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Lou Shorten Tribute weekend

Saturday 3rd October (by John Harris)

This, the final register event of the season followed the format set by John & Lou Shorten over many years. This year the name was changed from The Norfolk Weekend to the Lou Shorten Tribute Meeting.
At Lenwade, John’s house, the tables groaned under the weight of food provided by John, Jenny (Lou’s daughter) and Ed (Jenny’s husband). 11 Z Magnettes attended plus two other MGs but the star car was Mike Laflin’s MkII Lotus Cortina which he had recently completed restoring.
This year the weather was a perfect autumn day and most spent the day outside, the gazebo on John’s lawn providing some folk with welcome shade, whilst others enjoyed the bright sunshine.
The day was interspersed with various events on the site. The liquid prize from the Harrogate event was consumed, a very pleasant surprise thanks to Alan & Julia Cleobury’s skills as traffic wardens, an act to be repeated the next day at the Norwich Aviation Museum, getting 12 Magnettes under the wing of an Avro Vulcan. There was also a raffle with many prizes and finally John organized an ‘identification quiz’ of Magnette parts. This was convincingly won by Alan Slack amongst cries of ‘get out and get a life you anorak’.  The low scores of the majority suggested that members need to attend lessons on Magnettes.
One car disgraced itself by leaking coolant from the bottom hose into a strategically placed drain. A quick trip to the stores and a new hose was produced and fitted in about 15 mins – certainly the right place for it to happen.
In the evening a meal was held at the Kings Arms Reepham and Peter Martin has submitted this report:
Regarding the meal on the Saturday evening, it ended up being 20 people in all. The restaurant were very accommodating as we had pre-booked for 18, but then had a further two who wanted to join us on the day which they managed to fit in despite being fully booked. everyone’s food was really good & everyone seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. One funny incident was that Mike Laflin couldn’t understand why he had no vegetables with his meal until we suddenly realised that they had been given to John Shorten who had wasted no time in tucking in to them! Mike wasn’t going to let John off lightly, so at every available opportunity declared that John would have to repay him by giving him the white roll neck jumper he was wearing which Mike took a fancy to. There was however much merriment at the thought of Mike getting in to said jumper given the difference in build between the two! To cap it all, John finally revealed that he had in actual fact purchased the jumper in 1974 & was not ready to get rid of it just yet!

Sunday 4th October (by Grant Howlett)

The weather on Sunday morning started off dry and sunny, and looked like it would be perfect for our Magnette register trip to the city of Norwich-Aviation Museum at Horsham St Faith, which is 4 miles north of Norwich on the A140 Cromer road.
The Museum airfield was quite difficult  to find as not well signed posted, but eventually we all found our way to the Museum by about Noon. We had 12 Magnettes and Two other MGs attend the event,and every one was surprised just how much there was to see.
The museum houses in two small buildings a very extensive collection of information, photos, objects, models, documentation and static displays about the the Heroic pilots and crews based at Norfolk RAF bases during  the second world war, and the pioneers that made Norfolk's aviation history.
There was also two new exhibitions on the history of Norwich airport(formerly RAF Horsham St Faith) and a special exhibit on the top secret RAF 100 group and the history of Electronic war fare which was very interesting.
Out side around the old air field site there was also a collection of actual military and civil aircraft to look at, and there were two military aircraft  that you could go inside, these were the British aviation greats, the very large Nimrod and the sleek Vulcan bomber, going inside both was an education which we all enjoyed as one of the highlights of the day.
The other highlight of the day was being given permission by the Museum staff to drive our Magnettes onto the airfeild and park them all under the wing of the spectacular Vulcan, this made a great memorable photo , the actual task of  manouvering  all the cars into position was quite a challenge, but was well worth while.
I think the day was enjoyed by all who attended, and that we were all surprised by this hidden gem of an aircraft museum at Horsham St Faith,I am sure that this will not be the last time we visit as there was still a lot more to see on a future trip by the Register.
Photos by Cynthia Harris and Grant Howlett
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  • Inside the gazebo
  • Instrument Panel
  • Julia Cleobury ascending
  • Museum car park
  • Parts Quiz
  • Sunday lunch
  • The Raffle
  • Waiting to board the Vulcan