Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Review of my 1000 Mile Rally Project Fund Raising for Help for Heroes

Review of my 1000 Mile Rally Project Fund Raising for Help for Heroes.

A Young 'Help for Heroes' Donator at Sainsbury's Cockermouth Store

In summary, this years Fund Raiser  was a Superb Trip with 9 days of excellent, Hood Down Morganing weather (only 2 days of rain). 

City Centre driving is not the best thing in the world but I did enjoy dodging the Tram Line Road Works during a tour of Edinburgh and the slow sojourn through Central London, via Regent Street, Trafalgar Square on to the Finishing Line at Whitehall and then the circuit of Horse Guards and The Mall before heading west. 

During the trip, and while at the 20 stores I met some lovely people responsible for local Fund Raising and enjoyed the days when I was was joined by other Morgan Owners. 

I popped into the Morgan Factory to meet up with MOG MAG Assistant Editor Julia Packer

Roadster Owner David Harris and +8 owner Barrie Murray Upton came along to Cheltenam Asda along with a Strong Help for Heroes Team led by Susie Godwin.

In Carlisle, we made the highest amount of £350 through the excellent presentation set up by Help for Heroes Team of Elizabeth Graham and Tony Richardson.

At Alnwick, NorMog Secretary John Anderson (Right), came along to support me with other Morgan Owners Dennis, Robin & Brian.


For quite some time I had been trying to develop a way of raising funds for Help for Heroes during 2013. The Centenary Roadster 100 Register were not planning an event for this year so to hold another Solo Event was niggling away in my head when the February copy of the Morgan Sports Car Club Magazine 'Miscellany' arrived in the post.

An article about the history of 'Drive It Day' included a reference to the '1900 Thousand Mile Trial' and featured a map, cribbed from 'Hero Events' (advert content below ) indicating the actual route used in 1900.

Reading the story and researching about its history quickly became the inspiration for my Help for Heroes Fund Raising Event where I would also follow this route and just two months later I was ready to set off.

The Mog was packed and I had also obtained a healthy supply of Help for Heroes Wrist Bands and Lapel Medal Stickers to offer to donators.

The original 1900's event was the Inspiration and Planning Task of one Claude Johnson, the then Secretary of the Automobile Club (to later become the Royal Automobile Club).  

This current advertisement below from Hero Events gives another perspective on the background to the 1900's Trial.

'Hero Events'
A New Exciting Event Exclusively for Pre-War Cars

July 2014. Provisional dates 12th to 19th July.thousand mile trial map
Its 1899 and a large number of the people in Britain had not seen a motor car. In fact people are laughing at the idea that the motor car could become a commercial or practical success.
To show off the Motor car an adventure was planned – tour Britain visiting major town and cities, allow the public to see and touch the Motor car and watch them drive by. The event was planned for spring 1900; One Thousand miles as an extensive demonstration trial organised by the Automobile Club. The intent was simple, test human endurance as well as the machinery for reliability and safety.
The idea was a lot simpler than the application.
  • At this point in time very few enthusiastic motorists (as they were now called) had driven 100 miles in a single day.
  • No one knew how to draw up a time schedule that could be maintained – how long would it take to drive the required distance each day?
  • Speed limits at the time were 8mph in towns and 12 mph outside
  • Some drivers wanted a 2 hour lunch stop for lunch and liqueurs; others did not want to stop
  • To allow the public the opportunity to see the cars up close and personal motor shows were organised in each town and city visited, some just for a couple of hours others all day.
  • Rest days were built in – driving an open motor car in all weathers was hard work
  • Maps were not very accurate
  • Sign posts long the way were non existent
  • There were no mobile phones and very few static phones for that matter
  • Mechanical assistance consisted of what you could carry and repairs you could undertake
  • There were few hotels, en route, that were comfortable enough to house the participants 
Due to all this and many other considerations the event actually took 20 days to complete. There were 53 trade entries (manufacturers) and 31 private entries of which 23 trade entries and 24 private entries made the finish. An incredible feat and an event, with hindsight, that  was the foundation stone of British Motor Industry.
The Veteran Car Club organised a Historic Enactment of the Thousand Mile trial in 2000 to mark its 100 year birthday,. The Thousand Mile Trial was an Endurance event. The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation will re-run the event for pre-war cars and follow the original trial route, where possible, but complete the thousand miles in 5 days.

 My own event took place over 11 days of driving as did the 1900 event, commencing on 29th April until 9th May. I followed the original route and direction as far as I could ascertain details of the old roads they would have likely used. 

As, unlike the 1900's wealthy owners, I did not have the benefit of knowing the residents of large Country Houses, such as Calcot Park near Reading and Webeck & Clumber Parks in Lincolnshire, where they probably stayed or just stopped for the occasional refreshment, I booked myself into reasonable cost accommodation near to the same Cities where they indicated that they stopped. 

I focused my fundraising during the trip by stopping with the Morgan at 17 Sainsbury's and 3 Asda Super Stores with the approval of the Management. I staed at each for periods of around 3 to 4 hours and collected donations by standing at the Main Doors in my Help for Heroes outfit holding out my special Double Ended 'Baton' Tins.

At the Morgan Factory, on my way.

Due to the extreme kindness of all of the Store's Customers, I raised just over £2000. 
A further £1067 was raised by Online Donations to my Bmycharity Website, mostly from the Morgan Community who supported me through the 'TalkMorgan' Website.

During the journey I covered a total distance of 1286 Miles. with diversions to the Morgan Factory, a minor diversion around a road blockage near Derby and off route visits to Wetherby and both Elterwater and Cockermouth when I was in Cumbria.

I managed to restrict my Accomodation and Meals costs to just £790.49

The Total Fuel Costs were £252.21

So all in all, my costs were just over £1000 used to raise £3000 which, considering the pleasure of the drive and the experience, was well worth it. (£95 per day is a very good value in my book)

(Last year I spent £3000 to raise £7000 with the help of over £2000 coming from our Waddesdon Day) 


1 comment:

  1. Well done Frank, a great job. While I had my feet up in Corfu you were doing something really worthwhile.
    What's all this nonsense about being too old at 70? I'm ahead of you and don't forget, age is just a number!
    Kind regards,
    Chris Gleave