William Henry Bowker MBE JP – 1935-2017

William Henry Bowker (Bill), who has died aged 81 following a short illness, was the widely respected, former owner of Lancashire transport operator W H Bowker Ltd.

Bill was a great supporter of the Lancashire Automobile Club not only taking part in many of the Club’s classic car events over the years but also being the principle sponsor of the Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run supporting the event both financialy and allowing the use of Bowker dealerships for Controls on the events.

It is however for his business interests in the north west that Bill is best known. The business was founded by Bill’s father in 1919, on his return from the First World War.

Based in Blackburn, the business started by making deliveries in East Lancashire and the docks in Liverpool on behalf of the local cotton industry. Following the sudden death of his father in 1955 just after the business had bought itself out nationalisation, Bill took over the running of the business at the age of just 19. He was later joined in the business by his brother Ken, son Bill, his nephews, grandson and his great niece who are now the fourth generation to work in the business.

Bill was actively involved in many local community and charity organisations. He was an active patron of the Ribble Valley Conservative Association for more than 20 years, eventually becoming its Chairman. He also became Chairman of Blackburn Magistrates and received an MBE for services in the administration of justice in Blackburn in the 2006 Queen’s News Years Honours List.

Whilst still very much a family business, with its Company headquarters now in Preston, W H Bowker Ltd, is a major UK and international transport and warehousing provider with nine UK sites. The Company also includes the prestigious Bowker Motor Dealership Group, comprising BMW, Mini, Maserati, Harley Davidson and BMW Motorrad in Blackburn and Preston.

His son, described his father as ‘a wonderful family man’. “He was a wonderful father who put other people before himself, never said no and always tried to help and support others. We are very saddened by his death.”

Bill’s wife Rosemary passed away in 2013. He is survived by his son Bill and daughter Elizabeth.

55th Manchester to Blackpool

Starting again from Worsley Old Hall, this well supported event attracted cars of all shapes and sizes, and all ages as well, from modern classics to veteran and vintage, great to see them all out on the road.
After signing on, run by Peter Stansfield, Sandra Williams and Eileen Dyson, the cars were off to the start under the control of Ken Wilkinson, Ben Addison and Peter Stansfield.
The first section was from Worsley to The Duke of Wellington, on the Grane Road near Haslingeden, which has proved to be a handy ‘watering hole’ en route on many of our events, where Paul Ratcliffe and Gareth Davies were on hand to sign the route cards. The following section took the cars through some tried and tested roads and lanes, including Pendle Hill and Stonyhurst College,
before reaching the lunch halt at the wonderful Fulwood Barracks, where hot pot with red cabbage and onions awaited the hungry throng. The marshals here were Dennis Walton, Ian Ormond, Les Fragle, Shiela Russell, Tony Gornall.
Then it was onwards through the outskirts of Preston to the next control at Bowkers BMW and MINI dealership near Preston Docks with marshals Paul Hiles and Moira Leighton and after the cards were signed it was off again via a circuitous route to Wrea Green for more card signing at thislovely village control where Glyn Hughes has manned the control for many years.
With Blackpool now in sight it was off again with all roads, providing you were on the right one, leading to The Italian Gardens in Stanley Park where a cream tea awaited and concours awards were presented by the Mayor of Blackpool Councillor Ian Coleman assisted by Club President John Hartley, and the following were the recipients:-
Group 1 – no entries,
Group 2 – Ian & Sue Thompson 1935 Aston Martin,
Group 3 – Jamie & Karen Clarke 1969 Mercedes Benz Ponton,
Group 4 – Nigel & Gloria Bentley 1989 Porsche Carrera,
Overall Concours and winner of the Ken Hadley memorial trophy Phil & Gill Sykes 1971 Jaguar e-type,
Judges choice Hassan Isajii & Alex Haworth 1955 Porsche Speedster,
Blackpool Corporation Trophy and Mayors choice Jim & Jamie Clarke 1928 Bentley.
The final control was supervised
by Martin Wylie, Ben Addison and Mike Chadwick.

St Georges Day 2017 Report

Blessed with stunning Spring weather, this years event started again from it’s new home of Blackburn Northern Sports Club. With nearly eighty entrants with vehicles as diverse as a Mini Moke, to a Bentley Brooklands.
The organisers had prepared a wonderful route with interesting and different roads, and with some outstanding views of the countryside that we are so fortunate to live in.
At the starting venue there were bacon sandwiches and coffee , with the first car away at 10.00 am sharp, and minute intervals thereafter. The route passed through Mellor, Hurst Green, Stonyhurst College,Whalley, Wiswell, Pendleton before passing
over Pendle Hill and on into the witch country of Fence and Roughlee then on again through Blacko, Thursden Valley, Cornholme leading on to the lunch halt/comfort break at The Duke of Wellington on the Grane Road.
After the break it was off again via Edgworth, Belmont, Rivington, Wheelton, Brindle, Samlesbury Bottoms, back over Mellor to the finish at the Sports Club, for a cracking buffet and a good old chat with chums old and new.
A big thanks to the ladies in the kitchen, who prepared all the food, and of course to the organisers and marshals who got the event together, not forgetting our sponsors to whom we are most grateful, Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, Blue Butts Chequered Flag, and Bowker BMW and MINI. And The Cardboard Box Comany,
A collection was held at the finish with donations being made to the Billy Monger Trust, for the young man who lost his legs in a dreadful accident at Donington Park, the wonderful sum of £150 was raised, thank you so much to all of you who donated.

Special Club Announcement

The Lancashire Automobile Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Brian Redman and Mike Wood as Honorary Club Patrons, in recognition of their achievements and services to motorsport, we are very fortunate to have these two Lancashire ‘Lads’ connected with our club. Mike lives locally, whilst Brian lives in warmer climes in Florida.

Drive it Day 2017 Report

Lancashire Automobile Club Ltd

Drive it Day 2017

St Georges Day Run 23rd May

It might be worth first giving a little explanation of what Drive it Day is all about. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) decided many years ago that the profile of classic vehicles (in the widest sense) should be raised with the British public and our political masters.

In truth the importance, and shear value, of the classic car industry is worth tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds to the British economy. So whilst the FBHVC lobbied both Parliament and Brussels on our behalf members of the federation have done their bit organising events on the annual Drive it Day.

The Lancashire Automobile Club has been a member of the FBHVC for many years and organises a very successful run every year taking in the abundance of fine driving roads in Lancashire. The event is a Touring Assembly and as such is untimed with no awrds. We have seen routes starting in the Whalley Blackburn area taking in roads to the west, north, and east. This year we decided to go south for a change.

Almost 80 vintage and classic cars entered the event which was supported by Blue Butts Classic Cars, Hagerty Motor Insurance and Bowker BMW and Mini. Each entrant received a traditional Rally Plate, tulip style Route Book and a Route Information book. The latter containing snippets of information about the places the cars passed through on their 100mile journey.

We were blessed with great weather the whole day, not something we were expecting given the previous weekends washout!

The route started from Blackburn Northern Sports Club, with a bacon bap, and looped north towards Hurst Green then northeast over Pendle and on to Colne. We then went into ‘new’ territory through Trawden and south over Widdop Moor before turning west to a coffee/lunch halt at the Duke of Wellington on the Grane Road.

After a brief halt the route went south then west to Belmont and into the Anglezarke complex before turning north to Top Lock, and Brindle to return to the start where a light buffet awaited them. There was a collection for the young Formula 4 driver who was seriously injured at Donnington Park recently and the entrants gave generously. The Club will top up the collection to a nice round figure – many thanks to all who contributed.

Thanks must go to all the marshals who helped under the direction of our Clerk of Course, Anthony Taylor, the sandwich makes, Eileen and Carolyn, and of course all the entrants who brought their magnificent vehicles for all to enjoy.

If anyone wants to see, or purchase more photographs from the event simply go to Brian Taylors site White Dog Photography www.whitedogphotography.co.uk and simply click on this link then select 2017 motorsport galleries to see all the pictures (by the way if you look on 2016 motorsport galleries there are pictures from our 2016 events).

To get the pictures simply follow the directions at the bottom of the first web page. Brian doesn’t personally charge but asks that you donate an amount you feel appropriate to Cancer Research UK. You don’t just get your pictures you are helping the fight against Cancer.

You then contact Brian direct with the picture numbers you require and he gives you a link to the files at full resolution.

The Lancashire Automobile Club Classic Challenge 2016

Once again the Challenge got off to a great start with the St Georges Day Run ably organised by Anthony Taylor and the usual suspects. Next came

John Hartley’s fiendish Fellsman event. We had a good turnout turn out, if not good weather, on the Manchester to Blackpool and then some excellent new roads on the Coast to Coast; The Highland made for a truly grand finale.

We have awarded points for entering and taking part in both the runs and, where applicable, the Concours events. The Ray Clarke Memorial Award

goes to John Hartley who scored on every event achieving the highest overall score. The Drivers award goes to Andrew Ogden only 5 points

behind and the Navigators Award goes to Deborah Smith. It is pleasing to see just how many organisers are recognised in this year’s scores with many regular drivers and navigators helping out both in organising events and on the day. It is most pleasing that Sandra Williams takes the organisers award. Well done Sandra.

This year we are again awarding our overall winner the Ray Clarke Trophy donated by his family. Ray was a stalwart of the LAC and the guiding hand behind our classic events for many years so this trophy is very appropriate.

As always we would like to thank all the officials and marshals who made the events run so well and of course our sponsors for making it possible.

May I thank all of you who took part in the Classic Challenge.

Here’s to 2017.

Many thanks Chris Lee Challenge Compiler

Lancashire Automobile Club Classic Challenge 2016

 

Scores

Name

GRADE

Score

Position

John Hartley*

Driver/Org

175

Overall Winner

Andrew Ogden

Driver

170

Drivers Award

Steve Smith

Driver

160

Deborah Smith

Navigator

160

Navigators Award

Geoff Breakell

Driver

140

Margaret Breakell

Navigator

140

Sandra Williams*

Navigator/Organiser

125

Organisers Award

David Williams

Driver

125

Chris Lee*

Organiser

125

Martin Wylie*

Organiser

120

Nigel Bentley

Driver/Org

120

Jan Lee

Organiser

110

Carolyn Taylor*

Organiser

110

Anthony Taylor*

Driver/organiser

110

Alwyn Davis*

Adim par excellence

110

Mike Wood

Organiser

105

Eileen Dyson

Organiser

105

Dennis Walton*

Organiser/Driver

105

Mike Raven*

Organiser/Driver

75

Margaret Polley

Navigator

45

Tony Lund

Driver

45

 

Scores marked with a * have organised 2 or more events.

Highland 3 Day 2017 Now full!

As a starter the dates for the 2017 Highland are Wednesday 20th September if you want overnight accommodation at Hetland Hall near Dumfries Day 0 starts on Thursday morning first car off 09:00 heading up to Helensbrugh on Thursday 21st for the start of the 3 day tour on the Friday 22nd up to Dundonnel for two nights Friday and Saturday then back to Helensbrugh for the 24th Sunday evening then home on Monday to recover.

See News and Events for more details.

More details will be posted on www.highlandtour.com in December.

You Know you should come!

“016 Event Reports

Getting in Touch with your Wild Side

The Highland 3 Day Classic Tour has been held virtually every year for the last 20 years and I have to say that it strikes me,  from all the comments, cheers, laughter and ‘rib digging’ that has gone on over the last few days, that 2016 has been the best one yet. There are many people better qualified than me to confirm that, as we were ‘newbie’s’ completing this event for the first time. It has to be said that the support and guidance we received from many of the ‘old hands’ present was fantastic. So, a great big thank you from us, to all of you for making this Tour an amazing experience.

Clearly, this is one of those events where once you have done it….you are hooked and want to come back for more! (We were registered for next year’s event before we had even finished this one)!

There were 18 cars registered for this tour, they included everything from Alfa to Volvo including, BMW, Rolls Royce, Audi, Mercedes, mini, Jaguar, on to Porsche, MGs and Healey, not to mention a daffodil and a luminous lime green Fiesta driven by Mike (the tour organiser) don’t ask!

Whilst I must confess the event does require a ‘modicum’ of stamina due to early starts and challenging drives, it was overall a fantastic tour to be part of with even a little bit of time to visit the Highland Stone Pottery shop (thanks Kirsteen). Mike and the team’s organising skills are second to none. Marvellous hotels, excellent food stops, challenging road events and the all round good fun was wholly down to the organisation and huge efforts made by the organisers. I know we are not the only ones who want to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone of them (Mike, Catherine, Owen, Tracy, John and David)

As I have already said, there was some serious driving to be had on this Tour, with an excess of a 150 miles covered on each day.

Day 1: A fabulous journey from Biggar to Dunkeld                                  

A Pleasant mid day stop at the Lochside, Venacar on the way to Dunkeld

Day 2: A brilliant tour that took in Braemar and Balmoral Castle

The roads and views were amazing. Yes, we did stop to take photographs, how could we not, with views like this. . I must confess, that I was so busy concentrating on Tulips I couldn’t always appreciate the views (mind you there were one or two who travelled so fast they didn’t even see Scotland! Not that any speed limits were broken, of course) Stuart did all the driving in our 50 year old Daimler V8 and it is fair to say he was more than pleased with her performance. He says, “The old girl was well behaved and the car was even better” (Thanks for that!). We did lose a wiper arm in high winds on Day 3 but that was much preferred to Mike’s Healy which was taken home on a low loader after losing the clutch on the Hill Climb, hence the lime green Fiesta for the rest of the tour!

Day 2 took us high up in to the Scottish highlands where the population is about as sparse as waitresses at the Jury hotel in Inverness. A short navigation event preceded the longest journey of the event. The east to west cross-country drive was mainly a single-track affair but the further west we travelled, the better the scenery seemed to get. The approach to Lochinver was absolutely stunning with mountain formations looking more like Sugar Loaf in Brazil without blue sky of course.

The Inver Lodge Hotel is a true diamond in this part of the world with a top draw lunch provided in very comfortable surroundings overlooking the bay. After lunch we made our way down towards Ullapool with scenery looking more and more like the set from a Hobbit movie.

Now, some of the regulars to this event had baulked at the idea of going to Scotland without visiting Applecross, so Mike dutifully added in an optional leg for Day 2. Not easy to judge how long this would take but as some found out, it was a long haul and with most of it covered in cloud.  Some about turned and headed back without taking in a tea or coffee from the busiest pub in Applecross. For those that made it, the rewards were indeed a nice cup of coffee and the dubious prospect of having to re-traverse the cloud covered hairpins of Applecross where lampless cyclist’s believe in their divine safety along with a few day-trippers. The return back to the Jury Hotel in Inverness was a little testing at times with Google suggesting an 8hour 40min drive without including the daily navigation event!

Day 3 followed the line of the Great Glenn. The weather remained kind to us and only short, hard bursts of rain occurred to challenge the one wiper Daimler. Now for some of the ‘fun events’. As already alluded to, amongst all the fabulous driving was a daily Navigation task set by John Hartley.  I am not saying we had a lot to learn but…it can be disconcerting to find you are the only vehicle travelling North on a single track road amongst another 17 travelling South! Not to mention finding out that what you thought was a perfect, first time navigation test run, actually had 10 miles of road and track missed out!

At this point, we really must thank Andrew Ogden for his patience and knowledge, providing lessons to several new members on how to map and then traverse the navigation routes. It also helped greatly when we found out what Via and Boogie Boards are along with ‘spot heights’! Thanks to you John and David, we definitely got better as the days went on.

Day 0 (Thursday) included The Forrestburn Sprint and Hill Climb Test curtesy of the MSCC (where Mike lost his clutch!) and Day 1 at the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford. We had never participated in one of these before and neither had Janet and Steve. This event showed them in their true colours (competitive speed freaks). Janet positively threw her car around the bends, screeched to a halt on the stop lines and roared off to get the Trophy! (sadly, she did not get a real trophy (there are no prizes for winning) so this photo will more than make up for it! (one for the album Janet!)

The competitions are all just part of the fun. Not wanting to show off (but going to anyway) we managed to win one event as well…….It matters not that it was the silly hat competition,  we still won one event on the Tour and no one can take that away from us!

All in all the Highland Tour has been a superb experience; I really cannot praise the whole event enough. We have made some fabulous new friends that I know we will keep in touch with. I think most of us will be back again next year and we will certainly be bringing other people that we know that will enjoy and add to the event.

If you are one of those who has never participated do put it on your ‘to do’ list, I promise….you will not regret it!

Colin and Dawn Hare

There are some great photographs on Monklands Motor Club’s web site http://www.mscc.org.uk/tag/lancashire-automobile-club

if you click on the Highland 3 Day article in the right hand column you gat a good selection of pictures from the event. Mike Raven would like tyo thank the Club for their assistance  in organising and marshalling the auto test and not least providing the coffee on and cakes!

Highland 3 Day Report 2016

Getting in Touch with your Wild Side

All pictures and maps are on the picture gallery for the event.

The Highland 3 Day Classic Tour has been held virtually every year for the last 20 years and I have to say that it strikes me,  from all the comments, cheers, laughter and ‘rib digging’ that has gone on over the last few days, that 2016 has been the best one yet. There are many people better qualified than me to confirm that, as we were ‘newbie’s’ completing this event for the first time. It has to be said that the support and guidance we received from many of the ‘old hands’ present was fantastic. So, a great big thank you from us, to all of you for making this Tour an amazing experience.

Clearly, this is one of those events where once you have done it….you are hooked and want to come back for more! (We were registered for next year’s event before we had even finished this one)!

There were 18 cars registered for this tour, they included everything from Alfa to Volvo including, BMW, Rolls Royce, Audi, Mercedes, mini, Jaguar, on to Porsche, MGs and Healey,not to mention a daffodil and a luminous lime green Fiesta driven by Mike (the tour organiser) don’t ask!

Whilst I must confess the event does require a ‘modicum’ of stamina due to early starts and challenging drives, it was overall a fantastic tour to be part of with even a little bit of time to visit the Highland Stone Pottery shop (thanks Kirsteen). Mike and the team’s organising skills are second to none. Marvellous hotels, excellent food stops, challenging road events and the all round good fun was wholly down to the organisation and huge efforts made by the organisers. I know we are not the only ones who want to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone of them (Mike, Catherine, Owen, Tracy, John and David)

As I have already said, there was some serious driving to be had on this Tour, with an excess of a 150 miles covered on each day.

The roads and views were amazing. Yes, we did stop to take photographs, how could we not, with views like this. We were not the only ones to take photos, thanks to Owen for this brilliant shot taken on Day 1. I must confess, that I was so busy concentrating on Tulips I couldn’t always appreciate the views (mind you there were one or two who travelled so fast they didn’t even see Scotland! Not that any speed limits were broken, of course)

Stuart did all the driving in our 50 year old Daimler V8 and it is fair to say he was more than pleased with her performance. He says, “The old girl was well behaved and the car was even better” (Thanks for that!). We did lose a wiper arm in high winds on Day 3 but that was much preferred to Mike’s Healy which was taken home on a low loader after losing the clutch on the Hill Climb, hence the lime green Fiesta for the rest of the tour!

Day 2:  As you can see from the map, day 2 took us high up in to the Scottish highlands where the population is about as sparse as waitresses at the Jury hotel in Inverness. A short navigation event preceded the longest journey of the event. The east to west cross-country drive was mainly a single-track affair but the further west we travelled, the better the scenery seemed to get. The approach to Lochinver was absolutely stunning with mountain formations looking more like Sugar Loaf in Brazil without blue sky of course.

The Inver Lodge Hotel is a true diamond in this part of the world with a top draw lunch provided in very comfortable surroundings overlooking the bay. After lunch we made our way down towards Ullapool with scenery looking more and more like the set from a Hobbit movie.

 

Now, some of the regulars to this event had baulked at the idea of going to Scotland without visiting Applecross, so Mike dutifully added in an optional leg for Day 2. Not easy to judge how long this would take but as some found out, it was a long haul and with most of it covered in cloud.  Some about turned and headed back without taking in a tea or coffee from the busiest pub in Applecross. For those that made it, the rewards were indeed a nice cup of coffee and the dubious prospect of having to re-traverse the cloud covered hairpins of Applecross where lampless cyclist’s believe in their divine safety along with a few day-trippers. The return back to the Jury Hotel in Inverness was a little testing at times with Google suggesting an 8hour 40min drive without including the daily navigation event!

Day 3 followed the line of the Great Glenn. The weather remained kind to us and only short, hard bursts of rain occurred to challenge the one wiper Daimler.

Now for some of the ‘fun events’. As already alluded to, amongst all the fabulous driving was a daily Navigation task set by John Hartley.  I am not saying we had a lot to learn but…it can be disconcerting to find you are the only vehicle travelling North on a single track road amongst another 17 travelling South! Not to mention finding out that what you thought was a perfect, first time navigation test run, actually had 10 miles of road and track missed out!

At this point, we really must thank Andrew Ogden for his patience and knowledge, providing lessons to several new members on how to map and then traverse the navigation routes. It also helped greatly when we found out what Via and Boogie Boards are along with ‘spot heights’! Thanks to you John and David, we definitely got better as the days went on.

Day 0 (Thursday) included The Forrestburn Sprint and Hill Climb Test curtesy of the MSCC (where Mike lost his clutch!) and Day 1 at the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford. We had never participated in one of these before and neither had Janet and Steve. This event showed them in their true colours (competitive speed freaks). Janet positively threw her car around the bends, screeched to a halt on the stop lines and roared off to get the Trophy! (sadly, she did not get a real trophy (there are no prizes for winning) so this photo will more than make up for it! (one for the album Janet!)

The competitions are all just part of the fun. Not wanting to show off (but going to anyway) we managed to win one event as well…….It matters not that it was the silly hat competition,  we still won one event on the Tour and no one can take that away from us!

All in all the Highland Tour has been a superb experience; I really cannot praise the whole event enough. We have made some fabulous new friends that I know we will keep in touch with. I think most of us will be back again next year and we will certainly be bringing other people that we know that will enjoy and add to the event.

If you are one of those who has never participated do put it on your ‘to do’ list, I promise….you will not regret it!

Lynda and Stuart (fondly known as George) Mason

Colin and Dawn Hare

The dates for 2017 are Wednesday 20th September if you want overnight accommodation at Hetland Hall near Dumfrise Day 0 starts on Thursday morning first car off 09:00 heading up to Helensbourugh on Thursday 21st for the start of the 3 day tour on the Friday 22nd up to Dundonnel for two nights Friday and Saturday then back to Helensborough for the 24th Sunday evening then home on Monday to recover.

More details will be posted on www.highlandtour.com in December.

You Know you should come!   Mike

Fellsman 2016

The Fellsman is a Touring Assembly within the MSA definitions but includes an element of skill from the navigators seat not normally seen on LAC events. As such it attracts a smaller but, shall we say, more dedicated following. The format remains as previous events with John Hartley devising ever more devious tests for the navigators. We don’t give awards and there isn’t any timing but the crews get the satisfaction of pitting there wits against John and his team.
My job is simple I drive car ‘0’ following the route marked on the maps confirming that car ’00’ navigated by Mike Wood (yes THE Mike Wood!) has put in via boards in all the right places, none have gone missing and that the route is passable. We sign any diversions necessitated by road closures etc if required and run about 20 mins before car 1 – simples.
All nice and simple all I need is a navigator and the Mini does the rest. Unfortunately this year my regular navigator had to call off at the last possible moment as his dad had to be taken to hospital. That meant I arrived at the start with an empty seat on my left – not good.
However there was a spare bod looking round the cars. Doing anything today I asked followed by can you read a map. My luck was in I had latched onto a bleary eyed Nigel Worswick. He had been up till 3.00 am and was planning to take in the start before going to bed ahead of a quick flight out to the Caribbean where his WRC car was waiting for him and crew to do a stage rally.
Nigel being a good sport then signed on and joined me in the Mini for the day. It’s not often you have a rally driver of this pedigree sitting next to you be he seemed happy enough as we pulled out of the start.
The start was from a new venue at the Bayley Arms, Hurst Green who made us most welcome. The route went out through Stoneyhurst and then out towards Jeffery Hill but with a little twist to take in the first via board. We then went west again through Barton and into the ‘Catforth Maze’ where I cut my teeth rallying in the late 60’s. A great area for a navigational test. We then swung north towards Pilling. Meanwhile the 30+ cars had been streaming off  the start line following in our tyre tracks.
Nigel’s navigation was spot on as we checked off the via boards. Sounds easy but Mike Wood sometimes misses one or adds one on purpose so we need to stay awake! Then out towards Abbeystead and onto the northern section of the Trough of Bowland before some more deviations. The rain threatening at the start came as short brief showers and the views of the fells and out towards Morecambe Bay with the Furness peninsula beyond were magnificent. Brian Taylor had positioned himself by the Jubilee Tower to get the cars as they came though.
Then on to Queermore and on to Caton for a lunch halt. Got there a bit early but right on the tail of Mike Wood and his team. Ted Heath was there to greet us and he set up a simple control in the pub as the rain start. The Station Hotel did us proud with a great spread. Mikes team got away and we waited for the first cars to arrive. Mud splattered cars but happy crews were soon filling the car park. Time to go. Nigel got back on there maps as we headed into the hills towards Wray and beyond. A very nasty cattle grid had been signed by John Hartley to prevent car damage and the gated section proved time consuming with many gates to be opened and closed.
Now south east towards Wigglesworth and on to Waddington Fell following the section of road used by the LAC as a hillclimb before the First World War (not a lot of people know that. By now we had caught up with Mike, he takes time whilst the heavy crew hammer in the via boards. Simple section to get home except we then met a mobile road block in the shape of a flock of sheep which delayed progress somewhat. Them back round Mitton and on to Hurst Green for the finish at the Bayley Arms. Nigel was beginning to droop a little so stayed for a coffee and made his way home to bed. Hopefully he has a great time on his rally – rallying and sun sounds like a great combination.
Shortly afterwards the first crews started arriving with tales of detours and the usual why did we see you going that way questions to each other. A great day, great cars and truly great organisation by John Hartley and his team. Here’s to 2017.
Chris Lee

2016 St Georges Day Tour

This years St Georges Day Tour start from Blackburn Northern Sports where some 140 entrants in 70 cars enjoyed a bacon butty before setting out on their travels. The Lancashire Automobile Club took the opportunity to invite the Blood Bikers along to present a cheque for monies raised at the raffle at the Barry ‘Whizzo’ Williams Sportsmans lunch held late last year.
The route was quickly into open country travelling to Gt Harwood and on to Pendle Hill and Sabden before turning north towards Barrowford and on to Skipton.
Then it was north again towards Kettlewell before turning west to pass Malham Tarn via some interesting ascents taking in some great views. A brief stop at the Helwith Bridge Inn where the entrants were welcomed with a roaring fire and a cake stall raising money fro the local school. Then the route descended via Waddinton and Stoneyhurst College to cross the River Ribble at Ribchester before returning to Blackburn Northern Sports for light refreshments.
The route totalled some 90miles with the first entrants returning about 2.30pm. A really good event with some fabulous cars.