Turning the clock back with a Morris Minor

Those who know me well realise that a lot of the time I live with one foot in the past. So I had the perfect opportunity to do just that last weekend.

Dawkins family and Morris Minor

The occasion was the 150th anniversary of Upton Vale Baptist Church, of which we are members. The large building, opposite Torquay’s Town Hall, was first opened in April 1832 and our celebrations are spanning three weekends. Taking the theme from a Bible verse: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), last Sunday we celebrated the ‘yesterday’ part of our history and everyone was encouraged to dress up in costume, representing some part of the building’s timeline.

We tried to create the ‘Mr & Mrs 1967’ look, to suit the age of our Morris Minor, but actually we look more like ‘Mr & Mrs 1940’, particularly the spiv on the right with his trilby set at a jaunty angle.

As you can imagine, we thoroughly enjoyed getting into the yesteryear mood and a few cheap ebay purchases (such as fake NHS glasses for me and a repro antique handbag for Mrs Busmanjohn) completed the illusion. Many other folk joined the fun, with all sorts of excellent costumes worn. In other departures from the norm, we dispensed with our usual worship band, in which we sing and play, and formed a traditional choir instead.

If you’re on Facebook, there’s a great set of photos taken by photographer Paul Eaton which sum up the day very well.

My next outing with a bus, correctly attired in a Tilling bus uniform of course, will be next Saturday when I’m off to Bath with (very appropriately) a Bath Services Bristol Lodekka.

4 comments on “Turning the clock back with a Morris Minor

  1. Stephen says:

    I am glad somebody else lives in the past. Although I think I have BOTH my feet in it.

  2. Karl Drobnic says:

    I used to ride in Morris Minors a lot when I worked in Sri Lanka in the 1980s. Colombo was full of Morris Minor taxicabs. I think they were the slowest taxis on earth – which was fine. There was no reason to be a hurry in Colombo, and the slow rides were a pleasant interlude in the workday.

    • busmanjohn says:

      There are still lots of them around. I’ve just got back from the Morris Centenary Rally at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, where there were hundreds, possibly over 1,000 Morris Minors visiting. I believe there’s a factory in Sri Lanka that still produces body and chassis parts for the Morris Minor.

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