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September 2018

Helmingham Hall Festival of Classics and Sports Cars

It was going so well – we had left the Billingford lay-by on time, kept the convoy together all through the picturesque Suffolk villages and market towns and had made good progress as we approached Helmingham Hall. But, just when we thought we were home and dry we joined the end of a long and very slow queue waiting to enter the grounds. The organisers had warned club organisers of a closed bridge on one of the approach roads, but as this was coming from the Ipswich direction I hadn’t given it much notice. Whether this meant those affected by the closure chose the approach we were using I don’t know, but the hot weather and long queue meant overheating related problems for a couple of member’s MGs.

We eventually got parked up in our allocated area and started to relax. The chairs were unfolded, but as it was so hot, out came the umbrellas too, to act as parasols. I hate to say it, but it was a little too warm for me, so I couldn’tbe bothered to walk that far and wasn’t fussed if I didn’t see all the hundreds of cars that descend on Helmingham Hall for this popular event.

There are lots of side shows and stalls at the festival, and also the impressive gardens, but my favourite is still the concours run down the main drive. The trees lining the drive also offered some respite from the sun.

The show seemed more popular than ever with exhibitors, so we waited until the very end to leave the site to avoid the queues and had a very nice meal at the Old Ram at Tivetshall.

11th Annual Norfolk Open Churches Classic Car Run (Mills and Broads) 4th August 2018 – review and photos by Claire and Mark Smithson

We woke on Saturday to a slightly overcast morning with the usual thoughts before an MG outing; would it rain? where wouldthe day’s route take us? (would we breakdown!)

There was a buzz of anticipation in the Cathedrals Refectory and various familiar faces were spotted enjoying tea and pastries. After a quick look round the eclectic mix of vehicles neatly parked outside the Cathedral, and the route plaque attached, the announcement was made at 9am on the dot that we could make a start. One by one the Bishop blessed us as we drove under the main arch leaving the Cathedral grounds – and then we were on our way!

As is the way with such an event, the first stop, North Burlingham Church, was heaving with cars and people. After this, the participants dispersed into the country side and you then had to rely more on the route map supplied. We meandered around Norfolk taking in plenty of churches, (a number offering light refreshments), and mills, which were highlighted on the route map accompanied by many interesting facts. About half way round the route we decided to have our lunch at Horsey Wind Pump and seeing the unusual number of classic cars on the carpark many others had obviously had the same idea.

The star of the day was a little 1938 Fiat Topolino – so unusual that it stood out in the crowd and it certainly attracted the mostadmiring glances. We ‘made friends’ with an impressive 1933MGJ2. This came in very handy when we ‘gained a noise’ afterdriving through a section of gravel, as the kindly driver pulled over and assured us that it would only be a stone in the brake disc – and as promised, it ‘popped’ out soon after and anyconcerns were gone. (Phew!)

All the vehicles made their way to the final stop at Martham, and those who wished enjoyed a service at 4pm lead by The Lord Bishop of Norwich, which was a fitting end to a Churches Run.

All in all a very enjoyable day and after a leisurely journey home, the Churches Run was over for another year.

August Club Night Run – The Locks Inn at Geldeston

There was another good turnout of members for the August club night run to the Locks Inn at Geldeston. The weather was nice for the short drive to the pub, which is down an unmade road and ‘off grid’. Many of us had topark a few hundred yards from the pub and walk down the track – not a problem in daylight, but a bit more of a challenge when leaving in the dark and wearing fancy new shoes not designed for negotiating potholes (Jill, not me!). Maybe we should have travelled by boat.

The food was great and the staff were friendly. Top marks go to Paul and Geoff for organising the evening and planning the route.

Stonham Barns Classic Car Show

There was a great turnout of members for the Stonham Barns classic car show.

Despite one or two no-shows we only just managed to squeeze into the area allocated to BMGOC by the organisers.Once parked up, attention then turned to the club’s brand new event tent. After a bit of head scratching and then some brute force , it was eventually erected and looked very smart. Luckily we didn’t need it to shelter under, withthe weather staying warm if rather overcast for much of the day.

There were certainly plenty of cars to admire at the show; with the organisers announcing over the tannoy that over 1100 vehicles had attended. These varied from once familiar family run-arounds you don’t see any more, to some quite rare sports cars.

Although I didn’t leave the showground, some members ventured over to the popular car boot sale and looked round the retail units at Stonham Barns.

We rounded off an enjoyable day by stopping off at the Old Ram at Tivetshall for a very nice meal.Many thanks go to Geoff for organising the club’s entry and to Viv for the cake!

Spridget 60th Birthday

It’s hard to believe but some of the cute ‘Frogeye’ Sprites are now 60 years old!

Mike, Carolyn, Jill and I made a weekend of the Midget and Sprite Club’s birthday celebrations at Wroxall Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire. The weather for the pleasant drive up to Solihull, where we were staying overnight, couldn’thave been better. The two white Midgets must have stood out as several people tooted as they drove past. However, we knew from the weather forecasts that the day of the 60th celebrations was going to be very wet.

As we drove the short distance to the event the next morning it started to rain, and it didn’t let up all day. The event itself was a washout with, I guess, only two or three hundred ‘Spridgets’ turning out in the rain. This was a great shame and it was reminiscent of the Midget 50th event at Burleigh House, but with fewer cars. We walked around the Spridgets and chatted briefly to a few fellow owners but decided to find some shelter and get out of the rain. The hotel owners obviously didn’t want a load of damp classic car drivers dripping on their floor, and signs directed us to a large marquee selling tea and coffee where we joined most of the other entrants. By lunchtime, however, we had had enough, and we left the impressive grounds of Wroxall Abbey Hotel for the long and wet journey home.

It was a real shame about the weather and I feel sorry for the organisers after all the work that goes into organising a show like that. However, we still had a good weekend and I thank Mike and Carolyn for their company. Roll on Midget 60.

Cars by the Lake – Sunday 2nd September 2018

Those going to Cars by the Lake please meet up at the usual lay-by at Billingford, departing at 9.00am.

September 5th Club Night Run to the Plough Inn at Blundeston

If you are going on the September club night run to the Plough at Blundeston please be at Morrisons car park Beccles for 7.00pm sharp (due to the nights drawing in). It is planned to arrive at the Plough at 7.45pm. Any queries please contact Mark or Bev

Broadland MGOC is 30 Years Old!

It had slipped my mind but the club was formed some 30 years ago. Mike Smith has been doing some research and has uncovered the first edition of Enjoying MG where the club is mentioned. He has also taken a photo showing the magazine covers 30 years apart. Many thanks go to Mike for this trip down memory lane

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