The Mini Gallery

Back to Home Page / Mini Home Page / My Mini

Welcome to the Mini Gallery Page - Curiosities

Pool Table Minis

Classic Mini as a pool table

Apparently all the rage in some hostelries now!

So Sad - 'Rotting in Peace' somewhere!

Mini Graveyard

Image courtesy of Vintage Minis, Netherlands

Carnage on the streets of London 1982

Seven horses killed by 1982 IRA bombing

The senseless killing of seven horses and sacrifice of at least two Classic Minis when a bomb went off in London 1982 - image courtesy & © of the Associated Press

Mini Goes to War

Mini RAF Livery 19822012 sees the 30th anniversary of the war for the Falkland Islands and many television programmes are analysing what happened in that period. One of the most fascinating was shown as a Channel 4 documentary and treated with great respect despite the Monty Pythonesque way in which success was achieved. Channel 4's programme entitled the Falklands' Most Daring Raid tells the story of the re-assembling of an all-but-obsolete Vulcan Bomber and how the pilots had to be re-trained in the use of using none-nuclear bombs which need to be dropped with greater precision - what has this to do with a Mini - well I'll let the pictures tell their own story! (More to follow)

Mini and RAF Vulcan

Maybe Mini is trying to hitch a lift?

From the Channel 4 web-site:

On 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to fly a Vulcan bomber to the Falkland Islands and bomb Port Stanley's runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success.

However, the RAF could only get a single plane - a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan - 8000 miles south to the Falklands, because just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of 13 Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16-hour round-trip. At the time it was the longest-range bombing mission in history.

From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by pluck and ingenuity.

On the brink of being scrapped, only three of the ageing nuclear bombers could be fitted out for war, one to fly the mission and two in reserve. Crucial spare parts were scavenged from museums and scrap yards - one vital component had been serving as an ashtray in the Officers' Mess.

In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, which they hadn't done for 20 years, and conventional bombing, which they hadn't done for 10 years either.

The RAF scoured the country for Second World War iron bombs, and complex refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5 pocket calculator.

With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF's hopes riding on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge: fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and lack of fuel.

Of the 21 bombs the Vulcan dropped, only one found its target. But it was enough to change the outcome of the war.

Astonishingly, this great feat has been down played into near obscurity by history, but this documentary brings it back to life, providing a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War: the Dambusters for the 1980s generation.

Mini - the Police Car

Mini as a Police Car

Mini joins the Fleet of Police cars - most Forces used the nifty little Minis - their 'Panda' livery was very popular in the toy models.

Now then, where did I put the keys? Classic Mini found after being locked in a garage for 36 years

By Alex Ward | Published: 16:56, 24 October 2012 | 20:30, 25 October 2012

Thank you to the Daily Mail for this story. All images courtesy and copyright of Bournemouth News and Picture Service

A classic Mini Cooper car has been discovered, 36 years after it was locked away. The family of the late Brian Smith recently found the car he had hidden away in his garage in 1976 - ten years after he bought it. Now the classic car is up for sale and expected to fetch £12,000.

Lost Mini garaged for 36 years Link to BNPS

Park but no ride: The Mini was left in this garage for 36 years and completely forgotten

Neil Piper, 44, Mr Smith’s nephew, said: ‘It is a classic car and hopefully it will move to a place where it can be restored to its former glory. ‘There are no real car enthusiasts in the family so we decided to put it up for auction. The car needs renovation and we don’t have the expertise to do it. My uncle loved driving it but, for health reasons, he just put it away in the garage and there it stayed.’

Mr Smith, who never married and had no children, died in May aged 76. His family found the car in the garage at his former home in Christchurch, Dorset. It was purchased new in 1966 from Stringers Garage in Portsmouth, Hampshire. And it has only 22,270 miles on the clock, adding to its popularity at auction. The car does not start up and will need some repair work to restore it to working order. Matthew Whitney, from Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne, Dorset, said: ‘Mini Coopers are synonymous with the swinging sixties and an icon of British motoring. ‘So often classic Mini’s have covered intergalactic miles or had panels and engines replaced, but this Cooper is a matching numbers car in totally original condition. It is probably the most important Mini Cooper I have been instructed to sell. It was purchased new in 1966 by Mr Smith and he drove it until the hot summer of 1976, when it was driven into the garage where it did not turn another wheel until earlier this year when relatives started to clear his house after he passed away.’

The Mini Cooper will be sold by Charterhouse, in Sherborne, Dorset on November 4.

Found Mini after 36 years front

Green machine: The Mini Cooper has been tucked away in this garage for 36 years

Found Mini after 36 years rear

Nice little earner: The small car is expected to sell for £12,000

Found Mini after 36 years  mileometer

Plenty of miles left to go: The mileometer shows the car has travelled less than 23,000 miles

The first Mini Cooper made its debut in 1959 and was the first mass-produced car with a transversally-placed engine. Queen Elizabeth II was seen behind the wheel and after a series of celebrities bought them, sales took off. It has become the most popular British car ever made with more than 5.3million cars sold.

The Tallest Man

George Gracie

 

Let me introduce you to the 'Tallest Man' - George Gracie. I happened to be reading an article in a weekend magazine when this extraordinary picture caught my attention. The article did not provide too much specific information as the subject matter centred on the area rather than the individual and so I looked up the tallest man and am grateful to the tallestman.com web-site for providing the following information:

"George Gracie was born in 1938. He came from Forth in Lanarkshire. George was the tallest of 5 brothers at 7 ft 3. Hugh "Huge Hugh" Gracie born 1941 was 2.5 inches shorter. George Gracie was the tallest man of Scotland, but he was also briefly Britain's tallest man. After Ted Evans died in 1958 Guinness listed Ian Spofforth at 7 ft 1 as Britain's Tallest Man (Ian's brother Michael being 6 ft 10). Later on George would replace Ian as Britain's Tallest Man, until he was replaced in turn by Christopher Greener. George would be listed as Scotland's Tallest Man until his passing at the age of 54. For years Guinness listed George at 28 stones but George had weighed above 34 stone at one time and was 32 stone just before he died. George exhibited himself with his promoter Wheatley's and appeared at Nottingham Goose Fair, The Town Moor Fair at Newcastle upon Tyne, Hull Fair, The Links Market in Kirkcaldy and other Fairs. Big George enjoyed smoking a pipe and when you went in to see him he would slap his thigh and go into his spiel. He was a real character, a very likeable man and deserved his billing as "George the Gentle Giant".

Many thanks to Ray White for the info on George Gracie."

I was especially astonished at the link to our very own Goose Fair especially as this picture was taken on location there!

 

 

Guiness Book of Records Entry - for all the wrong reasons!

John Evans Mini on Head Guinees Book of Records link

From the fastest tortoise in the West to the woman with 2,042 gnomes, meet the host of glorious eccentrics who have had their peculiar talents added to Guinness World Records - as described by the Daily Mail

"They are some of the most dedicated home-grown eccentrics - and they all have a starring role in Guinness World Records 2016, the annual round-up of joyously quirky achievements which is published today. As well as the Usain Bolt of tortoises, this year's crop of winners includes the world's oldest abseiler, and an amateur gardener who is the unrivalled king of monster vegetables. The Guinness World Records 2016 edition also includes an unabashed gnome-fancier - and an OAP strongman whose claim to fame is balancing a Mini on his head. "

String man lifting mini

John Evans, 70, faces little competition in the 33 weight-bearing categories for which he repeatedly sets records. Honoured here for ‘heaviest car balanced on the head’ (a gutted 352 lb Mini for 33 seconds), the one-eyed diabetic — who avoids the gym — explains: ‘I’ve got strong legs and a strong neck’

The description 'a gutted 352 lb Mini' speaks for itself - a curiosity maybe - an irrelevance definitely!

Back to Top

Page updated : 29th March 2017