The last few months have flown past and as I am now writing my penultimate article for the Younger Members Initiative, it does not seem like seven months ago that I started my adventures in the Morris Register Loan Vehicle.
The last month has been rather quiet with the car mainly due to the weather and also a holiday abroad got in the way. I was planning to attend a show at Shuttleworth, but it started to rain once again and stopped play. October has been busy otherwise as I attended the AGM up in Crewe and offered my services to the Morris Register as the new Webmaster, so I have been trying to sort out the teething issues of the new website, so any feedback would be appreciated.
Also, on Monday 7th October, Rob Symonds and I spent the day with a well known journalist (and club member!) for a popular magazine on a photoshoot modelling with the loan car (right). If all goes to plan there should be a 4 to 6 page article being published in said magazine in the next couple of months, after which we will also have more information to publish the behind the scenes version in the Morris Monthly.
A miracle has happened for this year’s August Bank Holiday: the sun was shining, so I dropped the hood and took the car for an East Anglian tour over to California, Norfolk. I decided to take the scenic route and avoid the dual carriageways and main tourist routes, so I headed from Royston through the villages of Barley and Great Chishall and on to Saffron Walden, Finchingfield and Sudbury, then on to Ipswich where the roads were busy because of the final leg of the Ed Sheeran concerts taking place in the town.
So it was a quick stop off at EMG Ipswich to show them the car and then for a trip around Ipswich for today’s photo, that was taken outside Ipswich Town Football Club at the Portman Road Stadium next to the Sir Bobby Robson statue. From Ipswich it was back on the main road this time working my way north along the Suffolk coast on the A12 through Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and into California for the night.
Day 2 of the East Anglian tour: eaded south to look at Burgh Castle an old Roman Site, but the car park was too far away from the castle and we could not get a photo. Burgh Castle was built in the late 3rd century CE, three of its imposing stone walls have survived and are almost to their original height, making Burgh Castle one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Britain.
From Burgh Castle we took a drive along the sea front at Great Yarmouth but was too busy for a photo, but we found the Britannia Monument which is 200 years old this year, and is a commemorative column built in memorial to Admiral Horatio Nelson. We then made our way north to Poppylands at Horsey for lunch where the Morris fitted in really well as the cafe is based on a 1940’s tea room during the war, so I managed to get a photo outside an air raid shelter, bomb clearance area and an old bike.
After lunch we made our way back with a quick stop off at Horsey Windpump an English Heritage site pumping water for the Norfolk Boards. Our final stop was at the Somerton Church Ruins which is an old church that fell into disuse during the 17th century.
Day 3 We decided to go for a walk along the coast and left the car to rest.
Day 4 We departed California and headed off towards the Norfolk Broads. Our first stop was at Woodbastwick which is located on the River Bure. We then made our way down a narrow road with Norfolk reeds both side over hanging the road to find a nice photo spot next to the river and opposite the Ferry Inn at Horning (which we made for as a quick refreshment which was needed due to the sun).
After a quick refill stop at Wroxham (for the car), the home of the largest village shop in the country Roys of Wroxham. From Wroxham we headed to Horning and then east to Hickling Broad to pick up the coast road to head north to Happisburgh, Norfolk (pronounced as Hayzbruh), and past the Bacton Gas Terminal, Mundseley and then we turned around at RAF Trimingham (a radar station protecting the skiesof Eastern England).
On the way back to California we stopped off again at Poppylands for lunch.
Day 5 The homeward journey: After the hottest August Bank Holiday the rain had to start at some point. 10 minutes before we were due to depart from California it started to rain, luckily the car was all loaded up so up came the hood and on went the wiper. We headed south through Caister-on-Sea, then we went through Great Yarmouth and then on to Bungay and Bury St Edmunds the home of Greene King Brewery. After a petrol stop we continued our journey through Haverhill before heading back to Royston.
The last couple of weeks have been quiet getting the loan car out and about because work commitments have got in the way. That is one of the problems being a younger member! After having the hottest day on record, I was looking forward to getting out and about in the car but once again the weekend was wet.
Saturday 3rd August
Took the car for a journey into work at Duxford as I wanted to prepare the vehicle ready for the following weekend trip to Thorseby, so a check of the levels and a clean of the car and back into the garage before the rain started again.
Saturday 10th August
The last couple of days the Met Office had been warning against travelling and with some festivals being cancelled it was a quick check on the Thursday before the weekend to ensure the weekend was still going ahead.
We loaded up the car for an early departure with an expandable squeegee mop ready to keep the windscreen clear for the passenger and a back up for the small wiper. We made our way up the A1198 from Royston to Godmanchester, which is part of Ermine Street an old Roman Road that ran from London to Lincoln.
From here we joined the A14 to merge on to the Al north, with a south west wind it made the journey up slightly easier because of the spray from the wet roads and passing vehicles was not covering the Morris. On arriving at Thorseby we made our way across the field to catch up with members from the Hertfordshire Noggin who made us welcome and kept us dry from the rain in their hospitality tent. There was a break in the rain so we had a wonder around some of the vehicles and watched the mechanical horses go around the gymkhana. The wind was making the course difficult but with the rain from earlier a couple of sharks made their way from the sea to compete in the course (see pics next month!)
The afternoon activity was a drive through the local countryside and the picturesque Clumber Park which gave an ideal opportunity for a few photo shoots.
Sunday 11th August
After a quick clean of the vehicle to remove the mud and rain marks from yesterday we made our way back to Thorseby after spending the night in Retford. Parking up in front of the main marquee for the day we spent the morning looking around all the vehicles and thank you to Rob Symonds for taking the time to walk around the show with me to explain the differences on the Morris models over the years. After the presentation I checked the weather for the journey home and it was looking promising so we lowered the roof to enjoy the sun, however just south of Grantham the sky suddenly turned black so it was a quick stop off in a layby to put the roof up to continue the rest of the journey and then the lightning started and heavy rain fell. Within seconds the Al was under water and the traffic was very slow and the wiper was working overtime. This weather lasted a while but eventually cleared and we arrived back home just over three hours after leaving Thorsesby.
Thank you for an enjoyable weekend and it was great to meet so many people.
The last month has flown by and I have had great adventures with the Morris. It is amazing how many people stop to talk when in a car park or filling up with fuel, plus, with the roof down, you can hear people commenting about the car when travelling through towns and villages. I have been really impressed with the fuel consumption of the car, as I have been managing to achieve 37 mpg: that is a lot higher then my modern day car.
Saturday 29th June
A rare sighting of the sun shining, so I took the opportunity to head out for the drive into the country with the roof down and sunglasses on. We headed out of Royston towards the village of Barley, a village that has been the home to residents for approximately 3000 years with Bronze Age settlements and Iron Age farmers from 100BC.
Our next village was Great Chishill, the home village of pop star Sam Smith. We then headed on south to the village of Arkesden the former home of musician Steve Marriott, the guitarist with the Small Faces. From here we headed to Newport, Essex, the birth home of “Tex” Banwell, a British soldier who escaped PoW camps at least twice, impersonated Monty, joined the Dutch resistance and was finally imprisoned in Auschwitz. Our next destination was Audley End House and Gardens for a photo opportunity outside the house and cricket ground.
From Audley End we headed up towards Duxford and past the Imperial War Museum, the largest aviation museum in Britain. RAF Duxford was also used for film location for The Battle of Britain, Memphis Belle, The Monuments Men UK and The Prince and the Showgirl.
Working our way across South Cambridgeshire we stopped off for another photo opportunity in the village of Orwell in Cambridgeshire which is an old English village listed in the Doomsday Book as Ordeuuella, (Ord Wella, in Old English). The Prime Meridian/Greenwich Meridian Line passes the eastern edge of Orwell of 0o longitude.
After Orwell it was time to head back home to Royston and a quick stop off at Royston Heath for another scenic photo.
Saturday 6th July
Today I headed down to the town of Harlow in Essex in the Morris, as I was invited to the annual summer staff hog roast of Land Sheriffs. Land Sheriffs is a very good customer of my place of work and is a security company protecting the railways lines and stations of Network Rail.
We headed south through the villages of Duxford, Stansted Mountfitchet (the home to Stansted Airport, Bishops Stortford and then on to Harlow. For the journey home we decided to take the more scenic route back so went through the pictures villages of Hunsdon and Little Hadham at this point we had to stop because it started raining, so up went the roof for the remaining journey home. We carried on through to Clavering, the family home of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, and then back home.
Friday 12th – Sunday 14th July
Just as I was setting of for the Journey down to Beaulieu there were Spitfires flying above practicing for the Flying Legends Airshow at the IWM Duxford. So leaving behind the sound of the merlin engines I made my way westbound on the A505 for the first leg of the journey down to Compton in Berkshire.
Following the A505 through the towns of Royston, Baldock, Letchworth and Hitchin I then headed across the Chilterns towards Barton Le Clay and Leighton Buzzard to pick up the A418. The next morning I checked the car over after the first leg of my journey, all the levels were spot on and so I lowered the roof and then made my way on to the A34 to head south toward Newbury (made famous by the environmentalist protester Swampy in 1996) and then down to Winchester.
I was trying to avoid motorways but ended up on the M3, but I kept up with the traffic as they had speed restrictions on at 40 mph. I then headed west along the M27 and came off at Junction 2 to pick up a friend at Calmore just outside Southampton. From here we headed into the New Forest and onto Beaulieu to the National Motor Museum.
It was a great day looking around Beaulieu at the 250 vintage/classic vehicles, the vehicles created by the Top Gear presenters over the years, plus the house and the Abbey.
For the evening’s accommodation I booked into the Bartley Lodge Hotel on the edge of the New Forest. Once again the weather was great so on the Sunday morning I lowered the roof for the 151 mile journey back home. I started the journey off through Romsey and then up to Andover before passing through Newbury. I managed to head from the New Forest in Hampshire back to Royston in Hertfordshire using just single carriageways except for the last 12 miles. It was nice to cruise around at 40 mph with the roof down as you see so much more of the countryside then driving a modern day car sticking to main roads.
The last month has gone really well, I managed to clean and polish and now the body panels have a deep shine. I have been really impressed with the lack of coolant and oils the car has used.
Over the last few weeks I have got out to a couple of shows and have used the car when the weather has permitted.
Sunday 19th May
Weather was forecasted to be dry in the morning, turning to scattered showers early afternoon. So we set of at 7 am for our first rally in the Morris loan car at the Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally (Classic Car) near Aylesbury. The weather was not in our favour as it was thick fog, so I was also glad to get the wiper to work last weekend, as with the moisture in the air, it came in handy.
However, my father had to keep leaning out to wipe the exterior of the screen as this model only had a wiper on the driver’s side. Making our way though the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside we arrived around 9 am and made our way to the Morris Register club stand where fellow members welcomed us (see top photo).
There were around 1000 vehicles on show ranging from commercials, modern day classic cars, down to vehicles from the early 1900s. The weather improved throughout the day with the sun eventually coming out, so for the journey home we decided to lower the roof. However, this didn’t last for long as after 10 minutes of driving we had to stop to raise the roof!
If you are looking for a packed show with plenty of vehicles from all periods to see, the Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally should be on your list to attend next year.
Monday 27th May
After a hectic couple of days over the weekend it was nice to have another Bank Holiday Monday off, so we headed out for a drive into the countryside but ended up eventually in the village of Bassingbourn which was a former RAF base and home to the Memphis Belle during World War 2.
Sunday 2nd June
We attended the Cambridgeshire County Show at the National Trust Estate of Wimpole. This was in conjunction with my place of work, EMG Motor Group Mitsubishi Duxford. We combined the modern technology of plug-in hybrid vehicles and 4×4 pick ups with the tradition of the Morris. The Morris was a great crowd puller to the stand with many of the younger generations looking around the car and taking photos (see photo 2nd from the top).
Sunday 9th June
Had to do some shopping today, so as the sun was shining, I lowered the roof to head over to B&Q Stevenage and Tesco (see 3rd photo down).
Sunday 16th June
The day started out wet but with drier weather forecast for the day I took my father out for a drive for Father’s Day, so once again headed over to Sutton, Bedfordshire for another photo opportunity outside the 13th century church. Once back, it was time for another clean before parking up for the evening (see bottom photo).
Monday 17th June
Headed over to the Bucks Head, Little Wymondley for the monthly noggin.
As the weather was dry for a change I decided to take the Morris for an evening drive. With the daylight fading we decided to head back home before it got too dark, as it was my first drive with the headlights on. Having been used to modern high intensity headlamps I was glad to be back before it got fully dark!
Hopefully the rainy weather will stop soon so I can enjoy the car fully as the weekdays seem to be drier then the weekends and being a younger driver work does get in the way of playing.
I would like to introduce myself, I am David Allanson the 2019 winner of the Morris Clubs Eight Series E tourer loan vehicle.
I am 40 years old and based in Royston, Hertfordshire. Having worked within the motor industry for years but with modern cars, it has been a great pleasure to relearn how to drive, allowing for longer braking distances, no power steering, leaf spring suspension and cross ply tyres!
Monday 25th March
My first drive was from inside the hall of the NEC back to Royston on the Monday morning after the Practical Classic Show. So, avoiding the M6 and A14, we set off for a 3 hour drive back home, using the A45 through Coventry. Stopping to fill the car up with fuel, the car was a talking point at the petrol station with the cashier and then a Morris Minor pulled in behind andn we started talking to the owners about this opportunity to promote classic cars to younger drivers. Back on the A45 we continued our journey through Daventry and on to Northampton. As the sun was shining we lowered the roof and navigated our way around the roundabouts but had to resort to hand signals. This was the first time I have use them since my driving test as I wasn’t sure if the trafficators were out and indicators on. Driving on down to Bedford, heads where turning looking at the car and then on to Royston. I was really impressed how the car drove, maintaining a comfortable 50 mph on the open road.
Sunday 31st March
The morning was spent washing and polishing the car achieving a great reflection from the paintwork and then we headed out for a drive through the countryside of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire visiting the picturesque village of Sutton. This gave us a fantastic backdrop for a photo driving through the ford next to a packhorse bridge. The photo was used on the cover of the May edition of the Morris Monthly.
Saturday 6th April
I checked the gearbox levels today and found the dipstick just below minimum so ventured out to find some EP140 oil, all other levels were fine. After topping the gearbox up we adventured out again once again taking some more photos.
Thursday 11th April – Saturday 13th April
Took modern transport care of easyJet to Dortmund as it was the Tehno Classica motor show in Essen in Germany, with a range of cars on show, ranging from eastern European vehicles through to a wide selection of Mercedes. Well worth a visit with easy regional connections to Dortmund and only a short drive or public transport down to Essen.
Sunday 21 April
The sun was shining on one of the hottest Easter Sundays on record, so we took the car out for a trip down to St Albans. We started with the roof up, leaving behind the A1M for the country roads through the towns of Baldock, Letchworth Garden City the home of the first roundabout built in 1909 (30 years before this car was made) then through to Hitchin and onto Welwyn and Hatfield the home of the DeHavilland Mosquito and the Comet, before the site was transformed into a film set for Saving Private Ryan.
For the journey home we stopped off for a photo at Cromer windmill.
We then decided to drop the roof for the remaining journey home through the villages of Sandon and then back into Royston.
Monday 22 April
The last day of the fabulous Easter weekend sun I took the car out for a drive through the countryside.
Monday 6th May
The bank holiday weekend has once again been traditional, with rain, sleet and hail. So as the Monday started of dry I decided to check the levels and clean the car and carrying out a visual check, found that the drivers door lower hinge bolt nut was missing so I replaced the nut. I finished cleaning the car just in time as the sky started to overcast. With the weather mixed I looked online, and got booked up to attend the Chiltern Hills Festival on the 19th May.
The official handover of the Morris Register Series E tourer loan car for 2019 took place at the NEC Classic and Restoration Show on Sunday 24th March.
The lucky recipient, David Allanson (from Royston, Herts) is seen in the pictures receiving the keys from Dave Youngs of Lancaster Insurance, who kindly supply free insurance for the car. Chairman John Ford is also pictured, along with David’s father, Malcolm. David (in the check shirt) wanted to waste no time for the car to be his, so it was driven home the next day. He has set up a Facebook page, “Morris Register Young Driver Initiative”, and has already started posting. Pay it a visit!
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