M.G. Car Club 'Y' Register
Spring Run 2002 - Sunday 14 April 2002
by Neil Cairns.
Photographs by Ken Jones and Paul Barrow
years event started, and finished, at Broughton Castle near Banbury, Oxfordshire.
The location was ideal for the event, and the Register were the guests of Lord and Lady
Saye and Sele. The participants were not to be let down by the excellent organisation of
Jerry Birkbeck and his good friend Richard Dick. The run was laid out in a Roadbook issued
to every driver, in the Tulip Rally fashion now familiar to those who had been on previous
runs. An introduction on the first page explained everything, including the run, the tour
of the castle, the judging system, and advised on timing so one could be ready for each
item in the programme. Upon arrival, the tea-rooms had been opened, and though the weather
was dry and fine, it also carried a north wind with a cold bite. The castle normally opens
in May, but we had been invited especially and there were no other members of the public
other than ourselves. The house and grounds are in a superb state of preservation, the red
Northamptonshire stone appearing to have withstood 700 years of weathering well. The 15th
Century Regency home is popular with film and television period dramas, and the café
walls were full of still scenes from many famous films. The house has been in the same
family for the 700 years since it was built. (Enquiries can be made on 01295 722547.)
part of the day was meeting friends old and new. The whole affair is very sober, but none
too serious. Thirty four Ys were entered for the day, of which twenty eight
arrived on Sunday. There were three who did not make it. One boiled over on route and went
back home, another, that of Keith Herkes KAX872, was going really well until it arrived on
the A5 en-route to the castle. The little M.G saloon then took umbrage and blew up its
distributor. An advance & retard weight inside had taken its chance for freedom, and
wrecked the unit. After 50 years of being spun around it had obviously had enough! Keith
took the car back home, but then he and his lady wife arrived a little later in a spanking
MGC. I never did find out what had happened to the third Y.
There were a
number of cars which were attending this event for the first time. The oldest
Y present was of Slater Reynolds, chassis Y/0330, the 79th off the
production line, registration GL 9899. GGD 880 YA of Bruce Wrye sporting a
maroon and cream two-tone colour scheme also had its first visit. Roger Webb arrived in
YB CVV 57, the cars very first outing after its restoration. He had a
few teething problems, but we all suffer those. A good long run is the place to find and
sort them out. The other first-timers seemed to take the whole day out in
11:30am, the Run itself was to begin. Here, cars set off at any time and in any order they
liked, but it was a chance to see how ones own car performed against other identical
models. In no way does anyone race, the car is just not of that type, but hill climbing
and acceleration times soon show up the less powerful, or less experienced driver.
Double-de-clutching, puffs of blue smoke from exhaust pipes from worn inlet valve guides,
clouds of dust at sharp corners, YAs leaning over where YBs sit more level
(with their anti-roll-bars,) and cloth flat caps worn at tilted angles were the order of
the day. The run included some very narrow lanes, quite stiff hills to both climb and
descend, lots of pretty villages and hamlets bursting with spring flowers, and about 48
miles to cover. At the village of Halford it was amusing to see a long line of
Y Types lining up to be refuelled at the tiny village service station. The
Tulip rally layout of the Roadbook made navigating easy for some, but no doubt a few
odometers read well over the 48 miles up arrival back at the castle for lunch. Mine
certainly did where junctions had been missed. Some had lunches on-route at pubs and
hotels, other had a picnic on the well mown green grass of the castle park.
after the run included the judging of the cars. There were two prizes, one for the
YA and YTs as a group, with the NTG CUP. The YBs had
their own cup, the BILL ATKINSON CUP to be presented by his wife Lesley.
Sadly, Bill passed on earlier this year, andhad been an active member of the Register
Committee for many years. His charm, big smile and wit will be missed. This year the
YA-YTs were self judged, but the best YB chosen by Lesley Atkinson. (In future years
the YBs cup will be on a self-judge basis). Beginning about 3pm in groups of 25, we
were taken round the castle by our hosts. The high-light was the visit to the
roof, where photos of the whole assemblage of cars could be taken by keen
enthusiastic amateurs such as myself. After the 30 minute guided walk about the rooms of
the house, we were led to the shop and the café, opened especially for us. Hot cups of
tea and coffee were the order of the day, along with large slices of fruit cake.
everyone assembled inside the coral of M.G. saloon cars and a few extra guest M.Gs.
The prizes were presented by Lord Saye and Sele in a humourous atmosphere. He was then
given a cup for himself by the Committee, - a MG Y Type mug of course!
The winner of the NTG Cup for 2002 was the immaculate YA UMG 366 owned by Tim
Griggs from London. Then Lesley presented the Bill Atkinson Cup to the owner of
YB UFC 280, Alan Pratt from Nuneaton. Special mention must be made of the
three YTs that attended. This very rare model of the M.G. One and a Quarter Litre sports saloon is not a
common sight. JSL 414 of Andrew and Arlene Coulson; VSL 218 of Peter Veilvoye; and KXB 360
of Dave and Christine Ivins are the three concerned. Andrew and Arlenes red YT comes
to the UK after 50 years in South Africa, and is possibly the oldest YT on the UK roads.
Peters cream YT was restored in Australia and re-imported to the UK last year. Dave
and Christines yellow YT took to the road again in 1999 after a four year rebuild.
By 5pm the
entrants began to make their various and varied ways home. Some had travelled long
distances to attend, not least our own Dennis Doubtfire from sunny Devon, in
YB YMB 125. The rich and famous also attend our humble meetings, as the grey
YB DFB 777 was driven by one Brian Cox, associated editor of that pillar of
the classic car world, Practical Classics Magazine. The long distance prize, had there
been one, would have gone to the YB of Alan Chick, HKG 16 from Penarth,
ended another very successful day out for the Morris Eight Series E
GTI Register. (The Y Type uses the body tub of this hum-drum little
Morris saloon.) See you all again next
year, and well done the Committee!!
enlarge the pictures, double click on them.