Archives August 2017

New Forest Centre 50th Anniversary at Bucklers Hard

New Forest Centre 50th Anniversary at Bucklers Hard
Meeting at the Swan

Meeting at the Swan

50 Healeys and 50 years since the forming of New Forest Centre. Saturday 15th July saw 50 Healeys meet on Bucklers Hard, a historic site on the Beaulieu River just below the National Car Museum.

This was the site 200 years ago where Nelson’s war ships were being constructed each one taking some two and a half years to build using timber from the forest close by. Both the Museum and the Georgian cottages serve as a reminder to the men who built these iconic ships.

Parked outside the Master Builders

Parked outside the Master Builders

Our own iconic display consisted of Austin Healeys of which some are also 50 years old even for the latest MkIIIs! and Sprites of a younger vintage. One of the lower buildings on the site is now a restaurant and pub (The Master Builders) with good local ale to which we retired for an excellent lunch before taking a short boat trip down the river past some of the original moorings and the construction site of the Mulberry harbours which were towed over to France for D-Day.

As one of the seven Centres representing the Austin Healey club as a whole, New Forest had its first meeting in 1967. This first meeting was held at the Swan Inn near Lyndhurst so it seemed apt to start from here for this Anniversary run. There was also an entry at the time logging the forma­tion of this group in the Southern Evening Echo.

The Dinner MenuThe national club was organised in 1961 with offices at Abingdon and publicity used the pages of Safety Fast alternating with the MG brand. Membership joining leaflets were placed in each car sold whilst the club badge developed into the symbols of the “long suspension bridge” and the wings from the Healey wings design with Warwick castle as the background.

Lunch at the Master Builders

Lunch at the Master Builders

Later on with Lord Stokes at this time,1968/1969, heading up the formation of the conglomerate British Leyland it was decided to cut all ties with the Healey com­pany and close the club office at Abingdon, so leaving us to develop the club through the seven Centres [plus the specialist Healeysport Centre] that we continue to enjoy today.

Group Photo

 

The New Forest Annual Barbeque 2017

The New Forest Annual Barbeque 2017

 

The New Forest Centre held its annual BBQ at the Forestry Commission’s Anderwood site on Sunday 18th June. The weather was incredibly good, such that seemingly everyone in the south headed for the forest or the beach. This resulted in those travelling from a distance, such as Honiton, Overton and Fareham, had to put up with very heavy traffic. The M27 was reported to be like a car park! It was a good decision to plan a local walk with observation type questions, as it would have been pointless to send attendees out on a planned drive. Six pairs tackled the walk, which was quite short and mainly in the shade.
The BBQ was ready at 1 pm, was very hot, and kept going for those who arrived later. Everyone took to the shade, but still felt quite hot. By the time of the “Members’ Choice” concours, 16 cars had arrived, which was excellent considering the competition from Father’s Day and the 24 hours Le Mans event. There were 2 x 100s, 2 x 100/6, 2 x 3000 Mk1, 8 x 3000 Mk3, 1 x 3000 Replica, and 1 x Jensen Healey, but notably no Sprite of any type.

At this stage, six cakes made by some of our ladies were devoured in no time. The results were then revealed. Alan and Sandra Pickford tied with the Two Sisters (Julie and Gill Gardner) at 17 out of 25 on the walk. The tie was broken by them estimating the temperature in the shade under my 3000 Mk3 Ph1. It was 77 deg F, and Alan was closer.

The Concours winners were; 100 – Alison and Trevor Hirst, Roadster – Julie and Phil Gardner, Convertible – Gordon Grant, Jensen Healey – Rowena and Jim Palmer.

People stayed around later than usual to enjoy the sun shining on the trees and the slightly decreasing temperature, before departing to take on the traffic jam which started just down the road!