Morgan, Malvern & Motoring, by
This book could have competed for the title "Made in
Malvern"! Not only is Martyn Webb also a local, but the history he describes is
about Malvern and its motoring products, Morgan included of course. He therewith
limited himself to the first decade of the Morgan Motor Company, up to 1920.
Having had the privilege to stay with Martyn a couple of times, I can vouch for
the thoroughness with which he compiled this book. He had to withhold himself
from writing more!
Despite that, the book has become a heavyweight of over 300
pages, stuffed with much material that had been unpublised before. It is simply amazing what Martyn has found out during his many
years of research, talking to many (relatives of) former M
organ employees, but
also inhabitants of Malvern in general.
As the title implies, it's more than Morgan cars only.
The family life of Morgan is described in detail, as are the hard school years
for H.F.S. Morgan and his bad health at that time.
In the early 1900s the people of the spa town Malvern
were not exactly in favour of motoring activities, to say the least.
gives a detailed background to this era.With his entertaining style of writing
it is as if you are reliving it! Correspondence in local newspapers in favour of
or against motoring give a fascinating insight to the difficulties H.F.S. Morgan
had to face. Fortunately his father George was a very useful back up!
About his first business venture "Morgan & Co",
together with his friend Leslie Bacon, not much had been published before.
Because of Martyn's in depth research, the reader is treated to a lively story
about those early years.
The "Malvern" part of the title also refers to other
cars and (motorcycles that were made in Malvern, mainly the Mayo, Malvernia and later the
Santler (really a copy of the Morgan three-wheeler). The details I leave to
discover them yourself!
On the picture on the left you see the front of the
original Morgan garage on the Worcester Road in Malvern. These buildings were
demolished a few years ago, but the stained glass windows were saved by nobody
less than Melvyn Rutter!
An important part of the book is also devoted to the
construction and development of the original prototype three-wheeler. This was
done with the able assistance of William Stephenson-Peach. What is less known is
that he was also involved in the pre-production of the three-wheelers.
The Santler family had their own motoring business, but
they did come to the rescue of Morgan once the demand for the three-wheelers
outnumbered the capacity of the original Morgan works.
It is easy to sum up even more facts that were not
widely known before.The best way to discover these is to get yourself a copy
of the book! It is worth every penny of its price, GBP 29.95.
In brief, this book is a fascinating insight to early
years of Morgan's motoring history and the local difficulties that had to be
faced. No dedicated Morgan-enthusiast may fail this book in his/her