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MSCC Mendip Christmas Dinner 6th December 2014

Forty Three members in best bib and tucker turned out for the Mendip Centre’s annual Christmas dinner.  This year, by popular demand, hosted at The George, Nunney.  Members were greeted with a very welcome large glass of homemade mulled wine.  What followed can only be an experience appreciated by the members who attended – superb food, great service, in house entertainment and a wonderful evening had by all!





Pre-dinner conversation.

Pre-dinner conversation.


Eager anticipation for what we are about to receive.

Eager anticipation for what we are about to receive.


Food fit for Morganeers!

Food fit for Morganeers!


Mother Christmas makes her yearly appearance!

Mother Christmas makes her yearly appearance!


Full of seasonal cheer.

Full of seasonal cheer.


Post-Dinner relaxation.

Post-Dinner relaxation.

MSCC Mendip Centre News – Number 128 – November 2014


Welcome to the last newsletter of 2014 and indeed the last one under the stewardship of the present committee, which has now completed its recommended 3 year stint. We have had a great working relationship together and it will feel somewhat sad to formally end our tenure as a team. Margaret & I are happy to continue with our roles, as are some others but of course democracy will take its course at the AGM on the 19th November.

What a brilliant summer we have all had especially for getting out and about in the way we like best. As well as the programmed Noggins and Sunday lunches which have been much enjoyed as a result of Paul & Jane’s dedicated organising and hard work, this issue also has several reports on ‘extra-curricular’ activities.

We kicked off August with a beautiful sunny evening at Nigel & Viv’s super BBQ where we were made most welcome at their South Petherton home, then followed by MOG14 at Harrogate and the Thornfalcon Classic Car Show at Taunton. Other items to look out for in this issue include Henry & Joy’s trip to Norway in their new Plus 4, Chris & Mike’s contribution from the annual pilgrimage to the Goodwood Classic, Don & Di out MOG spotting in Sicily, Terry & Babs back up to Windermere and a ‘high roller’ experience from Alan & Jean. Thanks also to Mike J as always, for a few snippets of interest on pages 25 & 26.

MOG-wise, Mendip are doing their best to keep Pickersleigh Road afloat. Mike Pa. started it (twice in a month remember!), then Alan & Jeanne (again twice, but not in so much of a hurry) then Henry earlier this year. Now feast your eyes on Kim & Ron’s tasty new 4/4 opposite. Also, we will have another new Plus 4 arriving in our ranks during December. On top of all this, Terry and Clive each have their +8s up for sale (tell your friends…) We also are delighted to welcome new members Edward & Lindsay. They are friends of David & Janet, and with their recently acquired Roadster, brings us up to 3 such very desirable machines.

We can now look forward to the approach of Christmas, especially the Mendip Dinner Party at The George where we hope to see as many members as possible. If you can’t make that, why not try for the Christmas Noggin instead on 17th December. As for New Year, note Angela & Mike’s kind invitation on the back page. Also on New Year’s Day itself, many usually look forward to the VSCC meeting at The Strode Arms, Cranmore, BUT I really don’t know what will happen this year in view of recent changes at this establishment. If anyone has any contacts with the VSCC please let us know, or maybe we need to organise an informal meet ourselves? Season’s greetings to all & wishes for a great MOGGY 2015


Doug & Margate



Annual BBQ at South Petherton: Sat. 26th July

As a contrast to the heavy showers at last year’s Mendip BBQ, the weather could not have been better as 13 MOGs and 2 tin-tops were skilfully manoeuvred between the trees and parked up topless and screenless in the orchard at Nigel & Viv’s delightful South Petherton home. Despite the sat-nav’s attempts to thwart our arrival, a few MOGs being seen to flash past the entrance, 33 outdoor loving types still managed to find base and share a most enjoyable event.


Much work had obviously been done on the evening prior to our arrival with the erection of Donald & Di’s marquee, an additional shelter for the food and plentiful tables and chairs to provide comfort and ambience. Smiling faces left, reveal all!


What better, than a welcoming glass (or 2 or 3?) of Pimms prepared and dispensed by our hostess, Viv. Whilst waiting for arrivals, the men in particular were inspecting and drooling over Nigel’s last 12 months of highly skilled handiwork with the creation of his new 3 car garage with hobby room above. This is not just any garage…but a beautiful  building indeed with hand cut hamstone, complemented by incredibly clean pointing and an overall superior finish.

Before long, the coals were lit but then of course, in true BBQ spirit, the impatience began! Mike C’s attempts to fan the flames was soon improved upon by the application of a hair dryer, which soon did the trick.


At the interval between mains and dessert, Sue kindly did the ‘intros’ to the special celebrations that were to be shared with the gathering. I let it be known in last March’s Newsletter of our impending Ruby Wedding Anniversary and enquired as to whether it applied to anyone else this year. Alan & Jeanne subsequently let us know that it was to be their Golden Anniversary in August and so we got together to provide a drop of bubbly and a cake to celebrate the occasion with our Morgan fraternity. It was 40 years to the day for us and just a couple of weeks to go for Alan & Jeanne for their 50th. Both wives were delighted and surprised to receive beautiful bouquets thoughtfully and appropriately adorned with red and gold wrappings accordingly. A much appreciated initiative from Jane, these were presented by her on behalf of the centre.

The evening soon flew by, plenty of good food and drink and lots of jovial banter within super surroundings. We are all indebted to Nigel and Viv for their hospitality.




MOG 2014 at Harrogate: 15th –17th August

A fair distance in ‘iffy’ weather but still an excellent turnout from Mendip.  We totalled 17 including (in no particular order) Sue, Nick, Mike J, Angela, Peter, Frances, John, Dee, Nat, Clive, David, Linda, Terry, Janet, Mike P and of course ourselves.

This year’s MOG, very capably hosted by the Yorkshire Centre, was held in Harrogate and spread across 2 of it’s largest hotels, The Majestic and Cairn.

Some of those who travelled up on the Friday had a fairly horrible journey with heavy showers and traffic jams causing even more delays. On arrival, car parks were almost full to bursting point, and by the look of the number plates, our German associates seemingly being the early birds had grabbed many of the spaces early on. (Not a beach towel in sight though!)  Come rain or shine, Terry & Janet bravely made the whole journey with top down in a little over 4 hours with foot hard on the gas!

When registering, it brought home just how much work has to go into an event like this; a large conference room with a sea of goody bags taking up much of the floor space. A support team of 23, all easily recognisable in pale blue MOG 2014 polo shirts made us all very welcome and were on hand to advise and provide guidance where necessary. The event attracted 480 pre-registered entries (that’s MOGs, not individuals) with more locals turning up ad-hoc as the event progressed, so on the Sunday in particular there were well over 500 MOGs  in the area. Each received a large hessian goody bag with lots of content; in addition to the usual rally plaque, there was a tyre pressure gauge, LED torch, Yorkshire tea bags, jam, a pen and a very professionally produced spiral bound book of scenic runs complete with maps and detailed tulip diagrams.

On the Friday, most went off in different directions on a scenic run. Clive, Nat and ourselves doing the 80-odd mile ‘Battlefields Run’ taking in several middle ages’ battlefields such as Marston Moor, Towton, Seacroft Moor and Bramham. Each stop was made all the more interesting by display boards outlining the fearsome battles that took place, usually over the course of just one afternoon or evening, (A reference to ‘The bridge of bodies’ makes one shudder somewhat). Returning to the evening buffet at the Majestic, with a range of both hot and cold dishes, we were well satisfied with the fare provided.

Bolton Castle: over 600 years and still towering above the Yorkshire countryside.

Bolton Castle: over 600 years and still towering above the Yorkshire countryside.

The next day, again individuals doing their own thing with some going on the Steam Railway, visits to Fountains Abbey and ourselves clocking up about 100 miles through Wensleydale and Wharfdale with a superb visit at the halfway point to where Mary Queen of Scots was once held, Bolton Castle. Still largely complete, it’s well worth the visit.

The evening’s predominantly black tie gala dinner was much better than expected. What with 430 in attendance, hopes for a good meal are never that optimistic. However, the hotel seemed to take it in their stride and we were pleasantly surprised. The evening finished off with much lively dancing and jigging to a great selection of music from “our era”.

Sunday was the main day for MOG events such as the concours, gymkhana, trade shows etc. This was held in the Majestic grounds and as parking was at a premium, we mostly decided to stay put and enjoy whatever the day had to offer. Amongst others at the concours was Sindy Rutter’s Pink MOG (30th anniversary present from Melvyn) complete with tool roll holding the usual spanners and screwdrivers but in addition, slots for necessities: pink nail varnish, lip-stick…!


Nick and Sue, complete with brolly, bravely entered (and endured?) the gymkhana. What with a late start and then rain and finally the realisation that each event had to be completed by each entrant before the cones were re-arranged for the next part… the afternoon soon passed by!


Pictured below, on the Sunday evening, a group of us enjoyed a meal at a local Thai restaurant  prior to attending an excellent  G & S Opera Company performance of HMS Pinafore at the Royal Hall. A traditional theatre, recently refurbished, the décor said to be the most gilded in the country, was truly wonderful and made a fitting end to a most enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Clive for deft use of the i-pad and making all the arrangements in quick time.


On the Monday, Nick, Sue, Mike Pa. and ourselves made our way down to the Biggin Hall Country Hotel, which we last visited in October. On the way, we stopped off at Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine), and amongst other things took refreshment at Sid’s Café. Lots of memorabilia on offer, but sadly they didn’t have Nora’s wrinkly stockings in Margaret’s size!

Margaret & I stayed on until Thursday, sadly missing the Mendip Noggin but enjoying some lovely walks in the Peak District, trying to work off the excesses of the past week. Next year: Llangollen! Booked.



Noggin at The Fox & Hounds, Charlton Adam

This was a new venue for Mendip held on 20th August. Though several returning from Harrogate made it , Margaret & I didn’t of course, as we stayed on in Derbyshire.

However, I hear that a good time was had by all 18 attendees, who were made very welcome and had sole use of the conservatory. With a lovely sunny, dry evening prevailing, 7 MOGs, 2 tin-tops and the TR5 graced the car park.



Thornfalcon Classic Car Show, Taunton  31st Aug.

A beautiful sunny day drew us to this event for the first time and having arrived at the rural venue at Henlade near Taunton, it was clear that we were not alone in Morgan circles.

Reserved parking areas were set aside for various clubs and we were pleased to line up with a myriad of MOGs from Mendip, Wessex, Fossilmog and others.


Spread over a huge grassy field, this turned out to be an enormous event with something over 1150 classic cars parked up; no entry fees (the scouts did a voluntary collection) and very reasonably priced refreshments on hand, it was a super day out. With so many marques to view, (albeit  mainly post war), the hours soon flew by. Many enjoyed a picnic in the blazing sunshine before cars started moving out at around 2.30pm, which apparently is the tradition. Too good to go home, a few of us made our way to Montacute House, where we enjoyed afternoon tea and cakes and a pleasant stroll around the herbaceous borders to round off the afternoon.

We shall certainly go again next year.




Sunday Lunch at The Grange, Whatley: 7th Sept.

A return visit to this venue, following a very impressive meal back in March. This time we were limited by the restaurant to an absolute maximum of 30 and just scraped in with 29 in attendance, and were pleased to welcome Ian & Olivia, (Ian is treasurer of Wessex) who came as guests of Clive & Annette.

What a beautiful day it was with sun blazing down on the patio area where we took our pre-dinner drinks. Quite a contrast to the wet visit that we had back in March. The adjacent car park was full to capacity with 11 MOGs, the TR and 3 tin-tops, with some having to locate down on the lower car park.


Service seemed a little slower than previously and although we had very good food, maybe it didn’t quite reach the heights of what our memories had stored from the previous visit. In particular, last March, the desserts were works of art sufficient to encourage the grab of a camera lens or two, but maybe not so much so, this time.

Food aside, highlight of the day, was yet another special occasion to celebrate, as it was the weekend of the 50th wedding anniversary of Ted & Jamie.


Jane delivered the citation and presented them both with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the membership. Ted responded accordingly, with a potted history of how they first met, where it appeared that his MG TC of the day, might have been as much an attraction to Jamie as the man himself! Modesty indeed!  Also great to see that Jamie’s leg has now mended following her trip down the stairs a few weeks back. We wish them many more years of happiness and of course sharing their love of Morganeering with the many friends that they have built up over the years in both Mendip & Wessex.

Incidentally, they were the first Morganeers that we came across when we took our very first trip out to Wells the day after taking delivery of our MOG. It was in the car park that is now Waitrose and from the brief conversation as they were exiting, I recall thinking these MOG people seem very friendly indeed…they certainly sowed the seed for us to seek centre membership.

Heading out onto the patio post lunch, the sun was still blazing though the clock had ticked well towards 4pm. Despite that, a few of us decided to make the most of the fine weather & we headed the 12 miles or so down to Stourhead for a garden stroll and, yes…more tea and cakes!




One of the best trips yet’, as Henry & Joy take their new Plus 4 to Norway

Our intrepid pair have done it yet again with another marathon trip of 2,105 miles in foreign parts. I am sure they won’t mind me commenting that age is no barrier to Henry & Joy as they embark on their annual travels and return home hungry for more! This time it was a trip to Norway taking in such highlights as the Hardangerfjiord Bridge, which is longer than the Golden gate Bridge; the Laerdal Tunnel at 24.5km long; the Sognefjell Pass which at 4705 feet, is the highest in Europe; and the Dalshibba Viewpoint at 4920 feet. For sheer driving excitement complemented with fantastic views, the Trollstigen Road must have been exhilarating to drive, with an incline of 9% and 11 hairpin bends. A small collection of photos have been added to  the website.


Here is Joy’s report on their escapades:

At our age, it is no surprise that we have visited most of the popular countries for holidays, etc but the icing on the cake has been Norway. It truly is an amazing, beautiful country – put it on your bucket list! The only way to do it is in a Morgan!

A few mishaps, as to be expected with the first night being a very rough crossing to Denmark, we then drove all day to catch another boat again to Norway. This was an even rougher crossing and we slept late! Knock on the door, “Please remove your car” (I’m not even dressed … panic) Second knock., “You must leave now!” When we arrived on the car deck, a lone Morgan awaited us with two very nice attendants who thought it a big joke!


What a start, but it was for me, the best holiday ever, in the Morgan. This was despite Henry driving 153 miles the wrong way on one day (sat. nav. set wrong) and we had to drive for 9 hours to reach our next destination. [ Cor! To what lengths will he go, to secure that coveted “Most miles in a MOG” trophy again next year? Ed}

However, with him driving like an 18 year old, enjoying all the hairpin bends, tunnels, fjords, mountains, waterfalls and looking out for elks, mostly I closed my eyes  and had white knuckles. Now I’m home, I wish we could do it all again.





Noggin at The Thatched Cottage, Shepton Mallet

On Wednesday, the 17th September, we tried out this new venue, which so many of us must have driven past but never got round to visiting. A bit of a squeeze in the car park as the pub also has accommodation and with 38 of our members attending, Paul had his work cut out to find a slot for everyone. However with due diligence and a bit of jiggling here and there, he seemed to succeed in parking up 11 MOGs, 7 tin tops and an Audi. A feat beyond the call of duty!

Strangely enough, despite the lovely dry weather (we were still screens-off), MOG numbers were down for a variety of reasons.

A bit of an Aladdin’s cave inside as the place seemed much larger than expected from the outside. It was lovely to see Ron and Kim following their crash earlier in the year and we heard that a new 4/4 is on the way, with colour yet to be decided! Also good to see John & Lynne whom again, we haven’t seen for a few months.

Food was very good with several exclaiming satisfaction to our organisers, Paul & Jane. Some lucky tables had the opportunity to enjoy desserts but for some reason the waitress omitted to visit some others! Nevertheless, with post dinner chats and banter, this was soon forgotten. Gay seemed to be doing a roaring trade with regalia, as she nears the end of her committee tenure. Overall a good night out in particularly good company.

As an aside, we noticed a conference room attached which might be a good venue for a future AGM. We along with others, would certainly enjoy a return visit.



Goodwood Revival week-end

Once again a small band of Mendip members and honorary member Hamish (a TVR friend of Mike C who has been restoring an early Morgan for some years) and whom we must thank for getting our superb tickets, took part in the annual extravaganza that is the Goodwood Revival. Now in its 19th year, the format changes little from year to year but each time the programme gets more and more spectacular. The event commemorates the heydays of   Goodwood motor racing from the late forties until the track closed in 1964 as the cars were getting too fast for the narrow circuit.


Along with a fabulous race programme over two days with practice runs on the Friday, the walking theatre of spectators in period dress, the fine weather, the flying displays the weekend never fails to thrill the crowd. The varied race programme included the giants of the 50s and 60s mixing with the more humble saloons producing all the thrills without thankfully too many spills. Imagine Austin A40s doing battle for nearly half an hour with Jaguar MKs 1 & 2  for first position in the St Mary’s Trophy race. Of particular interest to the Morgan minded was the Fordwater race on the Sunday morning featuring the 1962 Morgan Plus 4 recently obtained for a six figure sum at auction  by today’s driver Murray Smith. Racing under number 29 should alert the eagle eyed amongst us as to the controversy surrounding the identity of this car. Thought by many to be the original 1962 Le Mans class winner (its chassis no. of 4840 is the clue) it maintained its grid position of 17th during the race driven by the owner on his first race outing in this car. At least Nigel was happy as the winner of this race was a ‘62 Triumph TR4.


Off the track and in the air were some truly spectacular displays by the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight; this time including the only other flying Lancaster which is usually based in Canada. A truly awesome sight and the sound of all those Merlin engines was something to behold! Other displays by Hunters  and Canberras from the fifties and earlier including Mustangs and First War biplane fighters made for  moving and inspiring displays.

Part of the attraction of Goodwood is of course the spectators most of whom entered into the spirit of the occasion by donning some form of 50s/60s attire (for some, not so different from the norm…) others choose to go the whole hog. Never have there been so many Admirals, Generals and Air Marshals in full dress uniform at such a gathering, not forgetting the mini skirted WRAFs WRNS and WRACs!  Along with Mods and Rockers and the second Battle of Hastings, the  St. Trinians and the Glam Cab taxi girls, the 50s style Motor Show the endless shops and the  period Tesco store (not selling much but still advertising green shield stamps) helped to set the scene.

The likes of Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart who was celebrating 50 years since his first test drive at the circuit helped to recreate the special atmosphere of this world class event.

If you want to go next  year, better start saving now and order your tickets in good time as they sell out fast!

Chris Y.

[All photos courtesy of Mike C.]



Sunday Lunch at Hartley’s Kitchen

With impending rain and winds for the coming week, was this to be the last day of the extended summer that we have so much enjoyed?

Numbers were a bit down on this one, for a host of reasons what with Sue unwell and Mike C trying his hand at mulching with his lawnmower which required surgery (the hand that is, not the mower, even though they say he’s made of tough stuff), it left us with just 20 persons. The car park which displayed a  “Welcome to the  Flying Morgans” sign thoughtfully put up by the proprietor Paul Hartley, was soon graced with 8 MOGs and 3 tin tops. A very nice red TR6 later joined the line up, owned by a couple from Bristol.

Good to welcome back to the fold, Mike & Julia who have had a busy summer away from us, and Peter & Alison who have just returned from another of their wonderful jaunts across Canada.


Talk about being made welcome, immediately on arrival a waitress took orders and served drinks outside so that we could make the most of the warm sunshine whilst browsing the rolling stock.

Much interest was focussed on Mike & Julia’s +8 which has had yet more loving care lavished upon it. Consequent upon a visit to Austin (man that is, not rust bucket) up at Williams Trim Shop the side screens have been upholstered to match the original trim. Also a new easy-up hood, complete with envelope to replace the original looked very smart. If anyone else has thought about doing this but is concerned about the look of the old “Lift the Dot” fasteners across the front of the windscreen, they ground them off, laid a neat silver ‘skin’ over the top and reversed the screen so that the skin sits unobtrusively on the inside of the car. Very effective! Mike was also in praise of his aluminium radiator that has cured any tendency to overheat. From another member, we also had a peak at a paint sample of a Ferrari purple, which when matched with stone upholstery may come to the Mendip line up one day…watch this space!

Soon it was in to our dedicated dining room for the meal. Speaking for myself and many others it was truly excellent, with a wide range of accompanying vegetables and ’nothing too much trouble’ for the waiting staff. Half way through, without asking, out came more veg and offers of extra gravy, etc. The home made puddings were equally yummy and tempted many to expand the waistline, ‘just this once’.

Following the meal, Jane rallied our attentions round to the impending birthday of Alison. Even though it didn’t fall upon this actual day, she still received a heartfelt rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ from us all.

Altogether, an excellent Sunday lunch and my thoughts were ‘one of the best this year’. Every drinks order was accompanied by name so that there were no loose ends when it came to settling up; if only other establishments could follow suit!

I hope we can make it back more than once a year and give this place the support it deserves. Thanks again to Paul & Jane for organising.




Stand aside for the real ‘Don’ in Sicily…

I just cannot keep him out of Morgans. While we were on holiday in Sicily Donald spotted this brand new Morgan so we hovered around until the owner came back . Very young and spoke no English, his girlfriend could speak a few words and explained it was his brother’s and it was brand new.


We convinced him we had a Morgan and he let Donald sit in for a photo shoot!! The tour of the island was very interesting but we were a bit churched out by the end.  No earth quakes or eruptions so the ground did not move for us.




Morgans At Windermere 2014

Once again we went up north on our fourth consecutive visit to the “Morgans at Windermere” run. This year was the thirtieth year that it has been run by Fellmog. The most unusual thing about this year was the weather, not the usual rain or even showers but sunshine! This enabled us to appreciate the wonderful scenery in full hood and screens down mode. The event took its usual format with several alternative proposed runs with coffee, lunch & cream tea stops, including the famous  ”10 passes run”. We did this run a couple of years ago and at the end of about 110 miles of hard MOG driving, you know all about it! Michele Bailey, driver, and Charles Neal, navigator, took it on this year, see latest Miscellany.

By devious means, i.e. Fellmog Rules, Andrew Hurst & Sara Wilson, gave an award to Charles which means he gets the job of writing a report of the event for the Miscellany, and I see from this month’s magazine that his report will be in next month’s.

As our friends from Scotland, Pete & Eliena, have local knowledge of the area, we followed them and did a very scenic route including only one pass, the Kirkstone Pass. Despite stopping for about an hour outside the pub at the summit we did not see another Morgan!

We managed to cover about 1200 miles in total as we made our way via York to Berwick upon Tweed, to stay with Babs’ cousin at Chain Bridge House. It is the last house in England before crossing the Chain Bridge into Scotland. An excellent B&B stop. From here we ventured into Scotland on some very interesting roads across the moors on the Lammermuir Hills plus the “Scottish Golf Coast Road” just to the East of Edinburgh. It was then across to Crooklands for the Windermere run.

The newly re-built “works” in the Mog, now fully run-in, meant the “old girl” performed very well. [Ed: More than my life is worth to comment! ]All in all, a great sunny week away.

Terry & Babs



Noggin at The Sherston Inn, Wells on 15th October

Yet another new venue sought out by our intrepid eventers Paul & Jane. Despite the weather being on the damp side keeping a few MOGs at home, we were blessed with a cloudy but dry window in Wells for the whole evening. (apart from heavy dew, that is.) The evening attracted 34 members in just 6 MOGs, 11 tin-tops and an   Audi ‘OST’. We were pleased to see David & Janet back to the fold accompanying their friends Edward & Lindsay. They have recently purchased a Roadster and we were extremely pleased to welcome them as new members of Mendip Centre.

We were fortunate to have a large room to ourselves which certainly aids post meal ‘nogginities’. (Shorter Oxford-take note!) The menu was largely traditional pub fare with steak pies, lasagne and sausages seemingly the morganeers’ favourites. Henry rounded things off with his story of a strange noise whilst driving their other car, followed by a flat tyre. On arriving back at the farm, a horse-shoe complete with nails, was found lying in the yard, which seemed to explain all. As Joy commented “ That’s good luck, Henry!” Grr!




Sunday Lunch at The Mendip Golf Club: 2nd Nov.

An excellent turnout at this popular venue saw 37 Morganeers arrive for a delicious roast lunch, which this time round, with Paul & Jane basking in Madeiran sunshine, was ably co-ordinated by Sue & Nick.

We were first to arrive a little on the early side and were somewhat astounded to find not one space available in the car park due to a golf tournament underway. Thankfully, by the time the 11 other MOGs and 7 tin-tops arrived, spaces started to become available as golfers headed for home. There was even a space for Ted & Jamie when they finally arrived following a jaunt to Wedmore Golf Club to start with! We were also delighted to welcome Terry & Janet’s guests Philip & Judy Bell. (Philip is president of Cranmog)

An excellent meal complemented by friendly and smiling waiting staff, resulted in a good day out for all, despite the down-pours that accompanied the afternoon sunshine. What can you expect for November after all!



A draughtier ride than a MOG

With a group from SPOTMOG, Jeanne and I attended the Gloucester Motor show in June, an annual event in aid of the Pied Piper Appeal for sick children. Highnam Court was built in 1658 and by the mid 19th century, the gardens were renowned. The Court was acquired by the current owner Roger Head in the 1990’s, and the house and 42 acres of gardens and parklands have been restored, with many new features added. The court itself is not open during the show, but the excellent gardens are free.


What’s this got to do with draughty cars? Jeanne and I won 2nd Prize in the raffle, a 2 hour ride in a Rolls Royce.  As it was a big wedding anniversary for us in August this year, Roger suggested we wait until the 1925 Silver Ghost had returned from the south of France, and a trip was arranged for early September. Having driven up to Highnam Court in the MOG with the top down we were suitably dressed for open air motoring which thankfully we kept on for the trip. After a welcome chat with Robin (our chauffeur) about the Court and the RR collection, we were on our way.


The Ghost is a very big car, the driver and screen are quite a long way forward, so it is like being seated on a sofa (no safety belts) out in the open air, and even though we only got up to heady speeds in the 40’s, it is very much fresh air motoring.  We had a fabulous run from Gloucester through the Forest of Dean to St Briavels, then down, literally, via a very narrow lane to Brockweir where we joined the Wye Valley, returning to Gloucester via Clearwell.


On return we were given a tour of the collection that includes a Bentley ‘blower’ which we have seen on other charity runs. A very pleasant experience, I don’t think I would aspire to own one, and I have told Jeanne never to moan again about having the top down.




Committee Bits ‘N’ Bobs

  • A meeting was held on Monday 20th October; salient points below
  • A further & final donation of £150 from funds, to D & S Air Ambulance in accord with AGM motion last year.
  • Final set of accounts received from Lyne. Balances down a little from last year but still very healthy; a minimum limit for working capital has been agreed for the future.
  • Proposal to maintain annual subs at £10 p/a to be put to AGM.
  • Regalia slowed up at moment; after 5 years we will have opportunity to purchase original badge-die before destruction.
  • Christmas celebrations: numbers limited at The George but separate overspill room for 10 available if numbers dictate.
  • Birthday/special occasion celebrations with cake/flowers, when they happen to fall on an event, to continue, but only if members have indicated their birth date on application/renewal membership form. (actual year can be excluded)
  • Possibility of adding a ‘For Sale’ section to website for maybe a small fee, to advertise cars, spares etc.
  • After this year, Newsletters no longer to go on front page of blog but will be available in archive on a separate page.
  • Investigations continue positively into charity donations supported by gift aid, as raised at AGM last year. It can only be achieved if we make a charge for a specific event & get members to sign a gift aid form. More detail at AGM.
  • Hearty thanks expressed to our retiring committee members who have worked so hard and achieved so much to ensure the continuing success of Mendip.




Gay will sadly be retiring from office at this year’s AGM. I am sure that all members have been delighted with the innovations that she has come up with during her tenure and also for the prompt and smiling service that has been forthcoming with every order placed. Thanks also to Adrian who has given every support behind the scenes. Also, our gratitude to Lyne who has unstintingly produced clear accounting to enable us to navigate towards fiscal success during this extremely busy period.

The car badge, after many years of ponderings has been a resounding success both in the object itself and for boosting club funds. The spin off also enabled us to make donations to the Air Ambulance service which incidentally, one of our members was more than pleased to receive service from, just this year following a MOG crash.

Hopefully, a new officer will be appointed at the AGM who will take over the existing small stock of pottery, car badges (only 5 left) and will look forward to continue to meet members’ requirements.



All Wrapped up for Winter…

Not the usual heading for an article in a motoring magazine, especially written by a bloke that Doug usually shovels into the technical slot at the back of the magazine. After over a month of deliberation Angela and myself finally decided to buy a couple of down filled coats suitable for not only walking around the golf course but also for the car for those rare top down winter days. Mine was to be a Rab Neutrino Plus Endurance jacket, value £300 and Angela’s was to be a North Face Castagnola jacket, value £270. With a total of £570 we decided to go to Cotswold Leisure and get our 15% discount as advertised in Miscellany. The first thing we noticed was that neither coat was available in Bristol. However the ladies coat was available in Bath. We decided to get both coats in Bristol and found that the ladies coat was not available at a discount as in the brochure it had already been reduced. Further more when we came to collect the items we had a £5 special transport cost added to our bill. An amicable arrangement was made with the manager but do read everything that the Cotswold Outdoor Partnership Team send you.

Mike J



Mendip Link

All contributions from your experiences are welcomed for the mutual benefit of members. Just try to keep it as short and to the point as possible.




  • Shut that door: Are you sure that your MOG doors are properly and safely latched at all times? If the answer is “Probably, because I always slam them hard” then it is likely that you have no worries. However, if like me, you prefer to shut them firmly, but without undue abuse, then you may find that the lock anti-burst characteristic is not fully engaged. To check this, with the door shut as normal, try to engage the inside locking lever fully to the locked position; if it doesn’t quite make it all the way along the quadrant, it’s because the door isn’t quite closed enough. (The latch is a two stage mechanism) In an accident, the door could possibly burst open. I found this out by chance when investigating why my inner locking levers did not seem to work. After applying a little lubrication in the right places (i.e. if it moves or rubs, then grease it) and by being a little firmer on closing the doors the problem has been resolved. Conceivably, this issue may be more applicable to newer MOGs where the door seals have not yet been flattened by use. (Margaret is not so delighted however when decorating her clothes with grease each time she gets in!)





  • Euro fuel: We did some 2,000 miles on our French holiday this year using the same ordinary octane fuel as we buy at our local supermarket garage. This we found on returning to England and proper driving, caused the engine to knock or pink when at slow speed, in a high gear, during heavy acceleration. The cheap remedy for this problem, that is without taking it to a garage, is to replace the plugs if near their changing date. Or probably use a higher octane petrol of a known quality brand, not the supermarket stuff. It is suggested that about 3 tank-fulls of this higher octane fuel should be used in order to rectify the problem. If this doesn’t work it could be a bit more or even a lot more expensive. For the enthusiasts among you we have a 2 litre Ford engine driving a +4 body.



      Mike. J.                                   

  • Tyres: I recently had to replace a damaged Bridgstone tyre on my Honda whilst in Cornwall. An independent trader (Taylors at Illogan) charged £72 all in. The best ‘bargain deal’ 2 years ago in Weston-s-Mare was £110 at National Tyres, ..the big’uns ain’t always the best!





Charity Collections

Margaret sends her thanks to all of you who have donated milk bottle tops for charity recycling. With Christmas approaching, she will also be pleased to receive your used postage stamps. These need to be cut away from the envelope leaving a paper border of about 1 cm. What better way is there to spend a wet winter afternoon? Also used printer cartridges will be most welcome.





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