Welcome to Issue 72, June 2022. Twenty-eight (28) issues to go to make it one hundred (100)! Achieving this milestone would be nice but articles are in short supply and whilst I can hopefully keep going, I’m not sure that the articles will continue to be there to help.
I am finding it increasingly necessary to pen articles myself and the recent exercise on numbers of TAs on the road in the UK has been unbelievably time consuming.
In one way, I suppose, it was a blessing that there was a shortage of articles which needed to be made good by the TA exercise, otherwise it would not have appeared ……
TTT 2 is essentially an Internet publication, but ever since the first issue appeared in August 2010, I have ensured that printed copies are available. Recent increases in print and postage costs have meant that I have had to increase subscriptions for the printed copy. Due to its small print run, I cannot take advantage of economies of scale, both in printing costs and postage rates. The unit print cost is £2.13 and UK postage is £1.65. Add them together to get £3.78 and multiply by 6 (six issues per year) and you get £22.68. I have just increased the UK subscription to £21! Fortunately, some subscribers pay more than the £21 asked for.
This issue contains details of TF1500s on the road in the UK. It is as accurate as we can get, but as with the TA exercise, there’s bound to be more turn up ….let’s hope so!
The April editorial mentioned a press release about the major event in the UK to mark the centenary of M.G. in 2023. Internet readers who receive the automated email telling them that the latest issue of TTT 2 is on the website, will have been able to view the press release from the link in the covering letter. For the benefit of our printed copy subscribers, the press release is reproduced later in this issue.
I received some sad news in April about Alan Atkins from his son, Martin. Alan passed away in March at home with his family around him. He was just a few months short of his 95th birthday.
A design engineer by background, he joined the Metal Box Company after the Second World War. He worked for the company for over 34 years and rose to become its Chief Design Engineer. He designed many of the Company’s tins, packaging materials, trays, toys and commemorative memorabilia, much of which has been on display at the Mansfield Museum where an exhibition in his honour has been running.
His passion and knowledge of MG’s started with his 1952 TD, imported back into the UK in 1990. It belonged to a famous tennis player in the US but languished at the back of Bob Satava’s MG Restoration Shop since 1976. It came over the pond largely complete, minus the upholstery and carpets, which generations of mice had taken to consuming. Indeed, the engine itself was found to have been used as a grain store when opened up.
A three-year restoration to bring the car back to operation, complete with conversion back from LHD to RHD ensued. The car was regularly taken abroad with son Martin to Le Mans and over the next 25 years with Notts MG Club to France, Belgium, Netherlands and numerous runs in the UK…the last being the Isle of Man September run where a non-stop night journey back from the Liverpool ferry terminal to Mansfield, Notts gained many onlookers as the car, roof down traversed a few light showers on the way. Testimony to Alan’s meticulous maintenance of the car and sensible upgrades along the way, the car is robust and reliable for modern day cruising.
Alan was generous to share these improvements and was a regular contributor to MGOCC, writing numerous articles on fitting 5 speed gearbox complete with sensible “fix” to withdraw the gearbox from inside the car negating engine & box removal, clear side-screen modification, central arm rest, modified windscreen wipers to incorporate the better TF type blades on the original TD motor, fitment of electric fan, oil cooler, spin-off canister, 4-branch manifold, gas flowed DERRINGTON head, alternator conversion, discrete sat nav take-off point, larger central mirror when luggage rack was full and many more articles.
When certain MG parts became scarce, Alan drew upon his engineering skills and networks to prepare castings and finished machining the parts in his workshop as varied as radiator elbows (done in gun metal to give longevity) and thermostatic housings now sold by MGOCC and NTG. He gave his time selflessly to fellow enthusiasts and often had them over to his workshop and full length walk-in pit to effect repairs and modifications. A mine of information and innovative solutions, Alan will be sorely missed by all that knew him. A special thanks goes to the Notts MG Club who provided so much fun, support, encouragement and friendship over the years – he had a rich and fulfilled life.