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For the 2nd consecutive year, Harrogate MG Club returned to the grounds of Ripley Castle for "Harrogate MG 97" - their 12th annual MG event. Glorious weather all weekend (2nd/3rd Aug) and a packed programme of events attracted thousands of enthusiasts many from overseas, to this scenic lakeside venue.
The campsite again proved popular, with many enthusiasts arriving on Friday, to make the most of a full weekend in the Yorkshire Dales countryside. The Saturday evening barbecue and party was packed to capacity with many enthusiasts joining in the spirit of the Fancy Dress competition - themed "Bedtime." The winners for the 2nd year running were John & Jan Wilkins from Harrogate MG Club whose 'costumes and cot' caught the judges' eyes.
On Sunday, the Mayor of Harrogate, Councillor Shirley Fawcett, opened the event and by mid morning, MG enthusiasts from all over the country began to arrive. Harrogate MG Club organised a full and varied programme of arena events which included Wharfedale Wayzgoose Dancers, Pete Z (Slack Rope Artist), demonstrations by the Harrogate Road Safety Dog Training Club, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Services and the entertaining Inter Club Team Challenge - won by South Derbyshire MG Owners Club.
Harrogate MG 97 clearly proved to be the MG mecca of the North for both enthusiasts and traders alike with over 35 trade stands occupied and reporting good business.
The highlight of the show was the exceptionally well supported Concours & Condition competition, which this year attracted a large entry of 72 cars (including a number of pre '56 MG's) - many of the owners having driven considerable distances to compete. In view of the large entry, several of the judges were provided by visiting clubs, which enabled the results to be declared on time. The prestigious 'Car of the Show' trophy was awarded to Paul Evans and his magnificent 1973 MGB GT.
Main sponsors for the event were Appleyard MG Harrogate with additional support being provided by Shell Uk Oil, British Fuels Limited and Royal Mail. As a result of the undoubted success of the event, a donation of £2750 is to be made to the Yorkshire Association for Disabled People.
On the 31st August the Metropolitan Police and the MGCC Anglia Region put on a Classic Car Show and Chigwell Village Fete, at the Metropolitan Police Social & Sports Club in Chigwell. I had never been to one of these shows before, as it often clashes with others I had pre-booked. This year I intended to appear. When you run a pre-1956 M.G. one factor that has to be considered is the route to and from the event, simply because of the vehicle's limited cruising speed. It mattered not how much I studied a route, the only one that was easy was down to the M25 via Hemel Hempstead, then along the M25, and off at junction 26.
As it was a Sunday, the M25 was quite empty, and we rolled along at just on 55 mph, in my '52 YB Again, another problem is the number of people who stare at you, as if you are from another planet, one hopes that at least the driver is looking where he is going. The location was easy to find, but a Special Constable WPC insisted we could not turn right into the grounds, but go round a roundabout then turn left, a bit odd as the road was empty! The grounds of the Social Club are very pleasant, one Police Force obviously has money, if other do not. The numbers of pre-'56 cars was all of eleven, including JKR411, the TC Police Car. I was amazed at there being four 'Y' types, not a common car at such events, but only one 'Z'. Midgets, MGA's and MGB's were numerous. One MGB being the very one that Aston Martin built as a trial, when they were thinking of buying up M.G. back in 1980.
There was a fair, (not my scene at all ....) lots of interesting stalls, a VERY EXPENSIVE Classic Car Company, with Jags, Rovers, M.G's, etc on sale, (£17,000 for a Mk7 Jag, that was full of overspray and paint cutting paste, with a filthy underside.) Helicopter flights were quite cheap, at £12 per child and £15 per adult. I timed it, you got 4 minutes ..... up, round the grounds, back, and down. The best part was the Police Horse Display on the arena. My wife and my mate Tony were pleased as I actually stopped talking during this.
I had a good look around the M.G's, every one was different in some way, even models that were related. Owners over the years had added or modified bits, to suit their needs or self-image. Someone ought to carry out a 'character test' on us to try to find out the root cause of our mania. I liked the little black Police TC, but wondered where on earth you put your prisoner, or how you caught up with the XK engined Jaguars of the 1950's?
|The TC Police Car referred to in Neil Cairns' report of the Queen Victoria Concours, Chigwell, Essex|
As I had to go to work later, we left at about 4 o'clock, returning along the M25 for the first half of the journey. This time it was crowded, and I began to wonder if I had done the right thing. The number of people who looked at us must have been in the thousands. A little green M.G. YB rolling along at 55 mph certainly attracted attention. I intended to turn off onto the A5 to go north, but an accident on junction 12 of the M1 had caused a huge back up of traffic, and the A5 was full, so I carried on round to Hemel again, and left via the A41. Sunny weather and the last few miles on empty Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire by-roads finished off a good day out. A few days later I received an envelope with a prize for 2nd in the saloon concours, I did not even know we were being judges for prizes!
On Sunday, 10th August, the club attended the annual "Chug and Puff" show at Ramsden Heath in Essex. For the second year running we displayed 15 members' cars, covering PA, TC, YA, TD and TF models.
Star of the stand was Peter Adams' supercharged PA although all of the cars were the subject of much admiration from visitors to the show.
Thanks to all who attended; it was especially nice to see Ken Paton who made a super effort to be there, even without his beloved TD.
Les Collins, Co-ordinator, Essex Region.
|Peter Adams' supercharged PA at the "Chug and Puff" show held at Ramsden Heath in Essex.|
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