Friday, 6 May 2016

The Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register Weekend at Rothley in Leicestershire

It was Eleven Morgans that set out on Friday 29th of April from their various home locations and made their way to the little village of Rothley just north of the city of Leicester. (Lower edge of this map) and south of the Charnwood Forest.

Our own journey began on the south coast and proved to be an almost vertical South / North Route using the M27, A34, M40, A361 and The M1.

On the way we made a comfort stop in the Village of Silverstone, not far from the Race Circuit.

As we drove into the Village we passed a road sign named Graham Hill which I thought was a nice touch and wondered how many other roads here would have racing drivers names? 

While it was a sunny day as we stopped, we had driven through a number of very heavy showers thus the hood on the car was raised and would stay so all the way to our destination. 

Needless to say, The Green Goddess has maintained the 100% record of being rained on when we make a journey. Despite being clean before we left home she was now less clean and would also stay so for the rest of the weekend.  

Just across the road was this lovely Church set right on the village square. 

 Our destination was the White Horse with its tiny roadside garden. The wind was whistling down the hill so we were happy to get inside next to their warm Log Burner. 

 The Green Goddess with her dirty rear wheels

 In true Motoring Fashion, inside the bar area was decked with old Motor Racing Memorabilia  

 One original Painting by Collins

This showcase contained a number of Formula 1 Car Parts donated by the Sahara Force India Team. 

In this frame are Brake Disk, Steering Column, Throttle Pedal, Cap and Rear Wishbone.
The Green Plate is part of a Front Wing 

The driver featured among the Wheel Nuts is Adrian Sutil 

Lastly, one of the visors 

Having experienced heavy traffic on the motorways we eventually arrived at our destination, The Rothley Court Hotel.

I should mention here that the lack of Down The Bonnet photos is due to being banned from doing so when driving with my better half.

The roadway approaching the hotel has some nasty speed humps which are Very High and need to be taken 'Wheel on the Hump'

The Hotel sporting the Village Crest

Two Views from our Bedroom Window. Across the Park is the local Cricket Club

A few more morgans are visible in the other direction.

 One of the hotels stunning artifacts are these two beautiful Stained Glass Windows on the Half Landing in the stairwell. Rothley Court was frequented by the Knights Templar.

On an adjacent wall are these two original tapestries of the time the Knights were there.

The Bar

The Snug in The Bar

 Some of our group gathering below stairs for some early evening light refreshment.

 It was originally plaanned to hold this welcome buffet alongside the lake in Bradgate Park, however, the extreme cold and inclement weather made the decision to se one of the bedrooms.

 Host Gerald and friend Donna administering the Prosecco

Philip and Linda concentrating on Mary,s instructions.

The rest of our group just about fitting in the corner.

In the morning, I made a short exploration of the side garden

 The side view is just as attractive as the front.

Our Saturday Morning activity was to make a visit to the Great Central Steam Railway who's Rothley Station is just a short walk from the Hotel.

The Station Sign at the Main Gate

Of all things unexpected, today was a Peppa Pig and George day so most of the Car Parking area was taken up by the Children's Fun Fair rides.

A Close of the Railway Badge with information on their Sponsors.

This Information Board offered the Timetable and notices of other events in the area. Today there was a special timetable in action rendering this info useless for planning our day

To get to our platform we have to cross one of the tracks in that old fashioned way through gates. The route in this direction is to Loughborough were we would eventually go.

The Route in this direction is to Leicester, our first destination. Rothley is somewhere in between both.

Our Group gathering to wait for the train.

At the far end of the Fun Fair I could see these model buildings, taken on full zoom.

On closer inspection it turns out not to be just a few model buildings but a Fully Operational Model Railway layout.

The upper limit of the layout with this siding.

This gentleman is the layout operator. 

Across the other track is a fully operational Signal Box called Rothley Cabin.

Rothley Station is in its original condition as the following set of photos will indicate.

This room contains the Cafe which is closed at the moment. Hopefully it will be open later.

 At the other end is this lovely Waiting Room with its original Red Leather Bench Seats

 Through the Doorway under the Clock is a Washroom. Turning Right is the WC Closet.

 Turning Left is the Wash Hand Basin with Mirror and Gas Lamp.

 Around the buildings were a number of these Brass Gas Lamps which are still usable.

 These lovely old Photo Frames can be found all over the station.

There are some stunning Advertising Posters as well. This one features the Norfolk Broads and Sandringham.

 One of the Clyde Paddle Steamers - Could it be The Waverly?

 The Yorkshire Coast at Bridlington

 At the Loughborough end  of the platform one of the Signals is visible up the track.

 Without being spotted I creep into the back door of the Official Ticket Office.

 Two more of the Volunteers enjoying the morning sunshine.

Swanage in Dorset where the line is part of another Steam Railway.

Once again of this old railway system forms the Bluebell Line Steam Railway in Sussex.

Margate in North East Kent is nowhere near to the east kent Steam railway.

Under the stairs to the Road Bridge is the Luggage & Parcels Office.

The Station Masters store is part of the same room.

Items stored high in the room on shelves.

A photo of Madge Sleath who worked at the station.

Another Seaside Poster.

The Station Cafe was still not open when we boarded our train so I took this shot through the door window.

 Everyone wants a photo as our train arrives

 A Slow shutter speed and it has almost passed.

 All Aboard !

Some of our group as we make the short journey down to Leicester North.

 As soon as we stop at Leicester North Station I managed to nip to the engine and take this shot of the Engine Driver at work.

 Suddenly everyone is lost in a cloud of steam.

It is easier to photograph a stationary Engine.

 Being the end of the line, the engine has to be uncoupled and taken to the other end to  pull the train backwards all the way to Loughborough.

 Part of the Engines Control Pipework.

The Engine Driver stands to my left as an operative stands between engine and carriages while he uncouples the Hook and the Steam Pipes. Not much Health & Safety here, other than the Driver did not move until the job was completed to his satisfaction.

 The Engine heading towards the rear.

 On our way again we pass fields of Yellow Rape Flowers

 The line crosses this large lake.

At Quorn Station we make a short stop and there is the Red Morgan of one of our group.

On the opposite platform we are passed by the beautiful Witherslack Hall, one of the GWR Hall Class Engines

 The Name Plate.

 On arrival at Loughborough Station we were to get our only sighting of 'George', little brother to 'Peppa Pig'

 On the opposite platform a set of Pullman Carriages wait for the 'Lunch Train Journey'

 Inside the Tables are beautifully set for lunch.

On a lectern near  to the door is the table places and customers orders placed.

 The Face Painter is in full operation, mostly taken up by the girls.

 The Waiting Room here is in similar order and design to the one at Rothley.

 When Geoff told me that there was an excellent array of equipment in the goods yard I set off to see for myself.

 I pass one of the workshops located in an old steel container.

Just three of the engines stored here.

 In among them is 'Planet' said to be a replica version.

The beautiful 'Sir Lamiel', one of the King Arthur Class engines.

92214 is a Standard Class 9f named 'Cock of the North' but her name plates are missing from the Boiler Plates.

 A collection of 'Leaf Springs' await a future use.

I came across an appeal notice to 'Help Save Boscastle' above. This West Country Class engine was on I 'Spotted' when young. When I asked where it was I was told - These are the wheels. The Boiler is over there etc.   

Boscastles Wheels.

 More Workshops alongside the tracks.

 These old 'Buffers' belong somewhere?

 The Boscastle Boiler is under the Red cover.

On the way back I just had to climb the steps to take this shot through the Signal Box window, only to find that it was occupied.

This Type One Loco Company Diesel was in action requiring the Points and Signal operation from the Signal Box.

Crossing the Tracks again as I head back to the platform.

 More interesting old

I came across an  appeal notice to 'Help Save Boscastle'. 

 We needed to return to Rothley so that we can head off for our afternoon activity.

The Guard ushering people on board as we are about to leave.

 Two interesting products with each carrying a strange message.

 Something for constipation.

 Once again the facilities are rather ornate.

 Another of these Gas Lamps. This one was a little smelly. Must be a slight Gas Leak?

 A Not So Posh WC.

 The Roll Holder is very pornate.

 A Nice Cunard Poster.

More Rail & Maritime links.

Having walked back to the Hotel I decided to examine this little memorial to find out what it was all about.

This plaque states 'This Memorial Commemorates the site on the Lawns of Rothley Temple where SIR WILLIAM WILBERFORCE BART. and THOMAS BABINGTON drafted the Act of Parliament for The Abolition of Slavery Throughout the British Empire'

This side plate states ' This Memorial was Erected in December 1959 by T. CLIVE WORMLEIGHTON of Mallory Park Leicestershire to commemorate the Death of LORD MACAULEY OF ROTHLEY who was Born Here in Rothley Temple on Oct. 25 1800 and Died on Dec. 28 1859. Also Commemorate the Conversion to Rothley Court Hotel in the same year.' 

This last plaque states ' This Plaque was Unveiled on 25 March 2007 to mark the Bicentenary of the Act that Abolished the British Slave Trade and to Commemorate the Part Played by THOMAS BABINGTON WILLIAM WILBERFORCE and their Friends at this House.' 
The little Graphic at the top of the plaque depicts a 'Hummingbird Feeding from a Flower' 

Thanks to Terry this. It is the first photo of us driving in a Morgan Car Convoy as we head for our next visit

Chris here leading us across a road junction.

It was back into the morgans for a small trip across country to visit a the National Trust Property of 'Stoneywell'

As is normal on these occasions, there is lots of chat and banter going on amongst our group.

Random Parking was essential and the inclement weather required that all hood stay up during the visit.

Being a Tiny Property by NT Standards it requires a Minibus Shuttle to transport us to the house.

Ann cannot resist a chance to look inside John's new Morgan Plus 8, one of their Supercar Range.

There is always so much to talk about during these infrequent gatherings of ours.

As we swing into the Drop Off place the scene from the Minibus indicates that the property is  located in quite an elevated position. 

Across the Valley below we can just see the City of Leicester in the distance.

With Timed Tickets issued for the House Visit Ann strolls part of the Garden before we decide that having a Coffee now would be a good bet.

Built into a Rocky Escarpment this is our first view of 'Stoneywell'

We had a Timed ticket so were gathering for our Guided Tour.

This photo clearly shows how the house is built into the Rocky Escarpment

Taken from halfway up the hill, one wonders how the Architect came to design in the angles and shapes around the house. Inside later we would be astounded by the ingenuity. 

As we entered the house the next group were gathering just as the heavens opened leaving them without shelter. We discovered later that they had been invited to go into the Staff area in the Kitchens. A room we would not be shown.

The Gimson Family, who lived here, loved the Arts and Crafts movement and furnished the whole house in this idiom.

Every Window has a stunning vista for the observer.

The Library.

An unusual method of storing the books leaves the walls for subtle furnishings.

The stunning view from another window

And another lovely view.

The Library Seating area in front of the Fireplace.

An unusual chair.

The Tiny Window next to the Fireplace.

All of the Doors are of Heavy Wood with Blacksmith Crafted Fittings

This Window with Window Seat looks out on the Hillside.

The Master Bedroom with Electric Bed Warmer on the Bed. The Small Triangular Dormer Window that  can bee seen from outside.

This Beautiful Carved Chest is given a raised plinth.

The same room seen from the other end.

In the distance the old Tennis Court is just visible.

The Architect seems to have included every shape and level available.

The Nursery with its beautifully crafted Cot.

The Nursery contains these three beautiful Austrian School Paintings.

From this room we had to goo up a few steps to the next level.

This bedroom has its own an suite bathroom

A almost modern looking bathroom utilising the whole room.

Looking down on the main entrance from a window where others will be seen later.

Yet another Double Bedroom.

In this Boys room a wonderful Clockwork Train Set is set out.

Up yet one more flight of steps. Linda looks in the Wardrobe Side Door only to find it contains a Hot Water Cylinder.

Looking back at the Boy's Room,

A second bed in the Boys Room. Note the Dimplex Glass Element Fire (we have one of these)

The whole room from the top of the steps.

In the last Single Bedroom these bookends indicate an interest in Rowing,

The room is also the smallest.

Our group has gone through this door.

Having gone up so many levels since entering the house, this short spiral takes us back to the ground floor. All Very Odd.

Looking up to that window I mentioned, Diane, Geoff and Terry from the next group are smiling down on us.

And there, framed in the upstairs Attic Window of the tiny cottage was an almost Huuuman Face. 
And them what was down below, called out to him what was up above, 
Jump! - 
Jump into this ere Blanket that we are holding for you to Jump Into. 
But, he wouldn't Jump? 

Here we are, heading back up the hill. Some of the House Levels can be clearly seem from this angle.

 A few weeks before this hillside would have been a sea of daffodils.

 Over the stone wall is a very active Cottage Garden.

Back in the Car Park Diane tries to photo the whole group.

 We all seem to be jammed in for the photo.

On the way back to the Hotel, Nola takes our car again as we run behind Terry.

 Back in the Hotel, The Green Goddess is ready for rest.

 Then someone suggested a Group Photo.

 Ann larking about draws a few smiles.

 Then we get it together

 Now it's my turn to be in the picture

 The Rothley Shield of the Knights Templars

Most of our Group jammed in the Hotel entrance

I get to be in this version

As we gather for the Evening Meal, Mountaineer Chris scales the heights to open a window.

On Sunday the group will be travelling to the NT House at Calke Abbey but sadly we will not be with them due to the length of our journey home and the need to collect the dog.

After breakfast we discover the the Chapel Door (The Temple ) is open so decide to explore.

Presumably this is where the Hotel holds it Wedding Ceremonies - Three while we are here.

It is quite cold inside with no heating. It is a protected building with no alterations permitted.

This series of old Tapestries and Pictures all relate to the Knights Templar who gathered here.

The actual Rothley Court Chapple may be seen in the background in this Tapestry

Coats of Arms of some of the Knights

A Plaque relating to Thomas Babington

Back outside, before the rest of the group departs we hold a R100 Line Up, with friends allowed. It takes a while to get everyone in place before we realise that one car has left already.

The full lineup.

With the Hotel in for good measure.

The Chapple Shot

With the Drivers and their Mogs.

The Panorama Crop

The Group of us, less the Photographers

The Frog Mog with Pilot on Board.

Having said our farewells we set off south along the Fosse Way which divides the country in a straight line from Leicester to the Cotswolds. Then south via Banbury and Oxford 

Along the Fosse Way just north of Stratford in Shakespeare Country we mad a Coffee stop at the Plough

On such a quiet road the new owners are keen to make a go of their new business

Our next stop for lunch was at this lovely Thamesside Pub called 'Rose Revived' at Newbridge near Witney. We had to divert through here due to Chaos at Oxford with the A34, our road closed.
Inside the Pub was packed to the doors so we could not get lunch and chose to sit by the river on a picnic unit with our own coffee and snack lunch before resuming our quiet run home.

The perfect ending to a perfect weekend

The Thames at Newbridge.

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