Having enthused last month over Morgans racing flat out at Brooklands it may seem droll that I have owned only one such three-wheeler, a 1925 Family model (RK 9975), which differed from the 1921 version by having small front-wheel brakes.
This example was available near Croydon, and as Jenks had a VW Transporter with which we were going to collect a large four-bladed propeller from a WWI Be2C aeroplane, we went also to see the Morgan.
When the owner’s mother and father were alive they used it, with him and his sister in the back, to drive to the coast and back on a Sunday, to Eastbourne or Brighton. They would leave early if it was overcast, as the Morgan had no lamps. It did have lamp brackets and an ammeter – I assumed these were easier to install while the Morgan was being built than if a customer required lamps later, which a Morgan works employee has since confirmed.
Having got it home I managed to side-crank the JAP engine and indulge in an illegal romp on a local circuit via Rhayader, Llandrindod Wells, Cross Gates and back. Changing into bottom of the two speeds a gear dog broke, but it seemed better not to stop. I returned as quickly as possible in the modern car and recovered the two parts of the dog from a road sweeper and his push bin. These were welded together satisfactorily.
Alas, I then sent the magneto away for rewinding but it was lost. Another has never been found, so the Morgan remains in the barn, unused.
As for the propeller, I had hoped to give that to the RAF squadron equivalent to the RFC one which had owned it. On it are inscribed the names of pilots, some deceased, air mechanics and two stokers, suggesting a marine involvement unless they stoked the fire in the Officers’ Mess. But in spite of appeals to every known source I have been unable to discover where after WWI the prop belonged.
The Hendon RAF Museum said they had over 30 propellers and didn’t want it, so it remains undirected to anywhere that it might remain a memorial to those listed on two of its blades.