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

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Chairman's Chunnerings.

June 2004

     Welcome to Torque of the North spring/summer edition.

       This year as ever we in the Northern Centre started the ball rolling with our May Bank Holiday weekend. This year the event was held in Buxton in the Peak District based around the Palace Hotel in the centre of the Town itself.  Caroline Curran has admirably described the event, from the ladies viewpoint on the events page.

       This year both myself and Dave Haslam took on the mantle of organising this event, and from the offset we knew that to follow the maestro Ken Broster would be very difficult, and our doubts were well justified when it came to the problems of bringing it all together in a seamless manner. 
First off our original venue at Shrigley Hall let us down big time by forgetting to allocate us any private dinning, so it was a panic to find an alternative within 6 weeks notice, and as luck would have it, one of its sister hotels in Buxton could accommodate the 70+ guests with our desired needs. This meant contacting all guests to explain the situation just as a matter of being courteous. Then after fully planning the Sunday run which was to take in the Tramway museum at Crich and a parade down the main street of the village. I was to discover that this particular Sunday was to be a Nostalgia Day. Entry would have been no problem but then we would not have been allowed to leave until after 4.30. Therefore, it was back to the drawing board and with the help of the retired faction of the committee in the form of Mike and Denis to get me out of this sticky situation. They both came up trumps with two wonderful days driving, which we all enjoyed tremendously. Therefore, due credit and thanks must go to both Denis and Mike plus their wives.

       Anyway, we must have done the trick by providing the seamless event, as I believe everyone that attended from all corners of this country enjoyed him or herself without exception, and from the positive feedback in the form of thank-you's justifies the effort.

     So, my heart felt thanks go to my lieutenants namely Dave Halsam and Karen my wife with out whose help this event would not have happened, and most of all my admiration goes to Ken on how the hell did he do it?

       Ken Broster receiving his barbecue trophy from Dave HaslamThis coming weekend sees the start of our barbeque season in the form of the Healey Racers coming to Oulton Park. As usual, Ken will be there after removing the remains of the Hammerite paint and its stalactites (or is it stalagmites?). His last catering event resulted in him being the recipient of a prestigious trophy for services to catering under adverse conditions, that all in Hells Kitchen would be so envious of.  

The following weekend sees us all again at Tatton with a themed stand focusing on our European event to be held in St Moritz, Switzerland, so there will be a lot of leather outside the cars as well as on the seats, I can�t wait to see this one. Please come along to support us and hopefully we will get first prise for Best Club Stand for Margaret Austin to polish at home.

       You may remember my chunnerings last October re my son Matthew petrol head  gene pool and his fervent interest in all things cars. Well for his 12th birthday after Richard Frisks recommendation, we presented him with a First Drive voucher that entitled him to have a half-day training in basic driving skills at Oulton Park race circuit. The day arrived in late March, and Matthew took to the driving skills without a hitch, bombing around the top loop of Oulton, around Shell corner at 60 mph according to his lordship. To see the smile on his face after the drive was such a treat for Karen and I, as adolescent hormones do not normally provide the happy look for parents that often.

     However it has not stopped there, because guess what I managed to persuadeFrogeye Freddy. Karen to invest in a small run about for both Mathew and I to fettle over the next 4 or so years. All this was done after the Buxton weekend when it was obvious that Jean Griffin needed some competition for the best Sprite trophy. So, we now have a little Frogeye Freddy to keep Dennis company in the garage. This little beauty was trailered up from near Southend some 440 miles round trip thankfully without a hitch but with a tow bar. Therefore, I can announce that Karen will now have not only the house to herself again, but most important of all, she will have regained control of the TV remote.

       I hope that I will be able to keep you updated with the progress of this new project on the web site in the future.

     Happy Healeying

     John Ridyard

John's Healey was borrowed by the bride and groom at a wedding reception at the hotel.      The 'Cool Ken' Broster fan club resplendent in their new tee shirts.
Two more pics from the Ridyard camera.  

Webmaster's Witterings.
     Another shed full of technical tip links have been sent to me from Bonnie Scotland, courtesy of James Wilson. I shall attempt to complete the web links a.s.a.p. - it can be rather time consuming and with the fine weather abounding presently, sitting at the computer is being given a fairly low priority. A similar excuse is offered by way of a apology to our Chairman, who e mailed his chunnerings over a couple of weeks ago.

     I always laboured with the misapprehension that retirement was a time to relax and that there would be plenty of spare hours to do all those things that had been planned over the working years. Alas it does not work that way and my queue of tasks, projects and things to do is increasing rather than diminishing.

     My thanks to all my Healey friends for their support to my wife, Ilma and myself. The last few months since she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer have been particularly difficult, but she has stayed wonderfully cheerful and we have just reached the half way point in the chemo therapy treatment. A luxury cruise in February up the Amazon had to be curtailed when we were disembarked on the fourth day at the Brazilian town of Santarem for Ilma to have an emergency operation. In Portuguese speaking Brazil scarcely anyone speaks English, which makes for difficult communication. Fortunately, after five days, the Fred Olsen cruise liner returned down river and we were able to rejoin her to be repatriated in comfort.

    I am delighted with the results of my new digital camera, HP Photosmart 945. At last I have achieved my ambition of having one of my photos on the front of Rev Counter this month, although it has printed much paler that the original for some reason. It is all too easy to take the photos, but the processing, editing and web posting takes large chunks of time.

    I see that the rain has stopped so I will desert the computer once more in favour of gardening and dry stone walling both very therapeutic and definitely helping to return my figure to its former shape.

    I could do with some of you posting some good motoring jokes as my stock is running a little low.

    Mike Smith.