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Homepage. This page: Fun times as children, let loose with a Morris 8 to play with in a field.

Fun times with a Morris 8.

Jenny and her family have sent over many interesting anecdotes, photographs and items of paperwork relating to her father's business, namely Welland's Garage, to feature on the site. In sharing this information, it sheds light on what it was like to run a garage in the 1930s through to the 1960s, as well as growing up in the environment of old cars, oily overalls, and makeshift repairs made to vehicles that had long since passed their sell-by date.
While tidying up in the loft of her home, Jenny stumbled across this Morris Eight Service Information folder. To be used in conjunction with a workshop manual, the folder contains service updates that would have been issued by Morris Motors Limited to garages across the land. A number of service information sheets, all dated March 1935, survive in this folder, which is shown below along with a photo of a Morris 8 similar to that which Jenny's father donated to his offspring.
Morris 8 Service Information
This chance encounter with the folder brought back memories of playing around in a Morris 8, with her brother, on the land behind the garage, as Jenny now recalls:
Quote 1
"My brother Bill and I used to drive the car around our field behind the garage like a pair of crazed maniacs, carrying friends and doing all sorts of manoeuvring contests! I was 10, and he was 13. He had a car before me, an Austin Seven. When they came into dad beyond natural repair, we kids had them to play with.
"I could tell you some hair-raising stories, like a gallon can of petrol under the bonnet in the battery rack with a pipe to the carb as I had torn the tank. Or the U bolts dad made out of sprung steel, we used to have to pull the handbrake up about 20 times to get the back wheels in line. I still had my Morris when I was 15, until we killed it. Oh the joy of health and safety!!
Jenny's brother has also trawled the memory banks, and offers his memories of driving around in the venerable pre-war Morris....
"Some time in the mid-1960s my father sold a second-hand car to a farming cousin. He took an old Morris 8 in part-exchange, and gave it to us children to play with in the field behind the garage.
"We created a roughly-circular track around the field, but had the odd detour around a patch of brambles, or pile of scrap metal. He came to watch our progress and asked why we always drove around the track in the same direction. The answer was simple - some of the curves were too tight to go round them in the opposite direction. This baffled him until he tried it and found that we were right - he also found that someone had fitted the track-rod ends the wrong way round. Checking this point with the cousin he learned that they, too, had always entered the farmyard from the same direction, but hadn't realised it was a fault!
"When we had friends visiting, I showed off my speed around the track, but unusually took one of the friends as a front-seat passenger. I was amused to see him being thrown against the door by my cornering, until we swapped seats and I did the same when he cornered. Sure enough, only one side of the passenger seat was fixed to the floor!
Quote 2
"The youngest "driver" of the car was my younger sister, whose first driving lesson (at the age of perhaps 5) consisted of her sitting in the driving seat, while I stood on the running board and tried to steer with one hand. Cornering while steering with one hand (and hanging on with the other) is harder than it looks in films, and we came to a rapid halt up against a 1935 Vauxhall 12/6 that my father was hanging on to, in case he ever got the chance to do the expensive repairs it needed.
"After years in a farmyard, the car's paintwork was far from shiny, so we attacked it with cutting polish and were surprised to note that the hard pressure needed to cut it effectively made the top of the bonnet "bounce" in and out. What we discovered a short while later was that the bouncing had cracked the (now-shiny) paint, and that the paint hadn't been attached to the bonnet for a long time - when cracked bits fell off, there was rusty metal underneath.

Brilliant, thanks to you both for sending the stories over. There are several Morris 8 owners on the forum that will no doubt be interested in reading about this car.

Elsewhere on OldClassicCar.

Fans of these cars may also be interested in reading the memories of "8" ownership sent in by Adrian, and also those of Roy, both visitors to this site.
More tales of car ownership in years gone by can be found in the motoring memories section.

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