The Midland has played host to several automobile events over the years – often adding style and grandeur to the line up in the car park. We were delighted when Norman Verona contacted us again as part of his Coast to Coast MG owners’ car club event which was due to happen in August 2020. Postponed due to Covid-19, we finally welcomed them a whole year later. Norman tells us a little more about the event…
Norman Verona and his wife, Lynne
I organised the first MG Classic Car run in 2018 and chose The Midland in Morecambe for the start point as we all drove across the country to Scarborough. I expected about 30 cars for the event but ended up with 98. We started with a banquet on the Friday night. So impressed with the hotel and the staff, I decided to use English Lakes hotels for the 2019 event. We stayed at Lancaster House that year and the service was superb, as was the food.
So, for 2020 I planned a coast to coast from The Midland in Morecambe to Seaburn near Sunderland, driving north through the lakes and then across the North Pennines to Sunderland.
Only one problem… Covid struck. I had 70 people signed up in March 2020 for a mid-August date, but it had to be postponed. The team at English Lakes worked above and beyond any call of duty to rearrange things for 2021. I suspect that due to the fear of Covid – remember most of the classic car owners who do this type of weekend are retired – I ended up with only 43 cars. The girls at the hotel dealt with all the cancellations and finding rooms for the late entrants with no fuss, they just did it.
You may know The Midland. It’s the semi-circular white art deco building on Morecambe Bay with huge spiral staircase, freeze behind the reception and, not forgetting, two sea horses on the front. You may even have seen it on the TV drama, Poirot as the hotel is often used in the programme due to its art deco design. However, a good hotel is much more than a building, it’s the staff that make a good hotel and we cannot praise the team at the Midland highly enough for all their help in a very trying period. In the end the run went off exactly as planned, even with changes being made 48 hours before the start of the event.
Seventy-one people sat down to a superb meal on Friday night and then we all had breakfast from 07:30 am and the first cars left at 08:30 am. Our Porter, Kev, who looks after the car park, did a superb job in arranging space for the 8 very old cars and the space for the more modern (although most are about 50 years old) in a line opposite the older cars. The oldest is a four seater MG NB with was made in 1934, three TA’s which date to circa 1946, one TC from 19349 and 3 TDs from between 1950 and 1955. The more modern cars date from post 1956 with one MGA and 13 MGBs plus a few non-MGs as well.
This years run has been much more of a challenge, mainly due to the effect of COVID 19, having to book alternative accommodation and pubs, and not everyone being as efficient at replying to requests. However, I may just be persuaded to repeat the 2018 run. Rest assured, if I do another run next year it will be based at The Midland, because the team at The Midland were there for me all through the pandemic and nothing was too much trouble.
The Midland has a wealth of experience in hosting car clubs of different vintage, makes and models. As travel around the country opens up and we can all enjoy the freedom of the road once again, give us a call on 01524 424000 and speak to one of our event organisers.