Torque of the North                                                                May 2003.

          Chairman's Chunnerings.

     Well here we are again! Healey time, just as the weather turns damp again.

       Just last weekend I attended the memorial service for Rodger Menadue at St Peter's Church in Barford nr Warwick where we celebrated the life and work of the Donald Healey Motor Company's Chief Mechanic. John Mead presented a truly memorable precise of this extraordinary colourful Cornish man's life and works, playing as a major part in the History and development of the Healey Motorcars. A lot has been written about Rodger since his death in April, but it must be said that if he had not disobeyed Donald Healey's wish not to display the 100/4 at the 1952 Motor Show, and gone ahead and displayed the new car at Earls Court, then history would have been re-written and this truly British motoring icon might have faded into the annals and we probably would not have this Austin Healey Club web page to view and hear about how we enjoy the fruits of this creation wet or dry. And yes I did get wet, very wet. 

     Here are a few pictures taken at the memorial. (click to enlarge.)

RMChurch.JPG (67303 bytes)   RMBarford.JPG (57372 bytes)  RMHotel.JPG (89227 bytes)

RM100s.JPG (53566 bytes)  RMCoupe.JPG (93245 bytes)  RMGroup_of_Specials.JPG (62217 bytes)

May Bank Holiday weekend was yet again a memorable get together of Healey's from around the country at Skipton. Ken Broster put together a fantastic event filled time for all to enjoy, and all credit must go to him. Organising this event single-handed is no mean task, and he achieves it all with such an air of professionalism that it astounds me. To organise the Hotel accommodation, meals, entertainment and those impressive planned drives is absolutely amazing. Sometimes the rights and lefts on the routes can confuse even the best of co-drivers, but it all adds to the total enjoyment. Ken a big thank you from us all.

       I need not remind every Healey owner in the North that the season of Classic Car events is well and truly upon us. Tatton Park is our next big event on the 31st of May and 1st of June, I have had to request extra tickets for our members, which is wonderful. Talking with the organisers, I am always reminded of the National Healey Day we held there some years back, it truly impressed them with the astounding show of over 100 Healeys on display in the Park, to which I am always asked when are we going to hold it again, "This Year Please! Do it again it was so memorable", well by my calculations it will be the Northern Centre's turn again to hold the National event in 6 years time. So we have time to organise the event, and finish the outstanding jobs on our cars, maybe?

       So I'll see you around over the summer month's ether passing on the highways and byways or at the forthcoming events.

       Happy Healeying

       John Ridyard

       P.S. If you don't like the static display of cars then go and see the racing Healey's in action at Oulton Park again on the 28th May. Unfortunately we cannot get you in free, but the spectacle of Healey's going at full chat with plenty of under steer is well worth seeing.

  Webmaster's Witterings.
     Some 40 years after completing my formal education and swearing that I would never go near a class room again, I find myself sitting in an Adult Education class every Wednesday evening learning how to improve my website design skills. The things one does for the good of the Club! Readers can look forward to seeing some changes and, hopefully, improvements in the not too distant future, however I have no intention of incorporating too many bells and whistles as I firmly believe that this can make a site less user friendly.

     My wife and I enjoyed the May Bank Holiday outing to Skipton. It was our first outing in the rally Healey since spending the winter tarting up the inside, adding the luxury of Jaguar XJS seats and fitting a new soft top. The end result was well received by fellow members at Skipton and I will be posting an article on the website showing these mods as soon as time permits. Meanwhile here is the car on a dull day on the Yorkshire moors.

     A lot of time is being taken up these past two weeks preparing for the Northern Centre Treasure Hunt in the Peak District. Although I have lived in the area much of my life I have discovered many roads new to me. I hope to see you out on the run on 8th June. If the weather is kind it will be an enjoyable day out.

     The committee have been exploring all avenues to whip up interest in the formation of sub centres in the region. Although we had a breakthrough with Tyneside, our plea for expressions of interest published in the last Rev Counter met with stony silence. Only one phone call. However, that call from one of our Cumbrian members bodes well for the possibility of setting up a sub centre there. Do let me know if you are from that area and would like to get involved. either in the organisation or just adding your presence to the meetings. Yorkshire members seem totally disinterested in having a sub centre again, I wonder why that is? Surely half the fun of owning a classic car is to get together with like minded individuals.

     No surfing tips today, but for those of you have struggled to fit the window winder handles on your BJ7 or 8 and to fit the door handles, you may find this tip helpful. It was given to me by my hood trimmer, Richard Williams of Willtrim. I tried the technique and it works perfectly.
     1. Pre-assemble the handle, spring, plate etc.
     2. Slide the fixing pin through the top hole but only as far as the inside top of the square hole.
     3. Offer the assembly onto the square shaft until the pin holes are aligned.
     4. Tap the securing pin home with a screwdriver.
     And finally.... I discovered a useful website the other day when I was seeking to replace a part on my 60's door mirror manufactured by Tex.

     I had often been advised that such wing mirrors were no longer produced. This is not so, Tex still manufacture virtually the full range of early wing mirrors, door mirrors etc.

     Their website is
     Mike Smith.