When Morland & Co. decided to build a new public-house in Preston Road, Abingdon-on-Thames, they instituted a ballot amongst the townspeople, which showed that the name preferred for the new house was “The Magic Midget”. It was opened last December by Lord Stokes, who Made a characteristic speech in which he said he thought there would be less misunderstanding in the world if more people met in pubs and that they were excellent places where those from different walks of life and varied interests could meet and take their wives and girl-friends. “But I wish I could make as many cars as pints are likely to be pulled in “Me Magic Midget’,” said Lord Stokes, as he drank the first one.
The new house is named after the famous racing MG which, in 1932, was the first 750-c.c.-class car to exceed 120 m.p.h., driven by Capt. G. E. T. Eyston. A replica of it is now being built but in lieu of this outside the pub during the opening ceremony were the all-enveloping EX 179 record-breaking MG and Syd Beer’s replica EX120, the first 100-m.p.h. Class-H car. These were a pungent reminder of the golden days when MG gained valuable prestige through racing and record-breaking successes, yet was a modestly priced sports-car in wide useage on the road.
The nicely-appointed new Morland’s house has “Brooklands” and “Pendine” bars and displays exterior painted panels recalling the glories of the “Magic Midget” MG„ and big pictures of MG racing exploits within. One picture is especially pleasing, showing as it does the start of a BRDC 500-mile Race with “Ebby” standing out on the track still looking at his watches While the entire Class-H entry has accelerated Well away from the starting-line! Apart front many representatives of the Brewery Trade, MG celebrities present included John Thornley, Syd Enever, “Jacko” Jackson”, and Tony Dawson.. As Morley’s have been in Abingdon for 200 years and the MG Car Company for nearly 50 years, this new house is appropriately named and may well become a meeting place for MG owners and MGCC members.—W.B.