Sunday, 25 September 2016


 Our Arrival on the Long Drive at Horwood House.

The First of the other Morgans comes into view.

We were one of the around 460 Bookings that were made for the weekend.

Horwood House was more than capable of looking after so many of us in this vast complex specialising on Conferences and Weddings. We took over the whole hotel.

Once we have parked and checked in its off to Register and obtain a Goody Bag containing the arrangements, events program and the popular Scenic Runs Maps. 

It turned out that the quality of all of the Printed Matter was absolutely superb. The team had produced outstanding compiling and publishing.  

The Original Horwood House Building.

Horwood House, in the south of the parish of Little Horwood, is a modern building recently erected by Mr. F. A. Denny, who pulled down the ancient house formerly standing on the site. The grounds, which are of considerable size, are skirted on the south by the Oxford to Bletchley branch of the London and North Western railway.

 Two Old Black & White Photos taken from Wall Hangings in the Hotel

This Rear View has not changed much when compared with today below.

The Rear Entrance to the Function Rooms.

 Side on this time.

 The Fountain Garden with Lovely Lily Pond

The Fountain in Full Spray.

The Sunken Garden looking a little tired - In need of a Good Gardener  

 The Secret Garden just around the corner.

The Grand Staircase in the Main Hall

 Making an early exploration of the grounds we found the various trades were already setting up in readiness for the Saturday Events. 

Melvyn Rutter's stand on the right is sporting some of the Family Morgans including the famous Pink Morgan. 

Local Dealership of Allon White's team are to be seen busy polishing their exhibits  

When I saw this Three Wheeler, also featured in MOG Magazine, I thought 
'Very Only 1 4 LoMaX' 

 In the corner, Bell & Colvill were also polishing their New Aero 8 Demonstrator following the Rainy Friday.

We took a closer look at Brands Hatch Motors stand and left having purchased two new Morgan caps. 

 The stand in the centre, yet to be set up will contain the Techniques Presentation. Supporters of Morgan Racing with their Techniques Trophy Series.

More stands were setting up along this path to the gardens

Coming back into the hotel we find Main Reception Area

The Lounge Bar

On Saturday we had pre booked an outing in the afternoon so mid morning we headed off into the countryside to find our venue and some lunch.

We made our way to the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne where we parked and made our way along the Tow Path.

There is something mystical and nostalgic about Canals and Locks where one can imagine the Horses pulling their loads along these paths now frequented by Walkers and Cyclists.

We had been recommended to cross the canal to the pub on the other side where we could buy some lunch

The basin at Stoke Bruerne must have been very busy in its day.

Crossing the Lock Gates and the view to the North

The Second Lock here is now disused and sealed just containing this old example of the very narrow boats able to use it.

In the pub there is a Northamptonshire Skittle Alley which is somewhat different to any I have seen before set up on a table. One has to 'lob' the puck like wooden object to knock over the skittles.

It must be the best of three goes?

Now the secret is out. We are going on a Canal Cruise complete with Afternoon Cream Tea on 'The Indian Chief'.
Across the way is the Canal Museum which typically, we did not allow enough time to visit.

Looking North in the direction of our journey.

The Boat's Flag

All Aboard and we are on our way.

Visitors gathering alongside one of the small Canalside Buildings that used to be used by such a Blacksmiths who would be employed to re shoe the horses used to tow the barges.

This notice tells all. 
We are about to enter 'The Blisworth Tunnel
Horses had to be taken up and over the hill. and the 'Bargees' had to lie on their backs and 'Walk' the barge through with their feet on the tunnel roof.
The Blisworth Tunnel

The Tunnel Mouth at the Stoke Bruerne end.

The tunnel is said to be one of the longest in the UK at nearly two mile long. It looks tiny but is wide enough for two narrowboats to pass inside. 

Looking towards the stern.

Already we can see how dark the tunnel is. All of the boats have large headlamps to see their way.
Part of the Tunnel has had to be relined using  the modern tunnelling system of concrete plates. Water seepage is building stalactite formations on the walls.

Some of our group sitting towards the bow.

The original brick wall linings

This heavy wooden 'bump strip' runs the length of the brick tunnel. This will be well used on our return journey.

There is 'Light at the end of The Tunnel' 

The old Smithy at the other 'Blisworth' end.

This small group seemed angry believing naively that they should be on our boat? 

The Road Bridge at Blisworth ahead.

A quick shot taken of the view along the top of our cabin.

More ornately painted narrow boats ahead.

An old Canalside Warehouse, now converted into homes.

These boats could actually be for sale based on the notice at the dealership mooring below.

The 'Second Hand Boat' showroom.

Down below, our host has prepared our Afternoon Cream Tea from his Bar, with Scones, Cream and Jam plus lots of Cakes.

Looking back again towards the Boat Sales located on the bend in the canal.

Two colourful Working Barges which have not been converted into homes.

Approaching a 'Basin' full of moored 'Houseboats'  or 'Holiday Lets'

The entrance to the Basin.

Another converted Canalside building.

Through the window I can just about see a 'Y' Fork in the Canal where we are about to take the Right Hand Fork.

Approaching a industrial area where Narrow Boat Repairs take place.

The Giant Lifting Crane with its Lifting Hoops

The 'Owl and the PussyCat' work boat.

A rare sight today is this modern domestic craft 

Another Posh Craft passes with its Bimini Striped Top, Picnic Spread and the strange name of 'Bail Faster' .

Just around this next bend we will make a 'U' turn and head back through the tunnel to Stoke Bruerne.

Side On, making our about turn around maneuver. 

Back in the Tunnel we begin meeting the first of five boats, headlights blazing, coming at us in the opposite direction, proving that two can fit together in the tunnel. 

Our skipper is well versed in the passing process but the same cannot be said for all of the others as we receive one severe bumping along the way.

The view through the side window. We windows from the many tunnel waterfalls. The hatch has to be kept closed to avoid a soaking. 

Back into daylight we pass one of the floral delights on this houseboat.

Heading back to the Morgan there is much activity moving a boat upstream through the Stoke Bruerne lock.

Waiting for the far end Lock Gates to be opened.

Our last view of the empty canal looking southward towards the next set of locks.

Heading back down the hotel drive to look forward to the Evening Formal Dinner Dance. 

During the dinner, each Table group was given a China Cow to paint in a design competition.

Our colleagues Henry, Elles and Tim from Williams Morgan were well placed to take on the painting task. 

Tim here can be seen adding the EU Flag in an appropriate place. 

Following a 'Brexit' theme, the Union Flag is at the head.

The EU Flag is at the other end.

The final presentation ready for entry.

The EU Question

The collection of entries gathered ready for judging.

We raised ours high hoping that it would catch the judges eye.

I thought that the discarded Paint Tray looked colourful so added my own pathetic beast. 

Meanwhile, the Band played on.

Event Organiser, and Roadster 100 Register Member, Philip took the role of 'Master of Ceremonies' to announce the worthy competition winners.  

The winning Team was from OxMog and theme was also 'Brexit' and had utilised their 'Chocolate Petit Four' at the other end all over the EU Flag. That won it for them.

Sunday Morning heralds the Main Club Party Day with Driving Competitions and Sideshows et al.

I spy the wandering Jazz Band passing the Morgan Motor Company presentation booth.

The Trades Dealership stands were all busy selling or dealing with enquiries.

Melvyn Rutter's Spares offerings always attracts much interest.

Barry and Gavin, our insurers  at Gott & Wynne are always busy.

Brands Hatch Morgan showing their New Aero 8 Demonstrator and DaveW.'s Mr. Bumble, just traded for a new yellow +4.  

The Librands stand were demonstrating the new Suplex Suspension Systems

Just spotted are Mr & Mrs. DaveW,  exiting stage right, having completed his Concours Competition yesterday..

The roaming Jazz Band in action.

The Link Path stalls in action.

The Band Passes once more.

While we are having a coffee with Stephen and Elizabeth we receive a personal performance.

On the Main Drive the Club Centre Cars are gathered. I never seem to get notice of these side activities or is it just the chosen few every time?

More Centre Displays.

In the car park I met the proud owner of this Flat rad and we shared info about Windscreen Glass treatments which may help combat his wayward Windscreen Wipers.

Later in the afternoon, activities ending, people begin to depart for home. 

We had no such hurry with the benefit of booking for an extra night.

The original Gate House now by passed.

The view along the drive with more owners staying late or staying over.

The beautiful sky on a rainy weekend.

For me, This was the Star Car of the weekend.

Meanwhile, back at the Marquee, it was prize giving time which we had missed.

I cribbed this photo of the Donation made to the Medical Detection Dogs charity presented by MSCC Chairman's wife Michelle.

Activities over, we found the hotels woodland trail so went exploring.

Along the winding path on the circular route only identified by the trodden trail.

The meandering stream.

More Stream.

Giant Plants.

Suddenly we came across this small piece of disused railway? Obviously lost.

The signs and those Containers suggested some sort of activity. 

The old station looked as though it may have been inhabited still or once recently?
Investigation would be needed once I got home.

I discovered that this was a part of the old Cambridge to Oxford Railway known as the 'Varsity Line'

When we lived in Beaconsfield some years ago, Chiltern Railway announced that this line was to be re opened. Obviously it still has not happened. 

Being the first station up the line from Winslow this must be Swanbourne Station?

We backtracked along the path and eventually found the Hotel once more only to be greeted by this useful disclaimer.

On the way we passed this 'False Well' in the gardens.

Spotted, almost abandoned from the days activities near the Car Gymkhana.

On Monday Morning, it was now our turn to leave for home. 

There was only one Morgan Three Wheeler still in the car park.

We departed have enjoyed this, our best ever MOG. so well organised by the CranMog Team and serviced excellently by the Hotel Team.

Fabulous and a big Thank You from Us. 

Last Minute Posing.
Our journey down the A34 always needs a comfort stop. 

Rather than use the Chieveley Services we found this lovely pub along a short diversion from Tot Hill Services near to Newbury which is much much better. 

The Swan Inn on the A339 at Newtown Newbury.

Enjoying the lovely small garden & stream.

I hope that you enjoyed the blog


  1. Lovely photos as ever and of particular interest to me being a bit of a 'boaty' were your photos of the canal trip.
    Regards, Chris Gleave

  2. Great variety of photos and so many fascinating links to enjoy. Thanks for sharing these with us and also a thank you for your very much appreciated compliments regards my watercolours.