Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register's Visit to Bicester Heritage Today

The Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register Visits Bicester Heritage

Having been in Planning for some months, 21 people in 13 cars finally made it to the old World War 1 & 2 Airfield now called Bicester Heritage.

With the remnants of Tropical Storm Henri about to spoil our day some set off from their distant homes in their Tin Tops and One owner, who's MOG is under repair, Topped everyone in his Replica SS100.

I was determined to set off early from home on the South Coast and was pleased to find that I was heading away from the incoming rain. We were blessed with a Dry Day until 3.30pm.

I have made it an essential Retirement Project to Inspect The Plumbing wherever I go. He we are parking at Chieveley Services on the A34 / M4 Junction, returning from another such survey visit. 

 The Green Goddess in Essential Hood Up Mode at Chieveley Services

 The A34 is running well, that is until we approach Oxford where Chaos causes a log jam.

It is just 9.30am as I swing into the Main Entrance of our venue, ahead of the plan. 

Heading down the Main Drive towards our Parking Place in the Motor Transport place. 

 I have reversed into the Centre Position waiting for others to arrive. Just time to Inspect some more Plumbing.

As I took a short cut across the lawned area I am sure that I heard the massive voice of a Ghost of a Flight Sergeant Shouting at me " THAT MAN THERE! GET OFF THE B****y GRASS " 

This Toilet Block is one of the Fully Refurbished original facilities.

 These New Doors have a very high base preventing any loitering or skiving within.

Modern Replacements to the Original Fittings. 

 Clean and Very Smart appearance in the Hand Wash Basins.

The investment achieved this Gold Award. 

 The Roof Lights typify the excellent quality of the workmanship

Back in the Parking Area, David has arrived  

Almost everyone has arrived now with Diane, Nola and Terry looking on. So now we are looking forward to our coffee. 

 The Red Morgan belongs to one of our OxMog colleagues.

 Morgan Roadster 100 Owner Tim has had to bring his SS100 Replica, and becomes the Star of the Day.

 While we are having our coffee I capture the Artwork seen around the room.
'A Bugs Life' Published in Octane 2014

A 1919 Auction Poster. 

 Another 'Bugs Life' version

 Earthworks during Pre WW2 Airfield Construction.

 Royal Visit to No. 71 MU RAF Bicester in May 1965

Note the Pilot Sitting in a Replica of the Aircraft shown below here.

 The Earliest Known Landing at Bicester.

 The Scramble Bell

 An Article from MOG Magazine is on show, Presented in this Flip Folder.

 The Roll Call of Past Commanding Officers at RAF Bicester

Everyone is finishing their snacks ready to get away on the Tour  

 Five Roadster 100's and Davids Roadster complete our line up.

The SS100 looks quite different with its Hood and Side Screens on. 

 David says a few words following the Introduction from our ex RAF Guide, Mike Lousada.

 Mike on form explaining the History of the site.

 Back out in the Motor Transport Area Mike explains the use of each section.


 Mike is explaining that BH was used recently in the Making of The Imitation Game movie about the Codebreakers of Bletchley Park.

 Many of the Cars stored here are loaned for Film Making and TV programmes such as Foyle's War

 Lurking in the background is this aging Jap Engined Morgan Trike.

Hoods Up with the threat of rain.

 As we begin our tour I look back towards the Main Gate and the Administration Block on the Right.

 The Consortium who now own the BH Site are refurbishing each building.
The Strategy is to sublet each one to businesses who are operating in the Restoration of Vehicles and Aircraft. 

This Recent Occupant manufactures Bespoke Exhaust Systems for any type of Vehicle or Aircraft. 

 A One Man Business with Plenty of Special Machines.

 The Refurbished Business from a different angle.

 This is the refurbished WW1 Fire Hut. 
They are desperate to find anyone who owns a typical Hand Drawn Fire Cart to go inside it.

 The WW2 Replacement Fire Station House

 Intense Listening Here. 

 This next new business builds and repairs racing Cars of all types. We are not allowed to take photos inside.

Work in Progress on this Engineless Alvis. 

 This was the old Water Pumping Station in this Self Sufficient base. 

It was used in 'The Imitation Game' to house the giant Alan Turing Calculating Machine called 'Colossus' or 'The Bombe' 

 The Old Water Storage Tank and Tower

 This Building was last used as the Camp Chaple 

This Building now houses Four Bedrooms used by visiting customers  

 Two Small Businesses are located in this Garage Block

 This Business repairs Vintage Magnetos. Here is one unit being Tested and Performance Analyzed.

 This Business refurbishes upholstery in Leather. The Alvis is undergoing a Full Body Trim. 

 This business owner was away so we could not see inside the Old Powerhouse. 

The Building is surrounded by a Deep Blast Shield wall. Inside the Floor and Walls are covered in Glazed Tiles.

They trade in Historic Cars for Road & Track

 This Land Rover belongs to Kingsbury Racing who refurbish and race Vintage Bentley Cars.

The Bentley Garage & Workshops - The car in the background undergoing a full restoration is one of only three still around. 

The Engine in this one is having some sort of treatment

This is one of the two Largest Aircraft Hangers which used to house Blenheim Bombers.

The Concrete Floors are 9 feet thick designed resist damage if bombed.  

The High Glass Windows are designed to 'Blow Out' to reduce damage elsewhere.

A Little Vegetation can be seen growing in the Rooftop.

The Airfield only ever had Grass Runways. 

Its 6.5 Mile Perimeter track will eventually be refurbished for use in Sprints and Speed Trials

The Aston Martin Lagonda has just been delivered to 'Historit', the subject of our next visit.

The owner explaining the benefits of the Deep Concrete Floor and the High Building in terms of a controlled environment suitable for storing the 200+ Valuable Classic Cars in here.

All Tucked Up nicely in the Dry Covers with Battery Conditioners attached.

The owners dog showing interest in everyone.

Some beautiful Aviation Antiques adorn the office (as Hazel gets caught in my photo)

David studies on of the least attractive buildings. Mike later explains that it is one of the oldest accommodation huts on the base still waiting for it update. That Asbestos Roof will have to change.

Our Group, Waiting for Mike to return.

This refurbished Garage Block houses three business units. A Ferrari Dino can just be seen in the 'Legends' showroom. 

The size of these old Aircraft Hangers with their 'Roll Out' Doors can be seen clearly. 
Had morgan owning 'Arthur' arrived to plan, we would have visited that one which is located 'Airside' as it is where the Aviator's store their Planes.

Arthur's Mog and his 'Hand Built' Pietenpol Air Camper aircraft. 

This plane is featured in the Link below

Here is one of the 'Below Ground' Air Raid Shelters, most of which are still either flooded or full of muck.

This shot was taken through a Broken Window of one of the smaller hangers. A nice Roof Leak needs to be sorted in this one.

One of the Worst for Wear buildings which is on the plan to be brought back to service. 

Work in Progress here in changing this unit into a Visitors Centre and Accommodation unit.

Inside the last of the Giant Hangers who' last RAF Use, Mike explains, was a sad one.

The Floor is marked out in Named Bays, here are those for Vulcan and Shackleton Aircraft.

The Aircraft were brought her to be dismantled and 'Usable Spare Parts' from each were stacked on the floor in each of these bays.

Our Tour is almost over as we pass the last of the Smaller Hangers heading back to the cars.

That Accommodation, once refurbished, seen from the other side.

Back in the Motor Transport area I decided to take some close ups of the various cars stored there.

This lovely Riley appealed to me because I spotted the HERO '1000 Mile Rally' plaque still on the grill.
This rally took place in 2015, just a year after I had completed the same 1900's Rally Route, using it for my last 'Help for Heroes' Fundraising project.

Details about that 'Original 1900's Car Rally' may be found in my other Blog which was set up by me for my event.

How could I not take this lovely Morgan Trike

It must be one of the earliest V Twin Jap Engines used.  

A Second and less sporty Riley of a similar era.

A Lovely example of the Model 'T' Ford.

The Austin Seven, one of my Favourite Classic Marques

I always fancied one of these ex military Land Rovers. There used to be a 'Dealers' on the A34 south of Derby who had a line of these along the fence in full military trim.

The only reference I could find to this being a 'Lanchester' is on the cap on the spare wheel nut

A very smart Rover 14. Could this have been used in 'Foyle's War' I wonder? It would appear not.

A Beautiful Talbot.
And here it is for sale at:

The Motor Shed Ltd
The Motor Shed, Special Repair Shop, Bicester Heritage, Bicester.
OX25 5HA
tel: +44 (0) 1869 340999

Triumph TR6 
Now I am wondering if all of these are for sale?

This Riley was only arrived as we did this morning.

Our Visit at Bicester Heritage now ended as we had to vacate as a Coach Party arrived.

So, It was off to the Pub for Lunch where Landlady of the newly purchased title (Birthday Present) of 'Lady Patricia Aisthorpe' and husband Terry were expecting us at 2pm.

Much to my surprise, as I travelled to this unknown venue in trepidation, Everyone arrived and found the Car Park

The Butchers Arms, Fringford, Oxfordshire, is a lovely old Country Village Pub with plenty of dining space inside and lovely food.

Lunch over it was time to say our farewells until some of us meet at the 'Brooklands Morgan Day' on October 4th.

Some of our group would now be heading for the Bicester Shopping Village for some retail Therapy.

As I left the Pub Car Park, the first spots of expected rail began to fall.

We knew that the tail of Tropical Storm 'Henri' was heading our way and very soon.. It arrived in all of its very wet and windy glory.

Caught between the sweeps of my wiper blades on the A34 going south again.

A pause for respite and a warm Costa Coffee (and to inspect more plumbingof course) I make a stop at Sutton Scotney South Services just north of Winchester. 

I give up on using any of the now Log Jammed M3 which I join at Winchester and take the first slip road for a country route to my home.

As the Sat Nav tells me, Just 17.4 miles to go but the clock is one hour out as it is only 5.34.

The Little Morgan will now guide me along these relatively quiet country lanes, which I much prefer when time is not a problem.


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