The LAC Kendal 100 – An entrants view.

For the first time in almost 50 years I actually entered a Lancashire Automobile Club road event. Yes after organising for all this time I finaly took a back seat on the day and entered.
My navigator for the day was Glyn Hughes, who is one of our regular marshals on these events so really we were both novices. Yes I know I devised the route (the outward leg being suggested by Nigel Bentley who had researched the original event which was held 120years ago) and prepared the Route and Information Books but neither Glyn or I had actually driven the route.
It was great to turn up with the other entrants taking time to admire their cars and generally chat. I normally drive the Course Car on these events which means get their early, do a lot of work and set off 20 minutes before car 1. no chance to relax or socialise. There were some fantastic cars on the event and the Mini took its place in the paddock fuelled up and ready to go.
We had already received the Route Book and maps so Glyn was clued up on the route so we joined the waiting cars for the start line. Being flagged off by the newly appointed Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire felt very special and we were off. Anthony Taylor had asked if he could ‘follow’ us in the Aristocat as his navigator was, as yet, not confident but in getting into the start line up we got separated and we weren’t sure if he was ahead or behind. We took it slow through Whalley to give him time to catch up but no Aristocat loomed into view so we speeded up assuming he was in front.
The scenery was great and the weather even better with some fine roads taking us along the route trodden by our forebears 120 years ago. Still no sign of Anthony though. Unlike the Course Car (which have to maintain the events average speed to sign on the marshals and help set up controls) we could travel at our own pace and stop to take in views or even wait for missing cars. After some time Anthony hove into view and we continued towards Kendal to pass the refreshment halt on the original run.
When those early members of the North East Lancashire Automobile Club did the original run they simply retraces their steps back to Whalley to complete the 100 mile reliability trial. But current day regulations effectively prevent this as we can’t reuse the same road within six weeks so our route back used roads from other runs staged in the early 1900’s.
So we went south to our refreshment stop on the M6 services at Burton in Kendal who looked after us very well. After a coffee and comfort break we headed for Caton and on to the Trough of Bowland with Anthony in the Aristocat permanently in our mirrors – not going to lose him this time!
The Trough was, as always, entertaining and was followed by scaling Jeffry Hill where we passed one of our entrants dealing with ‘issues’ due to the Climb. Then down through Ribchester and back to the Mytton Fold.
It was great to meet up with other entrants in a relaxed atmosphere and to chat about the day’s event and how we had got on. Then pie, peas and chips to round off the event. Mytton Fold made a great venue but I don’t think the food was up to muster.
Then back out to set off home following a great day. Uh-ho droplets of rain, so I went back into Mytton Fold and announced to all present they had better get their sunroofs closed and roofs up.
By the time I got to the Mini it was gaining in intensity and half a mile down the road it was a monsoon with the road flooded from kerb to kerb. Thank goodness that didn’t happen during the run. As always the Mini took it in its stride and we passed several modern cars which had ‘failed to proceed’ and were stuck after hitting deeper water.
I’ve really got to say two thanks. Firstly, to Steve Woods and Adrian Dean and Carolyn Taylor for all their work putting on the event and secondly to Alan Wilson of Whiting & Wilson, Silversmiths, for the fabulous replica medals of the first Kendal 100, I know they were very well received.