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MG TD TF 1500 - Abingdon worth a visit?

We're going to England next week and I was told by one member that a visit to Abingdon was not really worth the time. Anyone else have a different point of view? Any suggestions on how to make a visit there enjoyable from the MG owners perspective?


TW Burchfield

Tim - We visited England 12 years ago and stopped in Abingdon while touring. There is nothing of the MG factory left other than possible 1 building and a rather rusted sign pointing to the where the MG factory used to be. The MG Car Club is housed in one of the buildings at the factory, which was nice to drop in and purchase some stuff. The Magic midget pub is no longer a pub, but a pizza joint although (at that time) time the painting of the Magic Midget Brooklands race course was still on one wall. The Morland Brewery (which had a long time association with the MG factory) is no longer there (in fact it is no longer in business and the brewery that now makes Old Speckeled hen beer is just another brewery that probably doesn't even know of the special bond that had existed between Morland and the MG factory.

This said, yes, you should stop there, if for nothing else to go into the MG Car Club head quarters and browse a bit, but don't get all hyped up about seeing a lot of MG history there. Cheers - Dave
DW DuBois

Tim -

The last time we were in England our driver suggested that we skip Abingdon for the same reasons that Dave noted. Also like he noted, I wish that we had gone for a short stop.

He suggested that we visit the Beaulieu National Motor Museum instead. I totally enjoyed it and suggest that you go. The cars and exhibits are displayed well. Some nice MGs. The adjacent ruins of Beaulieu Abbey and the family estate and house are wonderful.

New Forest,
United Kingdom,
SO42 7ZN

LM Cook

Hi Tim,
The British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire. The museum only has British cars and has a good selection of MG's from "Old Number One" to the last MG's made. There is also a large collection of other British makes.
The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire. has only a couple of MG's but a large collection of cars from all around the world and from the very start of motoring.
Both have good websites.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

The Abingdon Town Hall has a modest MG Museum on the top two floors. There is some interesting items on display, but if it weren't for the MG Car Club headquarters about a mile away, I could miss the whole town. I agree the Car Club HQ alone is worth a visit.

Its my home town and I agree with almost everything that has been said. When a student I had several vacations working in Morland's brewery. Nice work if you can get it! The link between MG and Morlands Old Speckled Hen is tenuous to say the least. Its a modern invention playing on the past.
The town is worth passing through and maybe visiting the MGCC HQ, but you will see far more MG cars at Gaydon.
For bikes go to the National Motorcycle Museum at Coventry.
For WW1 and earlier aircraft (and a few cars) go to The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Bedfordshire.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I agree on Beaulieu Motor Museum... one of the best in the world. Catch it on a weekend when they're having a public car boot spares sale.

There's also a nice little motor museum in Bourton-on-the-Water. I don't recall the level of MG content, but the automobilia collection was amazing.

Kevin McLemore

Dave H. - "The link between MG and Morlands Old Speckled Hen is tenuous to say the least. Its a modern invention playing on the past."
I believe that the original Old Speckled Speckled Hen, brewed and bottled by the Original Morland Brewery was a salute to the MG factory for 50 years in their shared existence in Abingdon. This was shown by the label on the OSH bottle. See the attached picture. Unfortunately it was only the matter of a few weeks (or possibly months) after the the celebration of 50 years of MG, that they (MG) ceased production (at least this was the interpretation from a close friend of ours who was from England). See the attached picture. Cheers - Dave

DW DuBois

> Old Speckled Hen - as introduced by the Fox

> Old Speckled Henry - Coming to America!

LM Cook

I second the suggestion to visit Gaydon. Been there twice and found it fascinating both times.
John Quilter

The imperisl war museum in Duxford is also definitely worth a visit
Rgds Mike
Mike Fritsch

Sept 9-11 is the Goodwood revival festival, a superb classic event. Unlikely that you still get tickets, but the outside parking lot for classic cars alone is worth the visit, 1000+ classic cars, most of them British.
Definitely a must see

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

If you have the chance to visit "The MORGAN Car Company" in Great Malvern you should do so. You need an appointment, which you can do easily by using the Internet.
It is worth to see how the doing coach building on the traditional way, similar as on our TD/TFs.

GK Guenter

If you are in the UK for a while then at the end of the month 24th you could see some racing,

Yes Dave, I know all that. It certainly wasn't made when I worked at Morlands or for a long time after, and certainly wasn't one of their traditional brews. Morland was bought and closed down by Greene King brewery of Bury St Edmunds. They bought a lot of other breweries and did the same thing. Numerous brews are now made at Bury St Edmunds under various labels. To me that makes the link tenuous. Just like a repro part or an MG badged car not made at Abingdon.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Tim, here's a Google map of MG-related places in the UK. Most of the markers have pictures, links etc. They are colour coded.

Just a few comments:
1. The OSH brewers still do MG related stuff. They sponsor a vinyl wrapped MGB. They produced a special edition of OSH for MGB50.

2. There's still quite a bit to see of the early Morris/MG Garage days in Oxford just up the road. They're all marked on the map. There's some of the original Morris Oxford Garage still standing at the back of New College beneath the city walls. It's used as a gardeners' store. To get to it you walk straight in through the New College gate and turn right.

David Wardell

Well, that was certainly some great responses. Thank you everyone for the input. Now if I can just get the wife to agree to turn our trip into a British car marathon.


TW Burchfield

The infamous non-clickable https.
This should work

And BTW, I was wrong with my directions for New College: you turn left after going through the gate, not right.

David Wardell

If nothing else, visit Abingdon to go to the MG Car Club HQ and see all the great memorabilia they keep, and have a pint or two at The Boundary House pub, which was Cecil Kimber's home when he ran MG in the thirties. Drinking an OSH in Kimber's former living room was a thrill for me. Swiping the glasses when we left was even better :-)
Jack Long

This thread was discussed between 03/09/2016 and 04/09/2016

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