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Dorset Group 2020 Diary: January
1st January 2020 Haselbury Mill, just outside Crewkerne in Somerset.

Organised by the Yeovil Car Club and held in the lovely grounds of Haselbury Mill. Nigel and Janice bought their beautiful A35 soft top conversion. Colin and Ruth drove their bright green Citroen 2CV. Alas, yet again, I had to arrive in my modern. Zak and Mel along with Paul and Lisa from the Southwest Group travelled down from Taunton and Sparkford. Then Marion and Keith, from Yeovil,  joined us with Marion's beautiful little A30. Alas Marion's little Chugga Bug decided that it would fail to restart after it's short run from Yeovil. Luckily Zak was on hand with Buddy and a set of jump leads. Hopefully Keith will have soon found out what the problem was as they

Please click the image above for a slide show of the Rally.

are hoping to join us all again at the Haynes Motor Museum's breakfast club meet on Sunday 5th January 2020. Paul and Lisa also had a small problem driving home from Lyme Regis, when one of the fuses failed. Paul did a quick swap and managed to nurse the car home without indicators etc. Lisa assures me that she will now be carrying a boot load of spares every time they take the car out. A valuable lesson learned, but it could have been worse.  Paul and Lisa also hope to attend the breakfast club meet. Seeing as they live in Sparkford they have no excuse really...... It was a great little show held in beautiful surroundings despite the slightly damp weather conditions. Hopefully, next year will be even better and several more of the group attend. It was a great way blow away a few cobwebs to start the new year. 

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Haynes Motor Musuem Breakfast meet
The first Sunday of each month sees the Haynes Motor Museum holding it's now famous Breakfast Club Meet. 1000's of like minded people flocking to show of their pride and joy and enjoy a fabulous breakfast. I met up with Zak, Lisa, Paul, Marion and Keith. Lisa, Zak, Marion all bought their Austins, whilst Paul brought along his lovey TR 250. Keith is hoping to bring his Sunbeam Talbot Mk 111 sometime soon, although he is recovering from an an operation on his gear changing hand at the moment. He wasn't brave enough to allow me to drive it for him....
Tuesday 21st January 2020 Dorset group A.G.M.

Tuesday 21st January saw a smaller than usual amount of Dorset Group members attending the annual A.G.M. Rob led an informal meeting outlining previous events that we had held or attended over the past 12 months. The big one of course was the 2019 Jurassic International Rally. All of whom agreed that is was a great success. Despite lowering the normal Rally Fees and the camping fees, after taking out all expenses we managed to hand over to the National Club just over £1550 plus the initial £500 loan that helped get us going. All in all a great time for all of us in Dorset. Derek gave a brief outline of the accounts and we are quite well off financially. Due to the amount of money that the Group managed to raise over the Rally weekend it has been decided that all pre-paid up members will get their 2020 membership free of charge. All new members wishing to join will still be charged the nominal amount of £6.00. Derek was thanked by all for his hard work throughout the year, this year was especially hard with the International Rally. Keith reported that the spares scheme had been very slow throughout the past 12 months. Hopefully this issue can soon be resolved. We are planning on making a list of spares available from Keith in each issue of The Austin Express. Speaking of the Austin Express, Elaine Henson has sadly decided to give up her role as magazine editor. We would like to thank Elaine for all of her hard work over the previous years. So that now means that Rob Stanley and  myself (Jeff Carter) will be taking over as joint editors. Hopefully between us we can keep the magazine a viable contribution to the Dorset Group. Regarding the website I am a little concerned that it is not really conveying what we do as a Group. Obviously we are doing something right as we have had in excess of 800 individual visitors in just over 12 months. This is not 800 hits, but 800 people. Many thanks to you all., It makes all of the hard work worthwhile. But I would like to expand the website and try and collate much more from the archives. I have now amassed a large quantity of old Dorset Group magazines and I will try and scan some of the pictures. Unfortunately many of the pictures are low quality resolution and may not scan at all. But I will try. If you have any old articles that you feel would benefit fellow Dorset Group members, then please get in touch. Finally, Len Jeanne has decided to hand over the post of Dorset Group membership secretary. If anyone would like to take on this role, then please contact Rob and he will guide you along the way. The committee members were all then voted back en mass and Rob thanked everyone for attending.  

As is standard practise after our A.G.M. Stan Chatterton had organised a light hearted "easy" quiz. In Stan's words "well it's easy if you know the answers" 15 Austin A30 A35 related questions were read out by Stan with the possibility of 20 points on offer. Stan had also very kindly supplied a book about travelling around Dorset as a prize. Questions included: What was the last vehicle that was fitted with a Zenith 26 J.S. Carburetter? What is the longest A30 A35 vehicle produced in feet and inches? In Austin terms, how do you spell carburetter......? By the way everyone spelled it C A R B U R E T T O R. But check your workshop manuals..... Many thanks again must go to Stan for producing such a fun quiz at such short notice. The winner with a very impressive 19 points out of 20 was Alan Hilling. Very well done indeed, you certainly know your Austins. 

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February 2020
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 The Great Western Classic Car Show. Royal Bath and West Showground. 

Please click the photograph above for more images

The Great Western Car Show has come and gone. Although the weather wasn't too bad on Saturday storm Ciara turned up with a vengeance on Sunday. Despite the high winds and torrential rainfall. A few hardy souls made the trip. I was a bit more sensible and travelled up on Saturday. The classic carpark was jam packed with classics from all eras. I stumbled across  what looked like a rather down at heel Austin A35. After poking my head through the drivers window, the interior was absolutely mint. Then the owner came over and started chatting. It was in fact a very well used but totally sound vehicle that he had owned for a while. Several major mechanical changes had been made including a

twin carburettered 1275cc MG Midget engine, disc brakes and some small changes to the suspension. The owner, sorry I forgot to ask your name, said that one day the car may get painted, but for now he is enjoying the patina look of the car. 

Above: The Club Stand looking good. Click the photograph for more images

The International Group were very well represented on a new Club stand. Maned by a small group of Club members. On Saturday it was announced that one of the vehicles on the stand had been voted Car of the Show. Sunday the Group went one better and won Club Stand of the Show. Very well done to all concerned.  John Bellows, Colin Hughes, Terrie and Shane Fenton also made the journey. Some of you may remember Shane brought his stunning Pontiac Firebird to the International Rally last year. Shane bought his Firebird to display along with a small family of mice that Terrie proceeded to feed with Cornish Pasty crumbs. Shane also brought along his lovely Bedford CA

van. The van was found after having been left unused for many years. Shane had the vehicle rewired, completely overhauled the brakes with new pipes and often uses it to drive to work. The van is lovely and seemed to gain much more interest than the Pontiac. By the way, if you see Shane or Terrie at a show and Terrie asks if you would like a cup of coffee, say yes. Terrie makes a mean cuppa. 

Left: A few photographs from the show. Unfortunatley it seems that this show has run it's course and there are no plans to continue. If I hear any different I will post it here. 


Please click the image above for the Great Western Show Gallery

Cheddar Gorge July 12th 2020
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Please click the image above for the Cheddar Gorge Gallery

A chance message from Zak Linhan on Facebook led me to attend a lovely afternoon with a few of the South West group in Cheddar Gorge. Despite having to adhere to social distancing the event was very well organised. 4 Austins plus Mel in her modern all met up in Glastonbury before making the journey through Somerset and finally ending at the gorge. I had never been to Cheddar Gorge before and Zak assured me that the fish and chip supper would be well worth it and that swayed my decision to meet up with them. Zak, Mel, Jessica, Paul, Lisa, Mary, Steve, Tim and Tim's partner all made for a lovely afternoon in beautiful surroundings. One thing that

did strike me as slightly odd though. Despite the fact that 4 baby Austins turned up, not one of them was in standard guise. But it was great to see them all anyway.  

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