Jim Finch Presentation – The Connector

Jim Finch Presentation – The Connector
Jim Finch Presentation

Jim Finch Presentation

Your New Forest Austin Healey Club committee had their first meeting, last night, fresh with ideas and enthusiasm after last months AGM – Jim Finch, Chairman, was presented with his beautifully mounted and engraved con rod award in recognition for all he and Jan do for the centre – here’s to 2018….we will keep you posted through every social media avenue known to man!!!!

Skittles at The Phoenix

Skittles at The Phoenix
Jim Finch and Will Cox

Jim Finch and Will Cox

Down in the New Forest, the tradition at this time of year is to have a skittles match, when the dark evenings close in and the cars are likely to be resting after lots of long summer of outings.

On the 8th November we abandoned our regular haunt ‘The Potters Heron’ at Hursley for ‘The Phoenix Inn’, Twyford just to the east of Winchester, where our host Paul looked after us very well with basket meals that hit the spot.

Jim Finch and Janice Clay

Jim Finch and Janice Clay

We had a full house of 30 this year competing, and after two boisterous rounds, the highest gent was a tie between Tim Main & Will Cox. After much heckling it all ended with tears for Tim, as Will became the gents victor of the night.

Our ladies fought well, but could not sustain the pressure from Janice Clay who not only is a new comer to this event, but swept the board with the highest score.
Both winners received a bottle of bubbly and the whole evening was declared a great success, and should be repeated next year!

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!

New Forest Centre Dinner Dance 2016

New Forest Centre Dinner Dance 2016

Where have the weeks gone this year, I am miles behind on event reporting, so here we go for 2016.

This was our 9th year at the ‘Hotel Miramar’ where we celebrated the past seasons events, and awarded the prizes to the members for their hard work in the centre, and the Concours.
We also planned to have a great evening as well whilst doing it, with friends and colleagues.

Our guests this year were our ‘National Chairman’ John Keener, and our ‘Vice President’ Joe Cox. This year our ‘Centre President’ Peter Healey was on holiday, but we hope to see him next year.

As usual we started at 3pm with ‘Afternoon Tea’ in the Lounge, where 46 members relaxed and caught up with friends. Our centre is very wide spread, and this event starts the new season, and gives everyone the chance to see what is on offer through the year.

Colin & Sue Dimbylow ‘Clubman of the Year’

Colin & Sue Dimbylow ‘Clubman of the Year’

The main event started at 6.30pm and was held in the ‘Garden Room’ which has its own bar and gives access to the dining room. I gave my customary welcome to all and thanked our guests for coming along. We had 7 tables to seat 60 people, which worked very well and the food and service was excellent as usual, with the table wine flowing well.

Our trophy awards were presented by John Keener and went to:-

Quiz/Competition Jim & Rowena Palmer
Concours Sprite Keith & Pauline Hall
100 David & Sheila Green
Roadster Alan & Pauline Bromfield
BJ7-BJ8 Liz Coomber
Jensen Healey Jim & Rowena Palmer
Rev-Counter Articles Sally Jackman
Newcomers David & Sheila Green
Restoration of Year Roger Jackson
Clubman of the Year Colin & Sue Dimbylow

 

The Jersey Group receive the Salver

The Jersey Group receive the Salver

In June the New Forest Centre led by David Tofts & Jo Barratt invaded the ‘Jersey Festival of Motoring’ with a selection of 15 cars from our club. During the days of the event, there was a car show, and our group were awarded a Silver Salver for ‘Best Club Car Stand’.

We took the opportunity to gather a few of the members that went, and John Keener presented the Salver to David Tofts on behalf of the group.

Our raffle is always well supported by both Sponsors and our members, and we thank them all very much for their continued support which enables the event to progress and grow year on year. Our lead sponsor was again Bill Rawles Classic Cars, and was backed up by Ahead 4 Healeys and Rawles Motorsport.

David & Sheila Green 100 concours winners

David & Sheila Green, 100 Concours winners

After the raffle the Disco commenced, and the dancing continued until late, after which a few hardy souls repaired to the bar.  Sunday morning brought a calmer day, so after a good breakfast people either said their goodbyes, or went for a stroll along the prom before heading home.

Whilst the pen is flowing, 2017 is a ‘BIG YEAR’ for our centre, as we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of what we now know as the ‘New Forest Centre’.  Our Dinner Dance is already booked for the 18th February at the Miramar, so get those rooms booked. We also have a special day at ‘Bucklers Hard’ on 15th July, so watch the press.

Our committee have aimed, within our 3 year plan, to give the members as much benefit as we can in providing special events. This has been welcomed by the members, and the gaining of some terrific sponsorship will enable us to provide that extra something in 2017, so we trust we can continue the theme in future years.

Now, which event is next to write up!!

 

New Forest Centre BBQ 2016

New Forest Centre BBQ 2016

Despite the torrential downpours on many days before and after the event, on the day it remained dry, even with some sun. The event was again held at the Forestry Commission’s Anderwood site between Lyndhurst and Burley. Club members attended from as far away as Honiton, Bognor, Liphook, Basingstoke and Blandford Forum, and brought 18 cars. P1040440aThe grandson of Clive and Bella Jordan had even come all the way from South Island, New Zealand ! We missed one regular attendee, our Esteemed Editor Ron Fitton, as he was unwell. A group rapidly assembled around Jim Palmer’s Jensen Healey offering advice on how to fix his squealing fanbelt.

P1040425aA planned walk with questions was deliberately made tougher this year. The results demonstrated success, with Jack and Celia Powis the winners with 70% correct answers. The BBQ was ready by 1pm, so everybody was then busy cooking a wide variety of meals. The Members’ Choice Concours followed causing the cars to be inspected, some in fine detail. The results were; Sprite – Phil Gardner (Sebring replica), AH100 – Francis Bugler, Roadsters – Gordon Grant, BJ7/BJ8 – Liz Coomber, Jensen Healey – Jim Palmer. P1040444aAfter declaration of both sets of results, the final stage was cutting of the cakes made by the ladies. They were excellent, and were almost completely demolished in next to no time.

Pictures are courtesy of our Chairman, Jim Finch.

Roger and Claire Smith


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