Register Weekend 2017

It’s September, the trees are putting on their colourful autumn coats, the days are getting shorter and 25 MGBs, one MGA, one MG RV8 and two MG3s found their way to Louth in Lincolnshire to explore a different part of the UK (well, we haven’t been to Lincolnshire since 2004!). Clive and Vera Wilday and David Stonehouse, from the Lincolnshire Centre, had put in a lot of work to give the rest of us a memorable weekend. The weather leading up to the event had been sunshine and showers and this pattern continued throughout the weekend.

By Friday afternoon everybody had arrived at the Kenwick Park Hotel for the next three nights. The Hotel provided a golf course, a swimming pool and a spa for our use, but we were more interested in finding our rooms, signing on, and coming down to enjoy an excellent dinner followed by a presentation by David Stonehouse on the routes for the next two days. Saturday’s route was largely a dedication to the RAF 617 Squadron ‘The Dambusters’ and Sunday to admire the Lincolnshire countryside.

A quick look at Saturday’s route told us that we could choose a long or short run, a question to be answered after lunch? The route to East Kirkby, our lunch stop and home of the Lancaster Bomber, was interesting, taking us through villages with impressive churches like the one at Louth with the highest church spire in England, the home of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate, the lovely village of Horncastle and of course Woodhall Spa which was created as a dream village in the 19th Century. It was the home of the Dambusters during WWII, and also the Dambusters monument and the quaint ‘Kinema in the Woods’. On arrival at the airfield we were allowed to park inside the white gates, actually on the airfield. Here we found the Lancaster proudly standing ready for its two taxi runs during the afternoon, the museum dedicated to the remains (however small) of parts of aeroplanes that crashed during the war, the Mosquito aircraft with still quite a lot of work to be carried out on it, the front fuselage of a Canberra which the children loved exploring while the rest of us wondered how three grown men could fit into such a small place, military vehicles and one MG – the only one of its type, being a modified T Type – and the NAAFI where we could get a selection of food and drink for lunch. At about 1.30pm it began to rain but about 100 people stayed outside to experience the noise and sight of the Lancaster taxiing down the runway. We had to wait until 4.00pm for the next taxi run to be completed, then the MGs were allowed to park in front of the aircraft for a photo shoot – for some, the pinnacle of the weekend.

Those MGs that had not waited for the photo shoot could, and some did, take the long way back to the hotel. This route took them to Skegness where, along the way, they passed numerous nature reserves before getting back to the hotel and dinner. After dinner there was a talk by Steve Hall of Hall’s Garage, an MG specialist garage, and a raffle to raise money towards the Marathon MGB. Sunday was a day of contrasts. First thing the sun was shining, so many took down their hoods before heading off towards Louth and then to Ludborough to see the heritage steam railway which had some smart railway carriages but no engine! From here we carried on, passing a war memorial to RAF 625 Squadron and a WWII airfield, before reaching Tealby where quite a few MGs stopped for refreshments. Others carried on to Caistor lakes. However, just before the lakes, suddenly the heavens opened and a deluge of rain caused immediate flooding on the road! Fortunately, most MGs had their roofs up. Others further from the lakes did not even know it had rained. In contrast to all the lovely churches along the route, we were directed to a church at Whaite. The first impression of a broken gate and the church hiding behind some trees was not very good, but when the church was entered and the light switch found the interior was just amazing. This ended an interesting run, so back to the hotel for dinner. Every evening during our meal a selection of photos which had been taken by various members were shown on a screen. On this last night we had an additional set of photos, those of the marathon MGB, with John Watson giving a short review of the state of the MG which belongs to the MGB Register. Our evening ended with thanks to all those that had contributed to the enjoyment of the rest of us. On Monday morning we all said our goodbyes, and headed in different directions to our homes.
Heather Charlton