Words by John Morgan
In recent years, Piers and Linda are known for being the founding members of the Surrey Wanderers some 23 years ago, a weekday lunchtime Natter and according to the pubs list, starting at The Dolphin, Betchworth. This natter concept has now extended into many SE Centre areas and the numerous lunchtime natters are some of the most active groups of members in the region.
Piers, however, was more active by far in earlier years in the South East Centre. He joined the MGCC in 1961, at about the same time as he married Linda, and they supported the local Natter at the Sugar Bowl, Burgh Heath, Surrey, now a Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre. The South East Centre then was run by Gordan and Elsie Cobban, the backbone of the Club and SE Centre at this time, and Piers was invited to become Centre Treasurer in 1965. The South East Centre was much larger in the sixties, as younger centres such as Anglia and Abingdon Works had not been formed, and these areas were all part of the South East. The Centre was actively involved with MGCC Silverstone and other race meetings and Piers was involved with much of the race organisation.
Initially, Piers had a TA, which he bought in 1958, but when the family arrived, this had to be exchanged for a Y Type in 1965 and later a Z Magnette. Events such as the Beaulieu Summer Gathering became very much a family weekend from 1963 onwards.
Horror of horrors, the Magnette had to be sold and a Morris Marina was acquired in the early 70s and for three years, this was the only time in his motoring history that he didn’t have an MG!
|In 1975, he bought his fourth and final MG, the Iris Blue MGA that he drove absolutely everywhere with the roof down whatever the weather (some doubted it even had a hood). This is the car and Register with which Piers had been very active in recent times, including co-authoring an MGA book, being the Register Archivist, as well as being the Natter Leader for the Surrey Wanderers.
Piers remained active on the SE Centre Committee for many years. In 1992, Piers became main Club Treasurer when financial problems arose and he was instrumental in restoring sound finances. He also returned to race organisation in later years, when again finances were a problem, and worked closely with Ron Gammons on the MGCC Race Sub Committee until recently.
Piers also visited many overseas MG rallies and events, including USA, Canada, South Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The last big trip was to the Mid-West of the USA last summer, flying to Minneapolis and meeting MG friends to travel by road to Dubuque, Iowa, for the 44th MGA GT in North America. Piers gave two talks on some of the history of MGs. He was also a keen photographer and for many years, supplied numerous photographs of race meeting and club events to Safety Fast!
Piers will be very much missed in the South East Centre.