Sentimental journey to Telford as 51-year-old Morris Minor returns home

For one little Moggy, there has been a joyful return home to revisit its old Telford haunts.

Back "home" - Martin and Eunice with their faithful Moggy in Wellington, which is lined up alongside Roger Martin's own 1952 model.
Back "home" - Martin and Eunice with their faithful Moggy in Wellington, which is lined up alongside Roger Martin's own 1952 model.

"It was an unusual feeling bringing the car back to where it had spent 40 years. We came up the motorway and it never missed a beat. It doesn't seem like a 51-year-old car," said owner Martin Robins.

He made the trip up from Wiltshire in his Morris Minor, GNT 541D, to take this mechanical marvel back to the land of its "birth."

The invitation came from Morris Minor enthusiast Roger Martin of Wellington, who had worked at the old Ercall Garage in the town from 1964 to 1975, and had seen a picture of Mr Robins' car in an enthusiasts' magazine.

The Ercall Garage in Market Street, Wellington. Picture courtesy of Allan Frost.

"He recognised the car. We still have a sticker saying 'Supplied By Ercall Garage' on the glove compartment. He contacted me and said he was working at the garage when it was sold by them, and asked whether we would like to bring my car back to where it had started life.

"The car had never left Wellington in the 41 years prior to our ownership. We bought the car in 2007. There were nine previous owners, all of whom were in Wellington."

So they linked up with Roger for the nostalgic return, with him showing Martin and wife Eunice the Wellington sights linked to their faithful motor.

"The garage has been demolished. He showed us exactly where he worked, which is now a car park, and we had it photographed outside the house of the original owner. Unfortunately the owner was not there. We had a photograph taken on Morrisons car park, which was the nearest we could get to the site of Ercall Garage, which is not accessible."

Inside Pierce's Garage - also known as The Ercall Garage - in 1956.

Now Martin, from Malmesbury, wants to hear from people who can fill him in with details and memorabilia about Ercall Garage - he can be contacted at 01666 837747 - as he builds up the back story to his car. The garage was also known as Pierce's Garage during its life.

He says Roger did not recall his specific car, as it was the standard car of the day and a particular car would not have stuck in anybody's memory.

Martin bought the car, which has 92,000 miles on the clock, from a private individual from Wellington, albeit through The Moggy Factory in Dawley, the garage where it had been serviced and maintained.

"It's the first Morris Minor I've had and I can't speak too highly of it. It is utterly reliable and the costs of running it are negligible. It hasn't got the top speed, but it will do distances."

The car had been a two door saloon but was turned into a convertible by a previous owner in 2000.

Martin retired in 2005 - he had had a company car - and went without a car for a couple of years.

"I thought then I would buy a car. My father-in-law told me 50 years ago when I passed my test that the best car I could buy, because I was not mechanically-minded, was a Morris Minor. I took his advice.

"It's never caused a moment's trouble."

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