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Cheshire Sevens

 

 

In the beginning

 

 

It was in late March or early April of 1978 that a postcard dropped through the letter box. It was an invitation to Seven Fifty Motor Club members to attend a gathering at the Railway Inn in Mobberley, with a view to re-establishing the North West group of the club. I was delighted and excited as I had been a member for four years eagerly designing a 750 Formula car and desperately in need of some guidance. I had been ‘bugging’ Dave Bradley, who was the General Secretary of the National Club, offering to try to convene such a meeting. Now Dave didn’t know me from Adam and so sensibly looked elsewhere for someone to set the ball rolling. The someone who was leant upon was, of course, Don Rawson, who was given a list of members in the area so hecould set up what turned out to be the start of many very good and long lasting friendships.

 

We gathered in the car park at the Railway as there was insufficient room inside and anyway the interest was all around Don’s little blue A7 racer squeezed onto the back of his matching blue VW pick up. Later in the evening the Austin was eased down to ground level and the engine fired up. What a glorious sound – but hardly Austin Seven like. Just like Mr. Toad I was smitten, no longer was I planning a 750 Formula car – it had to be an Austin that sounded like Don’s.

 

a7 pub

 

It was a great evening, but little did I know just how much it would add to the quality of my life, both in the friendships that were forged and the motoring journey that had begun. Thirty nine years on many friendships remain, new ones have been added, the motoring journey continues and so many wonderful memories have been cherished.  

 

Another of those who responded to the invite was Neville Carr and these are his thoughts:- My recollections of the first ‘reconvened’ meeting, are firstly, what a big area Mobberley covers, as I struggled to find the Railway Inn, and secondly the interesting, friendly bunch of people that were drawn to it.

 

The biggest and lasting impression however, was seeing Don Rawson’s racing special. It was on the back of his VW transporter. I was very taken with it and when later on in the evening he started it up, I was hooked again on Austin7’s after an absence of 16 years.

 

Then, a few months later I saw an advert in Motor Sport – Austin 7 Road/Trials special, twin spares, highly modified engine, needs finishing £325, Rochdale 5531. – I duly bought it, found that the ‘needs finishing’ was a bit of an understatement – but never realising that it would mean 30 years of involvement in a very fine little club. (N.C.)

 

It soon became clear that whereas the car park at the Railway was OK for fine summer evenings, we would have to find a meeting room for all year round comfort. Our journeys around the hostelries of Cheshire as each one was either closed or redeveloped had become a topic in itself. Were we the cause of their demise or did they take the course of redevelopment in order to discourage us? Who knows?

 

The initial group of members had a keen interest in club motor sport in general with a particular leaning towards the sporting Austin Seven. During the 1980’s and 90’s no less than eleven members actively raced or sprinted A7 based specials and between them built up quite a reputation for sporting successes. 

 

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Reaseheath weekend 1993

 

Four of the founding members:

 

a7 Pic3Dave Rees

 

 

a7 Pic4 Don Rawson 

 

 

a7 Pic5David Gregson

 

 

     a7 Pic 6 Neville Carr

 

 

As the years went by the number of still active racers slowly reduced, but the A7 interest remained. Steve Wilkinson went sprinting with the PWA7C before progressing to campaigning a Brabham in historic F3 but for many the road going seven took centre stage.

 

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By the millennium we had been joined by more PWA7C members and so long time Austineer, David Mann (who seems to have driven his collection of box saloons forever) now had more company. We had morphed into a PWA7C group and continue to thrive as such.

 

 

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David Mann takes the ‘Golden Piston’ on tour!

 

Our current membership is 30 +, who own 27 road worthy sevens with a further six in various stages of restoration between them. The Cheshire Sevens Group is very much alive and well.

 

 

 

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In more recent times: Bring your car night – Morley Green

 

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