The Results Are In

At the end of my last post “Sweet & Sour part 2”, I asked for the my readers / followers view and response to my dilemma of the cheating allegations that I aimed squarely at Ted Brooke the owner of the 1961 Morris Minor. I won’t go back into what I saw over the weekend I have documented and evidenced that. I created a Poll and asked should I leave my cheating report up, or take it down?

Thank you to those that voted along with your support. The results were a conclusive and massive over 95% in favour to leave it up.

So my evidence of what I saw stays posted.

I have been asked how these posts even got to the point it has now. The answer is quite simple; people started to press my buttons, pressing my buttons does make things happen in my head, I just have to deal with it and can’t let it go. The most basic explanation is when I confronted those involved with the evidence I had, it was laughed off and laughed in my face, it was ignored completely, I was told to go away, I was called a “liar” and a “sore loser”, I was even threatened with legal action, and that little lot just started to rub my nose in it. A little gaggle of cheaters sitting behind the car laughing and celebrating that they had ‘Won’ the ‘well deserved’ trophy didn’t sit to well with me or the others that were there in either. So, not only did I/We witness bad things, but it was then blatant they had no qualms about cheating.

To the point of this post; behind the scenes I had told people I emailed Lancaster my concerns and if I got a response I would too also allow them their fair say. Lancaster did respond and so did Clarion. I will show what I wrote to Lancaster and the responses in a second.

But first; I would like to make it clear that I have no grudge(s) with organisers / partners of the event at all, in fact a little more respect as they had the balls to reply to me knowing full well I would be commenting on their replies, I know they will be reading this. So Thank You to those that have contacted me and replied to me. I will keep their personal contact details out of it as I see no benefit to splash that level of detail all over the internet. All I am doing here is fighting for a pure point of PRINCIPLE, I’m not here trying to ruin events or their jobs.

I wrote an email to Richard Morley, Operations Director, Lancaster Insurance. The email was sent Thu 14/11/2019 13:45  the cut and paste reads as follows; (including a couple of typos, I had at the time and still have tonsillitis, that’s my excuse for the unforgivable errors! 🙁

Afternoon Mr Morley,

I would like to start of with big thank you for such an enjoyable weekend 8-10 November at the NEC Birmingham. I was one of the lucky 20 entrants able to display on the Pride of Ownership a real honour. However I would like to ask the official stance on cheating within the competition you are sponsoring. Throughout each of the three days at the event the owner of the winning car the pink Morris Minor, was seen cheating by myself and others. He filled in his own voting slips and putting them into the vote boxes, passing pre filled forms to visitors asking them to post the forms as well. He even told the visitors where to tick for his car, he also took wads of the voting forms to club stands to be filled in on a few occasions. As he was next to my car it was clear to see. The joining instructions clearly stated that any cheating would mean disqualification and be asked to leave. Especially as the joining instructions specifically said there was complaints and cheating the year before as well. Vigilance should have been a priority.

The cheating was reported to the NEC organiser who confirmed in a text to me that that the cheating votes were not going to be  counted, obviously many were going to be missed.

With such a blatant knowledge of his cheating the organisrrs and your staff still allowed the entrant to continue. I and others also reported the underhanded tactics to Lancaster staff in white t-shirts who didn’t seem to take it too seriously. Yet still he was not disqualified. I took a photo early Sunday morning where he was sitting at a table with voting forms going through his phone looking for contacts to complete the forms. I witnessed it.

As I’m a good sport I did not make a scene at the awards and spoke immediately to the guy representing Lancaster giving the awards and showed him the evidence. His response was an astonishing “I just write the cheques”. I showed the evidence to the Morris Minor owners club who just denied it and laughed. You representative was seen to go over to apologise the club for any misunderstanding. Again no offering to look into the evidence. I know thwt the Morris Owners club had stacks of forms on their stands, which shouldn’t of been there in the first place. I have the photograph and also the screen shots between me and NEC where the organisers KNEW of cheating and even acknowledged the cheating via text messages, yet still allowed the car to go on and win. By saying we removed the blatant cheating forms has condoned the practice to not remove the car. If you are caught cheating in an exam the exam is void, not just the question you cheated on, if you cut corners on a running track you are disqualified, not just ignore that little bit. I could have been handled without fuss by not placing the car at all, if you didn’t want the bad publicity. An even playing field was all that we requested now I feel that I need to expose this wrong doing. I am happy to have my message logs to be examined by the phone company to prove the messages were indeed sent and received as they were just text messages not WhatsApp encrypted. 

Please could you let me know if you want to see the evidence where I will be happy to send over. Also what if anything does your company intend on doing about the obviously squewed results. I don’t want publicity, i dont want free insurance, I just want the moral and integrity high grounds to be fought for. The guy wanted the trophy so bad be managed to pull it of in the biggest classic car show in the country and you (organisers) were told about it. 

I’m sorry that this has had to be noted to you in such a way.

Based on the experience of your company to date I feel that I can never be insured with you as I don’t know that I can trust the company as a whole. I am in no way suggesting you on any others at your level knew about it. But, it was raised over the whole weekend to many people. In fact there were others entrants also cheating, unfortunately I don’t have 100% proof of that. 

Sour grapes from me? Not at all I had a great time there. It just seems that my principles are greater than others. Many people are the opinion “let it go” but that’s not the point. I have no doubt what so ever than I will now be black listed for events as a trouble maker.

I look forward to your responses.

I’m very dissapointed and feel let down.

Regards,

Mart Dawson.

Mr Morley’s job title is now different to the documents that I had researched at the time, so perhaps this wasn’t the idea person to speak to, but to be fair – Mr Morley took ownership of it and moved it along for a resolution. A good positive there.

‘Poppyseed’ Clarion’s PR Agency tried to contact me:

Wednesday 15th November 2019 at 15:38. I was unable to answer as I was unable to speak as I had completely lost my voice. A pleasant email was left on my voice mail to call back.

Monday 18th November 2019 at 11:14. I was actually asleep at this point (recovering from a fate worse than man flu obviously) although my voice was starting to come back to the dulcet tones of Barry White. A pleasant voice message was again left for me.

I tried to call PoppySeed on Tuesday 19th November 2019 12:53, unfortunately they were in a meeting all day. A text message very shortly after my call to me to say that emails were going to be on their way back to me later that afternoon. I was slightly surprised that written correspondence was going to arrive, but this is again a positive.

The first email response the next day was from Lee Masters of Clarion the ‘Show Director’ on Wed 20/11/2019 10:59

Dear Mart

Andrea Seed from our PR Agency (Poppyseed Media) and Richard Morley from Lancaster Insurance have brought my attention to both a letter that you have written to Mr Morley and also a social media blog that you have written entitled ‘One Man and His Mustang’.

Firstly, can I thank you for your encouraging and positive words and photos that you took at the show. It’s good to hear that you enjoy the event as much as we do. I would also like to thank you for entering your superb Mustang into the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership Competition.

It is with regards to the competition that I am writing, and I want to reassure you that your concerns about cheating are being taken seriously. The Pride of Ownership Competition has been running now for four years at both our March and November shows. The competition is about bringing together some of the UK’s best privately owned classic cars and asking the public to vote for their favourite (top three) cars. This is all done in a good-natured spirit of fun, enthusiasm and passion for the classic cars that we all love and cherish.

For clarity, the competition is organised and run by Clarion Events Ltd as the owners of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. Lancaster Insurance is the sponsor of the competition.  The organising, administering of the terms and conditions, voting process, vote counting and conclusion of the final results are done by Clarion, independently and without prejudice.

Should any of the competition terms and conditions be possibly contravened then the situation would be raised with me as the Show Director and reviewed by the competition organising team. I confirm that all of the voting forms for all competing cars were diligently inspected and a number of ‘non-qualifying’ votes were removed (not just from the Morris Minor) and were discounted from the final results. I also confirm that this did not affect the outcome of the top three places.

Whilst we do state disqualification in the terms and conditions, in most circumstances, once we have removed ‘non-qualifying’ votes there is not a need to take such action – it really is a last resort as we want this to be a gracious and good-natured public vote.

Finally, I don’t want you to be unhappy and we will as a result of your feedback conduct a review of our processes and Terms and Conditions for our next event. Please also be assured that you will not be black-listed as you put it. I see you as a friend of the show and your comments will help us in the future. As a gesture of goodwill, I would happily offer you guest tickets to our spring NEC show or Reis Race Retro if you would like to join us.

My very best regards

Lee Masters

Show Director

Second email response was from Mr Morley Wed 20/11/2019 11:31 some thirty minutes later with the following: (Personal contact details redacted).

Hello Mr Dawson  

Thank you for your email.

Apologies for the delay in my response, following your communication we have shared your email with Clarion Events and have been having discussions with the team there.

Pride of Ownership is an integral part of the weekend and we’re delighted that you were able to join us at the show. I understand you spoke to Andrea Seed on the Sunday of the show regarding your concerns and she has been trying to get hold of you following your email to myself. I’m sorry to hear you have been suffering with tonsillitis, I hope you feel better soon.

Lee Masters, the Show Director, has emailed you this morning and we hope that this has reassured you and addressed your concerns.

Please be assured that all feedback is greatly appreciated, and we certainly take on board all comments. We also hope to see you at future events.

Kind Regards

Rich Morley

Broking Director

OK, really nice to get the emails which I won’t forensically deconstruct the emails which would be fairly easy to be honest, I will just point out a few little things for you. It’s also quite clear that they spoken with each other and the organisers and the sponsors are not going to throw each other under a bus for bad publicity that’s for sure. The show works well as a whole and I hope it continues to do so. It’s a great show at the end of the day.

We are not stupid either that the voting forms are also a way of the sponsors being Lancaster Insurance are gaining contact details for leads for classic car insurance with renewal dates. A little side note: Classic Car Insurance is a good risk for a number of reasons; people who own these cars trailer or drive them very carefully. Restricted number of drivers also tend to be in the more mature age banding. These cars are simply not thrashed around. They are very well looked after, more so than modern cars. Restricted annual mileage means less exposure to road risks. They are usually kept very secure. Although the downside is the value of the cars for a total loss which can be high, the overall claims ratios still make this a profitable book of business.

Lancaster’s response email from Mr Morley; is worth noting that their email didn’t address a number of my specific points directly about the insurance company itself. This is partially seen to be addressed by Clarion’s response(s). Hence Lancaster have played their keep it clean card to keep out of any potential ‘misunderstandings’ from the show. Lancaster doesn’t address the behaviour of their representative towards me either.

Clarion’s response email; This was always going to be a text book response for an email. They had the right to do what they wanted regarding the Terms & Conditions when you break down the structure. The ‘non-qualifying’ references instead of the ‘cheating’ which softens the public perception of the terminology is now being used. The fact that even with the ‘non-qualifying’ votes removed the results will still stand. In other words; we don’t need to recall the trophies, we don’t need to announce any ‘errors’ Ted Brooke and others are not seen as a cheater and all is good with the world. In fact the email states “a number of ‘non-qualifying’ votes were removed (not just from the Morris Minor) and were discounted from the final results“. So it seems rife that cheating takes place and acknowledged.

However – There is no way that you can guarantee that you removed all the cheating votes, hence the call for disqualification we wanted, or just not place the car at all would have been the easiest answer on the day. The Clarion email says this little paragraph;

Whilst we do state disqualification in the terms and conditions, in most circumstances, once we have removed ‘non-qualifying’ votes there is not a need to take such action – it really is a last resort as we want this to be a gracious and good-natured public vote.

So it’s OK for the cheaters that they weren’t going to be thrown out, and the other entrants may as well not turned up by the sounds of it.

The upside is that Clarion offered me a good will gesture, this was always going to be a difficult one for the organisers if they did it at all. To much good will would have looked like a pay off, and too little would have been a slap in the face. I think they got it right to be fair to them and a nice offer. To save any face on either side I won’t be taking them up on their kind offer, I know that on the day it would have be fine.  Thank you again Clarion for the offer.

Lancaster couldn’t do anything, as I already said I didn’t want anything from them, however they could of offered to try to beat or match my current insurance terms at renewal on a fair basis by speaking to them. I respect their response that they didn’t try that approach, by the tone of my letter they were not going to win my custom anyway. Again I would have declined any of their offers or quotes for this years premium which was a lot more than I currently pay anyway.

Conclusion:

Both Lancaster Insurance and Clarion replied. Their responses were nothing of a surprise to be honest. Organisers and Sponsors are both needed to make these things works. Both Lancaster and Clarion pull these shows off well. Both of the have taken my points on board to make it better. Despite how this reads I did have a great weekend with Andrea and she has a great sense of humour and we did laugh together. There is no animosity on my side that’s for sure. It’s also great to know that I haven’t been black listed, but the jury remains out on that one for a while.

There is nothing else I can say with my journalistic report on the weekend now. The results won’t change – that was always going to be a certainty. The explanations were always going to be text book responses and these emails are just great examples of that. My experience was tainted at the end knowing that this pink Morris Minor will be paraded around as a genuine winner.

It’s up to the readers now to make their own minds up.

Email’s now exchanged and they hope the man with a Mustang drops it and moves on. I can confirm that he will indeed now move on and not to keep bringing this up. But, if I am at a car show and I get asked what went on I will explain it. My quest is complete, I have exposed what went on, no more actions will or can be done now, those ranks have closed. I only wanted a point a principle to be upheld, you cheat – you’re out!

At the end of the day I’m just one man with a Mustang, what chance did I really have? My next posts will car related again you will be please to hear.

Thanks to Chris Tilley for these great pics more of these which will be on a post soon.

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Open and Shut Case

A great weekend for weather and lots got done on the car. To start with I finished replacing the other door hinge pins and re-aligned the doors again. After that I adjusted the hand brake so it now works properly instead of dragging just a little bit! I replaced the steering ram rubber gator that was split and ripped in half. Then on top of all that – I treated the inside under dash with a little more anti-rust treatment. I have placed all the pictures for the hinge pin replacement in the “Photo Menu – Bodywork Section” or click here for the link. Again all these things you will not see but have to be done. I just thought I would share this picture of Mustang with virtually no body work that is totally open the elements, hence the good weather means a day of this sort of thing!

do1

I am going to have a little rant now; If I offend anybody it’s obviously not you that I am referring too. There are a very small percentage of lorry drivers out there who drive dangerously and think they own the road. Before any lorry drivers start getting on their high horse let me explain. The vast majority of lorry drivers are great drivers, it’s a difficult job I appreciate that, it takes a lot of skill and I dare say can be quite boring driving hundreds of miles on motorways all day and night. But boredom is one of the things I want to investigate here. I have to use a main dual carriageway road to get home. To get onto that road it’s via a main down ramp onto the main road with a little slip road. This week coming home there was not many cars on the road and it was just getting dusk, I was on the slip road accelerating up to speed and the lorry was coming up beside me, I was indicating and my lights were on, his were not I might add. Now he didn’t move over to allow me out, there were no other cars the other side of him. He just sat beside me until I almost run out of slip road, I even hooted at him, in the end I had to break and let him past. I should have swerved as soon as I could, that way I would have been in front of him, but that is not nice etiquette for the road. When I pulled out from behind him, still there are no cars close by. I gave him some horn treatment to express my displeasure and indicated via a hand gesture it was not a kind thing, or accepted thing to do. What did he do? Yep, horn back at me, flashing his lights and then started swerving in both lanes! He left his lights on full beam even though other cars were flashing him coming the other way. What was that all about? Now this has happened to me in the past as well and I get really annoyed about it. OK, so it not usually as bad as this performance from this individual who has an IQ the size of his wheel radius, but the not letting me out part I mean is just pathetic. There is a new law that has been passed in the UK that makes it illegal to tailgate now. But, when In slow-moving traffic the lorries sit so far up my ass I get imprints of the number plate on the back of my seat, it’s dangerous so back off! So I have a few points to make 1) My brakes are better than yours for stopping quickly. 2) If you have to stop that quickly the trailer will be out of control and cause an accident. 3) If you don’t react quickly enough you will slam into me, causing an accident. 4) If your tired and don’t notice the traffic you will have an accident. 5) Your forty or forty-four ton lorries will pulverize anything that they hit when you have an accident. 6) You don’t have to swerve out at the last-minute to overtake another lorry that will take you ten minutes to get past, just because you are going a quarter of a mile an hour faster. 7) If my car misfires and slows suddenly you will go into the back of me and cause an accident, probably killing me. Get my point here? Do these bad lorry drivers play these games to give them something to do? I know for a fact that lorry drivers do not want to change gear or slow down, a good friend of mine is a lorry driver and he has told me this many times as it effects the mpg figures. He also admits that there are some very poor drivers out there that give them all bad names. Most of the time if I am slowing to turn off I will flash the lorry in to allow him in front of me, to which I get a thank you back. That is how it should be. But, why do these people do it and make life dangerous? There are eighteen gears in most lorries, if you don’t want to change gear – don’t be a lorry driver. If you want to play life and death – join the army. There are always reports of lorries killing people in accidents, just as there are cars killing people. But with that amount of vehicle and weight, the consequences are that much more dangerous and carnage usually follows. Please give as car drivers a little room, your lorry is not a weapon. I do all I can do avoid you guys and let you get on with your jobs. Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of lorry drivers out there who are great drivers, let me out fine and I have no issues what so ever. Perhaps the drivers I have issues with are non-UK drivers and their standards are not up to the UK standards. I don’t know, but I am sick of having to play “Road Roulette” with lorries. Apologies to all the good lorry drivers out there, but I just had to get it off my chest. Yes, car drivers are probably just as bad and it could be said about them too. Rant over.

As a result of this I am thinking is it just me? I have created a little poll to get your opinions. Please vote, nothing but the percentages will be displayed.

Quick links:

Door Hinge Pin Replacement – Photos – Bodywork Section – Door Hinge Replacement, or click here.

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Coming Home & Christmas Poll Results?

Things have been busy over the Christmas and the New Year holidays.

Most of last week the garage has been emptied and space has been made to get my classic home. I have measured the space and it’s gonna be TIGHT. The weather is bad and the damp is causing issues on the work I have done so far,  so some of the work on the polished steel needs to be done again. Not best pleased but that’s what happens when it’s outside. Hopefully it will be in the dry and will be lot happier. I will be able to work on it in the garage till late as there is a light. Not much room around her but I will have to get her mobile and be able to move her in and out of the garage on her own.  Saturday will be a busy mental day. Will I get her in? I will let you know!

Gonna be tight!
Gonna be tight!

Christmas Poll Results:

This make very interesting reading, OK so it’s not a massive countrywide or worldwide poll, its only the people who voted. The holiday is supposed to be the celebrating the Birth of Christ, but it has become so commercialised and the world we live in has become so stressful, are these results unexpected?

I was surprised a little but not shocked. I will let you make your own minds up!

Time of Work = 38%

Being with Friends and Family = 25%

Giving & Receiving Presents = 25%

Food & Drink = 13%

Religious Celebrations = 0% 

Thanks to all those that took time to vote. I will leave the best looking Mustang running as there is no need for a time limit along with the best car chase ever.

Keep up the New Year resolutions – or have they all been dumped already? 🙁

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New and improved poll!

I have on my other pages “Forums and Discussions” pictures of Mustangs throughout the decades. The page has had a bit of interest but not much in the way of comments so far. I was asked if I can add a poll instead of leaving a comment. Your wish is my command! The improved part? The poll now has pictures added to see what you are voting for. The fact that there are bigger versions above doesn’t matter because they are worth looking at again anyway. I have added those same pictures from the sister forum pages onto the Poll menu just to the right, or click here to vote.

Hope you like the pictures as well as voting for your favourite model Mustang. Who will be the most popular?

Vote and find out 🙂

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It had to happen at some point!

Here I am sitting in front of the PC and I am updating the pages. I started to play around with the Poll pages. It grabbed my attention so I thought I would have a play around with it. As a result I have proudly added 2 polls that are just for fun. I reckon there could be more! 🙂

Any that you would like to see in particular?

The first and most importantly – What is the best car chase in a movie?

The second – What do you like most about Christmas?

The first poll about the car chases I intend to leave running for a while and the Christmas one, well its only a few days away now so it will go in the new year obviously. But it gives you plenty of time to vote. So hit those buttons and see if anybody agrees with you! The polls are just to the right under “Polls just for fun”. Enjoy.

I Can’t believe it – 3 updates in a weekend!

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