"Nuffield Natter" is set aside for Register members to record their experiences either in words or photos, with Morris Vehicles. Contact the webmaster if you would like to contribute.
Len Horne – The founder of the Morris 8/40 Club of South Australia
(Taken from an address to the Morris 8/40 Club of SA by Jean Horne, wife of the late Len Horne in 2022.)
Len's love of Morris vehicles began early. In 1947 when the 3rd Norwood Scouts at St Bartholomew’s doing their ‘Bobs for Jobs’, he cleaned his, Scoutmaster’s (Mr Myers) little Morris 8/40 and fell in love with it. Thereafter he was often helping and watching the servicing of that Morris 8/40.
Len’s first car was a Morris in 1955 when at Adelaide Teacher’s College. But it was not until 1970’s, when he heard that Kym Bonython and other drivers were buying Morris 8’s for their axles to replace those broken on the Rowley Park speedway. The car bodies were then sold off to Sim’s metal! He was angry! This lead him to think of a way that her could save the Morris 8’s that he loved with the possibility of forming the Morris 8/40 Club again. The earlier club had folded during the World War 2.
St Bartholomew’s Church Hall, Norwood where Len was currently organist and choir master, and had been a church member since 1941 using this hall for scouts, gym, concerts, and other youth activities was the site for the first meeting. Len sent invitations to known owners of Morris 8/40’s inviting them to attend a meeting on 31st January 1973.
Those who attended were:-
Misses D Langston, Moira Lawry, Len Horne, David Lawry, Noel Hage, John Enders, Mike Wilding, Kerry Kaehne, Jim Morrison, Peter Thomas, John McMahon, Bill Price, two lads for T McPherson.
The decision was made that the club be formed. “The Morris 8/40 Club of South Australia”
Committee Officers elected
President: Len Horne.
Secretary/Treasurer: Moira Lawry/ Mike Wilding
Discussions included, fees, venues and frequency of meetings, affiliation with English Morris Register.
The Committee was to made decisions.
The second meeting was held on 29th February 1973 at the home of Len Horne in Dulwich.
14 attended. These included Carol Enders and Henry Hodgson and his wife.
It was decided that all Morris 8/40 vehicles up to1953 would be included. Joining fee would be $1 and Annual fee $2. Pensioners and students $1. There would be club badges, pennants, cards and T shirts. Spare Parts were donated by G Fry. An article and photo was sent to The Advertiser.
New people interested were R McCreanor, Don Davey, Scott Findlay, David Watts, Colin Bailey, Frank Watts, Colin Bailey and Frank Watts.
Meetings were to be at homes or specific venues. A magazine containing members details; spare parts list; vehicles for sale was to be produced by T McPherson with photo cover.
Programme: April 1st National Park Run and picnic
April 29th Mystery Navigation. Mike Wilding
May 30th Restoration night; slides. John Enders
June 27th Film Night : BP cars. T McPherson
Len had begun corresponding with Harry Edwards in 1972, when he joined the National English Register and received their magazines, information print outs.
When it began, it was voted that the club keep in regular contact with Harry Edwards for advice, restoration guidance, import of parts and receive the British Morris Register magazine.
The “Morris 8/40 Club of SA” continued for 1973 to 1977. From the original seven members of the Morris 8/40 Club, the now “Register” grew in membership numbers with its enthusiastic, devoted and hard-working committee at the helm. The much needed new club rooms in Klemzig, on the corner of Main N E Road and Reece Avenue were opened on 5th February 1984 with a BBQ lunch and display of vintage and classic cars.
In 1977, when Len went to the United Kingdom for three months, on study leave, he stayed with Harry Edwards in London. They visited Morris Register Clubs and Morris displays at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Len discussed all things Morris with Harry and was convinced that our club should become a Register similar to Britain, because it was more inclusive of all Nuffield cars.
When Len returned from England he put this idea to a vote at our “ Morris 8/40 Club of SA “ and in 1978 the club became “The Morris Register of SA”.
The club immediately arranged for Harry Edwards to visit us in Australia.
NOW and THEN …. or BEFORE and AFTER
For all our Morris Register Club members who attended the 2021 “not the National Rally” event up at Berri in May 2021, you will no doubt remember how we assembled all our vehicles for a group photo down by the boat launching ramp opposite the Caravan Park.
Steve McNicol took the first photo and circulated it to all attendees.
Well things have changed somewhat since then as the floodwaters have come down the Murray, so Diana and I decided to head back up to Berri to inspect the situation for ourselves.
Well as you can see in the second photo, which I took a few weeks ago, the river level has risen enormously, the boat launching ramp and pontoon are completely under water, and the shelter sheds in the background are mostly submerged as well.
Current data indicates that the river level has risen at least 3.3 metres (about 10’9”) above normal river level, and illustrates clearly the forces of nature when something like this happens.
Maybelline Moves On
Many of the older members will remember my Y Ute that the club saved from being scrapped.
Maybelline started off in Broken Hill, sold by Quality Motors. Then somehow she ended up at our club. When I purchased her, I was told just how unique she was. Are there any others around these days? If there are, they are very rare. When I finished the restoration there were a few “Gunna’s “ who came out of the wood work, “Yair, I was gunna give it a try.”
I had many happy years “crouched behind the wheel “. Our first Bay to Birdwood was in 1998. We attended many more, as well as All British Days too. Maybelline always drew attention. Then the time came to downsize and I sold Maybelline to Rhonda Legget in Bega. Rhonda gave Maybelline a great home, and spoilt her with new tyres, fixed the gear box, kingpins , and many other jobs that needed doing after so many years since her first restoration. She survived bushfires and flooding, and showed off around Bega. Local members who attended the last National Rally in Dubbo will have seen Maybelline, maybe even met Rhonda. Now Rhonda has the need to downsize too. Maybelline has found a new home in Dubbo. I miss having Maybelline in the garage at ”Chateau Booth” as John Chapman named our place, but I take heart in knowing that I saved her from the scrap heap.
Now many more people can enjoy meeting Maybelline.