Sunday 21 September
Tamar Valley MG Owners Club
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People & Places Run 2014

On a sunny summer’s morning 43 cars were squeezed into the car park at Saltram House, near Plymouth, in preparation for the TVMGOC ‘People and Places’ Run. Although mostly MG’s, there were a number of other marques joining the Run, including a Triumph TR 6, and a Mercedes Sports, with half of the competitors coming from Clubs other than the TVMGOC and from outside of the area, one car even came from Holland! This year the route was to take place in and around our glorious South Devon, covering about 85 miles and offering some spectacular coastal and inland views. With cars being waved off in style by Hilary Medland, we headed off towards Bigbury, via Modbury, but turning off at St Anne’s Chapel to traverse the tidal road towards Averton Gifford – the tide was out – good planning! Our route now took us, via Kingsbridge and many small villages, to Slapton Sands where many cars stopped to have coffee. Whilst there we were able to visit the memorial which is a recovered Sherman Tank from the ill-fated ‘Operation Tiger’, an operation which went disastrously wrong whilst US Soldiers were training for ‘D’ Day. However, on this gloriously sunny day it was good to look out over Slapton Ley (the largest natural fresh water lake in the South West) and on the other side of the road, out into Lyme Bay. After this welcome break, we preceded towards our lunch stop at Dartington Cider Press in the grounds of Dartington Hall Estate, via some very narrow Devon roads through Dittisham, Dartmouth, up the hill past Britannia Royal Naval College, and Totnes. It was interesting to note that the site on which Dartington Hall stands has been occupied for well over 1000 years. Fortunately, facilities have been updated since then with retail shops selling quality clothing, handmade jewellery and ceramics plus two restaurants and outside areas for picnics, thus catering for most requirements. As lunch completed, the weather changed with a few spots of rain but this soon developed into heavy continuous rain – such a shame for the open top cars – on these occasions it’s good to have a coupe!
On leaving Dartington, we proceeded to Newton Abbot, past the Race Course, and then up through the beautiful Teign Valley to Moretonhampstead. This was a great road for sports cars, climbing and twisting, and great fun. From Moretonhampstead we followed the winding A382, glimpsing the large cover over Castle Drogo on the hill (major works currently underway to waterproof the roof of the Castle) before turning finally into the approach road and into the car park of Castle Drogo. Here we met up with all the other competitors at the end of the run and enjoyed a delicious Devon cream tea. The chatter in the National Trust restaurant over tea was a testament to how much the day had been enjoyed by all involved. A huge thank you to Hilary and Clive for organising this splendid run which did indeed show us some of the best features and country-side that South Devon has to offer. Many thanks also to Wendy, for producing the accurate and most informative Route Instructions which contained many interesting facts on the features we passed along the route, without which we would all have been lost! So, not only did we have a successful and enjoyable day’s drive but also raised over £200 for the Alzheimer’s Society – a good result all round.
Peter & Jenny Lainnin

Morwellam Vintage Rally 15th June

Despite being very thinly advertised, this event was well supported with upwards of 100 classic and vintage cars on show. The Hunt family believed that they might be the only supporters from our club, so we were delighted to see at least  6 TVMGOC cars on display including  Julia and Terry, Naomi and Nigel,  Roger and Sylvia and new member Janice in her bright red Midget.
There was even long- time members Roger and Val Fitzsimmons, who we have not seen for ages!  We were later joined by Russ and Debbie Holden, brand new members in their MGF. Sadly they were a bit miffed by the attitude of the organisers who insisted that their car was not yet 25 years old and could not be considered as a true classic and therefore were charged the public rate on entry. However the same organisers had attempted to make the rest of us welcome with 'tidily' personal stickers, maps, and free cups of tea/ coffee, etc.
I suspect most readers have been to Morwellham Quay in the past, but forthose who have not it was once thriving example of Victorian industry and ingenuity, initially the hub for transporting copper from North Devon via the Tavistock canal for smelting in Wales. As the 19th. century progressed manganese was also mined locally, as were large deposits of arsenic. (sufficient to kill everyone on the planet according to the guide!) A trip down the mine in the rickety train is an absolute must. Sadly by the early 1900's world prices for such ores fell to such an extent that Morwellaham went into terminal decline. The Docks silted up and the cottages and industrial buildings succumbed to brambles and general decay.
As long ago as the late 60's archaeological efforts were made to bring Morwellham back to a living museum and great strides were made in the 80's. For many years, Plymouth City Council helped financially, particularly to ensure that the mine was  safe for visitors. Sadly this finance has now been withdrawn and it is down to the few paid employees and small armies of dedicated volunteers to keep this irreplaceable glimpse into our social and industrial heritage alive.
For those of us in the club it was a very pleasant day out, made all the more memorable by perfect weather. If Morwellham Quay decides to offer the venue again next year, I thoroughly recommend it to those of you who missed it this time.
John Hunt

Rotary Club of "Drive-It-In-Cornwall

Having decided to make a weekend of this run Val and I met Alison and Alan in Liskeard for a pasty lunch before heading down to Trewithen Gardens for an afternoon stroll in amongst the champion trees, spectacular rhododendrons and beautiful azaleas. Moving on to Truro we checked in at the Townhouse Rooms B&B which was a real find and had a dining room with afternoon tea laid on. Later in the evening we had a really nice meal at a seafood restaurant called Hooked which we all thoroughly recommend if you are ever in Truro. After an excellent night’s sleep we were up for a continental breakfast before leaving for the start of the run at Truro Park and Ride. With start times towards the end of a field of many different makes and models numbering 110 we missed Jan and Martyn who had already left on the run. Taking in the mandatory pre-run bacon bap, Alan and I spent some time passing out flyers and entry forms for the People & Places Run before joining the queue for the start. The route took us around the outskirts of the city before heading South West. Within a couple of miles of the start, Alan was already in Good Samaritan mode helping to push start an overheating MGB in the grounds of Truro Prep School. Continuing on around Cowlands creek, we passed the old quays at Point and Devoran before entering the Bissoe valley and under the Carnon railway viaduct.
Nearing Stithians Lake, Alan stopped to let a tractor out into the road only to have it followed by a 30 or so strong squadron of Cornish Ferraris who were on their own Run in the Sun!!
Slow progress was made for a few miles behind the convoy, so slow at times that even cyclists were overtaking them! After aloop around Gweek (where we spotted a carriage and two horses but no sign of Irene & Gerald) and Port Navas we arrived at the lunch stop at Trebah Gardens. Sitting outside the house in the sunshine for our picnic lunch we had a great view of the beautiful gardens extending down the valley to the Helford River. With just time for Val to top the boot of our car up with plants we were soon on our way again heading North for the second leg of our journey.
After passing through St Day we were in convoy with a couple of Panthers when we entered the grounds of Scorrier House where the route took us right in front of the house and then skirted Redruth. Heading out to St Agnes Beacon we were then on the minor and in some points very narrow roads through the old mining works and engine houses of the Blue Hills. Turning onto the perimeter road of the WW2 Perranporth airfield Val and I cruised past the Panthers at the prescribed 20mph limit so that we could have a different view for the later stages of the run.
This turned out to be a good move because Alan later got stuck behind an Austin Healey 3000 which was burning a bit of oil and so making quite a few noxious fumes.
Exiting the airfield we passed through Perranporth village and were soon off of the main highways again as we entered the now disused Penhale Military Training Camp and surrounding dunes which are now classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Pressing on, a brief detour around Pentire Point gave us a good view of Fistral Beach where the large number of surfers bobbing in the waves looked a bit like a group of seals before we left Newquay Town behind and arrived at the finish of the Run at the hanger of the Classic Air Force at the Newquay Aerohub.
After partaking of our cream tea, we took a tour of the hanger to view the many old aircraft on display many of which are maintained in fully serviceable condition and flown regularly by the CAF pilots. A simulator in the hanger gave us the opportunity to ‘fly’ with the Red Arrows over
Plymouth Sound which was a very interesting experience which made us realise how close they actually are when in formation and crossing with each other. All too soon it was time to wrap up warm for the quick journey home at the end of what had been a really great day. This Run was very well organised with a comprehensive route book and lots of volunteer marshals from the Truro Rotary Club and is one that we all agreed that we would definitely do again in the future.
Val, Alison, Ade & Alan

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