Other News

Situations Vacant!

Could you help to run the Wolseley Register?  We need volunteers to help in several areas, to join the thirty Members who are involved, already. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done this before or if you have very limited time.  We cover many of our activities with small teams of people working together and you will be given lots of support.  Many of the Club’s officers don’t routinely attend Management Committee meetings.  What matters most is enthusiasm!  Working with fellow enthusiasts is rewarding and the adage that ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’ certainly applies.  We are looking for people to help in the following areas:

‘Spares’ has been one of our great success stories, with turnover increasing hugely in the last year.  We really need more volunteers to help with the following activities:

  1. At our Spares Store itself (located north of Edinburgh), helping with the despatch of spares; and/or attending the occasional ‘Spares Days’ where we sort and tidy the stores when new stock arrives.
  2. Collecting small amounts of stock that we obtain near to you and holding these until we can get them to the Spares Store. In addition, if you can use a computer, these parts need to be catalogued, photographed and uploaded to the website.

Bob Langston is our Webmaster but his increasing involvement with spares means that he would like to find someone to take over some of his duties.  The webmaster is a team based role with several volunteers already maintaining various parts of the website. The lead webmaster role includes the following activities:

  1. Implementing new functionality as requested by the national committee
  2. Working with our website host when required and agreeing any development costs
  3. Resolving website problems
  4. Helping members with website queries or problems
  5. Creating and updating pages, online forms and other website functionality
  6. Liaise with our Facebook administrators to ensure linkage and consistency across both platforms.
  7. Creating and maintaining the club’s email addresses.

The website is built with WordPress software and incorporates a number of plug-ins, but it is not difficult to pick this up and support and training will be supplied to any willing volunteer. In addition, as the role already includes other volunteers, no one person will be required to be available at all times and volunteers will be able to go on holiday!

We can help get you started!

To discuss any of the above jobs, please contact Bob Langston (Spares and Webmaster).


Sir Charles Wolseley, Bt.

Sir Charles Wolseley

Sir Charles Wolseley was a descendent of General Sir Garnet Wolseley and also of Frederick Yorke Wolseley, the founder of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company, which produced the first Wolseley motor vehicle in the late 1890’s.

Sir Charles was Patron of the Wolseley Register, and the Register had the honour of being invited to attend the opening of the Wolseley Garden Park at Rugeley in Staffordshire, and subsequently held several wonderful annual rallies at the Park and at Park House, the home of Sir Charles and Lady Wolseley after the Garden Park was sold.

Sir Charles was a gracious, kind and friendly man and enjoyed attending Wolseley Register events, particularly annual rallies and always with his wife, to whom he was devoted. He was also a brilliant artist, as was proved by the wonderful watercolour painting he produced of the three Gerald Palmer designed Wolseleys (4/44, 15/50 and 6/90) commissioned by the Register to celebrate Palmer’s centenary.

The Australian and New Zealand Wolseley clubs, which have a strong and long relationship with the Wolseley Register, also had Sir Charles and in their case Lady Wolseley as Patrons, and vouch for the wonderful hospitality and warmth of welcome they received from their Patrons when visiting the UK.

Sadly, failing health prevented the Wolseleys from active involvement in Register activities for the past 10 or so years, but we kept in touch as much as possible, and now mourn the passing of this kindly, courteous gentleman.

Geoff Craggs,
Life Vice President,
Wolseley Register


An update on Lady Nuffield’s Wolseley Eight

TheNational Trust is preparing Lady Nuffield’s car for the opening of Nuffield Place on the 26th Feb. Tanya Field, a descendant of the 7th Earl of Macclesfield and a great supporter of our automotive interest at NP will bring along her friends in relevant cars in what has now become an annual celebration of cars made at Cowley. (I am given to understand that it is also the birthplace of Lady Nuffield’s Wolseley 8 – maybe the boss’s one off construction that was closer to home than Ward End).

This year the Wolseley will be given more prominence in the story of the property and a feature in ‘Henley Life’, a local magazine with a 10,000 circulation, and in the NT Regional Edition of ‘Near You’, that has a circulation of many thousands to NT members in the surrounding counties. I have emphasised the vital help we have received from the Wolseley Register so I anticipate the Register  should get a mention in at least one of the articles.

At the end of last year whilst continuing our search for the poor performance under load we found that the petrol filter built into the pump was clogged with muck. Having cleaned the filter the car no longer has to be coaxed (quite so much) up hills with the heart in mouth anticipation of completely grinding to a powerless halt. Could we have found the problem or is it just a temporary sweet spot in performance? All being well this season will confirm our hopes.

With renewed hope of improved reliability we want to try and get to a few more local shows. Let’s hope the weather gives us a good summer!

Paul Cook  (National Trust)


A Game-Changer for UK Motor Insurance? Norton Heritage Insurance informs us that we could be seeing huge changes to motor insurance law in order to improve the way victims can claim compensation in a wider range of circumstances. These changes made which will affect all of us.

The UK Government have opened a survey for the public to give their opinion on potential changes to motor insurance laws. The survey closes March 2017. The changes being discussed could have a huge impact on the UK insurance industry and the public.

To find out more, read the information leaflet here.

Finally, please complete the Government Survey here! We have until 31 March 2017 to let the government know our views.


 More women than ever join the classic car market!
  • Numbers grow by 40% in the last two years
  • 1 in 4 women (26%) would now consider buying a classic car
  • Birmingham top place in the country for female classic owners
  • Women revealed to be more successful than men at spotting appreciating models
Women are increasingly entering the classic car market and becoming savvier investors in the process, according to new research by classic car insurance broker Footman James, part of the Towergate group. The research, which polled over 2,000 adults*, revealed 1 in 4 women would now consider buying a classic car – clearly showing the classic car club is no longer reserved for the stereotypical middle-aged man.
Footman James’ data has also revealed that over the past two years, the number of female classic car owners has risen by 40%, with female customers expected to account for 11% by the end of 2016.  The average age of a female owner has fallen consistently over the last few years, now standing at 52 years old.
Footman James’ records showed that the top classic car makes owned by women were Morris, Volkswagen, MG, Mazda and Land Rover. Birmingham was found to the city with the highest number of female owners, perhaps unsurprising given the popularity of the Classic Motor Show held at the city’s NEC venue each year.
Top 5 towns/cities with female owners:
  1. Birmingham
  2. Tonbridge
  3. Bristol
  4. Sheffield
  5. Brighton
Proving that women really do have an eye for detail, when asked to select models that have risen most in value in the past year female drivers correctly identified two of the top five classic cars that have seen the biggest increases – while men were only able to identify one. Women successfully picked iconic sports car Lamborghini Miura and outdoor favourite Land Rover Defender – which saw increases in value of 62% and 43% respectively over the past twelve months.
The remainder of the top five classics was made up of the Peugeot 205, the VW Golf MK1 GTI and the Fiat Dino, with the 1966 classic surging in value by 113% in the last year alone.

Rising classic car values in past year:
Top 5 selected by Men          Top 5 selected by Women
Aston Martin DB4                  Aston Martin DB4
Jaguar E-Type                      Jaguar E-Type
Ferrari 275GTB                     Ferrari 275GTB
Porsche 911s                        Land Rover Defende
Lamborghini Miura                Lamborghini Miura

Actual Top 5 12 month value increase:
Fiat Dino                              113%
Lamborghini Miura               62%
Peugeot 205                        44%
Land Rover Defender          43%
VW Golf Mk1 GTI                 43%

Footman James’ research also found that on average men spend more each year maintaining their classic spending £1,700 compared to the £1,500 forked out by female buyers. The findings also showed that motivations for entering the classic car market seem to differ between women. More than one in five (21%) said that nostalgia would influence their decision to buy a classic model, while just under a fifth (17%) would be attracted by the investment returns on offer or encouraged by recommendation from a family or friend (19%).

Liam Lloyd from Footman James comments:-

Nowadays the classic car market is no longer an old boys club, with female owners proving their savviness when it comes to picking the top performing models. The popularity of mainstream media has introduced a whole new array of people to the world of classics, reflected in the rising interest from female buyers across the country.

“However for any buyer, regardless of age or gender, it’s important to keep a few top tips in mind. Look to buy the best, seek expert advice, don’t be afraid to ask questions and monitor the market. Also while it’s natural to focus on potential increases in value – it’s just as important to make sure it’s a car you actually like. After all there’s a reason it’s often called a passion purchase.

“Once you are the proud owner it is important you ensure your vehicle is adequately covered, as rising values – while of course positive news – could also leave you underinsured.”

For further information on Footman James visit the website footmanjames.co.uk.


John Brindley

The Wolseley Register is sorry to have to report the passing of one of our Vice Presidents, John Brindley, on 11 December 2015.

Addendum from Margaret Brindley

Thank you to members of the Wolseley Register for all their kindness and words of sympathy to me following John’s death; also my appreciation to the many members who attended John’s funeral, several of whom travelled a considerable distance to pay their respects. It was of great comfort to me.

I am also very pleased to say that donations made to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity amounted to £715, which they will be very happy to receive to help fund their good work.

John Hall Brindley

John BrindleyWhen I willingly offered to write an appreciation of the life of John, who had been my friend and colleague in the Wolseley Register for 40 years, it took some time for me to realise that anyone who joined the Register in the past 15 years would not have known the powerhouse of a man who was John Brindley; at best they may have seen him at National Rallies being pushed in his wheelchair by his great friend Henk Schuuring. I hope my inadequate words give some indication of the calibre of John to those who did not know him, and also serve as a reminder of past times and events in the company of John and Margaret to those of us who were fortunate enough to share those times with them.

John was a big man, not only physically but in the way he lived his life to the full and in the enthusiasm he brought to his love of the history of the British motor industry, especially Wolseleys. This enthusiasm led to his joining the Wolseley Register when it was established and run by the late Robert Burrows, and to his involvement along with others, notably the late Frank Mansell and our current Life President Dave Allen, in making the Register a more democratically run organisation with elected officers and an executive committee. Throughout the years John was involved in the running of the Register as Chairman of the Midlands Group, and on the National Committee, of which he was Chairman for some years in the 1980s until I was persuaded to take on the role in 1990. John brought great drive and energy into every aspect of Register life, not least in the tremendous hospitality provided by John and Margaret at Pages Lane for the Committee and in fact, for anyone they felt needed “bed and board”. This open hearted hospitality continued long after John stood down as Chairman, and even after John’s first stroke, more than 15 years ago. Thank you very much, Margaret and John .

In his “day job” John was a greatly respected consultant structural engineer, working on many projects mainly in Birmingham and the Midlands; during the course of his business travels he “ happened across” more than a few Wolseleys and other historic delights at a time when the old vehicle movement was far less commercialised than it is currently. Consequently John amassed an enviable and eclectic collection of old vehicles and memorabilia, which he housed at Pages Lane and in various lock ups in and around Birmingham. Even after his first stroke John was able to work with Norman Painting on the production of an authoritative book on Herbert Austin’s years with Wolseley (obtainable from Regalia) and he attended as many Committee meetings as he could as Life Vice President until the effort became too great both for John and for Margaret.

Remembering John in his physical prime it is hard to imagine that as a young man he actually raced BSA Bantam motor cycles for the BSA works, and very successfully too; without being disrespectful to our colleague it says much for the stamina and durability of those miniscule Bantams that not only did they not wilt under his not inconsiderable weight but under his guidance they actually won many short circuit races.

John’s golden days in the Wolseley Register? The Mannekin Pis Rallies in the late 1970s and the 1980s, when we joined in with the Morris Register on some hilarious and occasionally manic tours of Europe, John and Margaret in their faithful 21hp Super Six, along with the Allens, Dave Palmer and Peter, our grossly overloaded 9 (and later 14/60) and several other Register folk.

The 1990s, and our celebrations in 1994 of the Register’s 40th anniversary, with the “Round the World” trip of British “foreign places” such as Melbourne near York, when the “baton “ was passed from one Region to the next, culminating in its arrival at the National Rally at Wolseley Garden Park in August. Whilst John was at his busy best in helping this to happen, he really excelled himself next year when we celebrated the centenary of the first Wolseley car by working with Trevor Bland to persuade Birmingham City Council to allow the Register to hold a Rally on Centenary Square on the Saturday of our National Rally weekend. We were the first car club to be afforded the privilege, and more than 200 Wolseleys were on display. Prior to that we based ourselves at Avoncroft historic building museum for several days, darting off to civic receptions, a visit to the Morgan factory, Black Country museum and many other wondrous places – mostly thanks to John and Trevor’s local connections. A wonderful week, culminating in a Police-led parade from Centenary Square to Wolseley Garden Park for Sunday’s Annual Rally; Saturday night saw John engaged in one of his favourite occupations – running the barbecue. Many of us worked hard that week, but none harder than John.

Many of our overseas members, notably from the Antipodes, came over for the Centenary celebrations, and issued a pressing invitation to John and Trevor to pay a return visit, which they duly did. I was talking to Trevor about this recently, and apparently despite John’s having travelled all over Europe he had never been on an aircraft before the 11 hour flight to Singapore en route to Australia, and was delighted with the experience, this delight never waning throughout the 7 weeks the pair of them were away.

Happy times indeed for John, and we can only hope that during the past traumatic years since John’s first stroke, he has been able to recall the good times with fondness. Those of us who knew him will remember him as someone who did not give his friendship easily, but when he did so gave it unstintingly; if there were disagreements they were usually resolved and set aside.

Margaret, please accept our thanks and admiration for the care and love you have shown to John, particularly over the past years of his illness, and be assured that all of us are there for you to help in any way we can.

John, rest in peace.

Geoff Craggs


Tyres and Insurance – Clarificationcourtesy of Heritage Classic Car Insurance

In a recent newsletter we shared a feature on advice for keeping your car in a roadworthy state, and how this affects owners of pre-1960 vehicles. It has been brought to our attention that this article may have been perceived as misleading on the matter of tyres. The article suggested that tyres should be on a vehicle for ‘no more than 5 years’, however this is not correct.

The article should have stated; as per the advice given by Michelin*, that tyres should be inspected regularly, especially when a tyre has spent 5 years or more on the car, and replaced at the ten year mark regardless of condition:

“After five years or more in service, your tyres should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year. If the need arises, follow the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer regarding replacing the original equipment tyres. As a precaution, if the tyres have not been replaced 10 years from their date of manufacture, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tyres. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator.”

*Michelin Guide ‘When should I change my tyres?’

The official tyre guidance as given by tyresafe.org states:

“The tyre industry has long recognised the consumer’s role in the regular care and maintenance of their tyres. The point at which a tyre is replaced is a decision for which the owner of the tyre is responsible. The service life of a tyre is a cumulative function of the storage, stowing, rotation and service conditions, which a tyre is subjected to throughout its life (load, speed, inflation pressure, road hazard injury, etc.). Since service conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tyre in chronological time is not possible.

There is no known technical data that supports a specific tyre age for removal from service. However, in the interests of safety a number of vehicle and tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres (including spare tyres) that were manufactured more than a certain number of years previously be replaced with new tyres, even when they appear to be usable from their external appearance and the tread may not have reached the minimum wear out depth. It is recommended that any such instruction be followed.”

Tyres from an insurance broker point of view:

In conclusion, so long as the age of the tyre does not exceed the manufacturers recommended guidance, and so long as ‘due diligence’ is done on behalf of the owner to ensure that tyres remain in a roadworthy condition, then you will be doing all you can to ensure the condition of your vehicle’s tyres complies with the terms set out by your insurance underwriter.

It must be noted, however, that each different tyre manufacturer will have their own set of guidelines pertaining to the lifecycle of each given model of tyre, so if you are in any doubt at all about the condition of your tyres, then it’s always worth popping to your local tyre fitter.

For more information on Tyre Safety, take a look at http://tyresafe.org/



While some owners have their classics cars safe and snug, holed up in the garage for the winter, other classic users, who drive their cars on a daily basis, don’t have that luxury and are facing driving through the heavy rain and flood water hitting Britain.

Driving in wet conditions can be hazardous, and even those with knowledge of their local area can find themselves caught out during heavy downpours, with road surfaces susceptible to standing water. This increases the risk of drivers aquaplaning, when the tyres lose contact with the road and you lose control of the steering. If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tyres regain grip.

When driving through standing water, remember to slow down and take it easy. If the steering does become unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. If you do come across flood water, only attempt to drive through if you know it’s not too deep and maintain a steady, slow speed to avoid creating a bow wave. Allow oncoming traffic to pass first and test your brakes as soon as you can after leaving the water.

As you drive slowly through standing water, use a low gear so the engine revs are higher. Don’t try driving through fast-moving water, such as at a flooded bridge approach – you and your car could easily be swept away. Also remember that driving through standing water and large puddles at speeds above a slow crawl will splash pedestrians or cyclists, which can result in a hefty fine and points on your license if the police catch you driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.                     

Follow these handy tips and the only paddling you’ll be doing is at the seaside come the summer!  To find out more on this and other services from Heritage Classic Car Insurance, call 0121 248 9213 or visit www.heritage-quote.co.uk.

Floodwater facts – courtesy of the AA:

  • The majority of drowning deaths in the UK occur within only 3m of a safe point
  • Two thirds of those who die in flood-related accidents are considered to be good swimmers
  • 32% of flood-related deaths are by drowning in a vehicle
  • After 20 minutes in water at 12C the temperature of the deep muscle of your forearm would drop from 37 ºC to 27ºC,  leading to a 30% reduction in muscle strength.
  • In water 1m deep (waist high), flows of 1m/s become challenging and by 1.8m/s (4mph) everyone will be washed off their feet.
  • If the speed of the flood water doubles the force it exerts on you/your car is quadrupled
  • Just six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet and be enough for you to be unable to regain your footing.
  • Two feet of standing water will float your car
  • Just one foot of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car
  • Just an egg cupful of water in the combustion chamber could be enough to wreck an engine
  • Flood water can be contaminated and carry diseases
  • Culverts are dangerous when flooded – the siphon effect of culverts can drag in pets, children and even fully grown adults

For further information and images, please contact:
Andrea Seed, PR Director, Poppyseed Media Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 7812 010 765, Email: andrea@poppyseedmedia.co.uk