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Newsletter December 2021

Hello All

There was another good turnout for the usual Club Night at the start of December with everyone anticipating the Xmas Meal the following week, fortunately talk of new COVID restrictions didn’t start until the day after the meal, so we managed to fill the restaurant at the Cross and overflowed into the bar area. The meal at the Cross was as good as ever, in fact it was the third Xmas meal I had been to in four days and it was easily the best of the three. The only complaints were there was too much!! Paul Adams was able to receive his Certificate from the ‘Show Night’ as the Runner-up in the Best Early MG Category with his TC. The quiz caused some consternation, it was based on ‘Life in the UK – Official Practice Questions’ which is the test Foreign Nationals need to pass in order to gain long term UK residency, I think most of us would need to do some swotting up to achieve the required pass mark!!! Hopefully it was good fun. There had been 2 couples cancelling their bookings with Marg Walker needing to isolate before going into hospital for an operation just before Xmas (Graham had produced a cartoon card for her which was signed by everyone there and has been delivered to her, best wishes Marg). Unfortunately David & Margaret Curtis had to cancel on the morning as they didn’t want to give us all their heavy cold (it was not COVID) but both these couples donated their payment to the ‘Free Raffle’, so thanks to them for their generosity but I did add numbers for them into the raffle and Marg won a prize. In view of the growing Omicron cases we did decide not to sing our now traditional ’12 Days of Christmas’ but that didn’t put too much of a damper on the evening, which I’m sure was enjoyed by everyone and a good way to end the events for another difficult year.

There was of course another event before December started and that was the Skittles evening at the Social club in Snitterfield. The event was very popular being fully booked within a day but 3 couples on the reserve list were able to join us due to cancellations. The room in Snitterfield was a good size for the limited number we set for the event with plenty of space to spread out. We managed to have 2 rounds before the very good hot supper, with the MGB team the easy victors, despite a Midget owner doing the scoring, thanks Lech, and Caroline for correcting his adding up!!

The Green’s came away with a prize and not the wooden spoon, well done Mike, he was the highest scoring man. There was a first timer, that put Caroline P into the shade, so well done Bea for the Ladies highest score, with Bob keeping it in the ‘family’ by finally taking the honours, against strong opposition from Lex, in the game of Killer. There is always someone lagging behind but this time we had 2, so a play off to see who could ‘not’ knock a skittle down and Graham missed more than Mike J, so he took the Wooden Spoon home, no doubt this is what inspired him to draw all these cartoons.

Future Events:

Saturday 1st January 2022 – Chilly Willy Run: At the present time I’m still planning to run this event, unless there is a change to the COVID restrictions. The start venue of The Apple Barn Restaurant at The Valley, Evesham is very spacious and they will be reserving an area just for us, however if anyone is concerned about going inside they can meet us in the car park, we will be intending to leave around 11.30/11.45am. The garden centre shop and restaurant will be open from 10.30, so be there in sufficient time for a coffee and/or browse and be ready to leave at the appointed time. The route Lech and I have devised takes us through some good Worcestershire lanes, that are on gritted routes, although the long range forecast is looking dry and well above freezing. We will finish at the Golden Cross, where we have lunched booked, at the moment we have 33 people included for lunch which is about what the Cross had the room set out for when the previous restrictions were in place but again if anyone is concerned about going indoors then there is no problem chatting in the car park (I already have several people not coming in for Lunch). As this is New Year’s Day in the middle of winter your modern car is acceptable, although MGs are preferred (it depends if I can get the new carpets back in my B in time (see below), so I might be in the FIAT ‘MG’ Spider by Mazda again!!

Tuesday 4th January 2022 – AGM: I hope any new restrictions will not prevent us from having our AGM at this Club Night, they stopped us last year and after the difficult year we have just had we need to make some decisions about the future of the Club, so if anyone fancies having a go at running the Club or even helping, this is the time to come forward, however it would help if you were to let me know before the day. If you can, please make the effort to attend and support our future.

Sunday 24th April – Drive- it-Day Run: David Pitt will be our organiser for this event, more details next year.

Friday 6th to Monday 9th May 2022 – Weekend Away: This event is now all booked and deposits paid for our trip to the Warner’s Hotel in Cricket St Thomas in Somerset. It is still possible for you to join us if you have not already booked, however it will be at the standard prices and subject to availability, please contact Alan to check the latest situation (alan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk), as it stands we have 41 of us ‘on the list’.

Other Events:

Saturday 1st January – Chilly Willy Run: This year the MGCC Midland Centre are running their own CW Run, which is a repeat of the Road Run used at the Triumph & MG Weekend last August. This will be 65 miles and start & finish at the Bluebells Inn, Barnards Green, Malvern where lunch will be available when pre-booked. Cost is £4 for MGCC members and £5 for other MGs. There is a limited entry, so check the Midland Centre website for further details.

Other Matters:

I have had a question from Peter Cooper as follows: “I wondered if you know who our MGF/TF members use for maintenance of their cars around here. I’m trying to find someone who has some knowledge of the VVC engine and maybe able to analyse poor engine performance.”

I’m not well up on these modern MGs but we have lots of you who run these cars is anyone able to offer some advice to Peter?

What Have You Done in your MG:

Graham has put pen to paper again with the trials and tribulations with ‘Bumble’:

Well, the truth of the matter is . . . not a damned thing. Bumble went into Tanworth Cottage Hospital with a request that, amongst other things, they assess the “clonk” on the back end. Having relocated all heavy objects in the boot in case that was the cause, I had to submit to the realisation All Was Not Well. The surgeons in Tanworth respectfully pointed out that the cause was a broken rear spring and that the car should not really be driven. So, of course, Fiona and I pushed it all the way home. Yeah, right.

All the usual sources of spares revealed the same situation . . . there aren’t any. Global shortage of replacement (or even salvaged ones). Many thanks to kind Arden MG friends who put me on to Jones Springs Ltd, who are making a complete new set. Someone pointed out this could well cost three or four times what I would pay for some horrid imitation springs from the Orient, but another contact pointed out that the springs from Jones will definitely last three or four times longer than the Chinese ones, which are made from chewed paper and old bandages.

At one time we felt the new springs weren’t going to be ready till . . . the Spring – but the news has come through that they will be ready second week in December.

It merely awaits then for the arrival of these at the aforementioned Tanworth Hospital. Fiona and I can then skulk across under cover of darkness and the process of marrying the lovely new springs with the required nuts and bolts from the MGOC can commence. We can then be On The Road again!

Clonkless, hopefully.”

Thanks Graham, fingers crossed for a nice smooth ride in 2022!

I have started a new project with my ‘B’. Back last Spring when I asked Caroline to sit in the car to help bleed the brakes she looked around and commented “the interior looks terrible compared to the under bonnet, you need to do something about it!” Not wanting to upset the Lady of the house I started to research carpet sets and colours. It took a long time to decide then to get some colour samples, when we eventually decided on the colour and ordered the set we find out materials are in short supply and the usual 6 week lead time has become 12 weeks!! They finally arrived a few weeks ago, so I have stripped out the old stuff and a good thing I did, look what I found underneath the carpet on the drivers inner wheel arch!! I will need to have some more welding practice before having a go at welding a repair patch in. Everything else looks OK though.

Before that the car had a last run out of the year to the Classic Car Meet at the Black Boy, there was a surprising number turn up as it was perishing cold but good to see the selection of cars. They are having another meet there on Boxing Day, worth a drive if you are free.

Trevor has got to the end of his project to convert an MGB to Ford Duratec power, so this is the final instalment:

Restoration and Installation of a Ford 2 litre Duratec into Our MGB

Final Part

It seems like a lifetime ago that I first wrote about our MGB-Duratec project for the Club Newsletter, (2019) and I bet it seems even longer for you long suffering readers.

To relieve any further suffering, and because my reports are so far behind the fact that the car is now fully sorted and, on the road, attending club events, I will try to stick to the main events that took this project out of “Despair” (Part 6) into “Brilliant sunshine” and a feature in Practical Classics magazine. (more on that later).

My second rolling road visit on 24th November 2020, had ended like the first – expensive and no progress. For my sanity, credibility, bank balance and safety (have you seen Angie when she is angry) some drastic steps had to be taken.

Step One – Buy a running second hand engine and swap with the unresponsive engine that was installed. This would prove all of the other bespoke elements, ECU, fuelling/timing map, wiring loom, fuelling system and engine witchcraft. I Bought a Ford Fiesta ST150 engine. This is the same as the Mazda MX5 MK3 engine that was currently installed. It does not have variable inlet valve timing, which is why it is 150bhp compared to the Mazda at 173bhp.

Step Two – Swap engines, trying not to scratch a fully restored car. (failed on that one) Connect all the bits to make it run, connect battery, and bring to life. There was life “but not like we know it Jim” (Star trek) Engine was sort of running OK, but I had my doubts.

Step Three – Beg and plead with the rolling road man to let me book it in again. He had only just been released from the funny farm, following my last two visits, so that was not an easy ask.

Step Four – Pacify Angie with presents, so that I can achieve Step1.

Step Five – Take car to rolling road on 3rd March 2020, for what I was hoping, would be for the last time.

As soon as Troy started the engine, he said that’s not running on all four. After I had recovered from passing out, I enquired what was to be done. Some changes to the map and other “fiddling” about, had the engine sounding the best I had ever heard it. But no, Troy was not happy, he felt there was a problem with no 1 and 3 cylinders, where have we heard that before. (the old engine) After some diagnostic work, it was felt that the throttle bodies on 1 and 3 were leaking air, this was done by spraying break cleaner aerosol at the suspect area and listen to the engine note change. (a good tip for any engine). Once again Troy would not stress the slightly sick engine by completing a full map procedure at max revs/load. But he did agree to map it up to 3000rpm so that I could at least drive on and off the trailer. This was great progress, because we had proved that all of the bespoke components were functioning OK, and I could report to Angie that there was a ray of sunshine, and that I could take her for a ride, in what was becoming a very expensive MGB. But I now had doubt about my newly built, removed engine, did it have a fault or not?

Step Six – Investigate air leakage at throttle bodies and firm up on some other points that Troy had flagged up. Removed the complete induction system from the engine i.e., throttle bodies, inlet manifold and fuel rail. To ensure the air filter would fit under the bonnet, I changed the angle between the inlet manifold and throttle bodies, by manufacturing some special wedges. The wedges were sealed with O rings, to my horror I found that on cylinders 1 and 3, they were not seated correctly. This was clearly the source of the air leak.

Could it be possible that four 20pence ‘O’ rings could cause blood sweat and tears, an engine change and many pounds spent at the rolling road. I dismissed that from my mind because I could never prove it one way or another. I threw the wedges as far away as I could and reassembled the complete induction system very carefully, saying a prayer at every stage. I attended to the other items mentioned, and it was time to try my luck. For the first time Brilliant sunshine filled the garage, the engine ran very well. Better still, the temporary map allowed me to drive it on the road and test many other aspects of this project. In an instant what seemed like years of purgatory was replaced by a very rewarding driving experience.

Step Severn – Book the rolling road for 22nd June 2021 for the fourth, and hopefully last time. The car was running so well and because I had also sorted a few niggles, I had the confidence to drive the car the 35 miles to the rolling road. With this car past record, Troy’s first words were “you are bloody brave driving that here”, but I had renewed optimism and confidence that this would be the day that I drive this car home with the blistering performance, I had always envisaged when starting this project. From first start up on the rollers to 3 hours later the engine ran perfect and was now fully mapped and ready for my epic drive home. The drive home did not disappoint, and certainly surprised a BMW driver. How quickly we forget, all of the previous disappointments, mental breakdowns, sleeping in the spare bedroom, doubts, trials/tribulations and squillions of pounds spent were forgotten in that 35-mile drive home.

Step Eight– Enjoy all of the hard time and time spent to the maximum.

So, there we have it THE END. Just to recap our original specification was to create a MGB with 210bhp 175-foot lbs of torque and an optimistic 0 to 60 time of 6 seconds with good handling. What we achieved was 172bhp, 146.5-foot lbs of torque, with a 0 to 60 of 7.1 seconds, and very good handling.

But hold on, what of the original Mazda engine I hear you cry, well it is going back to the engine builder in the New Year, to be put on his engine dyno, to ascertain if there ever was a problem with this engine. It will then have to find its way into another project, but this time with 250bhp?

Practical Classics Magazine.

I contacted the above magazine to see if there would be any interest in my very practical MGB classic, classic looks with modern performance. They came back to me and were very interested in doing a feature.

They came out and spent half a day with me filming and asking questions. They were a bit surprised by how well it performed and handled. They are doing a five-page feature, hopefully in the February 2022 edition. That will be the icing on the cake.

Stay Safe and a Happy Christmas

Trevor and Angie.

Wow, I glad it all came to a successful conclusion in the end and hope all the efforts are worth it, although it sounds like they are!

Hot off the press, Norman has sent me his latest exploit, maybe next year he needs a convoy of Reindeers in front of him, what do you think?

Santa Visits – Tanworth-in-Arden and surrounding districts.

Last year (2020) when we were all in lockdown it became almost impossible for young children to visit Santa. So, Santa felt he should go to them. Initially Santa had planned to visit his two grandchildren and a couple of immediate neighbours – but the word got out and it soon escalated ending in a 20 or so mile round trip around the neighbourhood visiting 18 or so families. 37 young children and their families were able to see Santa in the ‘Covid-19’ Christmas of 2020. This year Santa thought that he would be able to take a break ho-ho-ho! but messages came in from many families saying their children were so excited at seeing “the real father Christmas” last year that they were wondering whether he would be able to come again this year.

Enough said, 41 young children and their families were greeted with a Christmas message, a big Ho Ho Ho!, a chocolate Santa or reindeer and a look into Santa’s Naughty & Nice list book, and guess what all the children visited were on the NICE list – whew! A lovely evening, even though the weather wasn’t great – quite foggy in places making driving the old ‘B’ a little precarious, especially down some of the narrow lanes around here. All in all a very satisfying and enjoyable night.

Keep Happy – Keep Healthy – Keep MGing and have a great Christmas and New Year from Santa and Mrs Claus.

Well done Norman a great way to use an MGB and making so many children happy.

Last but not least Dusty has just sent me an update on the progress with his US import MG TD Midget:

Well as I have said too many times, This car is fighting us all the way!

Although there are several small jobs to do now, we thought it was really time to see if the engine would start.

Switch on the ignition -OK. Pull the starter and nothing but a spark -but not from the plugs. All systems are dead, wait a few moments, power’s back and try again – same result. Have we a short in the new loom wiring? First check earths, all seems OK. check various ignition circuits, again all seems OK. Wait till next weekend when we have the same thing happening. A call to Arden MG WhatsApp Group and various suggestions but the best advice was from Paul Adams who suggested; ‘The Vintage Wireman’ at Chipping Norton, just down the road. Friday arrives and Rory calls right on cue, tests a few circuits and suspects a bad earth from the battery. “But we’ve checked that” and we had but a little work with the Dremel and……would you believe that just the thickness of paint between the contact and the bodywork could make the difference! The starter motor turned.

The next day the first job was to check the fuel and spark and to adjust the ignition timing to somewhere around 15degrees before TDC. A little help from ‘Easystart’ and she fired, ran and sounded quite sweet. Success!

Unfortunately we had failed to use a new copper washer on the oil feed to the tappets and found half a sump of oil on the garage floor before we hastily turned it off. But she is now a runner after almost exactly one year after her landing at Felixstowe. Now we can replace the bonnet – it’s been on the spare bed for months.

There are a few more minor things to do, tune the carbs properly and set the timing correctly then paint the hood frame, secure the floors, adjust the brake lights and fit a carpet. The seats are a rather unpleasant shade of dark brown, do we go for new leather seat covers in the correct buff colour?

Well done Dusty at least you are now making progress and to be nearly done in 12 moths is credit to you. About the seat covers, after all the effort you have put into the car you must go for the correct colour and splash out on new seat covers. What does everyone else think?

Before we get to Graham’s festive cartoon here is a picture quiz for you: I was looking at this photo on a board outside the Museum yesterday and wondered what these MGs are? A prize for who can tell me what model(s) of MGs these are, the photo legend states it is the MG Factory, Abingdon. There will be a draw from the hat if there is more than correct answer.

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
MarchVisit to Vital SparkPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
6/05/22 to 9/05/22Weekend Away to Warner’s Cricket St Thomas, Somersetalan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk
25th & 26th JuneBloxham Steam RallyTrevor
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerAunt SallyTrevor
SummerHappy Hereford’s RunTrevor
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter November 2021

Hello All

There was the usual good crowd at the Golden Cross and David tells me there were 38 signed in, so we are recovering from the ravages of the last year and a half, I hope you are all enjoying the chance to meet up again. I’m sorry Graham but there were no events to report on, to put in the Enjoying MG Regional Report, although the events for the future keep growing.

Future Events:

Friday 19th November – Skittles Night: Snitterfield Sports Club, Wolverton Road. A bit late to join this now as we were fully booked within 24 hours. I have had some cancellations, so a few people from the reserve list have been able to join us. Open from 7pm to start at 7.30pm, I’m looking forward to an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday 7th December – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Tuesday 14th December – Xmas Meal: Golden Cross. From 7pm to sit down at 7.30pm. The numbers are up to 56 now but there will still be space if anyone else wants to join in.

Saturday 1st January 2022 – Chilly Willy Run: I’m still awaiting confirmation of our start point but the finish will at the Golden Cross, where lunch will be available at the cost of £10 for a single course or £12 for 2 courses. I will be sending a menu out for a pre-order but I’m happy to accept bookings from now. The run will be no more than 30 miles and will include gritted roads. Your MG is preferred but Moderns are welcome for this run.

Tuesday 4th January 2022 – AGM: We missed this last year due to the ‘LockDown’ and this meeting will be important to decide the future of the Club for the next year, would you like me to carry on as Chairman or is there someone who would like to have a go at running the Club, this is the time to decide, so far no one has come forward, there is still time. I hope to see a lot of you at this important Club Night.

Sunday 24th April – Drive- it-Day Run: David Pitt will be our organiser for this event, more details next year.

Friday 6th to Monday 9th May 2022 – Weekend Away: I sent an email out with the information about this event but to summarise, we will be going to the Warner’s Hotel in Cricket St Thomas in Somerset, the cost for dinner, bed and breakfast starts from £265 per person for the 3 nights and also includes the evening entertainment. Alan needs to make a booking very soon, so please register your interest with him (alan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk) as soon as you can also please note there is only limited availability, so first come first served.

Other Events:

Sunday 5th December – Classic Car Meeting: Kineton Sports and Social Club from 10am. Just turn up, there should be a wide variety of classic cars to view.

Sunday 12th December – Holly Run: Organised by the Morgan Three Wheeler Cub and involves a run and quiz about 20 miles finishing at a pub.

Saturday 1st January – Chilly Willy Run: This year the MGCC Midland Centre are running their own CW Run, which is a repeat of the Road Run used at the Triumph & MG Weekend last August. This will be 65 miles and start & finish at the Bluebells Inn, Barnards Green, Malvern where lunch will be available when pre-booked. Cost is £4 for MGCC members and £5 for other MGs.

Other Matters:

Club Wall Calendar: Norman has worked up the design of the 2022 calendar, which should be ready for collection at the Xmas Meal. It is in the same format as previous years although there are some months where events did not happen but no problem we have a whole selection of Cartoons from Graham which will make you smile during those months. They are A4 size with a Month to View. The cost will be the same as last year at £5.00 each but we need a few more orders to secure this price, so if you have not let me know you want one yet, please do so soon, as they will be going to the printers early next week.

To whet your appetite, here is a sample page.

What Have You Done in your MG:

There are not many events to get the MGB out for this time of year but I could have gone to The Black Boy in Knowle or Kineton on a dry Sunday early in November. I chose The Black Boy, not as many cars but a good selection none the less and a pleasant drive across country. What have you been doing?

Trevor is nearing the end of his mamouth project to install a Ford (Mazda) Duratec engine into an MGB Roadster, so could this be the penultimate update!

Restoration and Installation of a Ford 2 litre Duratec into Our MGB – Part 6 Stormy Days, Chilly Cold Fronts, Despair, and then Brilliant sunshine Continued.

Chilly Cold Fronts

My first session at the rolling road had ended badly, engine running poorly and an oil filter adaptor component failure, which was my fault. Not to mention the high cost of getting no further forward. I broke out into a cold sweat at the thought of how much I had just spent and how would I tell Angie.

This project was already overspent, and I had been walking on eggshells on many occasions to pacify my running out of patience spouse. Little did I know that this day was going to get even more stressful.

Once home, I decided to drive the car into the garage, big mistake. What looked like a medium oil leak on the rolling road turned into a big oil slick on the road and for the full length of my drive, reminiscent of the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967. This brought on the first “Chilly Cold Front” rated at minus 10 degrees Celsius.

It took a bag of cement and 2 hours of scrubbing/sweeping to make oil slick half decent. It had been a long day and all I had to do was return the trailer and park the motorhome.

We keep Angies pride and joy, MG TD in a heated inflated bubble on our drive next to where I park the motorhome. In my disappointed, distressed state, I managed to catch the bubble and tore a hole in it, well more of a gash 6 inches long. Should I tell Angie or just emigrate! I thought ‘Honesty is the best policy’ and this brought on the second “Chilly Cold Front” minus 20. Then the realisation that I may have damaged the TD, so I made the gash even bigger to have a look, we are now at minus 40. To my horror I had damaged the rear wing, it’s only a scratch I said, but I could not see the full extent of what I had done. As I left Angie stitching the inner and outer layers of the bubble so that we could inflate it again, the temperature was at minus 100. No tea and the spare bedroom seemed to be beckoning. It was a few weeks later when we took the TD out for a run that the full extent of the damage was seen. The rear wing was deformed and a bill of £250 had to be paid to fix it. I was well and truly in the doghouse and a “Chilly Cold Front” of minus 250 hit me. I can assure you there was no Global Warming in Tysoe. In Angie’s defence, it was all deserved.

Despair

So, I am back to square one, except that I have lost some fingers and toes due to frost bite.

I sorted the oil leak and carried out every mechanical test I could think of to show a fault with cylinders 1 and 3. I could find no mechanical reason why there should be a fault with these cylinders. The Mazda Duratec engine has variable valve timing on the inlet cam, changing it by as much as 40 degrees. I decided I needed to use the free software to see what the MBE ECU was doing. The software is free but the special cable/dongle to connect to a laptop requires a mortgage to purchase. Whilst waiting for the cable to arrive, I considered all of the variables that could be to blame for my unresponsive engine. Fault diagnosis is usually a case of checking/eliminating the obvious and then changing components, one at a time hoping/praying that you will get lucky. Unfortunately, my suspect components are very costly to change. In my simple mind it came down to – the special wiring loom, ECU, the ECU map, coil pack, injectors, timing, voltage drops, (we did later discover that if the voltage drops below 11.5 volts, the ECU won’t start the engine, the computer says nooo!!) fuel pressure, faulty sensor and at one point, I even suspected witchcraft.

The cable arrived and we connected my laptop to the car, well the screen lit up like the Starship Enterprise, and I hadn’t a clue what any of it meant. Luckily my son was present and took control, just as well because I would probably have blown up half of Tysoe. Long story short, by adjusting the cold start and playing with the timing and checking what seemed like endless screens of numbers, it was running a bit better. So, time to book the rolling road again. Rolling road booked for 24th November 2020, two months from my last visit.

I took the car on a trailer and was very excited that this would be the day I would drive my creation. Hours passed and Troy was still unhappy with the way the engine was running, he was convinced the problem was with the engine itself. Once again, my session had come to an end and still the food challenged lady was not singing. I decided to leave the car there for them to try a different ECU, map, wiring loom and anything else, including an exorcism and a blessing, I was that desperate.

Once again, a cold sweat, how would I tell Angie that more money being spent had resulted in no progress, and that I was leaving the car there at even more expense. When I telephoned Angie, through the shouting, I could just make out, “if the cars not coming home, you don’t need to bother either”, or something like that.

Every time the phone rang, I thought it was Troy phoning me to say that my MG B-Tec was all fixed and ready to pick up. After 4 days my nerves were in tatters, and Angie was fed up with me running to the telephone like Linford Christie, I phoned Troy. The news was not good, the engine refused all of their efforts to run as intended, They begged me to come and pick it up, because they were becoming as suicidal as I was. What was to be done? My first thought was to turn to drink, but this project had put me on two bottles of whisky a day already. How was I ever going to climb out of this pit of despair, which I must do, to save my sanity, marriage, bank balance, the universe.

I am afraid that will have to wait until next time because Angie has booked me into rehab where I am not allowed laptops or sharp objects.

Stay Safe

Trevor and Angie

Over to Graham for our monthly smile, this one is titled “Classic Electric”

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
6/05/22 to 9/05/22Weekend Away to Warner’s Cricket St Thomas, Somersetalan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter October 2021

Hello All

Firstly I must apologise for an error in the last Newsletter!!! I wrongly accused John Draper of not remembering the registration number of his MGB (to win the ‘Pot Luck’ Prize at the Show Night) but John does not own a ‘B’ his is an ‘A’, it was of course Steve Harrodine!!

Reports:

It was good to see the Restaurant filling up for the Club Night, not yet back to the pre-LockDown highs but signs of ‘Normal’ life resuming and I was able to present Colin Howes with his Certificate from the Show Night (Best MGB/C or Midget). There are still a few Certificates to hand out when the recipients attend an event.

Enjoying the sunshine at the Dorridge Day

There were 2 events to report both of which were new for our Club, starting with the Dorridge Day. This has been going on for years but the inclusion of the car show is relatively recent, the special feature was the convoy run from the Black Boy Pub through Knowle into Dorridge along Station Road that was lined with families and people waving and cheering, all the Classic Cars beeping their horns. Great fun. The show ground itself had a good number and selection of cars but best of all the sun came out and we had a very sociable afternoon. The show was very much family based with lots of rides and stalls selling all sorts from food to books, so something for everyone. A good one for the Calendar next year?

Another sunny day at CARS at the SPA in Leamington Spa

The following weekend we attended the CARS at the SPA show on the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington. The plan to meet and convoy in together didn’t work quite as planned, well I didn’t know there was going to be a ‘Fuel Crisis’ with panic buying and my ‘B’ running on vapour, normally the trip into Morrisons Garage would have taken seconds, not more than half an hour!! We finally got the convoy moving and found our space on the Pump Room Gardens even if one of the owners (not Arden!) already there wanted us to ignore the Marshall’s instructions. This gave us a good area to set up ‘Camp’ and again it proved to be another very sociable and sunny day out. Again should we add to next year’s Calendar?

Future Events:

Tuesday 2nd November – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Friday 19th November – Skittles Night: Snitterfield Sports Club, Wolverton Road. This is now fully booked with a reserve list. Open from 7pm to start at 7.30pm.

Tuesday 7th December – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

The Restaurant at the Golden Cross ready for our Xmas Meal 2019

Tuesday 14th December – Xmas Meal: Golden Cross. From 7pm to sit down at 7.30pm. I have sent the booking form out with the details, 52 people booked so far but space is still available.

Saturday 1st January 2022 – Chilly Willy Run: Start and finish to be advised but will be 11am and include a lunch venue and a run on gritted roads.

Tuesday 4th January 2022 – AGM: We missed this last year due to the ‘LockDown’ and this meeting will be important to decide the future of the Club for the next year, would you like me to carry on as Chairman or is there someone who would like to have a go at running the Club, this is the time to decide. I hope to see a lot of you at this Club Night.

Other Events:

Sunday 12th December – Holly Run: Organised by the Morgan Three Wheeler Cub and involves a run and quiz about 20 miles finishing at a pub.

Saturday 1st January – Chilly Willy Run: This year the MGCC Midland Centre are running their own CW Run, which is a repeat of the Road Run used at the Triumph & MG Weekend last August. This will be 65 miles and start & finish at the Bluebells Inn, Barnards Green, Malvern where lunch will be available when pre-booked. Cost is £4 for MGCC members and £5 for other MGs.

Other Matters:

A sample page from the 2021 Calendar

Club Wall Calendar: Norman is busy working on the design of the Calendar for next year which will be on similar lines to this year’s, that is using photos from the events we have run through this year. There will be a page a month in A4 size with space to write events in the date boxes.

If you are interested in having one of these calendars for next year please let me know, so we can produce the correct number. We expect the cost to be the same as this year at £5 each.

What Have You Done in your MG:

My MGB enjoying the MGCC Social at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon

Well I have managed a couple of runs to events in the MGB both at the British Motor Museum. The MGCC Social was well attended with parking of MGs overflowing onto the Northern Arena and all ages from ‘T Types’ up to ‘China’ cars. The weather was much kinder than the forecast predicted. The following week was the last ‘Gaydon Gathering’ of the year, which was well attended despite the rain coming down at times. The next 2nd Tuesday event at the BMM is a quiz night which will be held indoors, check their website if you are interested.

Dodging the rain at the Gaydon Gathering, BMM

Again Graham gets the last word with another amusing cartoon, inspired by a conversation with Lex & Dawn, although I’m not sure who is being portrayed but I definitely don’t approve of cyclists being run off the road by MG drivers!!! 🙂

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter September 2021

Hello All

I’m sure some of you will have been wondering about the future for the Club and I can say that the recent situation has been resolved, however this has meant that one of our group has unfortunately felt it was necessary to remove himself from our database. This now means that we can revert to my original idea of getting more people involved with the organising of Club events, so I am now putting together a plan which will allow me to continue as the Club Chairman, this however is subject to agreement at the AGM in January. If anyone is interested in getting more involved with the running of the Club or would indeed like to become the Chairman, this is now the time to come forward and I will be more than happy to stand aside but equally if we can spread the workload around I would be prepared to continue as the Chairman, if that is agreed.

Reports:

I have received reports that the Club Night went well with 39 people in attendance and that the weather was very good allowing people to stay outside and mingle amongst the cars, just as well as I also understand it was ‘quite’ warm in the room!!

David was kind enough to take the meeting in my absence (I’ve not had many holidays this year!!) and was able to report on Alan’s Mystery Run, which was not a mystery by the time you started and a good day was had by one and all, this is the report from Alan & Liz:

“The Mystery run organised by Alan and Liz was held on Sunday 5th September. The only Mystery was that Alan and Liz had a problem where to end up as so many venues were not prepared to either cater for us all or were working to COVID rules! . In the end they managed to book Hillers new Garden Room at the cafe at Dunnington Heath Farm which worked out very well.
The run started at the Golden Cross and Matt opened up for coffee and bacon rolls for those wishing to indulge themselves.
The run went West and then south over the Avon at Fladbury before turning East through Pershore before going North exploring many unexplored lanes and villages. In all the run covered 38.5 miles When we reached Hillers the cars lined up in the overflow car park, ideal for the occasion.
Hillers were prepared to offer meals from the full menu and service was excellent.
Alan and Liz organised a silly option quiz which was won with 8 points by Jill and John Philps. Alan Cleobury also had 8 points but was awarded a runners up prize as his was a cheeky team sheet!
Also awarded was a prize to Marg and Mick for their efforts in taking notice of the diversion signs that taxed Marg’s brain to the limit in recalculating the miles!!
A good day was had by all.“

Thanks Alan & Liz for all the effort taken to arrange such a grand day out but hopefully this also illustrates that organising an event can be fun and there is plenty of help about to allow anyone to have a go.

At the run Norman took his usual selection of excellent photos which can be viewed at:

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGAlanRun/

Thanks Norman.

There were 2 other events since the last Newsletter, starting with the Show Night which was well attended considering the weather forecast for the evening and that due to the ongoing CoronaVirus situation we did not have the restaurant available to us. Despite the worsening conditions the girls (thanks Pam & Caroline) did a sterling job in collecting the voting slips and collating the results, which were:

Best Early MG – 2nd Runner Up: Graham Smith MGA Roadster, Runner Up: Paul Adams TC Midget and Winner: Mike Brown YT.

Best Modern MG – 2nd Runner Up: Steve Entwistle MGF, Runner Up: Peter Cooper MG Maestro Turbo and Winner: John Hale MG RV8.

Best MGB/C or Midget: 2nd Runner Up: Lex Browning MGC Roadster, Runner Up: Lech MG Midget and Winner: Colin Howes University Motors MGC GT.

Favourite Steering Wheel: Fred Bury MG Magnette.

Pot Luck: John Draper MGB Roadster (when he eventually remembered his registration number!!).

Thanks to everyone for coming and to Mike & Helen for the raffle.

Later than originally planned we had the Chairman’s Picnic and although it didn’t look to be promising weather, before we arrived at Mike & Jane’s wonderful ‘New’ house the sun had appeared and we had a great afternoon enjoying the sunshine in their garden. There were lots of games to try but there was also some competition in the form of Boules, this took a bit longer than I expected, so the last rounds were curtailed but we managed to find a winning couple from the final rounds, well done Roger & Caroline.

Unbeknown to me, ‘MG Friends’ had arranged a presentation to me in recognition of my 10 (plus) years as the Chairman of the Arden MG Club, this included a serenade by Graham on the balcony (most embarrassing, although very amusing) and a presentation of a photo collage. This was fantastic to receive, however the life-like resemblance of the caricature of me is scarily close to reality!! Of course they would not leave out the lady who puts up with all the time I spend on ‘Arden MG Club business’, so Caroline was presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers. Very grateful thanks to my MG Friends from both of us.

Future Events:

Tuesday 5th October – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross. As the nights are now drawing in and the evenings are getting colder the meetings will now be indoors and we can revert to our normal start time of 7.30pm. I did suggest I was going to arrange a guest speaker and this has moved on to an external event but is not yet finalised, so more details soon.

Tuesday 2nd November – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Friday TBA November – Skittles Night: At the Club Night David asked about the interest in having a skittles evening this year and it looked like there was sufficient interest, so I’m in the process of setting this up.

Tuesday 7th December – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Tuesday 14th December – Xmas Meal

Other Events:

Saturday 9th October – MGCC Social at British Motor Museum, Gaydon.

October 14th, 15th 16th – When We Are Married (J B Priestley): This is not a motoring event, however Graham & Fiona are our amateur Thespians and are very involved with the production of this play and we should support local ventures, so I make no apology for promoting it for them. It is at the Tiddington Community Centre at 7:30 plus a Matinée on the 16th at 2:30. Tickets £10:00 available from Fiona on 01789 720450 or info@uftraining.co.uk

What Have You Done in your MG:

Dusty has sent me an update on the progress with his MG TD Restoration;

Well the TD is still fighting us but there is some progress – two steps forward one step back! But at least the car is at last recognisable as an MGTD.

The wiring loom is fitted and is being connected to the relevant components including the new walnut veneer dashboard. This is where we find out that the horn is broken and connectors on the back of the ignition switch don’t quite match the book. The sidelights have now twin LEDs to include indicators while stand alone bullet shape rears fitted to the bumper brackets avoid drilling the bodywork.

The wheels are now back from the powder coating people in Banbury. Much of the work now to be done is fettling and fitting the interior trim, although the vinyl is quite usable the hard panels that it was covering was some sort of thin wood grained chipboard that had disintegrated. Why is it that when things are replaced with identical shapes they don’t fit? and talking of not fitting you’d think that the doors are off a totally different car. Lots of shimming to try to get them to line up but I fear they’ll never be perfect. Next will be new seat coverings which are a rather unpleasant dark brown the book says beige! And then re-timing the ignition and hopefully starting the engine but that could be quite some weeks away.

Thanks Dusty, I’m sure all the hard work will be worth it when you get to the end and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished car.

Graham has been busy as usual with his Midget and sent this warning story:

After a patch of decent weather, uncertainty returned, so the roof went up on the Midget. Now, they’re tricky enough to get into at the best of times, being 60% planning and 40% gravity, but having the roof up makes it even more of a challenge because the gravity aspect is removed from the equation.

Went somewhere recently and was aware after a while of the smell of “something hot”. Nothing actually burst into flame. Got back into the car later and the same again – “something hot”.

Back to base and, on getting out of the car, clouted the cigarette lighter knob. They never were a good fit even when they were new (we made some of them), so it was a case of screwing it back on. Firmly. It was at about the “Firmly” point that two things happened simultaneously. ONE – the realisation that the cigarette lighter actually WORKED and the “something hot” smell must have been it working after I had clouted it . . . . and TWO – the entirely new “something hot” smell was burning flesh where I was holding the base to tighten the knob up.

You have been warned, thanks for the advice Graham.

To close, Graham gets the last word again with another amusing cartoon (keep them coming Graham, thanks you). I think this was inspired by a conversation at the Cross!!

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter August 2021

Hello All

Reports:

As you will all know, I had to postpone the Show Night at short notice (more below) due to the shortage of staff at the Golden Cross (several in isolation), however fortunately everyone took notice of the email I sent out (I went to the Cross for 7pm and no one else turned up, I did wonder about awarding myself all the prizes but maybe not!!).

Trevor is having much better success with his events both were very successful, the first was the Aunt Sally Lunch at the Butchers Arms in Balscote. This was a lovely pub in a small village and the garden overlooks the village church, very picturesque and we had the garden to ourselves. After the ‘Basket Meal’ lunch (although served on a plate, of course due to CoronaVirus) it was down to business starting with an explanation of the game which is unique to North Oxfordshire (but there are 8 Leagues with 10 teams per league), the rules and some tips on how to play by the Pub Team Captain. A quick practice run showed just how difficult it was going to be. Trevor split the 28 of us into 4 teams for the competition to begin and it was a close finish for each round. I don’t think any of us had tried to play the game before (the score board told the whole story!!) but everyone entered into the spirit of the day, even if very few of us managed to score a point. Mike was the star of the show as the only person to score more than 1 point and received the prize, well done Mike.

A great day out, so lets have some more like this please Trevor.

Two weeks later Trevor came up trumps again with the somewhat delayed Mad March Run (from 2020) that finished at the Happy Herefords barn in Tysoe. A wonderful place and a brilliant find by Trevor & Angela, even if it did have straw on the floor but the burgers were very good, even better we could bring our own beer & wine or take out from the pub down the road. A great route taking in some little travelled roads on the 38 mile run from the Golden Cross, a few cars had a bit of trouble with the instructions in Paxford but everyone arrived without any delays. Another great day out, well done to Trevor & Angela, they even came up with some new competitions, guess the weight of the cake (to win the cake), Julia must be the best baker and won the prize. The next game was ‘Spot the Difference’, this was between 2 MGBs from the same era (so should be the same). I only managed to find 53 things that could be seen to be different but that was enough to win the bottle of wine and pack of Speckled Hen!! Well done again Trevor & Angela.

Future Events:

Tuesday 17th August – Show Night: This is the rescheduled, rescheduled evening and will be the same idea as previous years, give your MG a good clean & polish and we will display them all in the Orchard Car Park at the Golden Cross. Everyone has a voting slip and there are prizes to be won. The restrictions have been lifted, so we should be able to fill the Orchard, so dust off the cobwebs and bring your MG for some light hearted fun in the sun. As in previous years the main categories will be: Best Early MG, Best Modern MG and Best MGB/C/Midget, with a surprise category as well as the ‘Pot Luck’ prize, so everyone has a chance to win. For the first time we are going to try and line the cars up in category order, so please follow the instructions of the Marshals. Start from 7pm (although I will be there from 6.30pm to make the most of the daylight), with prize giving around 8.30pm.

Sunday 22nd August – Chairman’s Picnic and Games: This is the rescheduled date for the Chairman’s Picnic and as a new addition to the day will include some outdoor games and there might be a competition. Mike and Jane have kindly invited us to have our Picnic in the garden of their ‘New’ house, which looks fantastic and they have a large garden so we can spread out. Mike has agreement with his neighbour for us to park our MGs in the Orchard that overlooks their garden, which will look great.

For the picnic, I think it will be better in these COVID times not to be sharing food, so please bring your own picnic for you to enjoy and please bring your own refreshments, however Jane has offered to provide tea & coffee.

I have set a run starting from the Golden Cross and meandering through the lanes for 28 miles. We will meet at the Cross from 11am and bacon rolls (£2.50) & tea/coffee (£1.00) will be available to purchase to sustain you for the run. We will therefore arrive in Childswickham in good time for our picnic lunch. Of course the sun will be shining but some contingencies will be in place just in case it is not!!

I have got 27 cars booked and all the names are listed on the ‘Events 2021’ page on the Club website, please check if you are there and if not let me know you would like to join us.

Sunday 5th September – Alan’s Mystery Run: Last year we planned a lovely run to end up at Stratford Golf Course for lunch. Covid caused this to be cancelled and unfortunately the diary has had to be condensed at the club meaning that they cannot cater for us due to club commitments.

Managed to find another venue that would accept us, the aftermath of Covid still seems to be causing problems.

I have booked the new garden room at Hillier’s. It is a new addition to the farm shop/restaurant and as you can see it is very welcoming.. If the weather is good there is a terrace off to the right.

We will meet at the Golden Cross at 10.30am where Matt will open up and you will be able to purchase drinks/coffee and bacon baps if required.

We will leave at 11.00am approx and go on a 40 mile route, hopefully exploring new places, before arriving at 12.30 at Hillers with lunch at 1.00pm.

Hilliers are being very flexible with their menu and we will circulate it shortly to enable you to pre order. This will ensure there is minimal waiting time for food. Hilliers is fully licensed.

Looking forward to seeing you, Liz and Alan

Please let Alan know as soon as possible if you would like to join the run:

alan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday 7th September – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross.

Sunday 19th September – Dorridge Day Classic Car Show: Enjoy a day out at this classic car show and other attractions. We are booked to have a stand to display our MGs. If you have not already booked in, please contact ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com with your car Registration number. Please book in as soon as possible, so that they have an idea of numbers.

Sunday 26th September – Cars at the SPA: Another classic car show where we will have a stand. Parking in the heart of Leamington Spa at the bottom of the Parade. Look round the cars, go off shopping or enjoy a lunch or a picnic or visit the nearby food mall. Places are limited, only 200 cars total. Please book now by sending your car details and registration number. ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com is the place to send your booking. Please do so as soon as you know that you would like to go. Being a charity event, they would like a donation of £10 per car.

Tuesday 5th October – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross, however I’m investigating a guest speaker for the evening, to be advised.

Tuesday 2nd November – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Tuesday 7th December – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross

Tuesday 14th December – Xmas Meal

Other Events:

Saturday 11th September 2021 – The Hampton Ferry Car and Bike show:is now being advertised as follows:

Hampton Ferry, Evesham, WR11 4 BP.

11am till 4 pm Admission free for Classics others car park £2.00 all day.

There is always a great selection of vehicles including MGs and it does get very busy as the morning goes on and it’s a narrow lane down to the river.

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter July 2021

Hello All

By pure coinsidence I had taken this photo earlier today!

Reports:

The Club Night was going to be an ‘outside’ meeting but Matt at the Cross was concerned that the weather forecast was not looking favourable for us, so he was kind enough to clear the bookings in the Restaurant to allow us to transfer inside but we still managed 29 people.

BMC & Leyland Show, BMM Gaydon 2021

The British Motor Museum were able to hold their BMC & Leyland Show and we were again given the prime location just outside the Main entrance to the Museum, so thanks to Tom the Show’s Manager for accommodating us there. We had plenty of space, so a couple of additional MGs joined us. It was a great show with both arenas full of display cars along with the upper car park, it must have been the largest gathering of Morris Marinas for a long time, to celebrate their 50th anniversary (I didn’t think that many had survived!!). The sun was out making it a beautiful day.

Future Events:

Sunday 25th July – Aunt Sally Lunch – Butchers Arms, Shutford Road, Balscote OX15 6JQ:

Please arrive at 12:30pm. Situated midway between Stratford and Banbury, just off the A422. Please look out for the Parking Marshalls.

As an alternative to our popular skittles evenings this is the chance to do something completely different, that probably, nobody has had previous experience of.

Basically, you throw underarm, 6 wooden battens at a white object sat upon a steel ring from approx. 6m (18 feet for old school folk). There are 2 teams and whichever team knocks off the white dolly the most times over a set number of ends, wins.

There will be the Team Captain from this pubs Aunt Sally team to give tuition, guidance, whilst also acting as referee. This game is a bit unique to North Oxfordshire, and there is a strong inter pub league. They also have a Boules pit for those who may want to bring there own and have a game.

Pre ordered basket meals are available at £7 each – Scampi & chips, Chicken & chips or Sausage & chips.

Tuesday 3rd August – Show Night: The rescheduled evening, same idea as previous years, give your MG a good clean & polish and we will display them all in the Orchard Car Park at the Golden Cross. Everyone has a voting slip and there are prizes to be won. The restrictions have been lifted, so we should be able to fill the Orchard, so dust off the cobwebs and bring your MG for some light hearted fun in the sun.

Show Night 2019

Sunday 8th August – Mad March Run – Happy Herefords: Starting from the Golden Cross at 11am. A run through the lanes of Warwickshire, ending at the picturesque village of Tysoe.

Still, plenty of places available.

Traditionally this has been in March, but of course Covid has turned most things upside down. And this is true for where we end our run. This I feel will be a unique dining experience that is under cover, but very Covid safe (they are a professional catering company).

Another benefit of this venue is that you can bring your own drink, free of charge, or even take an excellent pint of ale from the pub which is close by. It will be order and pay on the day. Meals at £10 or less, with desserts available also.

If you have not already booked in, please contact ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com . Latest booking by 6th August please.

Sunday 22nd August – Chairman’s Picnic: This is the rescheduled date for the Chairman’s Picnic. Mike and Jane have kindly invited us to have our Picnic in the garden of their ‘New’ house, which looks fantastic and they have a large garden so we can spread out. Mike has agreement with his neighbour for us to park our MGs in the Orchard that overlooks their garden, which will look great.

For the picnic, I think it will be better in these COVID times not to be sharing food, so please bring your own picnic for you to enjoy and please bring your own refreshments, however Jane has offered to provide tea & coffee.

I have set a run starting from the Golden Cross and meandering through the lanes for 28 miles. We will meet at the Cross from 11am and bacon rolls (£2.50) & tea/coffee (£1.00) will be available to purchase to sustain you for the run. We will therefore arrive in Childswickham in good time for our picnic lunch. Of course the sun will be shining but some contingencies will be in place just in case it is not!!

I have got about 23 cars booked and all the names are listed on the ‘Events 2021’ page on the Club website, please check if you are there and if not let me know you would like to join us.

Sunday 5th September – Alan’s Mystery Run: Another run that was postponed last year was the ‘Drive-it-Day’ run and Alan is rearranging this for September, however the Stratford Golf Club may not be possible but there will be a lunch venue. Book the date in your diary/calendar, I have started a list for bookings, let me know if you want to join in.

Tuesday 7th September – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross.

Sunday 19th September – Dorridge Day Classic Car Show: Enjoy a day out at this classic car show and other attractions. We are hoping to have a stand to display our MGs. If you have not already booked in, please contact ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com with your car Registration number. Please book in as soon as possible, so that they have an idea of numbers.

Sunday 26th September – Cars at the SPA: Another classic car show which we hope to have a stand at. Parking in the heart of Leamington Spa at the bottom of the Parade. Look round the cars, go off shopping or enjoy a lunch as a picnic or visit the nearby food mall. Places are limited, only 200 cars total. Please book now by sending your car details and registration number. ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com is the place to send your booking. Please do so as soon as you know that you would like to go. Being a charity event, they would like a donation of £10 per car.

Other Events:

Saturday 11th September 2021 – The Hampton Ferry Car and Bike show:is now being advertised as follows:

Hampton Ferry, Evesham, WR11 4 BP.

11am till 4 pm Admission free for Classics others car park £2.00 all day.

There is always a great selection of vehicles including MGs and it does get very busy as the morning goes on and it’s a narrow lane down to the river.

What Have You Done in your MG:

My ‘B’ is now back on the road again!! In last month’s Newsletter there was still fuel coming out of the carb float chamber overflow despite having changed the needle valves, the fuel pump, the floats and installing a pressure regulator the problem was still not solved, so in desperation I put the original needles back in (into the new valve seats) and low and behold no leaking!!!!! I took the car out for it’s first proper trip to the BMC Show and have done several other trips and everything is fine (touch wood). Lets hope for some good weather for the Show Night.

The work has not stopped there, I have ordered some more parts, to be continued next month…..

A cautionary tale form Graham:

What I did with my MG this month: Well, actually, it was LAST month, but who cares, eh? So, Open Air Motoring is what it is so often all about with an MG. Those of us to whom it is still applicable enjoy the wind-in-the-hair experience, whilst others just go with ear-flapping.

However, for quite a long time, Bumble has had the addition to the Open Top . . . the Seriously Shot Door Seal syndrome, resulting in wind in the hair AND . . . round your back and up your trouser leg.

“Really must get round to doing that” . . . . so eventually a new roll of draught strip is purchased and The Big Day Comes. Started on the passenger side (it seemed the most courteous), which took about three quarters of an hour, then the driver’s side which, as one was by now an expert, about half an hour. Gone now are the days when the driver can glance nonchalantly across at the passenger door join by the footwell and see the world beyond.

Driving to Aston Cantlow a couple of days later I was very much disturbed by the feeling of a heavy metal object nudging the back of my clutch foot. Tentatively reaching down there was a split second of sheer horror at what appeared to be a vital and seriously structural part of Bumble’s anatomy no long connected to anything. Then I realized it was the hammer I’d forgotten to take out after completing the job.

You have all been warned!

And now the update you have all been waiting for from Trevor:

Restoration and Installation of a Ford 2litre Duratec into Our MGB – Part 6

Stormy days, Chilly cold fronts, despair and then Brilliant Sunshine.

I must apologise for the long delay in updating the Newsletter with progress on this project. But there is a very good reason for this – therapy, yes mental therapy. For the last six months I have been under a brilliant physician who specialises in treating people with Duratecitis. Because of my treatment, I can once again say Duratec engine and write it.

Stormy Days

The car sat there complete and ready to go to the rolling road, booked for 26th September 2020, or so I thought.

Although the engine is called a Ford 2 litre Duratec, it was designed by Mazda and is fitted to the MX5 MK3. It was the Mazda engine that I chose to use because it had variable valve timing on the inlet cam. This gave it more power drivability and better fuel economy.

However, it soon became clear that there are many differences between the two engines when it came to all the 5 sensors required to give information to the Engine Management System. The trigger wheel on the crankshaft which tells the ECU everything is also very different. Needless to say, it was a long, frustrating and costly learning curve.

I was starting the engine for the first time, I was so excited I could hardly get the key in. I turned the key expecting the engine to roar into life, nothing, just engine spinning on starter motor. This was the beginning of the learning curve which lasted 2 months. (Anyone who would like to know why, please ask because I could bore you to tears and you would then also share my deep depression felt at this time, as I found out the hard way what every difference was).

Two Months Later

Enthusiasm had returned, (not by Angie or anyone else who would listen to my tale of woe). This was the day I was finally going to hear my MGB roar. Turned the key and had loud banging/flames coming out of the throttle bodies. The banging was so severe it dislodged years of dust from the timbers of my garage roof. That’s not right I thought, wiping the tears and dust from my eyes. After some adjustments, it did run – very badly. My son who was present, said don’t worry Troy at the rolling road will sort it when he interrogates the ECU. I clung to this hopeful thought like a drowning man, as it turned out, clinging to a ton of lead.

September 26th, rolling road day, I was so excited I could hardly sleep. I took the B-Tech 200 on a trailer towed by my motorhome, as it would take at least 4 hours to map, and I could sit in comfort. I was sat like an expectant father waiting to hear news of my baby. This day had been 4 years in the making. Two hours passed and I had not heard a peep. At one point I had convinced myself that I could hear it, but it was a forklift truck at the premises next door, I was desperate. Curiosity got the better of me and I went to see what was happening. To my surprise it was running, and I thought it sounded OK, but no, we had a problem Troy informed me. One test he makes before stressing the engine at high revs is to check the exhaust temperature of each cylinder. Cylinders 1 and 3 were significantly lower than 2 and 4. He informed me that he thought the newly built engine had a mechanical problem, could be a compression failure on those two cylinders. He carried on seeing if he could be more specific. By this time 3 hours had passed at mega bucks per hour, and then it spewed engine oil all over the floor. Session stopped. We pushed it into the adjoining workshop to see if we could see where it was leaking. Found problem but was not an easy fix. So, 4 hours later, I was no closer to driving my creation on the road. As it turned out this was to be a long time in the future.

I am sure that they are making pages smaller, just like tins of chocolate at Christmas, as I was hoping to cover “chilly cold fronts” (Angie figures much in this) , “despair” and “brilliant sunshine” But I guess this will have to wait till next time!!!!!!

Stay Safe

Trevor and Angie.

We can’t finish without another cartoon from Graham:

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Proposed Events 2022
DateEventOrganiser
01/01/22Chilly Willy RunPaul
24/04/22Drive it DayDavid Pitt
JulyBMC & Leyland Show BMMPaul
05/07/22Show NightPaul
SummerChairman’s PicnicPaul
SummerHeritage Run RevisitedPaul
13/12/22Xmas MealPaul

Newsletter June 2021

Hello All

Let’s start with a cartoon from Graham. This is topical for me and quite close to reality. To get the fuel gauge to work on my car I have replaced the voltage stabiliser and to get at it I removed the rev counter and fed my arm through the hole!!

Reports:

It was good to be back at the Golden Cross for a Club Night and we were lucky with the weather and sat outside in the garden and thanks to everyone for sticking to the COVID rules with wearing masks and keeping to the tables of 6. It’s a shame we are limited to a group of 30, however we could have had a second group but there was not enough demand. Part way through the evening we had a move round and a pair at each table moved onto another table to allow us to meet up with other people.

I was able to report (sat down of course) about the Run for the Lockdown opening of the British Motor Museum and 14 cars had the chance of a ‘Run Out’ and it was a fine sight with us lined up at the front of the Museum. Although the Museum was open for business quite a few decided to stay outside and socialise and the few showers didn’t dampen the spirits too much for the picnics. Anyway we kept up the tradition of visiting the Museum for their opening.

Future Events:

Club Night – Tuesday 6th July: The Show Night originally planned for this evening has been postponed until next month due to the announcement that the COVID restrictions were not going to be eased on 21st June (being limited to 30 people, therefore only 15 cars would be somewhat under whelming). The Club Night will now be an ‘Outside’ meeting again (subject to weather conditions and availability in the restaurant) and limited to 30 people, however we can have a second separate group if there is sufficient interest, to date I have 24 booked for the evening. The idea of moving a pair around the tables worked well last month, so we will do this again and maybe more than once, what do you think?

BMC & Leyland Show at BMM Gaydon – Sunday 11th July: We have a reserved space for us to display our cars at the front of the Museum, in a prime spot and so far I have 12 cars booked, so will be able to accept more if you are interested. You will have access to the Show, the Museum and the Collections Centre and is usually a good day out. I will be getting the tickets on 25th June, to allow for distribution, so last day to book is Thursday 24th.

BMC & Leyland Show at the British Motor Museum 2020

Sunday 25th July – Aunt Sally Lunch: Trevor has arranged this for us at the Balscot Pub and will include enjoying a basket lunch. If you don’t know what ‘Aunt Sally’ is then come along and find out. We do need to pre-order the lunch but pay on the day. Lunch choices are:

Chicken & Chips, Sausage & Chips and Scampi & Chips, cost is £7.00 per person.

Starting at 1pm. Please book with Trevor (ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com) stating your meal choices.

Tuesday 3rd August – Show Night: The rescheduled evening, same idea as previous years, give your MG a good clean & polish and we will display them all in the Orchard Car Park at the Golden Cross. Everyone has a voting slip and there are prizes to be won. If the restrictions are lifted as scheduled we should be able to fill the Orchard, so dust off the cobwebs and bring your MG for some light hearted fun in the sun.

Show Night at the Golden Cross 2019

Sunday 8th August – Mad March Run: Well of course this is the rescheduled run from March 2020, postponed due to several ‘Lockdowns’!! The new end venue is the Happy Hereford’s in Tysoe for lunch and will be a run from the Golden Cross through some good Warwickshire countryside. Lunch can be ordered on the day but booking with Trevor (ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com) is essential.

Sunday 22nd August – Chairman’s Picnic: This is the rescheduled date for the Chairman’s Picnic. Mike and Jane have kindly invited us to have our Picnic in the garden of their ‘New’ house, which looks fantastic and they have a large garden so we can spread out. Mike has agreement with his neighbour for us to park our MGs in the Orchard that overlooks their garden, which will look great.

For the picnic, I think it will be better in these COVID times not to be sharing food, so please bring your own picnic for you to enjoy and please bring your own refreshments, however Jane has offered to provide tea & coffee.

I have set a run starting from the Golden Cross and meandering through the lanes for 28 miles. We will meet at the Cross from 11am and bacon rolls (£2.50) & tea/coffee (£1.00) will be available to purchase to sustain you for the run. We will therefore arrive in Childswickham in good time for our picnic lunch. Of course the sun will be shining by then but some contingences will be in place just in case it is not!!

Please let me know as soon as you can if you would like to join in the fun.

I have got about 18 cars booked and I will add the names on the website when I get a chance.

Sunday 5th September – Alan’s Mystery Run: Another run that was postponed last year was the ‘Drive-it-Day’ run and Alan is rearranging this for September, however the Stratford Golf Club may not be possible but there will be a lunch venue. Book the date in your diary/calendar, I have started a list for bookings, let me know if you want to join in.

Tuesday 7th September – Club Night: Social evening at the Golden Cross.

Sunday 19th September – Dorridge Day Classic Car Show: We have been invited to join in this show, so let’s give it a try. Trevor is taking the bookings (ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com ).

Sunday 26th September – Cars at the SPA: Trevor has a Club display at this relatively new show for us and it is located on the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa. It is a charity event, so the organisers are asking for a donation of at least £10 per car, however it is only a small show, so Trevor needs bookings NOW (ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com), so he can reserve the correct space.

Other Events:

Sunday 4th July – Warwick Healey CC21: I was contacted by the MGOC about this event (they had in turn been contacted by the Healey Club) to promote this event as it is local to us at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. It is a gathering of all the Healey Clubs and partly celebrating the Launch of the Mark II Sprite but as this also coincides with the launch of the MG Midget (Mk I) there will be a dedicated parking area for the Midget. Gift Aid tickets will be valid but booking is advised as the capacity number has been reduced due to the COVID restrictions. If you are interested, go to the Museum website to book your car pass and ticket.

Wednesday 14th July – Joint Natter: West Midlands Members meet up with the Wye Valley Crowd. The location is The Rose and Crown, Church Lane, Severn Stoke, WR8 9JQ,  just off the A38 between Worcester and Upton on Severn. The parking is in the playing field behind the car park opposite the front of the pub.

Please confirm attendance in advance with the organisers

Janet & Peter Chapman 01684 833337
millpondcott@btinternet.com

I have not seen anything suggesting this has been cancelled, so you might want to check before travelling.

Other Matters:

I have received to following request from John Philps:

One of the problems with this Covid stuff is the lack of meeting up and chatting about common problems etc.  I have a problem which maybe could be a question for the Newsletter. I was wondering if anyone in the club with a T or TF has had a problem with the lining of their hardtop coming adrift and what they had done about it. Would like to know what they did and/or if they found someone locally to fix it.

He will be at the July Club Night if you have any suggestions or drop me an email and I will forward to him.

Nick Godfrey has sent me details of a BGT for sale:

A man in the village is selling the car below. He was thinking about £15k I think. Looks a nice car. I’m not sure about the white dash personally.

Could you ask if anyone in the club is interested?

(The ad at the bottom is when he bought it about 6 years ago I think).

There are plenty more photos, so if you are interested contact Nick in the first instance (sales@central-scanning.co.uk ).

What Have You Done in your MG:

An update from Dusty with the progress on his USA import MG TD:

It’s fighting us every way! Two steps forward and one back. Why doesn’t it realise that we are trying to return it to a presentable condition? Must miss the Arizona sunshine I guess. We were set to bring the body tub back from the spray shop on Monday but then read on Shipston facebook forum that a trailer and pickup had been stolen from a local farm. Yes you’ve guessed it, so a friend’s horse box was pressed into service.

Previously, while we had access we removed the gearbox and replaced the clutch as in our brief try-out up the drive it had been very vicious. At the same time the rubber bushes under it were replaced but something didn’t seem quite correct. There was no anchorage for the gearbox nor for the prop-shaft cover, which had an odd bulge as if it had hit the U/J, and floorboards not supported properly but with lack of garage space it meant the body had to go on the chassis. A look on various forums disclosed that there should be a cast location tag on the underside of the g/box, also a bracket to support the floor. Both missing. Now with the body on and the lower bulkhead bolted in place, the box had to come out for the recommended mods for a common fault and replacement of a new floor support bracket. Not so easy with the tub on. The gearbox should have a cast in tag that protrudes from the base with a hole through which is a small shaft. A U shaped bracket with a bolt going down through rubber mounts fixes to the mounting and to the chassis. This was all missing. It seems that the fracture of the tag is fairly commonplace as there were several remedies on TD forums. There are two more tags set at 90% to the original which we drilled to take a bar -tapped at each end – which could then be mated to replacement original spec parts. The fabricated mounting that holds all this and also supports the floor and prop shaft tunnel had been somewhat butchered and had to be replaced.

The new wiring loom has been on order from the Octagon Club since November with no promises of a delivery date which is really holding up progress, as it will be easier to fit before the floors and the rest of the bodywork (still at the spray shop) is fitted. Brakes have been inspected and bled now that the pedal box is transferred left to right {hand drive} but the pedal movement is very stiff and doesn’t readily return. – A weak spring in the Hydraulic pump perhaps? Another problem to overcome.

In the meantime cleaned and refurbished parts are being re-fitted where possible together with a new fuel line and SU fuel pump – it had been fitted with an on-line pump and bits of rubber pipe under the floor protected by an old road sign!

A new RHD burr walnut dash has been made. I have enough veneer left for another one, should any member need it.

My ‘B’ is still not properly on the road again!! There is still fuel coming out of the float chamber overflow on the carbs!! I have changed the needle valves, the fuel pump back to the original, the floats and have installed a pressure regulator but still not fully solved.

To close we have another topical cartoon from Graham (he is thinking this might be the last of the COVID ones):

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

125th (+1) Edition Newsletter May 2021

Hello All

As you can see above this is a ‘Milestone’ Newsletter for me, after I had sent the April edition I had a sudden thought that I had been Chairman for over 10 years which would mean 120 newsletters and April was the 4th month of my eleventh year, so May would be my 125th!! I thought I had better check this was the case, so I looked back over all the previous files (yes they are all there on the computer!!!) to find that I had actually missed 3 newsletters (only 3, not bad in over 10 years) in all that time but we did go away on holiday a lot before all these Lockdowns, however last year during the first lockdown I actually did 2 newsletters for 4 months, do the maths and April was in fact my 125th!! That must be a lot of words I have typed and you might have read (or not)!

Reports:

The sooner we can get back to Club Meetings at the Golden Cross the better, the thrill of the Zoom meetings is beginning to wane such that we were down to 11 ‘boxes’ with 19 people in total. We used the breakout meetings again (and I think Fiona will be glad not to have to do that again), which continues to be the best way to run the evening, so thanks again Fiona. With the help of Caroline I did a short quiz with a selection of Current Affairs, General Knowledge & Transport questions and as ever there was a tie with three couples on 10 but Mike and Jane were the nearest on the tie-break, so no wooden spoon for them this time!

Before the Club Night we had 2 ‘Social Distance Runs’, starting with the Chilly Willy (Lockdown Breakout) Run which had been postponed from New Year’s Day due to the COVID restrictions. There were just a couple of difficulties, firstly one stretch of road was closed (it was planned for the work to have been finished in time to open the road again but this ‘over-ran’, so I had a fraught day changing all the route sheets with a diversion, not to mention a change to one of the stops but everyone finally received their route sheets. The second difficulty was when I opened the curtains on the morning to be greeted by a snow blizzard (hence Graham’s cartoon inspired by Tony & Glenys), well the route had been planned for January, so used gritted roads but didn’t really expect it to be important in April!! We didn’t need to worry by the time we started, the snow had gone and the sun was shining, isn’t the weather great in England. Most teams managed to keep to the timetable and navigate the route, so it was all good.

This was followed two weeks later by the ‘Drive-it-Day’ Run and the road was now open, so we could revert to the original Chilly Willy Route. There was also the full compliment of 27 cars circulating round the route. We also had the added benefit that the Golden Cross was open on the Sunday and almost everyone took advantage and booked a table (in groups of 6) for when the run had finished and the weather was kind to us to sit outside for lunch. As the FBHVC (who are the originators of the Drive-it-Day) had chosen the NSPCC charity ‘Childline’ as their charity for the day (with the proceeds from Rally Plate sales going to this cause and we have our own Plates) I made a collection on the day and several people make good donations after the day, so we have sent £73.62. Thank you to all those who gave so generously to a very worthwhile cause.

Future Events:

Club Night – Tuesday 1st June: The Golden Cross is now open 7 days a week again and Matt has agreed to us holding our meetings again, however I think it would be prudent to continue with an ‘Outdoor’ meeting if the weather will allow. The restrictions will still be in force for this meeting so we will be limited to groups of 30, so I will now be taking bookings for this meeting and if we exceed 30 then I will split the numbers into 2 groups and arrange people into sensible groups. It will help Matt to know the numbers in good time before the day to reserve tables, so please let me know as soon as possible, I will advise Matt on Friday 28th May how many tables we will need. If the weather is looking like it will be inclement then we will need to move indoors, in which case we will be limited to 30 and that will be decided by who books first.

Chairman’s Picnic – Sunday 27th June – Broadway: Mike and Jane have kindly invited us to have our Picnic in the garden of their ‘New’ house, which looks fantastic and they have a large garden so we can spread out. Mike has agreement with his neighbour for us to park our MGs in the Orchard that overlooks their garden, which will look great.

For the picnic, I think it will be better in these COVID times not to be sharing food, so please bring your own picnic for you to enjoy and please bring your own refreshments, however Jane has offered to provide tea & coffee.

I have set a run starting from the Golden Cross and meandering through the lanes for 28 miles. We will meet at the Cross from 11am and bacon rolls & tea/coffee will be available to purchase to sustain you for the run. We will therefore arrive in Childswickham in good time for our picnic lunch. Of course the sun will be shining by then but some contingences will be in place just in case it is not!!

Please let me know as soon as you can if you would like to join in the fun.

I have already got about 10 cars booked and I will add the names on the website when I get a chance.

Club Night – Tuesday 6th July: Yes, it is that time of year again when you need to get your MGs out and give them a good clean and polish. There will be at least 4 catagories for you all to vote on with lots of prizes, so everyone is in with a chance. I will be there from around 7pm, so lets have a good get together and fill the orchard car park with MGs. At this time we don’t know if Test & Trace will still be running, so it will be best if you can all let me know in advance if you will be attending.

Show Night at the Golden Cross 2019

BMC & Leyland Show at BMM Gaydon – Sunday 11th July: I have reserved us a display space for this show at the Museum and Tom (shows manager) has told me we can have our space infront of the Collections Centre again, this is a prime spot, so please come along and join us, I will be able to get car display and museum passes for those booked to attend. Let me know and I will add you to the list.

BMC & Leyland Show British Motor Museum 2020

Club Night – Tuesday 3rd August: Social evening at the Golden Cross.

Trevor’s Sunday Run – August: Trevor is looking to resurrect the run he had planned for the ‘March Madness Run’ from last year that was postponed due to COVID, however he is investigateing a new and interesting lunch venue. More details soon.

Alan’s Mystery Run – Sunday 5th September: Another run that was postponed last year was the ‘Drive-it-Day’ run and Alan is rearranging this for September, however the Stratford Gold Club may not be possible but there will be a lunch venue. Book the date in your diary/calendar.

Club Night – Tuesday 7th September: Social evening at the Golden Cross.

Dorridge Day Classic Car Show – Sunday 19th September: We have been invited to join in this show, so let’s give it a try. Trevor is arranging the details.

Cars at the SPA – Sunday 26th September: Again Trevor is looking in to arranging us a Club display at this relatively new show. It is a charity event, so the organisers are asking for a donation of at least £10 per car, however it is only a small show, so we will need to book soon. The SPA is in Leamington Spa, in the gardens adjacent to the Pump Rooms. I walked through the show a couple of years ago and there was a very good selection of cars on display, so worth going. Trevor is going to be very busy!!

Other Matters:

Future events planning for 2022: Towards the end of 2019 I had started to put together a list of possible Events for the following year, however COVID put paid to those plans but let’s hope 2022 will be better than that, so I’m going to start the process again in good time for next year. I will organise the following events: Chilly Willy Run (New Year’s Day), Chairman’s Picnic, Heritage Run Revisited, Show Night and the Xmas Meal. If there are to be any other events, someone will need to come forward to volunteer to organise them. When I get a chance I will create a new page on the Club website showing the events that are planned with dates where known, it’s down to you to volunteer, just let me know what you would like to arrange and I will add it to the list. As I did before I will put some suggestions forward for possible events but you can devise your own ideas as well. There is plenty of experience within the Club to seek advice from about how to approach the organisation and I will be more than happy to assist and advise. Over to you!!

I have received a request from a previous member of the Club to sell some of his surplus MG stuff:

I have regrettably sold my MGA and TD .
I have some MGA items which your members might be interested in .
Rubber over mats, brand new unused, £30.00
Motolita wood rim steering wheel, 15”. Excellent condition. £100.00
Converter hubs, for centre lock wheels. Excellent condition, only used 3000 miles 2 No £50.00.
MGA Workshop manual. Unused, as new. £10.00
MGA Owners handbook as new. Free.
MG logo T shirt , large, new. Free.
If any of your members are interested I can be contacted on this email address or by telephone on either 01386 446816 or 07976 661372.
I am open to reasonable offers.
Arthur Thorpe

If anyone is interested in the above items please contact Arthur directly.

What Have You Done in your MG:

Almost Finished

No other reports this month, so you will have to read about the continuing saga of my ‘B’. I think I finished my report in the last Newsletter saying “will it be finished for Sunday”, well those of you who were at the Drive-it-Day Run will know it wasn’t!! Nor was it finished for the BMM Reopening Run, although it was very close. Everything was back together but there was a leak out of both the carb float chambers, a call to the Owners Club spares department advised they had not had any float needle vales in stock for over 12 months, so what to do? Of course the answer is always ‘ebay’ (other auction sites are available) and a quick look and a seller was found and the parts ordered, they arrived today. A thorough search of the garage and I eventually found the correct SU box spanner I acquired approx 40 years ago (I knew it would come in useful again), don’t throw anything away. It is looking like everything is ready to go and what was the weather like today? Pouring down, so the test drive will have to wait a few days (and I need to put the bonnet back on) but we should be ‘On the Road’ again soon.

To close we have another topical cartoon from Graham (I think I might do the same!!):

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Newsletter April 2021

Hello All

Reports:

The April meeting was again a Zoom night with 17 in attendance and again we used the ‘Breakout’ meetings, going into smaller groups to allow us all to have a good chat with everyone, so thanks to Fiona for hosting (afterwards she showed me the check sheet she uses to sort out mixing up the groups and it makes your mind boggle , so well done and thank you to her). There was another quiz but with only 15 questions, it must have been easier because there were 5 groups on 10 points, so I had to quickly think of a tie-break question and Roger & Caroline were the quickest to get the correct number (How many tiles are there in a game of Scrabble?), well done to them and thank you to (my) Caroline for setting the questions.

Future Events:

Cars at the Ragley Hall Start for the Chilly Willy Lockdown Breakout Run

Drive-it-Day – Sunday 25th April: This will be a ‘re-run’ of the Chilly Willy Run but I am hopeful I will be able to use the original planned route, so beware if you did the Chilly Willy, the instructions will be different. I’m going to start the first rotation earlier at 10.30 because the Golden Cross will be open and anyone who wants to can book to go for lunch or a drink, of course in groups of 6 on tables in the garden. I will be recce-ing the route again on Thursday afternoon and if there are no difficulties I will be able to email the route sheets on Friday. Mick & Margy had a good suggestion, which is to write the departure time for each stop on the route sheet, so you know where you should be along the route. I must stress that with the CoronaVirus restrictions we must have no more the 6 people gathering at any stop. The run is fully booked for Sunday but I will start a reserve list for anyone who is still interested (the full list of bookings is on the Club website, look at ‘Events 2021’). If you are booked and find you are not able to attend please let me know, so I can ensure each stop will have at least 2 cars. I think there may have been some confusion on the CW Run with the number of cars, in order to conform to the ‘Rule of Six’ the event was set up with 2 cars going Anti-clockwise and only 1 car going clockwise, meaning only 3 cars will ever meet at any stop.

This year the FBHVC have teamed up with the NSPCC, so I will have a collection tin for ‘Childline’, so bring some cash if you would like to make a donation on the day.

Club Night – Tuesday 4th May: The Golden Cross is only going to open over the weekends at least until until the 17th of May, so will not be open for this meeting such that we will need to have the meeting by Zoom. Fiona has already agreed to host and I will send the log-in details the weekend before. We will run it the same as previous with breakout sessions and a short quiz, can anyone beat Roger & Caroline!!

BMM Re-opening Run – Monday 17th May:

British Motor Museum Reopening Run 2018

Even the MD thinks this has become a tradition, so I have been able to book us a space at the Museum for this day and they are going to allow us to display our cars on the grass just outside the main entrance. For those that wish to visit the Museum the Gift Aid Tickets will be valid, or you can pay for a ticket and tick the Gift Aid button which will give you 12 months free re-entry. Buying a ticket is not necessary to enter the grounds and park in our display but you will need a ticket to use the Cafe (toilet facilities will be available outside). Please note if you want to go into the Museum it will be essential to pre-book (select the 11.00 or 11.30 entry time). Next week I will look at setting a run, probably starting from the Golden Cross and leaving at 10am. Let me know if you would like to join the run and if you will visit the Museum. The Junction 12 cafe will be open for business and will be using their new table ordering App, so bring your smart phones.

Club Night – Tuesday 1st June: I hope the Golden Cross will be open again for us but lets wait until nearer the time to decide how the Meeting will be run.

Chairman’s Picnic – Sunday 27th June – Broadway: Put this date on your calendars, next week we will sort out some of the details but there will be the usual run and I hope bacon rolls will be available at the Cross at the start.

Club Night – Tuesday 6th July: More details nearer the time.

BMC & Leyland Show at BMM Gaydon – Sunday 11th July: I have reserved us a display space for this show at the Museum and Tom (shows manager) has told me we can have our space infront of the Collections Centre again, this is a prime spot, so please come along and join us, I will be able to get car display and museum passes for those booked to attend. Let me know and I will add you to the list.

Other Matters:

A message from Graham:

“March marked the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the E-type, at the Geneva Motor Show.

In the recent researches into the matter for a BMM presentation we learned from Tony Merrygold that:

Joanna Lumley trained as a model at the ultra-posh Lucie Clayton Charm Academy where bright young ladies were taught to be fashion models, secretaries or simply to be skilled in the ways of Society. One of the items on the curriculum was “How to Get In and Out of an E-type Jaguar Without Showing Your Knickers.”

This has been encapsulated in the attached cartoon . . . .

And here’s a bit more about E-types, but a little nearer home.

The chap that used to come to the Show Nights and win with his black MGA, Steve Johnson, later sold his MGA, and an Austin-Healey, a TR6 and a couple of his vital organs to raise money to buy an E-type.

He was out in it one day and, at a traffic junction was absolutely powerless to do anything about it when the car in front of him suddenly REVERSED into him.

A few days ago – after four months away for repair – the car was returned.

Two days ago he was sitting at a road junction . . . .

A driver cut the corner – and swiped the front of the E-type.

A mutual friend, telling the story, said Steve had rung him asking ‘if he had a tow-rope’.

We can only presume this was for stringing up the culprit . . . .“

Thanks Graham

What Have You Done in your MG:

Lots of you have been busy this month and thanks for sending in your reports. First is Graham:

Like most of us, secret plans for ‘having a little run out’ on some seriously tenuous pretext have been fermenting.

To this end, and as part of a winter maintenance programme, it was time to get the battery top-up device on the go. In traditionally over-indulgent manner I had decided to graduate from the modest-looking and probably perfectly adequate £20 Halfords battery maintenance device and go BIG.

Going BIG automatically means multi-functionality, an LED screen and an instruction leaflet running to several pages. Sadly, the latter was composed by someone for whom English was not their first language. Having followed the printed-on-airmail-thickness paper instructions (you find your lips are moving as you read, in the hope that this aids comprehension) and clipped the clippy things to the right bits, THEN plugged it in . . . the LED screen bursts into life, festooned with emojis that are guaranteed to mean SOMETHING to SOMEBODY and are buried in the flimsy literature SOMEWHERE.

Rest assured, Dear Reader; I got there on the third attempt. Testament to RTFFM. (Read the flimsy manual).

Reading the Manual, no that will never catch on!

Next up is Dusty with progress report on the USA Import TD:

Since the last report on the rebuilding of the MG TD that we imported from USA progress has continued despite the protests put up by the car.

We cleaned off a strange coating which covered all the under parts, seemed to be a filthy mixture of oil, underseal and Arizona desert which had set solid on every surface disguising several coats of cream and in places green paint also rust. A couple of coats of 2 pack chassis black had things looking better and to give ourselves a moral uplift we painted (somewhat prematurely) the engine. The rear springs were cleaned and fitted with new bushes. The next major task was the fitting of the RHD pedal box, quite tricky ensuring that everything is aligned correctly. Some new parts had to be slightly reshaped to fit with some recommended modifications done. About this time the tub went off to the spray shop, – the bodywork is being sent in instalments which suits us and the sprayers.

Next was the new RHD steering rack, no real problems here until fitting new rubber covers for the king pins which meant the brake drums had to be removed to release the backplates to unscrew the lower bearings just to replace the split rubbers. Time consuming and a pain as we’d already fitted new poly bushes. There have been new wheel cylinders fitted quite recently as these were the only parts not covered with what we’ve called Arizona Black.

While the engine had been running sweetly there was no telling if it was fitted with an unleaded head so a decoke is now in progress, just as well as some of the valve seats are quite pitted and the rubber valve stem oil seals were brittle and fell apart. We decided to leave it leaded and to use additive.

Two very small pinholes were found in the tank and as an initial cure we are trying Slosh but if that doesn’t work we’ll have to send it to a specialist.

In the meantime other parts – radiator and slats, various rods and brackets etc are being cleaned and refurbished.

As we continue we are finding various mods and bodges. The original SU fuel pump is replaced by an in-line pump under the floor protected by an old road sign. Numerous bolts have been sheared off others have been replaced with odd bolts forced into the unmatched threads. American engineering at it’s best!

And David W has been busy with his racing ‘B’:

An update in respect of my MGB.

After the early end to last season ( Castle Combe) when a cam follower broke up a fresh engine of smaller capacity (1840cc) has been built and installed. This is currently being run in on the road ( it’s still taxed and insured) which is somewhat hard on the driver as the shock absorbers now have adjustable valves which are not at full adjustment but not far off. The car is then due on Peter Burgess’ rolling road for setting up prior to the first outing at Oulton Park on Saturday 10th April. With testing on the Friday it means driving up, coming back and then driving back up the following morning ( we could only stay overnight from 12th April).

Also the screen cracked at Castle Combe. After taking the hard top off we managed to get the screen off the car (it’s a roadster) which include a lot of bad language due to inaccessibility of the bolts that hold it in (anybody who has done this will know the problems and the Haynes manual just says “undo the bolts”). The screen frame is now apart and the new screen should be in shortly.

The only concern is that my co driver has suggested we just put on an aero screen and lose all the weight of the screen and the hardtop. I suppose I don’t mind getting soaking wet but picking flies out the teeth goes too far.

If anybody wants to know more about the engine or chassis specification please let me know.

Photo taken in action at Oulton Park in the rain & Snow. Car went well, just not very good drivers on slicks!!

Graham has been extra busy and has been working on the Midget seats:

Giving the interior a bit of a smarten-up, I re-blackened, leather-fed and polished the seats. The overall appearance was a noticeable improvement.

However, as you are all perhaps aware, the major reason owners put MG Midgets up for sale is that they can’t get in them any more. Getting into Bumble, as one explains to spectators, is a knack developed over a period of time, consisting of about 70% planning . . . . and 30% gravity.

Unless you’ve recently polished the seats . . . . . . The subsequent loss of friction radically affects the 70% bit, as you find yourself into the “gravity” section of the manoeuvre considerably earlier.

The proportions are now more like 25% planning – 60% gravity – 15% fear of damage.

Hmm maybe I won’t clean my seats before I put them back in!!

Which leads me to where I have progressed to putting my ‘B’ back together. Since last months report, the loom is nearly connected up except for the front lights, I’m waiting for the bullet connectors and single connectors to arrive!! Engine is painted and back in the car and looks OK. The heater is fitted and I managed to connect the flap control cable through the vent hole (it’s much easier with no pedals or steering wheel in place!). When I got to the point of opening the boot to fit the new loom in there I realised that when I did the major work back in 2000 I painted the inside with Hammerite Red, it was close enough for the boot that no one looks in but of course I still had some paint left, so everything out, clean, degrease and paint. It looks much better. I also found in the boot the new fuel pump I have been carrying around in case the old SU pump conks out, so of course I might as well fit it now, so yes it might as well have a new feed pipe and flexible but it’s all done now. Moving back to the engine bay the pedal box is back in place and brake and clutch pipes connected, so will need to fill with brake fluid and bleed the system again. Not much more to do only; fit the alternator, fan, radiator, hoses, carbs (after cleaning), grill, bumper, pedals, steering wheel, seats………….

Will it be finished for Sunday!!!!!

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Newsletter March 2021

Hello All

Club Night Zoom Meeting – Quiz

We actually have something to report this month, with the Zoom Club Night (although we also had one last month which I forgot to mention!!), slightly fewer attendees this time but 11 (18 people) of us had some fun which included a short quiz. I think everyone enjoyed it although there were some comments about the level of difficulty, however 2 teams got 14 (out of 20), so it can’t have been that difficult!! Mike & Jane and Roger & Caroline tied on that top score to share the honours but Jane was well disappointed that she was not able to pass the ‘Wooden Spoon’ on to the low scorer, we will need to wait until we have get togethers for that. Many thanks to Fiona for hosting the Zoom Meeting on her account and tirelessly sorting out the groups for the ‘Breakout’ sessions.

Future Events:

Club Night – Tuesday 6th April: This will again be a Zoom meeting night as the restrictions will not allow a meeting at the Golden Cross. By popular demand I will do another short quiz (not so many car/club questions!!)and the breakout sessions seem to work well, I will try and send out the invitation the weekend before with a reminder on the day.

Chilly Willy – Lockdown Breakout Social Distance Run – Sunday 11th April: To date the loosening of the restrictions is ‘on track’ so this run looks to be possible. It is the same philosophy as the Social Distance Runs from last year (although a new route) with 9 start points and teams rotating around the route in opposite directions, so you meet up with a different team at each next stop (yes an odd number of stops, so it should work!!) for a short chat before moving on to the next stop and another chat. All outdoors and groups of no more than 6. To date I have 16 teams booked in with an ideal number of 18 and a maximum of 27, so there is still space if you want to get your MG out for the day, let me know and I will add you to the list. The route sheets will be sent out a few days before, if you have booked but find you can’t attend then please let me know so that I can fill the empty space.

Social Distance Run June 2020

Drive-it-Day – Sunday 25th April: I have had a good response to running the Chilly Willy Route again with a lot of people booking to join in, so subject to COVID restrictions this event will be a re-run of 11th April but I will try and vary the direction you take or the teams you meet if you are on both runs. Let me know if you want to be added to the list. I will try and add both runs to the Club Website with the list of bookings.

Club Night – Tuesday 4th May: This may be possible as a Club Night at the Cross but it will need to be outside in the garden, however this is only provisional until I can discuss with Matt at the Golden Cross.

BMM Re-opening Run – Monday 17th May: Yes I know I do this every time but this will be the first time anywhere will be properly open when the restrictions are due to be loosened that day, so this must be a good excuse to get the cars out on a Monday and go somewhere appropriate. If enough people are interested I will set a new route for a run, otherwise we can use the one from last year. Probably an earlyish start at 10am to be at the Museum at 11 for bacon butties (they are very good in the Junction 12 Cafe). Let me know if you are interested, apologies to those folk who are still working for their living but you could book a day off, you won’t have used many holidays this year so far!!

Socialal Distanced Gathering – BMM Re-opening Run July 2020

Chairman’s Picnic – Sunday 27th June – Broadway: Mike & Jane Green have kindly invited us to picnic in their garden and see their magnificent new (re-built) house, although not sure if the kitchen is finished yet!! More details nearer the time but subject to COVID restrictions being lifted. Put the date on your calendars.

Other Matters:

A brilliant cartoon by Graham titled: ““As we practice for days out in the MG again . . . .” “ it must be worth a try!!

As we practice for days out in the MG again

What Have You Done in your MG:

Fred has been keeping himself busy during the latest lockdown and has sent me this update:

I have made myself useful in the garage over the winter as follows:-

Someone mentioned that my BGT was listing slightly to the port side (note that’s Jane’s side!) and, as the leaf springs were original 1971 vintage I thought I would fit parabolics in the hope that they would soften the ride a bit. While the suspension was apart I found that a creak that has plagued us for years was not the poly bushes as suspected but the Spax shock absorbers. So I trickled a dose of silicon lubricant down them and exercised a bit. When I took it for a test drive it was wonderful but still had a slight list. So I renewed the front coil springs to find it still lists slightly. Isn’t it amazing how critical you become when focussed on something that you’ve lived with for years without noticing? Anyway I’ve decided to run it for awhile and see if it settles before resorting to spacers. As Trevor found it does sit high on new parabolic springs.

While in suspension mode I took the shocks off the back of the Magnette (also creaked for years!) and cured that. I should be able to hear the music now in both!

I then replaced the fuel pump points on the Magnette.

I have also had the front struts off the TF and replaced manky rose joint covers which the MOT man said he didn’t want to see again this year! Told you I was in suspension mode! Oh – and I have replaced the TF seats with a nice leather pair. Anyone want the old ones?

So the fleet is fit. Just need to be allowed to use them – can’t wait!!

Thanks Fred, I hope you won’t have to wait much longer.

I have been making progress with my ‘B’ and the engine bay is now painted Tartan Red the same as the body!! The new loom is in situ and some of the wires connected up but I’m now waiting for another delivery of parts on the basis of ‘whilst I’m there I might as well replace that as well’. The heater box is painted ready to go back (although the new clips are out of stock to put it back together) and I have stripped everything off the engine ready to clean, degrease and paint it, not a job I’m looking forward to, I can see a problem of lots of greasy mess everywhere!! The question is: will it be ready for the Chilly Willy Run or will I need to use the MG (FIAT) Spider again!!?

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Newsletter February 2021

Hello All

‘No Mask’

This Newsletter is deliberately late this Month, I was waiting for the COVID Restrictions Road Map to be announced by Boris on Monday, in case anything came up that would make a difference in our event planning (wishful thinking I know). It’s a good thing I did as it looks like we may be able to meet again but not until April!

On the 12th Feb both Caroline and I had our COVID vaccination and didn’t feel too well afterwards but soon recovered. This must be the start of hope for the future, who else has been ‘done’?

Thanks, as ever to Graham for the above topical cartoon but of course ‘Don’t Try This at Home’!

Future Events:

Club Night – Tuesday 2nd March: Due to the continuing CoronaVirus restrictions the next 2 meetings will need to be by Zoom. I will ask Fiona to host them again for us and will send the invitations out by email the weekend before. I discussed having a small quiz at the next meeting and I wil try and put something together, we will also use the same ‘Break-out’ meetings, which seem to work OK.

Chilly Willy – Lockdown Breakout Social Distance Run: According to the latest information we will be allowed to meet in groups of up to 6 people, so we will be able to hold the Social Distance Run that was prepared for New Year’s Day. I think the Easter Weekend will be too busy, so let’s go for the following Sunday, so it will be on the 11th April. Providing the Government Test’s are met and the restrictions lifted I will send out the instructions over the previous week. If you would like to join in please let me know and I will start a new list.

Club Night – Tuesday 6th April: Zoom Meeting.

Drive-it-Day – Sunday 25th April: I don’t think we will be able to hold our normal type of run for this day, so would you like to do a re-run of the Chilly Willy Run? I can mix up the people you meet and where possible send you the other way round the route! Let me know what you think.

Other Events:

Coast to Coast – 30th July to 1st August 2021:

Norman Verona is again running this event (from Morecambe to Sunderland) next year and is advising anyone who would like to attend to book their hotels and for the event. If you are interested please contact him at: norman@frenchblat.com

Other Matters:

Nick has sent an update from Peter Swain of RBW Cars, that he has been awarded a patent for the sub-frame he invented for the electric MGB we saw at the Nov 2019 Club Night. This is good news for him and it looks like he is making progress with the project, who saw the article in the January edition of ‘Enjoying MG’?

What Have You Done in your MG:

Several comments have been sent in this month starting with John:

“Thanks for the news letter, it had me thinking. What have I done with my MG last month/s? Is it still in the garage? Nice sunny day I’ll take a look. Yes its still in there, I wonder if it works, so charge up the batteries, hot air gun over the electrical things and a splash of fresh petrol and would you believe it……away it went.

Better go for an essential journey. Four laps round Dovehouse Drive [Wellesbourne] should do. All OK except for the steering ( same problem as Helen I think ). Fortunately the B has reasonable seat adjustment but being vertically challenged I struggle to reach the pedals now. Oh dear I feel a diet coming on……..“

Next from Graham:

“as for “what I did with my MG . . . .”, I wonder how many people would be prepared to admit to the fact they give it a friendly pat as they go past it in the garage?“

Answers please. Thanks to John & Graham

I have made some progress with the engine bay on my ‘B’. All the 50 years of oil and muck have been cleaned out, I then got my new welding kit out and put some seam welds on the off-side inner wing repair that I had plug welded 20 years ago (apparently for the MoT Test it needs to be fully welded!!), it’s not pretty but is more solid. After Kurust where required, I have applied 2 coats of Hammerite No1 primer (I had to wait a week as the temperature in the garage was consistently below the recommended minimum of 8 Deg C!!) and is now ready for the top coat.

As ever Andy has been busy and finally found motivation to get on with some chores on his Midget:

Due to a bad dose of lockdown lethargy, progress on my car is slow! I think I previously told you I had renewed the sticking handbrake cable. Not as easy as I expected, as the passenger seat had to come out, to remove the brake lever from the transmission tunnel. Of course, all set screws and seat runner bolts were seized -anyhow I finally got the new cable fitted and working well -just never got round to repairing the seat runners (welding up the captive bolts that were spinning about ), so I finally got the job done and seat ready to refit later today! Just got to find a reason to get her out of the garage then! (Apologies for picture quality -I have a problem with the SLR Camera -but that’s another story!)

Thanks Andy, keep up the good work

Following on from Mike’s comment about Helen and the TC (diet) and John’s comments above it has prompted Graham to comment:

“Following on from Helen’s story about finding the TC steering wheel a bit of a tight fit after Christmas indulgence, I went into the loft to look through old copies of “The Autocar” and found this old advert from one of those gadget companies in the 1950s and 60s, They used to sell useful things like suction-mounted ashtrays for the dashboard that fell off when you stubbed your cigarette out, or ornamental parking lights that looked completely out of keeping with the design of the car and flattened your battery in the process.“

 “Steering wheels advert”

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

Newsletter January 2021

Hello All

Is it too late to wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year?

Future Events:

Club Night – Tuesday 2nd February: The Golden Cross will not be allowed to open for this evening due to the current ‘Lockdown’ and I had a good response to my question about a Zoom meeting, so by popular demand we will be online. I will send out an invitation a couple of days before the 2nd , so anyone can log into the meeting.

Chilly Willy Run – As you all know I had to cancel this run due to the change for Warwickshire into Tier 4 but the work was done and there was plenty of interest, so when the restrictions allow, I will arrange a date and we can run this as ‘The ‘Chilly Willy – Lockdown Breakout ‘ Run. Watch this space for a date.

Until the situation is more stable it is difficult to plan future events but as soon as we can, we will be back!!

Other Events:

Coast to Coast – 30th July to 1st August 2021:

Norman Verona is again running this event (from Morecambe to Sunderland) next year and is advising anyone who would like to attend to book their hotels and for the event. If you are interested please contact him at: norman@frenchblat.com

Other Matters:

Just before Christmas Helen sent me this message that I thought I should share with you all, sorry it’s a bit late but the intention is there:

“To All our Friends in the Arden MG Car Club

As we do not hold postal addresses for many of you we thought we would send you a cyber seasons greetings from Shipston on Stour.

We hope this email finds you all well during this festive time.

Mike has been busy doing some DIY in the house, needless to say I have kept out the way!  The TC did get a brief outing onto the driveway the other week when the plumber came to service our boiler(boiler is in our garage) so she had to be pushed out for a short time. She was admired by a local dog walker before we put her waterproof cover on just in case the British weather decided to change.  I did have to start her up to drive her back into the garage and it soon became apparent that Helen has put on a few pounds over lockdown as the tummy now sits on the steering wheel! I see a funny cartoon by Graham here (however I don’t seem to have an email address for him so I may get away with it!)   
Needless to say that Helen has already made enquiries on purchasing a smaller steering wheel for next year just in case she can’t shift the weight before we are able to get our classics back out in the spring time.  Although I think a diet is cheaper than a new steering wheel!  Maybe sitting here typing this email while slurping a large rum and coke isn’t helping matters but it doesn’t half go down rather nicely with a homemade cup cake that I made for Mike’s birthday Sunday!

I have attached a photo of the TC from last year when I gave one of my work colleagues (who doesn’t drive) a blast in her.  It was a rather nice day weather wise (makes a change) which was great and Carole thoroughly enjoyed her drive into Stratford in style!

Anyway enough of us waffling on.  We wish you all a relaxing Christmas and hopefully a better 2021 for us all!  Keep in touch and look forward to seeing your faces again soon as we miss you all.

Cheers for now

Love

Helen, Mike and TC!“

What Have You Done in your MG:

Dusty has told us in previous Newsletters about importing a TD from the USA and has sent me an up-date:

“G’day Paul, here’s a bit that could be an ongoing saga!

In November the TD finally arrived from America. We had been tracking the progress on line once the ship had reached European water. We watched it come up the channel and then an off load in Germany before finally arriving at Felixstowe. With the ongoing restrictions we decided that the importing company could deliver to the door. Then the fun started. We plan to change from LHD to RHD so a partial strip down was started which as we progressed increased with the more we discovered. Some previous poor restoration work around the back of the body tub and corrosion has ended with a complete dismantling and body off. The car has, at some time, been resprayed in its (we think) original ivory and the interior redone using the beige colour leathercloth, although there are traces of green, stapled to plywood wall board cladding. There are signs of new front shocks and brake parts. The SU fuel pump has been replaced by an in-line pump under the floor protected by an old road sign!

The ash frame is remarkably good except in one small area which will have to be made good. The wiring is more than suspect, so will need a new loom.

With the tub off it’s now just a matter of stripping off decades of oil, underseal, paint and grime, repainting, a respray etc etc .

More hopefully next month after the accident with the grinder heals.

Dusty“

Thanks Dusty, I hope you are enjoying the ‘fun’. “Accident with the grinder” sounds grim please be more careful in future!!

Graham has been ‘sort’ of busy with his Midget!!:

““What I didn’t do with my MG this month”

Fair do’s . . . I should have acted earlier. I noticed it earlier in the week – on the way to the MG in the garage. Next time we went past – on the way to Tesco Click’n’Collect – we realised THAT TYRE WAS FLAT. Not just a bit saggy like earlier in the week, this was FLAT.

Yes, reader, this was on the Jaguar, not the MG.

Set to with my trusty foot-operated pump. Me with a not-sorted-out-since-injuring-it-in-October knee, as well. Around 1800 pumps later – yes, I admit it, I was counting – and the gauge hadn’t moved. Not even slightly.

Friendly passer-by confirms my conviction that the bead seal’s gone, so, for the past 1800 foot pumps, I had just been moving the air from the sucky-in bit of the pump to the neighbouring area, perhaps just making the odd leaf flutter on a nearby bush.

Freezing bloody cold . . . jacked car up . . . took tyre off and heaved it into Fiona’s Citroen for the nice people on the Trading Estate in Alcester – Protyre or Eclipse or Prolapse or something – to investigate.

Tyre was completely sound. They put a new bead seal in place, and, accompanying a pleasantly small bill, cheerfully produced that expression you never want to hear a computer engineer utter: “Never seen that happen before. No idea what caused it”.

Rather wish they’d not said that, as am now confident it will happen AGAIN.“

Thanks Graham, I’m not sure what I can say to that!!

I have made a bit of progress with the engine bay work on my ‘B’ and yes I did take the heater out, I hope I can get the new one back in!!

I’ve now got no excuse to get cracking and make some progress as this pile of parts arrived this morning, happy days.

As ever Graham gets the last word with another of his cartoons to enjoy, thanks Graham.

Stay safe, stay well

Paul