Torque of the North.                                                                                      The quarterly newsletter of the AHC Northern Centre.

Previous T.O.T.N................   Dec 2002      Mar 2003    May 2003   Oct 2003         

Chairman's Chunnerings.

January 2004

     Happy 2004 to all our members and readers of Torque of the North, and this is where I do my bit in promoting the fun of being a member of the Austin Healey Club, within the Northern Region regardless of ownership status. Well lets get going!

     One of the committee´┐Żs joint resolutions is to make 2004 a year where events are going to be more varied, and be more accessible to members, plus encourage the potential membership when ever possible. However we still need your help in achieving these goals not only by your physical presence which is of great importance to us, but for you to advise us on what you want from the club, where we are going wrong, what is good and better still get involved by providing suggestions and support to ultimately improve the befits of your membership.

     Looking at the events page you can see the time and effort put in by our committee to provide a high standard of Centre events, because geographically we are where we are i.e. Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire then that tends govern what is provided. That is where you can help, by getting active with our sub-centres. North Wales has a very active sub-centre as does Scotland, and recently a Tyneside sub-centre was formed to benefit the local Healey fraternity. Ultimately we would like to see sub-centres in all the major concentrations of Healeys, especially in Yorkshire where we know there are a large number of members that just need that push to get things rolling. To sum up we as the centre committee will support your endeavours where ever, however and when ever we can.

     It all boils down to the fact that the future of the club and in particular this Centre depends on you the members. Now how many times have we all heard this before?

     But with the level of numbers involved in the AHC we can never compare to the likes of the MG or Jaguar owners clubs and their inherent benefits of buying powers and manufacturers support. Therefore we need to go that extra mile to achieve a presence that can and does compare with the larger clubs. In a way we are elite, but not an exclusive club, and after all we are here to promote the Austin Healey marque in every way possible, so come on contact us, our mail details can be found on this site.

     This month will see our annual Christmas Dinner at the Holiday Inn, Haydock Park nothing formal, everyone is made very welcome, with lots of fun and entertainment for all. Dave Haslam has gone to great lengths in securing the best entertainment this side of the River Irwell for this prestigious event with no cost spared. Forget St Moritz or Lake Tahoe this year, you must not miss this prestigious event: - Details here.

     On the subject of forthcoming events associated with the Northern Centre, don't forget our premier event of 2004 to be centred at Shrigley Hall on the May Bank Holiday weekend. This is a new venue that promises to provide a memorable Healey experience, meeting old and making new friends from around the country. Shrigley Hall is situated on the fringe of the Peak District with easy access to Cheshire, North Wales, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire's best and most spectacular scenery. This year's event will take in a variety of events including a treasure hunt and planned drives to unusual and interesting venues within easy reach. Northern hospitality is renowned and this year will be no exception with mountains of fun and entertainment planned for your delectation, but book early so that you do not miss out.

     I must also mention that since my last chunnerings', both Matthew and I attended the Classic Car show at the NEC in November, as did possibly many of you. Now if this show is a true measure of the interest in the Classic Car movement within the UK and near continent, then there is nothing to worry about. Certainly going off the crowds in attendance just on the Saturday alone, it was heaving, or was it an excuse not to go shopping with the memsab I am not too sure, but I am convinced this will be a record attendance. It was a pity the Austin Healey Club stand was in a corner, however that did not deter the high amount of interest in the display of cars, and with the added bonus of seeing Sir Stirling Moss on the club stand in the very nice Sprite of Nigel Adams, then Peter Dodson must be proud of his work in organising the stand and its magnificent display of cars.

     A final item to record was the inter-centre (Cheshire vs. Leek  sub-centres) Go-Karting challenge held also in November in deepest Staffordshire, Fenton, Stoke on Trent. I am afraid resulting in a win for Leek, being on home territory gave them the advantage. It was very close with Terry having the fastest lap and placed second to uphold Northern pride. A very good night was had by all and my thanks go to the guys in the Leek sub-centre for their hospitality. But next year we will need to look for a better challenge that favours our life style, favourite to date is a pub quiz.

             Happy Healeying,

                John Ridyard


Webmaster's Witterings.
    I have spent a lot of hours of late surfing the internet looking at all the Austin Healey sites that I could find, with a view to providing links for the Technical Tips page. The resultant number of tips is quite surprising and that is with me being selective, there were several more obscure tips that I did not think merited publication. I was disappointed over the lack of specific Sprite tips that I could find, maybe I need to trawl through some of the MG sites. Anyone any suggestions?

    One of the Japanese websites caught my eye, the English can be strangely structured but at the same time particularly poetic. I quote from a report by Kazumi Ogawa :-

             The 5th National Healey Day was a special meeting for me. I had never brought my Healey for Healey Day but had been working as a sheff for Healey Break since the 1st Healey Day.
             The restoration of my 100 had been complated and I could bring it this year. Never the less I could enjoy each driving tests, I could get first prize at the Popularity. Thank you everyone!
             The image of the shape of 100 is simmlar with women. The weist line and the back is like smart lady. But whell we dirve it. we find it is tuff and strong."

    I think that the portrait on our home page of our new membership secretary and his superb 100/4 taken on the Highland tour is just great. It conveys the spirit of Healeying in its early days before the mollycoddling wind up windows and almost watertight hoods came into fashion. Ken, on the other hand, thinks I am taking the psst and has threatened, in writing, to get me. Another member (whose identity I feel I should protect under the circumstances) sees an uncanny likeness to Thermoman of 'My Hero' fame.

    Anyway, I hope that you all like the new look website with its proliferation of extra buttons to push. I look to you all to provide me with additional material in the form of motoring jokes, tips and articles over the coming months. I have been promising for some time to post a table of tools and spares to carry when touring and at long last HERE IT IS. Let me know if you spot any omissions.

    I have just treated myself to a new 5 megapixel digital camera (HP Photosmart 945) so, provided I can get the hang of it, the quality of pictures on the website have a good chance of improvement........ Meanwhile back to my Ferguson T20 tractor restoration.

  Mike Smith.