What can we say? The Morris Minor Owners Club’s National Rally, held at Kelmarsh Hall on June 23-24 was a triumph of what a club can do when they put their minds to it and really pull together. As Duckhams we not only have a long heritage linked to the Morris brand but also, we are very proud to have played our small part in supporting this fantastic enthusiasts event.
70 years after the first Minor rolled off the production line in Cowley, the anniversary rally was an international affair. There were representatives from at least fifteen countries present, including a contingent of fifty Morris Minor owners from the USA. Both national and international press attended the event along with over 1000 cars over the course of the weekend. The continued work of the Morris Vehicles Association was evident with 90 vehicles from the Morris register, MG Octagon Car Club, Morris Commercial Club and Woleseley Register, as well as over twenty vehicles as part of the Landcrab clubs national rally, which was held alongside the event.
The atmosphere over the weekend was electric and the enthusiasm in the air was palpable. From our seat under the Duckhams marquee, centre stage of the packed Autojumble, we watched enthusiasts young and old talk all things Morris Minor, as well as seeing friendships, clearly founded by a shared passion for a marque, blossom. It was fabulous to talk to such a variety of people over the course of the event, some of which fondly remembered the Duckhams green hue, others for whom this was their first exposure to the brand.
As well as a huge number and great variety of cars to look at (no two Morris Minors are the same, and each has its own special story to tell, that’s for sure!) entertainment over the weekend was rich and varied – from Punch and Judy and Brass Bands to an inter-branch challenge in the arena bringing together each geographic branch in a series of challenges finishing with a grand final on the Sunday afternoon. Saturday evening saw a full marquee with everyone present letting their hair well and truly down. A live band, Funk and Soul set the dance floor alight before pie, peas and gravy and a disco to finish the evening. Standing on the sidelines watching young and old dancing side-by-side with similarly overzealous dance moves was such a fabulously grin-inspiring sight.
Back on the rally field, the centerpiece display brought together 70 cars for 70 years; 70 very special cars, some of which hadn’t before been seen at a show, and some incredibly rare early examples – including NWL576, the first production Minor on loan from the British Motor Museum, Gaydon.
Club secretary Ray Newell said ‘I’m delighted with the success of the event and am keen to recognise the efforts of the national rally organizing team headed by Andrew Stone and the support of the Young Members register who assisted with various aspects of the event during the course of the weekend’.