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Mendip Centre Newsletter Number – 135 October 2016


Welcome to the final newsletter for 2016, the next one not due until after Christmas in January 2017. Despite a soggy early 2016, the latter parts have been spectacularly mild with lots of opportunities to get out and about in our MOGs. Mendip’s numbers have also been steadily growing and we are pleased to welcome the latest members Nick & Barbara Britton from Nailsea, with another Plus 4 SS to swell our ranks

Whilst on members, Philip and Cristina who joined us sans-Morgan earlier in the year have now acquired a beautiful Plus 4 in Black. They have asked me to pass on their thanks to everyone who have made them most welcome at recent events and also for the useful advice that was offered to help them make up their minds. Although work commitments may hinder some Noggin attendances, they are eager to join in with other events as time allows, so opportunities to admire their purchase should not be too far off.

Summer has been busy indeed. In this issue as well as Noggins at The New Inn, Blagdon, a welcome return to The Strode at Cranmore, and The Blue Bowl at West Harptree, there have been many other opportunities to blow the cobwebs.

In July, Nick & Sue kindly organised our bi-annual extended trip to the factory and onwards to Shelsley Walsh under the “Malvern Delights” bannerthen in August came one of the year’s highlights, Donald & Di’s BBQ at Wyke Farm, followed in September by Paul & Jane’s cultural foray to Hauser & Wirth at Bruton. More recently, 20 of us enjoyed the Indian Summer sunshine with the “Jennings Jaunt” down in Devon, organised by Angela & Mike.

As if that wasn’t enough, members also attended a variety of Classic Car events at Camerton; Thornfalcon and Tetbury (thanks to Edward for the report). My thanks also go out to members for sending in reports of their trips abroad, which all go to add interest and variety to the newsletter. Terry & Babs made it across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man and you can read their report. Mike & Julia ventured a bit further to Spain, with a few mishaps along the way. Pete & Frances also crossed to Spain and some of their super photos have been added to the Flickr website in the “Out & About” album.

The big national Morgan event of the year was of course MOG16, held this year near Milton Keynes. Not a huge turnout from Mendip members but a report will be found starting on page 14 and if you see Margaret, she will demonstrate the bovine contraband, complete with lightshow and sound effects!

Finally thanks to others who have contributed particularly Terry W. and Alan A. for items of mirth. Just a reminder that David Millard has generously offered to organise the Morgan stand at the Bristol Classic Car Show next June. Please do your best to offer all the support you can muster to make the event a success.

We can now look forward to a busy winter of events with the AGM, Christmas and New Year events in the offing to say the least. I shall always be pleased to receive any reports of your summer exploits to warm our hearts during the winter months.

Finally, the sad bits… of lives coming to an end: the sudden passing of a dear friend to all, Henry Tinney and also that of Dudley Langley. Condolences from Mendip members go out to their respective widows Joy and Coba.



Our Henry

As we go to press, It is with great sadness that we record the sudden death of Morgan stalwart Henry Tinney who has been a valued and extremely popular elder member of both Wessex and Mendip centres for many years. As far as Morgan touring is concerned he set the bar high and invariably put us all to shame in regularly securing the annual award for most miles covered in a single trip, retaining the trophy which he had originally donated for the purpose. As well as his genuine warmth and hand of friendship to all-comers, we shall surely miss his vocal renditions and quizzes which went towards making our Christmas and birthday events so much memorable fun.


If ever there were a choice in the way to go, this might well have been his. He was in the midst of the 100 mile ‘Exmoor Rut’ tour on Sunday 9th October, when fate played its part. Our hearts go out to his family especially his dear wife and constant travelling companion Joy; their love for each other was unbounded. It was often said, He was her eyes…and she, his ears!


The final photo submitted to me by Henry at the last Noggin. It surely epitomizes some of the things that meant so much to him: Nature itself, farming and the trusty Morgan. Dear Henry: All is safely gathered in!

Summer Noggin at Blagdon: 16th July, PLUS… news of bottle tops & stamps for charity

A bumper turnout of 36 members met up early at The New Inn, Blagdon to bathe in the evening summer sun, shining over the tranquil waters of Blagdon lake. However, this is an English summer…the breeze got the better of most and it wasn’t long before many headed for shelter indoors. The car park was resplendent with some 14 MOGs, Adrian & Gay’s lovely Morris Minor soft top and a collection of 5 other OSTs and tintops. Food was, as always, very good indeed, with a few even succumbing to the dessert menu!


Added to this David dropped in with yet more used stamps (several thousand!) for Margaret to pass on to the Vision North Somerset charity EnergEyes, which is a sports and social club for younger blind and visually impaired people. They in turn, support guide dogs for the blind. (

She was also overwhelmed and delighted to receive an enormous bag of milk bottle tops (Doug holding them in pic) from Chris, who co-ordinates the collection from the thoughtful villagers at Draycott. It has always been a bit of a mystery as to where these end up as there is usually a long line of intermediaries. However, recent changes have come about and we are now informed that the collections are in fact sent off to the Somerset & Dorset Air Ambulance Service, which is of course the charity that Mendip Centre also supports through financial sponsorship each year. Margaret will be pleased to receive your collections of tops and stamps at any event throughout the year.


A couple of other points of note: Everyone was delighted to see Yvonne back for an evening with continuing improvements following her car accident back in the Spring. Also great to see John & Dee, with John recovering from a recent operation on his back; many wishes for a speedy recovery and successful outcome.


Malvern Delights: Factory visit & T.O.T.H. at Shelsley Walsh: 21st – 24th July

Nick & Sue kindly co-ordinated this year’s trip up to Malvern. A few of us met up at Prinknash Abbey for coffee and then proceeded on to the Bluebell Inn at Malvern for a light lunch. Then it was on to Pickersleigh Road for the factory tour.


Our group of 19 comprised Nick, Sue, Paul, Mark, Mike C, Chris, Pete, Fran, Edward, Lindsey, Mike J, Angela, Mike Pa, Doug, Margaret, ex-Mendip but now Spotmog members Roger & Glyn, and also guests Robin &  Chris (Nick’s brother/sister-in-law).


Our guide Mike, took us round. Things were relatively quiet on the shop floors as it was the run-down to the annual shutdown. However, still some work progressing with a lot more aluminium chassis than we have seen in the past. Mike explained how in the event of an accident, the front crumple zone is “easily” replaceable but damage beyond the bulkhead would probably mean a new chassis as the resin is so strong that the metal will tear rather than the bond be broken.


Three wheeler production is still buoyant in it’s own workshop, as is the new Aero 8.


With 3 wheeler production ramped up, there is now no room to store finished vehicles on site, so they are shipped off in this giant lorry, to a distribution depot in Northampton before going out to dealers & customers.



Hi Tech! The latest in 3-D printers with (right) a printed prototype component, printed in about 5 hours for £20 odd pounds! Almost unbelievable that it can be done.



Incidentally, whilst we were at the factory they were hosting a DVLA auction of registration numbers in the café area. This went on for 12 hours a day over 3 days, with receipts of £2k to £30k ringing up every few minutes! This begs the question: Why is there no money to fill the nation’s pot holes and increasingly, as I am experiencing, sinking drain covers?? Grr!

On Thursday night, 11 of us retired to the Abbey Hotel and on Friday, with lovely weather, most of us had a very enjoyable day at Hampton Court following the mandatory scenic drive around the Malvern Hills first thing in the morning.

Saturday was T.O.T.H. Day with a very full and interesting entry including our very own Mendip member Chris, campaigning his LM +8 with Mike C riding shotgun. Unfortunately, we missed photos of his runs as he appeared unexpectedly, but we did manage one on the way back down. Entertainment included Elles Bailey (of Williams Autos) with her superb smokey blues performance.

Chris & Mike descending the hill.

Chris & Mike descending the hill.



The plate says it all! This Aero 8 in Kawasaki green, was still on the production line 2 days previously. Running in…please pass? (if you can!)

We finished off on Sunday with a visit to the Art in Nature exhibition at Twigworth, near Gloucester and then finally met the rain showers for the first time on our separate ways home. A real fun time for all who attended and lots of thanks from us all to Nick & Sue for organising.









Noggin at The Strode, Cranmore: 3rd August

Once a popular haunt for Mendip, The Strode has undergone more than one change of management in the past two or three years resulting in little to draw us back in. Thankfully now, they seem to have got it right, a point I found backed up by one of the locals during a “convenient” chat.


A lovely summer’s evening saw 21 members arriving in just 7 MOGs, 3 tintops and 1 OST. We can only assume that summer had taken its toll on numbers but for those who did manage the trip, it was well worthwhile. Taking advantage of the warm evening sun, drinks were taken casually outside with lots of chat ensuing. Terry P had lost a windscreen wiper on the way as it decided to launch itself skyward, never to be seen again. A warning for all, to always carry a spare as with one missing, you can’t use the remaining two without serious damage to the windscreen. We also learned that Nick had to have both rear wheel cylinders replaced during his recent annual service. This is something of a perennial problem with drum brakes as anyone who had a Morris Minor in their youth will no doubt testify to. Nevertheless, one might have expected that by now, modern technology and materials would be employed to advantage in overcoming such issues.


Indoors, we were seated in our own section of the restaurant, albeit a bit of a snug fit round the communal table. Then came the food…excellent in every respect and the portions exceedingly generous; so much so that desserts were not needed. Altogether a very successful evening and we look forward to a return visit.



SatireSpot:  By now, most of us must be aware of the alleged misdemeanours within the personal life of one of our prominent select committee M.P.s

It is said that to preserve his anonymity during the lurid encounters, he purported himself to be a Washing Machine salesman.


Trip To Isle Of Man July 2016

As we had never been to the Isle of Man, when Henry Tinney suggested that we might like to join himself and Joy on their second visit there with Scenic Car Tours we decided to take up their offer as it was one of those places we had often said that we would like to visit, but never got around to.

So after a very pleasant couple of days with our Morgan friends Peter and Eliena at their home in Lytham St Anne’s, we motored on to Heysham, meeting up with Henry and Joy at the ferry terminal along with one other Morgan, plus 6 other classic sports cars on the same trip. The other Morgan was driven by Martin and Jenny Smith who had previously met Henry and Joy on several of Henry’s long distance continental rallies. Martin’s Morgan is of very special interest, as it is a 1936 4/4, chassis No. 40, in very original condition still with the 1100cc Coventry Climax engine and Meadows gearbox. Martin carries authenticity to some length. For example, original electrics and lights, also not having any flashing indicators but relying on hand signals! In this form they have travelled several times in Europe including navigating through Paris; very brave!


Anyway back to our trip; after a very smooth crossing we arrived at our, very satisfactory, hotel in Ramsey. On the first evening we had an included dinner with all of the other participants on the visit.

The next day we decided to visit the Laxey Water Wheel. This is a massive affair designed to pump water out of a mine using water from the local hills as a means of power, very “green” and over 100 years old. However it was

commercial considerations that ruled the design, coal was very expensive in the I of M and they have plenty of water in the hills! As the weather was clear we next tried the Manx railway system to the summit of Snaefell, very scenic climb but the weather at the top was, as often, misty, so the hoped for views were not there.

Before we went on the trip Henry had the good idea of contacting Ian Hodgkinson, the secretary of the I of M group of the MSCC and they agreed that it would be a great idea to meet up for a meal. So on Saturday evening, there was no sign of Henry and Joy at our hotel, so Martin and Jenny plus Babs and I set off together to find the restaurant on the outskirts of Douglas, we had a postcode, so no problem aye? Oh Yes; first our Sat Navs did not handle I of Man postcodes and all the info we had was the name of the restaurant, so we asked passers-by, got advice, got lost, this went on, many, many, times, eventually we got there where everyone was waiting for us, including Henry and Joy! Anyway, with his local knowledge Ian and his team had picked a super venue where 12 of us sat down to a first class meal. We all sat with alternating couples from UK and I of M members next to each other so chat was very good and varied. Altogether a great evening with new found friends with common interests, good old Mr Morgan! Babs and I should be meeting several of the I of M people again quite soon as they, like us, are going on the Windermere event next month.


The next day it rained hard so we went on the steam railway from Douglas to Port Erin and straight back, at least we stayed dry. Well almost. During the rest of our time there we did a lot of touring around the very quiet roads on the island, visiting the extreme north point, where a very fierce notice warned us that they no longer wasted bullets on warning shots, so keep out!  Then the much friendlier extreme south point where there is a super café looking out to the small island called the Calf of Man, where numerus grey seals have made their home, along with many varieties of sea birds, the tidal race between the islands is also very impressive.

So what about the TT Course I hear you cry; well we had used parts of it on lots of occasions as it forms part of the normal road system of the island. However, we had to travel around at least once, so on the last morning of our visit we decided to do one complete lap in the right direction but starting near our hotel in Ramsey, and passing through the Start/Finish in Douglas. So off we set, you always know when you are on the course because of the race corner marker boards, black and white painted kerbs and numerous soft crash barriers along the road.

But you can forget high speed laps because of normal traffic and speed limits through the villages, we did manage to touch briefly 85 mph on part of the mountain road, (perfectly legal, no top speed limit out of the posted limits). But it gives you a new respect for the brave guys who do a lap 37+ miles at an average speed of nearly 134 MPH! Clearly, the riders exceed over 200mph on sections of the course.

Then on to our way home, the return ferry took us into Liverpool. Much to our surprise the ferry terminal is adjacent to the Liver Building right in the city centre, so to escape the rush hour traffic we headed for the new Mersey Tunnel, out on to the M53, then on to  the A49/M5/M4 and home without a break. Altogether we had a very enjoyable trip, putting quite a few more miles on the mog’s clock.

Terry and Babs


Critical Thinking…

Woman: Do you drink beer?

Man: Yes, but only a couple of pints a day.

Woman: How much does that cost you?

Man: Oh… Only about £7

Woman: How long have you been drinking?

Man: About 20 years, I suppose.

Woman: so that’s £49 per week, which is £2548 a year. Do you know that over 20 years, even without interest that comes to £50,960?

Man: (getting extremely bored) I guess so.

Woman: Do you realise that you could have bought a brand new Morgan Roadster with that!

Man: (Silent pause…then)…Do you drink beer?

Woman: I certainly do not!!

Man: Where’s your Roadster then?


Annual BBQ at Wyke: Saturday 13th August

A beautiful day, continuing into the evening, welcomed a splendid turnout of 47 Mendip Morganeers to the annual BBQ held at Donald & Di’s wonderful gardens at Wyke Champflower. Numbers would have been 4 more if Graham & Kim hadn’t let it slip their minds (they’re on Devon time of course…) and sadly Margaret & myself didn’t make it either. This was down to Margaret feeling unwell.


We hear that the food and ambience were absolutely excellent and everyone had a great time. The garden was enhanced with an array of 18 Morgans, 3 tintops and an OST. Just so sad that we missed out as this is one of the Mendip highlights of the year. A few photos below courtesy of Nick with more posted on the website.


Grateful thanks from everyone to Donald & Di for sharing their home and beautiful garden with Mendip members. Memories are indeed made of events such as these.


This event was allocated to  this year’s charity fundraiser, with Nick being sponsored to drive from Bath to Wyke. A final total of £260 was collected which will be boosted by gift aid as it is passed on to the Somerset & Dorset Air Ambulance service.


Camerton Classic Car Show: Sunday 14th August

This event is very similar to the one at Thornfalcon which we normally attend in September, but it’s on a smaller scale. Camerton is over in Radstock territory and this free annual event is held in a large field adjoining the village hall. Food and facilities are available and it had a very good selection of vehicles of all description with a “come and go as you please” regime.


This wasn’t advertised on the Mendip events calendar but was suggested by Nick & Sue via email the week before. Consequently only a few of us turned up namely Nick & Sue, John & Lyn, Ed & Lyndsay, Mike Pa and myself. There were also 3 MOGs with their minders from BogMOG.

Lovely weather once more enabled a light picnic to be enjoyed followed by a browse around the many interesting vehicles on display. Very friendly and laid back. Maybe next year with more notice, a few more of us may make it along?


A hat trick of rarities: Recent members Nick & Barbara Britton’s 2011 Plus 4 Supersport in Iris Blue pictured at Weston-s-Mare PLUS beautiful sunset AND… the tide is IN! A warm welcome to you both and we look forward to a closer look (and listen) before too long.


MOG 16: Milton Keynes 19th-21st August

Following 2 years of meticulous planning and co-ordinated hard work by Cran mog members, this years MOG came to fruition with over 450 Morgans, in a superb setting at Horwood House, located in countryside well outside the town. The house was originally built in 1911 and at one time was the grand home of the Denny family, who hailed from Cork and made their fortunes in the bacon business. Of some note was the first person to be born at the house…Percy Thrower, whose dad happened to be the Denny’s head gardener at the time. Some years later, it was extended and became the training centre for the G.P.O. Now, as a hotel and conference centre, it boasts plenty of parking and with adjacent grassy areas, making it an ideal spot for a MOG. The organisation was certainly well oiled, from parking stewards, registration process, issue of the traditional goody bags and scenic runs booklets; all of excellent quality. This year’s charity was in support of Medical Detection Dogs, a charity formed in 2008 which trains dogs to identify certain cancers by sniffing from urine samples. (90%+ success rate)

As far as Mendip were concerned, sadly not a large turnout this year; maybe it’s a case of “been there… the tee shirt”?

The social run on the outward journey, saw Nick & Sue, Mike & Angela, Mike Pa and ourselves meet up at Chedworth Farm Shop, just north of Cirencester and well recommended for huge slabs of cake! Onwards then to the N.T. property of Upton House near Banbury, featuring wartime memorabilia from when the Bearsteds evacuated from London, their whole merchant banking operations, including staff. Overall, our journey onwards was very wet indeed so all the polishing in the preceding days soon came to nought.


On arrival, Terry & Babs joined our ensemble for the rest of the weekend. We also caught sight of Clive & Annette, Dave Sapp (Wessex) together with William, his delectable Series 1, Tony & Pat from Bogmog and of course with their longstanding Cranmog background, our very own Terry & Janet.

Friday night kicked off with a buffet, though not sure they expected desserts to vanish in multiples so quickly, but further supplies were readily available. Although there was a local band for entertainment, I was a little surprised that the buffet was £29 whereas on Sunday, a very similar meal was just £15. The band weren’t worth the extra!


Saturday dawned with rain just about over but still “iffy” skies and off we went to Bletchley Park. Gosh, it’s big…and really interesting. We learned how initially a group of MI6 agents came to stay under the innocent guise of “Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party” in 1938 and of course the whole thing mushroomed from there. Wandering through preserved huts with original furnishings it was particularly interesting to see both actual Enigma machines and a working model of the Turing-Welchman Bombe, the early computer built to crack the code. The highlight of the weekend for many.

The gala dinner came and went; with food I guess fairly par for the course,  when there are hundreds of mouths to feed. I was somewhat surprised that with a pork dish in the Friday night buffet and a pig roast on Sunday, that someone saw fit to serve even more pork on the Saturday. (Mr Denny’s influence from the past??)

The rest of the weekend was taken up with scenic runs, some of which incorporated plenty of pot-holes and fresh tar & chippings. One run included the railway bridge where the great train robbery took place. Sunday afternoon generally turned in nice and sunny to witness the various activities on offer, visit trade stands and finally presentation of prizes and awards. Sadly though, the planned “Battle of Britain” flypast was withdrawn because of uncertainties with the weather AND we saw no COWS! (that’s apart from the ones whose noses lit up and formed part of the table decorations, until most went mysteriously AWOL…Oh and the one that we had to decorate in a Brexit theme with paints, over dinner. No prize sadly, for our ‘Fallen Star’ entry!)


A lot of work went into this and we are indebted to Cranmog and all their helpers and sponsors who worked so hard to give us all a good time.

On Monday, with tops down and sans side screens, the Mendip social touring group reformed and off we headed to Bury St Edmunds, stopping off for lunch and a visit to the Wimpole Estate, just SW of Cambridge. Arriving in Bury, we booked into The Chantry Hotel, situated virtually in the middle of town and thankfully with secure private parking and excellent breakfasts. The next few days of blisteringly hot weather (31C) took us to a host of visits, which Nick had thoughtfully researched for us. These included one of the finest 16c. timber framed buildings in Britain, Lavenham Guildhall; Beth Chatto Gardens; Flatford Mill (Constable’s Hay Wain), Ickworth and we finished up with Stowe on the last day travelling home. I think we more than recovered our annual N.T. sub on this one week alone! Total journey for me came to 686 miles.

As usual, great fun had by all and special thanks to Nick for research in advance.



Hauser & Wirth, Bruton: 3rd September

And now for something completely different…an art, architecture and landscape experience!

Paul and Jane certainly came up with something different to experience for the 25 members who attended. The Hauser and Worth pioneering world class gallery is  situated in converted farm buildings, on a site that was originally developed by the Berkeley family in the 1760s. Now it is the home of new and innovative contemporary art, set both in the indoor environment and throughout the landscaped gardens nestled in prime Somerset countryside. Durslade Farm is still operational and supplies the restaurant.


Sadly the weather forecast wasn’t too enthusiastic but a dry and maybe misleading start to the day, encouraged no less than 9 MOGs; however precipitation took its toll by lunchtime!

We all had an interesting browse through the extensive display, albeit sometimes with a bit of head-scratching and bewilderment, depending on the level on one’s cultural dipstick.


There’s always lots going on from learning opportunities to events and exhibitions and concerts in the unique Radic Pavillion. (seen left & made from GRP; a bit like entering a large snail shell) The whole experience is complemented by the gastronomic offerings from the “Roth Bar & Grill” serving rustic fare, including 60 day-hung meat sourced from the adjoining farm, amongst other interesting dishes. Typically with a 3 course lunch at around £30 a head, (plus drinks), it would certainly be somewhere “nice” to entertain your special friends!




We only succumbed to coffee and doughnuts however and instead made our way to the nearby Bull Inn at Hardway, where we had pre-booked lunches. Wow! Have I ever had fish and chips with THREE fillets of cod complemented by exquisite mushy peas and hand cut chips? It appeared that everyone was well satisfied with the food; service also impeccable and with the landlord making good use of Paul’s spreadsheet, bills were settled without fuss or consternation. Also, how refreshing to see pricing in round pounds; no 99p coins needed here!


Incidentally, amongst our number, we were delighted to see our more recent members Phil and Cris and to learn that they have now tracked down their MOG of choice from Williams. Dressed in black with red upholstery, it’s a 2010 Plus 4 so we all look forward to seeing it when the weather is more conducive.


Although plans for stage 3 of the outing was to tour the grounds of nearby Stourhead, enthusiasm was dampened by blackening skies; but hey, we had a great day out and that is all that matters.

Thanks P & J for a new culturally enlightening experience.



Tetbury Classic Car Show: 4th September

Tetbury Show’s unexpected surprise: A small and perfectly formed mob of MOG enthusiasts (Nick, Sue, Ed, Lyndsay, & Mike Pa) visited the 3rd annual Tetbury Classic Car Show on 4th September. Half a dozen classic Morgans, a three wheeler and a couple of Aeros were to be found amongst 700 interesting and historic vehicles.

The organiser (our own Gill Bevan of MSCC fame) had ensured a nice central spot for Morgans to park. After an initial browse around the rows of polished beauties an exclusive picnic was enjoyed, with a very convenient Aero tail-end to act as a table (well, we liked the idea!). The Williams Auto’s team were present with another Aero demonstrator which attracted more attention than expected when Linden started up the engine to demonstrate its animal noises. Amongst the throng was a rare Lamborghini Islero, the odd vintage tractor and an impressive display of T.R’s.


However, amongst all the glitzy limos the stand out car was that most quintessential English sports car, a small Oxford Blue 1936 M.G.P.B whose gentle unassuming owner spared no detail in showing us over his treasure and talking through its unique history. This perfectly preserved example had been bought for £222.00 by an RAF Pilot who had not returned from a W.W.II sortie. In his memory, the family were unable to part with the car which was placed in storage for decades, until it was eventually sold. The result in a show room condition open two seater with Brooklands half moon windshields and burr walnut facia with the first speedometer to appear on an M.G. dashboard!

The previous model the M.G.P.A, had been campaigned unsuccessfully at the 1935 Le Mans 24 hour race by a team of ladies known as “the Dancing Daughters”. So the improved M.G.P.B was produced in response to their defect with a 939 c.c. engine capable of 0-60 in a leisurely 27 seconds. Safety features proudly displayed by our friendly owner, included pop-up indicators and a leaflet entitled “Safety Fast!” We particularly enjoyed the beautiful chrome petrol tank cap and the dip stick fuel gauge (every Morgan should have one). Beneath the stylish bonnet sits the naturally aspirated 4 cylinder, twin cam engine, which produces 43 bhp and a top speed of seventy something, which was very impressive in its day.


The owners principle delight was to reveal the original wooden tool box, tucked under the bonnet, containing all its tools and manuals just as they left the factory. Everything was brought out and explained for us to see and enjoy and what a pleasure to discover a small piece of history so well cherished and yet fully functional. A reminder of why we love old cars and their ability to transport us to another time and place on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Tetbury.





Thornfalcon: 18th September

Following last year’s washout, thankfully the sun shone through for this one, despite a bit of threatening cloud. An excellent turnout of very interesting machinery as usual. Also a good spread of MOGs, so many that the pre-allocated parking area was soon full. As far as Mendip members were concerned I spotted (in no particular order) Pete & Fran, Gerald & Chris, Ron & Kim, Alan & Jeanne, Phil & Cris, Chris & Yvonne, Nigel & Mary and of course John & Elaine who assisted with booking the Morgan slot.



Despite the official opening of 11am, I hear that cars were arriving from 8am onwards. However, thankfully no undue queueing for access nor egress.

See below, the latest to join Mendip ranks: Phil & Cris’ delightful 2010 Plus 4 in black with dark red trim. An exceptionally good looking machine and well worth the wait in acquiring. I see lots of nice extras including door checks, wooden steering wheel, bonnet strap, alloy wheels, trimmed side screens, etc Congrats to you both and we just know we’ll see it more in due course.





Noggin at The Blue Bowl, W. Harptree 21st September

A nice dry evening welcomed 29 members for dinner at The Blue Bowl, though only 6 MOGs adorned the car park together with a couple of OSTs and several tintops.

That number however was swollen by one MOG, as our latest “new” members Nick and Barbara Britton popped in for a drink in their lovely Iris Blue Super Sport (No.60 of 60) Some may recall that they were Mendip members some 10 years or so ago and we are delighted to welcome them back to the throng that is Mendip Centre.




Unusually, there was a large family party, complete with kiddy-winks,  sharing the dining area but we were not unduly diverted from tucking into the generous portions on offer. Not to pour cold water on anything but if there was a downside, it had to be on the price of H₂O!  A bottle of water and a glass of Soda water left one member parting with £4.80. AND…Chew Valley lake is only down the road!


Mike & Julia’s Trip to Santiago de Compostela

It has intrigued us why Santiago de Compostela draws so many to hike hundreds of miles following the Camino Way across Spain. We set off in our little green Morgan to Santander by ferry, then to work our way through Asturias, Galicia and back via Castilla y Leon using seven different Paradors, giving us the opportunity of staying in legendary historical buildings in unique surroundings.

Like many pilgrims, whom we had passed plodding along the tracks with their staff in hand and rucksack on their back, we arrive in the pedestrian only square (that is except for Morgans!) beside the Cathedral in Santiago. We drew up in front of the oldest hostelry in Spain, our Parador, attracting much attention from the walkers and the police who allow you 10 minutes to unload! Such a busy bustling confusing place! The organisation is slick, we were unloaded onto a trolley and taken up to our room pronto. What will happen to the car? Mike was shepherded off to the underground car park, €19 per night and no “fee simple” was included! I had to nearly pick him off the floor!


Activities in the square are non-stop as by the evening the entire surface was laid out as 6 basket ball pitches ready for the tournament for large groups of children the next day. Even the day we were due to leave a classic car meet began arriving filling up the square ready for a Spanish classic car rally on the Sunday. This was tricky as there is only one narrow way in and out so we had a good view of hundreds of lovely cars (mostly foreign of course but also one Morgan Roadster) before we could get out. I must mention the dining room at this hotel. It is built in the old stables under the building. You sit under these great stone arches, like a cathedral, with beautifully laid out tables in candle light listening to the classic sounds of the grand piano playing as your dinner is served! Quite magic.


Sometimes we are asked which is our favourite Hotel or place? They are all special of course but I loved Baiona as the hotel is part of a fort built on an island joined to the coast, heavily fortified with great stone gateways and thick stone walls towering above the sea. It was three kilometres to walk all round the foot of the island close to the sea below this great fort, lovely experience.

Another time we stayed in this huge old monastery in the forested hills near Luintra, again full of history with several cloisters, beautifully restored but very remote.

Of course no Morgan trip is without it’s own special excitement! We had noticed the cooling fan had not kicked in, even though the relay switch  had been replaced recently, so we were keeping a constant eye on the temperature gauge! Fortunately the weather had cooled down and we hadn’t done many tortuous climbs or got stuck in traffic so fingers crossed.

In meantime we had a puncture, never been known before! We noticed it one evening so Mike found the jack still in its wrapping, 18 years since the car was made! He also found a tool to tension the side screen cramps wrapped up with it! Years ago Peter See had very kindly made one for us! Can you believe it? Who would have thought of looking at and or unwrapping the wheel brace to find it?

We were lucky as a little garage keen on Range Rovers a few miles away, tended to us immediately when we stopped by and found “girt big nail” imbedded. Anyway it was plugged quickly and even the special dust cap was handed over and all done within the hour, excellent service.

Back to the trip, we visited an amazing beach near Ribadeo where you have to obtain a licence beforehand to gain entry. It is called La Playa de las Catedrales. As the name suggests huge stacks of rock have been eroded which dominate a massive beach at low tide when you can walk around and between them-well worth a visit.

Next we spent 3 nights in Leon, again we drew up in a pedestrian only zone in front of a massive building with an incredible carved façade, Parador, Hostel San Marcos. Having positioned the car modestly, of course, the crowd and cameras were there in split seconds taking shots from unbelievable angles. What became clear though was that we had stolen thunder from of all marques, Porsches!  We were soon  outnumbered here as the Porsches just kept on coming, eventually totalling about 100. The Spanish club “big meet” for a weekend rally, still as Mike says we certainly gave them something to think about with only one Moggie! Wonder if they had a licence from the Spanish MSA because 100 setting off  together was very anti social and did cause some traffic issues but hey-ho we now have Brexit so do we care!

Finally it was time to head back to Santander. Fortunately we took the motorway rather than the scenic route as not only did we ground the bottom rather badly trying to exit a car park near the dock, it also boiled causing all the water in the expansion tank to spill out! Oh dear I panicked at the noise from the grounding; it made me think we had done some serious damage! What do I know? Mike soon made it clear the two events were unrelated just coincidence!

Well we were at least in the port area so we could leave the car to cool down while we sought out a meal. Then we could top up the water to limp onto the ferry. Phew what a relief! It was a bit disappointing finding ourselves parked on the upper level but worry about that tomorrow. Of course it is a long wait for all vehicles to disembark, passport control is tedious these days so the temperature gauge had climbed well and truly again! Right –  pull over to cool down and call the    RAC, as getting home that night was looking dodgy. The man in blue came quickly and worked really hard. He initially found a loose wire in the fuse box and although he then got the fan working, he found it kept fusing so eventually he admitted defeat and suggested we have a go to get home.

Traffic was lessening around 7.30 pm so if we kept moving then we would be fine hopefully! All went well out of Plymouth, in fact the fan suddenly started to work so our RAC man had done a good job. Next stop Backwell but oh dear what’s this ROAD CLOSED. Just gone 8 o’clock and resurfacing the A38 is about to start. Did we see the Diversion sign hiding in the grass at night from small window of a Morgan ? No, we took the wrong road through a village called Chudleigh, full of road calming measures. No alternative but to retrace our steps and not long before we found ourselves in….. Newton Abbot.  There we spotted a MacDonalds and decided a food, drink and fuel stop was essential to give us a break! Good move as finally chugged into the home drive about 11.30 pm feeling quite delighted to be home again!



The Jennings Jaunt to Devon: 3rd-6th October

With the forecasted Indian Summer still prevailing, 20 Mendip Morganeers made their way down to the Sea Trout Inn at Staverton. This was to be the base for an exciting 4 days kindly and well organised by Angela and Mike. Participants were Richard & Lyne, Mike & Angela, Clive & Nat, Terry & Babs, Mike & Julia, David & Linda, Nick & Sue, Paul & Jane, Chris & Yvonne and of course ourselves.

Although a detailed itinerary had been prepared in advance, with at least 14 suggested places to visit, the approach was strictly on a PYO basis so that we didn’t end up with convoys on narrow Devon lanes and it also allowed everyone to make their own individual choices on what to do. This worked very well indeed and it was particularly good to meet up in the evenings to discuss the day’s exploits. It also obviated any need for MSA permits to cover touring assemblies.

The journey down saw some of us meeting up at Killerton for a browse and lunch; Some then went on to Buckfast Abbey for even more refreshment no doubt, in the lovely cafeteria there. We ourselves went to the House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey and were later joined by David & Linda. Here we were again mesmerised by the fascinating range of mechanical marble runs. Also out the back, interesting to watch the glass blowers at work, currently making festive glass Robins. Sadly, a small group attended Dudley’s funeral but we all seemed to arrive at virtually the same time in the large car park adjoining the Sea Trout.




We found the rooms very clean and comfortable and well furnished. The dinner menu offered a broad choice and the food was particularly good. Likewise breakfast was also excellent and as well as traditional fare, included the likes of smoked salmon & scrambled eggs and also eggs benedict. All in all, a super venue, well run with friendly staff and one to which we shall surely return. Rather nice for a change to be offered to scrutinise the detailed bar account prior to settling up.[ 01803-762274]

Following a hearty breakfast on day 2, we set off in a variety of directions. For ourselves, with a bucket-list box to tick, we parked in the little car park on The Levels at Dittisham, then took the ferry boat across to Agatha Christie’s Greenways, had a browse and then had a lovely sunny walk of about 4 miles down to Kingswear. From there, it was ferry across the Dart, a late lunch, followed by ferry back up to Greenways, where we summoned our boatman by ringing the quayside bell, and took the short hop across the river back to Dittisham. Incidentally, when casually asked by a passenger, how cold the water might be, the boatman related an experience earlier in the year. He was accustomed to tying up beside a tender and then jumping on to it and thence onto the quay. On this particular day, just as he was tying up, a very large boat went by and the substantial wash created caused the tender to drift sideways. He carried out his usual manoeuvre only to land in the drink! Goodbye mobile phone, and the day’s takings stuffed into his trousers now decidedly soggy!


Other popular visiting choices included Coleton Fishacre, the elegant weekend retreat of the D’Oyly Cartes; Dartmouth, Totnes and Salcombe with a few taking in the air along the cliff top walks. Particularly at Salcombe, several of us made it up the incredibly narrow, winding hill to enjoy the spectacular views from the N.T. property of Overbecks at Sharpitor. A large Edwardian house perched on the cliff top, built by Otto Overbeck in the 1920s with stunning views from the sub tropical gardens out over the Salcombe estuary. Though the house was left to the NT, the will specified that it had to have a connection with youth. Hence, it spent many years used as a youth hostel and indeed Margaret and Natalie had both visited it in years gone by and stayed over in that capacity. Inside, a ‘museum’ with a fascinating collection of objects of natural history and curiosity. There were two items that stood out. A Polyphon, (by definition an instrument that can play several notes at a time), but think on the principle of the wind-up music box. However, this is much larger and more akin to a large piece of furniture. There were a selection of metal discs, each about 2 feet across which had raised pegs to pluck the comb and produce the tune which resonated with unexpected clarity and loudness by virtue of the timber backing to the box. Volume control simply by opening the doors a bit more! (A bit like the principle of Morgan Air-con?) Due to age and fragility, it is only demonstrated twice a day but well worth hearing.

The second item of interest was the one that made Otto his fortune and indeed enabled him to buy this site on which to build his house. This was the amazing “Rejuvenator”, of which several were on display. Otto was a scientist and inventor and this device, manufactured in Grimsby, was sold like hot-cakes all over the world at the equivalent of £300+ a set. Simply a 12.5 volt battery powered set of steel massage combs and electrodes, which could ‘cure’ most ailments and make you feel…well, rejuvenated. Unlike ECT used in the treatment of mental health, which imparts a large electric shock to the body, this device only generated very small currents in the order of microamps and so was safe for Joe-public to use. Whatever the ailment, before placing the electrodes in pre-defined positions on the body, one had to use the combs first. I suspect that the resultant static electrical charge imparted to the scalp, encouraged the hair to stand out a bit and made one feel err…Rejuvenated? Of course you needed really clean, conductive hair which would be guaranteed if you used the special soap which was sold separately. There was also the high probability that you might accidentally let the electrodes clash together causing a short circuit; then you may need a new special battery; and so the profits rolled in! Incidentally, tests carried out in later years found no scientific proof of any of the claimed benefits. BUT, no doubt the customers were happy and Otto was laughing all the way to the bank!

Tuesday night brought the culinary highlight of the trip: Dinner at The Riverford Field Kitchen at Wash Farm near Buckfastleigh. WOW… and then some!

Angela had thoughtfully arranged taxis to ferry us to and fro, so we could imbibe and relax in safety.


Everyone sat at an enormously long communal table and the feast began with a generous wedge of sour dough bread accompanied by three huge platters of starters. The idea was to help oneself to as many and as much as the fancy took. Wonderful tastes and flavour combinations, stimulated by visually exciting and colourful arrays of fresh vegetables and crudités; even Mendip failed to polish the lot off!


Next came the main course, a slow braised beef that was sooo tender, again accompanied by a delightful and generous vegetable selection. Finally, we are called to the serving area where chef talked us through a mouth-watering range of quality desserts followed by an invitation to have two portions each! I have to say it again: it really was the “wow” factor and with serving staff so enthusiastic and passionate about the food, it really was an evening to remember. Thank you so much Angela for introducing us to this wonderful culinary experience; we would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been.

A really great way to finish off the touring season, fantastic weather, and of course the extremely good company that invariably emanates from the Mendip Morgan fraternity; memories are made of this! Thanks again Angela.





Many thanks to Terry W. for sending in the above collection, spotted near the Vetinary School at Langford. Hopefully this is a painless procedure and is done while you wait. At least it’s a straight road with no blind bends!

Incidentally, in a similar vein, I recently went into a shop advertising “Watch batteries changed” but soon left as it was a very boring, fiddly and repetitive process.



Regalia has had a strong year with the introduction of calendars and bags and several items of old stock being sold. We are constantly on the lookout for new things to tempt the moths from members wallets and are always interested to hear your suggestions or requirements.

It is our intention to produce another Mendip calendar for 2017, so if you have any photos to be considered, that are not already displayed on the website, please forward them to us without delay.

Get your regalia orders in early to beat the Christmas rush!

Clive & Nat



  • Sidescreen Tool: Wolf Performance have now added to their catalogue a new side screen tool, as an improvement to the tommy bar. I was enthusiastic at first  but can I justify the £24 price tag? NO!
  • Perishing Fuel Pipes: Much controversy recently on the effects of ethanol on fuel pipes. Although it appears that Morgan have not fitted these as O.E., there seems to be much disagreement on the quality of retro-fits and the effects of ethanol. Perhaps the best thing is to regularly inspect your pipes, have a good sniff for leakage & if in any doubt at all, replace them. Goodridge 200 series are recommended by Greger Dixon-Smith. Also advisable to avoid high ethanol fuels when on the continent. Go for E5 maximum .(Incidentally, though not fuel related, I also wonder about the braided flexible water pipes used around the household plumbing nowadays. Just how long is the internal rubber expected to last? Not as long as the copper pipes which constitute the majority of the system, I suspect.)


Committee Bits ‘n’ Bobs

A committee meeting was held at The New Inn Blagdon on 18th July.

  • New MSCC Website: Preliminary notice of new MSCC website being created with facilities to accommodate centre activities. Not much more detail at present.
  • Bristol Classic Car Show 2017: It is the turn of Mendip next year to host the Morgan stand. One member has indicated possible interest in co-ordinating. We will need up to 4 members’ cars to show. Final decision as to whether there is sufficient support by AGM.
  • Treasurer:  Balances are marginally above same time last year. New subs due by 1st October.
  • Regalia: Orders fairly slow during summer; some enquiries for mugs, so will investigate supply of china ones with appropriate Mendip/Morgan  embellishments. Calendar for next year to be put in hand; set-up costs of logos, etc. for new & future regalia suppliers now all recovered. Recently, a shoulder bag had been returned with an inferior seam and suppliers were happy to replace without question.
  • Events: General discussions of forthcoming events; sponsored BBQ etc.
  • Editorial: Some minor housekeeping planned for future newsletters: reduction of font by 1 point & narrower margins may save up to 9% on costs. Milk bottle tops now to go to Somerset & Dorset Air Ambulance; used stamps support a charity for visually impaired young people.
  • Report on Photo Competition 2016: there were 44 entries with 55% of membership casting votes; 1% less than last year.
  • All committee members are currently willing to continue serving for the coming year, if no other nominations are received.


Another committee meeting was held on 10th October


  • Sponsorship for Nick’s run to the BBQ raised £260; letter of thanks received from S&D Air Ambulance
  • Classic Car Show 2017: only 3 possibilities so far from Mendip Members
  • Treasurer: End of fiscal year balances up on last year; regalia sales and sale of existing stock (badges) main reason. No change to annual sub
  • Non- Payment of Subs: Despite the date passing for subs to be paid, 12 remain outstanding. Treasurer to chase.
  • Events: Future Noggin venues reduced to 6. Discussions over Christmas Party; Jane to try further negotiations to reduce cost.
  • Paul & Jane confirm that they will step down, as from AGM in 2017 but will help follow through Seasonal arrangements until end of year.

Disclaimer – Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information in this Newsletter is accurate, the Officers cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy in any article or advertisement.


Noggin At The Blue Bowl 21st September 2016

On Wednesday 21st September thirty one Morganeers arrived at the Blue Bowl for an evening Noggin. Among the Tin Tops there were seven Morgans.  As always the food was excellent and was enjoyed by all our members.


Nocturnal Morgans.

Nocturnal Morgans.


We warmly welcomed our new members Nick and Barbara with their newly acquired Morgan super sports, who have been members once before.

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