The First LAC Coast to Coast.

The First Coast to Coast!

THe cars line up for the start at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in glorious sunshine


As Mike Wood will tell you anytime this month we were due to run our 28th Coast to Coast Classic Car Run. Mike ran the Lancashire Automobile Club’s first Classic Car Run from Blackpool to Scarborough but that’s not the whole story!

Long before Mike’s run for Classic Cars, in 1991, the Club ran a run not for Classic Cars but for Kit Cars from Blackpool to Scarborough. The run was thought up by Anthony and Carolyn Taylor after a discussion with Chris Lee.

At the time Chris was involved with a life assurance society, the Scottish Legal, who had sponsored the LAC Doninigton Sprint as well as Chris’s XR3i which he had competed in the club’s sprint championship. The Directors of Scottish Legal wanted an event to give publicity to their annual conference to be held in Scarborough. The previous year the conference had been held in Blackpool so running an event from Blackpool to Scarborough made sense.

The only stipulations were that the event had to be held on the Saturday to meet the conference timetable, when most of the conference delegates should have arrived and before the conference started formally, and that the finish be at the Scarborough Spa where the conference was to be held.

This all tied in with Anthony and Carolyn’s involvement with Kit cars and their contacts locally garnered via their own Aristocat Jaguar 120 evocation.

So Chris got on with designing a route and venues along the way which had to have a reasonably timed start in Blckpool, a lunch halt and an arrival time in Scarborough to meet the Directors time constraints.

Norbreck Catle Hotel Blackpool

We had a good relationship with the then manager of the Norbreck Castle Hotel so that was the start venue in Blackpool and the finish was arranged at the Scarborough Spa with adequate parking reserved. Carolyn arranged a lunch halt at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey so all that was needed was to link the three up with a mileage to ensure a finish at Scarborough on time.

So at 09.00 in the morning a fine array of Kit cars lined up at The Norbreck Castle Hotel Blackpool ready for their journey over to Yorkshire. The cars ranged from a 602cc 2 cylinder Lomax 3 wheeler to the mighty 4.2 litre 6 cylinder Aristocat. Quite a difference in performance and capabilities!

Drivers Briefing

Following a briefing from Anthony Taylor the cavalcade set off in bright sunshine for the lunch halt at The Devonshire Arms using mainly B roads and the A59.

Lunch halt at the Devonshire Arms.

By the time they reached the Devonshire Arms the weather had closed in and there had been some rain so it was hoods up for the second leg to Scarborough.

The route then went over Blubberhouses towards Harrogate then north past Ripon and on to Thirsk before the cars tackled Sutton Bank. For those who don’t know Sutton Bank it is The A170 runs up the bank with a maximum gradient of 1 in 4 (25%), and includes a hairpin bend just to add to the challenge. Vehicles have to keep in low gear whilst travelling up or down the bank, and it is considered so bad that caravans are banned from this length of the A170.

A short breather at the top of Sutton Bank.

After completing the climb, the cars stopped for a bit of a breather at the top of Sutton Bank and enjoyed the views before pressing on to Scarborough.

Then out on the A170 through Helmsley and Pickering then on to Scarborough. The weather was now light drizzle but the crews of the cars were in fine spirits as we were met be the Directors and civic dignitaries at the Spa.


Entering Helmsley
Helmsley – back in sunshine.
Following the A170 in North Yorkshire.
Roof off in the Lomax






The cars arrive at the Spa in Scarborough
Roof back on in the Lomax as the weather changes.
We certainly attracted a crowd.
Judging the cars for the Scottish Legal Pennant award.
The end of a long but enjoyable day.

The winner of the Scottish Legal Pennant














































OK so it wasn’t a ‘Classic Car Run’ but it laid the foundation of many runs to come which used the Norbreck Castle for a starting point and finished at the Spa in Scarborough. Over the years things changed and we sought places new to start and finish to give a choice of new and more interesting routes.

One thing is certain at no point on that did we realise that Mike would pick up that mantle and organise an event which has now gone on for 27 years and after a break this year will be back in 2021.

Many thanks to all who organised and took part in the event.

Mystery Coachbuilders in Leigh (updated 28/06/20)

I know this is a long shot but it is something which may promt a memory in one of our members,
I had the following request posted on out Facebook page which I fgound interesting. The chap knows the history of Bucklers (he used to compete one) but this particular model/version has prompted his request. I think he would like more info on the coach builders involved. Basically the car is Ford 10 mechanicals on a Buckler chassis but the bodywork appears unique.

“Following the recent discovery of the attached photo, I am seeking any history of the sports car shown in the making.I do know that the photo was taken at the premises of a coach builder in Leigh Lancs called Kaye, Madely and Fisher, almost certainly in the 1950s. It shows a GT body frame being built on a Buckler Mk.6-4 multi-tube chassis, which would normally build into a 4 seater sports soft top. However the radiator is from a Morgan.

Charley Madely was a coach builder to approved Rolls Royce standards and well known in motoring circles. Apart from the above information, the Buckler is a total mystery but maybe some very senior member of your club, may have known of it, which I know is a very long shot.”


Image may contain: 1 person, car and outdoor

Further information on the Buckler mystery photo we asked about earlier.
Thanks to our friends at Northwest Casual Classics in particular Phil Stott we have a few more facts to go on.
According to Phil’s research there was a coach builder believed to be Queen Street off Chapel Street near what was County Motors in Leigh. It looks like the premises at the back of the picture could be the Highfield Inn? As Phil suspected they did in fact make busses and trams. Info from Leigh history group.

The first picture is a Letterhead from Oct 1955, one of the directors had changed from Mr G.E.Kaye to Frank Reese.

Phil says you are correct in what you say about the Ford-10 with a special body, built by Charlie Madely at his Queen St, car work shop in 1950. But he does’nt think that anyone will remember this particular car project by Charlie with it being seventy years ago.

In the second colur picture Charlie is standing centre but no one knows who the other two males are. Although by comparing with the picture of the group standing with the Armstrong Siddeley it looks like the chap on the left is G.E. Kaye and the one in the middle in the white shirt could be Percy Madely.

The third picture (with the group standing by a grey Armstrong Siddeley)) is of Charlie at his Queen St premises, under the railway arches also taken in 1950, names supplied by Charlie’s son. Standing in front of the Armstrong Siddeley on the right is Johnny Cunningham, Percy and Charlie Madely, Mr Boydell. Standing behind the car are Mr G.E.Kaye and Jack Kinsella.

Finally a photograph of Charles F.Madely in his work yard on Queen street in the 1970s along with an obituary newspaper cutting dated Feb 1988. Charlie’s name is spelt wrong in the newspaper clip by the Journal Editor.

Classic Cars on Lytham Green – postponed

We have just been in touch with the orgainsers of the ‘Classic Cars on Lytham Green’ event which was due next Sunday the 28th June.
The current position is that the event has been postponed till later in the year. The organisers are meeting with Fylde Borough Council shortly and hope to arrange a date, possibly in August.
The organisers have promised to keep us in the loop and we will post any updates as they become available.
I’m sure all of you are as anxious as we are to get our cars back on show and in doing so support a worthy cause.
Watch this space!

Manchester to Blackpool – Keeping up the tradition!

As we all know today is the 58th anniversary of the first Manchester to Blackpool Car Run but sadly we can’t run the event this year.

We have organised a virtual Concours D’Elegance and I will let you know the Mayor of Blackpool (Councillor Amy Cross) choice later this afternoon.

In the meantime I decided that both the Mini and I needed some exercise so early this morning we set off for Manchester maps sitting on the passenger seat!

Access to Worsley Old Hall is limited so we started from the end of the drive and followed the route out towards Bolton and on to Belmont.

Worsley Old Hall Start
OWorsley Old Hall
Above Smithills Bolton
By the Blue Lagoon just after Belmont
The climb towards Winter Hill just after Belmont
By the Yarrow Reservoir at Rivington
A short rest at Heskin Hall

From there we stuck to the route through the Anglezarke Reservoirs and on to the events first control at Heskin Hall.

Heskin Hall





Then the route took us to our second control at Fulwood Barracks via Hoghton Towers.

Fulwood Barracks Control

From Fulwood we went via the controls at Bowker BMW and MINI and Wrea Green to the final Control at Stanley Park.

Bowker BMW and MINI at Preston Dock
Wrea Green Control

So we have maintained the unbroken tradition of doing the run every year.

Blackpool Stanley Park – Finish Control

Don’t want to give away to many secrets of the route so as not to spoil the 2021 event so haven’t given away the route details.

All ready for the run home!

Relive the Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run

We thought that with our 58th Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run this Sunday being cancelled you may wish to relive the 2019 event.

This link takes you to the route information book from last years event which let’s you know where the event went to and places of interest along the way.

Simply click on the link below

Manchester to Blackpool Route Information 2019

Also we inlude last years route maps

Manchester to Blackpool 2019 Route Maps

Please note the Red line denotes the ‘Scenic’ Run this is more challenging for car and driver and is more suited to the more adventurous Vintage car driver and Classics and Cherished cars. This route is longer with more severe or long inclines and declines.

The short sections of blue line denote the deviations from the ‘Scenic’ Route which we call the ‘Direct’ Route. This is somewhat shorter avoiding steep or long inclines and declines and is designed around a small pre war car such as an Austin 7.

Finaly we arrange a shorter route (which in 2019 would have started from our Control at Bowker BMW and MINI at Preston Dock) which follows the red route to Blackpool.

Timings and mileages for all three routes are arranged so that if car 1 followed any of the 3 routes it would arrive at the finish at roughly the same time!  The Direct Route was some 81 miles and the Scenic some 103 miles.

These are a few pictures from the event. Special thanks to Nigel Bentley, Mike Wood and Steve Townsend for the pictures.

Worsley Old Hall, Manchester


The Willows, Blackburn Coffe halt

The Italian Gardens, Stanley Park Blackpool – Finish

Display and Concours



Manchester to Blackpool Virtual Concours

Check out the Mayor’s Choice (updated  4.00pm Sunday14th June 2020)
Entries for our Manchester to Blackpool Virtual Concours closed on Friday and we had a fine selection of cars for the Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Amy Cross, to select her favourite car.
She judged the photos on Sunday 14th June at 4.00pm when the Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run Concours and event results would have in normal times been announced.
All the photos were submitted to the Mayor ‘blind’ and did not contain any details of the owner or the car itself!
Her choice was the green Mini Cooper RSP.
Prizes will also be virtual but the winners photo will be published on the club’s Facebook page and Website as well as in our club magazine All Torque.
You can see all the entries below.



Longridge Motor Racing Circuit – LAC Sprints

It struck me that whilst many LAC members would know the general layout at Longridge for motor racing the sprint layout as used by both Longton and District Motor Club and Lancashire Automobile Club may be unfamiliar to them.

The featured picture is a painting of me coming out of Quarry Bend into Paddock Bend – I seem to have lost the original.

The picture, below, shows the layout of the sprint layout and I thought you might be intersted to have a competitive run round with me.

The paddock is situated along the cliff top at the bottom of the picture. We run down a gentle slope to a collect area by the Start Line (shown red).

As cars depart we slowly move forward to the start line – not to close to the car in front as they kick up stones as they warm their tyres!

Now the marshals call us forward to the start line and carefully align us with the timing beams. The traffic lights flicker red, amber as they rock the car gentley back and forward. It is a down hill start so the car tends to creep forward.

Once the traffic lights are a steady amber we await the green. A car already on the circuit flashes past on our right. Once he reaches Weighbridge corner the lights will go green and we can start in out own time.

The lights go green and we sprint away onto Rock Straight – the quarry wall looms above us to our left.

All to soon we reach Weighbridge Corner a tight right hander. JUst in view to our left tucked behind the barriers is the tow truck and ambulance.

We are now on the short straight after Weighbridge the grid markings for the race start flash past beneath us. In the Esses we pass through the timing beams for the first time.

The Esses is tricky to get right as the exit determines our positioning into Quarry Bend. Get this wrong and the hump on the inside of the corner will spin you round and send us into the barriers which are all to close on our left.

With the line just right we enter Quarry this is the start of a climb which continues into Paddock Bend. Paddock is easy to get right but gmake a mess of it and our speed along Rock Straight will be compromised ruinig our time.

As we leave Paddock Bend the trck drops and as we go over the rise the steering goes light. More than one car has lost it here but we are OK. Back on Rock Straight we are more confident both tyres and brakes are wrmed up and we leave bracking for Weightbridge a littel later and carry more speed. As a result we clip the dirt on the outside of the corner as we exit. It is not simply a matter of going flat out to cross the finish line at the entrance to ther Esses. The marshals on the very end of the pit wall on out right (just where the pit exit for the race meetings is located) wave a chequred flag. Our run is over.

We cotinue into Quarry and exit to our left just before Paddock Bend to return to the paddock.

By the way this layout meant that the timing crew could get a time for a flying lap picking up the car as it past the timing lights at the finish the first time the car passed and then again when it finished it’s run. This is why Kim Mathers time in his BRM at a Longton meeting qualified for many years as the fastest lap of Longridge and remained tied with two others who set their laps at race meetings when the circuit closed.

No photo description available.
 The picture below shows an arial view of the caravan park which is there today. I have marked the spring circuit in red to give an indication of the way it fitted inot the layout.

Virtual Classic Car Show

As you know our 58th Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run was due to be held on Sunday 14th June. Given the current circumstances I’m sure you will understand that we are unable to hold the event this year.
We have thought long an hard for an alternative and have come up with the idea of a virtual ‘Concourse’ open to both Club members and other Veteran, Vintage, Classic and Cherished car owners who would have been eligible to take part in the run and the Concourse d ‘Elegance at the Italian Gardens in Blackpool.
If you wish to take part, simply send a couple of pictures of your car (front and three-quarter view), together with your name, to the Club email:
We will put your pictures into our Facebook and Web pages. The only detail the public will see is your name, we will not publish any other personal details such as address or email etc.
Chris Lee has arranged for all the pictures to be forwarded to the Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Amy Cross, who will select her favourite car. Of course all prizes will be virtual, but we will publicise the winner on our Facebook and Web pages as well as in our club magazine, All Torque.
Please get your entries to us by Friday 12th June.
               Andrew Ogden – Members’ Representative