Thursday, 28 July 2016

All Morgans' Day, The Morgan Roadster, Blenheim Palace & Help for Heroes featured in the August 2016 issue of MOG Magazine

All Morgans' Day, The Morgan Roadster, Blenheim Palace & Help for Heroes

All featured in the August 2016 issue of MOG Magazine

The River Bridge at Blenheim Palace.

At this point I should offer an apology for the poor quality 
of the Photos taken from the Magazine with the centre 
spine flattened. 

As one of the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register Sponsors for our 2016 All Morgans' Day held at 
Blenheim Palace on 3rd July, MOG Magazine decided 
to feature all four topics in their magazine's August Issue 
Cover Story.

The R100 Register has fund raised in support of 
Help for Heroes over the previous six years 
raising £17889.48.
At All Morgans' Day this year, we decided to support 
Combat Stress, The Veterans Mental Health Charity.

Editor Julia's letter.

The Introduction

 W   We arrived at Blenheim Palace early, ahead of the 
crowds and before the All Morgans' Day had kicked off 
for some uninterrupted Roadster testing. Rising high above 
us was a stunning structure bedecked with beautiful 
carvings and a rich golden-coloured stone 
- that was just the gatehouse.

Blenheim Palace was built as a gift to the 1st Duke of
Marlborough. John Churchill the military commander who 
led the Allied forces in the Battle of Blenheim on 13th 
August 1704.
The palace itself is appropriately imposing with the 
largest courtyard we have ever seen, in the middle of which 
sat our brand new white Roadster looking very much 
at home alongside this glorious British national treasure 
of a building 

Brash, demanding and oh-so fast, the V6 Roadster is 
Morgans bad boy - but it wasn't always so. When Morgan
decided to drop a V8 into a Morgan back in the '60s, it
created an epic legend. Stacks of power in a light car with
traditional suspension, the Plus 8 was as brilliant as it was
demanding. But, with the Plus 8 discontinued in 2004,
Morgan plugged the gaping hole in the market with this 
- the V6 Roadster.

       In 2013 the Plus 8 returned, but the modern car is a
much more refined machine than its traditional cousin. 
With the Plus 8 back, you might think the Roadster would 
be confined to the history books - but its still here - and, 
in some ways, it embodies that traditional Plus 8 spirit.

" The Roadster can make you
break out in a cold sweat, 
and it knows it"

even more than the modern version. It seems there will 
always be a demand for an outrageously powerful 
traditional Morgan.
     But why? Its got leaf springs, sliding pillar suspension 
and the old ladder frame - all of which are surely more 
suited to the lower power cars of the '50s, right? It sounds
downright scary and, in many respects, it is. Well, rather 
it can be - if you let it. This thing is fast - really fast > 

At the Lygon Arms in Broadway

      The Roadster is the unsung hero in many respects ; it's 
not got the Plus 8 fame, it doesn't have the 80 years of 
history of the 4/4, and it doesn't have the Le Mans victory 
that the Plus 4 has. It sits on its own with those traditional
looks, quietly confident, smiling to itself. The Roadster can
make you break out in a cold sweat, and it knows it.
       As we jumped in and picked out a circular route, we had
our first taste of Roadster roaming. With that much power
coursing through the back wheels it's like releasing a
thoroughbred from the starting gate. Give the accelerator 
a push and your greeted with a guttural scream, the engine
reacting as though it's trying to move the lumbering 
Mustang for which it was designed. But with only 950kg 
to shift, it's as if it's constantly overreacting.  

       That said - all that really is required is an adjustment in 
the driving style. After driving mainly 4/4s and Plus 8s, we
discovered the Roadster really is a different experience. The
other models you can drive spiritedly much like a modern 
daily driver, but the Roadster takes some adjustment.
Although its closest brothers are the Plus 4 and the 4/4, it
shares more in common with the 3 Wheeler. Its visceral, 
raw, and a lot of fun; the Roadster can make the hairs stand 
up on the back of your neck. 
       To drive sensibly, and sedately, simply change up earlier
and it behaves itself quite well. Many owners find the car 
a good tourer, and we can see why; nothing would trouble 
the Roadster - it's got all the power you'd ever need and 
eats up the miles.

        Cruising around the country lanes, its great fun. It feels
much faster than the Plus 8 - which is probably an illusion
created by the traditional chassis. It doesn't take much to 
feel as though you're going fast; often we'd glance at the 
speedo expecting to see 120 only to read 70.
        All Morgans force you to sit up and pay attention, you
have to drive them, but the Roadster makes you feel as 
though you've had a packet of Pro Plus for breakfast, swilled
down with a double espresso. Every bump, every corner, 
every incline requires input and reaction from the driver.
        The Ford six-speed gearbox is direct and firm - not quite
as satisfying as the MX5 box in the other traditional models,
but plenty good enough. It seems to be very long in its gearing,
which makes sitting in third around town nice and easy. 

"It's not quite like wrestling a bull, but we'd wager it causes just as much adrenaline release" 

Given to us with hardly any miles on it, we did find the 
clutch very springy, making it difficult to pull away 
smoothly, but it hadn't bedded in, so no doubt would 
loosen up with use. It Brakes, although serviceable, 
perhaps don't give as much confidence as they should 
with drum brakes on the rear and discs on the front. 
It's not quite like wrestling a bull, but we'd wager it 
causes just as much adrenaline release. Heading out 
into Oxfordshire, through Chipping Norton and > 

At the Crown & Cushion Hotel, Chipping Norton

Moreton-in-Marsh, and over to Tewksbury, we make the
beast do its cruising thing - changing up early and 
smoothly. Between the villages, on the straights it's a 
joy to give the accelerator a blip and enjoy the sound 
and power.
      The country lanes, with their potholes and broken 
surfaces do make things a bit more of a challenge. After a 
short stretch we felt as though we'd been 12 rounds with 
Mike Tyson, but with leaf springs and sliding pillar, that's 
part of the traditional Morgan character. In all honesty, 
it says more about the terrible state of the UK roads, 
as when on the better-kept tarmac it's more than 
comfortable enough.
      Acceleration is the Roadster's signature dish. From 0-62 
it blitzes it in 5.5 seconds, although we didn't attempt that 
on the open road, we could have sworn it could do it in 3. 
The Roadster isn't the fastest car on paper but it gives you

"The Roadster isn't the fastest 
car on paper but it gives you 
the impression you could 
outpace a Mclaren F1."

the impression you could outpace a Mclaren F1. That's the
Roadster's charm; it's unassuming, understated, and it gives
you a thrill like no other car we've ever driven.
    We may have touted the Roadster as a raw machine, but
it does have some refinement in the way of power steering.
The steering isn't as direct as a 4/4 or a Plus 4, and a little too 
loose at high speed, but works well for the most part.
Without it, we've no doubt the Roadster might be a little
too much of a handful > 

The Great Court at Blenheim Palace

Driving the Park Roads at Blenheim Palace.

After our round trip, we are back at Blenheim to hand 
the wheel over to a special guest for a different perspective.
The All Morgans' Day has been working for Help for 
Heroes for many years now, raising money for 
ex-servicemen and women. This year the event raised 
money for Combat Stress, an affiliate to Help for Heroes.
    Graham Hudspith served in the Royal Navy for 15 years
before suffering an accident in an inter-naval rugby match
while docked in Spain. This injury resulted in him being 
unable to work in the Forces and elsewhere for a long period 
of time. He also suffered from Cancer, the treatment 
for which gave Graham nerve damage, adding further 
difficulty to everyday life. Thankfully, Help for Heroes have
given Graham a hand.
    "Help for Heroes has been great" Graham tells us. "If
you were in the Forces, they'll help you in any way they
can, even if you weren't hurt on duty. They've helped me 
with rehabilitation, both health-wise and socially, so I can
enjoy my life again."
      Graham has done some incredible things with Help for
Heroes; at one of their recovery centers he got involved 
with activities he never thought he could do. "They had me

"You hear people say 'I 
wouldn't be here if it wasn't for 
Help for Heroes' and it true"

horse riding, skiing, they really encourage you to be 
active. I have also been given a hand bike, on which I rode the
Hero Ride last June - I cycled 50 miles from Whitehall to
Windsor Castle! Going through Windsor we got so much 
praise and attention, it was great >

 Inside the Great Court before the other Morgans arrived.

Our Hero

"Graham has been at the helm of an aircraft carrier in his time in the Navy,
but this nimble Mog still put a smile on his face"

"You hear people say 'I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for 
Help for Heroes' and it true". When you've been at the 
lowest point, to have Help for Heroes come to your aid and
help your whole family, it's brilliant, The All Morgans' Day 
has been raising money to help people like Graham, and 
this year it was another resounding success.
       We handed Graham the keys to see what he thought 
of the Roadster. Driving away we cruise around the 
grounds and local area as he gives us his feedback. "It's 
much more comfortable than I was expecting. It's 
fantastic to be part of the environment, you really feel as
though you are right there in the countryside. It feels very
direct and firm, smoother than I expected though. I've 
got a bad back and it didn't rattle me around as much as
I thought it would!" Graham laughs.
      "The way it clunks into gear is very satisfying. It's such
an honour to be able to drive such a classic car and the 
attention it gets is fantastic; it's just like when I was riding
the hand bike on the Hero Ride. I want to keep it! Can you
my Ford home, and I'll have this?"
     Graham has been at the helm of an aircraft carrier in his
time in the Navy, but this nimble Mog still put a smile on
his face. "It's just so much fun". Not intimidated in the
slightest, Graham got to grips with the car quickly, which
goes to show that with a gentle approach the Roadster is a
very acceptable car, and can behave itself nicely >

In amongst the multitude of Morgans, as they began to 
arrive at the Palace, the Roadster was truly at home. The
Churchill family still owns Blenheim, and we're sure they
would be proud of the All Morgans' Day raising money for
soldiers in need. Very rarely do you see this many Mogs in 
one place, and it was a joy to witness. The Roadster sat 
amongst its brethren proudley.
If we had to boil down the Roadster experience into one 
word, it would be "reactive". Drive it hard and it will scare 
the living daylights out of you. Be calm and soft and it 
behaves very well indeed - as our friend Graham can testify. 
"It wasn't too difficult to drive, it was quite easy going. With
the fresh air you don't really want to go fast; it might be able 
to do 140mph, but it's great for driving slowly and taking 
the world in"
Frantic and fast, or smooth and slow, the Roadster can 
do it all. It is, if you like, both beauty and the beast. If 
you want the flagship traditional Morgan, and a car 
that truly feels fast, this is the one to get - but watch that 
right foot!  MOG

Sunday, 10 July 2016

All Morgans' Day for Combat Stress at Blenheim Palace on 3rd July 2016

All Morgans' Day at Blenheim Palace

For those readers who may not have seen the previous All Morgans' Day Reports, The 
Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register has been holding All Morgans' Days since our 
first event in 2011 which was held at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. 
In 2015, the National Trust Team at Waddesdon Manor decided that they would not host
 any further Cars Shows leaving us without a suitable venue for the 220 or so Morgans 
who displayed there at our previous event in 2014.

Using Google Maps, I scanned and viewed almost every available Country House before 
our colleague David Harris said " Why don't we try Blenheim Palace?" 
I had previously omitted Blenheim from my searches due to a past experience there when 
we participated in another car show and we were parked in one of the Estate Fields in 
long grass. 

This would not have been a suitable location to compare with our display in 
Front of Waddesdon Manor.

However, David and I decided to make an exploratory visit in June last year where 
we met Blenheim's Head of Operations, Heather Carter, who is the most 
helpful and accommodating person we could have asked to meet with and help us put 
on this years event.  
We were ecstatic when we were offered the best location that Blenheim has to offer, 
The Great Court and its surrounding areas including the Drive to 
the Great Court; all free of any costs.

The Great Court at Blenheim Palace.

Discussion began with pace over how we would organise our event in such a massive 
There were some caveats; 
We could not use the beige gravel areas, 
all cars had to bring and use 'Drip Mats or Trays' 
and the top left corner of the Great Court was reserved for 
Blenheim's Owner , The Duke of Marlborough's Car if he is in residence, 
as it is, after all, his home.

I volunteered to draw out a parking plan as I had done for Waddesdon where I would 
once again use Google Maps measuring tool and the same scale used for 
Waddesdon Manor. 
David started dreaming of how we could make this the Biggest Ever event, so I juggled 
and re drew to achieve a maximum of 400 cars. Far in excess of any previous bookings. 
Then we started to invite Morgan Related Exhibitors which also grew in number 
requiring a revamp of the plan drawing to fit them all in.

Our Available Display Areas.

A second exploratory visit by David and myself this year was joined by our Parking 
Guru Philip Loring. It was amazing what we had missed on that first visit. 
Steeply Sloping Ground which all sloped towards the Lake. Danger Bells started ringing 
and another revamp of the drawing reduced the available safe areas to only 350 
Also, would our Sponsors, Gott & Wynne Insurance Brokers provide that many or even 
more Rally Plaques and I had only bought 250 special Pin Badges to give away. 
We drew the ambition line at 350 cars which would be 130 more than we had ever 
achieved at Waddesdon Manor.

We were also asked to relocate our Trades Area to be under the small group of trees to 
the left of the palace to not spoil the Photographic opportunities.

Our Band of Organizing Volunteers had grown from 4 last time to 7 this time, allowing a 
wider allocation of functions. 
Our Bookings this time would be handled by Derek Wright who would also add innovation 
by administering everything over the internet, including the eventual issuing of Entry 
The donation of some expensive Timing Clocks by Cain Poulton of Wolf 
Performance prompted Terry Seymour, who had already joined us as a Combat 
Stress Fundraiser, to organise a Grand Raffle which resulted in providing 22 superb 
prizes valued at over £3000 

During a Weekend away last year, we collectively decided fundraise 'In Support of 
Combat Stress, the Veterans Mental Health Charity' which also just happened to be 
supported by Help for Heroes, our previous Charity 

During a Visit to another Morgan Event, David Harris met Dutchman Hermen Pol, who 
traded in Car Badges. 
Hermen, along with his American Badge Designer Tcherek Kamstra, developed two 
fantastic car badges to help celebrate the event. 
Hermen also offered to donate 13% of the sales value to our charity. 
(10% from Hermen and a 3% waiver of his fee for using the Morgan Logo) 

The Car Badge

The Bookings Numbers grew and grew. They then passed the 350 limit to just end just 
below 400 cars.
Ok, we had always received last minute cancellations but contingency plans were needed 
and a separate entry pass was needed to manage those who unfortunately would not be 
able to receive a Goody Bag  

Overspill areas were planned but at the last minute on Saturday 2nd, when we were 
erecting Gazebos and Marking our Parking Lines, Philip said that if we were to pack the 
cars in with smaller spaces then we could get in more cars. Panic over.

Meanwhile back at the hotel our Ladies were busy preparing the 350 Goody Bags with our Gott & Wynne donated Rally Plaques and Pixel West donated MOG Magazines etc. 

Diane, Nola, Rosemary and our Leader David + Ball of String?

So it was on Sunday 3rd at 6,30am that our band of Volunteers, with some extra 
helpers raising the whole team for the day to 12, raised and took an early breakfast to 
drive the 15 miles to Blenheim in time for our 8am Set Up.

Sam, Stephen, Geoff posing while Chris escapes from Line Marking.

The Various Display Groups for our Trades Area began to arrive and set up their 
stands very quickly.

 Morgan Motor Company, Williams Morgan Fir Tree Maps and Wolf Perfomance

 MOG Magazine and Morgan Motor Company and the Roadster to feature in the 
August MOG Magazine issue.

 Fir Tree Maps and Wolf Performance

Bell & Colvill Morgan , SiFab Accessories and Silverstone Events Photography.

Morgan Car Badges with Hermen Pol, our Car Badge producer.
 Terry and I, after setting up the PA System in the Umbrella Tent.

Gott & Wynne Insurance Brokers, The Morgan Sports Car Club and 
Classic Driving Developments

Soon the rest of the 400 Morgans began to arrive with David and Chris located 
halfway towards the Main Gate to cover their Meet and Greet functions.

There had been an early problem with the majority of the Morgans all arriving 
together causing a traffic jam on the road outside the gate.

Once through the Ticket Office this Bow Wave arrive just around the corner above into the Flagstaff Car and 

Coach Park which fortunately had been kept clear of vehicles. Some of the older 
car owners were worried about engines overheating.

No one appears to have taken a photo of the milias as we were all desperately trying to 
clear the jam. 
I could not resist this lady crossing Flagstaff in her lovely Striped Bimini Hood 
expecting the sunny day that transpired. 

The Blenheim Pizza and Champagne Vans in the Background.

 Very Soon Everyone was in and Display Parked in front of the Palace 
as promised. With Philips 'Extra Row' we did not need any overspill 
areas after all

 The Extra Row being the second row from the feeder road.

 Not quite Bumper to Bumper but well Parked Terry.

 The Last Area to be filled was each side of the Drive to the River Bridge.

 That looks like Geoff about to take a few photos.

 Most of the cars were parked correctly but one or two diced with the slope by 
coming too far onto the grass.

 This area was originally left free for a group from OxMog who were celebrating 
their Centres 40th Anniversary. However, Late partying in their hotel meant 
that many arrived very late. 
A few early arrivals decided to park in the Great Court.

 I don't know that final number of Three Wheelers here as they were located 
all over the area. I believe that it was in excess of 16 which is an excellent 
increase on last time as we gradually encourage more and more to join in. 

 The OxMog Gazebo eventually appeared here instead of under the trees 
as planned but fortunately it did not interfere with the parking here as they 
were mostly in the wrong places anyway with only two rows instead of four.

 The Whole OxMog Contingent.

 Overheating, or just Flashing?

Looking into the Great Court it seems lightly parked due to the large Gravel areas. 
If fact, with the Duke absent, Philip and Peter managed to park 145 cars 
where I had planned for only 114 

 Delivering the Oldest Car from a Trailer 

This 'Oldest on Display' Three Wheeler No 2 is partly hidden behind the Lady in Red. 
It arrived on a trailer, which caused some difficulty for the owner. 

 The Roadster 100 were all parked in The Great Court, a decision requiring 
review for next time. Here is The Green Goddess sporting my Combat Stress Flag

 The Line of 18 Roadster 100's does make a stunning sight however 5 of the Later 
Arrivals were not here with us.

The Rest of the Roadster 100 in the Gateside Corner opposite the Three Wheelers.

 Rosemary explaining something to some visitors.

The Great Court from the Palace Steps 

 Looking towards the Dukes Parking Area

 Including the mini assistance vehicle with its video camera plinth. 

 The Green Goddess sporting one of our Special Green R100 Blenheim Car Badges

 A Regular Visitor to All Morgans' Days is 'Henrietta' and that famous 'Morgan Brick'.

Owners and MSCC Chairman Peter & Michelle Chapman with Henrietta. 

 The Group form Newtown Motors, including the Dragon Mog and their 
fine latest Aero Demonstrator with its Boot Lid up. 

 Just a few of the Three Wheelers that we did manage to park together.

Two of the Grand Original Models joining the latest versions.

 Through in the East Court another car event was also taking place. 
Salon Prive' were holding their second 'Cakes & Coffee' breakfast meeting 
for 30 Selected Classic Cars.

Meanwhile, back at All Morgans Day  

Raffle Ticket Sales were very strong needing more volunteers to write phone 
numbers and fold tickets

Hermen Pol selling his Car Badges alongside the Silverstone Event Photography stall.
They had photographed every car entering and were selling pints of them.   

Bell & Colvill and SiFab 

Cain Poulton's Wolf Stand with Peter Mulberry's Mulfab had an interesting 
selection of Morgan Alternative Attachments

The Accessories on the Williams Morgan stand drew constant interest. 
Alongside, Richard Chandler was selling his hand painted WW1 Maps of the 
Somme Trenches with the dozens of Cemetery locations included there now. 

My Own Laminated Copy of one of Richards Maps

MOG Magazine had their own gazebo for the first time set alongside the 
new Morgan Motor Company Merchandise Sales vehicle where active selling 
took place all day. As usual, they wished that they had brought more stock.

Back in the Great Court, MOG were setting up their photo shoot of the 
New Roaster among many of the 4000 visitors to Blenheim that day.

There was plenty of interest in all of the cars on display there.

On the way to the 'Dungeon' Washrooms I passed this elegant staircase. 
There was no time to visit the Palace today for our team.

I spy a Picnic in progress.

The rear of the Roadster 100 line up seen across one of the wide unusable 
gravel areas.

The Great Court and view to the Obelisk from the top of the Palace steps

To the right is the Duke of Marlborough's parking area. As he was away today 
we filled the area with 18 more Morgans. 

The rest of the 145 Morgans who fitted into the Great Court, 30 more than my 
Parking Plan suggested. 

Henrietta, from another angle with that oh so famous Morgan Brick.

The Team from Newtown Motors, Cwmbran with their Dragon Mog

Three Wheeler Corner again with at least two MTWC Members included. 

Double Row Parking on the Left Side prevented the need to use the Main Drive 
as an Overspill Area.

The Drive down to the River Bridge was full but some owners did risk parking 
on the steep slope, well off of the road.

It was the MSCC OxMog Centre's 40th anniversary this weekend so as a 
special concession to them this year we gave them their own Picnic area 

The weather certainly brought out the picnic hampers with this lakeside lawn 
being the most popular spot.

We spotted that this Roadster 100' owner must be a 'Betty Boop' fan.

He also recognises that all Morgans tend to 'Squeak' 

Sporting both the Register Badge and the Green R100 All Morgans' Day Car Badges

Roadster 100 Corner used for the late comers.

Three of a kind.

Japanese or Chinese Tourists surround the cars.

145 Morgans filled the Great Court but it still looks very empty 

I notice that Blenheim has this new Specialist Coffee and Ice Cream stall set in 
the corner of the East Court.

Back at our Gazebo, volunteers Tim and Nick are on Raffle Ticket duty.

Rosemary is looking after Nola's stall of Card Sales in support of Combat Stress

Linda, Nola and Terry getting ready for the Raffle Draw at 4pm.

Stephen chatting to Steve Morris, Derek chatting to Terry and Elizabeth 
wondering what they are all talking about. 

 Steve Morris working the PA system.

 Here comes another Lucky Winner being picked out of the Bucket.

 Steve reading the Raffle Prize Detail from Chris's Programme.

 Yet another lucky winner.

Winner Sonja about to get a hug from Steve Morris.

Sonja with that Morgan Leather Bag that she has coveted all day. 

I've Won! I've Won! 

David winning back the Giant Ball of String that he donated this morning.

As the wonderful day draws to a close, Chris and Ann go on Striped Tape & 
Tent Peg Retrieval duty.

 Peter, Chris and Derek set about to collect their R100's from the Great Court.

 Everyone is relaxing now but Sonja is still smiling about winning that 
Leather Morgan Bag.

 Richard Chandler donates all of his takings to Nola from selling his Hand Painted 
Battle of the Somme WW1 Trench Maps

 Carolyn, Diane, Sonja and Linda pose for Terry just before we say goodbye
 until the next Roadster 100 Register gathering somewhere, yet to be decided. 

And, some of the 4000 other visitors head back to their transport 
for their journey home.

I hope that you enjoyed the event and photos by John Barry, Terry, Ann and Myself