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April 2018

Undaunted, they pushed

Undaunted, they pushed the M.G. into its shipping container, for the problem to be sorted at the other end. The owner procured another crankshaft, put it in his hand luggage and took it with him in the cabin on his flight to England! Hand luggage restrictions were almost non-existent before the 9/11 attacks, and the cheerful Aussie check-in girl told the chap, just be careful it doesn’t fall out of the overhead locker onto anyone. Once in England, they towed the TC to a friendly fellow M.G. owner’s house and swopped the broken crankshaft for the new one. The tour of Europe was duly completed and as far as I know, the car is still running on that exchanged crankshaft. Back to the CW&P for Julie Craig - The Memsahib and I were soon to go off on a winter jaunt down under, so I contacted our flight airline, Emirates, to ask if I might use some of our generous checked baggage allowance by taking the components with us. They were happy for me to do that, so I wrapped the crown-wheel & pinion in bubble-wrap, put it in an old duffle bag and simply checked it in as luggage. I told the check-in staff what the duffle bag contained – and they even found a note about the arrangement on their computer system! All went well en-route – the duffle bag went in and out of Dubai, (where we changed aircraft), in the cargo container, and on arrival in Perth, Western Australia, there it was riding round on the carousel with our suitcases. The CW&P had become one of the fastest ever M.G. components – travelling at over 600 mph and at more than 40,000 feet! So – the crown-wheel & pinion were in Perth W.A. but Julie lives in New South Wales – about 2500 miles away. Our trip that year took us to Tasmania after a spell in Perth and then to Sydney, from where we were to drive an hour or so north to visit Julie & Royce. The problem was that our internal flights in cattle class did not have the same generous luggage allowances as did the long-haul sectors, so we couldn’t take the trusty duffle bag with us. The answer was to ship it across the country via the excellent Australian Postal Service. I put the crown-wheel & pinion in a Jiffy bag and for only A$15, it was taken to Julie & Royce’s home in NSW.

As luck would have it, just when we were trying to figure out the best way to get the CW&P from John Burton to Matt, we remembered that Chris & Robin Cooke were going to Australia about now. Straight away, Chris agreed to take it with him, as he too had a generous luggage allowance only on his long haul sectors, which would end in Melbourne, whereas Matt is in Brisbane. The tortuous route from John Burton to Matt was this: John took the CW&P to the EMGS AGM in January and handed it to Mike Heins, who took it home to be collected by Chris Cooke prior to his departure to Australia. In Melbourne, Chris posted it to Matt in Brisbane. Australia Post delivered it to the wrong address! The CW&P went missing for 2 weeks. Australian Postie’s delivery bike. After many phone calls and a threat from Matt to take the issue to the ombudsman, the Postie finally remembered where he had delivered it and was able to retrieve it. What exciting adventures some of these M.G. components enjoy!

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