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A Club Is Born - A history of The Morgan Sports Car Club by Brian Downing
The old saying “From humble acorns do mighty oaks, or should I say ash, grow” is most certainly true of The Morgan Sports Car Club with its 4,500 plus members world wide. The humble acorn, namely The Morgan 4/4 Club, started with a short paragraph on page 598 of 'The Autocar' on the 18th May 1951:-

Any Morgan owner interested in the possible formation of a ‘4/4 Club’ with a view to the organisation of, and the participation in, sporting events, is asked to write to D. Whetton, Rykneld Way, Littleover Derby, who is anxious to investigate the possible response to such a club.

This was seen by, amongst others, R. G. Pritchard of Spondon. He arranged a meeting in his sitting room with D. Whetton, J. Sutton Atkins and a few others. They decided to invite those who replied to the notice in 'The Autocar' to meet at 'Ye Olde Flying Horse' in Kegworth for the inaugural meeting on the 30th of June 1951.

As about 20 enthusiasts turned up it was considered there was sufficient interest to start a club. A second meeting was arranged at the same venue on the 21st of July 1951 and so The Morgan 4/4 Club was born.

The membership totalled 63 and the original officers and committee were:

President J.M. Sparrowe of Bournmouth
Chairman R.G. Pritchard of Spondon
Vice Chairman L.A. Willsmere of Sheffield
Sec. & Treasurer J.S. Atkins of Derby
Comp. Secretary D.V.J. Whetton of Derby

W. Allerton of Chester
B. Carroll of Leicester
R.D. Hadley of London
T.A. Parkes of Pershore

The First Steps
Within a month the club had organised it's first event. This took place on Sunday the 5th of August 1951 in the shape of a road rally. With fine weather the competitors gathered at 'The Beech Hotel' in Burton-on-Trent. The event consisted of a 72 mile drive along minor roads to Banbury. They also managed to fit in a driving test on the county councils car park. The day finished with a dinner at ‘The Whateley Hall Hotel’.

Three weeks later on Saturday 25th of August the club was invited to the second 750 Club’s six hour relay race at Silverstone. With a four car team comprising of Jeff Sparrowe, Bill Parkes, Bill Allerton and J.S. Atkins they managed a very creditable second place to the powerful Vintage Bentley Team. This was followed with a successful driving test at Queenford Aerodrome near Oxford on the 7th of October.

The first five months of the club finished with a night rally over the 1st and 2nd of December. This event started from three different places, Manchester, Gloucester and Hereford and finished after 300 miles with a well earned breakfast at ‘The Bell Hotel’, Leicester. If this were not enough they then held a Concours D’Elegance while the officials worked out the results!

The introduction of the Plus Four was greeted by the club committee with great heart searching as to whether such ‘revolutionary beasts’ should be allowed in the club. After much discussion and rude remarks about tractors they were taken into the fold. Could this have been an early signs of a name change? The Plus Fours were indeed accepted, so much so that it was hoped to field a team of them in their second 750 Club Six Hour Relay race.

Throughout the fifties the club grew maintaining it’s enthusiasm for track events, rallies and treasure hunts. Although there were annual dinners, often combined with the AGM, it would seem that there were very few other social events. This was probably due to the fact that there were no centres and members had to travel quite long distances to attend meetings.

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