The eighth annual PWMN Rally – Rutland 23rd -25th June 2017

Multum in Parvo (Much in a small space)

Rutland is the United Kingdom’s smallest county (Just 151 square miles) within which is located the country’s largest reservoir (by surface area) namely Rutland Water. It is also a beautiful part of rural England with a network of lanes and byways just waiting to be explored and ideally suited to small light cars such as our Morris Minors. It’s unlikely that we will be caught speeding on Rutland’s roads as there are no fixed speed cameras in the county although that can’t be said of the neighbouring counties of Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. The county town of Oakham is a delightful place to visit with its own castle (in reality a Tudor Hall) and an interesting museum while nearby are the towns of Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough both in the adjoining county of Leicestershire.

Our rally host Janie Maeers along with helpers Martin & Jean Gregory have between them devised two Minor friendly tours which will take in some of the East Midland’s most picturesque vistas, many of which are centred around the magnificent Rutland Water. This bird and wild-life haven will also provide the backdrop for those opting to take a spectacular Sunday afternoon cruise on the Rutland Belle. Our two tours, the ‘long’ eighty mile Saturday tour and the ‘short’ thirty mile Sunday morning jaunt will also take in a maze, ‘Leicestershires most pictureque village’, along with some breathtaking waterside scenery at Eye Brook Reservoir, in addition to that around the shoreline of Rutland Water. While Rutland Water is a fairly recent man-made change to the countryside (mid-seventies) the Seaton Viaduct was finished almost a century earlier and will also feature on our travels. This eighty two arch viaduct crosses the Welland Valley and is almost a mile in length and leaves a lasting impression on the memory.

Not all of our time over the weekend is governed by tour timetables and Sunday afternoon is free for participants to explore this delightful corner of England. Oakham has been mentioned previously and its castle is well worth a visit. The towns burghers have even granted us permission to park our Minors on the paved area around the town’s Buttercross and on the private road in front of Oakham Castle itself – a rare privilege!

Our rally  is centered upon The Nevill Arms at Medbourne in Leicestershire which plays host to our Friday gathering, our rally dinner on Saturday evening and the start of both our tours.

Rally itinerary

Friday 23rd June

From 6:30 PM – Assemble at The Nevill Arms, Medbourne for traditional rally ‘Meet and greet’ and distribution of rally packs. Food available from the inn. Booking is recommended unless intending to ‘snack’ from the bar.

Saturday 24th June

From 8:30 AM – Crews to assemble at the The Nevill Arms for pre-tour gathering and rally photograph. Last cars to leave no later than 9:45 AM.

10:30 AM (approx.) – Coffee stop. Gates Garden Center – Cold Overton

Noon to 12:30: Stop at The Country Cottage Kitchen, Market Overton to collect pre-ordered packed lunches. (Either picnic here in their cafe or spacious grounds, or perhaps continue your journey until an alternative  picnic spot appears.)

3:00-4:00 PM (approx) – Arrive at The Noel Inn, Whitwell for pre-ordered cream teas.

4:30-5:00 PM Tour concludes at The Nevill Arms, Medbourne

7:00 PM Assemble at the Nevill Arms for rally dinner at 7:30 PM

9:30 PM (approx) Presentation of club awards

Sunday 25th June

9:15 AM onwards: Assemble at The Nevill Arms, Medbourne for leisurely departure on ‘short’, approximately thirty mile tour. (Last cars to leave no later than 10:00 AM.) This tour will take in a medieval maze,  Britain’s longest brick built railway viaduct and concludes at Normanton Church (the church in the water) on the south side of Rutland Water. (There is no organised lunch-stop on Sunday although there are plenty of local pubs on the Leicestershire/Rutland border and of course nearer to Medbourne.

2:00 PM onward: For those staying-on for Sunday afternoon there are the attractions of The Blaston Show (http://www.blastonshow.co.uk/)  and the ‘Steam on Rutland Water’ show (https://www.steamheritage.co.uk/steam_rallies_and_events/listing/steam_on_rutland_water)

We are also planning to meet-up with at least some members of the Pre-war Austin Seven Club along with their cars although venues and timings are still to be established.

7:00 PM 0nwards: Farewell gathering at The Nevill Arms where rally ‘war stories’ are embellished and friendships that have been forged over the weekend are cemented over a glass or two of your favourite tipple.

Remember…

Our rallies are meant to be fun and provide us all with a hardly needed excuse to use our cars in the manner William Morris and his design team intended. Our two tours, over planned routes and longer distances than our day-to-day Minoring excursions, are aimed at achieving just that, while providing a weekend of ‘proper’ vintage motoring alongside other like-minded enthusiasts.

While our cars may be the focus of attention for many, our rallies also provide us with an extended opportunity to meet up with old friends and to make new ones. The common thread of Minor ownership facilitates this and new faces (and cars) are always made welcome. A successful rally weekend can usually be assessed by just how much our jaws ache on Monday morning!

For many years the pre-war Morris Minor was undervalued and almost forgotten. In recent times, slowly and surely it is beginning to regain its rightful place in the pre-war motoring pantheon. Our rallies play a small but important part in spreading ‘the word’ and bringing about that change in profile our cars deserve.

Accommodation suggestions…

The rally will be based around The Nevill Arms in Medbourne, Leics. The following list is just a sample of the accommodation on offer within  reasonable distance of Medbourne. NB The Nevill Arms has 10 rooms all of which have been provisionally booked for our party. Classified as superior accommodation the room prices reflect this.

  • The Nevill Arms, Medbourne (Rally dinner venue and Sunday tour starting point) 01858 565288 www.nevillarms.co.uk
  • The Old White Hart, Lyddington 01572 821703 www.oldwhitehart.co.uk
  • The Marquess of Exeter, Market Harborough 01572 822477 www.marquessexeter.co.uk
  • The Garden Hotel, Uppingham 01572 822352 www.gardenhotel.uk.com
  • Lake Isle Hotel, Uppingham 01572 822951 www.lakeisle.co.uk
  • White Horse Inn, Stoke Albany 01858 535268 www.whitehorsestokealbany.co.uk
  • Homestead House B&B, Medbourne 01858 565724 www.homesteadhouse.co.uk
  • Great Easton B&B, Great Easton 01536 772581 www.greateastonbed-breakfast.co.uk
  • Gretton Garden Cottage, Gretton 01536 770225 www.grettongardencottage.com
  • The George at Ashley, Ashley 01858 565411 no website
  • Meadow Farm B&B, Caldecott 01536 770343 www.meadowfarmcaldecott.co.uk
  • The Old Plough, Caldecott 01536 772031 www.oldplough-rutland.co.uk
  • Sutton Lodge B&B, Dingley 01858 462427 www.suttonlodge.co.uk
  • Langton Brook Farm B&B, Great Bowden 01858 545730 www.langtonbrookfarm.com
  • Berwicke Arms, Hallaton 01858 555734 www.thebewicke.com

What to expect...

Scenes from the 2016 Jurassic Rally…