Highland 3 (or 4 or 5!) Day Classic Tour Report

The 2018 Highland Three Day Classic Tour 

By Alan & Linda Baverstock

‘I think you might quite enjoy it………….’

A casual comment at a FellMog noggin led to team Baverstock signing-up for the Lancashire Automobile Club Highland Three Day Classic Tour for September 2018. We were assured that our car, a well sorted but fairly standard 2011 Morgan +4, was suitable for the event, though a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, warning triangle and hi-vis jackets were compulsory and might be checked at scrutineering! We later observed that some of the other entrants sported full four-point safety harnesses, Halda rally computers, extra spot lights and old rally stickers. This suggested that the event was perhaps not just a gentle amble through the glorious Scottish countryside. Though not classed as a rally, having a MSA certificate of exemption, we soon realised that it would be rather different from our leisurely FellMog tours of France and Spain.

First Lesson: although it was described as a three day event, it actually covered four days – the first day, day Zero, being optional, though most entrants chose to take part.

Day One – or Day Zero depending how you looked at it – had us assembling at a rather nice hotel near Dumfries ready for a leisurely dinner and an early night in preparation for an early start the following day. However this was September 19th and Storm Ali had just passed through parts of the UK doing considerable damage. One victim was that night’s hotel which had lost its electricity supply, giving the event organisers the challenge of finding alternative beds for fifty plus people at very short notice.

To their credit this was achieved although we ended up sleeping at Cumnock, fifty-four miles away. A late evening drive and an extra early start the following morning got us back to the planned destination for the beginning of the event. A flexible attitude was obviously going to be an asset over the next four days!

This was our first experience of Road Books and Tulip Diagrams and we were grateful for some earlier informal training from a relative experienced in the world of historic car rallies.

The first day’s driving took us on a devious route through South West Scotland to Dunkeld: about 200 delightfully traffic free miles, unintentionally made even more complicated by a tree-blocked road within the first thirty minutes. The highway authorities were struggling to cope with the damage caused by storm Ali. A light lunch was provided each day but before that we had our auto tests; the first organised by Monklands Sporting Car Club MSCC at Forrestburn Sprint Circuit. This tight and hilly circuit would have been challenging at speed but regulations required a modest, say 5mph, approach, the aim being to achieve the same time on two separate runs – in our case without the use of a stop watch. We also had our first experience of a special navigation section which was an intensive route planning and driving exercise using OS 1:50,000 map sheets following often obscure clues devised by John Hartlay.

Our splendid hotel that night overlooked the River Tay and offered guests a wee dram on arrival – all very Brigadoon and our favourite hotel of the tour. At breakfast the following day we were supplied with maps and instructions for another navigation section in addition to the now familiar Day Book. Being new to this event we concentrated on our Full Scottish breakfast but did observe many other entrants paying more attention to their maps than to their food. We had much to learn! These navigation exercises were challenging in preparation – and on the road. Lots of lateral thinking, but we enjoyed the challenge and looked forward to that part of each day. Surprisingly, we only dropped one point in the three days.

The next two days followed the same pattern of Day Books and Navigation Exercises as we progressed through the Highlands, driving between two and three hundred miles each day but always arriving at our overnight stop in time for a relaxed and leisurely evening in good company. The organisers had us driving some amazingly quiet roads including the Pass of The Cattle at Applecross.  Two nights were based at Elgin before we returned to Dunkeld for the final night. Each day’s optional auto test took a different form. One in the carpark on Cairngorm in very heavy rain. Another on a circuit at the Grampian Transport museum at Alford. The museum was well worth looking round and curiously, being so far from Lincolnshire, contained the Guy Martin car and bike collection. Plus that wonderful Spitfire engine from the TV programme.

Over the four days we got to know several of the other entrants. They drove a mixed bunch of interesting cars – a good number of English sports cars including one E type, one XK140 and three Healeys. Two other Morgans took part besides us, one a 1982 4/4 hired for the event by a couple from Canada. They obviously enjoyed the experience and talked of buying a Morgan to add to their collection of English sports cars. Once Storm Ali had passed, weather for the event was, well, very Scottish and we were grateful for our easy-up hood which spent significantly more time down than up.

Dinner at Dunkeld on the last night was more formal than on the other nights: an excellent meal, a few speeches and some presentations, to a background of photographs of the last few days. Comments were heard as to how often those photogenic Morgans, appeared on the screen!

Only at that point did we realise that although the event was, as the Clerk of the Course emphasised, ‘not a competition’ there was a results sheet and some trophies for the Gymkhana! The ‘winner’ drove a MGCGT and the close runner up a highly desirable 1977 Alfa Romeo GTV. And somehow, we still don’t quite know how, we managed to come sixth out of the 25 cars that finished the event.

Did we ‘quite enjoy’ the event as was originally said?

Understatement – we enjoyed it greatly –it was tremendous fun and if we are accepted for 2019 we’d sign up without hesitation.

 

Alan & Linda Baverstock

26th Coast to Coast Run – 2018 Report

26th Coast to Coast Classic Car Run

On Saturday 14th July 70 vintage, classic and cherished cars lined up by the Midland Hotel in Morecambe for the Lancashire Automobile Club’s 26th running of their successful Coast to Coast Classic Car Run.

The route of some 155 miles meandered it’s way from Coast to Coast treating the entrants of some fine veiws of the Lake District on its way north to a coffee halt at the Shap Wells Hotel. The route then turned east taking in the top end of Swaledae before going ‘over the top’ to Askrig and on past Castle Bolton and through Leyburn to a lunch halt at the Friars Head, Akebar Park.

From the lunch halt the event again ran east into the North Yorkshire Moors to a control at Scripps Garage in Goathland (Aidensfield for viewers of Heartbeat!). Then north for a short leg to Sandsend to complete the Coast to Coast bit. A short trip inland saw the event finish at Dunsley Hall where the Mayor of Scarborough was on hand to judge the Concours element of the event. Here the entrants enjoyed a fine buffet and many filled the hotel overnight.

Entries ranged from a 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II and a 1937 Chevrolet Coupe, both of which took the twists and turns of some tight moorland roads in their stride, through E Type Jaguars, Austin Healey 3000s, Morris Minors and a brace of Stags to more modern machinery including a 2007 Aston Martin Vanquish.

Navigation was in the form of a detailed road book with tulip diagrams, written directions and information about the places the event passed through. The idea is for the journey to be both challenging and fun without entrants getting lost!

As always the organisers, led by CoC Martin Wylie, had fun overcoming the small issues that affect all events of this type. Ranging from locked gates at the entrance to the start area at Morecambe (the area having been recently resurfaced) a closed bridge at Burneside and miles and miles of recently tar sprayed and chipped roads in Yorkshire. As well as slowing down the cars this created problems as road markings had been erased requiring arrows at affected junctions.

Shortly after the lunch halt one of the Jaguar Mk 2 saloons experienced a small under bonnet fire quickly extinguished by a following entrant. Apparently the car had recently had work done on it’s carburettors which may have resulted in the leak but the real point is that carrying a fire extinguisher can be a very good idea!

Finally with most of the entry at the finish (some stopped for ice creams on what was one of the hottest days of the year) the awards were presented for the Concours element of the event with the fine Daimler SP250 of John and Lynne Atkinson taking the Mayor’s Award, Andrew and Sue Ogden in their Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 received the President’s Award and a special award for the Spirit of the Event went to Steve Smith for acting as a fire fighter to provide assistance to the stricken Jaguar.

As always the Club would like to record it’s thanks to all the marshals and officials as well as the sponsors, Blue Butts and Bowker BMW and Mini for all their support in running the event.

Here’s to 2019.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

56th Manchester to Blackpool Report

Setting off from Worsley Old Hall in Manchester and winding it’s way along a route of more than 100 miles through the beautiful North West countryside, passing through Wrea Green and Lytham along the Blackpool seafront finally finishing in the Italian Gardens , Stanley Park the 56th Manchester to Blackpool proved a most enjoyable event.

The entrants were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool Councillors Gary and Debbie Coleman and presented with a finishers award and a specially commissioned stick of traditional Blackpool Rock.
The oldest car that took part was a 1904 Renault which completed the Fulwood to Blackpool part of the route.

Clerk of the Course and Club President Martin Wylie said “ all the entrants had a fantastic day and for those who hadn’t taken part before they were wowed by the final approach along the tree lined route into Stanley Park and display parking area around the ornate fountain.”

“We had an excellent selection of cars in this year’s run which spanned over nine decades of motoring . We have seen an increase in interest in the more modern classics, probably spurred on by the broadcast of the many Classic Car restoration programmes being shown on television at the moment and the relative affordability of entry level classic cars enthusiasts can now restore, drive and enjoy.”

Entrants were treated to a traditional afternoon tea in the Park’s Art Deco cafe followed by the awards presentation during which the Mayor presented the prestigious Blackpool trophy to Brian and Matthew Holt from Manchester the proud owners of an immaculate bright yellow 1956 Chevrolet Belair.

The Manchester to Blackpool Car Run is organised by the Lancashire Automobile Club which was established in 1902 and is one of the oldest motoring clubs in the UK. The Club wishes to thank all those who made the event possible. including their sponsors Bowker BMW and Blue Butts, plus the support received from Visit Blackpool and Blackpool Council’s Parks Service .

Concours de Elegance Awards 2018

Group 1. (up to 1919) Car No. 1 – 1904 Renault T

Group 2 . (1919 to 31st December 1945) Car No.61 – Morris 8E

Group 3. (January 1947 to 31st December 1984) Car No 31 – 1971 Jaguar E Type

Group 4. (Post 1st January 1985) Car No. 42 – 1987 Mercedes 300SL

Overall Concours Award (Ken Hadley Trophy) Car No 12 – 1951 Daimler Special Sports

Judges Choice Car No 2 – 1924 AC Royal

Blackpool Corporation Trophy – 1956 Chevrolet Belair

St Georges Day Run – Demdyke Rally Report April 22nd

 

As part of the FBHVC national Drive it Day the Lancashire Automobile Club organises a run on the nearest Sunday to St Georges Day. Every year we lay out a new route and as we are based around the Northwest we thought we would resurect the ethos of out Demdyke Rally, In fact one of the first events I marshaled at was Lancashire Automobile Club’s Demdyke Rally way back in the 60’s. That event may be long gone but given the opportunity it is always great to rekindle the spirit. This year we decided to follow in the tracks of the Pendle witches (otherwise know as Demdykes) quite literally.
So a lot of research was undertaken to get together the story behind the events surrounding the Witches. Based on this research a route was put together starting from Blackburn Northern Sports in Blackburn and visiting many of the places associated with the witches. For example passing
Read Hall where the Magistrate interviewed Mother Demdyke and Roughlee home of Alice Nutter and of course the route they walked to Lancaster over the Trough of Bowland for their trial at Lancaster Castle.
Now the route and the story came together with a Route Book which not only gave simple ‘tulip’ directions but also told the story of the Demdy  kes. On
the day we had over 70 entries and all we needed was good weather. Sadly this was not the case for the early part of the run – we were truly experiencing ‘Mist over Pendle’!
We had arranged with Lancaster Castle to use their grounds as a control and to give a classic car show. We had parking for about 30 cars but an entry of over 70. To manage this trick we held the cars until the parking area was full then started releasing cars as more arrived making a sort of moving car show which proved very popular with the waiting public. The Castle is well worth  visit by the way and is where the witches were held awaiting trial. Most were found guilty and our final bit of the story took us through Lancaster to Williamson Park – formerly known as Hangmans Hill for a short comfort break.
To get back to Blackburn we chose to follow in the steps, or rather wheel tracks of our fore
bears by using many of the roads followed by pioneering Lancashire Automobile Club members in an early run to Lancaster in 1903.
 Back at Blackburn Northern Spots the entrants shared a buffet and stories of the day. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable event.
 By the way it is very nice of Kate and Prince William to pay tribute to the LAC by naming their some Louis Arthur Charles!

 

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.

2014 Fellsman Classic Tour

Held in glorious summer like weather, thirty crews lined up for this tough navigational event, yet again the start was from the ever popular Mitton Hall, with bacon butties and strong coffee before the start to get the brains in gear. Following the tried and tested formula, the route books were handed to the participants ten minutes before their allocated start time, with the first car away at 9.31am in a determined effort to defeat John Hartley’s cunning route.

However, by the end of the day it transpired that only two crews managed to complete the run cleanly, with 19 via boards in the morning and 21 in the afternoon, and in time for both sessions, and they were Geoffrey Neumark and William Shaw in a Jaguar E Type and John Lythaby and Shon Gosling in a Toyota Celica, congratulations to you, so for the rest of you it’s back to the drawing board and roll on next year!!

The route was very scenic, for those who had time to look, and basically, after leaving Mitton Hall proceeded via Hurst Green, Goosnargh, and a series of twisting lanes towards Lancaster and Kendal,via the Kent estuary, for the lunch halt at Heaves Hall near Levens. The afternoon took the entrants up to Killington Lake, and then down through the Dales passing through Dent, Ingleton, Clapham, Bentham, Newton and Cowark, finally making it’s way back to Mitton Hall, for the usual de-briefing and inquest into ‘Where we went Wrong’

Many marshalls were out on the day, and a grateful thanks to them, without whom events such as this could not run.

Click here to see how everyone did.