Out and About - 2022

Branch New Year Lunch - Sunday 9th January 2022

Happy Branch members at Ferraris Country House Hotel, Longridge

The forecasts of dismal weather conditions didn't materialise, and the day was bright and dry. The forecasts resulted in us all using our "modern" cars, so there were no Minors in the car park. Not surprisingly, in the middle of the Covid Omicron cases surge, there were several understandable withdrawals from our traditional New Year lunch at Ferrari's restaurant in the Ribble Valley. However, there were still over 40 in the Venetian dining room at Ferrari's. Both the service and the food were excellent and so was the company for our first Branch outing of 2022, all agreed that it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Branch chairman Barbara Fisher thanked members present for joining the event and wished all members and families best wishes for the new year. Special thanks were offered from all present to Shirley Riley for her hard work in organising such an enjoyable and successful event in uncertain Covid times.

A wavy line up at Rivington Services

Manchester Branch MMOC Winter Rally - Sunday 27th February 2022

The alarm clock was set for 06.00 hrs. and we left just after 07.15 to meet up with the others at Rivington Services on the M61.  It was a lovely drive down the M55, M6 and M61 with the morning sunshine dazzling in places.  We were first to arrive at Rivington and where inside having a coffee when Lancashire member Byron arrived, closely followed by Chairman Andrew, Frank and Maureen, Steve  Rose and Ian Wilson.  Andrew had quite a group of spectators has he undertook some last-minute polishing of Teresa’s convertible. 6 Minors left Rivington Services in convoy and arrived at the Bus Museum without incident and were quietly marshalled into place inside.  The customary bacon butties and tea/coffee were quickly consumed.


Inside Manchester Museum of Transport

I counted 50 Minors in total; 41 inside and 9 outside and Lancashire Branch was represented by 16 Minors and at least 20 members.   It was a good feeling to meet up with old friends after 2 years of restrictions.  Messrs. Thornton and Littlewood were among several Minor Owners selling their wares, along with the regular auto-traders. There was a really good selection of Minors on display to the public this year, from the tatty and useable, well-kept ‘pride and joys’ to recent restorations.  I particularily liked a 1965 Clipper Blue ‘3 Door’ Saloon - well, that is what was on the vehicle’s information sheet!


Andrew receiving his award

Morning and afternoon vintage bus rides came and went and then it was time for the presentation of awards.  Lancashire Branch kept up its tradition of of being placed in the awards at this event.  Congratulations go to Andrew and Teresa's Old English White Convertible which came 3rd in the event.



Red Nose Day Car Run - Friday 14th March 2022

Start of the Car Run at Fox Lane, Leyland
Start of the Car Run at Fox lane, Leyland

On Red Nose Day on 18 March, 14 cars all displaying appropriate noses and plaques met at Fox Lane in Leyland before driving to Southport, calling in at J.D. Christian’s wonderful museum of old cars – mostly Rolls Royces and Bentleys. The museum is privately owned and has a magnificent array of motoring memorabilia as well as the cars all waiting to be restored or started up. It was a real treat when the owner started up a huge and magnificent old Rolls Royce and slowly eased it forward out of its garage.

After visiting the museum, we drove to the Ocean Plaza in Southport, adjacent to the pier, for lunch. A fantastic sight with all 14 Minors in a row which attracted much attention and interest from passers-by who generously donated to the Red Nose Day appeal. One young man put some coins in the bucket and said “What are these cars?”  When he was told that they were Morris Minors he asked “Is Morris a make of car then?” 

 Finally, we visited the British Lawnmower Museum where an amazing display of lawnmowers from the day they were invented to current models were on display – some incredible and very expensive machines in their day. There was even a machine with “Minor” written on its side – could it have been a distant relative?

This was a fantastic day and we raised a magnificent sum of money which was donated to Comic Relief.

A sunny Branch line up at Ocean Plaza, Southport

Morecambe Car Meet - Sunday 27th March 2022

A spot of sunbathing!

Some Branch members went along to the Lancaster & Morecambe Classic Car Club informal Cars and Coffee meet, on the Morecambe Bay seafront at Jo ‘n’ Lee's by the Sea cafe's very large car park. It was a beautiful day and it felt more like May or June. There was a wide range of cars to see from 1930s classics to recent model American gas guzzlers and there was very sociable atmosphere amongst owners and viewers.

Branch Good Friday Car Run to Embsay Steam Railway - 15th April 2022

Meeting up prior to our car run
Meeting up ready for our convoy

Since 2013, each Good Friday, the Branch has had a run out to the Bolton and Embsay Steam Railway near Skipton. Covid restrictions meant that we have had to miss this event for a couple of years but this year we were able to go ahead with it again.

There were two options for the day. One was to go straight to the station and the other was to meet at the McDonald's on the A59 near Clitheroe and then drive in convoy from there to meet up at Bolton Abbey Station. Most people opted for McDonald's and the convoy run. There were 13 Minors at the McDonald's car park and all were there in good time to get a drink and some breakfast as well as having a chat and catch up before setting off.

The A59 is a busy road, so we did all get separated a little on the journey but the convoy was expertly led by Mike and Tony in Mike's stunning convertible and they found a large lay-by part way for us to all get together again. Thanks to a kind driver, we were allowed out of the lay-by together and arrived at Bolton Abbey Station within moments of each other. 

We couldn't all get parked together at the station because with 19 cars there were too many to fit in our usual area by the booking hall so the remaining cars were all parked in a row on the next section of car park. We had 27 people attending the event, which was a great turnout.


The Branch members who did not go on the steam train journey to Embsay, drifted away from the station and went for a beautiful walk up to nearby Bolton Abbey.. We had lovely weather on the day, so it was a pleasant stroll in the stunning countryside. Lunch was then taken in the picnic area in the station gardens before several members relived their youth by having a ride on the miniature railway that runs from the side of the café down the length of the car park. Judging by the smiles on their faces, it was a pound well spent.  After a great day members set off separately on their journey back home having enjoyed a lovely day at the railway.

Drive It Day - Sunday 24th April 2022

On Drive IT Day several members took their Morrises out for a run. These included a trip to the Lancaster & Morecambe Classic Car Club coffee morning at Jo 'n' Lee's Cafe at the north end of Morecambe promenade, a run to Glasson Dock and a car run to the Watershed Mill at Settle with the Blackpool Vehicle Preservation Group (BVPG). It was a lovely sunny day and members , and their cars, enjoyed getting out and about.

Astley Park Car Show - Sunday 15th May 2022

This annual local show is organised by the Lancashire Vechicle Club (LVC).  Several members attended and were parked in front of Hall and overlooking the lake and fountain. 

It was really a lovely day.  Sadly, the Hall was closed due to ongoing renovation work but the courtyard café did a roaring trade and the gardens were open and of course plenty of cars from all decades to admire as well as our Minors.


Bleasdale Tower Gardens - Sunday 21st May 2022

Bleasdale Tower is a grand house in Lancashire built in the mid-19th century as a private residence which it remains to this day. Surrounded by magnificent, but relatively small, gardens with terraces and shrubberies dominated by beautiful rhododendrons it is not normally open to the public – except on one weekend a year when it opens to raise money for local charities.

The organisers welcome classic cars to the event and so the Branch rose to the occasion with 15 Morris Minors meeting at The Flower Bowl on the A6 before driving in convoy to the house. The approach is down a long winding drive and the cars looked impressive as they drove towards the house.  A Guardian Concert Brass Band played on the lawns, whilst in the courtyard plants were sold and home-made beef burgers and hot dogs were served – it would have been rude not to try them!  And cream teas with homemade cakes and strawberry cream scones were also offered. A lovely event!

Chipping Steam Fair - Sunday 29th May 2022

Always a highlight in our events calendar Chipping Steam Fair this year, back after a two year absence, was no exception. Displays of wonderful steam traction engines of all sizes, vintage tractors, food and craft stalls and of course classic cars made it a great event.

And the Branch rose to the occasion with 15 cars meeting at Sainsbury’s in Longridge before driving to the show ground in convoy. What a sight that was for passers-by and cyclists!

Once at the ground the cars were all parked in a line making a spectacular display and in total we counted 23 Minors of all types in the display area. The odd shower didn’t dampen enthusiasm and at the end of the day we all drove into the arena to show off to the public before making our way home.  A great day meeting and chatting with like minded people as well as enjoying everything else the show had to offer.

Heskin Steam Fair -2nd-5th June

This year's rally was held over four days, the weekend of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  Some members attended all four days and they had a really good weekend, although the weather could have been better as it was really cold!

This event is usually only a two-day rally, so four days was quite ambitious and maybe wasn't the best idea, with so many other events on at the same time, be it rallies or jubilee events.  That said, many visitors attended the weekend and our Branch members always enjoy the show and are already looking forward to attending again next year.

Great Harwood Agricultural Show - Saturday 4th June

Saturday 4th June fell nicely in the extended Jubilee bank holiday weekend.  The weekend was choc-a-block with car shows, organisers seeming to have the same idea of planning their events for the long weekend. 

Our chairman, Andrew Whittaker and his brother David, also a Branch member, were involved in organising the classic and vintage car section of the Great Harwood Agricultural Show that was taking place that day.  They arranged for LMMOC to have their own section within the classic cars and over 20 Minors answered the call and came out to support the show.  The Minors made a splendid sight, all parked in a line, and were drawing admiring looks from the public as they made their way around the show.  Our friends from the Lancashire Vehicle Club were lined up in their own group opposite our Minors.  There was a total of over 120 classic vehicles - the highest ever at the show which was remarkable given the number of other classic vehicle events being held over the Jubilee weekend.  

There were many different types of vehicles on display, including a double-decker bus that featured on the television news the day before.  It was a specially liveried Platinum Jubilee double-decker bus and was on the news because, earlier that day, it had been used to transport Ukrainian refugees and local councillors around Accrington and Great Harwood.  There was also a Series 2 Land Rover that the owner had used the week before for his wedding - it still had the wedding flowers on the front of it and, for those who remember the Firefighters’ strike many years ago, there was a “Green Goddess” fire engine.

It is always a great show - roll on next year when we can enjoy it all over again!

Slaidburn Steam Rally – Sat 11th & Sun 12th June

Slaidburn steam rally celebrated its 40th year since organiser David McNamee parked his steam roller outside the Hark to Bounty Inn, Since then many other enthusiasts have joined him over the next 40 years.

This rally is a unique event, no admission is charged for entry, honesty boxes are in place and all proceeds go to local causes, this year's being the two village schools Brennands Endowed, Slaidburn and Thorneyholme Primary School, Dunsop Bridge were to benefit.

Both days were well attended by exhibitors and visitors. Sunday was so busy that the field at the back of the Hark to Bounty was full and many had to park in the village.  Cake and book stalls did a roaring trade as did a BBQ on Sunday. A wonderful event.

Scorton Steam Fair – Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June

Branch members attended this show in their Morris Minors and were amongst a great variety of Classics – about 100 in all – although there was a notable absence of very old, vintage, vehicles.

The stars of the show were clearly the magnificent steam engines, road rollers and tractors which looked resplendent as they paraded around the arena. One can only imagine the work involved in preparing and maintaining these vehicles in their gleaming splendour.

Plenty of stalls and eating places made this a popular event which became busy as the day progressed. A most enjoyable and very interesting event

Branch Rally at Leighton Hall – Sunday 3rd July 2022

Quite a number of Branch members made their own way to the Hall, but 11 members met at Garstang and drove together in a Minor convoy to the venue.  

It was pleasing that we had our usual prime location in front of the Hall itself. Member Steve Rose worked his magic and arranged our Minors into a giant number ‘70’ to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  He also produced a lovely rally plaque, complete with cable ties, for us to display on our cars.  These were bought by Branch members for a donation of £5 or more, with our charity of the year, North West Blood Bikes Lancashire & Lakes, benefiting from the money raised.  Steve also produced a card for our windows to let the public know that we were celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee.  The cars look fabulous and were greatly admired by many members of the public.

Goosnargh and Longridge Agricultural Show – Saturday 9th July

A small convoy of club cars drove to this lovely show which is a real traditional lancashire agricultural show where animals are displayed and judged along with a host of tractors and a small number of classic vehicles. The Branch was well represented with seven cars there, five of which won prizes – can’t be bad! 

It was a warm sunny day and plenty of people were there to enjoy the displays and traders’ stalls. At the end of the afternoon, we were asked to parade around the ring and the cheering from the crowds showed they really appreciated the sight of so many Minors!

After a two year break it was great to be back at the show and it will remain in the calendar for years to come.

Pilling Vintage Weekend – Sunday 10th July

This event is the successor to the local ‘Pilling Crank Up’. There were about 40 Classics Cars there on Sunday along with displays of vintage tractors, static engines and motorbikes. There was not any judging or arena displays, just a quiet Sunday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine at the end of a busy weekend.

There was really good catering supplied by the village hall café, which did a roaring trade in cooked breakfasts and lunches while in the hall, there were craft stalls and displays by Fylde Country Life Preservation Society and The Merry Trotter Mobile Museum of Memorabilia.


Visit to East Lancashire Railway – Sunday 24th July

It is some years since the Branch visited the East Lancashire Railway so it was great our visit coincided with the Railway's Classic Car event.

Branch members met up at Rivington Services (M61) before driving in convoy to Heywood Station.  23 Minors were displayed in the station yard and what a sight that was for us all and for visitors to the railway who showed great interest.

We were supplied with free travel tickets on the railway as well as a discount voucher for food – generous indeed! Members enjoyed the excellent bacon butties in the café on the station before embarking on the train to Bury and beyond, some breaking their journeys to see the classic car display at Bury Station and visit the excellent transport museum – which includes a superb Morris Minor Post Office van.

As the day progressed the clouds gathered and suddenly the heavens opened! There seemed to be no respite as members cautiously set off for home and speaking to one or two people their cars had to be dried out over a few days – but hey, the cars were always meant to be used in the rain and the weather wasn’t going to spoil a fantastic day.

Bring Your Car Night Meeting – Monday 25th July

The Branch 'Bring Your Car Night' is always an eagerly anticipated meeting.

The skies were a bit grey, and some members cars were still drying out after our visit to Heywood the day before, but nevertheless a good turnout of 13 cars lined up next to the cricket pitch – where for some of the time a game was being played and we all hoped they wouldn’t knock a six!  The usual chat and banter went on for some time before everyone retired to the club house for our shorter meeting and excellent buffet – provided by the Branch on this occasion.

Garstang Show – Saturday 6th August

This is another typical Lancashire agricultural show.  There was a small vintage vehicle section. It was a lovely warm sunny day and as time progressed the show got busier and busier.                                                             

Lytham Hall Classic Car Show – Sunday 7th August

This show is run by Great British Motor Shows. Lytham Hall is a superb location in a beautiful setting and several hundred cars attended on a warm sunny day. 

The show was well organised and Lytham Hall welcomed us with reduced price entry to the Hall (really worth a visit), a lovely café and garden centre, and a good selection of traders and food outlets. Awards were given for various categories of vehicles and a commemorative plaque could be purchased if you so wished.

The display of vehicles was superb and it was good to see similar cars grouped together as well as a number of club stands.

Classics in the Park – Saturday 13th August

Always a good event Classics in the Park was run this year by Lancashire Vehicle Group in liaison with Friends of Miller and Avenham Parks.

There were some superb vehicles on show and the LVC did their usual sterling job in organising cars into groups and expertly marshalling everyone to their correct places.  The Lancashire Branch met up at The Phantom Winger before driving in convoy to the park where a club stand was put in place and the cars parked in line next to the embankment. And very impressive they looked too – attracting great attention.

A very enjoyable event despite the intense heat – better than pouring rain though!

Branch Summer Road Run - Sunday 21st

On a lovely Sunday morning with the sun shining, 6 Minors set off from McDonald's on the A59 for the road run to Ferrari’s Country House Hotel for our Branch summer meal 2022.

Heading towards Clitheroe we drove through the town centre, on to Chatburn,  the villages of West Bradford and Waddington and a slow but beautiful ride over Waddington Fell taking in the stunning views and all the heather in full bloom.  We had a small stop in Newton-in-Bowland to regroup in front of the Parkers Arms hotel.

We continued towards Dunsop Bridge heading into the Duchy of Lancaster, (land owned by HM Queen Elizabeth II). The village of Dunsop Bridge is the geographical centre of the United Kingdom, with a commemorative telephone box placed there by British Telecom. We continued on towards Whitewell taking in more stunning scenery on the way.  After a total of 25 miles covered we were greeted at Ferrari's Country House Hotel with a welcoming committee on arrival.

Branch Summer Lunch – Sunday 21st August

This was a very special occasion – the room was decorated with Australian flags and blow-up kangaroos and wallabies (!) as a tribute and send off for one of our most enthusiastic and popular Branch members Byron Littlewood who is soon to emigrate to Australia.

After a wonderful lunch Branch members enjoyed the glorious gardens in brilliant sunshine.

Malham Agricultural Show – Saturday 27th August

The Branch annual visit to the Malhamdale Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show is always very popular.  Some members drove to the showground in convoy from Clitheroe and they enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the way.

Our fifteen cars got a lot of attention as people came into or out of the show and members chatted with quite a number of people for whom the Morris Minor had played a part in their life and enjoyed reminiscing with us.

The Malham Show is a proper, traditional agricultural and horticultural show, set in the most stunning Yorkshire surroundings. There is so much to see and do that the time flies by. There was show jumping, vintage tractors, dog agility, dry stone walling and gun dog demonstrations as well as cattle, fruit and vegetables being judged and lots more besides. A brilliant day!

Great Harwood Transport Festival – 2nd & 3rd September 2022

Lancashire Branch MMOC, and other classic vehicle owners, were invited to attend this 2022 Festival. On the second day of the festival there were several other classic car events around Lancashire, even so, there was a good variety of classic cars on show and LMMOC was well represented. In addition to some beautifully restored buses and coaches there were many old and new commercial vehicles on show. The free rides around the area on veteran buses were very popular. An excellent day out!

Vintage by the Sea – 3rd & 4th September

After the two year delay it was great to park once more in front of the beautiful Art Deco Midland Hotel on a dry Saturday morning which, on both days, proved that the weather forecasters must have been on their summer holidays and left the job to trainees. 

There were not as many classic cars there as we have seen in the past including those of our members but away from the car park there was a lot to see. Over at The Platform (the original railway terminus building) there was an extensive display of stalls selling all sorts of vintage clothing, jewellery and memorabilia. There was a craft market filling the nearby Winter Gardens Theatre where, at certain times, the organ accompanied a lady singing vintage classics from the 30's and 40's. On the outside area between the Hotel and the Lifeboat Station there was lots going on for children in a marquee and a fairground was in full swing on the site of the old outdoor Lido.

The Vintage Festival is organised by Hemingway Design in conjunction the local Council and a number of other sponsors. One of our member's Morris Minor milk float was chosen as the 'Best In Show' Classic Car. On the Sunday there was a bigger display of classics in the Midland Car Park and later on the Bradford to Morecambe Drive arrived and added an impressive display on the Promenade Car Park.

The highlight of Sunday is, of course, Afternoon Tea at the Midland Hotel. Members sat down at a table in the Veranda with a lovely view down the Stone Jetty and across Morecambe Bay to Grange-over-Sands. 

Farm Yard Ales Meet - Tuesday 6th September

It was a very quiet affair for the last meeting of “Bring Your Vehicle Night” at Farm Yard Ales for 2022.  A thunderstorm and torrential downpour at teatime put a lot of people off attending and there were probably 100 vehicles on display.  Ranging from a 1920’s Austin 7 Tourer to a trio of modern-day Aston-Martins but the most interesting was a ‘Little Grey Fergie’.  This was not a standard Ferguson TE20 but one that had been converted to electric, namely 48 volts dc.  The 24 x 2 volt batteries were wired in series to produce 48 volts.  5 batteries were either side of the driver’s seat and the rest were the fuel tank, engine block and radiator would have been.  A 2 furrow Ferguson plough was attached to the tractor and the owner was hoping to get a day’s ploughing out of an overnight charge.

Electric powered cars have come a long way in the last decade or so.  Electric powered Tractors are not far behind them.

The Villa Autumn Steam Fair - 3rd & 4th September

Some of our Branch members attended this local annual Steam Fair and displayed their Morrises for people to enjoy. There were several displays and one of interest this year was The Bob McIntyre Motorcycle Restoration Project, with a trio of racing motorbikes ridden in period by Bob McIntyre, the first rider to achieve an average speed of 100 mph for one lap of the Snaefell Mountain Course in 1957.  Another interesting display was a photographic history of Isaac Ball (1856 – 1942), a farmer and threshing contractor from Wharles.  Two of Isaac’s old steamers were on display and doing circuits of the field. No. 2649 ‘Owd Isaac’ a Burrell Roller now owned by Bryan Rawstrone, a great grandson of Isaac Ball and No. 3808 ‘Laddie’ a Burrell Tractor.  A really good day!

Worden Park Car Show - Sunday 18th September

The Lancashire Vehicle Club (LVC) show at Worden Park, Leyland is always one of the last shows of the year, but it is a popular one. In the run-up to it, we had been enjoying a period of dry weather but on the Sunday morning in the Preston area, we awoke to rain.

The LVC shows, with not being for a single marque, are attended by a wide variety of vehicles. Our Branch had nine Morrises on show and one member wafted into the show in his lovely Rolls Royce.  At Worden Park there was a section of static engines that were gently chugging away during the day, some motor-bicycles from the Lancashire Slow Riders, a selection of classic bicycles including some radically customised ones that demonstrated some real engineering talent, as well as a wide selection of classic and modern classic cars, vans and even a camper van. The LVC estimated there were around 100 vehicles on display which was a great turnout for a day that was intermittently wet. A good time was had by all.

Charity Farm Car Meet – Sunday 2nd October 2022

The October car meet at Charity Farm, Wrightington, proved to be another hit!  The heavy autumn rain on the previous Friday came down with a vengeance, but it didn't deter classic vehicle enthusiasts from exhibiting their vehicles on the day.  There was a Minor affair, with 4 Morris Minors in attendance.  The morning meet was great fun with lots of chat and bacon and sausage barms! 

Derian House Fundraiser – Sunday 9th October 2022

Our Branch joined our friends from the Lancashire Vehicle Club for this charity fundraiser for Derian House Children’s Hospice.  We were fortunate to be blessed with a dry start to the day and the weather stayed dry throughout the event but there was a biting Autumn wind making itself known as we stood around chatting on the car park. In total we had 8 Minors there, so the Morris marque was well represented. As the show season was drawing to a close it was good to fit another one in before we slide into Winter and, generally, tuck our cars away until Spring. A very worthwhile event for our members and Derian House.

Blackpool Illuminations – Wednesday 12th October 2022

This annual Branch event is always a popular event.  Several members drove their Minors into Blackpool and meet up for our traditional fish and chip supper at Bispham followed by a run along the famous sea front through the illuminations. There were 9 Morris Minors (2 Saloons, 4 Convertibles, 2 Vans and 1 Traveller) with modern cars at the rear.  Some of our cars were also decorated with fairy lights which added to the spectacle. Again the evening turned out to be a very enjoyable “run through the lights”. The Illuminations stretch for 6.2 miles and are on until 2nd January 2023.

Autumn Leaves Road Run – Sunday 16th October 2022

Branch members met with friends from Blackpool Vehicle Preservation Group, Lancashire Vehicle Club and Pilling Old Car Club at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland. After a warming drink and a hearty breakfast we were ready for our road run. There were about 40 vehicles in total with a few more commercials than cars. The route went through beautiful Lancashire lanes and villages, with stunning views over the coast and fells, and we ended at Carnforth. It took about 2 hours to cover the 70 mile distance of the run.  A brilliant day!.