Monday, 24 November 2014

A late Autumn pootle.

Having finished getting the garden into shape for the winter, during some lovely late sunshine, I thought that I would take the opportunity of getting 'Nellie' out of the garage and going for a spin.

The pictures tell the story.
Approaching the Cartford Inn and the toll bridge over the River Wyre.

The River Wyre snaking through the Fylde countryside.

Skippool Creek looking very attractive to a former yachtsman!

They look good anywhere, don't they?
There's something about old boats!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Proud to be an 'Old Fart'!

When I first set up my blog I was a little hesitant about including 'boring old fart' in the title, but as it is a description that has been levelled at me in jest, (who am I kidding!), on a number of occasions both by relatives and others, I thought, sod it, I'll go ahead..... that is probably what I am!

Today a relative sent me this and after reading it, I felt proud to be one!

'Old Farts are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the National Anthem. Old Farts remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.

Old Farts remember World War II, Dunkirk,Pearl Harbour, Tobruk, Kokoda, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing. They remember the Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005, not to mention Vietnam and Timor.

If you bump into an Old Fart on the sidewalk he will apologize. If you pass an Old Fart on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady.

Old Farts trust strangers and are courtly to women.

Old Farts hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.

Old Farts get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don't like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.

Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it's about their children or grandchildren.

It's the Old Farts who know our great country is protected, not by politicians, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

This country needs Old Farts with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values.

We need them now more than ever.

Thank God for Old Farts!

I was taught to respect my elders. It's just getting harder to find them.'

Monday, 3 November 2014

It's almost 7 years...

....since we placed our order for the Morgan and I thought that it would be a good idea to post a few photographs taken during those years of the memorable drives and special moments we have enjoyed.

And there are hundreds more, taken during 24000 great, fun-filled miles in the UK, Ireland, France and Spain. Long may it continue.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Happy Anniversary

Forty eight long years ago on my wedding morning, I was awakened at 6.30 am by my apologetic newsagent father who told me that I would have to get out of bed to complete a newspaper round, because one of the Deliverers hadn't turned up!

I was delighted!!!! Anyway the rest of the day went well and as my lovely wife has put up with all my many foibles throughout the whole period, I decided that this year we would go away for our Anniversary and for once she wouldn't have to do any cooking.
A very murky Windermere
We decided that we should visit an hotel that has been recommended to me regularly by an old business acquaintance, the 'Gold Rill' in Grasmere, Cumbria,, some 60 miles away from home.
The Gold Rill Hotel
View from our bedroom window
The wonderful spell of weather that we had enjoyed for most of September had changed for the worse and so it was with some surprise that a couple of days of good dry weather was forecast for our night away, which meant that we could go in the Morgan.

Grasmere Church and the Wordsworth family graves in the churchyard
We set off in glorious sunshine which we enjoyed until entering the Lake District National Park, when the sky became overcast but thankfully dry and it was top-down all the way, indeed it remained down for the whole period.
The River Rothay, Grasmere
We have been visiting the Lakes since childhood but it is always lovely to return and reaquaint ourselves with its many charms. So we spent a lovely afternoon with the large weekend crowds looking around Grasmere village, visiting the church, the Wordsworth graves in the churchyard and 'Sarah Nelson's celebrated Grasmere Gingerbread shop'

Later, having checked in to our hotel, we walked along the road skirting the western shore of the lake, meeting countless fellwalkers returning from the peaks, before returning for a swift G&T or two before dinner. Prudently, we never have our evening tipple before 6pm, but our well established policy is, that regardless of the actual time, it is always 6 o'clock somewhere!!!!
Towards our hotel with Helm Crag (Lion and the Lamb) on left in distance. This was the scene of a mighty family climbing expedition in the 70's.  
After a beautiful evening meal and wholesome breakfast, we said our farewells and drove to meet friends of ours in the village of Finsthwaite near Lakeside, Windermere, travelling via Tarn Hows, a beauty spot that we hadn't visited for years.

The Langdale Pikes in the distance

Tarn Hows
Our final assessment of the hotel is that it is a lovely place to stay, although we both commented that, even allowing for our advanced years, we felt that we were too young to be there! The staff are wonderful and the food exceptional although an uplift to the existing smart, though somewhat dated, decor would improve the place immensely.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Broadland Memories.

Broads minded!

It was in 1954 that a young chap aged 9, stood with his family and gazed across Oulton Broad to a beautiful motor cruiser moored at one of the boatyards. Its varnish gleamed in the Spring sunlight and he could scarsely believe that he was to spend a week on board that beautiful craft, cruising the Norfolk Broads.

Our boat was hired from Jim Hoseason, who had taken over this small boatyard at the southern end of the Broad, from his father Wally B. Hoseason, and was in the early stages of developing further the family firm's hire fleet and booking agency, now a household name in the field of boat and cottage rental in this country and abroad.
The first sight of 'Mary Bridget' moored at Jim Hoseasons yard at Oulton Broad
Built by Herbert Woods in Potter Heigham, the 'Mary Bridget' had been privately owned and we were the first people to hire her since her acquisition by Mr Hoseason. To this day I can remember the excitement I felt on going aboard.
1954.....9 years old
I have always had a keen interest in boats,  I guess, springing from the fact that all my family on my father's side were from Brixham in South Devon and were closely associated with the sea, either working on the Brixham sailing smacks or in the navy, and it was at that moment, in 1954, that my love of Norfolk and the Broads was kindled. And it is to the Broads that both my wife and myself have returned regularly.
A peaceful afternoon on Belaugh Staithe by the River Bure
The last occasion was a week ago when we spent a delightful week in Barn House Cottage in Belaugh (pronounced 'Beela') between Wroxham and Coltishall on the River Bure. We chose the cottage from as an alternative to our usual practice of hiring a motor cruiser and it proved to be delightful, providing a good base to visit parts of the region we had not visited before.
Coltishall Common...a short walk from our cottage
However, we did get afloat on two occasions during the week by hiring a Day Boat from Martham to cruise Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad and a second craft to cover the River Waveney from Burgh St Peter to Beccles.
Our Day Boat moored at the 'Pleasure Boat' staithe, Hickling

View of the River Ant from How Hill
We had a wonderful time and were able to view the Broads from a different perspective. It was while doing this at a well known house called How Hill overlooking the River Ant, on which we have cruised on countless occasions, that we spotted a lady painting the scene. To cut a long story short, we are buying that painting, once the paint has dried and it is framed, providing a lasting memory of that special moment in yet another wonderful return visit to my beloved Norfolk 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Back in Action!

What a great spell of weather we are having in the UK, almost an Indian Summer, following the excellent weather we have enjoyed for most of the year.

The lure of the Morgan, plus the additional incentive of spending a couple of hours in a brewery, celebrating one of my oldest friend's 70th birthday was just too much to resist.
National Trust property, Sizergh Castle.
First stop was the National Trust property of Sizergh Castle where we each enjoyed an indifferent coffee, which, in view of its quality was exorbitantly priced. We don't mind paying for quality, although it has to be said that we do wish outlets would serve coffee in smaller sized cups.
Lakeland Headquarters, Windermere
On to Lakeland Plastics Headquarters in Windermere, a frequent stopping place when we are in the Lakes, where my lovely wife wanted to buy some indispensible kitchen items!
Almost in Staveley
Then to the main event which was being held at the 'Hawkshead Brewery' in Stavely, just a few miles south of Windermere. They have an incredible range of super beers that were tackled with gusto by the members of the party who had travelled by train but alas I was somewhat restricted by my self imposed limit.
The Brewery
A tight fit in the Car Park
I must admit that I am not particularly fond of lunchtime drinking or eating for that matter , no matter what quantity, as it leaves not just me, but both of us, feeling somewhat bloated and sleepy. Not an ideal state for a drive down the M6 on the return journey.

My pal had booked a table for eleven upstairs in the restaurant which was ideal.

We started the meal with two giant sized 'Huntsmans' pies, followed in our case by a regular and a large sized fish and chips which were superb. The batter was perfect and the chips delightful, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle...yummy!

As expected, after what was a delightful occasion, we emerged bloated but happy for the return journey.

Friday, 5 September 2014

I have survived!

As you all know, I am quite a shy, retiring sort of chap and tend to keep a low profile as far as the blog is concerned, unless I have something truly interesting to write about.

However, I have been driven to pen this little item following an urgent call from one of my Morgan chums, who was actually quite worried about me, because I had not informed him about the success or failure of my recent operation, convened in order to return a part of my innards back to its original position, it having decided to force itself into an area of my body where it had no right to be! I was quite touched by his concern and realised that it might be mirrored by my worldwide readership.....who am I trying to kid?!!!

Additionally, I was also inspired to put finger to keypad by another Morgan chum, who writes a highly recommended, excellent blog  www:// who has also been hit by a problem in his nether regions, but in a different locality to mine. He, quite properly and thoughtfully,  felt that he should let all his readers know that he had survived by informing them on his blog.

Both of them have shamed me into doing the right thing and I am now  letting everyone know that I am recovering well from the op., but it will be another couple of weeks before I can inflict the tender area of my lower body, to the cruel, unyielding confines of the Morgan cockpit!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A new image!

Can't wait to wear my new kit! (Brooklands)


With only two days remaining before my hernia operation I thought that yesterday was a good opportunity to have a little pootle in the Morgan, because after the op I don't know how long it will be before I can contort my wracked body into the restricted confines of the cockpit.

The weather was set fair so, after picking my lovely wife up from the hairdressers, we set off via our favourite pie shop to Cockerham, an area bordering Morecambe Bay.
Looking west across the salt marsh towards the Bay...
It is an area that offers expansive views across the salt marshes, where happy sheep nibble away at the salt laden grass, before being summarily despatched, to end up on a Sunday dinner plate!
...and south east towards the Bleasdale Fells
As I lie at the mercy of the surgeon I shall be praying that the scalpel doesn't slip and I suffer a similar fate!!

Anyway, it was a good drive and as I said, I hope that it won't be too long before I get out in the car again.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


....a couple that really use their Morgan!

It was lovely to see the picture of the 1990 White Plus Four on the August page of the MSCC Calendar for 2014 and to read that the owners, Dennis and Sylvia O'Neill,  have now travelled over 160,000 miles in their car.

That is surely what Morgan ownership should be all about, using the car at every available opportunity.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Well, that blew the dandruff away!!!!

Following our recent travels, the time had come to give the Morgan some attention. That would include getting the wheels off to clean them, which I always do after around 1000miles, at the same time as launching myself under the car to grease the sliding axles.

When I say launch, that does sound a touch dramatic and is frankly, a blatant lie!

The reality is more of an overweight geriatric trying desperately, in the first instance, to get down on his knees in order to place the jack under the car and from a virtually prone position pump up the jack to get the stands underneath the front axle.

Whereupon, he rolls on to his side, trying to ignore the painful reminder of his recently diagnosed hernia, and then shuffles on his back to a position where he can contort his wretched body sufficiently to see the appropriate nipple, at which point he decides that he shouldn't have worn his glasses and will be able to see better without them, so then has to effect this removal operation with greasy fingers and try to place them well away from the area where the action is taking place.

Finally the grease gun is attached to the nipple and with withering strength the thing is squeezed and the injection of the grease finally takes place.

Now, for the next wheel!!!!!

I did promise myself that I would in future just take the car to my local garage, 'cross their palms with silver' and get one of the chaps to do the greasing for me. On the face of it, this would have been a good idea, but it wreaked a bit of 'chucking the towel in' and, also of course, the wheels would not be cleaned either. So I decided that while I am physically able to do the job I will continue.

Actually it is quite therapeutic and I can take pride in the fact that although we are covering a lot more mileage than many owners, our car is just as well cared for, and looks just as pristine, as those mollycoddled cars with ridiculously small mileages!

Anyway, the reason I mentioned dandruff is that it is vital after such a gruelling maintenance session, to take the car out for a quick run, primarily to make sure that the wheels don't drop off, but also because it's such bloody good fun and immensely exhilarating, driving a Morgan without a cap and with sidescreens off, in a very fresh Blackpool breeze.

Friday, 25 July 2014

'Wilson' est mort !!!!

My many readers will be shocked to learn of the demise of the fish 'Wilson' who featured in my post of the 19th May 2012, entitled 'A fish called Wilson'
'Wilson' in happier times, although he doesn't look very happy!!.
While my wife and I were swanning around Herefordshire in the Morgan, the 'Grim Reaper' paid a visit to my youngest daughter's home and reeked his vengeance on our poor defenceless friend.

He had endured solitary confinement, for a couple of years at least, spending his time in a glass globe on the kitchen windowsill, separate accommodation provided by us from a florists shop, to avoid him being summarily executed on possibly unfounded charges that he was 'doing in' any new fishy arrivals in my daughter's family fish tank!

Nothing was proved, although thinking about it, he did have a somewhat sheepish look in his eyes. However,  he must be regarded as an innocent until proven guilty and treated with all the formality, dignity and sincerity that such a quality demands.
Olivia, my beautiful grandaughter was very upset by his passing, as she had shared five years of her young life with the little fellow. She decided with her mother that a two minute silence was therefore justified and this took place with due diligence to the strains of classical music.
Rest in Peace
Following this sad performance, Wilson was finally committed to the compost heap, dust to dust, ashes to compost, at which time he will serve to enrich the garden and his memory will linger on in perpetuity.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Another 1000 miles!....

.....bringing the total mileage we have completed in 6 glorious years to 24,100.

The call for our babysitting services came from two fronts with the proposed dates close enough to justify making a holiday out of it. What is more, the Morgan factory Centenary Celebrations on Sunday 13th July was an added bonus that could be incorporated into the sandwich!
A light lunch near Much Wenlock
The drive to our first port of call took around five hours instead of the usual two and a half hours, as we decided to avoid the Motorways and went via Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Kidderminster, Redditch and then to Warwick and Leamington Spa.  Longer, but at least our brains weren't assaulted by the motorway traffic noise and on that point it is interesting to note that the new surfaces being put down on the motorways seem much quieter.

'Hooks Barn' near Roson-Wye, our hideaway.

The garden area and beautiful valley beyond.

Forest of Dean boundary marker by our front door.
After a couple of nights we moved on to a cottage on the fringes of the Forest of Dean, via Alcester, Worcester and the Malverns. Lovely, peaceful accommodation, just right for a romantic getaway!!! Who am I trying to kid!
Sadly, under a leaden sky

The day after our arrival was the Factory event which was heavily supported with a fine display of Morgans, factory visits, a fairground, food and drink stalls and entertainment. Whilst there I purchased two rear indicator assemblies as we had been experiencing problems with both units.
What a beast!!!
As Lucas no longer exists, these are 'imitation' items made in Taiwan or somewhere and so instead of being able to buy the offending  innards you have to buy the lot. The problem is not unknown to Morgan and is caused by a 'fabric' washer eroding allowing a short circuit to occur at the bottom of the bulb. It used to be made of 'Bakelite'......such is progress!

Anyway, having enjoyed the visit we returned to our hideaway, having stopped for a look around Ledbury and my wife said, why on earth hadn't I arranged to have the job done by the factory on the next day? Good idea, so I phoned them at 9am on the Monday, got an immediate appointment, so made another trip to the factory. After a couple of hours we were on our way with reliable indicators we hope! The factory are sending my old units away for inspection by the manufacturer.
Hereford Cathedral
Hereford Cathedral and the 'Mappa Mundi' was next on the agenda, followed by a drive to Hay-on-Wye in Wales, the home of the annual Book Festival and countless bookshops.


The river at Hay
After a swift pint we then made our way through the 'Golden Valley' which, on the day of our drive was a most appropriate name, as the sun shone on fields of golden wheat, that in the Morgan were annoyingly hidden, along with much of the rest of the scenery, by the sort of banked hedgrows very much in evidence in Devon.
In the 'Golden Valley'

Cheating, surely!!
En route we stopped at the ruined Border Castles of Grosmont and Skenfrith.
Grosmont village

Grosmont Castle

Skenfrith Castle
Next day we drove through parts of the Forest, on roads that probably hadn't been surfaced for decades and which would have given my best friend ample fodder, as he regards us as masochists for wanting to drive around in a Morgan! When we finally got to Westbury-on-Severn to look around the National Trust garden and have a welcome 'cuppa', I was beginning to agree with him!
The garden at Westbury-on-Severn
Goodrich Castle is a beautiful ruined medieval pile that has sufficient of it's walls still standing and elements within those walls still recognisable, enabling a good impression to be gained of the lives of the residents there. We enjoyed our visit there very much on our final day.
Goodrich Castle

Bridge close to Ruardean, taken from Goodrich Castle

An early start the next morning found us battling with the rush hour in Gloucester, as we aimed for Swindon to pick up the M4 to Bracknell and thence to Camberley in Surrey for a few days with our daughter. Great fun especially as it was the Farnborough Airshow and from her property a good view of some of the aerial activity is possible.

The homeward trip was broken at Warwick for one night and then it was a very quick blast up the M40, M42, M6 Toll, M6 and M55 to our home.

The Morgan behaved impeccably and we are already thinking of a possible next trip, will it be the road from Belfast to Londonderry via Stranraer or maybe even the Route Napoleon from Grenoble to Cannes across the Alps.....we shall see.