The M.G. Car Club 'Y' Register Spring Run 2010
May 21-22 2010
By Jerry Birkbeck
The 13th Annual Y Type Spring Run and weekend took place over the weekend of 21st/22nd May 2010 and was centred in Ledbury. It was an occasion blessed with fantastic weather and wall to wall sunshine on the day of the run.
Past runs have been held in the Cotswolds but organisers Jerry and Jo Birkbeck thought that it might be worthwhile to looking to the Malvern's and Herefordshire as an alternative.
Since the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the Y Type held in 2007 the format has been for a weekend, rather than a run on a Sunday. That was a very special occasion, which was sadly spoilt by poring rain on the day of the run. Moreover, it's the only occasion where we have pulled together nearly 50 cars. As so many entrants travel a considerable distance to get to meet up it has been sensible to arrange a venue where a Dinner can be organised together with an overnight stay. Finding a hotel large enough to cater for around 30-35 couples' staying overnight has not always been easy and has often been more expensive than individuals sorting out their own B and B. Such was the case for this weekend, although the hotel was large enough to cater for around 18 of us.
The Royal Oak in Ledbury is in the centre of an historic and diverse town which deserves a good look round should you ever be passing through. In a fine listed building, which was undergoing repairs, owners Brendan and Sheila were doing a fine job in enhancing the image of the Hotel which had a few years earlier a poor reputation. They looked after us well, ensured that we had the exclusive run of the place from 8.00pm onwards, looked after the cars and in all were truly welcoming — thank you so much.
The Dinner, attended by 42 was a great success, and care was taken to ensure that everyone had a good seat! We would have had a couple more but MGCC Director Paul Smith had to miss the evening as his wife had had a nasty fall at home. However, they and `Little Gem' the YB that has been left to MGCC by Tim Pennicott, were present the following day.
The Spring Run commenced from Ledbury Rugby Club, where there is a good sized car park and of course the ever important coffee/tea/bacon butties and loos!
As organisers we had looked at several routes from Ledbury together with a number of potential destinations. The recently restored National Trust property Croom Park had been an early choice, but this had already been booked by the MGB Register. Alternative venues included Eastnor Castle, though that was too expensive, and we settled on Berrington Hall, to the north of Leominster. This too is owned by the National Trust. A very generous deal that included the usual free entry for members and £6.05 for a couple, who were non-members.
We had thought of passing through Malvern, though a quick check established that this was not viable due to likely heavy traffic over a weekend. The route to the north of Ledbury and west of Malvern was sadly lacking in terms of views and interest. Jo suggested following the floodplain of the River Severn, which lies to the east of the Malvern Hills and then cutting cross country to Berrington. This with a few tweaks ended up as our chosen route — a distance of around 53 miles from the start.
All these weekends have the occasional mishap and breakdown and this was no exception. However, principal interest lay around the lack of a working starter motor in the Birkbeck's recently acquired YT. From home to home, at every stop a push was needed and the starting handle proved to be ineffectual. However, as we were to discover there was a reason for that!
Mike Silk's YT had a problem with his dynamo not charging. Brendan at the hotel kindly charged the battery up overnight, and the Y techy experts confirmed that Mike would have no trouble making his way to Berrington and then back to Wakefield - and they were right!
On the Sunday the weather was once more superb and during the day rose to 26 degrees. We managed to get all the cars — 30- away. There were 25 Ys and five interlopers, not a worry as we are a very accommodating group.
Remarkably for such a fine day the traffic was very light and the route that Jo had selected was excellent as we passed through a diverse range of landscape types. As we made our way through the wooded and hilly countryside of north-east Herefordshire and into Worcestershire the roads became narrower, though we rarely met any other vehicles — save for the occasional tractor and Land Rover.
The Birkbeck's YT experienced a miss-fire half way through the journey and we found our way into a large pub car park. This was also a handy stopping point for around 15 other Ys. The YT's misfire was quickly diagnosed by Derek Moore as a poor set of points. Somehow he seemed to be immune to goodness knows how many volts as he deftly checked the plug leads! Anyhow thanks so much to Derek for his fault finding and repair. Once more and of course with a push we were on the road again.
All the party reached Berrington Hall safely and the cars were duly parked in a fine setting outside the main entrance. We did our usual YA, YT and YB that individuals would like to take home with them and at the end of the day the following awards were given out:
The NTG Cup for YAs 1949 model registered UML 241and owned by BILL & HELEN BENNETT
The YT Steering Wheel *It is only a replica steering wheel (3 in diameter) on a plinth!!! 1949 model registered IR 4304 and owned by MIKE & SUE SILK
The Bill Atkinson Cup for YBs 1952 model registered UMG 84 and owned by RICHARD KNIGHT
The `Piston Broke' Award, should have gone to Jerry and Jo's YT as It had to be pushed (duff starter motor) and had misfiring problems (rotor arm and points). But as organisers we changed the rules and awarded it to Alan (and Mary) for their regular attendance over the years and of course they are a wonderful couple. What I had not appreciated that Alan has owned his YB for 51 years - something of a record and of course due a celebration — so why not now?
Alan did comment that he had won the award in the past, along with others — not least being Register President Dennis Doubtfire. However, we noted that Alan's Y, like many present, ran perfectly.
It was also a moment to thank Paul Smith for travelling all the way from Lincolnshire in `Little Gem'.
Once again this event proved its popularity and Jo's choice of Herefordshire and the route (as a change from the Cotswolds) turned out to be inspirational. A brilliant weekend with 42 at the Dinner, lovely people, lovely cars and lovely weather - what more could be asked for?
Jo is recommending the Peak District next year -might see some of you Northern Y Typers there —eh Malcolm (Hardy)?