Saturday, 16 July 2016

National Rally 2016

Being a relatively new Minor owner, I had not yet had the opportunity to experience a National Rally. As the National drew nearer my nervous curiosity increased, I had no idea what to expect from this mammoth event. I began to ask various people what The National Rally entailed, and after receiving many different answers to my queries it was time to find out for myself exactly what the National Rally had in store ...

I was lucky that my first National was set to be a special one, being the 40th Anniversary of the MMOC celebrations were set to be spectacular, and I was fortunate enough to be enjoying them from Branch Avenue; a great honour for both me and William. The theme for Branch Avenue this year was 'The Spirit of '76', and after much contemplation the theme was interpreted with a nautical twist, based around the 1976 TV programme 'Sailor' about life aboard HMS Ark Royal, and Rod Stewart's pop hit 'Sailing'.

The weeks leading up to National Rally had been hectic to say the least, but it was time to prepare our stand and make sure the East Midlands Branch stood proud among the throng. I sewed like a woman possessed as I produced metres of bunting in frenzied sewing sessions, my partner prepared a shipshape playlist for the weekend, Branch members ensured their Minors were glorious and gleaming ready for the display and Brian and Alison Fletcher worked hard providing numerous nautical props and visuals for the stand. With our sailor suits and our very own Rockstar Rod on hand throughout the weekend we certainly managed to raise a few smiles and enjoyed lots of laughs.

Taking in the sights over the weekend, the variety of Minors on display was truly mind boggling. From concours to customs and everything in between, there's something to suit every personality imaginable. Every car is truly a reflection of its owner, which is very endearing and a real spectacle to behold. The National is certainly every Minor lovers dream, with so many beautiful cars to see, and lots of friendly folk there's plenty to keep you busy throughout the weekend.

My first National will stay with me forever; beautiful cars, friendly folk, endless rows of Minors.  I was lucky enough to represent the Branch in the Grand Parade beside my partner flying the flag for the East Midlands Branch, an incredibly proud moment, but not as proud as I felt seeing my little 59 year old car sat on Branch Avenue smiling to himself.

Huge thanks to all the organisers who worked hard to make the National a great event, to everyone who worked hard to represent the Branch on Branch Avenue over the weekend and an extra special thank you to Brian and Alison Fletcher; for their tireless, hard work for the Branch and ensuring our Branch stand looked superb!

Massive congratulations to Northamptonshire Branch for winning 1st prize on Branch Avenue, never was there a more deserved victory! Fantastic display!

Alice Durose

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