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The M.G. Car Club 'Y' Register
Spring Run 2005 - Sunday 17 April 2005
Two reports, by Andrew Adamson and Ted Gardner.
Photographs by Andrew Adamson and Ted Gardner.

Andrew Adamson: The Spring Run has been the first major run in the MG Y Type social calendar for a number of years. Each year, the event organiser, Jerry Birkbeck, manages to find a suitable location where cars gather before and after the run. This year's venue was Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, a historic setting deep in the Cotswold hills.

In the week leading up to the run, the weather had looked decidedly unpromising, even for Yorkshire. It may have been tempting not to take the YA out of hibernation, but I had made arrangements to travel down to the Cotswolds with Mike Silk, who's lovely YT had won the prestigious NTG cup at last year's run. Mike was accompanied by his son Chris. My own navigator had the initials MG, surely a good omen.

We duly met at the Woolley Edge Services on the M1 and trundled off down the motorway, hoping that the weather would remain dry. After several miles of being dodged by assorted large vehicles I noticed that one of the YT's bonnet catches was not fastened. Pulling up at the next service station, I imagined a brief pit stop before continuing the journey. Unfortunately, an under-bonnet check revealed that the entire engine bay was covered in oil. Mike traced this to the oil filter casing and reluctantly had to arrange for the car to be taken home.

The YA continued its solitary journey and was going along quite happily until there was a sudden loss of power on the M69. This turned out to be the brand new fuel pump on which the points had jammed, swiftly rectified by a quick tap with an RAC spanner! The rest of the journey was broken only by fuel stops and we arrived in Winchcombe by late afternoon. That evening we met up for an enjoyable meal with Mike and Chris, who had completed the journey in the family TF.

After all the rain on last year’s run it was wonderful to draw back the curtains on Sunday morning to reveal a cloudless blue sky. Following a hearty breakfast and the customary car checks, we travelled the short distance to Sudeley Castle where we had plenty of time to chat to fellow owners and admire the assembly of Y Types and other assorted M.G.s. These also attracted the attention of a group of French students and other passers by.  Maybe the damp conditions of last year's run had put people off, but attendance levels were disappointingly low, with a record 8 cars failing to start the run. Considering the number of Y Type owners around the country, it was a shame that more of them couldn't join us for this premier Y Type event. Surely they couldn't all have been doing the London Marathon! Still, quality is more important than quantity and there were some wonderful examples of all variants of the Y Type, including a unique convertible, salvaged from the remains of a YA saloon with rear accident damage.

The run itself took us along windy country roads, passing through beautiful Cotswold countryside and unspoilt villages. The route gave participants the option of a pub lunch at various locations, or the opportunity for picnics in the warm Spring weather. Although all the cars probably did slightly different versions of the route, I think it is true to say that the run was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The combination of old cars, fine Spring weather, wonderful countryside and excellent company is hard to beat. My YA struggled slightly up some of the steeper hills where the procession of vehicles prevented it from taking a good run at them. Having two fairly large people aboard probably didn’t help the situation!

The run passed all too quickly and the cars were soon lining up at Sudeley for the concours and prize giving as follows:

The NTG cup (YA/YT) was won by Dave Dudley-Toole for his 1950 YA in Regency Red.

The Bill Atkinson cup (YB) was won by Eric Dodd for his 1953 YB in red and black.

The Dennis Doubtfire “Piston Broke” award for the unluckiest entrant was won by Mike Silk, who remained cheerful throughout, despite the disappointment.

Unfortunately there was no award for the furthest distance travelled!

Driving up the M1 at 10pm in constant rain wasn't exactly the highlight of the trip, but overall it was a great weekend. It's a long time until next year's run, so maybe we can organise a mini Y Type Yorkshire run combined with a pub lunch somewhere? Perhaps it would encourage some of the lesser-spotted Northern Y types out onto the road. Anybody interested?

Thanks go to David Hague and Jack Murray for setting up the stand, to all those who took part in the event, making it such a memorable day and, last but not least, to Jerry for his unbridled enthusiasm in organising the day. It would be nice if Jerry’s dedication to the Spring Run could be rewarded by a turnout in excess of 50 cars next year. Why have a Y if you’re not going to use it?  HappY motoring.

Andrew Adamson

Sudeley Castle for the Spring Run 2005


Richard Dick wining the
Ted Gardner 'Surprise' prize

The Bill Atkinson cup (YB)
Eric Dodd.

The Dennis Doubtfire “Piston Broke”
Mike Silk.

To enlarge the pictures, double click on them.

Ted Gardner:  This years Run in the Cotswolds was in better weather than experienced last year and Suzie and Peter Arnell, Mollie and Jack Murray, and I agreed to meet at a Pub in Streatley on Saturday lunchtime after which we would amble up to our accommodation about 12 miles from Sudeley Castle.  Jack and Mollie picked up Paul & Felicty Gresser in their Y en route and they too stopped over at the Pub.

We had a pleasant drive up and stopped on the way in Chipping Norton where Jack fiddled with his points.

The following morning all three Y’s drove via the country lanes (by the way the map we were using is wrong!) to meet others who had already arrived at the Castle, a very suitable venue.

It’s nice to see so many Y types and also our friends in other MG’s attending but still a few more would be acceptable. Maybe we should tell members there will be free petrol and have the Run on April 1st?

Jerry, who does so much to organize the Run, can be seen exhorting participants to get on the road with flag in hand. This is what we did eventually, still in sunny weather but again we found our maps to be wrong (not Jerry’s). One wonders if anyone else has also got these rogue maps. We followed the “spirit” of the route if not the actual route and from time to time met Y’s travelling in the opposite direction, clearly they were lost! For a while we tagged on behind Jerry but rather unfairly he stopped in Bibury for lunch and we had planned to stop further along the route!

However pressing on the 3 Y’s eventually stopped for refreshment in Northleach where we saw Lionel Reeves and his wife had parked in their early YA.

The rest of the route back was relatively easy though the first fine spots of rain were showing on the screen. Back at Sudeley the cars eventually gathered for the prize giving after further encouragement from Jerry whilst a couple of us held on to the gazebo which had it’s own ideas about where it wanted to be.

Packing up the bits and pieces we travelled off in convoy via Stow on the Wold and A roads this time and in progressively heavier rain. A stop was made in Blewbury for refreshment before the final leg home. Peter and Suzie got home at 2045, Jack & Mollie at about 2000 after a long but enjoyable day, thanks to Jerry and Company.

Ted Gardner