As you all know, I’m a great fan of the late, great travel writer HV Morton, and I’m sure that some of you will enjoy this article.

hv1In the Tyre Tracks of HV Morton

Dear Fellow Mortonites,

Recently I received the following exciting email:

“Hello! My name is Clive Button and I am Deputy Chairman of the Wolseley Register, a club associated with Wolseley motor cars which were manufactured in England from 1895 to 1970.  Next year is our 50th anniversary which we want to commemorate with a major event.  The idea has arisen of retracing H V Morton’s 1920s journeys set out in the “In Search of…..” books.  We have members in England, Scotland and Wales and we think it is feasible to cover the routes in all three books…

“We would encourage our members to take photographs of the places HVM visited and try to assemble our own record in the form of a souvenir booklet.”

I dashed off a reply to Clive expressing my great interest in his proposal and willingness to help in any way I could. I also informed Peter Devenish and Kenneth Fields, both of whom were similarly enthused. Kenneth kindly sent back an itinerary of Morton’s route from “In Search of England” which he had compiled some years previously.

I forwarded this on to Clive who was grateful and advised me that there was now “growing enthusiasm” for the project and, following a meeting, the Wolseley Register Management Committee had adopted the HV Morton project as its flagship event for 2014!

Clive informed me they plan to cover every mile of Morton’s journies, in historic Wolseley cars, during the Spring and Summer of 2014, with individual members tackling different stages while recording their impressions of the places visited and taking photographs. There will be an interactive map on their website (www.wolseleyregister.co.uk) so that members will be able to see which sections of route remain and make sure nothing is missed. A press release aimed at motoring journals will follow shortly.

hv2AF Taylor’s 1927 map, accompanying “In Search of England”

This bulletin is by way of appeal for assistance from members of the HV Morton Society. Clive has asked if anyone has, or might be willing to compile routes and itineraries for “In Search of Scotland” and “In Search of Wales” which members of the Wolseley Register might follow. Also he wonders if anyone has copies of photographs, particularly from the earlier editions of the three books in question so Wolseley Register members can try to replicate the views as they go about ther travels, comparing Britain today with that of Morton’s time, some 90 years ago.

If any Mortonite has a bit of time to spare and could do some scanning or précising and is able to help in these, or any other, ways I would urge them to either contact Clive directly by email or let me know and I will be happy to coordinate our efforts and to forward any material on. Please let me or Clive know which editions any photographs are taken from.

The idea of retracing Morton’s steps and of replicating the evocative photographs in his travelogues is one that is close to my heart (and, I imagine, that of quite a few other Mortonites) and it would be a great achievement if the HV Morton Society could collaborate with the Wolseley Register on this exciting project.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes,

Niall Taylor, Glastonbury, Somerset, England
5 January 2014

The HV Morton Society
Web: www.hvmorton.co.uk
Blog: http://hvmorton.wordpress.com/