Thursday, February 22, 2018

Branch News - 2012

updated 13 December 2012

Branch Christmas Social and Skittles - 12th December 2012



Our annual Christmas Social and Skittles event at our 'clubhouse', The Greyhound, saw some competitive action in an attempt to win one of the excellent prizes some of which were obtained through MMOC merchandise and two of the prizes, model vans, had been donated in recognition of the work we do in raising money for our charity Rainbows.

The level of skill in hitting some of the nine pins didn’t seem to have improved much (!) but everyone enjoyed trying to hit at least some of them!  Excellent quizzes provided by John and Tony added to the enjoyment although some of the answers to Tony’s quiz were so obscure (awful?) that there was a risk he wouldn’t get out of the room in one piece! 

A buffet, mince pies and chocolates gave the evening a real festive feel and, as always, everyone clearly had a good time. The year has been a very good one for the Branch and we look forward to an equally enjoyable and successful 2013.

       article posted 13th December 2012

Classic Motor Show - NEC - 16-18th November 2012


A number of Leicester Branch Members visited the Classic Motor show which was bigger than ever this year.  The MMOC stand was resplendent with its “Minors on Tour” theme displaying cars which had participated in this event across the channel! Branch member Adam Kent Smith’s superb modified pick up took pride of place on the Morris Commercial stand.

It was good to meet up with people from other Branches throughout the country and the presence of young members with their own display was great to see.  One member seemed to spend a great deal of time polishing his car with a clay block – but it certainly looked magnificent when he had finished. We were told that there are now around 300 people on the MMOCYM register which is amazing!  One young man had come to the stand from Oxford after purchasing his car two weeks ago and was very keen to join the club.  He was in a wheelchair but said he did manage to drive his car as often as he could – a credit to him.

An excellent show which made the traffic problems accessing the site and the cost of car parking (£10!) seem altogether worthwhile.

Gnome and Away!

       article posted 18th November 2012

Branch 'Dutch Auction' - 14th November 2012


For our November Branch meeting we held our annual 'Dutch Auction' in aid of Rainbows Childrens’ Hospice and this proved to be a huge success.  The varied and many items brought along by members were amazing and virtually all were sold.  They ranged from some specially home made cakes (including Morris Minor cup cakes!) to car parts, jig saws, DVDs, Morris Minor mugs, wine stoppers and magazines – the list goes on.  It was all great fun with bidders assuming some strange names (just who were 'Funky Fiddler', 'Spider' & 'Big Gob'?) and some very frenzied and competitive bidding!

Most importantly we raised a staggering £109.65 for Rainbows, our nominated charity, far and away a record for this type of event.  Thanks to everyone for their generosity and for getting into the spirit of the event which everyone enjoyed.

Next month on 12th December we have our Christmas Social and Skittles evening – with some great prizes for those who show us all up!  We will also be having our usual buffet provided by The Greyhound so do come along and join us – everyone is very welcome.

       article posted 15th November 2012

Branch Meeting - A Look Back To The Past - 10th October 2012

For our October meeting the Branch was very pleased to welcome Richard Knox, the 'man in charge' at Donington le Heath Manor House, where we held our rally in 2011.  Richard gave a fascinating (and sometimes gruesome!) talk on the history of the manor and those who lived there, and how the house has changed over the centuries.  He also speculated on the truth about the story that Richard III slept in the impressive bed in the upper bed chamber on the eve of the battle of Bosworth!  Changes to the buildings were made in later centuries, even the occupation by pigs in the 1960’s and some of the alterations made to the manor at that time were a little alarming to say the least, but clearly that remains a significant part of the history of the area.

The manor house proved to be a very popular venue with those attending our rally in 2011 and Richard said that he would be delighted if we returned there again in the future, possibly in 2013. 

A most interesting, and entertaining, evening.

       article posted 11 October 2012

Hinckley Classic Motor Show, Hinckley, Leics - Sunday 23rd September 2012

Several of our Branch members took part in this local show again this year.  Member John Bailey writes:

"I remember last year writing never trust the weather forecasters, unfortunately this year they were spot on, the temperature never got above 12 C and the promised rain arrived on cue at just before 2pm! Isn’t it wonderful how the Morris Minor never fails to surprise you when it comes to new and ingenious places to leak water in the rain!

This year the event was bigger and better than last year, the word had obviously spread, the organisers had done a splendid job with signs showing the spaces reserved for the various groups of vehicles, we were again on Regent Street but slightly further up on the opposite side from last year (mercifully still handy for the Red Rooms for hot drinks and a £5.00 lunch menu)

The final turnout for the branch was seven members, not bad I suppose considering the weather. As last year there was a wonderful variety of entrant’s vehicles ranging from a steam roller to a Lola sports car in “Silk Cut” racing livery.

What - No Health Warning!                                                  Hinckley's Finest?

The turn-out of spectators was also up on last year with all the roads full of people taking in the show. Displayed in Market Place were billboards showing some of the events held during the year, the one for the September Classic Car show featured three branch members’ cars from last year’s show, so we are not only calendar material but pin-ups as well!

A damp but delighted Joe Murray with his trophy

This year the judging of vehicles took place earlier in the day with Branch member Joe Murray winning second prize for his two door saloon, he was presented with a handsome trophy and certificate. Joe was delighted as his car was being judged against classics of all descriptions; the winner was the Hillman Avenger Tiger which appeared in our 'Branch Newsletter' last year.

I would like to express my thanks to the organisers who were again cheery, helpful and even remembered without prompting that last year we took the branch banner and turned up with some bungees to help display it.

On the feedback form they were giving out to entrants they were canvassing for interest in a monthly weedkday evening event during the summer months, so watch this space (that is if we get a summer next year).

On a final note, as we arrived we were given a hanging car air freshener celebrating the event, what a nice gesture I thought until I turned it over and saw the fragrance 'New Car', some mistake surely but I suppose it’s better than 'Old Banger'."

      article posted 6 October 2012 

Classic Car & Transport Showat Beaumanor Hall, Leics - Sunday 16th September 2012

It was one of those bright and sunny autumn days which set the scene for another great Classic Car & Transport Show.  This event was located in the heart of our beautiful Leicestershire countryside at Beaumanor Hall and our Branch was really pleased to set up a Morris Minor stand - much to the delight and interest of the many visitors who came and admired the cars and chatted to our members.  There was a wide range of classic vehicles on display with stands from several other car clubs and, of course, autojumble stalls to look for those elusive parts.    

1962 Morris 1000 and its original bill of sale on display

Beaumanor Hall also provided lots of interest with its lovely gardens, fascinating history and code breaking links in WWII.  A really enjoyable event for all concerned!

A Morris Minor, Rolls Royce and UXB (unexploded bomb!)

     article posted 16th September 2012

Inter Branch Challenge - 12 September 2012


For our second ‘Inter Branch Challenge’ we were delighted to welcome teams from East Midlands (E Mids), Mansfield (MADMOG) and Coventry (Hinckley Travellers) Branches as well as some new members from our area.  The games of bar skittles were the main event and this was mixed with lots of Morris related car chat, the usual liquid refreshments and a great buffet provided by our ‘clubhouse’ - The Greyhound. The bar skittles were definitely not taken too seriously and provided lots of entertainment and laughter.  East Midlands Branch proved to be the winning team closely followed by the ‘Hinckley Travellers’.  The highest break was made by Leicestershire Branch’s Val Brown with a score of 18! 

A thoroughly enjoyable evening!


article posted 13th September 2012

A Visit to 'Sandy's Morris Museum' - 30th August 2012


Two Branch members, Mike and Tony, visited Rosie and Sandy Hamilton in Lincolnshire to view their fantastic collection of rare Morrises.  And what an amazing collection it is! “Sandy’s Museum” contained some cars that many will have seen at the MMOC Nationals including their rare split screen Traveller and a green Australian low light which Sandy shipped to the UK because of its fantastic originality.  Parked next to it was a lovely left hand drive Canadian MM, complete with chrome surround to the back window – a feature not available at the time on British home market models. Other cars in the collection included several cheesegrater MMs and Series IIs, numerous Travellers, and a beautiful Morris Oxford being looked after whilst its owner was away.  And not content with Minors a couple of lovely Morris Isis’s accompanied an Austin Maxi – which Sandy had previously owned – so perhaps not the infiltrator we first thought!

Parked in another barn was a 1952 four door MM which is going to be restored by Practical Classics magazine as one of their projects so readers watch out for the articles.

Sandy lovingly works on all his 30 or so cars being very keen to retain originality rather than restore to a glossy concours finish. He and Rosie deserve many congratulations on the brilliant work that they are doing to keep that 'Morris Magic' alive. 


The Branch has been invited to make a group visit to Rosie and Sandy next year when we will be able to see more work in progress on the various projects and possibly even more acquisitions!

       article posted 31st August 2012

Branch Rally at Shepshed Water Mill - Sunday 19th August 2012

What a great Rally we had! Despite gloomy weather forecasts the sun shone and the temperatures rose to around 30 degrees making it a hot and sunny summer Sunday! 56 cars arrived at the rally site without over heating and their occupants enjoyed the working mill, beautiful gardens, cups of tea and coffee and superb burgers!  Thanks to the owners of Shepshed Water Mill for putting on a great day for us – you are doing a grand job preserving such a lovely site in a beautiful setting. 

It was so warm that many people took the chance to go underground to inspect the rotating mill wheel at water level just to get lovely and cool.  The suggestion that our Chairman should go down and stand on the wire grid walkway to see whether it collapsed under his weight was taken in the spirit it was made (he thinks!). 




The display of lovely cars around the arena with the gazebo in the centre looked fantastic and the picture was completed by the Bull Nose Morris parked majestically and discreetly separate from our more modern Morrises next to the BBQ tent! 


It was particulary good to see so many Young Members again at the event and to hear their stories about how their cars are being maintained and run.  One car, belonging to Andy Wilson, caught the eyes of our three lady judges who all chose it as the car they would most like to go home in!  Well done to all the Young Members - you are always very welcome at our meetings and events.

Trophies were awarded to the owners of a range of different vehicle classes.

MM Series II - Tony Fennell - JWT 365

2 Door Saloon - Michael Gregson - DAU 107C

4 Door Saloon - Dean Worth - 869 GBJ

Convertible - Marion Rose - AUH 85B

Traveller - Bryan Goodman - YDU 708J

Commericial - Gillian Shaw - JUL 537D

Modified - Ray Wilson - EHC 612

Ladies Choice* - Andy Wilson - AJM 232A

Car of the Show - Trevor Worth - LFE 612H

* The car our lady judges would most like to be driven home in

Thanks to everyone who came along to support the event – we are sure you enjoyed it!

Link to Gallery for more photos of the rally

Link to Shepshed Water Mill website for more photos of the rally



       article posted 20th August 2012

Car Run and Summer BBQ - Wednesday 8th August 2012

Another glorious sunny summer's evening provided the perfect weather for our second Branch Car Run of the season.  As always, our members turned up in a variety of moggies at our 'clubhouse' The Greyhound at Botcheston.  Once again the sight of a convoy of Morris Minors travelling through several villages and along the country lanes of beautiful Leicestershire caused quite a stir with amused onlookers. This run however would prove a little different as our final destination was at the home of members' Jenny & Steve for a wonderful evening BBQ including several traditional garden games.  There was lots of good company, lots of good food and drink and lots of laughter.  A super event!


   Just a small plate for Jenny!                                           En route                                                       Under the vines

       article posted 9th August 2012

Monks & Minors Friars' Fayre - Rufford Abbey - Sunday 22nd July 2012

The sun was shining, the skies were blue - a perfect summer's day for the annual MADMOG (Mansfield and District Minor Owners Group) "Monks & Minors Friars' Fayre" at Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire.  This is always a great event and several of our Branch members joined in the fun with our friends from the Mansfield Branch.  There was a wide selection of Morrises on display and some stunning concours vehicles winning well deserved trophies.  Musical entertainment was provided by the Black Diamond Brass Band, there was a diplay of birds of prey and more exoctic species while tasty treats were available from the Cheese Company.  All this and a great venue - a really enjoyable event!



       article posted 22nd July 2012

East Midlands Branch Summer Meet - Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - 15th July 2012

A couple of our Branch members were very pleased to join our friends in the East Midlands Branch for their Summer Meet at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth.  The sun shone on what proved to be a most enjoyable event held in the beautiful Derbyshire setting of the Ecclesboune Valley. There was a good range of Morrises on show and, as always, lots of moggie car chat and laughter.  Add to this great breakfasts in the Pullman Buffet and the charming scenic train rides all made it a wonderful event.


Link: Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
       article posted 15th July 2012

MMOC National Rally Kelmarsh Hall - 29th June -1st July 2012





It was a bit blustery, with sunny spells and the odd shower but this certainly didn't stop a great number of Branch members enjoying our stand on 'Branch Avenue' and the range of events arranged as part of the National Rally. In fact 39 members put in an appearance and we were particularily pleased to welcome several of our newer members to their first National Rally.


There were some superb cars on display and Joe Murray, with his lovely two door saloon, and Tony Fennell, with his rare early MM saloon, did the Branch proud by winning the 'Best in Class' trophies.






Over the weekend there was lots to see and do.  Members enjoyed admiring the vast array of Morrises, searching for those elusive parts, meeting up with friends from other Branches and even watching the various displays including ....Morris dancing (well it was a Morris rally)!  The Saturday evening 70's themed party with Abbas Angels was a brilliant success - and some of the costumes really did have to be seen to be believed!  However, perhaps the most surprising thing was one of our longstanding members falling fast asleep in one of the noisiest Punch & Judy shows we've ever heard!

                                                          Our youngest and oldest members perhaps?!




This was the second time that the MMOC held its National Rally at Kelmarsh Hall and it proved to be another really good venue with lots of space for the event, a central location for visitors and of course the hall and gardens to explore and enjoy.  Congratulations to the MMOC for another great National.     

article posted 5th July 2012


Minor Travels in North Wales - June 2012


Fancy a break?  When did you last smell steam and were able to park your Morris right next to a lovely narrow gauge railway?  Branch members Murray and Cris write:


“Our Morris took us on holiday recently to Penrhyn Station on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales. MMOC members Chris Boulter and his partner Lyn own a cottage overlooking the station and the cottage is available to other MMOC members.


By the cottage, alongside the railway line, we parked the Morris and had views of not only the station platform but also the fabulous hills beyond. Glance to your right and there's the sandy estuary towards Harlech Castle and Porthmadog.


The beauty of staying in a cottage belonging to a Morris Minor owner is not only the common interest but enthusiasm for transport. Chris and Lyn also own a Routemaster bus and Chris, working as a guard on both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, is able to sell discounted rover tickets to those staying at the cottage. This enabled us to travel freely on the trains, getting on and off when we pleased and enjoying many of the walks beside the railway.


Three classics!

Indeed, it was a really great holiday based in a lovely homely cottage.  Fancy it yourself?  Well, see the advert in the MMOC magazine – Minor Matters”.


Beach bathing belle!
       article posted 22 June 2012

Car Run - 13 June 2012

Just where are we going?

At last, the sun shone and the rain held off as members Keith and Bev took us on a lovely drive through the picturesque villages and country lanes around Market Bosworth.  21 Morrises with 31 people in them caused quite a stir, particularly to a farmer with his three sheep dogs who clearly had never seen anything like it and wanted to round us up!  We went down a particularly narrow lane and everyone prayed that we would not meet a tractor coming the other way!


A super evening, where we again warmly welcomed some new members who certainly saw just how lively and active our Branch can be!

       article posted 14 June 2012

Surprise Visitor - Diamond Jubilee Weekend - June 2012

Branch members Jenny and Steve Faulks were delighted with a surprise visitor who took time out of a very special and busy weekend to see their Morris Minor Toby.  "One was delighted" but declined the offer of a spin behind the wheel!

A Right Royal Surprise

       article posted 06 June 2012


Ragley Hall Classic Transport Show - Sunday 27th May 2012



This was held on probably one of the hottest days of the year.  Branch members knew it was going to be a popular event when they joined a traffic queue about a mile from the Hall.  This certainly tested those Morris fuel pumps!  We shouldn't really have felt so smug when we drove past a number of high performance cars at the side of the road trying to cool off!





There was an excellent variety of superb cars which made the show as good as ever.  With the Hall towering above the display field the cars looked resplendent as they shimmered and shone in the sun.  It was good to see a number of beauiful Morris Minors including a dark green 1959 1000 with just 13000 miles under its belt.  Perhaps the best of all was the Minor Police car complete with a dummy policeman in the driving seat.  However, no one could explain how later in the show the same policeman had somehow lost his head!


       article posted 30th May 2012


Crich Tramway Village Morris Minor Day - 13th May 2012


This is always a good event and one which several branch members enjoyed again this year.  The weather was dry but cool with a brisk breeze at times.  


Blue Beauty


There was a wide cross section of Morrises including a black Traveller converted into a hearse.

Travel in Style!                                                                                                                Morris Pulling Power!

Oddly there was a late forties Pontiac two door saloon in amongst the Minors parked in the tram shed yard. We were not sure why it was there but it certainly stood out from the crowd!


Cuckoo in the nest?
       article posted 30th May 2012


Cotswolds Classics


Wherever our members go it seems almost impossible for them not to look out for classic cars and Morrises in particular. We just can't help it!  A recent long weekend in the Cotswolds was no exception for a couple of members who spotted several lovely cars on the way.


First was a beautiful 1947 Jowett Javelin parked quite happily in Moreton in Marsh.  Clearly someone's pride and joy parked and attracting attention, whilst its lucky owner browsed the antique shops perhaps?



Secondly an incredibly rare Mini Traveller (Woody) was seen parked in Cirencester and again clearly well cherished. Unfortunately this time the camera was not to hand as was also the case when a superb Triumph Spitfire IV was spotted later the same day.  The next day a whole collection of excellent Morgans were seen at a National Trust property - they made a brilliant line up in the sunshine.



However, The best of all was a lovely late dark green Morris 1000 parked outside a cottage in Burford.  This may well have been an everyday car but one which was in immaculate condition.



       article posted 28 May 2012


May Madness or a Chocolate Treat?


For our Branch meeting this month we had planned our first 'Morris Car Run of the Season' .... but sadly the English weather was not on our side and we decided to postpone this event to later in the year.  Let's hope that we have better luck with our planned car run next month (Wednesday 13th June)!  However the 27 members who did brave the rain met for a very sociable evening with a drink and a chat and enjoyed a 'Chocolate Quiz' event already prepared by Keith and Bev Simpson (as a back-up plan). Not everyone realised that 'the posh end of town' was really Quality Street or that '9,10,11' was After Eight!!  The 'brainy ones' (Smarties) who won were our Branch contact John Hales and new member Liam Payne.  Congratulations to them - and their prize had to be ... chocolate of course!!  This was, as always, a most enjoyable evening filled with laughter and good company!

Chocolate Quiz
    Taking it seriously........                                                          and not so seriously (is that Google on Jenny's phone?)

       article posted 10th May 2012

A Series Spares


For our April meeting we were delighted to welcome father and son, Martin and Robert Stevenson who gave a very informative and entertaining talk on Robert’s business ‘A Series Spares’.  This business specialises in motor components, many of which can be used on Morris Minors.  The talk included new products which have been developed such as car alarms, immobilisers, tracker systems and electronic ignitions.  The talk generated lots of useful and interesting discussion and Martin and Robert where able to answer many different questions on Morris related topics.  Website Link – A Series Spares


Our Branch wish to thank ‘A Series Spares’ for again sponsoring the awards for this year’s Branch rally at Shepshed Water Mill on 19th August 2012.


      article posted 30 April 2012

Branch 'Launch the Season' Meal - 14th March 2012



Our March meeting saw an amazing 39 people turn up for our “Launch the Season” meal at our 'clubhouse', The Greyhound.  Everyone enjoyed a superb evening of excellent food and company followed by a very amusing after dinner talk by Ray Newell, giving us some humorous examples of his experiences as MMOC Secretary.  The Branch is going from strength to strength and it was again really great to see new members – all of whom are extremely welcome.  Our Events Manager, Jenny Faulks, came up trumps with a 'Spring' theme complete with daffodils, fresh ivy on the tables and Easter eggs for everyone.  In keeping with the theme of this event many members had travelled in their Morrises.  However, when it was time to go home members were greeted with dense fog!  The drive home in one member's 1949 lowlight with one wiper, no heater, no flashers and candle strength headlights was quite an experience!

MMOC Secretary Ray Newell and wife Sue

      article posted 15 March 2012

MMOC Spares Weekend at Stratton Strawless, Norfolk - 3rd & 4th March 2012

Lots of spares and parts to look at!

If you were looking for that elusive door panel, seat or body part then this event was the one for you!  Mike and Tony from the Branch attended the event and rummaged around the many parts on offer and Tony found a very rare hinged petrol cap for his MM which he has been looking for for ages!  Bingo! Bryan Gostling did however have to stop Mike from enthusiastically trying to buy tools from his own MM tool kit which he had been using to set up the stall!

It was great to see so many people loading doors wings and seats onto the roofs of their cars many of them Morris Minors which had driven quite a distance. (We chickened out – 136 miles was perhaps a bit far for either a Series 11 or MM!) It was also good to meet up with other people from around the country including Rosie and Sandy Hamilton who had driven down from Lincolnshire prior to their extremely long forthcoming holiday to South Africa where they are going to meet up with other Morris owners including some from New Zealand!  Amazing how our little cars open doors for so many activities!

                                                                                                                                             Tony with that elusive petrol cap

Rosie (MMOC Branch News & Events) and Mike (Leics Branch Chairman)

Bryan is not going to be available between 15 March and 20 April so if you need to contact him for any club spares make sure you do so before or after then.


     article posted 5th March 2012

Branch AGM - 8th February 2012



Our AGM on 8 February saw an excellent turn out of members and a new committee elected for 2012.  Our Chairman Mike John reflected on a very successful 2011 when a variety of activities including quizzes, buffets, runs out and fund raising were enjoyed as well as the establishment of our successful website!  We have a full calendar of events scheduled for 2012 including runs out in May, June, and August and our rallies in July at Rempstone and August at Shepshed Water Mill – watch the website for more details. 


The formal business of the AGM was followed by another tasty sandwich (and chips!) buffet arranged by Jenny and our ‘clubhouse’, The Greyhound. 


Next month will be our pre season meal at The Greyhound, when we launch the season and look forward to using our Morrises in great style!  This meal has had to be pre booked so please bear in mind that this will replace our normal monthly meeting.


     article posted 9th February 2012

Talking about alcohol - do we really want it in our petrol tanks? - 11th January 2012












Our meeting in January saw Murray Jessop giving us a lively and at times very demonstrative talk on the potential problems of ethanol in petrol for our cars. His explanations included exactly what ethanol is (will anyone ever drink vodka again!?) and how it is gradually being introduced into petrol at worrying levels particularly on the continent.

He was able to demonstrate, as only an ex chemistry teacher can, the characteristics of ethanol and the possible effects on components particularly those made of plastic if the level in petrol increases.


Overall we concluded that whilst this is something which we need to be aware of there is no need for great concern and we should get our cars out and enjoy the coming season!


     article posted 12th January 2012

Classic cars get together at Nottingham Heritage Transport Centre - 8th January 2012

What a turnout!  The first 'out of season get together' at the NHTC, Ruddington saw cars jostling for parking spaces in this event which launched the year in great style.  Morrises were in abundance but other lovely cars of note included a superb 1937 Morris Isis, a 1957 Humber Hawk estate called Harriet (when did you last see one of those?), an immaculate green Cortina 1600E and the police car from the TV series Heartbeat.  It was great to see a number of Leicestershire Branch members there - with the rare travellers belonging to Roger Hayman and Geoff Pursglove parked together and looking resplendent. 

And, as always, it was also great to meet up with friends from East Midlands and MADMOG Branches.
     article posted 8th January 2012

A Message from our Chairman - 1st January 2012

A Happy New Year from all the members of the Leicestershire Branch.  We all enjoyed a full and active 2011 and are now looking forward to a busy and eventful 2012.

The website has been given a new, fresh Home page, and Branch News for 2012 has been launched.  Our members will make sure that it is packed with information and reports about our activities and events as the year progresses.

We welcome everyone to our meetings and look forward to seeing you there!  Our list of activities is shown on our Calendar page.  One click and you are half way there!

Mike John 

     article posted 1st January 2012