Thursday, February 22, 2018

August 2015 Newsletter



Coming Up. The Leicestershire Branch Rally Aug 16th - see inside. Sunshine booked, all pigs watered, fed and ready to fly.

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488


Good runner, TLC Req’d.

After two failed bump-starts and much creaking and groaning, the Leicestershire MMOC Newsletter has spluttered back into life. To get it fully road-worthy there’s more to do for this rolling restoration. Please excuse the odd miss-fire and spelin mistaks but yours truly is like a recon engine that requires running in. Still, at least it’s a new set of ‘plugs’ to advertise the club events and make a few ‘points’ along the way and a‘distributor ’to send out the message. Who knows,fingers crossed, there could even be a new set of ‘World Wide Wheels’ to get us back onto the super highway. Here goes.....

Special thanks go to Richard Greville for editing and compiling the previous newsletters, also to John Bailey for the distribution and Julie Bailey for many of the excellent photographs (more please).

Owen Wright

The Moo on Tour August 2014.
At Criccieth . 600 miles, 5 pints of oil......

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488



Survival of the Meekest.

As a rule I don’t mess about with my modern
car. I take it to the people I bought it from to
have it serviced and MOT’d. The problem
is/was; my 12 year old VW Golf was falling off
the re-sale ladder. An ‘Emissions – Workshop’ warning light kept coming on which could have meant a whole host of things from just a dirty lambda sensor to serious engine wear. Anyway, it was due for a service so I asked the experts to have a look at it.

“We’ve carried out a health check,” said the smiley suit behind the ‘customer service’ desk. “The wiper blades are smearing (slightly), we’ve got these in stock and can replace for £45. Oh, you’re A/C is due for a service; we can do this for £85. Oh, the flexi joint between the cat and your front pipe is blowing which is probably why your emissions light is coming on. We don’t have the parts for this but if you bring it in next week we can sort this out for £960”. Added Mr Smug Features.
On top of the basic service bill the cost of doing the mentioned was way more than the value of the car. It was perhaps folly to take a car of such apparent vintage into the marbled hall of my local ‘stealership’. You got the feeling that it was deemed aged, obsolete and defunct.

Now take my Minor. I’ve renewed all the brake shoes for the price of the VW wiper blades and had a complete new exhaust system for £50. It was a rip off, I could have got one for £45!

When I bought the Moo it had 72K on the clock. With the purchase came a big fat file of bills and old MOT‘s (mostly refusals) going back to 1977. I sifted through the papers and entered the details onto a spread sheet listing events by date, mileage (if known) and the gory details of what was replaced, fixed, welded, repaired and bodged. It was then that I discovered that the Moo had gone around the clock in 1982. But the big stand out bill was dated March 1984.... The listing seemed endless and the bill came to a staggering £960.... New wings front and rear, £60 pr; boot lid £110; a re-spray £150; this that and nearly at the bottom of the pile ‘Recon engine £215.....The list goes on. New dynamo, headlamps, another this, another that.

Under my relatively short ownership the Moo has had its floor pan welded back in, new sills, new wiring harness and now I’ve just rebuilt the engine. It’s like Robert the Bruce’s battle axe, it’s had so many new heads and so many new handles you wonder if any of it belongs to the meek little car that was first registered in Sept 1967. But it’s still a Moggy and it’s still going. It has cheated the scrap metal crusher, 47 winters, scrappage schemes and god knows whatever happened in 1984. The Hillman Avenger, the Talbot Solara and the Datsun Cherry are either heading the Dodo club or are already confirmed members and so one day will the Mk IV 5-door VW Golf.

Should the prophesies from the latest clutch of Hollywood apocalyptic block- busters and other half-baked penny dreadfuls ever come true and Armageddon does indeed rain down upon us, the only thing left alive will be cockroaches - and Morris Minors.

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488



Events,news,views and gossip Mi’duck

Check your tyres.

Those who went to the July meeting at the Greyhound would have witnessed the rather disconcerting condition of a tyre that appeared to have grown whiskers. The woven carcass of the said tyre once fitted to a Traveller had failed during the long haul back from the National Rally. It so transpired that the manufactures will not stand any responsibility for tyres over 5 years old. As many Minor owners probably do less than 2000 miles each year it does mean that such tyres could well be on the rim for up to 10 years or more. All we can do for the moment is to urge all members to periodically keep an eye on the condition of their tyres before setting out.

Dog & Bone Cricket

A work-mate who wishes to remain anon tells me that when he takes a regular 30 minute walk each day during his lunch break he can’t help noticing the number of motorists using their mobile phones so he devised a quick game of what can only be described as i-phone or ‘dog and bone’ cricket. You score a run for every vehicle that comes towards you and you lose a wicket for every one that’s on their mobile. I tried it out but couldn’t make up my mind if I was batting or bowling. Even with Howzats turned down for one lady driving with a map covering the entire steering wheel, a white-van-man and shot-gun sharing foil-wrapped kebab and another young lady sloshing on lashings of lipstick, I did manage 94 – 2 at close of play. My correspondent has had 155 all out! You’re damn right; there are more important things to do.

Talking of dangerous driving, our local Police are warning against the latest craze for taking a selfie whilst driving. Although we can’t condone such antics we would advise that Morris owners should retain some level of authenticity by placing a Hannimax 127 instamatic on the mantelpiece, wind up the timer and smile. Make sure your wearing your dentures.

How do you spell Guinness?

Did you see that Guinness label tax-disc in the recent edition of Minor matters? I’ve had one of those in my Mog since last March! When the old paper disc became defunct last October, I couldn’t bear the empty space so I decided re-enact the old dodge. For us Leicester folk the correct

‘alternative’ were the old long gone Corona or
Furnivals of Fleckney fizzy pop.
Mind you it’s amazing how many cars are still
displaying a ‘Road Fund Licence’. Wilco’s are
still selling ‘Universal fitting, self- adhesive or
magnetic’ tax disc holders. I’ve even seen
adverts from people selling old discs and a
story about a bloke who paid £55 for a 1960’s
disc that once lived in a Jaguar – it now sits on display in his new Jaguar. The tax disc is not dead so send us your version for a new tax disc suitable for a Mog.

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488



Minors on the telly.

If you managed to watch the rather mawkish ‘The Outcast’ there was a nice blue Traveller prowling around the quintessential 1950’s English village scene. Whenever there’s Agatha Christie, there are old cars. Look out for the maroon Traveller with cheese grater grille crashing through a 5-bar gate in a new series of ‘Partners in Crime’ If you are on skid-row stuck in front of day-time telly then there’s always a Minor propping up an edition of ‘Bargain Hunters.’ More about Moggies on the goggle box in a future issue.



Charles Fabian Ware 1935-2015

Finally, we report the sad news of the passing of Charles Ware who died suddenly July 4th aged 79.
Following the boom and then the bust of being a property developer in the early 1970’s, he borrowed £200 and started visiting car auctions with the view of turning over a few quid. He noticed that Morris Minors in particular were being discarded when they had the chance to be restored and then sold. With that in mind, he opened the Morris Minor Centre in Bath in 1976, and soon had people coming from around the world to have their Minors repaired. “Please can you make my Minor last forever” was a regular request.

In 2007, the business moved to Brislington, Bristol, where Charlie continued to rescue refurb and renovate anything Minor related. He retired in 2009 but continued to help out with painting and making regular trips to the workshop, which is now run by his son Zac and his partner.



Coming Up;-

The Chip Run Aug 12th

Meet 7.00pm (ish)
With King Dick III laid to rest at

long last we’re going to meet in Market Bosworth town centre for another ‘Batter of Bosworth’ ; “A Minor, a Minor, a kingdom for a Minor.”

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488



The Leicestershire MMOC Rally August 16th– Great Central Railway - Quorn Station.

This is the big one. Don’t miss it and any helpers on the day would be most welcome.

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488



The Victory Show. Sept 4- 6th Sept. Foxlands Farm, Cosby LE9 1SG

Not on the MMOC Leics Branch calendar but you might be interested in this. It’s mainly WWII re-enactment for weekend warriors but if you paint your Moggy in best No 3 gas-proof khaki drab and mount a pair of .303 Brownings on the front wings, they might let you in. There is also a planned display by the last Avro Vulcan XH558

On the Sunday 6th. This could be the last chance to see it airborne This autumn it’s grounded for good - unless you have a spare main wing-spar under your bed.



Hinckley Classic Motor-show Sunday Sept 20th 2015

The town centre will be invaded with classic cars and we’re part of it. Meet Tesco carpark, Hinckley

HELP! Got any, news, views, picture please send to ;-

BRANCH CONTACT – JOHN HALES Tel: 01509 813507 or 07940 53488