Thursday 3 September
Tamar Valley MG Owners Club
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Launceston Annual Steam & Vintage Rally 2015

This three day event, the first in East Cornwall's classic calendar, is strangely, not very popular with our members, which is a bit surprising as it offers both punters and exhibitors a very varied and enjoyable day out. This year it was remarkable, as we did not experience oceans of mud up to the floor pan of our cars or strong winds, able to shred the stoutest of awnings or gazebos. Instead, dry ground and only a bit of mist and low cloud to upset the happy campers in the evenings.
I arrived a little late and joined upwards of a hundred classic cars on display, of which four were independently owned Model T fords, circa 1919 and very rare. The rest were varied and unusual. Many were 1960s vintage and often considered unrestorable, viz. Vauxhall Velux and Crestas, etc. all bling and no substance. Nevertheless, they brought back memories of my youth, when to own one in the family meant your Dad had made it partially up the social ladder. The same can also be said of the commercials which, rather than being a bit of a yawn, had character and a presence, some actually
manufactured in Cornwall!
My first call was to the large model / craft tent, in order to find fellow TVMGOC members, Roger Grace and Sylvia. I did finally locate them out the back in their motor home with a huge awning, just finishing off a late breakfast. Roger still retains a huge love (or is it an obsession!) for model boats. His collection of pre-war  powered craft and pond yachts, exclusively manufactured by Bowmans, and still in their original boxes is both unique and fascinating. Hey ho, everyone to his own!
I moved outside to admire the radio controlled model aircraft, real boys stuff, from Spitfires to biplanes. However, foremost amongst them was a large scale Hawk trainer with a wing span of over 6 feet and powered by a fully scaled down jet engine which ran on pure aviation fuel. The thrust was enough to knock a grown man off his feet and the noise totally reminiscent of the full size version. Unfortunately its creator was not allowed to fly the thing publically, as it cannot be insured. No doubt the underwriters consider it an unguided missile! Nevertheless, it strutted its stuff around the main arena at speeds upwards of 60 mph with flaps and wheels, firmly down.
The arena was used for a variety of familiar displays, perhaps the most whacky, a recreation of the Battle of Britain by 12 grown men dressed in leather helmets , goggles and flying overalls, driving wheelbarrows.
Initially, the performance was taken very seriously and thus funny, but soon developed into pure farce. I lost interest (as did the commentator) and moved to a veritable sea of tractors. They Cornish do luv 'em; no more so than one old boy sitting astride his ancient Alice and Chalmers machine entertaining himself on a piano accordion. Surprisingly he did not have much of an audience, although his playing was excellent.
Finally it would be remiss of me not to mention the steam traction engines. Whilst not as prolific as those say at Boconnoc or indeed St Agnes, they nevertheless made a brave sight. Quite how their drivers clean themselves up at the end of the day, remains a mystery. I did notice one lady, slightly less grubby, sitting on the step of her immaculate support caravan
clutching a rather large, terrifying, wire brush.  One guy, with his mini
version, about the size of a lawn mower, showed off its prowess by towing a fully laden Safari Land Rover slightly up hill. No problems with power to weight ratio there!
Soon it was time to remove Tamar Bobby from his perch on top of my Magnette. I do believe he gets more attention from the punters than the car itself. It had been a good day, but a bit of company from other club members would have made it perfec. I guess there is always next year.
John Hunt
The May Supper Run

At 6:30pm we duly arrived at Antony House, followed closely by Roger & Sylvia, where John & Linda were waiting. Seconds later Roy & Sonia arrived. This was the Cornish posse complete. A few minutes later, via a phone call to Roger, we were informed that our friends in the Devon contingent were not allowed to board the ferry or escape from Plymouth (depending on which way you look at it). However one of our members did escape to bring us a message in a cleft stick to say “carry on”.
As we had only one set of instructions it was decided that we (Kate & I) should lead the way. It was a route the club had used before, but one which is always good to do, particularly for our newer members. The route took us through St John and down into Millbrook. We left Millbrook on the Anderton / Cremyll road taking us around the lake, and onto Anderton, Cawsand and eventually onto the coast road to Freathy and Tregantle.
The views along this route are always spectacular with plenty of photo opportunities. Just as matter of interest, on a clear day from the view point at Whitsand Bay, the earth station at Goonhilly can be seen which is a distance of 40 miles.
Unfortunately time was limited due to the late start so there were no such stops. We then continued through Crafthole, down through Downderry and Seaton and onto the Looe road eventually reaching The Coddy Shack, albeit 15 minutes late. The Devon contingent had already arrived after taking a lesser route due to their delayed start. The meal as always was excellent and the staff their usual attentive selves dealing with the 30 members who attended.
Everyone seemed to be happy with the evening apart from, perhaps Mike, thought his cod was a bit “thin” and malnourished only to find out that he had just eaten Martyn’s plaice! Obviously a case of “misplaced plaice”, henceforth Martyn will be known as “The Cod Father”.
Many thanks to Alan & Alison for arranging a very pleasant evening.
Noel & Kate
Noel & Kate Brown
The Club Treasure Hunt on "Drive it Day 2015"

Another well organised event by Clive & Wendy, crossing (nearly) all the bridges over the River Plym to sea! A total of 15 MGs met up at the well used ‘Second Turning Past the Dartmoor Diner’ on Sunday morning the 26th of April. A day of indecisive weather forecasts, and it has to be said, the sky to the south looked rather ominously like a cloudburst was about to occur. The rain held off though, and the cars set off towards Clearbrook and the first clue. After crossing the weak bridge at Goodameavy, the road headed towards Cadover Bridge. Despite having lived in the area for 40 years, I have never been on that road before. Cadover Bridge was followed by Shaugh Bridge, and another clue. A photoshoot by Clive as cars crossed the bridge. This clue evaded a lot of us, and the occupants of the cottage on the right must have wondered what was going on. Wrong cottage! There followed a bit of to-ing and fro-ing until we all found the correct ‘narrow road with passing places’, where we encountered 2 ladies on horseback, then lots of bluebells and primroses, and then the dreaded metal plates Clive had warned us about. Notwithstanding the Road Closed sign, we proceeded.
On arrival at Brownie Cross, we observed John and Joe having a coffee break . We thought at first that they had broken down, but we were waved on. Plymbridge Wood followed, and it was there that some of us put the hoods up on our MGs, as rain seemed inevitable. Meanwhile, however, several members took advantage of the refreshment van with takeaway coffees and ice creams being the most popular. The walk under the railway bridge and across the old road bridge over the river was very pleasant, or so Chris, my navigator, told me! Then back tracking past the Boringdon Golf Club, where we had that super Sunday Lunch in January, (again organised by Wendy and Clive) passing several mini-roundabouts and finally reaching the Big One at Marsh Mills.
Arrival at Marsh Mills saw us cross the fifth bridge over the Plym, and it was on to Laira and the last bridge crossing. The rain started as we traversed Embankment Road, and various clues were picked up on the way towards Plymstock and Hooe.
Hooe welcomed all of us careful MG drivers as we passed through on our way to Mount Batten and Lawrence Road, commemorating Lawrence of Arabia, who served here as AC Shaw in the RAF before WW2. On arrival at the car park just past the Mount Batten Hotel, there were more clues to discover. But Chris & I fell at the last hurdle, it’s sad to relate, despite a good search! Retiring to the hotel for lunch, everyone did manage to find a table, though by no means were we all together.
Wendy worked hard to gather all the answer papers and mark them, and then spent some time going around to talk to everybody as she had a couple of tie-breaker questions. At last the winners and runners up were declared, and the prizegiving ceremony carried out. Clive was again the photographer, and a good time was had by all. The winners were Alan & Alison Colville, who were the only ones to correctly asnswer all the clues, photographed with Clive as they received the
famous trophy. The runners up were Guy Balmer, and his two small daughters, Bea and Ellie, who both received special golden trophies for Youngest Navigator, and Youngest Co-driver.
We were joined on today’s run by John and Helen with their blue MGB roadster, who are members of the MG Owners Club. Apparently they missed the unmarked turnoff for Bickleigh and Roborough and carried on to Beatland Cross, where they unfortunately had their rear bumper and number plate damaged by a rear end shunt. However, they were able to carry on in true MG Owners spirit and joined us all at Mount Batten. I’m sure that we all hope this event will not dissuade them from joining us at the TVMGOC. We would be delighted to welcome John and Helen, and Sarah and Janet to our company.
Well done to everyone and thanks again to Clive and Wendy for yet another excellent event.
Tom Eaves
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