I joined the National MMOC around 1985 because we had been given a Morris Minor. The Minor is a 2-door Saloon in Snowberry white, registered in 1970. My Uncle had been ill and he had driven the Minor as his every day car but when he recovered, he purchased a new Volkswagen Golf and gave the Minor to my father and myself.
We had no use for it at the time and it was stored in our garage. After about 5 years (early 1990) I was having lunch in the Barclay restaurant at Shaw’s Bridge when I saw a poster advertising the 10th anniversary Rally of the NI branch of the MMOC. I rang the number on the poster and spoke to the branch secretary who invited me to the rally. It was a mad rush to get the car ready and MOTed (it had done 150 miles since it was last MOTed 8 years previously).
My father and myself attended the rally which started at Shaw’s Bridge and traveled to Hillsborough where we had a civic reception in the town hall Lisburn and finishing at the Barclay. Special guests that day were Noel Williams, president if the IMMOC and his wife Helen who presented the club with a plaque from the IMMOC. That day we met Morris Minor owners from all over Northern Ireland, some of whom are still attending club events today.
Shortly after attending the rally I began attending meetings of the club, then at Cregagh library. At the next AGM on 3rd January 1991 I was elected Treasurer and asked to attend a meeting of the AOVC in the Drumkeen Hotel. What they did not tell me was that this would be the AGM and the Secretary had already informed the AOVC that he was standing down. I attended this meeting only to find that I was elected AOVC Secretary!
The car and the club has given me many memories including a superb trip to Euro Disney in Paris in 1992, where 48 cars traveled from NI including 14 Minors who made the journey there and back without any problems. Other memories include many Scottish National rallies, to Blenheim Palace for the Minor’s 50th anniversary Rally in 1998 and many great trips to Bandon over many years to the All Ireland Morris Minor Rally.
Of our own events, some highlights include the ‘Big Steaks Run’, a trip to Rathlin Island, taking part in the Lord Mayor’s Show in London, a trip to Marble Arch Caves and the Minor only Rally where we parked in the shape of a 50 for an aeral photograph during the Minor’s 50th anniversary year.
Our weekends have taken us to County Donegal and Monaghan, to Scotland, England and the Isle of Man. Sadly looking back, I rememeber the real characters who were club members and today are no long with us.
There have been many changes, when I joined the club there were not so many clubs in NI and not anything near as many events. You were always on the look out for events to attend. Then you filled out every application form you could get your hands on, now you have to be selective as there are so many events being held on the same day!
Trevor Mitchell, Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland