Alfas to Ireland – a busman’s holiday?

Sometimes it is interesting to see what LAC members have been up to on events not organised by the club.

Recently Chris and Jan Lee went over to Ireland to join the Alfa Romeo Owners Club on thier annual pilgrimmage to the Emerald Isle.

As you know Jan and I help organise several Classic car runs a year for the Lancashire Automobile Club. So the thought of going on an event organised by someone else always appeals as we can relax and enjoy the event with someone else doing all the hard work!

The Alfa’s to Ireland events have been on or list as a must do event ever since we got our first Alfa. Unfortunately work commitments and my duties on the World Rally GB (which often clashed with the run) have effectively prevented going on the run until this year.

The World Rally GB was early and no other commitments were in the diary so we duly entered this most enjoyable event.

For us the event started on the Wednesday with a drive to Holyhead. On arriving at our hotel we found several other Alfas already in the car park. We were worried about how we would be received by the ‘regulars’ but they were most welcoming and friendly.

The early morning boat to Dublin was only half full so we had a pleasurable crossing and then a pleasant run up the east coast to our accommodation at The Cottages in Laytown. The

Cottages are a group of thatched cottages inside a walled garden with some dating back over 300 years. Ours was very comfortable and well appointed.

In our room we found a bag with all sorts of information on the local area prepared by the organiser Nick Clancy. Later that evening we were joined by fellow Alfa owners Chas and Viv who had come over on the later boat and were sharing our Cottage.

The Friday and Saturday were ‘at leisure’ so we took the opportunity to explore the Boyne Valley on the Friday and Drogheda on the Saturday. The Boyne Valley is well worth a visit with great scenery, castles and Neolithic sites all there to explore. The village of Kells is well worth a visit with some fantastic Celtic crosses and an old abbey which the famous book of Kells is named after.  That evening we ate at the Lime Kiln which is a gastropub just outside Laytown and had a first class meal.

OLY

Drogheda in the rain is not great but we went by bus and toured the shops – which went down very well with Jan! That evening we prepared our own meal and had a restful night in before the run on the Sunday.

Sunday dawned dry and bright which was perfect for the run. For the run itself we were joined by several local Irish Alfas and after the usual group photo we were handed our Route Books. These followed the usual Tulip diagram format and had distances in both miles and kilometres to cater for both British and Irish entrants (nice touch). In essence the Route Book took us to locations where we could park the car and get out to look for clues and ‘treasure’.

Jan and I don’t normally do Treasure Hunts but the way the event was organised meant you could simply follow the route book as if it was a Touring Assembly. We chose the latter but collected a few clues at each stop to prove we had indeed followed the route.

We had one wrong slot in the day caused by a truck parking in front of a road sign – not bad. The route took us south along the coast towards Dublin with clues at villages such as Balidrigan and Skerries together with stately homes (Ardgillan Castle was astonishing). The route then went inland collecting clues as it looped northward to the Battle of the Boyne site just west of Drogheda.

The hard bit was then navigating through Drogheda for the final clues at Millmount Museum and back to the finish at The Village in Bettystown. A wonderful route well-chosen with a mixture of roads. The clues themselves gave some fascinating insights into the history of the area.

OLY

In all we recorded 53 miles and took just under 4 hours to complete the run.

It was then back to Laytown to prepare for the Gala Dinner. This was held at the Village and we enjoyed an excellent meal in good company. Prizes for the Treasure Hunt were then awarded and imagine our surprise when we received the last of many awards with a score of 25.5 points (the overall winners got well over 40).

That left us with free time on the Monday to enjoy the area around Laytown and Bettystown on foot. Laytown beach is used for horse races by the way and is long and flat ideal for a pleasant stroll with views from the Mountains of Morne in the north to the Skerries in the south.

All that was left on the Tuesday was to say our goodbyes and return home. We had plenty of time before the boat sailed so meandered our way to Dublin again taking in the sights and visiting Malahide Castle and Gardens on the way to the port.

The trip back was as pleasant as the trip out and we spent the journey talking to fellow Alfa owners about the weekends event.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable event and one we hope to repeat in the future.

 

Chris and Jan Lee

LAC | Christmas Get Together – The Edisford Bridge Hotel – Thursday 12th December 2019

Dear Member,

Christmas Get Together

As the end of the year approaches the Lancashire Automobile Club will once again be hosting its Christmas get together at The Edisford Bridge Hotel on Thursday 12th December 2019 where in a traditional setting you’ll be able to enjoy a two-course meal in the company of friends and colleagues.

As places are limited it’s advised that an early booking be made by returning the attached form (below), together with remittance, to Eileen Dyson.

The club thanks you for your continued support and looks forward to seeing you on the night.

Kind Regards,

Lancashire Automobile Club

LAC 2019 Christmas Get Togther Form

Brian Redman safe after going ‘missing’ onthe Bahamas in the recent hurricane

Many of you will know Brian from his motor racing exploits at Le Mans and in Can Am Racing and Formula 5000 racing on both sides of the pond.
He is a Honorary Member of the Lancashire Automobile Club and was recently made a member of the Motorsport Hall of Fame.
You may have heard reports that he was missing following the recent hurricane which badly affected the Bahamas.
We are pleased to report that Brian and his wife have been rescued after what must have been a very frightening ordeal.
 
The full report can be seen via this link:

Royal Lancashire Show – Classic Car Display Report

In All Torque LAC members were encouraged to take their classic cars to form one of the exhibits of this years show.
 
We turned up in our older Rolls royce Shadow 2 and joined an eclectic gathering of cars, lorries, tractors and farm machinery. The Jaguar Drivers Club and many examples of that marque, as well as a collectyion of beutifully preparedf motor tricicles. At one point a group of Lambretta type motor scooters arrived complete with many mirrors etc; reminiscent of the sixties.
 
The show comprised many traditional events, show jumpinig, carriage driving and the like. There was judging for cows, sheep, poultry etc; but how they decided which was the best bull, for example, is beyond my comprehension.
 
More recent innovations happened such as Gin Alley, a beer tent with around eighty different ales and celebrity coooking demonstrations were also part of the scene.
There were different trade stands promotonig everthing from double glazing to laminate flooring, charitiy stands and, of course, many food stalls where one could purchase Chinese food, venison burgers, ice cream and everything in between.
 
During the day the classic cars were paraded through the show ring where owners were interviewed and gave commentary on their vehicles. This we manged to miss because of all the other interesting displays!
 
The weather was really good, which is always a benefit at a country show. Sunday dawned warm and sunny and, with tickets being valid, we returned fro another free day out to catch up on what we had not seen.
 
All in all it was a wonderful show not to be missed, should we be invited to attend again next year.
 
Norman Stansfield.

LAC Members since 1967

Anthony, Carolyn and Richard Taylor celebrate 50 years of Autotune Ltd. at their Rishton workshop. Life and work has evolved over the past years, with work on cars when we started, building Lotus Elans, to avoid purchase tax, servicing customers` GT 40s, Astons, DB2 to DB6,and Jaguar E types and Mk 2s, as regular every day road cars. Back then people would ask why we always drove these awful cars, why not go and buy a super new Ford? Why?!

There were always racing cars in the workshop, usually single seaters, as hill climbing in this area was really big with LAC, Lancs. Car Club and Longton Motor Club all running sprint and hillclimb championships.

Chris Lee asked recently if we remembered winning all three championships in the same year, with our magnificent Formula Atlantic Ensign.

As a family we were pleased to win the Historic Sports Car Club Championship in the brutal Chevrolet powered Kincraft, over 2 Litre, in 1978 and then two years later won it again in the very pretty Willment BRM; the latter car held the Class Record at Thruxton for a few years.

 

We havesupported all forms of motorsport, maintaining and participating, and always with an LAC badge on the cars. The Goodwood Revival has always been our favourite event, great atmosphere, best parties, good racing and we have missed only two since it began, driving the McLaren M1B, Chinooks and the Willment BRM.

The most iconic moment was when all mechanics sported the LAC badges at the Goodwood Revival, and Canadian customer Jay Esterer who had never raced in England, seen the circuit, and driven the 5.7cc Chinook only once since we rebuilt it from the ground upward, won the Whitsun Trophy race outright. What a weekend! He had owned the car since he was 17 and sent it across for a rebuild. Dreams come true!

 

To keep us up to date, we sponsored and competed in the Harewood Sprint in June driving the Aristocat Jaguar, manufactured here at Autotune, and the July Aintree Sprint in a Lister Knobbly Jaguar which we won, and still hold the Class Record in the Aristocat.

So, it has been thoroughly enjoyable, hard graft, long hours, little spare time, but has taken us all racing around the world, across Europe, America, Canada and South Africa. And now son, Richard who gained a First Class Honours Degree in Motor Sport Engineering is hard at it in the workshop, along with another of his Graduate Engineering pals, which is currently full of interesting McLarens and Lolas; nothing has changed only the age group.

JAG CORNER Memories Of A Mark 1 Jaguar

The 2.4 and 3.4 later known as the Mark 1 is one of the forgotten cars within the Jaguar range. When it was originally launched as the 2.4 in 1955 it was an instant success. Later in 1957 when the 3.4 was launched there can be no doubt that Jaguar had single-handedly opened up a completely new car market, the compact high performance saloon car. The 3.4 had the looks, 120 mph top speed, reputed 210 bhp, blistering pace and disc brakes to stop it. It was driven by the stars of the day and the everyday transport for the Formula 1 World Champion Mike Hawthorn. It was the equivalent of the BMW M3 or Audi A4 Sport.

As soon as the Mark 2 was launched in 1959 no one really wanted a 2.4 or 3.4 anymore. It has become a rare car, a perfect example of Jaguar’s ambition in the 1950’s but, it should never be forgotten that without it there would have been no Mark 2, which was such a commercial success for the Company. There have been three Mark 1s in my life:

HHG 880 – my father’s car, which he owned from 1959 to 1963.

Another view of HHG 880, note the LAC badge on the left of the three attached to the number plate.
My sister and I in front of HHG 880. My pedal car was a close second in my affections to the Jaguar.

PAM 956 – my first Mark 1 which I bought in 1994

WLF 653 – the replacement to PAM which I bought in 2007.

As with most classic car enthusiasts you are usually drawn to the cars of your childhood or youth. When my father bought HHG 880 he was probably the perfect target customer for Jaguar. He was in his 30’s with two young children, after an Armstrong Siddeley, Jowett Javelin and a Mark 7 Jaguar, not necessarily in that order, the 3.4 must have been a revelation. I was three years old when the car was bought so we had it for those formative years for a boy when cars are special. It was a light grey colour with a red leather interior.

I always insisted that I sat in the front of the car, but at three and four years old I was too small to see out of the front windscreen. My father had a small four legged wooden stool made for me which fitted snugly between the two

A stop on the way to a holiday in the early 1960’s.

front seats above the transmission tunnel. This was possible because the handbrake for the Mark 1 was between the driver’s seat and driver’s door. Nowadays people would be horrified by the thought of a child on a stool in the front of a car. But we did thousands of miles without any problems, though I do remember my father’s left arm holding me back if he had to brake sharply.

For a compact car there was plenty of space. I remember that my bike was put in the back; it fitted upright between the front seats and the rear seat. Sometimes my Grandfather was with us and he had to sit in the back with my bike whilst I was in the front.

My older sister and I had a long running competition on who had been driven the faster in the car. I could only claim 107mph on a three lane straight road near what is now British Aerospace in Samlesbury. Nowadays when I drive on this road it is a wide two lane road with two sets of traffic lights on it and a 50mph speed limit. I wonder whether this is an example of the last care-free years of motoring, or was my father being irresponsible. He certainly did not seem so to me at the time, it was all very exciting!

When we stayed with my Grandparents at the weekend in St Annes I would help clean the car, my responsibility was polishing the leaping Jaguar mascot and cleaning its teeth, as well as polishing the two chrome tail pipes. If I was lucky I was taken out for a drive down the lanes near the market garden area. I sat on my father’s knee and steered the car. Other times I sat in the passenger seat and changed gear when told, so I suppose I can claim that I mastered the Moss gearbox from an early age.

Sadly in 1963 the time came to sell the car but I always remember that car with great affection knowing that one day I would have a Mark 1.

Duncan Hopkinson

 

 

Salon Prive 28th June at Browsholme Hall – Report

The Blackburn Cathedral Appeal 100 Club held its 2nd Salon Prive at Browsholme Hall on Friday 28th June, and what a great time we had.

This event was not a park your car in a field event, it was an event where owners of 31 classic cars, and guests, chatted about the virtues of each car on display, and probably others, in wonderful sunshine. Those who wished enjoyed a tour of the magnificent 600 years old Hall and then everyone gathered on the terrace for Canapes and Prosecco before a fine lunch in the convivial atmosphere of the adjoining Tithe Barn.

Thanks to those LAC members who supported the event by displaying cars, photographing events or marshalling the cars (and people). This was another event in 100 Club’s Arts, Music, Heritage and Culture programme to raise money to further the work of the Music Outreach project, “Sing Together”, run by the Cathedral. Work is to be done in the crypt of the Cathedral to make it more accessible to the community of Lancashire, create income, and enable the project to reach even more children in more Lancashire schools.

During the 10 years of the project over 150 different primary schools have taken part and 120 participate each year. Approximately 20,000 children have benefitted from the scheme which brings the joy of singing and the exhilaration of performance to many who will never experience it because of the lack of funding and aspiration for music education nationally. The project needs to be supported to continue to do its great work in schools of any, or no denomination in all areas of Lancashire.

To make a donation to the Appeal contact LAC member Peter Whitman at peterwhitman@yahoo.c

2019 Fellsman Report

I’d like to start by mentioning that after last year’s Fellsman John Hartley decided that having organized the Fellsman for 25 years it was time for him to put the maps away and hand the organization over to someone else. Thank you, John, for all the brain teasing but very enjoyable events you produced for us all.

This year’s Fellsman started and finished at The Black Bull Inn at Old Langho and covered 140 miles circular route on maps 102 & 103. In order to help the less experienced navigators they had the option to use instructions for plotting the route that were easier to use than the standard instructions issued to the more experienced entrants.

On what turned out to be a dry but not very bright day the first car departed at 9.15am on the 70 mile morning section to the lunch Halt control at the Manor Inn at Cockerham. So that the organizers could check if the cars had plotted and followed the correct route, entrants had to record the codes from the 36 code boards that had been placed at secret locations along the route, 20 on the morning section and 16 in the afternoon.

Travelling west the cars past over the Ribchester Bridge and followed the B road towards Longridge before turning right towards Knowle Green. The first 2 codes were found by all the cars but code 3 was missed by the nearly all, only three entries realized that the Spot Height they had to pass through was not on the crossroads but a short distance further to the east which took the route on a loop past Huntington Hall. Most navigators managed to plot the next few miles correctly as the route passed over Jeffrey Hill to pass Longridge golf club before turning right to pass Wheatley Farm and then north towards Hesketh Lane.

The route did a few loops in passing Barns Fold and then Horns reservoirs before passing through Inglewhite and on to join the A6 at Barton. The next section took the cars onto the little used roads in The Fylde area with the route instructions primarily based on fifteen Bridges that had to be crossed before rejoining the A6 just over a mile north of Barton. So far, the majority of navigators had managed to locate most of the code boards although nine had missed numbers 11 and 12.

The route now passed back to the east of the M6 and passed through Claughton, then to the east of Scorton before climbing up and passing to the left of Nicky Nook. At this point a nice view of Morecambe Bay could be seen to the west but drivers should have been watching the road and most navigators might still have been plotting and missed seeing it.

The final part of the route before the lunch halt went around the roads in the Hollins Lane area and only 8 cars managed to locate all 3 code boards located within about a mile of each other in that little section. All the cars that started arrived at the Manor Inn for about an hour’s Lunch break Buffet with car numbers 2, 4, 7, having done particularly well in locating 19 of the possible 20 codes followed by cars 1, 15, 18, 23 with 18 codes.

Starting the afternoon section, the route passed through Galgate before turning south west to a tricky little section in the Dolphinholme area. The crossroads in grid square 52/52 (map 102) are not quite as shown on the map and had to be used twice by using all four roads by approaching NW, departing SW, app SE, dep NE. The route then headed north again towards Quernmore and as in the morning section a Spot Height location caused some crews a problem. Only car number 4 succeeded in plotting correctly and locating all the codes on this first section of the afternoon with others either missing or finding some of the codes in the wrong order.

Before travelling east over the Trough of Bowland some cars missed the code on the gated road south through Abbeystead. After Dunsop Bridge the route did a loop south on the west of the River Hodder, over Doeford Bridge then headed north again east of the River through Whitewell. The final section that passed through Bashall caused little problems to most crews apart from the section that started just north of Stonyhurst College and finished entering Whalley.

The instruction was to pass through nine coloured road junctions before entering Whalley and all the cars failed to answer correctly a question that would prove they travelled the correct route. Crews had been told in the final instructions, and verbally at the briefing, not to use any road that was for access only. It would appear that most if not all crews ignored this instruction and, in an attempt, to get the section correct used the access only road that leaves Hurst Green to pass to the North of the Church before joining the B6243.

The correct route after leaving sh148, turn right and pass through college grounds, straight on at access only junction to the triangle at the junction with the B6243. By going the long way around the triangle, you pass through three junctions, one at each point of the triangle. Keep on the B road at the next junction and pass over the River and then keep on the B6243 at the next junction before turning right to Mitton Green and then left on to the B6246 at Great Mitton. Cars 4 and 10 recorded all 16 codes on the afternoon section followed by cars 9, 16 and 25 with 15.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned car 10 which recorded all 36 codes it’s because it was navigated by John Hartley, (Fellmans originator and brains of the event for the last 25 years) and I’m sure he won’t mind if I tell you that he had some prior knowledge of the route!

Thanks to all who marshalled, without their help the event wouldn’t take place. And finally, thanks to all of you that took part and I hope you enjoyed it enough to want to return for the 27th Fellsman when I shall try again to achieve the impossible by finding some roads that JH hasn’t previously used.

Geoff Awde

Legend Fires North West Stages 2019

The  Legend Fires North West Stages Rally returned last Friday/Saturday 22/23rd March after a years break.

The event was the first ever closed road special stages event in the north of England and was something special. With a quality entry of 120 cars, 50 stage miles and 12 stages on some fantastic roads it was a thoroughly enjoyable day of rallying.

As usual the Lancashire Automobile Club has played an important part in the safe running of the event with not only our regular marshals out on the event but also in the events organisation. The LAC team was at Staynall covering two sectors and by all accounts had a busy but never the less enjoyable day.

The event comprised of both spectator and non spectator stages around the Fylde and Lancaster. The ceremonial start was on the Friday evening in Garstang where cars were on show before taking their place on the starting ramp.

The event itself was centred on Myerscough College where the Saturday start, major servicing and finish were held. Spectator stages were at Staynall (Stalmine) and Nick Nook (Scorton). Each stage was used three times throughout the day so there was plenty of opportunities to see all the cars and possibly move to the other spectator stage.