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

Newsletter November 2019


Club Night Guest Speaker - Peter from RBW about the All Electric MGB:

We had a very interesting talk at the Club Night on Tuesday, from Peter Swain of RBW about his all electric MGB. Peter explained how the project was started, after litigation against him from a business sale resulted in a nervous breakdown, however with help from Friends & (most of all) Family he started again this time in a Classic Car business and came up with the idea of making an MGB electric powered. He enlisted the help of Continental who are providing the motors and electronics (the most important part) and has got the project up to production level. Although, you do need deep pockets to purchase one, they have orders to get them started. The car is based on a Heritage shell with Golf Mk7 suspension, so is all new and drives very well. Despite the dark we were all able to have a good look at the car and I was privileged to drive round the block, a great experience. A big thank you to Peter for sharing the project with us and to Nick for arranging it. I'm sure we would all wish Peter the best of luck to make the project a big success.

Malvern Festival of Transport:

A few of us braved the elements to put on a display at the Malvern Transport Show. The rain did ease off around 11 o'clock (just as well as my windscreen wipers packed up half way there!!) but started again at 2pm, so we packed up and headed for home, sorry to Helen who had just arrived in her 'Modern'. Fred did well with the runners up prize in the 1970's section, well done Fred. Thanks to Alan for organising what was still an enjoyable and sociable day (although the inclement conditions did mean we had to forego the bacon butties but he had emailed us all, so we were prepared) and it was Alan & Julia's swansong, so an extra thank you for all the work over the last 9 years. Now that's 2 years of wet, will it be better next year? Should we go again?

Skittles Night:

The Butchers Arms in Mickleton did us proud for this year's Skittles Evening, although we were a bit worried when we got there to find several tables already occupied by diners but they soon took the hint when we started chucking balls down the alley at them!!! There were a few no shows, so we had less than the full complement (I hope they are all getting better) but everyone had a good time if the photo is any guide. The competition this year was the 'B' Team (MGB Owners) v 'The Rest' and would you believe after 3 rounds the scores were tied at 257 points each but 'The Rest' had an extra player, so the 'B' Team was declared the winners. There were other winners but we have to start with the 'Wooden Spoon' and there was a couple who struggled even as a pair to add much to the scoreboard, so Mike & Jane were awarded the award!! We had enough time this year to have 3 lives each for 'Killer' and there were 3 players in the final round (Paul, Graham & Steve) and I knocked a single pin but neither Graham or Steve could hold their nerve to keep up, so I won the bottle of wine. The ladies performed well with all the highest scores of the evening, however it was Diane who topped the list with a score of 25, aided by a 'Full House' on her first go, so received the bottle of wine. The men were not as good with 3 of us (Paul [again!!], Fred & Lex) on 22, so a 'Play Off' was required. We decided to have 1 ball each with the full 9 pins and the highest score would win, I went first and managed a lowly 4 points, Fred was next and only managed 2 points, it was all down to Lex but the best he could do was 3 points, so again I was declared the winner (how embarrassing!!).

Future Club Events:

Organising the Future Events:

Thank you to everyone who has come forward and offered to organise events for next year, this will spread the load and allow us to have lots of good events to attend all through the season. The list is still on the website and there are still lots of empty spaces for organisers, so if you would like to have a go, don't be shy and it can be good fun, there are lots of people who will be glad to assist with advice and practical help. Please have a look through the list and if you are inspired to try an event, just let me know and I will add your name to the list. Remember the list is not exhaustive, so if you can think of an event we have not done before we can add it and give it a try, if it works then great, if not we know not to try that again.

Tuesday 3rd December - Club Night:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Tuesday 10th December - Xmas Meal:

The full details about the Xmas Meal are on the website, however the menu for the Golden Cross is as follows:

Christmas Fayre Menu


Home Made Leek & Potato Soup Topped with Carrot Crisps,

Served with a mini loaf.

Oven-Baked Mushrooms. In a Creamy Garlic Sauce, (V)

Served with garlic bread.

Duck & Port Pate,

Served with mini loaves.

Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce,

Served on a bed of lettuce and farmhouse brown bread.

Vegetable Spring Rolls, (V)

Served with a sweet chilly dip.

BBQ Chicken Wings,

Served with a garlic dip.

MAINS - All served with roasted parsnips and seasonal vegetables

Traditional Roast Turkey,

Served with roast potatoes, stuffing, 'pigs in blankets' and topped with a proper Yorkshire Pudding.

Roast Beef,

Served with roast potatoes, stuffing and a proper Yorkshire Pudding.

Salmon in a White Wine Sauce,

Served with crushed new potatoes.

Mushroom, Spinach & Truffle Pie, (V)

Served with creamy mash and gravy.

Slow Roasted Belly Pork,

Served on a bed of creamy mash potato.


Christmas Pudding.

With brandy sauce.

Chocolate Brownie,

With chocolate sauce and ice cream.

Spiced Apple Crumble,

With custard

Vanilla Cheesecake,

With raspberry coulis.

Sticky Toffee Pudding,

Served with custard and a rich toffee sauce.

Fresh Coffee and Mince Pies - £2 Per Person,

Please order and pay on the night

We have booked the Restaurant for the evening and bookings will be entered in order of receipt (last year we overflowed into the main pub, so the earliest bookings will be seated in the restaurant). The cost will be £20 per person for the 3 courses, or £18.00 for 2 courses, Cheese and Biscuits are available with a supplement of £2, please note coffee (or tea) and mince pies are not included but can be ordered on the night at £2. Entry into the raffle is included. To book please let me now your selection from the menu, or send me your completed booking form (Paul Dunster, 24 Emmerson Ave, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9DX), cheques made payable to 'Arden MG Club' (they will not be presented until end of November). As in previous years we will try and group the tables as per your requests. To date we have 58 people booked (you can check the bookings and Menu selections on the Xmas Meal page of the Club website) but there is still space if you would like to join us.

Wednesday 1st January 2020 - Chilly Willy Run:

I have decided to make this year's Chilly Willy Run a bit easier for me, so we will be starting and finishing at the Golden Cross but don't worry there will be an interesting run in between and as ever we will make sure it is using 'Gritted Roads' just in case of inclement weather. As usual assemble at the Golden Cross from 11.00am to be ready to leave around 11.30. Coffee & Tea will be available to purchase at the start but please let me know if you would like bacon rolls in order to gauge if there is sufficient interest to persuade Matt to provide them.

Lunch will be available at the Golden Cross and the menu is below. As it is so close to the other festivities at the time of year Matt has asked us to provide a pre-order for food but pay on the day. Please let me know if you are going to join us for the run and your menu choices if you would like to have lunch. You can of course join the run without taking lunch but please let me know if you are going to join us, so we have sufficient route sheets available and we know who to wait for, if you find you are no longer able to come just let me know to cancel by email or phone (01789 261 815).

For this run we would like to see you in your MG but modern cars are also very welcome.

The Golden Cross have given us a set menu for the day with a price for 2 courses and this is as follows:


2 courses £12.95


Homemade Soup of the Day (V)

With a Rustic Mini Loaf

Chicken Liver Pate

With Caramelised Onion Jam & Rustic Mini Loaf

BBQ Wings

Chicken Wings in a BBQ sauce


Bombardier Battered Cod & Chips with Mushy Peas

Hunters Chicken served with Chips and Salad

Steak and Ale Pie served with Chips, Real Gravy & Peas

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagne served with Garlic Bread (V)

Chicken Tikka Curry served with Rice and a Poppadum

Sizzler Sausages served with Mash, Peas and Gravy


Cheesecake of the Day served with Ice Cream

Sticky Toffee Pudding served with Custard

Jam Sponge served with Custard

Chocolaty Brownie served with Ice Cream

Selection of Local Ice Cream

Tuesday 7th January 2020 - Club Night and AGM - The Golden Cross:

After 8/9 years, Alan has announced that he is going to stand down from the post of Events Sec at this coming AGM, so we will need a replacement!! This has made me think it is time for a change, I have come to the conclusion over the last few years that 10 years is probably long enough to be running the Club. It is now drawing to the end of my ninth year as Chairman, so I think this a good time to be looking at the succession plan for future years and for someone with new ideas and enthusiasm to come forward and continue to progress the Club. The Club keeps getting bigger, which is great but maybe it needs a new approach in the way it is run, so please all have a think about the future you want for the Club and how we can achieve it. I would be very pleased to discuss this with anyone, so let me know your thoughts. The Agenda will be on the website soon.

March Madness Run - Sunday 29th March:

Trevor & Angie have a venue planned for this event.

Drive-it-Day Run:

Alan & Liz have planned a venue for this annual run.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June:

Nigel has collected deposits from 41 people for next year's weekend away (and paid the venue!!), so it will be another good sociable event. I guess it will not be too late to add yourself to the list, if you have not booked and are interested the information is on a page of the Club website.

Other Events:

Not much going on at present but we have been invited to the 'Holly Run' organised by the Morgan Three Wheeler Club, who run this 'Treasure Hunt' style event each year. This year the start and finish is at The Old Waggon & Horses on the A451 between Stourbridge and Kidderminster at 10am.

The date is Sunday 15th December. There is no entry fee just book with the organiser.

Other Matters:

Club Clothing:

There had been some interest in another order for the Club Clothing, however I have only had one person ask me to obtain something!! If anyone is interested in adding to the order please let me know before the end of November. The information about what is available is on the Club website.

2020 Arden MG Club Wall Calendar:

Norman has finalised the Calendar for next year and it has gone to print. There is an added attraction this year as Graham has produced a bespoke Arden MG Club cartoon which has been added to one of the pages. Same price as last year £5 each and they will be available at the December Club Night. I have a number of pre-orders but there will be some of the batch of 25 left, let me know if you would like one or try your luck at the Club Night.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Trevor & Angie Smith have been converting an MGB to 'Ford' power and have started to put down on paper their journey through the process of the project and have been good enough to share this with us. Here is the first instalment:

Restoration of and Installation of a Ford 2l Duratec Engine into our MGB - Part 1.

This story is also how we became members of the Arden MG Club.

The engine commonly referred to as the Ford Duratec engine is a Mazda designed engine fitted to the series 3 MX5. Both the block and the head are aluminium, weighing only 224lbs compared to the 400 lbs of the MGB engine. The MGB 1800 engine will give you circa 95bhp, the standard Duratec gives 150bhp, our engine is specked to give 210bhp.

In The Beginning - 2015

With my impending semi-retirement approaching and after watching a TV programme showing the rising prices of MGBs, we decided to purchase a MGB roadster to restore. We also decided that to get the best out of MG ownership, we needed to join a local MG club.

Our only previous ownership of a MG, when we were in our twenties, had been a 2-year-old 1972 1275 MG midget in midnight blue. Being only 2 years old and a soft top, it felt like a Ferrari to us.

So, without any real knowledge of buying an old MGB I started looking around. At the same time, I needed a printer, mine having just expired. By chance there was a gentleman 9 miles away in Wellesbourne who was selling two. I made contact and set off to look at said printers. There I met "Dell Boy" Nigel Hook, and ended up buying both printers (Nigel offered me a deal for both) Nigel does like his deals. I also spotted that he had a MGB under a cover and our talk quickly moved to all things MG and that I was on the look out for one to restore. Ahh he said I know where there is a roadster which I think will be cheap. Have you noticed how Nigel always knows somebody who knows somebody etc etc. What year was it I asked, he replied it is on the cusp a 1974. I thought what the hell does on the cusp mean. I now know it is the change over time from chrome bumper to rubber bumper. The car was in Hinkley, being sold by the owner of Classics & Chrome Ltd.

The car was in a bramble bush under a tarpaulin, with a great deal of green algae on hood and body. At that point my instinct said I should walk away, but with Nigel's words "I think it will be cheap" ringing in my ears, I blindly checked for rot and what I was getting for the money. To my surprise beneath the scruffy exterior the car was solid in all the right places and it started and moved. It was not on the cusp it was a 1976 rubber bumper conversion that had been subject to a previous restoration (as it turns out corners were cut). We did the deal at £1500

I don't know if that was a good price or not. I was feeling quite pleased with myself, now the proud owner of a MGB Roadster not realizing that what I had purchased was a future money pit. Also how was I going to tell Angie that I had spent £1500 for a car that looked like it had come from a scrap yard. Much grovelling, flowers and chocolates would be required.

I was beginning to regret Nigel's words "I think it will be cheap"

Not that I hold Nigel responsible for getting us involved in MGs, spending our life's savings, re-mortgaging the house and bank robbery, but I can't help feeling that It would have been cheaper if I had bought a brand-new printer from PC World.

The MG Experience

What we can hold Nigel responsible for is that after another chance meeting at the Brailes Flower Show later that same year, he invited us to attend a meeting at the Golden Cross. This turned out to be a very good move for us. We have thoroughly enjoyed the club activities, runs and making new friends. All the good times enjoyed with the Arden MG Club has outweighed the ups and downs of being a MG owner. Nigel is forgiven for uttering those words "I think it will be cheap".

Many of you who have restored a classic car know how much work is required and how long it takes. I was new to this and naive to think we would soon be joining the runs with the wind blowing through our hair. With the summer quickly disappearing It was not long before we realised that if we wanted to join in the fun of MG motoring, we needed to purchase another MG, after all, plan A was that being semi-retired and MGBs rising in price, it would be a good investment (well that's what I told Angie). So, we purchased an on the road red 1972 MGB Roadster from Weston Super Mare.

Now that we were living the dream with our red MG my thoughts turned to our original blue MG.

I apologise that it has taken this long to get to the main purpose of this story.

Being an engineer, we just can't leave things alone and after seeing/hearing some V8s on one of the runs,

I thought that's for me. However, after looking into the amount of work involved for the power that is produced plus some prompting from my son, I decided to go down the 2l Duratec engine and 6 speed gearbox route. As I found out this sort of work is like weddings - always add an extra nought.

To make this project even more of a challenge, I decided that the installation would be carried out without any modifications to the MGB chassis/body even down to using the existing exhaust mounting points, so that with a few special components, anyone could complete this conversion if required (I am hoping to maybe sell them as a kit of parts). I have achieved this and the car is now at the paint shop. In Part 2 I will talk about the trials and tribulations you must overcome once you start this sort of journey

Trevor & Angie

Thanks Trevor & Angie I'm looking forward to the next instalment, a very interesting project is anyone going to be inspired?

Happy MG'ing