Our Charity Steward Designate
I joined Gateway Lodge 8501 at Witney Masonic Centre in 1980, due to work commitments I spent quite some time as a Steward and 18 years as Charity Steward, being Master in 1994 and 2007. In 2011, I became the Provincial Charity Steward for Oxfordshire on a 5 year term, a role I really enjoyed. A highlight was to be part of the team that started the Pantomime Project, which is still going strong and provides a yearly pantomime to 500+ Children with Physical Disabilities, Learning Difficulties or Disadvantaged.
In 1986 I bought a 1980 Ford Cortina Mk5 Ghia, the most expensive car I had ever purchased at £2,500:00, I had a £200 limit before that. Although with two previous owners it had been well looked after and after ten years I replaced it but just couldn’t part with it so have kept it in good condition ever since. It has been a real working car and had some scrapes, yet still on its original engine with 140,000 on the clock. Its first claim to fame was in 2009 when it was used on a BBC Crime Watch programme for a reconstruction of a murder in London in the 1980’s when a white Cortina was seen leaving the scene. In 2012 my son Martin and I drove the car to Cortina de Imprezzo in the Italian Alps, the town the car was named after, as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Ford Cortina.
In 2016 it was on Sky TV in a show called ‘Stars and Their Cars’ and was driven by Phil Tufnell, the cricketer and TV celebrity, accompanied by TV presenter Paddy McGuinness. Apparently a Mk5 Cortina was Phil Tufnell’s first car.
In 2008 our three children bought my wife and I a 1999 Jaguar XJ8, I had always wanted one of these cars, but was never going to get around to buying one. As part of my initial training as a police officer I spent 4 weeks with traffic department as a passenger in an XJ and that’s when the passion of them started.
The third car is not really mine but jointly shared with my son Martin. In 2000 he was looking to buy a house and saw a 1947 Morris 8 series E abandoned at the bottom of a neighbouring garden. It had been there since 1966, he was given the car rather like a type of barn find, but more of a bucket of rust find. The car has a lot of interesting history and in 2017 we found the time and space to start a full restoration. Literally blood, sweat, tears and money has resulted in something to be proud of and just a few weeks after completion it was on the front of the Morris stand at the 2019 Classic Car Show at the NEC.
Just a week after completing restoration the Morris was used for the original owners Grandson’s Wedding (from Left to Right Roger Hampshire, Martin Hampshire, Tom and Faye Souster)
I enjoy attending car shows and all three cars have been used for weddings and have picked a few trophies in their time.