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The Tom Hall Trophy Run, 2nd September 2018

The morning of Sunday 2nd September dawned bright and clear, and surprisingly warm for County Durham at 20⁰c. Eighteen interesting sports cars belonging to Durham MG Club members gathered at Bowburn Services for the start of the ‘Tom Hall Trophy’ Run.

This annual event was instigated by Gwen Hall in memory of Tom, a much respected Club member. All entrants are invited to make a donation towards the Clubs Charities, and the annual trophy is presented to one of the participants who successfully completes the run.

The warm sunny morning encouraged all present to engage in lots of friendly conversation and banter; a bit like club nights. Instructions and direction sheets were handed out in return for monetary donations, and Patricia May took orders for Sunday Lunches, to be ordered ahead, for the designated ‘pub break’.

By 10.30am we all set off, left turn out of the services [right turn can be hazardous in serious traffic], and headed southwards.

Sedgefield Racecourse was hosting a car-boot sale, with hundreds of cars in in the public car park. What a difference to the church we passed with only 5 cars outside. How things have changed in the last 100 years. Well, I suppose they must be for the better really, as the Victorians didn’t have MG’s.

Forever onwards, through Sadburge, Middleton St George, Croft; then crossing the River Tees into deepest N. Yorkshire. Not darkest Yorkshire as the sun shone and the sky was blue. Before reaching the outskirts of Northallerton we passed between two huge car retailing outlets, both selling cars made in Germany. What a change from the old days [pre 2005] when the only thing there was a small garage dealing in MG/Rover cars.

Then, before the traffic congestion of Northallerton, a sharp right took us northwest past Kiplin Hall to Scorton, home of legendary Auto-jumbles (look in your Morgans diary), through Middleton Tyas., under the A1M to Melsomby, and finally the Stanwick Inn at Albrough St John, where we all arrived safely just in time for a welcome drink before Sunday Lunch was served.

Although a warm day, and a hot dining room it was surprising how popular the Sticky Toffee Puddings and deserts with custard were with our male members.

After lunch we all gathered outside on the green. Gwen Hall gave a ‘magic number’ between 1 & 18, and this number on the list of entrants was chosen for the trophy. The winner was not only the oldest car that had completed the run {MGA} but the only one with one occupant and no navigator. So well done Kevin Coston.

Most of us then traveled northwards up the Roman Road , DERE St, through Piercebridge, and Royal Oak for a chinwag and tea at Shildon Locomotion Museum, but some of us, full of Sunday Lunch, elected a leisurely journey homewards.

A quick count of the donations totaled a sum of £145 to be distributed to our chosen charities, [Air ambulance and Cancer Support nurses].

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