Jenny and Stafford's amazing blog site ~

Archive for June, 2011

Has anyone seen URB 394 – my old MG TF?

It is funny what stirs the memories ~ no funny jokes at my expense please!

Married ~ 31 July 1971

1 August 1971 ~ Westbury

Well it will be our 40th Wedding Anniversary this year and Jenny and I were looking at some photos of our wedding and our lovely MG TF in particular.  We went away in it, plastered in shaving foam and towing tin cans and all manner of rubbish.  The shaving foam even bleached the paintwork in places.  We toured parts of France in 1972, with a tent belonging to Jenny’s parents that you could fit the TF in and service it!

Camping near Blois 1972 with tent

We started talking about the car and the great times that we had had before the second child arrived and made her (the car that is) seriously impractical for a run-about.  To think of it ~ there were no safety belts and our precious son merely went in his carry cot on the rear parcel shelf ~ no straps.  Safety conscious cotton wool man would have us locked up in jail and have thrown away the key !  I should add that all of us behaved like this in those days (1973 ish).

This was a car with a performance like one of the original Minis, so not so startling, but it would corner on rails, could be slid about with gay abandon (think of the old original meaning of gay not new gay please youngsters!) and was real fun.  It could be driven flat out all of the time, and mostly was.  A year after I bought the car in 1967 I was driving down a long hill, with the windscreen folded flat, and in top gear, I over revved the engine, breaking every big end bearing ~ hmm ~ very costly!  I recently drove  a friend of mine’s MG TD, same vintage, who had his car at the same time that I had mine, in fact it was how we met.  I was terrified of it, slightly vague steering, hard bouncy ride and quite noisy, didn’t stop like a modern car, quite old fashioned really.  I managed to get up to 30 or 40 miles an hour, which seemed quite fast enough.  There is no doubt about it we are completely spoilt and isolated from reality in our nice new modern cars, however I am not convinced that the overall journey times are any different today.

Jenny was driving to work one day around the North Circular in London, near to Brent Cross, and one of the rear wheels fell off.  She rang me to say so, and I said no no no it must have been just the hub cab, but no she was right.  Fortunately a couple of burly lorry drivers help my diminutive wife to park the MG safely on the side of the road out of harms way.  It was easy to repair, simply pop the wheel and hub back on, tighten the nut and replace the missing split pin ~ no bovver mate, done by lunch time and no questions asked!

So what happened to our TF?  We sold it in 1975/6 to an American serviceman based at RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire.  I recall that we were paid £980.  It was sufficient to buy Jenny a relatively new Morris 1000 Traveller, build a garage, and install a new kitchen.  We thought that it had been exported to the USA, and it might well have been, as the records in the DVLA suggest that it was first registered in 1990.  So did it go to the States and return in 1990?  We know that it is still registered in the UK and that the tax disc expires in 2012.  So where is it, who owns it?  Does anybody know?

Jaberwocky in Blois 1972

The perfect place for a sundowner ~ La Maison du Jardinier

La Maison du Jardinier

Following on from a suggestion made by guests staying in La Maison du Jardinier we have created a perfect place for a sundowner.  The work required was simple.  We have cut back some of the overhanging branches to a yew tree and trimmed some of the hydrangeas.  We have bought a wooden bench and used a wrought iron slate topped table for drinks and nibbles.  Our guests this week were thrilled with the result and spent nearly two hours on three consecutive evenings in the sunshine.  I just do not know why we had not done this before, it now seems so obvious!  Cheers by the way!

La Maison du Jardinier ~ evening drinks

Tour de Bretagne ~ Classic Car Rally June 2011

A small fleet of about 30 classic cars from England began their Tour de Bretagne this morning Friday 24 June from the centre of  St Pol de Leon in Finistere.  The cars were all post second world war and varied in condition and type.  I noted two early short wheel base Land Rovers, some MGA 1600s, a couple of Austin Healey 3000s, a Nissan Pau, a Volvo P1800, a more modern Aston Martin, A very unusual Royale Sabre (one of only 78 built). a Triumph Spitfire, and a lovely TR3.  They were accompanied by a Brit Assist breakdown van ~ I hope that it is not needed.

Our guests with their immaculate TR3

A Royale Sabre

The event will be a fantastic way of taking your classic car on a little tour with like minded people and with some interesting cars .  I was curious to see the tulip map routing used by the entrants.  I guess that this is a standard method of rapid map reading on a rally of this sort.  I have to say that I am a bit old fashioned and like a good old map!  What happens when you get lost?  Where do you stay on these little jaunts?

The tour will take in some lovely parts of Brittany and end up each day in Treguier, itself a great place to go.  I must get switched onto events like this.  It would be fun to join in with my Citroen 2CV.  See more photos

MG A 1600 & Triumph Spitfire

Bienvenue dans mon Jardin


Reportage par Le Telegramme ~ Morlaix 

Jardins. Les trésors du patrimoine naturel

6 juin 2011

Du côté du manoir de Coat Amour, les curieux venus arpenter les cinq hectares du parc ont pu découvrir un espace magnifique jalonné de bouleaux, de pins, de hêtres. Ils ont été accueillis par le charmant couple britannique, propriétaire du domaine depuis 2004, Jenny et Stafford Taylor. Avec un délicieux accent «so british», Jenny nous confie qu’elle est «très heureuse de recevoir les Morlaisiens» dans ses jardins. Stafford estime qu’il y a eu «près de 200 personnes à être passées depuis ce matin». Très fiers de leur parc qu’ils entretiennent eux-mêmes, ils reconnaissent que les conditions climatiques exceptionnelles ont assuré une floraison très précoce, magnifiant ainsi les lieux pour le plus grand plaisir des visiteurs.


Le Telegramme Tresco Trophy ~ part 1

Queuing to go in the lock in Morlaix

Jazz Band

The second lock is full

The Telegramme Tresco Trophy, organised by the Yacht Club de Morlaix,is now en route for Gurnesey.  At about 16:30 this afternoon 1May 113 boats queued up for the lock in Morlaix harbour.  About five locks worth of boats later they were all on route for the open sea and the start of the race.  They were seen off by hundreds of well wishers and a fantastic Jazz band.  For more photos click here.

The safety boat

They are off

The first yachts started their race at about 18:30.  The bigger class of boats were still coming down the river as I returned home to make sure my guests were still content.

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