Up early, scrubbed and unhooked we crept out of the Caravan & Motorhome Campsite at Blackmore End which had
been home for three nights at just after 08:00. I think we managed to get dodge the security cameras as the barrier rose to let us through to freedom. No more open prisons for us hopefully. Having dropped our day release pass through the letter box of the
guardroom we made our way towards the Morgan Motor Company’s factory in Malvern Link. It was only about five miles away but I was concerned we could get tangled up with the folk making their way to the Showground to look at tractors and camels
and such like, whilst stood in the pouring rain knee deep in mud. Plus it was the rush hour, and I really didn’t want to be late for the tour.
Fortunately the short trip went
well and we arrived at The Morgan Motor Company Ltd https://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/ (GPS: N52.125148º W2.311188º)
to find an almost empty car park. I shot in quickly to see where they wanted us to park the motorhome to be told its pretty much fist come first served although some visitors with a motorhome choose to park their vehicles in the road outside. Well not this
one, and so we parked considerately on the end of a row, taking up two parking spaces, one behind the other.
We were lucky as our tour group consisted of just six of us, and our tour guide
was to be Ian.
First we were shown an introductory video covering the history of The Morgan Car Company before being taken around the factory units. Before entering the units we passed a parking
area where three vehicles were in undercover parking. From right to left they were the ‘Aero’ model, the three wheeler powered by a motorbike engine and the new electric three wheeler, the EV3. Ian was telling us how the company took the prototype
electric version to a show hoping to sell 100 units to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. They came away having sold, and taken deposits on 300! Such success caused them problems in that they couldn’t source the power train units
for such a number at such short notice and so they postponed the launch of the model until the problems had been sorted and returned the deposits they had taken.
On entering the buildings it
was very interesting to follow the process from start to finish. Right at the very start of production each chassis has paperwork attached to it to ensure that each car is constructed to the customer’s specifications including accessories, trim and colour.
Each model is made in a different way but basically the chassis is married up with the engine and axles, then the aluminium section is added and then topped with the wooden frame made from ash cut from
trees grown in Lincolnshire.
Then it’s off to have the bonnet and door panels added which are all hand made by skilled panel beaters, then it’s the trim shop followed by
painting. At this painting stage the vehicle is deconstructed before the bodywork is sprayed and then all put back together again. As they reconstruct it, rubber gaskets are placed between metal panels such as the bumper and body to ensure there is no metal-to-metal
rubbing when the vehicle is in motion.
A lot of the production facility was taken up with producing their new ‘Roadster’ model, the Morgan Plus Six, so much so that they were still
building the cars which will go out to dealers worldwide for customers to look at and test drive.
The final production building we visited was where the 3-wheelers are built. Unlike the other
cars which pass from one process to another, here the technicians build each car themselves from start to finish, though they don’t undertake the painting.
Finally it was a look around
the small museum and the gift shop where I treated myself to a china mug. I had already fixed myself up with an off-cut of the three-ply ash wood used for the cars which Ian stamped for me with the Morgan logo, plus another off-cut of the wood veneer used
for the dashboards.
That was a very interesting tour and helped me to decide where £40-£80k of my Euromillions will be spent once I win it.
We left the complex late morning and made our way to Morrison’s supermarket on the edge of Worcester. I’d selected this one ahead of schedule because it offered us the opportunity to top up with cheap fuel and
LPG should we have needed it as well as food bits.
We had decided that rather than mess about with preparing an evening meal we’d eat in Morrison’s restaurant which are always good
value for money. So after two portions of fish, chips and mushy peas, two hot puddings which were on offer and two hot drinks for just £16 we waddled out thoroughly stuffed, which served us right.
Next stop was Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds where we plan to spend a couple of nights and include little hike, wet weather or not. Our hosts were the Bourton Football Club on Rissington Road, (GPS: N51.879853º W1.751511º)
who for £10 a night allow us to park on their property and provide a fresh water tap, single loo and a dump station.
On our arrival we were disappointed to find that on the football field
was some kind of caravan and motorhome rally. It looked like a pikey site. All that was missing were the burnt out cars and piles of rubbish. The Chef went in to find somebody and told them that if possible we would prefer to stay on the car park rather than
venture on to soft grass, from which we may not get off without ploughing up their field. That was fine they said and we set up shop there including getting the TV re-tuned to the local transmitter. Disappointingly the aerial didn’t pick up as many channels
here, but we had the 'big five', which was enough to see us through.
Due to our over indulgence at lunchtime all we could manage this evening was a bowl of soup and a bread roll, after which
we went for a wander around the village. My word it’s so much quieter once the daily hoards of visitors have left. This is a nice spot, but just a bit too busy, but that’s the problem these days, everywhere is being discovered by everyone.
On our return to the Football Club we were annoyed to see that a pikey caravanner was running a petrol generator next to their unit, and it wasn’t far from us. This thing clattered on all evening
and wasn’t switched off until very late. This was the first time we had ever encountered such selfishness. Not being hooked up to mains electricity I could understand that they may need to run a small generator for a couple of hours to recharge their
batteries, but not to use it for such a long period.
So it was indoors to watch a bit of TV including the latest news. It seems lots of people are getting all excited because ‘Boris the
Clown’ didn’t appear on Channel 4’s debate last night. These people don’t appreciate that he has other commitments. I bet that while the other candidates were arguing on TV, Boris was at a kid’s party busy making bendy toys from
blow-up balloons, before getting a custard pie from the birthday boy.
The weather forecast tomorrow is suggesting that it may be dry for the early part of the day and so we may well try
and get in a little walk before the rain returns again later.