arena in search of biscuits. This is a really nice low key show which is growing each year and it's well worth a visit.
Branch Rally at Leighton Hall – Sunday 7th July 2019
We needed 26 cars to form this year's amazing display but more came along and were positioned into a D Day 75 formation. This is the flagship of the Branch events and the variety of cars, venue and success of our charity fund raising efforts made it a day to remember. The ‘Steve Rose Rose Bowl’ was awarded to member John for his efforts with his lovely Traveller! The weather was perfect for this event and the turnout overall was excellent. To round the day off a number of members enjoyed a BBQ before heading off home.
Great Eccleston Agricultural Show – Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th July 2019
A number of club members added to the small display of classics at this excellent local event on both days. The usual fascinating displays of shire horses, cattle and ponies in the arena complimented the tractor towing displays.The days were warm and sunny and everyone enjoyed the event which was a new one to some of us.
Classics at The Mill, Lostock Hall – Sunday 14th July 2019
Wow! It was another really busy day down at the St Catherine’s classic car meet which is getting to be a very popular event. The weather held fine despite the threatening clouds and that brought out quite a number of people admiring the cars. Just a few Minors were there on this day but a vast array of other cars were on show. If you’re free, pop down to the next show from 10am until 2pm. You don’t have to book and can arrive and leave whenever you want as you’re not committed to being there all day.
Bring Your Car Night – Monday 22nd July 2019
A grand total of 15 Morris Minors were on parade at Fox Lane for our annual BYCN meeting and what a brilliant sight they made. It was obvious in the glorious evening sunshine that their owners had made sure that the cars looked their best and had been given an extra polish to catch the eye of the person who would judge the cars and decide on the winner. This year member Steve Rose was presented with the trophy for his car ‘Elijah’ which was well deserved. After the usual Branch business and a particularly tricky quiz on types of Cakes & Cars there was a most welcome cold summer buffet.
MMOC Northern Regional at Blakemere – Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th August 2019
As one member set off on the Sunday in Elsie, her 40 Shades of Green 2 door saloon, it was raining, again, but the weather got better on approaching the venue. Luckily the weather stayed fine, if a bit windy and there was a turnout of approximately 41 minors and 8 other classics, all displayed in their various categories. One of our members won a 1st. prize for his Series II split screen traveller. Instead of cups or plaques the award was a framed unnamed print by "award winning cartoonist" Tony Husband, with a certificate. An excellent day, a 97 mile round trip, with a good Saturday turnout and later evening entertainment at a nearby hotel.
Classics in the Park, Miller Park, Preston – Saturday 10th August 2019
If Charles Dickens had been composing this 'Tale Of One Event' he may well have started by writing, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times' and he would not have been far wrong. It was the worst of times since it was affected by the climate. As the old saying goes 'England has the best climate with the worst weather' and the rain forecast for the day put a lot of entrants off resulting in the lowest attendance probably since the event started. On the day though it was not as bad as forecast and we only had the odd shower or two. It was the best of times however since one member won the trophy for the '1961 - 1970' group of entrants with what the announcer described as his Morris Minor Pick-Up. The trophy was presented by the Mayor of Preston, Councillor David Borrow. It was also the best of times since the low attendance meant that there was plenty of sandwiches and cakes available for the generous free lunch provided by the organisers! And so another Cars in the Park came to a damp end but what the dickens did the weather matter - we all had a good day!
Classics at The Mill, Lostock Hall – Sunday 11th August 2019
The recent classic car meeting at The Mill at St Catherine’s was not as well attended as it has been in recent months. The poor weather probably explained why but it also clashed with the show at Stonyhurst College and came the day after Classics in the Park so people may not have wanted to do shows two days running. There were some hardy souls who still turned out though, including one Minor.
Malham Agricultural Show – Saturday 24th August 2019
A CONVERSATION OVERHEARD AT THE MALHAM SHOW
'Look out - here comes that chap with the camera from the Morris Minor Club. Just be careful what you say because he has a habit of listening in and then reporting all the animals' conversations in the Newsletter that the Club has.'
'Nay, he doesn't, does he?'
'Hey, be careful saying words like 'nay' as he will just try and make a pun about it being how we horses speak.'
'Well you've just done that by mentioning the food that we eat.'
'Anyway never mind all that because you won't believe what I've just heard. Apparently the President of the Show and his wife go and look at the Morris Minors and choose the three that they like the best. The one they like the most they give a trophy to and then all three get some money. How unfair is that! We stand here all day and nobody gives us a trophy or any money and on top of that we have to put up with all these people wiping their smelly hands, all covered in burger fat and ice cream, all over our noses all the time!'
'Did you hear which car was the best?'
'Yes, and again you won't believe this especially as these humans are supposed to be saving the planet. Last year they gave the trophy to a couple who have a nice maroon saloon and who live in Southport. They made them write their names on it and then bring it back to Malham this year. What do you think they did then? They just gave it straight back to them to take back to Southport! They could have saved all that petrol and polluting fumes by just ringing them up and telling them not to come!'
'What about the other two winners?'
'The best one won the third prize and was a maroon Pick-Up which is exactly what we could do with. If Thwaites had one of those, these beer barrels on this cart would fit nicely on the back and it could be parked here all day instead of us having to be here. We could then be free to go round and chat to the other animals. We could have a go at jumping over those poles in the field over there, we could knock those young farmers off that Ducking Stool, we could watch the Punch and Judy Show and listen to the Haworth Brass Band. We could have a great time and I bet these humans wouldn't wipe their sticky hands on the bonnet of a Morris Minor.'
'So what about the second placed Minor?'
'Well, that was a white saloon that should never have won anything at all. Do you know it has a notice in its window that claims that it has the power of forty eight of us horses! Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous in all your life! Just imagine, forty eight of us against one of them - it wouldn't stand a chance! The cheek of it and they gave it the second prize!'
'Anyway, cheer up, that chap with the camera is heading off to annoy the sheep and it looks as if it is time for us to go in the arena. Hopefully after that we might just get back home in time for a pint.'
BVPG Stanley Park Show – Sunday 25th August 2019
Phew, what a difference to last year when the event had to be abandoned due to heavy rain! This time we had hot sunny weather all day. The event was full and as usual all the cars in different guises looked stunning! Needless to say the fourteen Morrises stole the show and looked great displayed on the lower level around the fountain. Not as many stalls and traders this time and the usual George Formby band were not there but hey the camaraderie was as good as ever as we all met and chatted to old friends. The lovely art deco café certainly did a brisk trade in breakfasts and ice cream and the crowds grew steadily during the day and clearly enjoyed seeing all the shiny vehicles glinting in the sun. BVPG always put on excellent shows so well done and thanks to them.
Vintage by the Sea, Morecambe – Saturday 31st August – Sunday 1st September 2019
A two day event this is arguably one of the flagship events of the season. Thirty thousand people flocked to the town and whilst the weather was mixed and a bit blustery our Branch’s cars looked fantastic lined up outside the Midland Hotel on both days. Members dressed up in period costume and joined in the activities including the fashion parades and line dancing! And of course the tea “ladies” on their decorated tricycle put in an appearance. A group photo outside the hotel entrance attracted attention and the highlight of the weekend was the superb afternoon tea in the conservatory on Sunday. The event, and our presence, was widely reported in the local press, on line and on the radio! What a superb weekend – it gets better and better.
BVPG Classic Vehicle Show, Lytham Green – Sunday 8th September 2019
Moved at the last minute from the usual site near Fairhaven Lake this event took place on the hallowed Green and what a fantastic venue it was! The larger area enabled superb commercial vehicles to be on display including three from the Hunters Museum at Tarleton which our Branch visited during the year. 370 vehicles in total attended and the standard of the vehicles on display was second to none. Our Branch display of 13 cars attracted wide attention and varied from Bill’s pickup to a milk float and everything in between! Dave and Anne’s model railway layout again attracted lots of attention and interest. You just never know what is lurking in those Morris boots! The weather was perfect and as an additional bonus we were able to see vintage planes flying overhead from the Southport air show. An excellent event close to the end of the season and one it is hoped can be repeated next year at the same venue. Well done BVPG!