Janet Wheeldon 1934 – 2013It is with great sadness that we report the death of Janet Wheeldon, who died on the 9th October at the age of 79 years.
After the untimely death of her husband, Peter, in 1984, Janet bought her first Morgan, a Royal Ivory 4/4, and launched herself wholeheartedly into Morgan life, immediately joining the Morgan Sports Car Club and having a fairly early membership number of 2359.
Along with Dave Whitworth, Janet was the co- founder of the revived Staffordshire Centre in 1986. Janet and Dave first met in 1986 at a pub to discuss setting up an MSCC centre for Morgan enthusiasts in Staffordshire and, as it turned out, those over the border in Shropshire as well. After that first meeting they met twice a month, practically every month, for the next 15 or so years at a pub in Salt near Stafford. Janet was a major driving force (no pun intended!!) in setting up the centre and in all its subsequent activities, using her rare gift of true empathy with people to get on with anyone, coupled with an energy that had everyone else running to keep up!!!!
In the beginning, Janet and Dave seemed to be the only Morgan enthusiasts in the area!!! During the first year of the centre being officially established there were many times when just Janet and Dave would be sitting in the pub on a wintry Wednesday evening, chatting over a pint, watching the people coming through the front door to see if they could be potential Morganeers. They did start to come through the door in the end and the rest, as they say, is history.
She was one of the prime movers in the organisation and running of two extremely successful MOG events, one at Weston Park in 1993 and the other at Himley Park in 1996. Of course, MOG 93 was the big one for the new centre. Together with Maurice Williams, Janet and Dave became a part of the three musketeers working as a team, coordinating the efforts of the centre to put on a three day 'show' at Weston Park for Morgan enthusiasts from all over the world.
It is due in no small part to Janet’s sense of humour and unflappability that the organising parts as well as the actual MOG event were a joy. No dramas, with all the centre members' friendships being strengthened as a result of the whole thing being fun, fun, fun.
Janet was well known in the Staffordshire Centre for organizing and running the annual gymkhana at Endon on the local football ground just before the football season. A good time will be remembered by many including Endon Football Team who’s ground was, at times, not as smooth as they thought they’d left it. We can all recall Michael McKnight’s elderly mother and her prowess on the bell game sitting on the back of Michael’s 2 seater – many happy memories.
After her retirement from a career in nursing Janet ran the village post office at Bagnall near Leek, which helped when dealing with all the many postal applications and ticket distribution for the 1993 event.
It was a standing joke in the centre that one of Janet’s passions was a good display whenever several cars were together. Woe betide anyone who allowed two cars of similar colour to be parked side by side or that the wheels were not straight and in line.
Janet was well known in her Black +8 in which she travelled many a mile all over Britain, Ireland and on the continent. She was a mean driver and would not have any messing about in keeping up with the boys and their toys.
Janet continued with an active role in the Staffordshire centre serving as its chairman for several years, passing the 4/4 on to son Richard and progressing through a couple of Plus 8’s until finally giving up Morganeering for a Honda S2000 about 4 years ago. Due to having a knee replacement she was finding difficulty getting in and out of the Mog but certainly had no intention of giving up sports car motoring.
She was made an Honorary Member of the Staffordshire Centre in 2012
Even though not in a Morgan seat she still kept in touch with the centre and attended and helped at many centre events.
She will be remembered with affection by many, not just in the Staffordshire Centre, but throughout the Morgan Sports Car Club.
In her “retirement” she worked tirelessly on behalf of others, working in the Douglas Macmillan Hospice shop in Leek, and, until 2 years ago, ran a luncheon club for the elderly - at the age of 77!
Over 150 people including 30 from the Staffordshire centre attended Janet’s funeral with the hearse being followed by 11 Morgans all colour separated as Janet would have insisted with son Richard heading the convoy in his 3 wheeler.
The crematorium was packed, and a full remembrance service conducted by Captain Frank McGregor C.A. was followed by a tribute from Maurice Williams reminding everyone of the joy that Janet’s association with Morgan had brought, not only to herself, but to everyone around her.
It was a fine dry 4 mile journey to the crematorium and the later torrential rain did nothing to dampen the fond memories shared by all at the local Rose and Crown pub later.
Janet is survived by her daughters Caroline and Rebecca, son Richard and grandchildren, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.
Janet Wheeldon 1934 – 2013
From all in The Staffordshire Centre and The Morgan Sports Car Club
You will be missed
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