History is so quickly forgotten . . .
This is an attempt to preserve the rich history of our Ohio MG-T Chapter

I recently discovered that I am in possession of the "First 25 Years of the Ohio Chapter, NEMGTR"   Club History.   It is a loose leaf notebook of over 80 pages written and edited by Shep and Peg Black, club members who are no longer with us.  It is a well crafted narrative of the beginnings of our club which they extracted from the Lord Neuffield Crier and presented in an interesting and engaging manner.

 

Realizing how easily these things can get lost in an organization like ours, (who has the "How To Host A GOOF" book?) I have made this effort to preserve this amazing work. I have scanned and computerized the pages into this digital record.  In spite of a dozen hours of editing and "cleaning up," you may still encounter a few mis-recognized letters.  Please overlook those errors and read it in context.

 

Most Internet browsers have a "find" or "find on this page" function that  will allow you to do name, place and date searches.  (Under the EDIT menu in I.E.; under the three dots in Chrome and Edge;  under three bars in Firefox.)  The "History" is indexed by year below.

 

I have posted all the searchable text as a downloadable Word and Rich Text (rtf) file. You can download your own copy.  Keep the files on your computer for your permanent record and to help preserve it.  I hope to add more history items in the future.

 

                                                                                                     --- David Shelburne, Ed

(The Legendary) Paul Johnson

First car ride for days old Victoria Zyp

Download a Microsoft Open Word file of Ohio Chapter History - First 25

“Time does not become sacred to us until we have lived it."

--John Burroughs, Naturalist

Peg & Shep Black

Sheppard (Shep) Black

This history covers the first 25 years of the Ohio Chapter of the New England MG-T

Register as gleaned from the pages of The Lord Nuffield Crier. It is a chronicle of the

chapter's beginning, its gatherings, natters and the associated activities of satellite

groups within the state. It recounts adventures and the camaraderie of members and

introduces some of them in profiles. Holding all this together, of course, are the

cars-the T-series, with occasional mention of other MG models.

 

The contents of issues vary reflecting the activity of the chapter and the interests

of the several editors. Little attempt has been made toward imposing any

uniform presentation since issues of the Crier differed widely in what they

covered. Too, two of us worked on it with our own differing approaches. The

editing style is vaguely that of the Associated Press.

 

Dan Glow supplied a remarkably complete run of the Crier. There are some

missing, but preceding and following issues usually cover a year's main events.

 

Shep and Peg Black

1969 and 197O

 

The establishment of the Ohio Chapter of the New England MG-T Register was a

response to the distance from the NEMGTR events, and the beginning was

recorded in the second issue of the Lord Nuffield Crier. This publication had

begun with the working name of the Ohio MG "T" Newsletter, and it appeared

after the first Ohio Gathering of the Faithful in the fall of 1969.The publication

was to grow, change, occasionally bypass a scheduled issue, but always be the

chronicle that informed Ohio Chapter members on chapter and NEMGTR

events, provided helpful technical information and, most importantly, helped

build the camaraderie that is at the heart of the chapter.

 

November 1,1970 was the date of that first issue of the newsletter, and was after

the chapter had already had two Ohio gatherings. Edited by Carol Hunter, it was

a modest four mimeographed pages and it identified the four officers of the

chapter: Craig Seabrook, president; Rita Glow, treasurer; Nancy Seabrook,

secretary; and Carol Hunter, publicity and TSO chairman.

 

"This newsletter needs a name," wrote the editor. Suggestions were solicited and

a vote promised. There followed a brief report on the most recent gathering,

which "despite ominous weather" had been highly successful. Held at the Green

Meadows Country Inn in Worthington also the site of the first gathering, it had

been attended by 22 couples. Events included a tour of Delaware County led by

Jack Hunter, and in the evening cocktails, a banquet, auction and slide show.

This followed the basic pattern for national GOFs and would continue at Ohio's

future gatherings.

 

Editor Hunter noted that Birdie Nichols had volunteered to make the chapter

banner and that suggested designs were in order. Those submitted were to

appear in the next issue of the newsletter. The final page of the newsletter listed

the 37 charter members of the Ohio Chapter, almost all of whom continued as

"hard core" chapter members

1971

 

Early n1971came volume two, number one, and the newsletter had become

'The Lord Nuffield Crier," and although mimeographed it had grown to 15

pages. A chapter secretary had disappeared from the masthead and a sPares

chairman had appeared.

 

With this issue the president's column was titled "Seabrook's Sump." That

column included several paragraphs of reminiscence regarding the founding of

he Ohio Chapter. From "Seabrook's Sump," then, the following:

 

Things started to happen...after I missed the Provincetown Gathering

in the fall of '69. I really felt lousy that weekend because I was not where it

was at. I could picture all of the cars and the people up there having a great

time and I was stuck in Westerville with the TC in the garage. So I figured

why not get on the ball and plan a local chapter with a few gatherings.

Reading The Sacred Octagon I had noticed that there were a few other local

chapters in the country and they seemed to be doing well. I knew quite a few

"T" owners in the Cleveland and Columbus area and thought they might like

to get together some time. So I dashed off a note to Frank Churchill asking

that he put something in "The Sacred Octagon" concerning my desire to get a

local chapter going.

 

So the next issue of TSO arrives in the fall and no mention of my ideas. A

quick check with Frank and he said it would definitely be in the next issue.

Finally the January /February issue came out and it turns out that Gary

Spradlin had the same idea. He and Jack Hunter wanted to get something

cooking in Ohio. We decided that I would send out a questionnaire if

response to the article in TSO was right. As it turned out, I had one reply;

Kells Lindsey was in the Columbus area picking up a stiff and stopped by

our apartment. I was not around but he talked to my wife.

 

So in the early spring I put together a questionnaire to check and see how

many people might be interested in a local register. I compiled a mailing list

of about 50 "T" owners. The questionnaire went out in the spring of '70 and

just asked for name, year and model of MG, would you be interested in

starting a register, and would you be interested in small gatherings. The

response was good; people passed the word and I had about 70 interested

people. Checking with some MG owners that I knew personally, I decided

why not shoot for a mini-gathering (Ohio Chapter rather than NEMGTR) in

July sometime to get things rolling. Figuring Columbus was centrally located

in Ohio, why not have the first gathering someplace in the area. Checking

around Columbus for suitable facilities and accommodations I found that the

Green Meadows Country Inn located in Worthington had what we needed.

So information and registration blanks were sent out to all who sent in the

questionnaire telling them about the planned Ohio GOF Mark I. The date

was set for July 25 and for me it came too soon.

 

There were all sorts of details to work out but it was well worth it. The day

was hot and sticky but about 60 people managed to make it for that first

Ohio gathering.  Car turn out was not quite as good with about 16 "T" types

making it from all ends of the state. The gathering consisted mainly of tire

kicking and making new friends. A two hour tour took place Saturday

afternoon and the banquet was held in the evening. After the banquet we

decided on a number of items including: calling ourselves the Ohio Chapter,

sending out registration blanks, keeping our New England membership

numbers, holding mini-gatherings on the third weekend in July and the

third weekend in October, that dues be $3.00 per year, and that I should be

head cheerleader of the Ohio Chapter. So we were off.

 

Shortly thereafter I sent out our official registration forms for the Ohio

Chapter and a short newsletter informing all of what had been decided at

the founders' meeting at GOF I. The notice also mentioned that GOF

Mark II was planned for October 10 back at the Green Meadows Country

Inn. This information was sent out to all who had answered the original

questionnaire. Slowly the registration forms came back.... By early fall I

had received about 35 registration forms which meant about $100 for the

treasury. GOF Mark II was fast approaching....

 

Straight from "Seabrooks's Sump," that's the way it all happened.

 

This second issue of the Crier credited Pam Glow, daughter of Rita and Dan, with

having submitted the new newsletter title. There were also sketches of designs

offered for the Ohio Chapter badge and banner; two the six entries came from

that same Pam Glow!

 

A bonus for readers of the Crier was the inclusion of "The Hamilton Pit Stop," an

account of racing found in the book Moments That Made Racing History. It was the

great story of the Tourist Trophy of 1933,Tazio Nuvolari and his victory at the

wheel of an MG. The clever newsletter editor cut the story at the very start of the

race; to be continued!

 

Membership had now reached 51. A three page membership roster arranged by

vehicle model revealed two vintage MGs, two 'TAs, 16 TCs, 32TDs, and seven TFs.

The Crier of March 1971, was almost entirely devoted to "Seabrooks's Sump."

Not only full of news of Ohio Chapter members activity, Craig included an

article found in the T'rillium News, the newsletter of the Ontario Chapter, that

had been taken from a book, Classic Cars 1930-1940. Edited excerpts below give

the chronology of those years.

 

Suffice it to say that by 1930 the firm [Morris Garages] was well established at

the Pavlova Works in Abingdon building a much modified version of the Morris

2 l/2 litre six cylinder car, and also a sports version, with a very light fabric two

seater body known as the 'M' fire. There were three editions of the cat, the Mark

I, a devil to slide, the Mark tr, a very good car built until1933, and the Mark II, a

wonderful car under development through 1929 and most of 1930.

 

In the 1930 Brooklands Double twelve hour race and subsequent events,

the M type proved so successful, and so much cheaper, that all available

personnel were put into developing the &47 cc car....These little cars went

from strength to strength and George Eyston took a number of

international class records in the prototype racing MG for 1931. This car

burned during the job.

 

From it was developed the successful "Monthery Midget 'C"' type racing

and "D" type sports models. While the 'C' type was performing well, and

the 'D' types selling well, a prototype car, the "Ex 127" was developed at

the same time as the I.3, developed from the 12. Then came a 'D' type and

'F' t;rye Magna. While these were in production H. H. Charles was busy

designed the I range, great little cars even if the braking was not up tr

standard. The J2 was the first of the line to carry the classic MG

coachwork, with "cutaway' doors and a slab tank aft that was to set the

fashion for many years to come.

 

Then came the J3,a supercharged J2, and the J4 in 1933, the racing version

of the J3, with much improved braking. In the same year came the F type

Magna, the L type and the racing version, the K3 Magnette, a great little

car that went on winning races for nearly 20 years. Tazio Nuvolari got

into one of these cars, never having seen one before, and won the 1933

tourist trophy.

 

The first of the 'P" range, the PA was virtually a commercial form of the

J4, also heavier, which led to the similar PB. From the "P" type was

developed the "Q" type racing car...with one outstanding arrangement, a

built-in clutch. But it became obvious to the MG design team that the "Q"

type engine gave more power than a conventional chassis could handle.

The natural result of which was the "R' type single seater racing car, a

brilliant piece of work, with, of course, troubles. Before the problems of

the "R" type could be eradicated, a crushing blow fell on the dedicated

band at Abingdon, who in five years had made MG one of the big names

in racing. Lord Nuffield sold out to Morris Motors LTD, who promptly

put a stop to racing.

 

It turned out that these pioneers of the 1930-35 had wrought better than they

knew. All over the world MG cars were raced in the hands of private owners,

with many successes, to the outbreak of war. Under the new regime in 1936, the

PA model became the PB and very good it was too, as was the TA model or large

engine capacity which followed it. The L type Magna was replace by the N type

Magnette, which was larger and heavier, more powerful and handles very well.

It grew up even more into the SA type.

 

In 1939 the SA became the 2.6litre WA, a splendid car that readily gave

90 mph together with 20 mpg when cruising fast. In 1936 the VA model

appeared, whose pretty range of bodywork was more attractive than its

performance. At the outbreak of war tn1939, MG were building the TA

and WA and VA" not a bad car though not very exciting.

 

The March issue continued with a brief mention of the forthcoming Ohio

GOF Mark III, but both host and locale were lacking. Plans were more firm for

the midwest caravan to the Register's GOF XII in Waterville Valley, NH.

"We have a spares laden American sweep car lined up and as usual will give

a caravan dash plaque, marked route map, route instruction sheet and

advance motel reservation service to anyone who applies for a caravan berth

and sends in a buck...."

 

There followed a lengthy account introducing the MG Marathon. [It] "is a

1000 mile reliability trial for T series and earlier cars, first planned in 1967 by

the Vintage MG Car Club in Chicago, first run in 1968 through the cooperation

of that club and the New England MG-T Register. The event is scheduled each

year to coincide with even-numbered 'Gatherings of the Faithful' semi-

annual outings of MG-T enthusiasts conducted by the Register." Purpose,

event format, route and awards were all addressed in detail. And extant

records for the event, as of the spring of 1971', were as follows:

 

TF 1500          17 hrs. and 15 min.

TF 1250          (none)

TD Mark II       17 hrs. and L4 min.

TD                   19 hrs. and 58 min.

TC                   18 hrs. and 37 min.

 

Meanwhile, back at "The Hamilton Pit Stop".... And about time, but again a

great account of racing ended with "to be continued."

 

The April-May issue of the Crier, now volume two, number three, identified

Put-in-Bay as the site for the 1971, summer Ohio Gathering. Details were

promised from Jerry Gundrum, the event scheduled for the third weekend in

July.

 

"Seabrook's Sump" reported long delayed success in "milk(ing) some

information out of Bob Satava concerning the upcoming marathon run

to...Waterville Valley.

 

To give you an idea how the T's can do over a course such

as this, the roster of the 20 Hour Club....includes the seven

best drives out of 11 attempts at the 1000 Marathon miles

made by six Register members driving four different

models of T, authenticated by the Register and the Vintage

MG Car Club in Chicago since 1968. The TS 1250 record is

wide open, the TD record vulnerable.  It will take some

digging to lower the TC, Mk II and 1500 marks, but even

they aren't safe. Every one of those drives included many

wasted minutes which could be converted into lower

elapsed time without driving any faster. Bob's advice was

"just put together a good car, good luck and a desire to

bring out the best that's in an MG-T, and a place on the

roster and maybe a new record is yours - to cap off an

unforgettable experience. "

 

The April-May issue also reported the results of a membership survey conducted

by Doug Ruth, spares chairman. The issues were several. There was

overwhelming disapproval of the Crier's cover design, a caricature of Lord

Nuffield. Regarding frequency of publication, a large majority favored

publication every other month. A third response was to the choice of a badge

design with the favorite being a design submitted by Beverly Jaquays.

 

At last and as promised came the conclusion of "The Hamilton Pit Stop." A great

account and a smashing final few lines.

 

As if Nuvolari was not aware that it was now or never on

that last lap, the pit staff were leaning far over the counter,

waving arms and screaming; the crowds were shouting.

On that lap both men [Nuvolari and Townsend] defied all

laws of gravity and centrifugal force. They went through

Newtownards one behind the other, and on the fast

section beyond, the extra power of the Magnette came into

ib own and Nuvolari slashed past, 115 mph to the

Midget's 105. It was the end. And as the excited

spectators craned forward, Staniland crashed the

six-cylinder Riley at Quarry Corner.

 

Nuvolari screeched around Dundonald hairpin and came

flat out up the hill to where the chequered flag was held

high. He had lapped at 80.35 mph. He shot across the line

with one arm in the air, 40 seconds ahead of Hamilton, at

an overall average of 78.65 mph, a record for the race by

more than 4 mph.

 

Behind the exhausted pair, Dixon, undaunted as ever, was

fighting for third place with Rose-Ridrards, Eddie Hall

(Magnette), after a magnificent race, dose behind them.

Dixon's mechanic had been in agony-he was holding the

loose exhaust pipe in place and the battery was splashing

burning acid on to his trousers, which disintegrated onto

his legs. They finished fourth, Hall fifth, but, after

examination of the regulations, the stewards reluctantly

disqualified him [Dixon] for having a defective silencing

system - they had no alternative. Hall was therefore place

fourth, Lord Howe fifth, Belfast's Bobby Baird sixth.

 

In tribute to Dixon's wonderful, fighting race, Sir William

Morris presented Dixon with a special award of L10O

equivalent to what he would have won.

 

Nuvolari finished on his reserve tank- and that was

nearly empty. It is on record that somebody asked

Hounslow [Nuvolari's mechanic] about the state of the

brakes after those astonishing lap times. "Brakes?'he said,

"the man doesn't use them!"

 

 It had been the fastest race of the series. ' ,'.

By the 1971 August-September issue, the Crier confirmed a successful summer

Ohio Gathering, not, however, at Put-in-Bay. Although hosted by the Gundrums,

the locale was the Derrick lnn, just north of Mansfield. The schedule of events

followed precedent with a tour, banquet and auction.

 

At the business meeting, Bob Satava reported on the forthcoming national

Gathering of the Faithful to be held in Ohio. Kells Lindsey was to host the fall

Ohio Gathering, its location yet to be determined. And there was an election d

officers and discussion of dues. New officers were Craig Seabrook and Rita

Glow, retaining their posts as president and treasurer, Bob Beck became spares

chairman and Doug Ruth publicity chairman. Dues were unchanged at $3 per

family.

 

The December 1971. issue of the Crier was a slim one, there being only brief

mention of the Ohio Gathering held in New Philadelphia. Most important,

perhaps,was the inclusion of a statement from Dick Knudson regarding local

chapters of the Register. These seven paragraphs or so affirmed the Register's

desire to encourage the formation and growth of such groups.

1972

 

With the first number of volume three dated January-April, 1972, the caricature

of Lord Nuffield disappeared from the cover of the Crier.

 

The issue led off with a full schedule of events for the national gathering, GOF

Mark XIV, at Hudson. Doug Ruth reported on the Ohio Chapter summer

gathering to be held at Burr Oak Lodge in southeastern Ohio near Athens.

 

For the first time the Crier reprinted the full text of minutes from the February 5

1972 meeting of the Register Board of Directors. Although the minutes do not

indicate a representative from the Ohio Chapter in attendance, copies of the

minutes must have been provided local groups. The minutes reveal thoughtful

discussion of a variety of issues. Of particular interest was the concern for safety

as it arose in tours and caravans. Appended to the minutes was a lengthy

explanation of the Beaulieu Cup.

 

Volume three, number two of the Crier offered a report, "as seen from the drain

hole of Seabrook's Sump," of the Ohio Chapter's GOF Mark V held at Burr Oak

Lodge. It was a lovely setting, but it was hot! Some 67 people and 25 cars were

there.

 

There was the usual tire kicking, an inviting pool as well as the lake, rallye and

tour, banquet, auction, and to end the evening a fi[m, "Safety Fast" and Merrit

Lighthall's slides of the very first Ohio Chapter Gathering.

 

Announcements included notice that Craig and Nancy Seabrook were to host the

upcoming fall gathering, its location Punderson State Park and the dates October

21-22. Ohio Chapter badges were at last ready. Samples has met with approval

at the recent Burr Oak Lodge Gathering. Fourteen new members were listed,

among them one Fred Kuntz.

 

As was often the case in earlier issues of the Crier, this issue contained lots of

information regarding activity of the Ontario Chapter. Gatherings were

regularly announced in the Crier and nearly every issue contained contributions

from Ontario Chapter members, news of members activity, and articles drawn

from the Ontario Chapter newsletter.

1973

 

New names appeared on the masthead of the Crier, volume four, number one,

dated January 1973. Richard Lewis was identified as editor and publisher; Jim

Young, membership chairman; Birdie Nichols, secretary; Dan Glow, technical

chairman; Dick Gardner, regalia chairman; Jerry Gundrum, publicity chairman.

Craig Seabrook remained Ohio Chapter chairman, Rita Glow, treasurer, and Bob

Beck, spares chairman.

 

"Seabrook's Sump" provided a full account of the Ohio Chapter Gathering at

Punderson Manor House. Although "damp and chilly," participants lunched on

hot dogs and hamburgers done over charcoal in the parking lot. Mid-afternoon

cars were dispatched at two minute intervals on Dan Glow's Treasure Hunt

Rallye. Some 60 attended the evening banquet.

 

From The Octagon, the newsletter of the Classic MG Car Club of Orlando, Florida,

came two items, the first regarding the membership of any organization.

 

Who Does The Work?"

 

Some one has said that the membership of any organizations made up

of Four Bones.

There are the Wishbones who spend all their time wishing someone else

would do all the work.

There are the ]awbones who do all the talking, but very little else.

Next come the Knucklebones who knock everything that everyone else

tried to do.

And finally come the Backbones who get under the load and do the work.

Remember, the club is only as good as you make it!

 

The second item offers lyrics to be sung to the melody of "Born Free." Here the

lyrics for a "T" owner's serenade.

 

Serenade to Your "T" Type

 

MG_

I live just to touch you"

When I double-clutch you,

MG, it gives me a thrill!

 

MG-

I love your ignition

your four-speed transmission

your points, your plugs and

your grill!

 

MG-

When I look inside you

the sight of each piston rod

brings me closer to God!

 

MG-

I'll wash you and wax you!

If some Chevy smacks you,

I'll die, M...G...!

 

Although Dan Glow had often written on technical matters for the Crier, this was

perhaps the first issue in which his column bore the title "Valve Clatter."

 

Sixteen new members were listed, including the Rev. and Mrs. Thomas

Baumgardner. The issue came to an end with "The Real Cost of A Sports Car."

 

Volume four, number two, May 1973, featured "Tweets from the Big Bird; or, what

it's like being a sports car enthusiast." Author Birdie Nichols spoke from long and

certainly rewarding experience. "Only those who own them know," she wrote.

 

The following Crier, number three, in September, mentioned "our last gathering

in Piqua," but offered no recap of the event. Ohio Chapter Gathering Mark VIII

was announced for October 20 at the Treadway Inn, Aurora, Ohio. The fall

Register Gathering in Watkins Glen N.Y., would include the awarding of the

Beaulieu Cup, and Ray and Charlene Kuhar were assembling an Ohio Chapter

team. And a determined effort it was. The governing rules read:

 

The Beaulieu Cup will be awarded at GOF XVII, Watkins Glen,

September 15 to the local group which has compiled the highest total of

T-Series (including vintage) MG miles driven in caravan from its central

point of departure to the Glen. In the event a secondary point of

departure is required, it is expected that complete records will be

maintained and that routes will converge into one caravan the significant

point being that the concept of the Beaulieu Cup competition is a caravan

of MGs and not a series of individual starting points. Safety precautions

seem to indicate that the maximum number of cars Per caravan unit is

about 10 [but] there is no limit to the number of units.

 

In a printed letter, the Kuhars wrote that the previous winning chapter compiled

a total mileage of 2,037. "with just 10 cars we can total over 3,000 miles. If we can

get 20 we can win the cup by a fantastic margin.', Tentative plans for beginning

the September 14 drive called for a starting point in the Columbus area, where

cars would leave at 7 a.m. and another point in the Medina area, leaving there by

10 a.m. It would be a one-day trip. Accompanying the letter was a questionnaire

for those planning to go and a plea for a quick response, ending with ,,see you at

the starting line."

 

The final issue of the "Crier" for 1973, volume four, number four, Iisted a new

Ohio Chapter chairman, Jay Nichols. Craig Seabrook,s long devotion to the Ohio

Chapter was happily not an end for "seabrook's sump,' was filled to

overflowing. Craig, Nancy, and other Clevelanders had hosted the gathering at

the Treadway Inn in Aurora. Threatening weather had failed to bring rain, and

the rallye proved challenging to say the least, requiring among other things a

telephone call to Lord Nuffield himself for directions. Bob Gressard was credited

with having shaped the rallye.

 

The evening brought a social hour, banquet, auction and slide show. Officers

were elected, reports given and upcoming gatherings announced. Jim and

Miriam Yaussy would host the summer gathering in Bucyrus, and John Dyarmett

and Jack Smittle would co-host the fall gathering in the Columbus area. Slides of

earlier gatherings were provided by Craig Seabrook and Dan Glow. Sunday

morning brought sunshine and a tour to the Glow's "octagon Acres.,,

 

This issue came to an end with "Nichols Worth', an apt title for notes from the

newly elected Ohio Chapter chair.

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