Classics World


- Sandy Hamilton

I was delighted to read the article about Gwendoline, the 1971 Morris Minor Traveller, in the Spring issue. The registrati­on WTA 730K seemed familiar, but it was only when I read the paragraph about its participat­ion in the 2003 London Lord Mayor’s Show that my memory returned as this entry was organised by my wife Rosie (then MMOC PR Officer) and myself. This was the fifth of nine that we organised between 1998 and 2008, and 2003 included a celebratio­n of the 50th anniversar­y of the Minor Traveller. Of the 20 Minors in the procession, nine were Travellers and many were decorated in various themes. The 20 owners had travelled from the Home Counties, East Midlands, Bath, Cardiff and Isle of Wight, with many other MMOC members walking the route through the City of London.

I confess to being the 'guy leading us down there' on the M11 in my Carlton estate loaded up with programmes, decoration­s and regalia, but I kept to a maximum of 50mph, a speed that any well-maintained Minor (as these were) could happily maintain! Rosie and another Minor enthusiast followed at the end in another modern vehicle, acting as ‘sweeper’ in case of any problems.

We reached the City of London and our allotted space near St Pauls via East London and the Mile End Road, entering the closed-off City from The Embankment. Because of the requiremen­t to be in place at St Martin’s-Le-Grand by 08.30, our hotel in Harlow Mill served us a full breakfast one hour before the usual Saturday time.

Hazel Sheldrake described her experience of the Show and this accords with our own over the earlier and subsequent years. Indeed, in our final event in 2008 to mark 60 years since the introducti­on of the Morris Minor I was interviewe­d by Clare Balding while walking beside a 1949 Lowlight version with a South African flag over the roof that had driven in company with two other early 1950s Minors to the UK from Cape Town to attend a Morris Minor Owners Club National Rally.

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