Victorian architecture & art deco saloons

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Alan Dennison and Peter Brock both own Minor four-door saloons and have recently and quite independently, visited two interesting examples of Victorian architecture, as these images show. The buildings in question are located some 240 miles apart and exist at opposite ends of the style and functionality spectrums, despite being built within eight years of one another. The Mansion House at Old Warden Park in Bedfordshire was designed by Henry Clutton, a famous Victorian architect, for the Shuttleworth family and was completed in 1875. The coastal ‘Rocket Garage’ structure in Cullercoats, North Tyneside was built in 1867 to house hazardous materials, in this case fireworks, or more specifically rockets. The rockets were fired from the shore towards  floundering shipping off the coast. Attached to each rocket was a long length of twine which in turn was attached to ropes or cables back on shore.  The stranded crews, then dragged the ropes or cables on board which helped to facilitate their rescue.

Friends Reunited

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When Barry Robinson was a very young man in the late fifties/early sixties he acquired his first car, a 1932 MG M Type Midget (DG 4888).  His new pride and joy had originally been built as a Sportsman’s Coupe but at some point in the intervening period the original body had been replaced with something closely resembling that of an MG J2, including a fuel tank at the rear. When other necessities of life got in the way the car was reluctantly sold, a fact that Barry has always regretted. A while ago he shared his story (and some photos) with M Type guru Sam Christie. Sam archived the photos on his hard drive and the story to his grey matter. On the 8th October a ‘Buy-it-now’ advertisement for an MG M Type appeared on eBay and was subsequently reported on the network’s  ‘Cars for sale’ sub-forum. Sam immediately recognised the car as that owned by Barry some 60 years previously and rang him to pass on the news, the end result being that the surprisingly little changed DG 4888 now has a new home in the West Midlands. Congratulations Barry!

It’s passed the test…

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The Jolvial Sailor,  Ripley was the venue for the Home Counties group pub meet recently. The occasion was marked by the welcome arrival of Philip Butland in his newly recommissioned 1934 Eustace Watkins Wolseley Hornet Special (AXC 115). The recomissioning road has been a long and bumpy one but the car proved its credentials with an uneventful run from deepest Sussex to leafy Surrey and back. Here, the eight attendees gather round the Hornet for the mandatory pub-meet photo.

Sometimes it rains…

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Vintage motoring is not always a fine weather, wind-in-the-hair experience (for those lucky enough to have some!), as can be seen by this photo of Bob Howden‘s beautiful MG M Type Midget JY 8840. The shot was taken on a very damp Saturday morning, during the 2019 Network rally weekend, just prior to the commencement of the day’s tour. Bob had driven the 20 miles from his home in Newbury to Marlborough dodging puddles along the way, his fixed tonneau testament to the threat of rain, which kept the passenger compartment dry but left him exposed to the elements. Thankfully, the weather greatly improved as the day wore on. (Photo: Louise Martin)

Ex N.Z. saloon surfaces…

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M12504 started life as a 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon and at some point in its history made its way to New Zealand. Here it received a new steel panelled body, perhaps from a defunct Coachbuilt Saloon. In 2009 Orchid Cars in Somerset imported the car from NZ along with the remnants of another Minor. It was then purchased by Lee Robertson who restored and rebuilt the car, registering it with the DVLA  it being allocated the age-related mark BF 5452. The car passed through the hands of two further owners before being autioned by Matthewsons in March 2014 and going to ground. It transpires that the car is currently owned by a funeral director in Herefordshire, the car being spotted last July at a garden party in Bredwardine.

Canine Minorist…

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Tikal (pronounced Tickle) has joined a long line of Lurchers that have travelled many miles in the Maeers’ family 1929 Minor Tourer (VJ 1756), universally known as ‘Prudence‘. Seen alongside VJ, is Martin and Jean Gregory’s 1931 Coachbuilt Saloon  (UF 7090), the occasion being a lunchtime meet at The Nevill Arms in Medbourne, Leics which was the Network’s Rally HQ in June 2017; the event being hosted by Janie Maeers.

Back on the road again…

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Philip Butland‘s 1934 Wolseley Hornet EW Daytona Special has provided its owner with plenty to think about following its recent engine rebuild. While the power unit appears to be bedding-in nicely, the car’s steering and braking gear hasn’t followed suit. A recent trip to the Firle Hill Revival hillclimb event went without incident so perhaps things are looking-up at last.

Cover story…

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The Morris Minor featured many times on the front covers of the three main motoring magazines making its final appearance in a Morris Motors advertisement of any type in early June 1934. This one from a year earlier points out the ‘room’ advantage to be gained by purchasing the four-door long-wheel-base Family model over the smaller swb sliding-head saloon.

Rally recollections…

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Trevor Wilkinson and Maggie Cheshire exit a Wiltshire village in their 1934 Minor Two-seater (UN 6979), well wrapped-up against the cool, late-spring morning air. The date, Saturday 8th June 2019. The time, 10:30 AM. Photo: Liz Thomas