January 2021

 

 

A Happy New Year to all members

 

 

In December we made a donation to the Kevin Sinfield 7in7 fundraising appeal for MNDA.

This was in answer to a request from some members to show support to one of our own who

has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

 

Val llingworth has requested that you save her the postage stamps as usual please.

 

Diary dates for 2021 -     25th July - Ripon Classic Car Gala

                                      1st August - Yorkshire Pudding Run

                                      8th August - Harrogate MG 2021 

 

Richard has provided the information for BACs payments.

Please add your name to make sure Richard and George know who has joined. Cheques are still welcome.

Make sure George receives your membership form.

 

Hopefully we will be having runs/picnics again this year, any suggestions will be welcome.

 

In the absence of any club activities (apart from Zoom - thank you Victor) we are continuing with articles from members.

 

David Griffiths has sent the following and may provide an inspiration for others to follow suit.

 

Magnette aspiration fulfilled – after 48 years!

 

MagnetteaGrowing up in a mining village on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border in the early 1950’s

there were not many cars and, of the few that were in the village, the majority were pre WW2.

The main employment was either at the local pit, Shirebrook, or on the railway moving coal

from the local pits to steel works, power stations and south to London.

Steam locomotives were still the source of power and I well remember mum still had a ration

book for the ‘luxuries’ of life.

 

My father was a train driver and mother owned a ladies hairdressers.

We were lucky – we had a car and in 1954 dad sold his 1936 Morris 8

and bought a 1953 Morris Minor, the only ‘new car’ on the street.

At seven years old I thought we were so lucky and I guess I was a ‘car man’ at that early age.

 

Mum had three brothers, all managers at the nearby Warsop Colliery. None of them drove but Uncle Cis made the

decision to learn and, having passed his test, he bought a car. A brand new MG Magnette ZA – RVO 161 – in Island Green

with green interior from Pye’s of Mansfield, the local BMC/MG dealer. On the way home he called at our house to show dad his new car.

I was home and treated to a ride around the village – in the front seat. Dad had to sit in the back! 

We were a close family and during the summer would regularly take trips to the East Coast or into Derbyshire.

Whenever I could I would ride with Uncle Cis and Aunty Rene in the Magnette. Heaven! 

 

Uncle Cis was loyal to MG and replaced the ZA with a Varitone and later a Farina, eventually moving on to Volvo in the early 1970’s.

From the first day I saw RVO161 I was in love with Magnette and I still have a photo of the car taken in the Derbyshire Dales.

 

Marriage, mortgages and a child meant that my early motoring career was in an Austin A35, a Ford Anglia van and later company Ford Escorts.

In 1979 I bought my first classic. A 1955 Morris Minor just like the one dad had. At the time it didn’t have a gearbox and cost me Ł75.

I kept the car until 2018, spent many thousands on restoration, and covered a grand total of 3200 miles over the 39 years of ownership!

 

In 2003 I decided I had to have a Magnette having owned an MGB and an RV8 and, subsequently,

purchased ORX 470, a 1958 ZB, in Great Yarmouth. The car was in Birch Grey and had an MOT.

Having driven it home I found it also had a lot of rust!! I have two nephews that own a village garage

and they had earlier rebuilt my Morris Minor. They are into ‘classics’, having four of their own,

so ORX 470 went to them to have the rust damage dealt with.

 

Two years later, I collected the car after a full [expensive] rebuild. At one stage the body of the car was in Nottinghamshire,

the chrome in West Yorkshire and the interior in County Durham! In the process of restoration the colour was changed to

Twilight Grey and we tried to ensure that the restoration returned the car to original factory specification.

Sadly there is no trace of RVO 161.

 

Some 45 years later I was able to repay Uncle Cis for my front seat ride in the Magnette. By this time he was over 90 years old

and his health was failing. I now had a British Racing Green RV8 and we were able to wrap him up in warm clothes,

get him into the RV8, and take him for a spirited 10 mile drive with the roof down.

He had a wide smile that day but sadly passed away a few months later – nothing to do with my driving!

 

When we bought ORX 470 I promised Aunty Rene that she would be the first to have a run out in the car after it was returned to the road. 

My wife, Sandra, was given her ‘mink stole’ which Aunty wore in the ZA along with a car rug used in the car back in 1955.

Sandra still has the stole and the car rug is proudly displayed in ORX 470.

Sadly Aunty Rene passed away a few months before ORX 470 returned to the road and I was unable to fulfil my promise

though we had been able to show her photographs of the restoration.

 

So that’s my story of how I became a ‘Magnetteer’.

Being a member of ‘the Register’ has introduced me to a pool of knowledge and help with the Magnette.

Good friendships have developed with fellow Magnette owners.

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, not least the classic car movement.

Hopefully 2021 will allow us to return to a more normal way of life and bring our Magnette Register together again.    

 

 

 

There will be an article next month from Roger Goulden.