Sue’s Scribbles Aug/Sept 2011
Sorry for yet again another late Scribbles. I have been so tied up with work and Morris Minor rallies that time just seems to whiz by!!!
The Grange BWMMOC Rally.
Well done to all for our Rally, it was a great success this year and ofcourse the toilets were ‘just the job’ if you pardon the pun!
Thanks again to all of you who helped get the site ready for the weekend, which incidentally seems to be getting longer year by year. Chris and Keith arrived on Wednesday and Lou and Charlie on Thursday, Thursday being Chris and Keith’s Wedding Anniversary we booked in for a meal at our local Greek restaurant Petros in Nafferton and the six of us had a pre rally party which was very enjoyable!
We had more folk camping than ever and by Friday night the camping area was buzzing with tents and caravaners all getting into the rally spirit.
I decided that this year I would plan a run for the Saturday afternoon as part of the weekend entertainment. We had planned to set off at 1pm prompt – ofcourse these things never happen quite according to plan. Just as I had managed to get the troupes marshalled and into some sort of line Gretta Harris came flying through the gates like Whacky Races! She and Peter after various hold ups and navigational problems had been on the road from Lancashire for about five hours! Anyway after a quick comfort break for them we were finally ready for the off. My Chris was staying at home as we still had people arriving so Lou jumped in my Tourer with me to lead the way with Brian and Charlie playing the rear guard and away we went. We wove our way across country (about 10 miles) to a local Garden Centre which is a nice pit stop for a look round and a snack. After an hours wandering around there we all assembled back in the car park. I gave everyone verbal directions to follow if we got split up as we had to turn on to the busy Bridlington road and travel about half a mile to turn back to the country. Leave the car park and just go left, left and left again – what’s hard about that? Nothing you may think, but after certain Minor drivers going round the car park twice unable to even get out of there Lou and I were starting to get a little concerned to say the least! After the second left I ended up with only one car behind me and everyone else going straight on!! All the girls had listened but apparently not the men who were piloting. After several phone calls we managed to pick up the rest apart from poor Gretta who kept getting to the same roundabout with a statue of a sheep on it, finally after about half an hour we managed to guide her into to where we were waiting in a layby. So once we were all together again it was on to our final stop at a village pub for much need refreshment, luckily the weather was stunning so everyone took it all in good part and I am sure these antics will be mentioned for quite a while to come. I think I perhaps need to write instructions down for next year!
When we got back to base Frank and Maureen Miller had arrived, Chris had settled them in nicely, so after all the greetings it was time to get organised for the first round of the Boules Tournament, this is always Christine’s ‘baby’ so at least I don’t have to do anything else other than play. The BBQ was being stoked ready for all the hungry wanderers, the sun was shining, a glass of chilled dry Sauvignon white – perfect! I even found a BBQ chef of my very own in the shape of Mike Dean, who proved to be quite a pro with tongs and a spatula! (as you all know any form of cooking to my Chris is a take away)!Then ofcourse we go on to Party Time, The lads got a brazier going outside the barn to ward of the chill as the sun went down. In side Sue Cook is our chief organiser of the domino competition and as always it was very popular and hotly contested with about thirty people taking part! Music and a little dancing followed, although by this time I think most of us were ready for bed as an early start was required next morning.
On the Rally day we had a great turn out of cars with nine other branches represented.
The rally was supposed to host a Concours event and we had four super cars attend including two of the oldest known, Phil Hughes No.7 and another beautiful 1948 black MM. It was just such a shame that Richard Lee the Concours Judge had cancelled as he had to go somewhere else on the day, there have been plenty of grumbles I know but unfortunately it was out of our hands. Still thanks to Tim we managed to do some informal judging and awarded The Grange Trophy for the winner which happened to be Frank Miller for his lovely van but I do sincerely apologise to all of you who were disappointed on the day as you were looking forward to a ‘local’ Concours event.
It was nice to welcome Sandy and Rosie Hamilton who dropped in quite unexpectedly. They were both delighted to see the two 1948 MMs together. The photo opportunity was not to be missed by Rosie! Sandy a wealth of knowledge wandered about chatting to the owners and I know gave at least one of our members some invaluable advice about a problem he has been having, so having them come to see us was a little compensation all round for a none Concours event.
On the day we had:
The Grange Trophy – Frank Miller (Concours)
The Boules Tournament was a white wash for the Botterill family, Haley taking 1st, Paul 2nd and Sheena 3rd. Well Done!!!
The day wound up with a very leisurely fish and chip supper for those of us remaining……
NORTH WALES Rally
The following weekend Chris, Lotti, Charli and I drove over on the Friday to North Wales for their branch Rally at Conwy Railway Station on the Sunday. Last year we drove to Wales in my white Tourer Tommi but this year we didn’t have the time to get a car ready to take so we opted to go in the Navara, with the MMOC logo on the doors we passed ourselves off as a ‘modified’ Pick Up!!!
We stayed in the same dog friendly guest house as last year that is run by a girl called Gwen and her family along with her little Westie, Dumpling.
As always when we have been to Wales it is wet, or at the least very damp. On the Saturday we looked round for somewhere dog friendly to visit and dropped across an old Slate Mining Museum, this proved to be a very interesting place with lots to see including a massive 50 foot water wheel that drove all the mine workings. There were cottages through the ages of how they lived, some eras was real poverty, but it gave one a fantastic feel for how this particular industry had been a big part of the North Wales economy. It was free to go round the only thing to pay for was the car park which was £4.00 for the day. We both agreed that it would make a good rally venue.
There was a huge lake surrounded by trees and various different trails to follow from very short easy ones to really arduous mountain goat type stuff, these trails were defined in degrees of difficulty by different coloured arrows. So after lunch we set out with the little ones to go on what we thought was going to be a reasonably easy stroll, just follow the yellow arrows said the very nice young man in the information office. Fine we thought as Chris only had his brogues on and me trainers. We should have been warned really after passing about a dozen ‘real walkers’ with hiking boots and back packs. We started to climb up into the tree line then down again, the terrain got rougher and rougher, some very scary sheer drops to the left, slippery steps, protruding tree roots and various sizes of streams to cross by stepping stone – after gasping for breath after the last climb we slithered to a halt to have a pow wow – did we go back or carry on, thinking of how far we seemed to have come and the way we’d come we thought things could only get better….wrong…after more up and down slipping and sliding we came to some quite flat open walking, this is ok we thought must be plain sailing from here, so after shedding another layer of clothing as we were so hot we pressed on, then we hit a very narrow winding country lane high above the lake (we were still following the ‘easy’ yellow arrows) this lane included the national speed limit but unfortunately no foot paths only vehicle passing places and the odd gate way…..poor Lotti and Charli, we kept having to scoop them up and make a dash for the nearest safety point as numerous 4 x 4’s and other country Cadillac’s thundered passed us. After about two hours of this we rounded the end of the lake, we couldn’t even see the Flint Mine in the distance. A taxi was circling round in the cul-de-sac at the end – was he waiting for people like us that needed a ride back to the car park at the mine? We walked a little further to discover we were on the footpath on the main road, perhaps this took us all the way back? No the pesky yellow arrows directed us over a style into a herd of cows! I would have turned round there and then and got into the waiting taxi – I am petrified of cows and especially a herd of the size that would have made any cowboy film proud……After much cajoling I climbed the style with Lotti firmly tucked under my arm as quiet as a mouse. Charli on the other hand is usually quite voluble in the presence of these creatures but even he was terrified into silence! Although Chris is another being when it comes to the bovine and pleasantly talks away to them as if they are long lost friends. My heart was hammering, I felt sick, and Chris was just chatting away as these damn great beasts ambled along beside us. I think eventually they got fed up with his repetitive Cushy, Cushy, Cushy talk and decided to turn around and head back to the fence to see who else they could terrify. To my sighs of great relief!!!!
We finally hit the real lakeside walk which was down near the waters edge very flat, very picturesque and lined with trees, we did have to run the gauntlet of two fields of extremely curious sheep however also avoiding the numerous piles of sheep droppings but this was a doddle compared to the cows! At last thank goodness we were on the home stretch! Four and a half hours later with aching feet and dogs legs almost worn to stumps we reached the car, just as the rain started to come down. We found out that the actual walk we had undertaken was a five mile one if on the flat plus the extra for the up and down so around six or seven in total!! All I can say is that I did feel good after we had done it, very virtuous indeed.
Sunday ofcourse was rally day, the weather at least was passable this year and it was nice to catch up with Ron Jones Chairman of the Branch and Dave Hartley and the rest of their team again as they are a good friendly bunch. Cam and Jill Shaw were there so we camped up with them, because we were in the modern silly me hadn’t taken any cups or kettle, dahhh, Chris had put in our chairs however. We went off and bought a couple of mugs from the gift shop and Cam and Jill kindly provided us with refreshments for the day. The turn out of cars was an interesting one as they do get quite a lot of alternative classics, but primarily Moggies, I think there were around 34 cars in total. We spent the day just having a look round and chatting always very pleasant. Unfortunately no prize for our ‘modified’ Pick Up though!!!
Driffield Steam Fair
Off we went again the following Friday, this time only two miles down the road from our house – people always ask us why we want to camp at Driffield when we live so near? Atmosphere! (Paul and Sheena live even closer)!that’s why you just cannot beat the camaraderie of outdoor living with friends!! Also being so close we can take nearly all our classics. This year Paul and Sheena’s daughter and son-in-law Haley and Adrian with their two kids Rowan and Lorna plus hounds joined the happy band camping and took along our 1965 Series 2A Land Rover. I swear it has never had so much TLC, Adrian and Rowan washed, polished and fare cleaned it to death!!!! We took the Furgie T20, MRA Truck and my Moggie Tourer. Paul and Sheena took their Moggie 4 door, Chris and Keith their lovely Clipper Blue Moggie Tourer, our Mike with his Rover P6 and Mike Dean with his Traveller and Tear Drop plus Coco his German Shepherd. So we had a fair old tribe of dogs with us too!
I was supposed to be towing the caravan but whimped out at the last gasp, I don’t like driving the Navara much anyway and the thought of towing the big van with it……I knew what trouble I would be in if I managed to crunch anything….last year we had the BMW and the small van and that was a doddle, I suppose I need to get my act together and have a go as you never know what might happen and they do say practice makes perfect. We left here just after lunch with the first vehicles and while Chris went back for the others I got camp set up along with Chris and Keith, everyone else arrived later on in the afternoon, after a walk round to see what was going on (there is always an auction viewing on the Friday night) this is held first thing Saturday and the articles for sale are extremely varied from old tattered tractor fronts, stone doorsteps, milk churns, butlers sinks to ploughing tools you name it, it seems to be there. Once back at base and we were all settled Haley got a list going for fish and chips, just the order of the day on a Friday night at Driff Steam Fair!!!!
Saturday is the first display day of the weekend, and moving the vehicles onto the field into their various different locations has to be done quite early because of the general public walking about – although this always defeats me at steam fairs as the little steam engines zoom about all day regardless of ‘Joe Public’!!
Then there is the round the ring events throughout the day, these are done in different categories of vehicles, it’s a time to parade your pride and joy and often be interviewed about it by the commentator. All the while the different Steam Organs that are dotted round the show ground are blasting out – invariably with a different tune being played by each one! It’s amazing how many folk sit directly in front of them, they must end up stone deaf after an hour!! Along with these is always the Wall of Death, Galloping Horses, Bouncy this and that’s, Funny Walk etc and ofcourse Hook a Duck, Shove H’Penny games etc all are there to enable you to win the big cuddly soot stained furry toy. The smell from the stalls, Hog Roast, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Onions, Fish and Chips, Doughnuts and Coffee all waft through the steam and soot laden air. The stalls selling all sorts of other things to browse over are all there. This Steam Fair just heaves with life.
The Saturday night is the high light for me when there is the Road Run through Driffield town centre. Chris and I travelled together this year in my car so we left Lotti and Charli guarding the camp! I have never taken part in something that generates so much public interest (apart from the Lord Mayors Parade in London perhaps). We are all told to assemble in our various conveyances at 5.45 but we never get out of the show ground for at least another hour. All the big steam stuff goes out first followed usually by the tractors, the cars and lorries then jostle for position. With around two hundred vehicles taking to the road the Police have their work cut out for them controlling the traffic – although no one with any sense tries to drive through the town at the time of the parade! As soon as we leave the show ground the grass verges and pavements are lined with people, some sitting in camp chairs some out with the whole kit of dining tables and candelabra, eating and drinking, toasting and waving at us as we drive slowly by with horns honking and whistles blowing which the kids just love! Then once in the town centre we all park up for around an hour and have a wander around talking to the literally hundreds of people who come out to see the classics. It’s rather difficult to move far as we are all shoulder to shoulder. For poor Coco Mike’s dog it was a true ‘Baptism of Fire’ as she had never seen so many people in her life before!! Eventually we managed to get across the road and into Tesco’s car park which I’m glad to say was much quieter for her. Then its time to drive back to the usual BBQ supper, I have a feeling that the burger and sausage feast we all shared went a long way to making Coco feel much better after her ordeal! Luckily again this year the weather didn’t let us down and it was a fine warmish evening.
Sunday is again much of a muchness to Saturday’s events, with even more people enjoying the whole spectacle. Around 7pm its time to make our way home and get ready for yet another weekend away……….
North East Rally at Stanhope
This is just one of those rallies that we hate to miss! The hospitality of the North East crowd takes some beating. So Friday we set off again (told you I had been busy)! Chris towed the caravan and I followed on in the ‘Green Bean’ top down in glorious sunshine.
We do the route to York, then down Tadcaster bypass onto the A1 then it’s pretty much straight up from there. Unfortunately mile after mile of the seemingly endless road works spoiled the trip a little. When we got to Scotch Corner the weather became decidedly cooler and by the time (after a couple of wrong turns)! we reached our destination I was freezing! Never mind we were given a very warm welcome by all and immediately had two glasses of wine presented to us by Sue Cook – our friends know us soooo well! We quickly got the caravan and the little ones sorted out and then Dave, Sue, Chris and I went out to find a pub for something to eat. We had a very relaxed meal playing catch up.
The next day we decided to have breakfast in the station buffet, but unfortunately they weren’t open – rather silly really as the railway is a charitable organisation that relies on donations but I suppose they are all volunteers. So it was a hike up the hill to the village to find a café, there we had the full English to set us up for the next few hours at least! Arthur Henderson had planned a Road Run up into the wilds of Alsthon this took us to some of the most desolate (apart from sheep) landscape with the most spectacular views. We then wound our way down to a Flint Mining Museum at Kilhope where we stopped for some lunch. Then back to camp to have a chill out and natter with everyone who had arrived while we were out and about. Mike Dean arrived after having difficulty getting onto the site as some silly female had parked her car right across the entrance to the field!! The theme of the Saturday night party was characters from either a Disney movie or Super Hero’s. Chris and I decided we would go as Tarzan and Jane, basically because we already had some costumes that would do the job. Mike had opted not to bring his best frock and wig otherwise he could have gone as an ugly sister. So instead he stripped to his underwear and hat and we wrapped him cling film to go as the Invisible Man!!! The branch laid on a BBQ outside the entertainments Marquee with Grant Crammond doing the cooking. Dave Cook made the most fantastic Pop Eye the Sailor, there was Cruella Deville, Cat Woman, Danger Mouse, Super Woman and that’s just to name a few, nearly everyone got dressed up as something. Mike was ok in the cling film until he got a little warm, it was at this point he started to unravel slightly……sense took over before the whole thing disintegrated and he went back to our van to get dressed! Dominos ofcourse is part of the culture, and I did quite well in the tournament but didn’t win. There was a female ‘turn’ on who sang to a variety of backing music, the weather however had decided to stop playing ball and the rain was gradually setting in. We were treated to three of the branch lads dressed in pink giving us a demonstration of Line Dancing they were an absolute blast and really did well!! The rain then started to hammer down and it was decided to cut short the evening (it was midnight) because of the possibility of electricity and water not mixing…….
We had been given free tickets to ride the railway and as the steam engine was running it was decided that we would go for the reasonably short trip up the line. So after another good breakfast, this time in the Visitor Centre (the station buffet was open but didn’t have any food) we boarded the train at 11am. Big mistake as it turned out, the train rumbled along at between five and fifteen miles an hour, then had a half hour stop to replenish the water. Four and a quarter hours later we disembarked back at Stanhope Station, sadly we had missed the excitement of the Duck Race, but they did hold the prize giving until we got back as I was there officially representing Area One!
Soon after this people started to depart but Chris and I opted to come away first thing Monday morning. So it was another fish and chip supper and a relax with Dave and Sue (Mike D had headed off home earlier) before having a much needed reasonably early night. We set off around 7.30pm after saying our goodbyes to those who were left all was well until three miles down the road when a ‘White Van’ man doing 50mph in a 30 zone decided to side swipe Chris and take one of our caravan mirrors with him, both van an mirror narrowly missing me as the driver made his escape after he realised what he had done….luckily although he had taken the mirror several hundred feet up the road it was still in one piece, unscathed. As luckily so were the caravan and myself! The rest of the journey proved uneventful and we reached home around 11am.
Scarecrow Festival Burton Fleming
August Bank Holiday and at last a whole weekend at home! Well almost as it was our 4th Annual Morris Minor display at the Burton Fleming Scarecrow Festival on the Monday. Apart from the hoards of scarecrows scattered round the village the villagers themselves all get together and put on a weekend of festivity and entertainment. There are the craft and food stalls, the church always throws its doors open to display all their archive photos. Threshing competitions, dog shows, and a vintage tractor Road Run etc and ofcourse us with the cars on the Monday! I have taken a Scarecrow every year and this time I opted for the Beast out of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. He made quite a dramatic spectacle at four foot high sitting in the passenger seat of my Tourer fur blowing in the wind!
We always take one of the branch gazebos which we set up on the grass near the Church, this doubles up for our members ‘canteen’ and also a base for refreshments for the festival organisers, which is always very much appreciated!
Lotti and I won 3rd prize in The Best Six Legs section of the dog show, this takes in the dogs four legs and the owners two. We were beaten by a young girl who came 1st and a chap with very hairy legs who came 2nd. It was a male judge, so what else can I say…..anyway Lotti wore her rosette with pride all afternoon!!
We all took our cars on a ‘Run Round the Village’ with the vintage tractors, but the tractor drivers all digressed (as these country types apparently do on such outings) and went to the pub in the next village for a pint or two, we all declined and went back to base.
Chris and I also won a prize in the raffle – a dinner voucher for two at the local pub The Burton Arms, we have been before and I must say I am looking forward to using it.
The weather was a little blustery but the day all in all was very enjoyable and the turn out of cars was good. So thanks to all of you who attended as the organisers really appreciate it.
We are off again this weekend to the Area 2 Rally at Chatsworth, but more about that next time.
So until the next meeting, Monday September 13th at The White Horse. Take care.
Lotti & Charli XX