Skip to Store Area:

February Monthly Meet 2016

Nine people attended the February meeting for C South - a small, select group as there were several absences due to holidays and family commitments etc.  We met in Bournemouth and started in Prezzo restaurant at 12noon, which was then only a short walk to the Russell-Cotes museum, which has a wonderful position on the cliff top overlooking Bournemouth Bay.  Originally built by Sir Merton Russell-Cotes as a birthday present for his wife - some present indeed!  It was an interesting mixture of rooms with furniture as it would have been when the Russell-Cotes lived and entertained there, together with a substantial collection of art, sculptures and antiques.

Everyone agreed that it was a fascinating place and that there was a lot to see so that there was not really enough time in the couple of hours or so that we were there to do it full justice.  Some of us couldn't escape before visiting the cafe where they had some delicious pastries on offer, however expiring car park tickets finally won the day.

July Monthly Meet 2015

Summer and it’s time to get the barbecues out – and off into the forest we go. We decided that last year’s format was so good, it was worth a repeat so we decided on the same area of the New Forest for this year’s BBQ get together – and also as last year, we were blessed with good weather. Some were complaining early on that they were cold as the sun had its hat on, however once that was despatched, people were much happier!!

It was a ‘bring your own’ affair – everything from portable BBQs to food, chairs, plates etc and the 16 assembled people managed to cook all the food on 4 BBQs! Peter Russell (our newest member with wife Sue) had us all intrigued with his latest game - we invented a new sport which may be in the 2020 Olympics. You need a red hot BBQ , a pork sausage and a slope. Your challenge is to turn the sausage and then stop it rolling off! That has to be a ‘hot contender’ as a new event!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Earlier in the week, I had a phone call from a gentleman asking about the event as he had just discovered the Club’s website and could he come along, so he was duly emailed with all the details. He revealed during the conversation that he has 5 Mk1 MR2s, only one of which is in bits!! He duly turned up – with no sign of food etc so I wondered what was going on here. I left him chatting to some of the others and then he came to say goodbye – apparently, he had only come to check us out, decided we were ‘OK’ and that he would be in touch as he wanted to join, since when I have heard nothing!! Ah well, that’s folks for you.

Some time later, after all food & drink was consumed, the battle of the boules had been won by Sylvia and Bridget and others had been off through the forest on foot, I was told that there was a couple in a roadster eating ice creams, so off I trot to have a chat. They were from Guildford and just visiting for the day, so I told them about the Club and they seemed really interested so I gave them a flyer with the Club’s website and telephone number so they could join. So it was a good place for some Club promotion as well as our members having a relaxed and fun day out.

                    

April Monthly Meet 2015

Our April meeting took placed on the second Sunday in order to miss the Easter crowds etc and we were blessed with a beautiful, bright sunny morning which was great for the drive - many of us seemed to have an average journey of about 1 ½ hours to get to the first venue which was the Atwell-Wilson motor Museum, near Calne in Wilts. Bill had suggested that the cars would be ones familiar to our parents & grandparents – well, yes some indeed, however some were rather more modern that that! Minis etc that some of us learnt to drive on or were our first cars, or a Robin Reliant that Sue Friend owned because she could drive it on her motor bike licence!! Now that was a revelation. Some American beauties – a Cadillac, Buick, Lincoln all of them putting a nice Rolls Royce to shame because they were so long and wide. They drew some comments from the ladies “imagine trying to park that in Sainsbury’s car park”!! Bill who had organised this venue, together with the drive and the pub and ably assisted by wife, Jessica, are to be congratulated on their initiative to provide people with teas or coffees with some chunky bites of sweetness prior to going into the museum.

From there, we drove in convoy to be treated to some lovely countryside views, along with the some of the Wiltshire White Horses cut out of the hillsides. Bill provided us with some amusing stories relating to places that we drove through, probably the most interesting was that relating to a place called Cherhill, a village made infamous by a notorious group of highwaymen operating in the 18th Century and noted for their robbery technique. This was to attack carriages of rich Londoners while completely naked!! For some reason, John Friend was of the opinion that would particularly appeal to me!! What are you trying to say about me, John?                  

The drive took us through a couple of pretty villages before we reached our final destination of the Millstream pub in Marden, where we had assembled for one of our meetings last year and were much impressed by the quality of the food and the excellent service. We were not disappointed on our return visit this time. Nineteen of us sat down to a scrumptious variety of starters, mains and desserts, all of which were ample portions indeed!! It was good to welcome 3/4s of the Price family from Worcester – John, Cynthia and daughter, Rachel together with husband Andy, who join our meetings from time to time when we are doing something interesting.

March Monthly Meet 2015

Well our March meeting found us at a new venue sniffed out by the ever keen gastronomers, the Pags which revelled in the tile of The Cricketers Inn at Curdridge. Some would say this was the back of beyond, depending on your view and distance travelled! We were due to be 15 people, however by 1 o’clock we were still only 11 and despite a call to the Friends which was not answered, we were left wondering what had happened to them and the Goodfields. However all was not lost – John & Sue got caught up in chaotic traffic due to road works, the perennial problem of our vastly overused road network, so had to take a detour which took rather longer than anticipated – and they arrived shortly after my phone call. The Goodfields were also on their way, however they were rather less lucky as they had to contend with a flat tyre and had to wait for the AA assistance to get them back on the road, so they also eventually arrived.

We had a designated area in the pub which was at one end and slightly raised and which I had hoped would be for our exclusive use. However being a Sunday, they were busy and so we had other tables that were occupied, one by a couple of males who had a dog that wore a sparkling collar – we joked that they were diamonds!! There was another table with two couples and a child, who had clearly decided that it was going to demand its parents’ attention come what may – and that involved constant crying apart from the odd occasions when the parents decided they should do something such as cuddling it to comfort their offspring!! To say that it became rather tedious is something of an understatement in some of our group’s view and was probably the reason why some left rather earlier than usual.

Apart from that, the food was good, the company & conversation up to their usual standards and no doubt I will get more feedback at our April meeting. We are not due for a pub meet for some time yet so we’ll see how things pan out.

February Monthly Meet 2015

Bridget Skill had volunteered to organise this event and I discovered during one of our conversations that her day job is all about mixing flavourings for all sorts of different food and drink products such as crisps, Coca Cola and many others. So she had a particular interest in going to the Bombay Sapphire distillery to learn more about the different ingredients they use. Regrettably, she and Steve were unable to come on the day as they had to attend a funeral in Warrington on the Monday so travelled on the Sunday.

Bridget had also done all the negotiation with the pub – the Watership Down Inn and had also had a meal there to make sure it was up to our exacting standards!! As agreed, I got all the food orders in and phoned the group order through and arranged that we would arrive between 12 & 12.30 and would like the meal to be served at 12.30. So far, so good!! Having arrived at the pub in plenty of time – I sit in the car and wait for others to arrive – there were 21 of us in total (best turnout for a normal monthly meeting for ages – we did have some family visitors and John & Cynthia from Worcester with their daughter – also a Club member!) So as we got ourselves organised, the waitresses came out with menus!! I explained that I had pre-ordered all our food – no record of this with anyone at the pub on the Sunday!! Oh dear, not such a good start!! So they gave out the menus and people ordered from there and I made the point that we needed to be away by 2.45. They did very well, the service was good and so was the food, so it all ended very well.

Then on to the Bombay Sapphire distillery. Everyone agreed that it was really interesting and very well done. We ended up going round to different parts in smaller groups, however a lot of us ended up in the bar for the cocktail / soft drink at the end. Some of us went on to buy some goodies, including glasses, as in the drinking type!! The guide we had was very enthusiastic about all of it, which made it all the more interesting. The opportunity to go round and smell the ‘botanicals’ they add to give the gin the flavour was very interesting and they used that at the end to decide which cocktail would best suit your palate. So the whole experience was very good. Several of us left at about 5.30pm so that gives you an idea of how long many of us stayed there.

Many thanks Bridget for all your effort – it was a really good meeting – and now we know what it is that draws Central Southerners out to a meeting…..!

January Monthly Meet 2015

Unfortunately, I was not well on the first Sunday in January – turned out I had bronchitis – that was a bit of a shock!! Anyway, a quick phone call to the Pagliaros saved the day as they were able to stand in for me and host the meeting. This consisted of a nice lunch in pleasant surroundings at the Chestnut Horse in Easton, nr Winchester which was enjoyed by ten members of Central South. At one point, there was one spot of bother when John Friend had a bitch under the table. Just as people were getting excited, it was discovered that all was well when it turned out to be the canine variety!

Details of the February meeting at the Bombay gin distillery were greeted with a 100% commitment with all present paying a deposit. Now we know what the secret drink is…..

November Monthly Meet 2014

A return visit to the Malet Arms for this month’s event and the time of year for making plans for 2015. We had a good turnout with 18 people which was good for ideas for next year. As there were other tables in the same section of the pub and I was told they were booked for 1 o’clock, we decided we would do the planning before lunch, which proved to be an excellent move as people were keen to be done with that part of the meeting so they could then order lunch!! Never let it be said that Central South allows much, if anything to get in the way of foooood!! One group of four arrived just as were wrapping things up and were taking a great interest in what we were going to be doing during 2015.

It was nice to see Gill Goodall as she so often has family commitments with a grandson heavily into Judo which takes him to various events around the country. She made an interesting comment about a badge she has on the windscreen of her car, which she feels acts as a deterrent – and this states that she is a member of a particular Judo club – maybe more of us ladies should adopt that as a way of putting out the message that we are not to be messed with!! It is unlikely that you would be called upon to prove your skills as I believe most people would fight shy of even thinking about any kind of misdemeanour towards you.

It was also time to get people to commit to our Christmas lunch, which takes place on December 7th at the Manor at Sway, a hotel near Lymington. To date, we have 19 people who have paid either a deposit or the full amount so final plans are being made with the hotel.

Here’s to a frivolous and festive Christmas – fun filled and frenetic for some, whilst others will enjoy some well-earned rest.

July Monthly Meet 2014

I had high hopes for a better turnout this month, tempered by the fact that there were still couples in France on the Chicken Run and some who had only just returned. The choice of a new pub venue I anticipated would pique some people’s interest – and hopes and curiosity seemed to win the day! There were nine of us assembled at the Malet Arms in Newton Tony, a few miles north of Salisbury, which is a good old fashioned pub located in a small village, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The fact that every table in the pub sported a ‘Reserved’ sign on it meant it was going to be busy, although when we arrived pretty much spot on 12 noon, there were only about half a dozen other people present as well. It also meant we could all park together in the car park – noses to the front, if you please!

This new venue was discovered as a result of a lunch meeting between Jessica Ritson and myself in May, and with one eye on an opportunity to find somewhere new for our meetings, it seemed to fit the bill. Enquiries made at the time confirmed that they could allocate a table for up to 15 people for us – so decision made. The feedback on the day was positive as the food was good, the service could not be faulted and the pub has some quirky features, not least of which is the random selection of art and pictures adorning the walls, many of which are open to interpretation!

whilst this may not become our home base meeting pub, it is certainly one to return to from time to time. Those of you who were away or unable to join us, you’ll probably have to wait awhile before having the opportunity to taste the delights of our next visit to the Malet Arms.

May Monthly Meet 2014

The weather forecast for the day was pretty dire as heavy rain was the forecasted order of the day, so the day dawned cloudy, yet dry which was encouraging. Sixteen MR2 enthusiasts including some visitors duly assembled in the car park in Amesbury as decided by one, Bill Ritson. At the appointed hour, our convoy of cars – mainly MR2s departed in convoy bound for an interesting drive across part of Salisbury Plain. Bill had primed me that we were going to drive on some roads used by the army for their practice manoeuvres and assured me that was quite legal. Being a Sunday, my thoughts were that we would be quite safe as they would be empty. Having travelled a few miles in a northerly direction, we then turned off onto said MOD roads and within seconds, were confronted by not one, but two tanks!! From the low level of an MR2, they are certainly quite impressive. My sister said she could see the headlines in a daily newspaper “Convoy of MR2s obliterated by army practices on Salisbury Plain!” As you will gather, we did live to tell the tale. It was worthy of note that Barrie & Angela drove back from Kent on the morning having attended the wedding of club member Pat to Jackie the day before, having left at 8.30am to be with us.

So we wove our way across the Plain in misty but dry weather – such a shame as on a lovely sunny day, some of the views would have been superb and after our 45 minute drive, we arrived at the Watermill pub in Marden, a tiny village south east of Devizes. Roger Ames and his friend from army days, Jo, were awaiting our arrival and on the dot on 12 noon, we were allowed access to the pub.

Well anyone who missed the meal here was most certainly deprived – John Friend please note!! The portions were amazingly generous to say the least, with plenty of vegetables and potatoes served separately – and we were invited to ask for more if we needed them! Yours truly chose the fish pie, which quickly became a firm favourite – and the size of the helping together with the amount of fish was certainly one of the winners of the day!! All in all, another good day was had by all, with all the usual chat & hilarity being the order of the day.

Southern Classics Car Show April 2014

I left home in cloudy weather to join the other cars from Central South and South East in the car park of the local Tesco’s in Chichester – a very convenient place for us all to meet as the A27 bypass round Chichester is a bit like roundabout city!! By the time I arrived there, the sun was out and hardly a cloud in the sky – the omens were good….This was our first car show of the season and in fact the first one for a number of years! Organised by Tony & Dora who had also invited Richard Pells and some of the South East lot, we managed to parade six cars out of the original ten! Others fell by the wayside due to illness of bodies and cars and excuses not to be mentioned!

On entering the College car park, we were directed to our space – all six cars – to an area on the far side in front of a grassy bank with trees and there were plenty of spaces around the car park – clearly not everyone turned up before the official start of 10am!! This became more obvious as the day wore on and machines of all shapes, sizes, makes and paint jobs appeared and disappeared from their plots.

One of our six had his car fitted with a ‘ferrari look alike’ body kit which was quite impressive and drew the attention of a lot of people. Ace car cleaning specialist, Richard Pells spent at least two hours cleaning and polishing his glorious Caribbean Blue MR2 until it could gleam no brighter!! Tony did a few bits to mine as despite taking it to the car wash and getting them to valet inside, they had missed some bits right at the bottom so he did a quick clean and polish job on those areas.

The day was spent chatting for some, whilst others decided to have a wander round to look at the exhibits, some of which were quite outrageous with amazing paint jobs – one looked as if it had been done by hand with a paint brush in a kind of metallic gold! Opposite our stand, we had an old Ford Granada estate with the reg no C4 HRH, the significance of which became obvious later – it had been used by the Queen when she was at Balmoral for driving round the estate!!

At some stage later in the day, the judges came round to look at all the cars and I noticed the guy was looking all round mine – back, front, sides etc and I had prepared an information sheet to give a brief history of the car as we had owned it from new. Needless to say, when he got to Richard’s car, there was a lot of interest as Richard had the engine cover up so they could see how clean all of that was (Richard was Pride of Ownership winner at the Club’s AGM last year). Richard was clearly after some sort of recognition again at this show so he was keeping tabs on the judges and later in the afternoon, was under the impression that there might be some kind of prize for the MR2s.

So when the time came for the announcements, most of us decided that we would wander across to the area where this was to take place. There was the usual preamble about it being a good day etc and then the first award was for ‘best Club’ – winners - the MR2 Drivers’ Club – so as reg Co-ord, I collected the plaque acknowledging that. Other awards were announced and eventually we got to the Pride of Ownership award – winner – Richard Pells of the MR2 Drivers’ Club! Well this was quite amazing and made all the efforts worthwhile and a gratifying day out for our 6 cars on what became a beautiful, sunny warm day. So well done to Richard for all his hard work being rewarded, thank you to Tony & Dora for making it happen and to the rest of the South East group for making the effort to be with us on the day!

April Monthly Meet 2014

The weather forecast for the day was pretty dire as heavy rain was the forecasted order of the day, so the day dawned cloudy, yet dry which was encouraging. Sixteen MR2 enthusiasts including some visitors duly assembled in the car park in Amesbury as decided by one, Bill Ritson. At the appointed hour, our convoy of cars – mainly MR2s departed in convoy bound for an interesting drive across part of Salisbury Plain. Bill had primed me that we were going to drive on some roads used by the army for their practice manoeuvres and assured me that was quite legal. Being a Sunday, my thoughts were that we would be quite safe as they would be empty. Having travelled a few miles in a northerly direction, we then turned off onto said MOD roads and within seconds, were confronted by not one, but two tanks!! From the low level of an MR2, they are certainly quite impressive. My sister said she could see the headlines in a daily newspaper “Convoy of MR2s obliterated by army practices on Salisbury Plain!” As you will gather, we did live to tell the tale. It was worthy of note that Barrie & Angela drove back from Kent on the morning having attended the wedding of club member Pat to Jackie the day before, having left at 8.30am to be with us.

So we wove our way across the Plain in misty but dry weather – such a shame as on a lovely sunny day, some of the views would have been superb and after our 45 minute drive, we arrived at the Watermill pub in Marden, a tiny village south east of Devizes. Roger Ames and his friend from army days, Jo, were awaiting our arrival and on the dot on 12 noon, we were allowed access to the pub.

Well anyone who missed the meal here was most certainly deprived – John Friend please note!! The portions were amazingly generous to say the least, with plenty of vegetables and potatoes served separately – and we were invited to ask for more if we needed them! Yours truly chose the fish pie, which quickly became a firm favourite – and the size of the helping together with the amount of fish was certainly one of the winners of the day!!

All in all, another good day was had by all, with all the usual chat & hilarity being the order of the day.

March Monthly Meet 2014

The last time we visited the wild life park was in 2004. It was most memorable for the continuous rain which lasted all day, even so we still had 31 members turn up who, by the end of the visit, were all soaked, as well as most of the animals. The weather for this visit was much better with heavy rain forecast but only in the afternoon.

With this in mind 6 stalwarts met in the park before lunch, including long time absentees Howie and Liz. We started off at the Grey Wolf enclosure; they were most impressive especially the dark grey males but some of the females were scrapping amongst themselves, the keeper said it was something to do with heat but I didn't think it was that warm! The wallabies looked really miserable as though they were dreaming of Australia and a few tinnys. We reached the Lynx enclosure at feeding time and it took the keeper some time to encourage them to appear. Apparently a lynx can spot a mouse at 75 yds so we all kept very still, knowing it was feeding time. A visitor next to me had a camera with a 2 foot telephoto lens which made me feel very inadequate as mine was only 2 inches, nevertheless, I still managed to get a good shot when the big pussy cat put in a fleeting visit.

By this time, the rain had started so we headed for the cafe and feeding time. Three more members had by then arrived, Tony and Dora to solve the riddle of the phantom motor show and John Friend to have lunch while wife Sue was at home preparing a second one to keep his legendary appetite satisfied!

After lunch having put the world to rights and with the rain persisting, most decided to call it a day however, two of us had unfinished business with the jungle. It was after entering the deer enclosure that the thief struck. With Maggie’s attention diverted for a millisecond, she had her pocket picked, but having given the authorities a brief description, four foot tall, wearing a grey coat and with big brown eyes, the thief was soon apprehended and her soggy tissue was returned.

Passing the children’s adventure playground, it was suggested I might like to try the zip wire! 0 to 100 mph in 4 seconds - fantastic, or was it 100 yds at 4 mph !

Overall a very enjoyable day with a large range of critters from the Harvest Mouse at 1 inch long to the Bison that was much, much bigger, so with the rain lashing down we finally made our escape.

February Monthly Meet 2014

It was the MR12 at this month’s MR2 Central South meeting! What? I hear you say “MR12” – what’s that all about. Well we visited the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard – and there were twelve of us! Once again, we welcomed Lynne & Tony Rogers from Reading as part of our gathering. We assembled at Costa Coffee by the main gate for leisurely refreshments, followed by loo visits & lunch. Off then to the main attraction – The Mary Rose museum, passing HMSs Warrior and Victory on our way there.

This new facility offers so much for visitors to see – they claim there are 19,000 artefacts on display from the ship to illustrate life on board King Henry VIII’s flagship, apart from videos and holograms to augment that. The ship’s hull (partial) is now in the process of being dried out in a controlled temperature and humidity atmosphere and by 2017 should be completed. The walls now creating that controlled space will then come down and visitors will then be able to see an uninterrupted view of the partial hull. So our MR12 spent a good two hours going round all three floors, taking in all kinds of information. When finished, we emerged into the inevitable gift shop to be met by this amazing bright light in the sky! The sun was pouring into the shop from a cloudless blue sky!! A great day out followed by tea, scones and cakes at Chateau Pagliaro. Many thanks to the two of you for your hospitality to finish off a very interesting day.

January Monthly Meet 2014

Fifteen enthusiasts were up for the usual repartee and discussions at our Central South meeting, although the unusual part of the January meeting was planning our events calendar, normally done in November. This was moved to January this year as a result of our Southern Region skittles challenge, involving all three southern regions of MR2DC.

It seemed very strange doing it early in the New Year and it certainly puts pressure on volunteers to get the first two month’s events organised, whereas this can normally be done at a rather more leisurely pace, with the Christmas lunch and a January pub meet giving some useful breathing space before the first main event in February.

Tony & Dora had been contacted by a potential new member, John Blakeley and his wife, Marilyn and they graced us with their presence and by the end of the meeting had agreed to join – and not only that, had been allocated the February event to organise!! I think John may have put his hand up to ask a question about an event, however I had just asked for a volunteer to organise our trip to the ultra-modern Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth, so when I saw his hand go up, that was it, a new member volunteering to organise the first main event of the year!! He was given some pointers on what to find out about as we visited the Historic Dockyard some years ago, when the Mary Rose was still in her temporary home with water being constantly washed over the remains. Now the museum is state of the art with holographic images showing such things as the boat’s dog to give a much greater feeling of what life on board would have been like! John is certainly a very enthusiastic person and said they had thoroughly enjoyed the meeting, so watch this space as we learn more about John & Marilyn.

For further information please don't hesitate to Contact Us