Wednesday, 19 April 2017


We have just spent a week in my favourite English county with one of my daughters and her family in a delightful house bordering the River Bure at Wroxham.
Our accommodation

Early morning with the River Bure at the bottom of our garden
The lawn ran down to the waters edge where our small day boat was moored, in which we enjoyed many cruises up and down the river with the occasional picnic thrown in for good measure.
The day boat
Since 1954, when I was 11 years old, I have been visiting the Broads, initially with my family and then at around the age of 17/18 with friends, once in a yacht, but mostly in motor cruisers.
Commander Ted aged 3 at the helm!!!
My wife and I also spent our honeymoon there in 1966, so I have a great love and affinity with the place.
A trip to the beach at Sea Palling
Cruising down the river at Belaugh.
As the years have advanced I have become increasingly nostalgic for a Norfolk Broads filled with traditional wooden cruisers and yachts, all displaying their individual character and each an example of the boatbuilders' individual style and build.....a bit like the cars of yesteryear I suppose.

A 'Windboat' from the golden age of motor cruisers crossing Barton Broad

A trip by rail to Aylsham
Anyway, the way we have done it in recent years is fine, a little boat to spend the day in and a lovely house and bed to sleep in at night, although I do not discount the chance of hiring a cruiser again in the future, God willing!
Quanting a traditional yacht from Hunter's Yard at Ludham
John Betjeman wrote a lovely poem about Norfolk that evokes special memories for me as a youth when I visited the place with my parents and subsequently.

How did the Devil come? When first attack?
These Norfolk lanes recall lost innocence,
The years fall off and find me walking back
Dragging a stick along the wooden fence
Down this same path, where, forty years ago,
My father strolled behind me, calm and slow.

I used to fill my hand with sorrel seeds
And shower him with them from the tops of stiles,
I used to butt my head into his tweeds
To make him hurry down those languerous miles
Of ash and alder-shaded lanes, till here
Our moorings and the masthead would appear.

There after supper lit by lantern light
Warm in the cabin I could lie secure
And hear against the polished sides at night
The lap lap lapping of the weedy Bure,
A whispering and watery Norfolk sound
Telling of all the moonlight reeds around.

How did the devil come? When first attack?
The church is just the same, though now I know
Fowler of Louth restored it. Time, bring back
The rapturous ignorance of long ago,
The peace, before the dreadful daylight starts,
Of unkept promises and broken hearts.


Sunset on the Bure

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Still alive and kicking!!!......

....after another spell in hospital.

But they can't keep a good man down and at the first opportunity we rolled the Mog out of the garage on a beautiful day and set off to the Lake District.
At 'Sizergh Castle' (National Trust Property)
What a great day it was, lovely countryside and a convivial meeting with our friends in the delightful village of Finsthwaite, near Newby Bridge in the South Lakes.
A welcome stop near Witherslack in the South Lakes
The car behaved impeccably and we saw two other Morgan owners with similar ideas to us, enjoying their cars on a really glorious day.
Above Bowland Bridge

This week,  prior to our planned holiday in Norfolk we take the car to Southport to have a new set of four tyres. Not a question of wear on the treads but one of age!!!

Circumstances, due to health issues, over the past two years,  have meant that Morgan use has been minimal, although, in total we have now clocked a respectable 27000 miles.
Looking down on Lakeside, Windermere
But the tyre issue is a problem when owners of Morgans are doing minimal mileage, generally well below the average that normal cars are doing ie 10/12000 miles every year.

In fact we now have three tyres on the car that were manufactured in 2006, two years before the car was built. So they are now 10/11 years old!! Truthfully, they should possibly have been changed well before now.
Across Windermere towards the Langdale Pikes

The tyres for the 4/4 are quite rare and are only made in small batches by 'Continental', so you have to take 'pot luck' regarding the age of any 'new' tyres that are supplied.
I'm just hoping that ours were manufactured in a recent batch!

PS Just returned from 'Tyred and Exhausted Ltd' in Southport where we have had 4 BRAND NEW TYRES FITTED, manufactured in late MARCH 2017. Delighted!!!