DECEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Father Christmas visits Wanstead
The photo shows Father Christmas setting out on one of the most exciting rides of his life on the back of Phil Ryan’s Harley Davidson in December 2017. A very short while later he was rocketing down Wanstead High Street throwing sweets to the local children. Phil’s Harley has an engine capacity of 1450ccs and develops 67 bhp at 5200 rpm. Members may recall that Phil had previously travelled all the 2448 miles of Route 66 in the USA on his more powerful 1690ccs Harley Davidson Soft Tail.
Crooked Billet Pub Colney Heath
The addition to the Tier 2 rules that requires pubs to sell a ‘substantial’ meal to all customers who are having an alcoholic drink proved a step too far for Julie and Wally and they had to close. Many of their local customers have enjoyed a pint or two of their well-kept beer and then returned home. As of Saturday 19th December, this Hertfordshire pub will be in Tier 3 and so must remain closed. We hope that Wally, Julie and the staff will come through these awful times and we will meet them again in the Spring.
Many members will recall seeing and talking to David at our meetings over the past several years and admiring his perfectly-maintained black MG Midget. David was a quiet, charming man who showed his car at some of the National Classic Car meetings at Silverstone and Goodwood as well as our local gatherings. Sadly, after a short illness, David died on 2nd December. Our thoughts are with his widow, Mavis, his son and all his family and friends at this difficult time.
The Past Year
2020 started well for us with the first meeting of the year on 29th February as the early morning hail, rain and strong winds had gone by the afternoon and we were able to spend some time in the car park looking at a number of members’ classic cars. As we know, the situation changed steadily for the worse after that promising start. The virus tightened its grip and we had to cancel the planned meeting at The Crooked Billet Pub on the 18th April followed by our Classic Car Show in the Spires Car Park on 17th May. The latter was especially sad for Chris and Diane Nightingale as many lessons had been learned from the previous year when the show was held in the Spires Car Park for the first time.
Another heavy blow was that the RSPCA Animal Rescue Centre Open Day at Southridge on the 6th July could not go ahead. This is the major fund-raising day for this great charity and Howard and Lorretta Pryor have organised a classic car display as one of the attractions for the visitors for the past few years. For a relatively short while in the Summer the virus appeared to be on the retreat and we were able to have a club meeting at The Crooked Billet Pub on the 1st August. The day was pleasantly warm and sunny which made for a most enjoyable gathering for the club members. My Morris Minor split a fuel pipe on the way to the meeting and I was fortunate to reach the pub without both car and driver being incinerated. Thanks to the great kindness of members who provided spare piping, skilled labour to fit the part and even a can of petrol to ensure I made it back home, no long-term damage was done. Howard Pryor then put together a feature for the next newsletter which stressed the importance of ensuring that fuel pipes are made of proper, high-grade material and also the use of premium grade fuel.
There was some hope that our classic car show could be held in the Spires Car Park on the 20th September but, as we know, the incidence of virus cases rose steadily in the Autumn and so that, too, did not go ahead. Since that time, no meetings such as ours have been possible. However, thanks to some very clever people in different parts of the world, we now have the bright hope of effective vaccines to finally defeat this insidious virus, so we shall meet again in 2021.
The Club Website
In February of this year, Chris Nightingale offered to set up a club website for us. If ever an offer was made that really could not be refused, this was it. Chris had already constructed and was maintaining 3 websites for other organisations and we now have our very own one: www.barnetclassiccar.club It is so helpful to be able to easily access recent past newsletters and to direct any prospective members to its pages. We are very grateful to Chris for the time he has given to creating and running our website.
I wish our members, their families and friends as happy a Christmas as possible and a safe and healthy New Year.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet Herts EN5 2SW Tel: 020 8440 7550
Mob: 07 903 277 485 18th December 2020.
NOVEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
It is a great relief for us to know that we may be able to meet up again fairly early next year when we trust that the Covid 19 virus will be on the retreat.
In the meantime, we hope that Julie and the staff at the Crooked Billet Pub will come safely through the present Lockdown and recover steadily in 2021.
CHRIS NIGHTINGALE’S NEW ERA MINI COOPER
Here is a photo of Chris’s Mini Cooper taken in September 2011. While it has become a familiar sight at our meetings, it is a unique and very distinctive version of the original Alex Issigonis design of the late fifties.
The New Era Mini was designed and made by Chris’s father, Ken, and the fascinating story behind the project is set out on the website: www.neweramini.co.uk
Above is a photo of a New Era Mini with that of a Fiat Abarth positioned below it. Chris’s father was impressed with the Fiat’s design and wanted to incorporate the Fiat’s style into the New Era Mini as much as possible.
The website refers to a specialist Mini restoration firm in Hitchin where the owner, Chris Spennewyn, advised Chris against spraying with British Racing Green but, instead, suggested using the lighter Aston Martin Racing Green. The photo shows POP at a preliminary stage of the respraying, some way from the topcoat in the first photo.
At one stage, Chris had to take on some local, unskilled, labour.
This was for the task of positioning the engine mounting bolts in the brackets between the block and the bulkhead. The bolts were eventually located in the brackets and the reconditioned 997cc engine fitted securely in position.
It is worth noting that the garage in which this work was done was just large enough to fit the Mini in and allow an adult enough space to move round the car for the different jobs. It had no mains electricity so the lighting came solely from the car battery powering a 12V lamp suspended above the car.
Ken Nightingale fitted the distinctive wood and leather trim to the New Era Mini. The larger range of instruments than standard provided additional information about the performance of the Mini Cooper engine and reduced the likelihood of engine failure on a run.
The address of our website is:
I wish our members, their families and friends good health and spirits in these stressful days, even with the recent good news about the vaccine developments.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet Herts EN5 2SW Tel: 020 8440 7550
Mob: 07 903 277 485 17 November 2020.
OCTOBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
OUR TWO MEETING PLACES
THE PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER OF 13th SEPTEMBER WAS A RATHER GLOOMY ONE WITH THE CANCELLATION OF OUR HOPED-FOR COMBINED AUTUMN CLASSIC CAR SHOW WITH THE CROOKED BILLET PUB AT COLNEY HEATH ON 26th SEPTEMBER. SUBSEQUENT EVENTS SHOWED THAT WAS THE RIGHT DECISION AS THERE HAS BEEN NO LET-UP IN THE INCIDENCE OF THE CORONAVIRUS.
SOME EXCELLENT NEWS IS THAT THE CROOKED BILLET HAS STAYED OPEN AND CONTINUES TO OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF ALES AND WINES AND DELICIOUS LUNCH-TIME AND EVENING MEALS, INCLUDING HARD-TO-RESIST DESSERTS. AS ALWAYS, JULIE, WALLY AND CAROLINE EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO THIS UNSPOILT COUNTRY PUB. CHECK THE PUB WEBSITE BEFORE A VISIT IF YOU PLAN TO EAT THERE BY GOOGLING ‘THE CROOKED BILLET PUB COLNEY HEATH’.
THE DUKE OF YORK PUB/RESTAURANT IN POTTERS BAR IS BUSY FROM LUNCH-TIMES ONWARDS. THEIR LARGE CAR PARK, PLEASANT INTERIOR AND WELCOMING STAFF SHOULD ENSURE ITS CONTINUING SUCCESS, VIRUS PERMITTING.
TWO DATES FOR OUR DIARIES
CHRIS AND DIANE NIGHTINGALE HAVE NEGOTIATED TWO POSSIBLE DATES FOR OUR CLASSIC CAR SHOW NEXT YEAR.
SUNDAY 16th MAY 2021 or SUNDAY 23rd MAY 2021
LET US TRAVEL HOPEFULLY. IT WILL BE SO CHEERING FOR OURSELVES AND THE LOCAL FOLK IF WE CAN BE, ONCE AGAIN, DRIVING ALONG BARNET HIGH STREET, THIS TIME HEADNG TOWARDS THE TOP FLOOR OF THE SPIRES CAR PARK FOR THE DISPLAY OF OUR CARS.
NEWS FROM DORSET
MANY MEMBERS WILL RECALL RICK MARTIN ARRIVING AT OUR MEETINGS IN HIS GREEN MGB, MOST MEMBORABLY WITH HIS FAITHFUL BLACK RETRIEVER, ARTHUR, SITTING QUIETLY IN THE PASSENGER SEAT. SADLY FOR US, RICK AND HIS PARTNER HAVE MOVED TO A VILLAGE IN DORSET. RICK HAS HAD TO SCRAP THE MG AS RUST HAD WEAKENED THE CHASSIS BEYOND ECONOMICAL REPAIR.
RICK HAS KINDLY SENT ME SOME PHOTOS OF HIS NEW CAR – A 1971 AUSTIN SPRITE. THE ‘HEALEY’ IN ITS NAME WAS DROPPED IN THIS FINAL YEAR OF PRODUCTION TO SAVE ON THE ROYALTIES THAT HAD TO BE PAID TO THE DONALD HEALEY MOTOR COMPANY FOR ITS USE.
Here is the engine bay of the Sprite with the twin SU Carburettors supplying the 1.3litre engine.
The interior is as immaculate as the rest of the car.
IN THE MEANTIME, I WISH MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, GOOD HEALTH AND PERSEVERANCE IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet Herts EN5 2SW 020 8440 7550 18th October 2020
SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
CANCELLATION OF 26th SEPTEMBER 2020 MEETING AT CROOKED BILLET PUB COLNEY HEATH
SADLY, BUT INEVITABLY, WE HAVE HAD TO CANCEL THE PLANNED MEETING AT THE CROOKED BILLET PUB ON 26th SEPTEMBER.
THE LARGE RISE IN THE NUMBER OF COVID 19 CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY OVER THE LAST WEEK OR SO AND THE CONSEQUENT INTRODUCTION OF MUCH TIGHTER, STATUTORY, RULES GOVERNING ORGANISED GATHERINGS AND MAXIMUM GROUP NUMBERS, HAVE RULED OUT ANY MEETING SUCH AS THE ONE WE HAD PLANNED FOR THE 26th SEPTEMBER.
WHILE THIS IS A DISAPPOINTMENT FOR OURSELVES, IT IS A REAL BLOW FOR WALLY AND JULIE AT THE CROOKED BILLET. OUR PREVIOUS MEETING THERE ON SATURDAY 1st AUGUST WAS A MOST ENJOYABLE ONE WITH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MAXIMUM GROUP NUMBER RULES BEING FULLY OBSERVED, THANKS TO THE GOOD SENSE OF THE MEMBERS.
UNFORTUNATLY NOW, ANY SUCH ORGANISED GROUP ACTIVITY WOULD CREATE CONCERN IN THE MINDS OF THE LOCAL POLICE AND RESIDENTS.
HAPPILY, THIS CHARMING PUB REMAINS OPEN FOR FOOD AND DRINK. THE PEACEFUL GARDEN IS A PLACE IN WHICH TO RELAX AND ENJOY THE VIEWS OF THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE FOR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS AND UP TO 5 OF OUR FRIENDS. PLEASE CHECK THEIR WEBSITE BY GOOGLING:
THE CROOKED BILLET PUB COLNEY HEATH
BEFORE ANY VISIT.
DUKE OF YORK PUB/RESTAURANT POTTERS BAR
HAPPILY, THE DUKE OF YORK HAS SURVIVED 4 MONTHS OF CLOSURE AND, LAST WEEK, JUSTIN, THE MANAGER, TOLD ME THAT THEY HAVE BEEN VERY BUSY SINCE THEIR RE-OPENING. OUR LAST MEETING OF THE YEAR IS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY 5th DECEMBER BUT, UNLESS THERE IS A VERY LARGE DECREASE IN THE INCIDENCE OF COVID-19, A MEETING WITH THE TRADITIONAL FORMAT OF MEMBERS SQUEEZED INTO THE LIBRARY IS UNTHINKABLE.
HOWEVER, I WISH ALL OUR MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, SAFE TIMES IN THE COMING DAYS. MAY WE ALL MEET AGAIN, ALTHOUGH PROBABLY NOT BEFORE SPRING 2021.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet Herts EN5 2SW Tel: 020 8440 7550
Mob: 07 903 277 485 12th September 2020.
AUGUST 2020 NEWSLETTER
CANCELLATION OF THE BARNET CLASSIC CAR SHOW 20th SEPTEMBER 2020
VERY SADLY, CHRIS AND DIANE HAVE CONCLUDED FROM THEIR NEGOTIATIONS WITH NCP MANAGEMENT, THE SPIRES MANAGEMENT AND BARNET COUNCIL THAT THERE ARE STILL TOO MANY UNCERTAINTIES FOR THE SHOW TO GO AHEAD. ALL PARTIES HAVE SHOWN VERY GOOD WILL IN TRYING TO IDENTIFY SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS, BUT THE SITUATION REGARDING THE VIRUS HAS PRESENTED TOO MANY PROBLEMS.
THE SHOW WAS DUE TO TAKE PLACE IN FOUR WEEK’S TIME FROM THIS SUNDAY 23rd AUGUST. MEMBERS WILL UNDERSTAND THAT AN EVENT OF THIS SCALE WOULD HAVE INVOLVED AN INDETERMINATE NUMBER OF VISITORS ARRIVING ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE CAR PARK. THE CURRENT SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES MAY STILL BE IN PLACE IN 4 WEEK’S TIME, OR COULD EVEN BE SIGNIFICANTLY TIGHTER.
HOWEVER, CHRIS HAS SAID THAT WE CAN MAKE OUTLINE PLANS FOR OUR SHOW TO BE IN MAY 2021. THIS WAS THE MONTH IN WHICH THEY ORIGINALLY HAD IN MIND FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOW. WE CAN ONLY FERVENTLY HOPE THAT, BY THEN, WE WILL NO LONGER BE SO SUBJECT TO THE CONSTRAINTS THAT HAVE BLIGHTED OUR PLANNED GATHERINGS THIS YEAR.
CHRIS AND DIANE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE MEMBERS WHO MADE AN INITIAL COMMITMENT TO COME ALONG TO THE SHOW IN THEIR CARS. MANY THANKS TO CHRIS AND DIANE FOR ALL THE TIME THEY GAVE TO NEGOTIATING WITH THE LOCAL AND CENTRAL NCP AND THE COUNCIL AS THEY TRIED TO ARRANGE OUR SHOW THIS YEAR.
THIRTYSECOND MEET-UP CROOKED BILLET PUB
1st AUGUST 2020
This was our much-anticipated first meeting after the lockdown and it was worth the wait. The weather was mostly as the photo shows for the afternoon with some blue sky, no really threatening cloud and a comfortable temperature. It was so good to see partners, families and friends as well as the regular members. The young lady behind the bar served us with unfailing pleasantness.
The newsletter of 6th April this year included a paragraph headed ‘When Will We Meet Again?’ and a photo taken in the Crooked Billet car park in September 2018:
The words ‘Social Distancing’ had no meaning 2 years ago but now provides the only significant difference between these 2 photos.
A line-up of some remarkable cars, starting with Ken and Anne Goddard’s delightful 1904 Wolseley, then Jim Byrne’s formidable 7 litre Jensen, Stuart Pickett’s impressive Rolls Royce, Daryl Miller’s Rover P6 and Hugh Lewis’s Wolseley Hornet Special.
The contrasting styles of Tom’s 3 litre 1985 Porsche and Alex’s V8 Ford Mustang.
Here is Chris Nightingale’s almost unique 1960 New Era Mini Cooper. There will be some more details about this remarkable car in a subsequent newsletter.
ETHANOL IN FUEL
Members will recall Howard’s article on this subject which was attached to the general email of 3rd August. Since then, some members have told me of similar problems with leaking fuel hoses, mercifully, like me, without any serious outcomes. The article has certainly helped some members as well as myself and, once again, many thanks to Howard for the time he took to prepare the article for us.
Here is the engine bay of Howard’s TR4 showing a spotless finish to all the components and the paintwork as shiny as the outer body itself.
I again thank the kind members who rescued me from a very long wait for the AA on a Saturday night. Their generous provision of parts, skilled work and fuel meant that I was home with little delay at all.
We usually have our last meeting of the summer at the Crooked Billet Pub near to the end of September. Similarly, the pub has had its own classic car show at the beginning of the same month and in between has been our own show. With so many uncertainties this year, Julie, the landlady of the Crooked Billet, has suggested that we could have a combined gathering for pub and club this year on Saturday 26th September. While this is simple enough for us, there is a lot of planning that Julie and Wally have to do for their show, in particular sorting out the food for the traditional barbecue, maybe arranging for a group to play that afternoon, negotiating the use of the paddock and the extra staff needed.
As always, we travel hopefully and look forward to a combined venture on Saturday 26th September. Should Julie and Wally be unable to arrange their own show to be part of the day, they have kindly agreed that we can hold our club meeting in the car park from 3pm to 5pm.
Our final meeting of the year is booked in at The Duke of York Pub/Restaurant in Potters Bar on Saturday 5th December from 3pm to 5pm but, in the absence of a crystal ball, you know the rest.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet EN5 2SW Phone: 020 8440 7550
Mobile: 07 903 277 485 20th August 2020.
LATE ADDITION TO JULY NEWSLETTER (FULL NEWSLETTER FOLLOWS ADDITION)
CHANGE OF DATE OF NEXT MEETING OF BARNET CLASSIC CAR CLUB
OUR NEXT MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS SATURDAY 25th JULY AT THE CROOKED BILLET PUB IN COLNEY HEATH FROM 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR MUCH OF ENGLAND FOR THIS SATURDAY IS FOR HEAVY RAIN AT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
OUR MEETINGS ARE ESSENTIALLY HELD OUTDOORS IN THE PUB CAR PARK, LOOKING AT EACH OTHER’S CARS, WITH SOME VISITS TO THE PUB TO BUY REFRESHMENTS.
IF THE WEATHER IS ANYTHING LIKE THAT FORECAST, THEN THIS TRADITIONAL FORMAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.
JULIE, THE LANDLADY AT THE CROOKED BILLET PUB, HAS KINDLY AGREED THAT WE SHOULD POSTPONE THIS SATURDAY’S MEETING TO:
THE NEXT SATURDAY 1st AUGUST FROM 3.00pm to 5.00pm
I HOPE THAT THIS LATE CHANGE WILL NOT CAUSE ANY INCONVENIENCE TO MEMBERS AND WE WILL BE ABLE TO MEET ON THIS NEW DATE WHEN THE FORECAST IS FOR MUCH BETTER WEATHER. (Please see 12th July Newsletter for pub details).
JULY 2020 NEWSLETTER
THIRTYSECOND MEET-UP SATURDAY 25th JULY 2020 3.00pm to 5.00pm
The last club meeting was on the 29th February 2020 at The Duke of York pub/restaurant with a newsletter sent out on 20th March. By that time, we were in the grip of Covid 19 with many uncertainties over when we would be able to meet up again and which, if any, of the events on the 2020 Calendar, would actually take place.
Some good news is that Wally and Julie did open the Crooked Billet pub in Colney Heath on 4th July, as planned. They have in place several procedures to minimise any transmission of the virus, including a one-way system through the pub, starting with entry via the door near to the High Street then exiting by the door leading to the car park. Perspex screens are in place at the bar with a separate serving space for the ordered drinks. Currently, they are not serving food, but Julie updates the news items on the website: www.thecrookedbilletpub.com and they hope to offer meals as soon as possible. The garden has reminder notices about social distancing clearly displayed. Members will be required to sign a register at the bar leaving a contact number should any other customer later show systems of the virus. Julie will be pleased to answer any questions by phone at the number below or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOWEVER, AT PRESENT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GATHER IN A SPECIFIC GROUP OF MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT HOUSEHOLDS. WE MUST MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING WITHIN THAT GROUP.
WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET IN THE CAR PARK AND ENSURE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE IN ANY ONE CLUSTER ADMIRING A PARTICULAR CAR. THIS SEEMS TO FULFIL THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW. MEMBERS MAY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THAT VIEW AND DECIDE TO WAIT FOR LESS RESTRICTIVE RULES TO BE IN PLACE BEFORE COMING TO A MEETING THIS YEAR.
THE MEETING WILL BE AT THE PUB ON SATURDAY 25th JULY FROM 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
FOR ANY NEW MEMBERS, THE ADDRESS OF THE PUB IS: 88 HIGH STREET, COLNEY HEATH, AL4 0NP Tel: 01727 822 128. If you travel to Colney Heath from J22 of the M25, follow the signs to Colney
Heath on the 2 roundabouts adjacent to the motorway. After about 2 miles along Coursers Road you will arrive at a roundabout in Colney Heath. Turn left along the High Street, past The Cock Pub on the right and continue on for about one third of a mile until The Crooked Billet Pub is reached on the right. The car park entrance is on the far side of the building.
BARNET CLASSIC CAR SHOW SUNDAY 20th SEPTEMBER 2020 10.30am to 2.00pm
Chris and Diane Nightingale had to postpone our Classic Car Show which was scheduled for the 17th May this year to the new date of:
SUNDAY 20th SEPTEMBER FROM 10.30 am to 2.00pm.
This is approximately 10 weeks away and we hope that the event will be possible without any significant restrictions. As in previous years, we will meet in the car park in Barnet Playing Fields off Barnet Lane at 10.30am then drive up Barnet Hill, along the High Street and into the Spires top-floor car park, to be in place by 11.00am, leaving at 2.00pm. We hope to have some classic motorbikes on display this year. The Spires management are anxious for this to happen again following the undoubted success of last year’s parade and show. These brought a large number of people into the shopping area, in spite of the heavy lunch-time rain which meant that the cars were in the lower ground floor rather than the open top floor car park.
RSPCA ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE ACTIVITIES
Unfortunately, in spite of the considerable efforts of Howard Pryor and others involved with the Centre and the Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, it has not been possible to arrange any shows involving the Centre that would have brought in much-needed funding. An event similar to the ‘Fun Day’ of last year at the Centre requires a great deal of preparation and any form of social distancing would be almost impossible to fulfil. They did consider staging an Autojumble and display of vehicles from the Museum but the possibility of waterlogging in the fields of the Centre in the autumn made this too risky.
Howard has told us that the current plan for next year is:
The Museum will run the Enfield Pageant in late May in the Enfield Playing Fields as in previous years.
The RSPCA will put on the Fun Day in July and look forward to our support with a display of classic cars and motorbikes.
The Whitewebbs Museum is hoping to run a Town and Country Show in the Centre grounds in August. This show has been staged in Cuffley and Trent Park in past years and it is hoped that the organisers will be happy to hold the show at the Centre in 2021.
Howard has reminded me that while groups of up to 30 may meet at the Whitewebbs Museum, there must be no more than 6 in any one cluster and also each person must register their details with the Museum.
May I wish members good health at the present time and I look forward to meeting up again as soon as possible.
JUNE 2020 NEWSLETTER
Howard Pryor’s TR4A looking resplendent after its respray
I hope that you, your family and your friends are keeping well in these trying times.
I am very grateful to my next-door neighbour, Jean Wray, for a copy of the new item which Chris has put on the website. (This can be accessed by clicking: www.barnetclassiccar.club ). Jean’s husband, Ralph, owned a Model A Ford which was fitted with a left-hand drive. He very cleverly converted this to RHD which made driving this precious classic car along the roads here a lot more straightforward. Members will have seen Ralph more recently at the meetings with either his 1962 Ford Capri or his Willys replica Jeep.
Chris will be happy to receive any further contributions for the website. Please send them to: email@example.com
Julie, at the Crooked Billet Pub in Colney Heath, is hoping to re-open on Saturday 4th July. Needless to say, this is a very provisional date, but, if the new arrangements work out okay, then we could have our next meeting there on Saturday 25th July from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. We will have to wait until close to this date to confirm the meeting but it would be very therapeutic to put this date in our diaries now, albeit using a faint pencil.
Another light at the end of this dark tunnel is a plan that Howard Pryor and the RSPCA Animal Rescue Centre at Southridge are currently discussing. This is to hold a Classic Car Show in the grounds of the centre arranged by the Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, of which Howard is a member, later in the year. We would be allocated a specific area in the fields for our cars. The museum lost its primary income source when the Enfield Pageant of Motoring had to be cancelled this year. This show should provide some much-needed cash for both the museum and the centre. Unfortunately, the centre will not be able to repeat the previously successful ‘Fun Day’ this year in its familiar format. With Howard’s deft negotiating and organisational skills, what can possibly go wrong?
Howard has also suggested that we could have a club meeting at the Whitewebbs Museum later this year. This would make an excellent venue as it has a large collection of vintage trucks, fire engines and classic cars displayed over 4 floors, as well as a restaurant. I will attach a photo that Howard kindly sent to me of his TR4A shortly after being rolled out from the paint shop. We look forward to seeing a pristine TR4A arriving at a meeting at some time in the future.
The newsletter of 20th March has Sunday 20th September as the provisional date of our postponed Barnet Classic Car Show in the Spires Barnet top floor car park. Chris Nightingale negotiated the new date with the Spires Management. They appreciated the large numbers of local people who came into the shopping complex on that Sunday in September last year and will welcome us back this year. We must keep this date in our diaries and hope that it will be second-time lucky in 2020.
With very best wishes
GENERAL NEWSLETTER – 18th APRIL 2020
1965 MG-based Arkley SS
If you haven’t visited the website recently then a click on the link in the email message will take you to it. You will notice that in the ‘ABOUT’ section, Chris has included some information about the Arkley SS car. This car is shown in the left-hand logo at the top of the club notepaper which Chris designed. Googling ‘Arkley SS’ will bring up several sites which include photos and videos of this unusual and all-too-rare sports car.
Chris is very grateful to Howard Pryor and Rod Chilcot who sent in the two articles that currently appear in the ‘Members cars’ area of the website. Howard described one of his epic journeys in the open 1904 Cadillac from London to Brighton while Rod’s travels in his Rover P4 round Norway and the Lofoten Islands were more in the traditions of Scott and Shackleton than a pleasant fortnight driving round Southern England.
The trouble is, ‘How do you follow that?’ Well, my answer is ‘I can’t’. However, please don’t feel inhibited by these initial, heroic offerings. I must be careful here as I know of several members who have told me of their remarkable drives around Britain and abroad by car and motorbike.
Please don’t hesitate to send in a short article about the restoration of a classic car that you have owned or a holiday in an older car. Whatever the story, Chris will be very happy to receive it and the members will be delighted to read it and admire any accompanying photos.
Just send in the contributions to:
The photo is of Derrick Haggarty’s 1955 Ford Popular. It was taken by Andrew Hutchings at the second meeting of the club at The Crooked Billet on 27th September 2014.
Early Days of the Club
The above photo is of Derrick Heggerty’s 1955 Ford Popular. It was taken by Andrew Hutchings at the second meeting of the club at The Crooked Billet on 27th September 2014.
In an attempt to publicise the Barnet Market, Chris and Diane Nightingale decided to try to put on a classic car show on the market site in Spring 2014. Chris was, and still is, Chairman of the Friends of Barnet Market. The preparations for the show required detailed negotiations with Saunders Markets, the then managers of the site. On the 10th April 2014, Chris sent out an email to the Friends, as well as some established classic car clubs, to see if he could muster sufficient support for the project.
Happily, a good number of enthusiasts responded positively, so on Saturday31st May, the first Barnet Classic Car Show was held on the market site and the area around the bandstand. It was a great success with large numbers of local folk coming along to see the cars and chat to the owners. It was also very pleasant for the owners to talk to each other about their cars and classic cars in general. Chris and Derrick Heggerty voiced the thoughts of several participants during a conversation on the day when they said we should try to set up a local classic car club.
Chris and Diane were involved with the Friends and Derrick and James Beeton were in full-time work and so could not take on the role of organiser. Probably as a result of an involuntary twitch or sneeze, I found myself a few weeks later driving out to The Crooked Billet to see if Wally and Julie would allow us to have our first meeting at their country pub. It was duly arranged for the afternoon of Saturday 26th July 2014 from 4.00 to 7.00pm.
Fortunately, the 26th was a dry, warm day so at about 3.50pm that afternoon I was sitting in the pub garden by the entrance to the car park, reasonably hopeful that other classic cars would soon arrive. It was a great moment when, at about 4.05pm, Mick Dommett drove into the car park in his 1963 Morris Minor Traveller. Whenever I see Mick at a meeting, I always want to remind him that he was the first classic car owner to come along to a club meeting, a place in the history of the club that is his for ever.
(Photo courtesy Steven Hart)
Here is Mick going steadily along Barnet High Street in the Morris on his way to the Spires car park for last year’s classic car show.
It wasn’t long before other classic cars started to arrive, including Derrick in his Ford Popular who had driven back from Newcastle that day and Chris’s virtually unique New Era Mini Cooper. Mike Jordan came along in his charming 1932 MG J2. We felt confident enough after this initial gathering to arrange another one. Wally and Julie were happy to welcome us again on the 27th September and this, too, proved to be a very pleasant afternoon.
We then decided that it would be good to have one or two meetings at a pub closer to Barnet in the winter so that we could at least keep in touch with each other. The Duke of York on the Barnet Road, Potters Bar, fitted the bill perfectly. It has a large car park and a separate library which the then manager, Mat, allowed us to use free of charge. We are thankful that the 2 subsequent managers, John and Justin, have also kindly allowed us to use the library.
Impact of the Covid 19 restrictions on garages and bodyshops
Unfortunately, the severe, but understandable, curtailments on car journeys has resulted in a loss of work for some local garages. Members will recall that member Peter Wilson runs a specialist classic car repair and restoration business ‘Coolwater Classics’. This featured in the 6th October and 29th November 2019 newsletters which included photos of his Chevrolet that he describes as his ‘workhorse’. Peter told me that he has on-going work for a few weeks but, as with so many small businesses, the future is very uncertain.
Peter’s attractive website is well worth a visit, whatever our needs, at:
May I wish our members and their families continuing good health and may it not be too long before we can meet again.
6th APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
Staying in touch in the coming months
First and foremost, I hope that our members, their families and friends are all keeping well and that we will, indeed, meet again before too long.
Chris and Diane Nightingale have suggested that we could, in the meantime, invite members to send in features that may be included on our website. These could be an account of the history of our cars, such as have appeared in previous newsletters, some details of other shows that we have been to in past years or any similar item that could be of interest to the members. Any relevant photos are especially welcome.
I have access to a number of photographs that members have kindly sent to me in the past. Sometimes it has not been possible to put them in the newsletters but now there is every opportunity for them to be shown subsequently. All of Jayne Evan’s uniformly attractive and professional photographs should be seen by all the members. There are some of Steven Hart’s excellent photos of the cars going along Barnet High Street last September on their way to the Spires car park that have yet to appear in a newsletter.
PLEASE SEND ANY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE WEBSITE TO:
WHEN WILL WE MEET AGAIN?
Alas! This is an unanswerable question but let us hope that it will be at The Crooked Billet on a warm early autumn day at the very latest. Here is such a day, in fact 29th September 2018, with no social distancing and just the prospect of a refreshing drink from the bar of this ever-welcoming pub.` How we look forward to seeing Julie, Wally and the staff again and send them our best wishes at this wretched time for them and all similar pubs.
MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER
THIRTYFIRST MEET-UP DUKE OF YORK PUB/RESTAURANT 29th FEBRUARY 2020
The weather that Saturday morning was as changeable as only British weather can be. Clear blue skies alternated with violent hail storms and strong winds. However, the optimistic members who set out for the Duke of York were rewarded with an improved afternoon, as the photo shows. This is Tom’s 2004 3.6 litre Porsche with 3 older cars in the background. In fact, the Library was a tight squeeze as most members left their classic cars at home and came along in their day cars.
Here is another of Tom’s attractively-framed photos with Marty Collin’s 1962 MGB in the centre, Ralph Wray’s 1962 Ford Capri and Owen Jones’s 1968 Morris Minor alongside.
MICHAEL STRIDE 5th APRIL 1964 – 23rd FEBRUARY 2020
Members who are fortunate enough to have met Michael over the past years will be saddened to learn that he lost a long battle with cancer on the 23rd February this year. The photo perfectly captures Michael’s warmth and charm. It was good to chat with him for a while as life always seemed better afterwards.
While we remember him as the owner of a very quick Caterham 7 (below), most of his time and talents went into skateboarding. In 2003 he became Amateur World Tight Slalom Champion.
Our thoughts are with his mother, sister and family friends after their sad loss.
There is a photo of Michael’s Caterham in the ‘BCCC annual show’ in the new website.
BARNET CLASSIC CAR CLUB WEBSITE
Chris Nightingale has produced a wonderful website for the club. He has included a range of photos from our classic car shows and our meetings at the Crooked Billet and The Duke of York. Unfortunately, the final version of ‘Calendar for year’ will be very different from the original one. The link to the website is in the email that came with this newsletter.
PLANNED EVENTS FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2020
Club Meeting 18th April
Sadly, we will not be able to meet-up at the Crooked Billet Pub in Colney Heath on the 18th April. Julie, Wally and the staff have always made us so welcome. We hope that the government’s scheme to aid smaller businesses will see this charming country pub emerge in tact once the current social restrictions have been lifted.
Barnet Classic Car Show 17th May
Chris and Diane Nightingale have already spent some time planning this year’s show. We have all hoped for a rain-free day so that, this year, the dancing could be in the fresh air of the top floor of the Spires car park. Unfortunately, events have overtaken us. Chris and Diane are looking into the possibility of holding our show on Sunday 20nd September, so please pencil this date into the diaries.
Wanstead Church Open Day 13th June
While the Trooping the Colour ceremony has not yet been cancelled, Phil Ryan has explained that St Mary’s Church will, almost certainly, not be staging any celebrations on that day.
RSPCA Animal Rescue Centre Fun Day 5th July
The managers of the Animal Rescue Centre contacted Howard Pryor last week with the news that they have postponed the show planned for the 5th July this year.
We can only hope that it will be possible to have the Fun Day later this year as it is the primary fund-raising event for this wonderful charity. The 2 pigs in the photo were rescued from a farm where they had suffered serious neglect and were in poor shape. Here, in July 2018, they seemed to be blissfully happy as they kept cool in the water and mud on a hot, humid day.
IT IS CLEAR THAT WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MEET UP AGAIN FOR SOME TIME. I AM SURE THAT THE MEMORIES OF MANY PLEASANT GATHERINGS SINCE OUR FIRST MEETING IN THE CROOKED BILLET IN JULY 2014 WILL ENCOURAGE US TO MEET AGAIN AS SOON AS WE CAN.
Owen Jones 29 Sutton Crescent Barnet Herts EN5 2SW Tel: 020 8440 7550
Mob: 07 903 277 485 20th March 2020.