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Midland Centre     Previous Social Event Reports...

Triumph & MG Weekend Malvern  13-15 Aug 2021...
This event marked a historic collaboration between Triumph clubs and the MG Car Club to create the Triumph and MG Weekend which took place at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern 13 – 15 August 2021.

Set in the glorious area at the foot of the Malvern Hills, the event attracted hundreds of examples of the two marques, which were combinations of being pristine, interesting, loved and driven.

The event celebrated various Model Anniversaries, as it was the MG Midget's 60th, the MG Z Series 20th, the TR4's and the Triumph Herald's 60th and the Triumph Acclaim's 40th each having a significant display of cars within the halls.

The Midland Centre also arranged three short 50 miles runs to explore the splendor of the Malverns and Herefordshire’s rolling green countryside, with the option to visit a local cider mill.

An optional stop in 20 miles for coffee or lunch at Westons Cider Mills before heading towards the River Wye in Herefordshire and a drive through Haugh Wood, good for a picnic, to Mordiford, after 32 miles, which was combined with a lunch stop at The Moon Inn.
From there the entrants took the scenic main road to Ledbury, a pretty medieval market town, before returning over the Malvern Hills to the Showground in Worcestershire.

The weather was very kind to the event which allowed the people to mingle, chat and compare notes throughout.
'Classic Nostalgia' Shelsley 18th July 2021...
Well, as the tabloid 'redtops' might have put it, "Phew, wot a scorcha!" Those who visited Shelsley Walsh over the weekend of July 17 & 18 were treated not only to a superb display of vehicles, but also to some gloriously hot and sunny weather. 

Too hot for some, in fact, and on the Sunday many folk had resorted to using rain umbrellas as parasols. Walking up to the Esses was hard work even for fit people. The Midland Centre had a presence on the Sunday, together with the MGB, MGC and Magnette Registers, representing the MG Car Club. 

The now-familiar horde of rally cars entertained as ever, particularly the raucous Chevy V8-engined Vauxhall Firenza. One wonders how it gets past the scrutineers! Unfortunately, as with a recent Nostalgia, someone laid a trail of oil up most of the hill, necessitating a lengthy delay on Sunday afternoon while the marshals laid cement dust. Drivers - check your oil lines! 

 So now we will look forward to next year's event, when the Midland Centre will endeavour once again be there, and hopefully some new themes will emerge from the MAC. Thanks to all our local groups who turned up with us, it was nice to meet you all and to have a chat. Hope to see you next year.

Report by Andrew Robson..
Report - 'First Super Natter' BMM 8th June 2021...
Midland Centre members were out in force on the First of our 'Super Natter' Evenings on Tuesday 8th June at the British Motor Museum’s event at Gaydon.

Under a clear blue sky and with the sun well and truly blazing away the first Midlands Centre Super Natter took place at the British Motor Museum`s June Summer Gathering. A very good turnout of MGs, the biggest single marque present, made for a delightful evening. Picnics and gourmet burgers were consumed, and for some, large ice creams as well!

The Midland Centre sail flags proudly flew in the gentle breeze under which members chatted away. The BMM put on a display of veteran cars that chugged amongst the hundreds of cars present. All contributed to a great summer atmosphere.

The next one will be on Tuesday 13th July. More information regarding tickets and entrance requirements will be announced on our Facebook page, Centre website and Centre Newsletter later this month.
So why not make a date to join us.
Thanks to all for making this a great social occasion.
Link to Facebook Gallery Images of Event

Charnwood Caper 19 May 2019

Having been first run in 2004, the North Leicester MG Club’s Charnwood Caper is now in its 16th year.  Back in those early days, though, the number of cars involved was less than half of the ninety-odd classics that the run has consistently attracted since 2016.

This year’s outing, on May 19th, saw eighty-eight cars pre-booked to take part.  Of these, seventy-six bore the Octagon, ranging from a 1938 Tickford VA, through a couple of T-Series cars, several MGAs, Midgets and MGCs, a solitary RV8 and a dozen Fs and TFs.  The other ten marques in attendance (including Morgan, Morris, Porsche, Triumph and TVR) were represented for the most part by single examples.  MGBs, again, were in abundance, with over forty taking part, well over half of which were roadsters.  The average age of all cars involved was just over 40 years, with the younger element (mainly Fs and TFs) being balanced out by the twenty-eight older classics which had been on the road for more than half a century.   

The run itself began at the Quorn & Woodhouse station, which is one of four on the Leicestershire section of the Great Central Heritage Railway.  This has become the regular starting venue for the “Caper”, thanks to the size and accessibility of the station car park and the fantastic co-operation received from the management of the railway.  The staff of the station’s Butler-Henderson Tearooms, who turn out bright and early each year to provide the morning refreshments, also make a great contribution to the overall atmosphere of the day.

After leaving the station, the cavalcade of classics travelled through a couple of Charnwood Forest villages, taking them around to the west and north of Loughborough.  Crossing into Nottinghamshire near to Sutton Bonnington, the 79-mile route took in a further twenty villages as it followed mainly country lanes to the final destination of Thoresby Park, near Ollerton. 

Here the crews were able to enjoy the park’s extensive acreage, and the shops and café in the Victorian Courtyard.

Once again, the entrants who had travelled furthest to take part were rewarded with a prize, and this year the recipients were Andrew and Alison Biggs, who came from Hertfordshire in their Midget to do the run.  A raffle yielded a host of winners, with the two “star prizes” going to Jim Andrews (car battery voucher) and Sylvia Buckingham (hamper).  Both are Leicestershire residents.

Raffle earnings and surplus income from the run will be donated to this year’s nominated charity, the Loughborough-based Rainbows Hospice for children and young people. 

For information about the work of the hospice, visit www.rainbows.co.uk.
Midland Centre Welsh Rallye  - 17th to 19th May 2019
Now in its 24th year, the MG Car Club Midland Centre’s Welsh (Touring) Rallye continues to be popular and takes the participants to some hidden gems of Wales that folk might not normally venture to.

The MG Welsh (Touring) Rallye was started in May 1997 by then Centre Chairman - Rick Howson - as a non-competitive variant of the proper rallies that the Centre used to run many moons ago in the 50/60’s. Hence the Rallye spelling to differentiate it as non-competitive, and then the addition of ‘Touring’, to indicate that it was held under an MSA Touring Assembly Certificate of Exemption.

Its main aim was to give drivers who like to use their Classic Cars a decent run on roads that would not usually be visited on one’s own and be of a length to be interesting and challenging rather than just a tootle round the block.

The first 18 years were one nighters, meaning that the Saturday mid-May start was from somewhere in the West Midlands area and headed West to finish at various hotels in Wales large enough to accommodate a group of some 50+ cars. That is, apart from two Centre anniversary years in 2003 & 2013.

Distances of the runs varied from 160 in ’97 to 180 in the early years, with some a bit less  as many folk had some mileage just to get to the start, or some stayed nearby, thus making it a two nighter for them. Some of the suggested route’s mileage was to head West from the Start to the borders and into wild Welshland.

Once everyone was suitably refreshed and rested after a long day's drive, dinner was served in the hotel restaurant. Although there wasn't a specific fancy dress theme this year, guests were encouraged to wear "something outrageous" in the way of ear ornaments or neckties. After the meal, we were entertained by a live band in the hotel bar, or for those preferring a quieter environment, some decamped to the empty second dining room.

This year's Sunday excursion was a canal boat ride across Thomas Telford's famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct. We did manage to fill one boat for the 2-hour trip, returning to the hotel by coach. Part way along the canal we came upon a BBC film crew and what appeared to be Welsh rugby player Gareth Edwards and wife, so naturally we all waved in the hope of seeing our faces on TV at some future point, providing the programme isn't on S4C! Those preferring not to take the boat ride occupied themselves with the local steam railway or walks around the town. Back at the hotel, we sat down for a Sunday carvery lunch, after which prizes were awarded for best male & female fancy dress, won by Terry Heighway and Anita Dorney respectively, the two best cars on the event, an MGB owned by Roger Bolton and an MGTF owned by Roger King, chosen by last year's winner John Burton, together with awards for Natter of the Year (the Stone group near Stoke-on-Trent) and non-financial contributions to the Midland Centre by a Non-Committee member (Geoff St. John Mitchell) and a Committee Member (Tony Lake). Then it was time to bid our fond farewells and head for home. A few guests elected to stay a further night and drive home on Monday.

So that ends another successful Rallye weekend, and preparations begin for the 2020 events. What will that hold in store, we wonder?Thanks to the organising sub-committee - Brian Osborn, Paul Hollingworth and Roger King - and our photographer, Simon Morris.

For more images, please click on the 'Welsh Rallye' section on our  Website Gallery page.
Midland Centre Summer Day Out - Shelsley Walsh
16 June 2019

As Midland Centre members will know, for the past few years the Centre has teamed up with the Midland Automobile Club, owners of the world-famous Shelsley Walsh hill climb track, to hold our annual Summer Day Out, and 2019 was no different.

As before, we chose the weekend of the MAC’s Classic Nostalgia event, sometimes described as a ‘mini Goodwood Revival’ in view of the period clothing worn by many spectators and the ages of some of the vehicles competing on the hill. Due to the unfortunate cancellation of the MGCC’s ‘MG Live’ weekend at Silverstone, the MGB Register had also chosen to invite their members to Shelsley Walsh, albeit on the Saturday, whereas we chose our usual Sunday. Once again, we arranged to offer our members discounts on the normal ticket prices, together with parking areas reserved for MG cars. In the end, we had a rather better parking location than expected.

Classic Attire optional

Although most previous Summer Days Out were graced with decent weather, sometimes good enough to permit a fly-past by a WW2 Spitfire fighter aircraft, sadly the 2018 event was plagued with cloud and dampness. The memory of that may have affected tickets sale and competitor entries (not forgetting that it was also Father’s Day), because a few days before the weekend we received a call from Gary Hall, Shelsley’s General Manager, offering MGCC members attending on the Sunday the opportunity to park in the main paddock area, using ‘garages’ normally occupied by competitors. Naturally we gratefully accepted.

And so it was that Sunday, June 16, dawned cloudy but reasonably dry, and some 19 of our members turned up bright and early to claim their garages, bringing with them an interesting variety of cars – MGAs, MGBs, Midgets, a TF1500 fitted with an MGA twin-cam engine, and a brace of Magnettes, together with a handful of modern TFs.

We were also treated to a display of three proper Minis converted to the style as seen in the film ‘The Italian Job’ (the Michael Cain version, of course) together with the Harrington coach which ended the film suspended precariously over a cliff edge.

The event theme this year centered on classic rally cars, and the paddock area was full with various classic Subarus from the McRae era, Mitsubishi Evos, Escorts, a Metro 6R4, and even a Rover SD1, to name but a few. These were all in addition to the regular competitors in everything ranging from a strange contraption fitted with Kart wheels to some beautiful classic Lotus and Brabham single-seaters. Prize for the noisiest car of the weekend went to a Vauxhall Firenza fitted with a Chevrolet V8 engine and seemingly no silencing. When it went up the hill you could have heard it in the next county! Mind you, the same could be said of the various turbo rally cars as their waste-gates popped and banged like an artillery barrage, echoing around the hillsides.

Generally the weather played ball, and despite a couple of heavy showers sufficient to bring proceedings to a temporary halt, the afternoon turned bright, sunny and quite warm. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the only culprit in holding things up, responsibility being shared with a rally Escort which, first, managed to leave a trail of oil for virtually the entire length of the hill, necessitating a major clean-up by the marshals, and then later in the afternoon the same car was rolled by its driver, requiring a lengthy delay to get it back on its wheels and down to the paddock. We wonder if that competitor will be invited back!

Rally Car Line-up

But, all in all, we believe that everyone enjoyed the day, borne out by the various ‘Thank You’ emails we have received since then. Some have suggested that, after some five years of attending this event, it may be time to consider a different venue for our Summer Day Out in 2020. Trouble is, on a nice day, Shelsley Walsh is a lovely place to be, in the heart of rolling Worcestershire countryside, and there are many varied cars on show, as well as some well-known personalities from the world of motoring. Would another location hold the same appeal?

Answers on a post card to ....

For more images, please click on the 'Shelsley Walsh' section on our Website Gallery page.

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