The Leeds Branch of the Morris Minors Owners Club was established in October 2011.
Before this time we were a small group of 12 classic car enthusiasts called Airedale Classic Car Enthusiasts. At one of our monthly meets a few facts were bounced around, the first of which was that 99% of the clubs members were Morris Minor owners and enthusiasts and the second – As big as the city of Leeds is, there was no MMOC Branch within it’s boundaries. The nearest been based in Bradford. The potential to harness something great for both Leeds and its resident Morris Minor enthusiasts was too tempting to ignore, we immediately began the application process.
While waiting for approval, our now Chairman, Andy, received twelve months of fame when a photograph of his 1963 Morris Minor Saloon graced the front cover of the 2011 Minor Monthly Calendar (now years on – he’s still going on about it).
The national MMOC sent out Letters to the three most local Morris minor branches for their response. Unfortunately only one branch, the Barnsley Branch was in favour of our new branch. The Leeds branch looked like it was dead in the water, but Andy Reeder is a tenacious character and was not going to let this blip stop the formation of Leeds branch.
A few phone calls and long conversations were had, this lead to an extensive discussion, consultation, analysis and procedural review by the executive and full committee at national level. Along with additional consultations with branches and area representatives, culminating in a final discussion at the full committee and branch register liaison meeting over the weekend of the 1st & 2nd October 2011.
(No representation from the proposed Leeds branch was present at any of for mentioned meetings).
This vote was final !
Thankfully it was unanimously in our favour with only the same two branches voting against us. YEEEE!!!!!
Twelve months after our initial application was sent in, our official approval letter arrived, the Leeds branch was now up and rolling. The next few months saw us working like whippets running here and there opening bank accounts, printing literature, electing committee members and of course, recruiting new members to the club.
November 2011 saw the annual Classic Car show at the NEC in Birmingham. This great day out allowed us some down time from organising and planning and gave us the opportunity to spread the word about the new MMOC Leeds branch on the Classic Car grapevine.
Before we knew it December had crept round and we held the first Leeds Branch Christmas party at the Aakash Indian Restaurant. The night was a great success with one and all having plenty of food, ale and festive fun.
The Leeds Branch Launch Party…
When we planned the launch, we took the wet chilly October forecast into account and decided to hold out until the 21st April 2012.
We had a good sunny Saturday at the Gaping Goose Inn, Garforth, Leeds.
With plenty of family fun, food, refreshments, traditional Yorkshire Ales and of course – Morris Minors. It was a brilliant day and was made all the better by all the surrounding branches that supported our formation coming along to offer their support for our new Branch. We overflowed the carpark and filled the street outside.
Our membership is still climbing steadily with membership numbers last updated 10/06/15 and now up to membership number 46A & 46B.
Should you own a Morris Minor, or simply be an enthusiast, then please come and join our fun, friendly and welcoming monthly meetings. We gather at the Gaping Goose Inn on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 8pm. As well as having our very own chief national concourse judge, Mr Richard Lee, for you to grab ‘concourse worthy’ tips. We also organise technical nights, guest speakers, charity events, evening drives, fish and chip suppers and bowling nights. Days out to other MMOC branch rallies and various classic car events throughout Yorkshire are also arranged. Will the coming year see you in your first Leeds Branch’s rally? We certainly hope so.
COME ALONG AND JOIN OUR FUN