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The M.G. Car Club 'Y' Register
Spring Run 2014 - May 17-18 2014

By Neil Cairns and Jerry Birkbeck


Neil Cairns writes

This year the annual Spring Run of the MGCC 'Y' Register was set in the deep south of the UK. Starting at Winchester and running a very pretty 48.8 miles through the Hampshire countryside to Basingstoke. The run was taken by twenty four participants, 4 rare YT's, 10YBs, a single TD and only 9 YA's; sadly Jack and Molly Murray could not attend in their YA. The weather could not have been better, it was a glorious weekend with the sun shining all day. The hotel at Winchester was the Holiday Inn, a big, shiny, brand-new and very modern place. In the true tradition of nearly all Y Register Runs, there was a glitch at the last minute. But where as fate would hide and take Jerry Birkbeck by surprise, such as roads being dug up without notice, at least this time Chris and Annette Callaghan found out the B3047 out of Alresford would be closed for a Water Cress Festival (of all things!).


So a hurried re-hash of the route for the first few miles was run off the photocopier; but fate has more than one trick up it's sleeve. The original mileage of '3.4' was left on the sheet before the first 'left-turn' (which was actually 1.2 miles). This meant many of us trundled into Alresford to find the closed road above. But after that initial minor blip the run was enjoyed by one and all as the countryside was so lovely and green. After passing through Itchen Abbas, Preston Candover, North Waltham, Micheldever and Overton we all called at a pub for a drink (and the loo) in Oakley. After a chat and comparing notes and the two-hour run we all began to arrive at 'Milestones' in Basingstoke. This huge hanger-like building houses lots of local, now defunct, engineering business buildings and products; Tasker traction engines and Thornycroft to mention just two. All ex-service personnel from all three services will know the Thornycroft name; tank transporters, fire engines, low-loaders, Queen-Mary articulated lorries, and so on.


After self-judging of the cars this year's winners were, for the best YA, Bill and Helen Bennet, YB Neil and Janet Cairns, YT Saul and Sarah Duck. The 'Piston-Broke' cup went to Suzanne and Gary Gibbs and Judi Edwards 'YA', as it had suffered a brake fault en-route. Other problems that arose, as there always will be with such old cars, was a set of ignition keys shut in a boot, and an engine that took a liking to the threaded stud from the end of the air-silencer, sucking it into the carburetter mouth. Luckily it got no further...


We all thoroughly enjoyed the event and a big thank you to Chris and Annette Callaghan for all the worry and effort of organising it for us.

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A short video has been posted by the MG Car Club Y Type Register at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu2b9Li2odk&feature=youtu.be


Jerry Birkbeck writes

As I write this the rain is pouring down and the outlook for the rest of the day is quite frankly miserable, In this context it seems hard to believe that the MGCC Y Register's Spring Weekend was bathed in sunshine with temperatures in the mid 20's. It was quite obvious that the organisers Chris and Annette Callaghan had ensured that this was going to be a memorable affair — as indeed it was!


The Annual Dinner

Chris and Annette had mentioned last year that the 2014 event would be based in and around Hampshire and they started by arranging for the Annual Dinner to be held at the Holliday Inn on the edge of Winchester. This new complex was a cut above some of the modern chain hotels that are found around the country. A separate dining room had been arranged and 30 of us sat down for an excellent meal.


Our erstwhile Chairman Peter Veilvoye, who had to stand down in that role (to meet MGCC rules and regulations) having completed a 5 year stint re-appeared in the role of Vice Chair. He commented that the Register was still looking for a new Chairman and welcomed any suggestions. He went on to thank Christine and Annette for their hard work in arranging the weekend. He then awarded the Doubtfire Shield (that is given to the individual who has attended the most M.G. events over the past twelve months in his/her Y Type) to your scribe.


I was rather surprised but honoured to receive this spectacular shield following Neil Cairns' deserved success in the initial launch in 2013. Surprised, as our Y Travels during 2013/14 had been curtailed after our breakdown on the way home from the European Event of the Year last August!


The evening was a great success. Several of those living very locally optied for the comfort of their own beds whilst eighteen of us stayed overnight. For Peter Veilvoye the end of the evening was somewhat of a nightmare as he discovered that he had mislaid his car keys! Eventually, they were tracked back to the boot of his Jag. Unfortunately, it took a couple of hours for the Rescue Services to resolve the problem. Peter finally got home at 4.00 in the morning and then was up early to bring his YT from Gloucester to Winchester for the run on the Sunday.


The Run

Although two participants had to withdraw due to Y related problems — (Richard Knight YT and/or YB and the organisers Chris and Annette who were experiencing issues with their YB). Jack and Molly Murray, though they attended the Dinner had to miss the run. They have been major supporters of the Spring Run since the very first Birth of the Y event in 1997. So their wonderful YA was sadly not present.. We do hope to see both of them in the very near future.


The organisers had chosen Milestones near Basingstoke as the finish spot. Although the direct route from Winchester to Basingstoke is less than seventeen miles, we were taken on a circuitous route that took in some delightful parts of Hampshire and Berkshire and covered 48 miles.


Some of us missed the initial turn off the A31 and ended up attempting to enter the village of Arlesford, which was closed due to a water cress festival! However, a skip through the bollards enabled us to continue through some stunning countryside. Though after that the field thinned out considerably and we didn't see anymore Y's until we reached the museum.


Milestones is a covered building that includes a full size recreation of part of a small town and illustrates the changes that have occurred over a 60 year period between the 1920's and 1980's. There are examples of shops and utilities that were commonplace during the latter part of this period. There is even a small local pub, though the prices are in keeping with present times!, It is very impressive and well worth a visit and you can also visit the Penny Arcade, where for £1 you can purchase 10 old pennies and try your luck on the slot machines found in Amusement Arcades across the UK during the 30's — 60's.


We eventually had 24 cars present with one TD, 4 YT's, 10 YB's and 9 YA's. Bill and Helen Bennett won the entrants choice for the YA, the YB award went to Neil and Janet Cairns, whilst Saul and Sarah Duck were took the YT award for their lovely red 4 seater


The `Piston Broke' Trophy, which has had some notable winners over the years and is presented to the individual who broke down during the event went to Garry and Suzanne Gibbs and Judy Edwards., who fell foul of a braking problem. This was quickly overcome on the roadside. So winners on a technicality as once everything was sorted the car then ran faultlessly. A testament to the enduring reliability of the Y Type!


A great weekend blessed with fantastic weather and well organised by Chris and Annette.


To all and everyone who turned up a very big thank you.