1st & 2nd July 2023 – MMOC National Rally, Chateau Impney

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This year the MMOC National Rally was held at Chateau Impney near Droitwich Spa for the first time. The Chateau is like a fairy tale castle and was a great backdrop to the rally. A group of Branch members stayed at nearby Bromsgrove and made a weekend of the event and were again joined by Cambridge Branch members Sue and Frank Hancocks.

This year the Morris Minor celebrates is 75th year, the Travellers and Commercials celebrate 70 years while it was also 75 years of the Morris Six and Morris Oxford. There were displays of all these marques on the field. We had a stand on Branch Avenue and this years theme was Car-toons and this year we took part in the themed Branch stands. John Hancock and Chris Mitchell had had their heads together and made up signs for the Branch tent to look like Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s garage. We looked very good!

Chris’s pick-up was in the tent, while Carolyn’s van and Stephen Winkworth’s Traveller were on display around the tent. We had our themed squares to sell again and this time they were all cartoons from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Who knew there were so many cartoons made around that time! We also had some cakes to give away and regalia to sell.

We all took a turn with looking around the site with some of us looking at the Commercial Register display in the ring, or photographing Morris Minors or looking around the autojumble stalls, headed up by Branch member Bryan Gostling. Tricia had her photo taken in Miranda the Marie Curie car and on the Sunday Miranda was used in the blindfold challenge. There was a timeline of various makes of Morris outside Chateau Impney including the first and last Minors.

Then Carolyn and Chris dressed up as Minnie and Mickey Mouse! There were lots of photo opportunities during the weekend especially when they went for a walk around the timeline cars outside the Chateau, as it was a while before they could get back to the stand. There were around eight Branch’s that took part in the themed section and across from us was South Cheshire Branch who had dressed up and their cars as well, including Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Fireman Sam.

We met up with friends from the West Norfolk and Essex Branch’s and we also had a visit to our stand by Branch member Ton Kolvoort who was staying with the Dutch Contingency. Another member, Amanda Hazlett was on the Custom and Modified stand next to us, along with Frank and Sue. Frank did well as he was awarded a prize for the best Modified car and best paint work. So well done.

Carolyn and John had a fruit cake make with 75th anniversary on and it was cut by MMOC Chairman Andrew Stone. At the end of the weekend we did well as we came second in the themed section of Branch Avenue, one point behind South Cheshire. The winner of the squares was Stephen Crouch from East Sussex and he won £20. £80 was sent to Marie Curie. All in all a good weekend for us all.

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