Archive

TaffMog Home Programme Our Events Other Events Photographs Technical Useful Links For Sale Constitution Miscellaneous Archive

Archive

 

Stuarts September Mutterings.                               

Apart from the usual Noggins not a lot happened in the first three weeks of September but we made up for this in the last two weekends of the month.

Saturday the 22nd saw Steve Micallef’s trip to the Bryn Howel Hotel, Llangollen.

Steve and Kirk, his son-in-law, in addition to organising the weekend have let me have a report on the event:

“Running up to the weekend we were not sure what we were letting ourselves in for, with news reports of flooded roads and cars being swept away, we weren't sure whether it should have been a boating trip rather than a driving tour.

Come Saturday morning though the Honey Cafe's, car park was awash with Morgans, as well as a Vauxhall VX220 along for the trip.

After a satisfying breakfast and teas and coffees, we set off in convoy.  The weather was damp, but not as bad as the reports had suggested.  The first leg was via Builth Wells, Rhayader, Llandloes and first stop at the Llyn Clywedog reservoir.  Thankfully, despite the weather the views were still fantastic.  However, traffic reports were suggesting the road through Machynlleth was still closed due to flooding, so a quick reworking of the route was carried out.  

The next stop, after some twisty roads and scenic views, was at the Brigands Inn at Mallwyd for an excellent lunch.  From there it was a short trip to the Corris Craft Centre and the Dyfi Distillery.  The award winning distillery has been distilling and selling Gin made using botanicals foraged from the local area, using their two 100 litre stills since 2016.

The Hotel for the overnight stop was the Bryn Howel, which is approximately three miles East of Llangollen.  The hotel was built in the late 19th century as a country home, by a local business man who owned local quarries, brickworks and tileworks.  The evening meal was taken in the Hotel and the evening finished with a few drinks and a good chat in the bar.

After breakfast the group gathered for a photo shoot outside the hotel and then set off, heading down to Gregynog Hall, at Tregynon for a buffet lunch.  The Greygnog estate has existed for 800 years and Gregynog Hall is a Grade 1 listed building, owned by The University of Wales.  It was bequeathed to the university by the previous owners, the Davies sisters, who bought the hall in 1920 in order to be a centre of art and music in Wales.

The final stop on the trip was another visit to the Honey cafe for a coffee tea and chat before heading home, by which time we finally had clear blue skies.  

Thank you to everyone that came, it was nice to spend the weekend in such good company.  Hope to see everyone again soon.” I’m sure that everyone who went to Llangollen would like to thank Steve and Kirk for all their hard which made the weekend so successful.”

The following Saturday saw seven Morgans, a TVR and a bright yellow Westfield at Wellesbourne airfield on a warm, sunny afternoon to see their Avro Vulcan. Before the tour, that had been arranged by Peter Sutherland, we all enjoyed a picnic in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Steve donned his chef’s hat and cooked some very good bacon and sausage sandwiches and we finished of with a variety of delicious cakes supplied by Dianne.

Peter penned the following thanks, which I can’t really add to:

“To Damaris and the Vulcaneers,many thanks  for our day out and your expert knowledge and for providing such good weather !

To Steven and the "Catering Corps" many thanks on behalf of us all for your generousity in providing brunch for us all and to the skills demonstrated over the gas rings.It added to the day enormously,  and am happy to award you,I`m sure on behalf of everyone present,the 2018 Taffmog (hand) brake off award !

 To Kirk for providing  the  scenic route for some of us to get there,even when the batteries ran out on his sat nav.

To Dianne for arranging the cakes for which the significant sum of £82.50 was raised for charity (including donations from the Vulcaneers for which many thanks.)

Finally to all of you who made it there,(even via other locations Mr and Mrs Coupland !) many thanks.” (John and Val were only using the postcode and weren’t the only ones who went astray)

The Vulcan team contacted Peter to say that we are their favourite group of visitors and that they look forward to seeing us again. Get your names down for next year’s visit now!

   

 

 

Stuart's August mutterings.

A large contingent of Taffmoggers attended the Thrill On The Hill at Prescott over the weekend of the 11th and 12th August. This year’s event celebrated 50 years of the Plus 8 with a car for every year on display with John Beskeen’s car representing 1969. The weather for the weekend could have been kinder but everyone seems to have enjoyed the weekend.

Jan has kindly sent me a report on the West Wales chapter’s trip Prescott: “Eight cars met for the run up to Abbot Salford for our overnight stop. We drove over the Rhigos, but by the time we got to Hirwaun we had lost a few cars. This was to be the norm for the rest of the weekend. Thankfully by the time we arrived at The Walwyn Arms, Much Marcle and met up with Keith and Brenda, most of the cars had found their way there, but some arrived an hour later.

After a lovely lunch we set off for the second part of the run, and again we lost cars. This time due to road works and diversions. Eventually we all arrived at the hotel and met up with the others who had been to the Morgan Factory for the day.

Sunday all fourteen cars set off for Prescott, and a good day was had by all. Mike and Phyllis went up the hill in their +8, and Des and Jackie in the three wheeler. They both also took part in the track parade.

We went our separate ways from Prescott, but six cars decided to drive back to the Honey Cafe. We all set off together, but arrived separately. The last car arriving an hour and a half later.

To summarise, a weekend filled with laughter, good friends and great driving.”

As part of the Morgan Motors Motor Company’s national campaign Newtown Motors held a breakfast event on the 18th August followed by a scenic run taking in the Wye valley. Six Morgans attended the event and further details and photo’s can be found on Newtown Motors’ Facebook page.

Paul and Lesley hosted breakfast on the late August Bank Holiday Sunday for Taffmoggers attending the Ponthir Music & Car Festival. Paul, assisted by Nigel, worked hard at the barbecue cooking copious quantities of sausage and bacon while Lesley kept us supplied with tea and coffee. Unfortunately only half of those who said that they would be there turned up. Hopefully by the time that you read this Paul will have polished off the leftovers! By early afternoon the rain had eased off a little and three Morgans set off for Ponthir. The organisers were grateful that we turned up because the poor weather meant that only a fraction of the cars that were expected actually turned up.

The Ty Risha and Usk Noggins were very well attended now that everyone seems to have had their holidays.

Kath let me know that “There was a 100% increase on last month’s attendance which had included new members Jeff and Cheryl O’Brien, just hope that we have not frightened them away as we did not see them this month.

Jeff and Cheryl O’Brien’s yellow Plus 8 at July’s Ty Risha Noggin.

The beginning of the evening saw us treated (!!!!!) to the over exposure of one of the group when a copy of the “Classic Car Weekly” was passed around.  Apart from 3 pictures of his car, also on view were his knobbly knees, but we survived the shock! Joking apart it was good to see one of our members receive recognition  for all his hard work. Well done John.”

 Jan reports that there was a good turnout at this months noggin at the Halfway despite some of the regulars being missing, due to the Windermere weekend. Des and Jackie were the only ones to turn up in a Morgan, but Mike and Phyllis turned up in his new purchase, a Jaguar E type.

 

Stuart's July mutterings.

With no end in sight of the heatwave what could be better than to take the Morgan out for Haydn and Dianne’s Wild Wales Run on the 22nd of July. What could go wrong? I’ll let Haydn take up the story:

“After weeks of wall to wall sunshine, the weather broke for the Wild Wales Run. Torrential rain and a grim forecast caused people to start dropping out of the event. It wasn’t just the weather, but a new-born grandchild, heart problems and bank account hackers also depleted numbers. However, on the day, 5 hardy members (some may say foolhardy), Dave & Kay, John & Val, Vince & Christine, Geoff & Kate and Dianne & myself, turned up at the Honey Cafe for a 10 o’clock start. 3 couples were in Morgans and the others in tin tops. We won’t say who they were because we like them. The roads were good, relatively traffic-free and a completely new experience for the group. It’s quite unique to find roads in Wales that our members haven’t driven so we were very pleased with ourselves. Passing under Cynghordy Viaduct and driving around Llyn Brianne, we eventually arrived at The George Borrow Hotel, who provided us with a private dining room and their carvery lunch was enjoyed by all. For the return journey, through the Elan Valley and back to the Honey Cafe, the rain eased to the odd shower and Dave & Kay rejoiced at having the hood down. An excellent day with excellent company.”

Stuart's June mutterings.

Sorry, there’s not much to report this month. Not that nothing has been happening but we’re on holiday and trying to get away from it all. John Beskeen

left a report of the Ty Risha Noggin on my answering machine and from what I gather it wasn’t too well attended. The Usk Noggin was down on numbers too with “only” seventeen there. A special mention for Steven Mikaleff and his son in law Kirk who made the Noggin despite spending two hours stuck in traffic on the M4.

Jan writes from West Wales “A well turned out noggin again this month with a good complement of Morgan’s in the car park, due to the lovely weather. Apologies received from Phyllis & Mike, and Brian & Clare who were absent due to the Mog18 event.

A warm welcome to our newest members David and Jean from Llandeilo.

The TaffMog three wheeler is back on the road and looking resplendent.

On Saturday morning three mogs set off early from West Wales for Heythrope Park. The delights of the Cotswolds was fully appreciated and we had the world record for the highest priced cream tea, but that’s another story.

Thrill on the Hill will be here soon and we will contact our large convoy with the details shortly.”

Roger is in training for the Wales Velothon taking place on the 8th July. This is a 140km (87 miles for those of us who still haven’t been metricated ) ride and Roger has been doing some very serious training. He is raising sponsorship for Prostate Cancer UK and you can can help him exceed his modest target of £500 by going to http://virginmoneygiving.com/RogerCowburn.

Target now increased to £750, as £500 nearly achieved. Target has nearly been reached again, so now increased to £1000. Thanks to friends, family and Taffmog. Roger.

              

Roger and son Rhys on the Severn Bridge during a training run from Usk to Bristol and back (It’s much easier by train, and the bike goes free too!)

The end of the month saw a number of Taffmoggers heading for Mog ‘18, including our Centre Secretary in his gleaming Plus 4. Having been sidelined for the Winter Weekend by a dodgy alternator Paul has spent the intervening six months bringing the car to a standard that would make John Beskeen envious. Unfortunately en route to Chipping Norton the Otter switch decided to part company with the radiator and the contents of the radiator poured onto Keith Glover’s drive. Having had the car taken home on a low loader Paul and Lesley arrived too late for the barbecue but Keith and Brenda made good use of their tickets.

Those who made it to Mog 18 seemed to have enjoyed the event and the All Morgans Day at Blenheim Palace on the Sunday, especially Brian Miller who yet again picked up a concours prize. Perhaps Brian should be allowed to keep his trophy in perpetuity.

Stuart's May mutterings.

May got off to a good start with Denis’s much anticipated trip to Devon. After meeting up at Magor Services we set off down the motorway to Dawlish Warren, stopping en route at Killerton House, where Denis had arranged for our ten Morgans to be displayed in front of the house. We eventually arrived at our base for the next three days, the Langstone Cliff Hotel. The following morning we all set off on a 100 plus mile run led by Denis. Our first stop was the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey (Who were the couple with the red Morgan with their backs to us, quite oblivious despite much hooting of horns as we drove past?) Day two and we were off on another marathon over the moors via the Cafe On The Green in Widecombe in the Moor to Buckfast Abbey before heading back to Dawlish Warren in time for dinner. The next morning everyone went their own way, though a couple of us spent an hour or so on the steam train that runs from Buckfastleigh to Totnes before heading home. Many thanks to Denis and Liz for their hard work in meticulously planning such an enjoyable trip. Perhaps we could do it again next year? Please.

The Usk Noggin was held earlier in the month than usual but, thanks to good communication, it was very well attended.

Kath reports that there were nine at the Ty Risha Noggin and that everyone enjoyed a good natter, making sure that those who weren’t there heard all about the Devon trip!

Jan, our ever reliable West Wales correspondent reports that “A good number of members turned up for the noggin despite it clashing with the WWW.

A warm welcome was given to the Dyer’s from Gower and we hope to see a lot more of them at future noggins and events. The three wheeler with Des and Jackie is off the road and in for serious repair after breaking down in Tenby. A costly job, but hope it’s back on the road soon.”

Newtown Motors held a coffee and biscuits morning hosted by Peter and Mandy. John and Jackie King tried out a new Roadster and were suitably impressed........

The month ended with the Wicked Welsh Weekend in Llandrindod Wells. As usual Taffmoggers were outnumbered by visitors from over the border, and it was nice to see David and Linda Jones using their Morgan. This year the event was organised by Judy Parsons and though it broadly followed the usual format there were some differences and nice little touches, like the Taffmog labelled Welshcakes.

While we were in the Market Square in Bruges a week or two ago a voice called out “Have you still got the Morgan?” We looked around and there, amongst the hundreds of people in the square, were former Taffmoggers Graham and Joan Stevens. Graham and Joan sold their Morgan a few years ago and were on a touring holiday in their motorhome when we saw them. They said that they occasionally miss the Morgan and would like to be remembered to everyone in Taffmog.

Goody Bags

After breakfast on Saturday a large contingent set off on a marathon run with Carl and Neil to the Buffalo Farm, though Judy nearly didn’t make it due to a problem with her car’s clutch. Those who decided not to do Carl’s run enjoyed the more local runs, with the added bonus of fine weather.

Saturday evening’s Gala Dinner was the usual informal affair. Dianne and Jackie, as usual, had gone into overdrive selling raffle tickets for the after dinner charity raffle. This year our charity is the Alzheimer’s Society and we must thank everyone who brought prizes and bought tickets. The last minute stand in MC for the evening was Peter Sutherland, who did such a good job we might just make it a permanent arrangement. In addition to the raffle there was a blind auction for a beautiful oak bowl, made and given by John and Judith Luck. The winning bid was made by Rodger and Dian French. The combined net sum raised was just over £320.00, after paying for the prizes.

Some of the raffle prizes

The entertainment was by Sean Jeffrey, a live musician, who, by contrast with last year, had everyone up and dancing.

The weather on Sunday was not as promising as it could have been, but that didn’t stop us taking the hoods off the cars, however quite a few went back on before leaving the Metropole’s car park due to the heavy rain ( it’s not by accident that there are so many reservoirs in mid Wales ). The rain was so heavy that the road was barely visible, let alone the scenery, and one scenic run ended in a lay-by after eight miles.

By mid afternoon the weather had totally changed and a Noggin was held in the excellent Arvon Ale House, just a few steps from the hotel.

Ian Parsons and future Morgan owner at the Noggin.

Most of us stayed at the Metropole on Sunday night before heading home on Monday. As usual the Metropole looked after us well and we look forward to returning there in November for the Winter Weekend.

Finally, many thanks to Judy Parsons for stepping into the breach and making such a success of this year’s Wicked Welsh.

Stuart's March mutterings.

This month’s report will have to be brief as I have to pack the Morgan ready for Denis’s much anticipated trip to Dawlish.

The Usk Noggin was slightly less well attended than in February. Our leader, if Facebook is to be believed, was roughing it on safari in Capetown. It was nice to see Howard and Helen Bottomley making the long trek from rural Powys to join us.

Our West Wales Reporter, Jan, says “A small select group turned up for this months noggin. Many away on family holidays, weddings and a trip to Ireland. Hopefully we shall see all the missing members next month. We think we’ve embarrassed Simon to finally getting a new battery for the Aero which has been in a plastic bag for at least six years. We shan’t hold our breath, but we wait in anticipation. Nice to see Natalie back on her feet again and looking well.”

David Harvey’s end of month run was fully subscribed, with seven Morgan’s and one “other” car (ours) meeting at the Nant Ddu Lodge on the A470 near Brecon. We felt quite guilty, not taking the Morgan but, with the temperatures not creeping much above 5c, these feelings soon disappeared when the heated seats warmed up. The run took us through Brecon, over the Eppynt ranges to Glasbury where we had an excellent lunch and were met by Kay and Rob in their E Type. After lunch we had a short drive to Talgarth via a rickety century old suspension bridge which crosses the Wye. David had arranged for us to have a guided tour of the restored water mill in Talgarth. The mill is run by well informed volunteers and produces flour that can be purchased in their shop. David must have put a great deal of effort into organising such a memorable day and we were all very grateful for his hard work.

Stuart's March mutterings.

We are now a quarter of the way though the year and, now that the Beast from the East has been sent packing, we should be seeing some fine weather soon. Following last month’s breakfast at Newtown Motors, Nigel, softened up by a bacon buttie, bought a very nice Plus 4. Well Max did say she liked the colour!

The Usk Noggin was exceptionally well attended. So much so that those who arrived late found that there was very little choice left on the menu.

Shan and Phil’s end of the month Sunday run was unusual in that it was held on a Tuesday. Sixteen of us met at the Bear in Crickhowell, where new Morgan owner Haydn Morgan introduced himself. After a look around the town we dragged the ladies from the shops and headed for lunch at the Gliffaes Hotel. The Gliffaes is a late Victorian house built in the Italianate style, set in extensive grounds on the banks of the river Usk, and well worth a visit. Thanks to Phil and Shan for a day out that everyone enjoyed.

John Beskeen took his Plus 8 to the Classic Car and Restoration Show at the NEC where it was on show as part of the Plus 8’s 50th anniversary commemoration, and no doubt everyone was impressed with his meticulous handiwork. John’s also been asked to display the car at the Thrill On The Hill and Chateau Impney, so he has a busy year to come!

Jan, our West Wales correspondent reports: “As it was a dry evening we decided to take the Mog, and it was the only one in the car park. However it was a lively bunch that turned up for the noggin, with Simon coming out of the kitchen on numerous occasions to see what all the laughing was about. As what has become the norm a few of us stayed well into Saturday morning.

As I write this report Natalie is back in hospital and we all wish her a speedy recovery.”

Stuart's February mutterings.

February, with its fair share of rain, snow and high winds, was a good month to keep the Morgan in its garage. That doesn’t mean that there was nothing happening. Peter Constable and Mandy arranged a Breakfast Morning at Newtown Motors. The bacon butties were excellent and the event gave Peter the opportunity to point out the benefits of owning a new or pre- loved Morgan, of which there was a good selection. Was anyone tempted? Watch this space.....

Haydn reports that bookings are already coming in thick and fast for this year’s Winter Weekend and to contact him to reserve your place. There are still places available for the Wicked Welsh Weekend. Contact Judy Parsons or look on our website for details.

Our West Wales Correspondent, Jan, reports “Another very good turn out for our noggin at the Halfway. It was nice to welcome Carl and Jean. Also all the best to Derek who is having an operation on Wednesday. We hope all goes well and that he'll be back on his feet in no time ready for his Scotland trip.”

Stuart's January mutterings.

The New Year has arrived, and the highlight, so far, has been the AGM. This year it was held in Usk, and, despite it being held in the Far East, it was very well attended. The Committee were re-elected unopposed, not that there was anyone wanting to take on any of the roles. It was heartening though, to see that that there were plenty of volunteers to arrange runs throughout the coming year. This is quite a contrast to last year, and as a result we will have plenty of events to keep us occupied this year. Judy Parsons has taken over the running of the Wicked Welsh this year, and it would be nice if some of us , who perhaps haven’t attended this event recently were to book it. If you need any more information you can find the full minutes, and the programme of events for 2018, elsewhere on this website.

Our West Wales Correspondent , Jan, reports that “We had a good turnout for the noggin last Friday night. Only two members braved the weather and brought their Morgans out for a run though. A warm welcome was extended to Margaret, a new member to Taffmog although as yet is not a mog owner. Natalie and Simon introduced us to the newest member to their family, Alfie, a cute Bichon Frise puppy.

Everyone joined in, in wishing Neil a very happy 60th birthday.” (I’m sure that now he’s qualified for his bus pass he’ll be using the Morgan less frequently, and that life will take on a slower pace, enabling him to sit back, relax and watch the flocks of pink pigs flying over Ferndale! )

Stuart's December Ramblings.

 December got off to a good start with the Noggin, which would usually have been held at the Ty Risha, being held at John and Avril’s. The spread that they put on was worthy of a five star hotel, with a bewildering choice of desserts. It was a pity that we had to leave John to do the clearing up on his own, as Avril is still recovering from her broken shoulder. Our thanks to you both for a great evening.

The Christmas dinners at the other two Noggin venues were well attended too, with everyone entering into the Christmas spirit.

Dave, our treasurer, pointed out that we were just short of raising £2000 pounds for our charity this year, so raffles were held at all three Noggins in order to reach that sum.Thanks to everyone’s generosity the final total raised for the Hospice of the Valleys, in memory of Tom Kiraly, was £2136. This was a great achievement: well done to everyone concerned.

Our AGM will be held in Usk on 17th January and, hopefully, we’ll have plenty of volunteers coming forward with ideas for keeping us occupied in the coming year.

In the meantime all the best for the New Year, and good luck n sticking to your resolutions.

Stuart's Christmas Ramblings.

If you weren’t at Ardencote Manor over the last weekend in November you missed Taffmog’s Winter Weekend, possibly the best Morgan social event of the festive season.

This year the Winter Weekend was held at Ardencote Manor, near Warwick which is not too far from Wales. Perhaps because of its central location this year’s event was exceptionally well attended, with over eighty guests booked in. As usual most of us arrived on Friday afternoon and, having settled in, took advantage of the hotel’s facilities or explored the countryside nearby. Jackie had organised a photograph competition which was very well supported with some quality pictures. Geoff Tipler’s entry attracted plenty of comment, but not for its artistic merit. The two pictures that came first and second by popular vote both featured Aeros. However, this year Denis had to make do with second place as the winner was Steven Micallef with a stunning picture of his car.

 Denis’s Second Place Photo

 And the joint third place pictures were: Derek and Jackie Wilcox’s Roadster Chris and Anna Coshers 4/4 in a seasonally snowy Sweden.

Friday evening’s meal was a buffet which was enjoyed by all, especially the Creme Brûlée which disappeared very quickly, leaving some disappointed. The evening was all the more colourful as pretty much everyone was wearing a Christmas jumper, some of which had more flashing lights than the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. As usual, after the meal, everyone got together in the bar and spent the evening socialising, as Morgan people do.

After a hearty breakfast on Saturday most of us went to look around the local, or in Neil’s case not so local, area. With fine, sunny weather the nearby National Trust properties of Packwood, Baddesley Clinton and Charlecote were very popular and a few ventured into Stratford upon Avon. As the sun started to set and the temperature started to fall everyone was back in time for mince pies and warm drinks by a roaring (artificial) log fire.

Saturday evening saw us all looking very smart in formal dress for the main event, held in the Palms Conservatory. Peter Sutherland was particularly dashing in his kilt. In addition to the usual crackers, noisy blowouts and trumpets, someone had put some rocket balloons on the tables and it wasn’t long before they were flying across the room, proving that Morgan owners are young at heart.

Where did that one go?

After the meal Haydn presented the slide show with lots of embarrassing photo’s that some of us would rather forget, this year featuring a lot of “Poor Plumber” Mike Smith. In the past Mike has submitted a lot of pictures of Enid, so this could be considered her revenge. The slide show was followed by the charity raffle and, as usual, everyone was very generous in bringing prizes, and were equally generous in buying tickets. Not that they had much choice when they were being sold by the formidable four: Jackie, Kay, Dianne and Max. Their efforts raised netted nearly £600 for the Hospice of The Valleys, who looked after our member Tom Kiraly during his final illness. The winners of the star prize, a Christmas Hamper, were Phil and Lynne who somehow managed to fit it all into their car. A big thank you to everyone who contributed and bought tickets.

The Star Prize Christmas Hamper.                    Christine with her “special” prize. She has a thing about cones. It takes all sorts!

                                                       

The rest of the evening was taken up with the disco, which carried on into the early hours. The disco this year was very good as the dance floor was never empty, with everyone really enjoying themselves.

Sunday is a bit of an anticlimax, with people drifting off but for some of those who stayed Denis had organised a scenic run up the Fosse Way. This run ended at a marina where he keeps his narrow boat and we were treated to a short cruise on the Oxford canal complete with a buffet lunch. Paul was entrusted with navigating, but found the steering was not as responsive as he had expected and will stick to the Morgan. We eventually made our way back to the warmth of the hotel as the sun was setting. Thanks to Denis and Liz, helped by Gary and Kath, for a memorable and enjoyable afternoon.

Paul takes the helm.

Finally, all this would not have been possible without Haydn and Dianne, and I would like to thank them, on behalf of everybody who came, for their hard work. Here’s looking forward to next year.

As this is the last blog of the year, all that remains is for us to wish everyone a “Happy Christmas and a great New Year”, and remember, a turkey isn’t just for Christmas. 

Stop press: Nine Taffmoggers braved the cold last night to come to the West Wales noggin. As always, a good evening was had by all.

Nigel and I went to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC. Once we got over the shock of the £32.50 admission (no concessions) we spent the day looking at countless trade stands, unaffordable supercars and lots of “haven’t seen one of those for years” cars. Eventually we found the MSCC stand featuring, among others, Brian Miller’s car. The show is huge and, if anyone is planning on doing it next year, it would be worth volunteering for a couple of hours on the club stand and making two days of it.

Stuart's Blog about October.

Apart from the usual Noggins, more of which later, the two October events that stand out are the Prescott Breakfast Club and the dealer’s open day. Our Dealer Liaison Officer, Peter, attended both and I would like to thank him for providing me with a summary of proceedings. The Breakfast Club was attended by around one hundred cars, including about thirty Morgans, covering one hundred years of motoring. Taffmog were represented by Steve in his Aero, his son-in-law Kirk ( albeit in a VX220 ) and Peter. There will be another breakfast gathering in April: watch this space for news.

The National Dealers Open Day event at Newtown Motors seems to have been a bit quiet. Peter Constable, the specialist sports car director, was unwell so Mandy had to step into the breach, which she did with her usual enthusiasm.

Summer Wine,our resident car club band, including Taffmog’s Dave and Peter, played another fine gig in Usk on Sat 28th October and helped raise £500 for Cancer Research.

The band says “Thanks to all the support from TaffMog and the Usk Valley Classic Car Club for coming on down and  getting on up on the dance floor-you make the night for the band and it`s much appreciated. Our next gig in Usk is the Castle Inn on Friday 17th November if you`re free we`d love to see you there! “

We had a great evening and the icing on the cake was winning the cake in the raffle!

As usual, all the Noggins continue to be well supported. Our West Wales Special Correspondent reports:

“The noggin at the Halfway Inn was very lively and well attended with 22 Taffmogers after its two monthly hibernation due to other events. Even Dave and Kay called in via Porthcawl (he really must get a map) which was a lovely surprise. We had tales of wow from Des and his three wheeler (lucky he knows his way around a tool box) and Neil and Helen seem delighted with the heater in their new roadster which works even better now that the roll bar has been fitted.

It has been decided that, as next month’s noggin is clashing with the winter weekend, we shall meet next on Thursday the 30th November. Don't forget the West Wales Christmas dinner will be held on 22nd December.”

Stuarts blog for August.

Apart from the usual noggins August has been quite an eventful month. The Brecon Classic Car Show was held in Libanus on the 6th August. This event was well attended by Taffmoggers including Vince, David Harvey, albeit in his Alvis, Haydn and Diane, who managed to drive the couple of hundred yards from their home and Helen and Howard, who are moving to Wales in the near future. Newtown Motors were also in attendance with a Plus Four and a Lotus. Also there was Kevin Hare, ex Morgan owner and former Taffmog stalwart, with a TR8. Unfortunately Kevin isn't very well and I'm sure that we'll all join in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.

The following weekend was the turn of the Three Cocks Classic Car Show at Hay on Wye. Roger, Brenda, John and Avril represented Taffmog this year, though there were a number of other Morgans there.

Roger and Brenda at Three Cocks.

Mike Smith's barbecue at Malvern.

Roger rushes to save Christine from the jaws of death at Malvern.

Finally there was an excellent turnout at the Run To The Hills in Malvern over the August bank holiday. Though we were spread out over several campsites and hotels there were still several barbecues which provided opportunities to get together. The concert, held on Sunday evening, drew the largest gathering of Taffmoggers of the weekend, though I must apologise for our dragon which ran amok terrorising the crowd. The event was well organised and seemed to have been enjoyed by everyone, especially the concert and firework finale. Congratulations to Brian Miller for winning Car of the Show category in the concours yet again. I think that he should just keep the award in perpetuity. Ian Parsons' impressive display of car badges also drew the attention of the judges. The only disappointing aspects of the weekend were the "goody bags", which didn't live up to their name, (anyone want a tax disc holder? Thought not) and the dealers, apparently, weren't allowed to sell their goodies from their stands.

Stuart's Blog about July 2017

Ten Morgans accompanied by three tin tops, headed for Fontevraud Abbey, near Saumur on the Loire. Before catching the overnight crossing from Portsmouth to Caen a number of us met up at the Horse and Jockey at Hipley for a very pleasant meal. The crossing was uneventful and after disembarking we all headed off to Pegasus Bridge for breakfast at Cafe Gondree, the first building to be liberated in France on D Day. Jackie had written to Mme Gondree asking for the cafe to opened early for us and she kindly obliged.

Following breakfast we headed South in small groups of two or three cars. The further South we travelled the hotter it got and the Morgan's cooling systems were put to the test. All the cars arrived safely at Fontevraud by late afternoon. The first to arrive seems to have been our Centre Secretary, who, using a different crossing, had chosen to take his air conditioned "other car".

The hotel is situated in the precinct of the abbey and has recently been tastefully refurbished.

It didn't take long to settle in and relax with a drink in the hotel's grounds.Haydn and Diane had arranged for us to eat as a group at the nearby Restaurant Plantagenet on the first evening and we all enjoyed the food, wine and company. 

Judging by the time that some people came down for breakfast it would appear that the usual suspects had forgotten to put their clocks on. Unfortunately Roger was too busy with work commitments to make the trip but daughter Emma took his place and it was a surprise to see her and Christine at breakfast, and she wasn't among the late arrivals!

There were no organised events or runs but, with plenty to see and do in the area, there was something for everyone, from chateaus and mushrooms to tanks and wine, not to mention the apple tapper! As a group we also had a guided tour of Fontevraud Abbey. This was very informative, not only telling the history of the abbey but also pointing out features of the building that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. 

On the last evening we all gathered for dinner in the dining hall of our hotel. This was a rather splendid and colourful affair, all beautifully presented as only the French can.

The end of the stay at the hotel marked the start of "Taffmog's Last Ever Camping Trip". The take up for this was rather disappointing. Apparently the prospect of a fourteen night trip to Brittany under canvas didn't appeal to everyone. However four of us had a great time. Arriving mid week the best pitches had already been taken and we found ourselves between the inflatable bouncy giraffe and the football pitch.

We also hadn't taken into account that it was school holiday time and that the children outnumbered the bugs that we found in our tents. Thanks to the fine weather breakfasts were an al fresco affair: fruit juice, coffee, croissants, jam and wasps. There was plenty to do during the day and we unwound in the evening at "le disco" or "le karaoke". The French really know how to have fun! However all good things come to an end and we headed for Roscoff and the ferry but we're thinking that "Taffmog's Last Ever Camping Trip" could become an annual event. Any takers? 

The Noggins continued to be well attended despite it being holiday season. There were no less than thirteen at the Ty Risha and Usk was well attended despite some of us being in France. The Regalia Officer held an impromptu sale of anniversary regalia at Usk and apparently Paul's new jacket is quite fetching!

Jan reports that the Noggin at Nantgarredig was well attended but that, due to other events taking place, it was agreed there would be no Noggin until October. 

Sadly we have just heard that Neil's mother has passed away and we would like to extend our condolences to Neil and the family.

Stuart's Blog June 2017.

With the car suitably spruced up for the occasion we looked forward to a trip to High Glannau, an Arts and Crafts house with its Edwardian gardens near Monmouth. The day was organised by Ian Ratazzi for Spotmog, and Taffmog were invited to join them for the day. The visit was enjoyed by all who attended, as was the lunch at the Inn at Penallt. Thanks to Ian and Spotmog, but could you try and arrange better weather next time please!

Always ready to put himself out for our benefit, Haydn (and Diane) spent a night incognito at Ardencote Manor, the venue for this year's Winter Weekend, and he reports that it passed his inspection with flying colours and that we can look forward to a great weekend.

The Usk Noggin was exceptionally well attended in May. Even with a number of regulars absent there were still twenty five of us present and it was good to see no less than five Morgan's in the car park. Unfortunately the Halfway Noggin had to be cancelled due to Natalie having been admitted to hospital. We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you and Simon in the not too  distant future.

May drew to a close with the Wicked Welsh Weekend. As usual the venue was the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells, situated in the middle of some of the most beautiful countryside in Wales, and with some great driving roads. Combine this with good company and you have all the ingredients for a great weekend. An added bonus this year was the fine weather on the Friday. Unfortunately it didn't last for the whole weekend but no one was complaining.

Unusually, this year the visitors were outnumbered by Taffmoggers, though it was good to see first timers attending the event. Nonetheless we still had plenty to talk about when we got together on the Friday. Some of us arrived in the early afternoon, just in time to fit in afternoon tea before dinner. A surprise new Taffmogger (?) was Justin, the owner if the Metropole, who has just taken possession of a Baby Doll Super Sports Plus 4.

Everyone, apart from Christine, was up at a reasonable time for breakfast on Saturday morning. As usual there were a number of scenic runs to choose from and everyone, save Denis who didn't want to get his car dirty, took advantage of them. 

Saturday's dinner was followed by the raffle. The hamper was generously added to by the hotel and the raffle made nearly £180 which will go to this year's charity, the Hospice of the Valleys. Dinner was followed by an opportunity to show off our dancing skills. Obviously we need to brush up on these as no one got up to dance. Eventually the DJ gave up and went off to the bar abandoning us to the music.

After Sunday's breakfast, Christine again taking advantage of room service, courtesy of Roger, we all set off for the day. A few went home but the majority stayed for Sunday night. Some of us went down the A44 to Hergest Croft, another Arts and Crafts house with extensive gardens and a good cream tea. The junior section, Roger and Christine, went cycling along the Elan Valley. Apparently, it's healthy exercise but a side effect is that you end up walking like John Wayne!

Eventually all good things come to an end and by mid-day on Monday we had all gone our own ways. Thanks again to Paul, Lesley and everyone else involved in organising yet another great weekend.

 

Tuesday 11 April to Thursday 13 April 2017 - Taff Mog to Ironbridge and RAF Cosford

This event kicked off a day earlier than expected when Michael and Phyllis travelled to Ross on the Monday and a small party joined them for delicious steaks at their hotel.

Tuesday coincidently was Keith's birthday, not a special one but a birthday nonetheless that inspired Brenda to start our venture with a champagne breakfast. The revised starting point, our home had Dave & Kay, Rob & Kay, Phil & Shan and Michael & Phyllis arriving from 9.15 to sample bucks fizz and bacon and egg stotties.
The weather was warm and sunny and bode well for a hoods down run through amazing country roads to our lunch stop at the Ship Inn, Highley. Sandwiched between the River Severn and Worcester & Severn Steam Railway, the Ship Inns location was ideally situated to abandon the booked table indoors and in the usual Taff Mog manner, rearrange the outdoor furniture to seat us overlooking the Severn and watching the steam trains passing every 15 minutes. Lunch was good but as we were about to leave, a surprise chocolate birthday cake appeared (Brenda never ceases to amaze me) so before we made our way to the the Severn Valley Railways Engine House Museum we scoffed 40% of this delicious cake (more later). The Engine House completed the rest of the afternoon with Dave sitting tight on the restaurant balcony to watch the last steam train leave Highly Station hauling the Flying Scotsman coaches and buffet car. With the Morgan fully loaded, Brenda balanced the 60% chocolate cake on her knees carefully warped in silver-foil as we set off on the last leg to Ironbridge.

Best Western in Ironbridge provided a variety of rooms from 4 poster beds to a suite with the chef serving top class evening meals and breakfast (recommend). 
Wednesday remained dry as we convoyed to RAF Cosford, in an attempt to avoid the M54 via Shifnal, we traversed trading estates, dual carriageways and yes, we arrived at junction 4 so a quick blast to J3 had us there on time to meet our guide Terry. RAF Cosford needs a blog of it's own but after nearly 3 hours of the guided tour we assembled in the "Refuel Restaurant" when out came the remaining 60% chocolate cake carefully stowed on the rear parcel shelf. This added to lunch with Terry taking the remains home with a big grin on his face. Attingham Hall although only a short drive was made by the skin of our teeth as when we arrived to be told we had 15 minutes to make the last hall entry at 4.30. Our group was the only ones visiting at this late hour and we started the tour with an excellent talk on the hall's history and it's wayward sons. Following the hall we toured the walled garden and saw the way volunteers had painstakingly returned a derelict plot to project a life styled on 150 years ago, which was amazing.
Our return route to the hotel allowed a final stop to be made at the Roman City of Wroxeter, the forth largest Roman Town in Britain inhabited until 7 century AD. 

Leaving the Morgans at the hotel, Thursday's sunshine ensured a pleasant ramble to Ironbridge and the iconic bridge itself. Once described as "the most extraordinary district in the world", the Ironbridge Gorge is still a remarkable, and beautiful, place to visit today. A huge amount of early industry survives as furnaces, factories, workshops, canals and the settlements of Colebrooke, Ironbridge, Jackfield and Coalport. After a walk over the bridge and photographs taken, we descended on the Tea Emporium with Keith sampling Russian Caravan black tea, slurpingly tasty.

Then onto the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, the birthplace of industry is perfectly explained with a model of working life in the gorge needing an hour to enjoy its detail. The riverside footpath return to our hotel is lined with many venues, an outlet for a famous cast-iron range of cooker (still cast in Ironbridge) to antique clothes shops and a quality indoor antique market where we stopped for a riverside lunch. With our group leaving at different times during the day, we set of to finish the afternoon in Bridgnorth en-route to Ross-on-Wye.

Keith & Bren Glover

Stuart's Ramblings about October.

Not unusually, for this time of year, there is not a lot happening. All the Noggins lately have been well attended, which is more than can be said for the Margam Park Classic Car Show which could have been better supported. Those who did go report that it was an excellent, well organised event and that they had an enjoyable day. Let's see if we can have a better turn out next year.

Nigel, having sold his Plus 4 a couple of months ago, has seen the error of his ways and bought another Morgan.  Was it the car that he missed or does he just prefer MSCC members to those of the Caravan Club? Either way he put in an appearance the Usk Noggin, and in his Morgan too.

Apologies to anyone who turned up at Nantgarredig on the wrong night last month. We were in a different time zone and clean forgot that we were a day ahead of you.

Stuart's Ramblings About Septemer.

Our roving reporter reports that the Ty Risha noggin on Thursday was the best attended for months. Haydn, Dianne, Gary & Kath, John & Avril, Keith & Ronnie, John & Glenda, Dave & Linda and Geoff & Jane Wicks from Creigiau whose Roadster was the only MORGAN in the car park. Apparently the beer-battered cod was excellent, but there was no mention of the chips.  

It would seem that honorary Taffmogger and "poor plumber", Mike Smith has another car. Having a penchant for ash framing he has acquired a Mog(gie) Traveller.  Whether this will replace the 4/4, only time will tell, but in the meantime let us know how you get on with the Morris Minor Owner's Club. 

Another roving reporter, reporting from Usk that the noggin was not as well attended as usual, with many members away on their travels. However, twelve members were there and a potential new member Howard. Howard is considering selling his Ferrari to buy a Morgan! He asked us for suggestions. The three wheeler should be suitably sophisticated to meet his needs.

Stuart's Ramblings about August.

As everyone is on holiday August is usually a quiet month: and this year was no exception. The Three Cocks Vintage Steam Rally took place on the 14th August. Usually there is not a great Taffmog presence at this event but this year, in addition to John and Avril and Dave and Kay, whose Morgans were on show, there were another dozen Taffmoggers having a day out admiring the many cars on show. In addition to the cars there were many other things to see, such as steam traction engines, motorcycles, an autojumble and even an aerobatic display. 

Stuart and Jackie decided to have a 21st birthday run for their 4/4 followed by a barbecue. The assembly point for the run was Taylor's Cafe, (now a housing estate), the start of many Taffmog runs in the past. In all seven cars set off heading through Wentwood to Usk. Up to this point the weather was fine, as forecast, but as we neared Raglan the sky turned an ominous shade of dark grey. Before we had time to stop and put up the hoods we found ourselves in what can only be described as a deluge. By the time that we had stopped to put up the hoods we were all rather wet. The run was abandoned and we headed back for the barbecue, dry towels and Jackie's hairdryer. Thanks to Jackie for her hard work: it was not a mere (strawberry)    trifle. 

 August Ramblings                                       

July got off to a flying start with no less than two Noggins in Bridgend. There was some confusion as to which was the second Thursday of the month, not helped by having the wrong date on the Programme of Events! Apart from this little glitch all the Noggins have been well attended. 

Newtown Motors, our local Morgan dealers, organised a motorsport evening. This was very well attended with Taffmog and the local Aston Martin owners club getting together, courtesy of our Centre Secretary who has a foot in both camps, though he did bring the Morgan out for this event.

There has been plenty going on this month, starting with the Thrill On The Hill. This was attended by a number of Taffmoggers, some of whom made a weekend of it, staying at the Stourport Manor Hotel. Thanks go to Ray and Diane for organising the weekend.

There was a clash at the end of the month with the Silverstone Classic being held on the same day as the Silverwood Classic Car Run. The latter was very enjoyable with ten Morgans participating. The run explored some lesser known byways in West Wales and everyone finally made it back to the Halfway at Nantgaredig in time for an excellent spread laid on by Simon and Natalie. Thanks to Emyr, Janet, Simon and Natalie for their hard work.

Stuart's March blog to be read in April 2016.

The Noggin at the Ty Risha was well attended with Geoff Nicholls and his wife Eryl attending their first Noggin. I hope that they weren't put off by the rowdy element, one of whom phoned me at some unearthly hour to give me a running commentary of proceedings. 

The Usk Noggin saw the welcome appearance of Jackie Jones. Fortunately, Jackie had not heard that the monthly raffle had been suspended and brought a bottle of wine and a very nice Easter egg as raffle prizes. These were duly raffled by Jackie and the proceeds will go to this year's charity, The Stroke Association. 

The Halfway noggin was well attended apparently, and we are awaiting a fuller report of proceedings at present.

On the subject of charities, last years efforts saw a total of £2400 for the Paul Sartori Organisation. This was raised by Jackie and Kay who used the Tesco Charity Foundation and Barclay's to supplement the amount collected to reach the final total. Thanks to all who contributed toward this excellent result.

 Easter Sunday saw seven Morgans, a Volvo and two Yetis ( Dianne thinks that the mass noun for Yetis is an abomination ) at the Honey Cafe in Bronllys for Dave Willey's Easter run. Setting off at 10am meant an early start for some, and everyone remembered to put their clocks on. The drive through the beautiful Mid Wales countryside covered just over 120 miles.  The weather forecast was not good but when we left it was fine, which lulled some into a false sense of security. On the way we visited St Annos church at Llananno with its beautiful rood screen and had an excellent lunch in Llanbister. After lunch we proceeded back to Builth Wells for a "comfort stop" only to find that Powys County Council, in their wisdom, close all their conveniences on bank holidays. Despite this inconvenience we carried on, and before long we found ourselves driving up a rough road and through a stock gate ending up in a farm yard. By the end of the run people had drifted off one by one and only three cars made it back to the Honey Cafe. Many thanks to David and Jean, especially Jean who had broken her arm two days before, for their hard work in organising a great day out. 

Due to Ash dieback there is a serious potential problem in sourcing European Ash wood. Ash dieback being a serious disease of ash trees caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (It used to be called Chalara fraxinea) and additional threat caused by Emerald ash borer beetle (EAB, Agrilus planipennis). The Morgan Motor company is being forced to evaluate Argentinian ash, which is free from both the aggressive fungus and the invasive beetles. The main area for growing ash in Argentina is the Welsh speaking region of Patagonia. Because of the delicate state of relations between Argentina and the UK, especially following the Top Gear "Special",  the Morgan Motor Company has approached Taffmog to see if we have a Welsh speaker who would act as a translator. The main advantage for Morgan in using us is that Wales is not identified with the rest of the UK by the Argentinians. As well as translating business documents it might be necessary to undertake a number of trips to Argentina. An official announcement will be made in the next few weeks. In the meantime the forthcoming visit to the factory will provide an opportunity to find out more.

Stuart's Blog for February 2016

It hardly seems a month since I was last trying to think of something to write about a pretty uneventful January, and February has been much the same with not much happening. The weather hasn't really been Morgan weather, but with five consecutive days of no rain, and with some sunshine thrown in, perhaps the Morgan can be coaxed out of its hibernation. 

The noggin at the Ty RIsha was well attended with the usual crowd being there, and it was good to see John Rees making a surprise appearance. Gary and Kath couldn't make it as Gary has been unwell. Get better soon Gary. 

There was also a good turnout for the Usk noggin. Though it had been agreed at the AGM to suspend the monthly raffles, someone was heard to say that they missed them! Sian and Phillip brought Jonathan Stephens along for the evening. Jonathan, who lives in Usk, has a pre-war three wheeler which he has owned since his student days in the (late) sixties. Hopefully, he will join us again.

Jan, our West Wales correspondent, has sent in the following report on the Halfway Noggin.

"A total of 16 turned up for the noggin at the Halfway on Friday night. A good turn out considering the Wales v France rugby game was on. Natalie and Simon had very kindly setup a TV in the restaurant for us, so that we could watch the game. A big thank you to them for that. It was nice to see Gordon and his son Paul there, we had missed him in the last noggin. A warm welcome was given to our newest members Peter and Janet from Llandyssil, who have recently bought their first Morgan, a plus four, and look forward to seeing them again at our noggins. Apologies for being absent was received from Ivor and Alison. Ivor is unwell and we wish him a speedy recovery."

Word got out that Newtown Motors had the new Aero demonstrator, and nine Taffmoggers went along one afternoon to have a look and, though we couldn't get behind the wheel, were treated to a demonstration of the scintillating performance of the Aero, courtesy of Mandy ( a young lady who obviously enjoys her work) of Newtown Motors. 

The new management committee seems to have settled in well. The Winter Weekend for 2017 has been booked by Haydn and Roger appears to have mastered the web. 

Phil Henshall has come up with some useful money saving tips for Morgan parts, and you can find them elsewhere on the website. 

By this time next month we will have had our first outing of the year, organised by Dave Willey, and if it's anything like his previous runs it will be a good day out. 

Stuart’s first blog! Jan 2016.

January is a quiet month, and the main event was our AGM at The Halfway in Nantgarredig. The attendance was very good, and after the excellent meal put on by Simon and Natalie (paid for from Centre funds) was enjoyed by everyone, we got down to the formal business of the evening. The minutes can be found on the Taffmog website if you weren't there or had nodded off.   

After trying to hand over the reins for a number of years, Haydn has finally retired as our Centre Secretary. As usual, he asked for a volunteer for the job, but as usual there were no takers. Luckily we had a plan B, and the job that Haydn (and Dianne) had been doing singlehandedly has now been shared between a number of   

"volunteers". Suffice to say that Paul Harris is the new Centre Secretary, and details of the rest of the committee can be found on the website. For those who were wondering, the Winter Weekend will continue to be organised by a couple with newly found time on their hands. 

Haydn and Dianne's had work hasn't been unappreciated, and a collection was very well subscribed to. The proceeds were sufficient to pay for a selection of items from the Georg Jensen range, and these were presented to a surprised Haydn and Dianne by Jackie. 

There was enough collected to pay for a bottle of Penderyn Distillery's finest Welsh Whisky, and it was Haydn's final duty as Centre Secretary to present it to Carl Hadley who is standing down after many years as the centre's treasurer and webmaster. Dave Rymer takes over as Treasurer and Roger Cowburn is the new Webmaster. Let's hope that we can maintain the standards set by Carl and Haydn. 

Sadly, Tom Kiraly, a long standing member of Taffmog passed away in January. Tom had been ill for over a year, and at the Winter Weekend, it was apparent that he was very unwell, though he did not complain. Our thoughts are with Jackie and the rest of the family at this time.