The South West Centre held its largest annual event on Saturday 9 th September at Wiscombe
Park, near Honiton, Devon. There was the usual large entry of over 130 cars and for those
who have never been to this venue, the hill is located in a most delightful picturesque setting.
Wiscombe has a reputation amongst seasoned hill climbers as being one of the most
challenging British hill climbs and at our meeting it certainly lived up to it, as the weather
was atrocious. The variation of cars which enter always makes for an interesting day, and this
year was no exception. The MGs ranged from MMM through to the modern saloons and
there was an excellent entry of Caterham Sevens as well as some single seaters. It rained most
of the morning and the organisers decided to allow only one practice run in order that the first
of the two timed runs could be held before lunch. This proved a most wise decision as during
the second run in the afternoon the rain gradually became even more persistent. After three
quarters of the entry had completed their second run, a competitor in a very nice looking Mini
(the Issigonis type) skidded in the Esses and inevitably hit the straw bales protecting the trees
and needed a lifted tow to clear the track. This took time and with the on-going problems
with the weather, the organisers decided to call it a day. Our thanks to Bruce Weston and his
team of officials for all the hard work they put in organising the meeting, the many marshals
who had to stand out for long hours in the rain, and finally the competitors, many of whom
have supported us for many years. Next year’s Wiscombe will be held on Saturday 8 th
By the time this edition reaches you, all our sporting events will have finished and our next
event is the Centre Dinner at Limpley Stoke Hotel, Limpley Stoke, near Bath on Saturday 24 th
February 2018. Please do make a note of that date now, as we all have a great time hence the
reason we continually return to the same hotel, year after year. Full details will be available
on the South West Centre website along with the other events your committee are currently
arranging for 2018.
By now many of you will have your MGs tucked up in the garage and no doubt sorting out a
few jobs which came to the fore during the summer season. For me this means engine out of
the Midget as the amount of blue smoke exiting the exhaust tailpipe has steadily increased
over the last few years. On the last trip out to one of our centre committee meetings, whilst it
was great that the cars behind left an extremely safe distance between them and the Midget, it
was obvious the time has come to do something.
The photo, courtesy of Colin Murrell, shows south West Centre member, Andrew Morland,
at Wiscombe in his 1932 MG L1.