20th April 1980 – Minor Goose Chase

If I begin with a nursery rhyme, nobody who attended this shameless frolic will be surprised, so with reference to the celebrated ‘Goosey, Goosey Gander’, “whither shall we wander?” was one of the burning issues of the day.

We actually called it a ‘Scattering Event’, which apparently differs from a Treasure Hunt in that you are allowed to pick the clues you want to follow up, and thus are presented with a glorious opportunity to meander round the countryside admiring the vegetation.

Some seventy cars (eventually) gathered next to Norwich City Hall, moved visibly by gale-force winds, and deluged by a post-Noacian downpour. (N.B. How do you spell ‘Noacian’?)

Two gallant cameramen from Anglia T.V. braved the elements to record what they could see of us. Peter Gamble did his usual excellent interview, smirking gently by the side of his immaculate MM.

I don’t know, off-hand, how many species there are of ducks in the world, but from the amount of water around, they could all have comfortably paddled down Bethel Street and preened themselves in the pond of the car park: not for nothing did we call our daughter ‘Jemima’.

By mid-day, however, the sky cleared miraculously, and those residents of Norfolk who emerged from their homes were visibly awed by the sight of enormous numbers of Morris Minors flashing about the countryside doing peculiar things. I acted as a rogue car, armed with the ‘Golden Book of Nursery Rhymes’ (you don’t believe me do you?), descending upon the unwary with mind-wrenching questions like ‘How many daises are sold for a pin?’ and ‘Who killed Cock-Robin?’ – I got funny answers to that, especially from Mr. Phoenix, who rose from the ashes with some legendary answers.

Peter Gamble won the MM section of the Treasure Hunt. Mr. Phoenix’s mythology was too much for the other Series II’s. The Minor 1000 section was won by the largest family ever perceived to get into a saloon all at once; they also knew every nursery rhyme in the book, except the one about the daisies! Erica Parker paddled off with the Concours, nobly judged by Peter Gamble. A special quack to Mr. Bob Finch, whose car was in dry dock, but who still turned up to help with the marshalling.

The goslings drove off into the sunset – small wonder so many of us call them babies, yielding Norfolk once more to the prerogative of the downy brood.

Report from May/June 1980 Minor Matters by John Frye.

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