Club News

February 2024 Enjoying MG

No MG motoring in December but to compensate Sue Dudley again organized a super Christmas party at the Barns with 44 members enjoying the festivities. A pre-Christmas coffee morning at The Strawberry Cabin rounded out the year.

Our 2024 calendar, masterminded by Paul Titley and the committee, includes a wide selection of MG motoring and social events throughout the year. As usual our monthly club nights are at the Barns with guest speakers, games nights and natter nights on the programme. The ever popular third Thursday coffee mornings are again a regular feature with organizers Brian and June Cooper taking us to some new venues this year. Keith and Gill Johnson`s planned Drive and Dine nights should satisfy the foodies in the Club, which is most of the membership!

Car shows are popular with SMGEC members and so we will be attending 4 this year including a return to an old favourite, Trentham Gardens but sadly no Lupin Farm this year.

To put some miles on the MG`s clocks we have 10 runs planned by members including visits to NT properties, an antique centre, a sheep dog trial, the Midlands Air Ambulance, a narrow gauge railway, a famous pottery and a historic battlefield. Highlights include a 3 night visit to Norfolk in May planned by Bob and Irene Stone. Based at The Heacham Hall Hotel we will be exploring the area during the day and enjoying some fine dining in the evenings. A weekend away in September to Sywell piston and Props is also on the list.

SMGEC offers all MG owners the opportunity to enjoy classic motoring along with a wide range of social activities as members of a friendly group of fellow enthusiasts.  Interested, then find out more by visiting our web site for membership details?

This entry was posted on 27/01/2024 by Jeff Darlow.

January 2024 Enjoying MG

The onset of winter in November saw Club life move indoors with many of our MG`s tucked away until next year. The November Club night at the Barns saw 36 members gathering for dinner followed by our Annual Awards night. This is the opportunity to receive plaudits for glorious achievement or slide under the table in shame for motoring disasters! The election was under the firm control of Phil Wellstead, just like Election Night on the BBC!

This year`s worthy winners and unfortunate losers were.

Services to the Club               Des and Gill Barnard.

Driver of the Year                   Jeff Darlow.

Co-driver of the year             Gill Barnard

Newcomers award                 Michael and Heather Steventon.

Breakdown of the year          Phil and Cathy Wellstead.

Special breakdown award     Keith and Chris Timmis.

Chairman`s award                   Keith and Gill Johnson.

The trophy presentation followed with applause and commiserations from the members. Thankfully the breakdown bills were considerably lower than the horrendous bills of the last 2 years.

November`s coffee morning at Byrkley garden centre was attended by 40 members proving how they have become a major part of Club life, recognizing that the majority of members are retired. Only two MG`s in the car park though, one was Chairman Roger`s MGB, much to the chagrin of wife Sue who had meticulously polished it thinking it was off the road for the winter! The other was my own TF with a stoved in front wing from a car park bang.

The month ended with a coffee and film morning at the Red Carpet Cinema at Barton Marina hosted by Sue Dudley. 24 members enjoyed the natter with 12 stopping on to watch the film, Napoleon by Ridley Scott. Only our Christmas Party and a coffee morning are left in 2023 but exciting plans for 2024 are already in place.

This entry was posted on 02/12/2023 by Jeff Darlow.

December 2023 Enjoying MG

October brought the very sad news of the death of Alan Elkington after a long illness bravely born. Alan was one of the Club`s earliest members owning a MGB and a beautiful MGA which he rebuilt from a wreck. Alan worked tirelessly for many causes as well as being an active Club member. A kind and gentle man with a great sense of humour he will be missed by all. Our thoughts go to Joan and family for their loss.

With the onset of autumn Club life slowed down. The Club night dinner at the Barns was followed by hilarious bingo games organized by Alan and Karen Wild.  Completely ignoring the normal caller`s instructions he made his own up as he went along!

Our last run of the year was the Twilight Run planned by Geoff and Cathy Collier. After meeting up at Aston Marina their splendid 40 mile route took our 20 cars on roads we have never driven before including a trip through a ford to reach our destination for Sunday Lunch, the Spot Inn at Hilderstone. Their dining room is a converted railway carriage and fortunately for us, unlike the train drivers, the staff were not on strike and served us an excellent meal with delicious sticky toffee pudding to finish!

The 3rd Thursday coffee morning hosted by Brian and June Cooper was held at Marsh Farm near Abbots Bromley with 19 members meeting up for the natter.

Although this year`s activities are running down our planning elves led by Paul Titley have been hard at work on the 2024 programme. As an early taster they released the details of The Norfolk Get Away, a 3 night away trip in May planned by Bob and Irene Stone. It was immediately fully booked up by 19 crews. Cannot wait!

This entry was posted on 02/12/2023 by Jeff Darlow.

November 2023 Enjoying MG

With so many events happening in September and limited space I must be brief! 

The month started well with 7 Cars displaying at the Eccleshall show on the 2nd.

For Club night at the Barns Keith and Christine Timmis had arranged an after dinner speaker. David Spencer, a jeweler and goldsmith gave us a fascinating glimpse of his skills. The ladies loved the diamonds and gold on show but the men looked worried! Makes a change from the usual carbs and camshafts.

The main event of the month was the long awaited Northumberland Explorer trip, meticulous planned by Des and Gill Barnard. The Riverdale Hall Hotel in Bellingham was the base for 4 nights for our group of 16 cars and 31 members. Daily tulip notes guided us to Hadrian’s Wall, Cragside House, Beamish Museum and the Northumberland coast, enjoying the beautiful scenery and fine driving roads. We drove around 750 miles on the trip with no breakdowns. Our evening dining was again enhanced (?) by Renton Ward`s fiendish quizzes.

Coffee and tea cakes were the order of the day at the Halfpenny Green Winery coffee morning on the 21st. New members Colin and Louise Downs joined 22 members to enjoy the natter. Unfortunately they discovered that leaving their TF`s hood down when a cloudburst passed through leads to soggy bottoms!

It was canal boats not cars at the Huddlesford Canal Gathering. Arranged by narrow boat owners Des and Gill (where do they find the time) 17 cars entered the display of classic cars. The morning drizzle soon passed and the weather improved. Highlight of the day was the onstage performance of “No Direction” a boy band featuring Club member Glyn John who received wild applause from our group.

A Drive and Dine Run to the Oakley at Brewood completed a very full month.

This entry was posted on 29/10/2023 by Jeff Darlow.

October 2023 Enjoying MG

August`s programme included events for all interests, great MG road runs, taking to the water on boat trips, displaying at car shows, enjoying coffee and cakes and of course fine dining, good food always being on the menu with  SMGEC members!

The Club night at the Barns was well attended and gave the opportunity to welcome new members Michael and Heather Steventon and Andy and Barbara Wright who bring an F, TF and MGC to the fleet. A review of recent activities was followed by a look forward to future events, especially our Northumberland trip in September.

The opportunity for enjoyable MG driving came on the 13th when Phil and Cathy Wellstead led us on a trip to Rudyard Lake near Leek. Starting at Aston Marina, a great turnout of 23 cars set off on a challenging 30 mile run over the Staffordshire Moorlands to arrive at the lake. After parking up on the dam we sat down to enjoy a fine buffet lunch in the restaurant followed by trips round the lake in an all-electric boat, shades of an MG4 EV! A most enjoyable day out.

The 3rd Thursday coffee morning saw 30 members meeting at the very welcoming Aston Marina to enjoy a leisurely morning’s natter over coffee. Organized by Brian and June Cooper these mornings are a very popular part of Club life.

For the Lupin Farm charity car show on the 20th Charles Jarman led 13 SMGEC cars to join the hundreds of others on display. Sadly we learned that after 38 years this would be the last show organizer Edwin Tipper will be holding. This is disappointing news, as for many enthusiasts, Lupin farm has been the best car show in the Midlands and will be much missed. 

Happy MG motoring for the rest of the summer.

This entry was posted on 07/09/2023 by Jeff Darlow.