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No Mow May - Get Out in Your Moggie


Had an interesting exchange whilst standing next to Pete J in the gent’s loo at Exbury Club during Drive It Day.  I asked how the Austin A30 had coped with the one hour journey from Stubbington.

Pete observed that his driver, Mandy, had little trouble, since she is an accomplished double declutch-er with a pretty heavy right foot.  Although the A30 is fitted with a crash gearbox he did express mild disquiet about how enthusiastically his driver subscribed to the concept. 

Mary M, who had been acting as “convoy monitor” in the lead vehicle, reported the A30 starting off from Stubbington second from last vehicle.  After the inevitable reshuffle at the toll gates at the Itchen bridge, the A30 was last car, which made it easy to identify the end of the convoy of 7 cars.  We had pulled into a lay-by to re-establish the convoy and on starting off again, the A30 somehow wound up in the middle, which Mary; easing a stiff neck, confessed to be both confusing and admirable.  Mandy was clearly enjoying herself, but seemed to consider the pace to be somewhat pedestrian and was making her way steadily through the field.  We need to be circumspect about inviting her to lead a road run in the future; since we may, inadvertently, create a challenge for ourselves trying to keep up.


There was a big turnout of over 30 members.  At last, we had more Moggies in the car park - 4 saloons, a convertible and a Traveller.

Traditionally, Dave E gave a presentation at the April Club Night about mechanical awareness.  The presentation focussed on essential checks and routine maintenance prior to the spring driving season. 

The Bring & Buy nights of the past were not so commercially successful that people were able to retire on the proceeds – but were always very popular.  We tried to combine the two.

Some maintenance questions were asked of our four “surgeons” and some members managed to sell some items.  Under instruction from his wife and daughters, Gordon H turned up with big plans to sell his entire BSF and BSW spanner collection.  He went home with his entire spanner collection – less one.  At least he was able to report positive progress to his wife and the direction of travel is promising!  

National Drive It Day – Exbury Club - Pride & Joy Vehicle Meet - 21 April 2024

Artur N had attended several Pride & Joy Vehicle Meets in the past and considered that the Exbury Club meet would be suitable as our designated destination for Drive It Day.   There were probably somewhere between 200 – 250 classic cars, scooters, motorbikes and lorries at the event.  A good humoured, festive atmosphere was aided by sunny, cool weather. 

It is unusual for Pride & Joy to agree to a single marque gathering in one place, but Artur used his influence and set up an area for HAMMOC.  That area eventually hosted 21 Morris Minors and 2 Austin A30s.  We were joined by visiting Morris owners who relished the opportunity to display their cars with us.  Club members extended their traditional friendly support to all and we had some very positive feedback from visitors.

Andrew Searle, who owns Cinnabar Studios, turned up with his cameras and took many professional quality photos of the cars and their details, such as number plates, clocks and car names. A gallery of those photos was distributed to attending members. The composition and crispness was so clear that a number of orders have been placed with Cinnabar Studios.

Some great pictures and videos were posted on our Facebook page.

Julie and Chris M, who own the oldest Moggie in the Club – January 1953, thought they may be in the wrong place when they arrived, since there was no sign of Artur, his son and the traffic cones.  They all turned up moments later. Tania and Svetlana, who arrived at a more sensible time in mid morning found it difficult to believe that anyone could be more keen than Artur.

Car Tax Changes

I expect we have all seen the news about the large Car Tax increases in charges that are about to come in.

There is a petition now online, which if it receives 100,000 signatures it will be debated in the House of Commons. The petition is a call for cars aged between 20 and 40 years old to have a reduced rate of tax to pay. Currently, a car first registered on or before 7th January 1984 becomes tax exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) on 1st April 2024, provided they are not used commercially.  But any car first registered after 8th January 1984 will have to wait until 1st April 2025 (some drivers may also have exemptions because of disability).

Unless a vehicle is declared SORN all cars registered after 7th Jan 1984 must pay Car tax, (Vehicle Excise Duty) £300-£400 for some, for going to a few shows.

Claire Knight’s petition can be found at

Changes Ahead for Classic Car Owners in New Government Consultation

The British Government has just unveiled plans aimed at safeguarding the future of heritage vehicles and securing thousands of jobs within the classic car industry. This move comes as part of a consultation seeking input from the classic car community on how best to future-proof this cherished aspect of automotive culture.

With the classic car sector contributing £18 billion to the UK economy, the Government is eager to bolster this cornerstone of British heritage and ensure its longevity for generations to come. At the heart of the consultation lies a commitment to modernise regulations governing classic cars, making them more adaptable to contemporary standards while preserving their intrinsic value.

For decades, classic car policies have remained relatively stagnant, failing to accommodate advancements such as the integration of modern technology, including electric engines. This consultation aims to rectify this by exploring avenues to enhance vehicle records, ensuring that rebuilt classics meet safety standards and providing transparency to prospective buyers regarding any modifications.

Central to the discussion is the consideration of implementing new registration numbers, potentially introducing dedicated identifiers like “Q plates” for extensively modified vehicles. This proposal reflects a proactive approach to adapting registration processes to accommodate the diverse needs of classic car owners.

Julie Lennard, Chief Executive Officer at the DVLA, underscores the importance of keeping pace with technological advancements in the classic car realm. By soliciting input from enthusiasts and industry stakeholders, the DVLA aims to streamline policies and registration processes, making them more accessible and user-friendly. With an estimated 1.1 million vehicles falling under the historic vehicle tax class, the significance of this consultation cannot be overstated. Classic car owners and enthusiasts alike are encouraged to participate in shaping the future of the industry by providing feedback during the eight-week consultation period, which runs until July 4, 2024. Following the consultation, the Government is poised to enact responsive measures to address the concerns and aspirations of the classic car community.

Word Challenge for May

Hidden in each of these sentences is a make of car. Can you find them?

·       Please check that you delete any spam or risk your emails being hacked.

·       The boy had been so ill with flu he had been in bed for days.

·       The new café sold a wide range of food for lunch including paninis, sandwiches and rolls.

·       Unfortunately, we have all seen how online commerce destroys our local high streets.

·       A lad’s night out on a pub crawl with his mates lacks the decorum of a lady’s afternoon tea.

·       It can be exhausting when all the grandchildren descend on you for Easter.

·       What are we going to have for dinner this evening?

·       The house at number 19 went on the market last week for a very good price.

·       Much to his disgust, our dog, Buddy, has to frequently have a bath on days like these.

·       The Italian maFIA Tried hard to cover up hundreds of crimes they’d committed with limited success.

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