LAC Coast to Coast July 2023
Well it had to happen eventually. After over 30 years running the event we managed to coincide with the monsoon season in Yorkshire!
It might be worth describing the Lancashire Automobile Club’s Coast to Coast. It is a Touring Assembly for Vintage, Classic and Cherished cars starting from the west coast and finishing on the east coast. Originally it ran from Blackpool to Scarborough but as we change the route every year to a lesser or greater extent we eventually exhausted the options and moved to a start from Morecambe and latterly a finish just north of Whitby. Normally we aim for around 170 miles with a planned average speed of 24mph. There is a comfort stop mid-morning and a lunch halt where entrants can purchase a pleasant meal. At the finish we have a buffet and hold a simple Concours where the President chooses their favourite car.
This year the start was at the Midland Hotel who make us most welcome. We start at 08.30 with two cars per minute from then on till the entry of 56 cars had all departed. We have to be clear of the sea wall by 09.05 as there is a ‘Park Run’ with over 100 runners coming along the sea wall shortly after.
The run winds its way to Helwith Bridge for a comfort break via Bolton le Sands, Gressingham and Clapham so plenty of roads to challenge the navigators following a ‘Tulip’ style road book.
After a 15-minute break for coffee at Helwith the cars departed towards the lunch halt at The Inn South Stainley just north of Harrogate. Again the route couldn’t exactly be called direct as it took in Halton Gill, Grassington, Summerbridge and Markington. It was as the cars came down from Halton Gill that they ran into a torrent of water with the rain bouncing a couple of feet off the road. Quite a challenge for some of the open topped cars!
The lunch halt had a partially flooded car park and even inside towels had to be deployed to stem the tide. The marshals did a sterling job despite the rain keeping the event running smoothly.
After South Stainley the route when through Boroughbridge via Wormald Green and then northeast past Byland Abbey and Wass Bank to Helmsley. From Helmsley the route followed the A170 for a short distance then went north at Wrelton into the Yorkshire Dales. We passed through Cropton Forest to arrive at our penultimate Control outside Scripps Garage in Goathland. From there it was a comparatively short hop to the coast at Sandsend and onto our finish at Dunsley Hall.
We had been worried about parking arrangements at Dunsley but, fortunately, the lawn was dry enough to permit parking of the finishers. Despite the truly awful weather encountered with heavy rain, thunder and lightning almost all the entrants made it to the finish and enjoyed a more than ample buffet.
Eileen Dyson our Club President made her selection from the assembled cars and after considerable deliberations finally chose the immaculate Volvo P1800 of Alastair and Rebecca Scott to receive the President’s Award in the Concours.
All in all a great, if somewhat damp day. All we have to do now is find a route for next year.
PS there is a great video of the day’s proceedings: