The North West Group Opening Run to the Lewis Carroll Visitor Centre in Daresbury took place on Wednesday April 26th. Despite being a midweek run it attracted 7 Morgans over the day. The weather was forecast as overcast with a chance of rain – should we be worried?
The excursion started at Snowdrop Café, Lower Peover. Well, that’s not quite true for all of us. Whilst preparing on the previous day the experience started early for Ian Haynes. Ian writes –
“Yesterday afternoon, in anticipation of today’s run, I fired the Morgan up and drove it to the local petrol station to fill up. Having filled up the tank and then poured in the petrol additive, I went over to the shop to pay. I then jumped back in the Morgan, fired it up, and set off home. As I left the garage forecourt and turned smartly right on the busy road to head back to the village, I heard a tinkling sound….. It was at this point that I realised I had not replaced the filler cap and it had slid off the bonnet as I turned into the traffic. I pulled up at the first opportunity about 50 yards down the road, and went back to search for the errant cap. Of course, it had vanished and despite returning with Jan shortly afterwards for her to have a “proper” look, it had clearly left the planet. We returned home and considered our options. The only solution was to make a replacement in what remained of the afternoon.
Having found a suitable piece of brass, I took some measurements and made a male thread to match the filler neck on the end of a lump of aluminium. I could test this by screwing the oil tank cap onto it. I then turned to the brass and made the embryo cap using the aluminium thread as a gauge. The final step was to reproduce the straight knurl on the cap and I did this on the milling machine (see photo) as the brass I had seemed reluctant to knurl in the normal way on the lathe. All done in time for tea!
The opening run was completed with one chrome cap and one brass cap. Should I get it chromed or leave it plain brass as a reminder not to do it again?? – Ian”
For the rest of us things were not so bad. Five Morgans arrived at the café for breakfast including, in addition to my 1948 F4, TD in his ‘prize-winning’ MX4 1936 Super Sports, Bob Barlow and the ever-present 1935 MX4 Sports, Ian Haynes and Jan in their 1935 JAP Family Sports, complete with petrol cap, and Dennis and Val Winstanley in their 1933 MX4 Super Sports – opting to make the journey from Ewloe in North Wales to the café in East Cheshire instead of meeting us at the Visitor Centre, well done Dennis and Val.
After a short breakfast we set off on a relatively direct route across country via Allostock, Lostock and Great Budworth. At this point we managed to pick up a group of cyclists who seemed in no hurry to share the road. Eventually passing them, after Comberbach, we then only had major potholes to deal with, although this seems to be the norm in recent times. An unusually smooth piece of tarmac around Dutton took us on to Morphany Lane on which are the remains of the Rectory where Lewis Carroll was born. The route continued on to Daresbury where, almost within site of the destination, roadworks blocked to way. This came as a surprise as having checked on the OneNetwork web site the location reported “delays unlikely”. Well, just as with weather forecasts, don’t believe everything you read. Despite the obvious clear path through the road, the workman was insistent that we would need to find an alternative route. This meant a quick burst down the dual carriage way to approach the Church in Daresbury from the opposite direction. Once there we were greeted by the remainder of the group, Mike Guess in his 1932 Super Sports Aero along with Trevor Gill (1936 Super Sports) and passenger Roy Summerscales. Roy’s Morgan was still undergoing some minor work to get it mobile again. Also, there was Pete Newham on four wheels – we’re looking forward to Pete getting his Family on the road.
We spent an interesting 40 minutes perusing the Visitor Centre which told the life story of Lewis Carroll. The Centre is a purpose-built annex on the side of the 150-year-old All Saints Church Daresbury. Added in 2009, it is free to enter and open all year round. Many of the hostelries and tea rooms around the locality often make reference to characters from Carroll’s writing although he was also a very active photographer in the early days of the process as well as being a renowned mathematician. Our visit also gave the opportunity to visit the lovely village church to see the famous Lewis Carroll stained-glass window that features the ‘White Rabbit’ and the ‘Cheshire Cat’ amongst other things.
At the conclusion of the tour, we made the short hop to the Hatton Arms for lunch, where we were joined by Dennis Rushton. Despite meticulous planning and a pre-order for food provided the pub failed to pick up the order. Nonetheless they redeemed themselves and an enjoyable meal was consumed before we all made our separate ways home. My thanks to all that turned up for the day. The weather? A dry warm day with not a drop of rain.
Richard Whitehurst. North West Group Organiser