By Mike Peake.
When I write these blogs, I have always tried to picture the readers and their reactions. Recently this became a bit traumatic when Windy Woodward told me he read them sat on the toilet which lead to a short bout of writers block.
This time though, I hear that Phil Allin has finally got himself some reading glasses so I am picturing him sat in his comfy chair, with his slippered feet up on the pouffe, snuggled in his beige cardigan, a tartan blanket over his knees and wearing his new reading glasses with a string round his neck. A bowl of Werthers original within easy reach.
Are you sitting comfortably Grandpa Phil? I SAID, “ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY GRANDPA PHIL?” Then I shall begin
As you may have already read, our recent tour of the Cotswolds and North Wiltshire took us through my home town of Royal Wootton Bassett.
As we were so close, I thought I would show the gang the unfinished results of all my hard work on Poppy. So we all piled into my street and parked up. Everyone gathered round the entrance to my tent ready for the grand reveal. I opened the zip, pulled back the doors and waited for the reaction.
It appears that everyone has learned the lesson that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. The silence was deafening, eventually broken by Gar saying “it’s a great tent isn’t it? Really sturdy.” I’m pretty sure I could hear them all thinking the same thing. “Yep! That’s what happens when a bumbling incompetent fool sprays a car!”
I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed by the reaction, but after a good look over the car, Paint Guru Tosh took me to one side and ignoring my trembling bottom lip, said “Its ok. Its saveable that is”, before offering lots of practical advice on how to do so and telling me where I’d gone wrong in such a kindly way that I didn’t blub like a baby.
So, yet again, my report card read “could do better” and I had a lot more work to do than just spray the boot lid red, finish flatting back the car, flat back the boot lid, compound polish and wax the whole car, put the light lenses and front grill through the dishwasher, wash and polish all the chrome trim on the polishing wheels and then put it all back onto Poppy. I had a lot more work to do before I could even begin that.
I have to admit, I was starting to consider the benefits of vinyl wrap. However, I soon put this blasphemy out of my mind and cracked on. Well I tried, but the week’s holiday I had after the tour was a failure because I’d developed a problem with my good knee and was in too much pain to work on the car. After several visits to the doctors and hospital, I received a diagnosis. Apparently, I’m old and fat. Who knew? Emily Fleur took pity on her old Dad and flatted back those difficult-to-reach lower parts of the car.
Anyway, I did manage to rub down some of the areas with the worst sanding marks. The ones on the bonnet stood out like the proverbial in a punch bowl now they were red. Then Anita masked the car up again and I was ready to re-spray the rubbed down areas with even more high build primer. The trouble was, we forgot to tell the weather that it was JUNE for the gods’ sake! Three weeks of torrential rain and temperatures constantly below 14°C prevented me getting my spray gun out.
Saturday 22nd June. It wasn’t raining. It was 18˚C. Amazingly, weather I could spray in. So the bonnet and the 2 other patches were quickly covered in 2 coats of high build primer and left to dry overnight. Sunday had me flatting the primer back and in true bumbling incompetent style, I also had to flat back the over-spray on the wings and doors which I had deemed too far away to need masking. I was wrong. Then the weather closed in again.
Poppy missed another group tour to the northern Peak District. I missed her terribly especially as the EVIL ONE took an instant dislike to me and tried to kill Tosh and I repeatedly.
The weekend after the Peaks tour I managed to get a coat of red on the whole car. Looking back on my earlier coats of red, I realised that I had used much too high a pressure and most of my paint was lost to the environment and what was on the car, Tosh had told me had gone on too dry. I think I over compensated. So instead of getting 2 or 3 coats on, I had to wait for the 1 coat to dry so I could rub back all the runs and a dead spider.
A week later I managed to get another 2 coats on the whole car without too many bad runs except on the bonnet! Some really bad ones here and as it’s the bonnet I couldn’t leave them. It looked awful. Can you tell I’m getting a bit fed up with it now?
So, the bonnet was flatted back yet again down to primer in some places. As the bonnet has given me problems with runs at every stage but the sides of the car haven’t been too bad, I decided that the next coats will be sprayed with the bonnet open.
The weather intervened yet again but not how you would expect. It was actually too HOT! Yes too hot. Met Office had forecast 30˚C plus and for once they were right. 23rd to 26th July it was 39˚C in my tent when I got home from work. Not at all pleasant for a Fatbloke to work in.
Also, I’m guessing it would mean that the paint would be dry before it hit the car, or flash off too quickly when it hit the hot metal. Well, that’s the excuse I used to sit in the garden with a G&T instead and panic at how quickly the date for the Gloucester Steam Fair was coming around. Poppy has missed out on 3 great tours this year and I really don’t want her missing out on that too. What has really got me fed up though, is that Tosh Brooks has just turned Apollo - a P5 motor home - round and got the Rover bit fully painted in about a week! I’ve been at this since April!! Blooming show off. I’ve gone right off him.
The weekend before the steam fair arrived and I was determined to get it all done. So bright and early I was out with my spray gun and having another go at the bonnet. As I said earlier, I tried spaying the bonnet with it open to avoid the runs I’d had on earlier attempts. It didn’t work, I got the biggest horiblest run ever in the history of car paint runs and really horrendous orange peel. I wasn’t best pleased as it was worse than my last attempt that I’d just rubbed back!
While I was waiting for the bonnet to fully dry, I decided that I would start the flatting process at the back of the car. To be honest, I was really fed up with the whole thing and the thought of flatting back the whole car again wasn’t filling me with a feeling of joy or enthusiasm. Therefore, I decided to do baby steps and do the complete flatting, compounding, polish and wax process on one panel at a time. This way, I would start to have finished panels and this may boost my enthusiasm.
Shiny, but not Shiny Paul Shiny.
This method was working, somewhat, right up until the moment I decided to move the car to make room to spray the boot lid. At this point it became apparent that I had a flat battery. So, my new, super-duper 4000amp jump leads were employed. At this point it became apparent that my fuel pump had packed up again and all the fluid had vanished from my clutch. I blubbed and called it a day. Over a pint of G&T and through teary eyes, I withdrew Poppy from the Gloucester Steam Extravaganza line up.
Sunday morning; I was out in my tent to see if I could rectify the mess I’d made of the bonnet… again. I’d been out to buy a couple of nib files and attacked the run. It actually worked quite well and by the time I’d finished with the files and flatted back with wet 1200, the surface actually felt really smooth. You could still see the difference in the paint though. However, I pressed on with trying to flat the orange peel out of the rest of the bonnet with wet 1200 grit and machine compounding. It didn’t work! Even after hours of effort, it still looked pants. So I gave up. The bonnet is the largest panel on the car and the focal point for anyone looking at it. It had to be right. I decided to flat back with 800 grit and give it another couple of coats. (YES AGAIN! No! I don’t know which attempt this is. I’ve lost count. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!) I needed to buy yet more paint first though.
I was getting close to giving it all up and was desperate for some cheer-me-up work. So, I decided to start putting the back of the car together.
I started by polishing my over riders on the special polishing wheel I’d invented.
I wasn’t hopeful as most of the chrome was a dull grey but I gave it a go anyway. I was right not to have high hopes as I ended up with clean dull grey rear over riders. I really need new ones but at nearly £200 for the pair, I’ll put up with these ones for now and change them at a later date. It’s only 2 bolts on each. Oh and the removal of the fuel tank to get to them.
Next job was to fit my brand new rear rubber bumpers. I wasn’t looking forward to this bit as all the stories on the internet suggested it was a real horror involving boiling water and KY Jelly. For once though, this wasn’t the case. They went on quite easily with only minor blood loss once smeared liberally in the KY Jelly. In fact, the worst part of the job was the embarrassment of asking for KY Jelly in the chemist. Not for me of course. There was no way I was subjecting myself to that level embarrassment. I made Anita get it for me. After that it was just a matter of bolting on the over riders and fitting and wiring in the rear light clusters. It all went very well until I couldn’t find 2 of the 4 screws that hold the light clusters on. I ordered 4 shiny new ones from Canley Classics.
The back end is starting to come together and I’m almost pleased with it. Well, almost pleased enough to enthuse me to carry on anyway.
To be continued…
By Mike Peake
Lunch in the Fleece was excellent, and a chance to ooh and ahh over the fantastic roads and incredible scenery that Phil had found for us. Tosh also decided that enough was enough and was going to take the Sunbeam back to the campsite by the most direct and least hilly route possible and would hopefully see us there. The brotherhood bond Tosh and I had formed in the face of death that morning was only so strong, so I wished him luck and jumped into Brian’s Triumph. As Tosh turned left out of the pub, Phil was heard to mutter “but we’re taking the most direct route back and the whole area is very hilly. It’s the Peak district.” “and why is he turning left?”
The rest of us mounted up for our next stage and the long climb up to Holme Moss for an ice cream. This leg was surprisingly uneventful in terms of drama and trauma but the scenery was beautiful and the road fantastic. Brian was keeping me entertained with tales of his youth spent in this area. Tales like “Eeeee, when I were t’ lad, all this was completely flat. God hadn’t got around to making it yet.” And “I survived the Great Flood by climbing up Holme Moss and sitting it out. It was actually here where Noah came ashore and I was able to meet him off the boat. His wife was something I can tell you!”
As we all pulled into the busy Holme Moss car park, the views took our breath away. What an incredible place. It didn’t stop us mobbing the ice cream van though as everyone knows, the view is always better when you’re licking a 99.
As I’ve said, the views were stunning. However Shiny Paul Shiny was most perturbed. Firstly, the “viewing frame” left there for tourists to take pictures through wasn’t shiny enough so he spent an hour polishing it. Then he realised that a young family, with their picnic all laid out on a blanket would be in his picture if he took it through the now shiny frame. Now most people would have tried to angle the camera to try not to get them in or just taken the photo with them in it. It’s not as if they were ugly or anything. But no. This wasn’t good enough for Shiny Paul Shiny. Apparently, they weren’t shiny enough. Bold as brass, he went over and asked them to move. Amazingly, instead of telling him where to go before inserting the “frame” where it would cause maximum discomfort, they actually apologised and moved! Shiny Paul Shiny got his photo.
Not long after this, we were all rather surprised to see a rather dishevelled, frazzled, harassed, and frustrated Tosh pulling into the car park muttering “Apparently, this is the most direct route back and the whole area is very hilly. It’s the Peak District.” He then got out, slammed the door and went full “Basil Fawlty” on the Sunbeam.
After we calmed him down with a 99 he decided that he would abandon the Sunbeam where it was and recover later with the trailer. The Sunbeam and Tosh had clearly fallen out. Eric on the other hand wouldn’t hear of abandoning the car in such an unsecured manner and insisted on staying there and acting as body guard.
The next leg was the home stretch. I was in my favourite non-Herald Triumph with Brian, Young Paul Cheetham was with Kurt in the only functioning Brooks car left, the Rover P6. Tosh, not content to have escaped the evil clutches of the Sunbeam unscathed, decided to take his life in his hands again by getting into the Metro with Lincoln.
It became apparent that Phil was now of the mind-set that he had put a lot of work, time and effort into the tour notes and he was going to make us read the bloody things if it killed him. So he set off at warp speed in Big Rov. Not to be out-done and determined NOT to read the tour notes, most of the tourists tried to keep up. Nick and Jo obviously had no trouble holding pace in the 7.2l Jensen and were vastly entertained by the antics of Lincoln’s Metro with two great big fatblokes in it as it bounced all over the road and did it’s very best to remain mostly airborne. Bit of a hooligan is our Lincoln.
Brian and I had a more relaxed drive back enjoying the views and the car while Brian continued to regale me with tales of his youth back at the dawn of time.
We arrived back at the campsite after an eventful, and now I am not staring death in the face, I’d even go so far as to say enjoyable day.
We were greeted by a very smug and proud looking Graham who was telling everyone who stood still for more than a nano second that it was “years and years since I’ve towed anything with a rope and look, we made it back here all safe and sound!” he didn’t stop smiling. The smoke and occasional flame still rising from Henry’s brakes and a trembling Gus sat curled up and gibbering in the corner of the Coleman shelter, provided all the proof needed that it had indeed, been “Years and years” since Graham had towed anything with a rope.
There was no time for me to rest or take the micky out of Gus for having to suffer the indignity of being towed back to the campsite. No. Apparently it was far too time-consuming for Tosh to pack up the camper to take the trailer, and my Honda was the only other tow bar equipped modern there. The trailer was hooked up and Gus and I were despatched back to Holme Moss to recover “THE EVIL ONE”. Tosh shouted “you don’t need me do you?” as he sat down, opened one of Nick’s beers and waved us off.
We were soon done though. 30 minutes to drive there, 20 to load up “THE EVIL ONE” and another 30 minute drive back to the campsite with Eric, “THE EVIL ONE’s” bodyguard, trying to keep up.
Meanwhile, back at the campsite, in an effort to give credence to his excuse that “overheating” was causing him to drive his Jensen like he stole it, Nick had the bonnet up and was moving his hands around pretending to “fix it”.
He “claims” that he traced the source of his “overheating” to one of the fans not operating. He went on to “claim” that he traced the source of the non-functioning fan to a dodgy connection which he “fixed” by tightening up the crimps. His most ludicrous claim of all though was that he did this all by himself with no one helping at all.
As no one has ever seen Nick with anything other than beer in his hand and certainly never “tools” I really don’t think this tale has any credibility at all and Nick just likes driving like a hooligan. There aren’t even any photos of him pretending to do this! So, next time Nick, photos or it didn’t happen.
Not long after Gus, Eric and I returned with “THE EVIL ONE”, Gar Cole arrived in his rather splendid Mk1 Mondeo. After spending time oohing and aaahhing over the new addition to Gar’s fleet, it became apparent that, to our utter dismay, Old Mother Cole’s restaurant wasn’t going to open. What were us starving waifs to do to stop us fading away with hunger? Well, we went to the pub just 200 yards away.
Having enjoyed one of the driest warmest sunniest days for forever, not 30 minutes after Gar arrived, guess what? Yes, it started to rain!! Proof positive that Gar is THE RAIN MAN!!
A pleasant evening of chat, good food, ale and laughter ensued before we headed back to the campsite to continue the party. However, all the near-death experiences of the day had taken it out of me and I headed for an early night at about 11pm. Phil also announced the intention of an early night but managed to get a bit delayed. Thus proving that Phil is the bad influence and not me.
Sunday morning and I was up early (Phil wasn’t) for bacon and to put my tent away. We said goodbye to several tourists but Phil had planned a trip to the Kelham Island Museum which is home to the River Don Steam engine, one of the most powerful steam engines ever made. Those of us remaining set off for Sheffield. I was riding shotgun in John Dickson’s rather lovely Austin A55 Cambridge and Shiny Paul was in Henry. Gus had got him running again overnight.
All was fine and uneventful until we reached the busiest roundabout in the centre of Sheffield when Henry choose that very moment to break down yet again. Shiny Paul and I pushed Henry off the roundabout and into the side street. The trouble was, Henry is so light that we ended up pushing him at bit of a run, which as you can imagine was quite distressing for me and several bystanders.
SEM was still a no-show and Gus failed miserably in his attempts to revive Henry. Phil was keen to get to the museum so as not to miss the steam engine running and said “We’re only 100 yards or so from the museum, lets push Henry there” before quickly jumping into Big Rov and rushing away. This left Just Shiny Paul and I to push Henry.
Shiny Paul soon had the car to the speed of a fast Jog. I did a bit of a “Dad Run” to show willing but decided that Shiny Paul had it handled so jumped into the Mondeo’s passenger seat. I have to say, I’m quite glad I did as Phil’s “100 yards or so” turned out to be at least ¾ of a mile and Shiny Paul looked a little more shiny with sweat and was blowing quite heavily at the end. We’d all made it though and went for a potter about in the museum.
Kelham Island Museum is a fantastic place and absolutely worth the visit. I won’t go into details as the blog is already quite long enough and if Windy Woodward still reads these on the toilet, he’ll be giving himself piles by now. All the details can be found here on the Museum’s website. As I say, well worth the visit. I will leave you with some photos and a short video of the River Don engine running.
A word of caution. If Shiny Paul Shiny had brought his shiny MGB GT, he would have died in shock. All the cars were covered in a measles rash of tiny oil droplets from the running engine. Worth it though
Gus finally got Henry running again, sort of, and we said our goodbyes and all headed our own way home.
So it just remains to thank Phil and Loraine Allin for all their hard work in putting such a great weekend together and to thank my fellow tourists for the laughs, fun, entertainment, friendship and blog material!! Above all though, thanks to Tosh Brooks for keeping “THE EVIL ONE” mostly under control and keeping me not dead.
If you want to follow in our footsteps, Phil’s beautifully created tour notes can be read or downloaded below.
Thanks for reading and see you at the next one.
By Mike Peake.
Now that you know everybody, it is time to regale you with tales of our day.
I’d blagged a seat in Tosh’s beautiful and innocent looking Sunbeam Talbot, the perfect car for a hot sunny day’s touring. Or so we thought. Young Paul Cheetham was in Henry and Shiny Paul Shiny was in Richie’s Mk2 Escort. Already a very shiny and lovely car, but Shiny Paul was up all night making it even shinier before he agreed to be seen in it.
Graham had positioned himself perfectly to video us all leaving the campsite. Unfortunately, we can’t show you the video. Let’s just say that Graham’s grasp of technology isn’t up to scratch. However, I’ll let him tell you in his own words why you are not watching a lovely video of all the lovely classic cars leaving the lovely campsite.
See what I mean about his grasp of tech? Let’s give him a break though. After all, his Rover had tried to run him over again this morning.
Apart from Graham’s “technical hitch” the tour actually started out surprisingly well. Clearly, everyone had read at least the 1st line of the tour notes and just for a change, we all managed to actually turn right out of the campsite to drive down a lovely if extremely narrow lane. The Bentley and the Jensen only just fitted but it gave us all a chance to chat to the dog walkers and cyclists we passed trying to go the other way.
As I said, it was all going perfectly and continued to do so right up to the second junction we came to. This junction turned out to be a bit of a tricky Johnnie. You see, we had to turn left onto the main road and then immediately right into another country lane. 3 or 4 of us made the turn but then it all went wrong. Mick and Gill missed the immediate right turn even though Eric was sat at the junction waiting for them. The rest of the convoy blindly followed Mick’s Victor the wrong way.
I put forward the theory that far from doing his taxi duties as claimed, Gar - in an effort to distract from his embarrassing shenanigans on the last tour - was in fact in the area and trying to sabotage us by turning signs around and disguising junctions with Wile-E-Coyote painted scenery cloths. However, as it wasn’t raining, my theory was quickly dismissed and try as I might, I couldn’t blame Gar for this one.
Blocking the country lane completely, the small remaining convoy waited while Phil frantically tried contacting the others by phone, text, messenger, video chat, carrier pigeon and smoke signals. He successfully managed to get in touch with all except Mick and Gill and our red-faced fellow tourists corrected their course and one by one caught us up. As Mick and Gill were maintaining radio silence, we all decided to press on.
Tosh and I had been loving our drive in the Sunbeam so far. With its low sides and open top, the feeling of freedom, the wind in our hair and the panoramic views was just perfection. However, during this leg, the Sunbeam’s mood changed significantly and she started trying to kill us. It wasn’t just Graham's Rover with murderous intent now.
The Sunbeam has rod-operated brakes and for some reason they decided to apply the brakes on the right side much sooner than the left, resulting in a severe and dramatic lurch toward the middle of the road every time Tosh applied them. This was somewhat disconcerting to both of us and to Nick and Jo who were following. The extreme hills in the Peak District did nothing to alleviate our peril either. However, we made it to the 1st official stop at Stanage Edge Long Causeway car park, where sausage plait and veggy plait - especially for Lorraine who doesn’t like sausage - was served.
Phil finally got a hold of Mick and Gill who were still MIA. They had managed to find their way to our next official stop at Langsett Reservoir car park and would wait for us there. Chats had, photos taken, view and snacks enjoyed, it was time to set off again for the next leg. Tosh and I gingerly seated ourselves back in the Sunbeam and after a quick prayer to the automotive gods, we set off.
Not only was the Sunbeam growing ever more determined to kill us, its plucky little 1150cc engine was starting to struggle to haul herself, a fatbloke and an even fatter bloke up some of the steeper uphill sections and understandably Tosh was taking the downhill sections quite slowly too. This caused Nick and Jo in their 7.2 litre Jensen to get a bit bored and as soon as they could, they blazed past us leaving us choking in the cloud of unburned hydrocarbons and road dust. Nick later tried to claim that this rudeness was due to the Jensen overheating at such slow speeds.
It was shortly after Nick’s irresponsible overtake that the Sunbeam pulled out all the stops in her efforts to end our lives. After a loud clunk, Tosh’s foot went to the floor as we were approaching a tight left hand bend on a downhill section. I have no idea how Tosh managed to get us round that bend as I had my eyes tightly shut and was screaming like a girl. The trouble was, so did Tosh. We made it though and proceeded even more cautiously using engine braking and what was left of the brakes. The good news though, we weren’t veering sharply into the middle of the road anymore. Our slow pace meant we got a bit left behind. I politely declined Tosh’s kind offer to drive the Sunbeam as he seemed to be having so much fun and concentrated on reading the excellent tour notes to ensure we got to our next official stop where we vowed to make Super Enthusiast Man (Gus) sort things out!
After we lead our short 3-car convoy into the Langsett Reservoir car park and had our various fingers prised off the steering wheel and the passenger’s “OMG I’M GOING TO DIE” handle, we discovered to our dismay, that Super Enthusiast Man wasn’t there.
Henry was having some serious ignition woes and had broken down en route. The trouble was SEM wasn’t there either, so Gus was having to try and sort it out himself. (My money is on both the condenser in the distributor and the spare being duff but bearing in mind I’m a bumbling incompetent fool and Gus isn’t, I wasn’t brave enough to tell him my opinion.) After a considerable amount of fettling, it was apparent that Henry wasn’t going to return to road under his own steam, It was decided that Graham would tow Gus back to the campsite on a rope.
Next was a short hop to the Fleece pub where Phil had booked lunch for us all, and let them know we were running a bit late. Minus our casualties and after Tosh and I had stopped trembling, we set off. Tosh had recommended that I get a safer ride in another car, but when two chaps face death together that many times, a bond forms and I couldn’t let my brother face the danger alone. That and it was only a short trip, so I climbed in and resumed my fierce grip on the handle.
The trip was almost uneventful. Uneventful that is until the clutch went too and we could no longer engage low gears quickly enough for engine braking. Only the gods know how we made it to the pub with our lives and the Sunbeam’s paintwork intact, but we did. In fact, we were even in time to partake in a couple of stiff medicinals to calm our nerves before a jolly nice lunch was served.
To be continued…
By Mike Peake
Even though the weather and dodgy knees meant that Poppy was still out of action, our return to the Peak district was very much looked forward to. Phil Allin had done such a great job for our visit here last year and made such a fuss that he had barely touched the surface of the great roads available, that we made him do it again.
Whilst obviously disappointed in not taking Poppy, I have to say I didn’t miss the game of Tetris that is always required when packing all the camping gear into her diminutive frame. The CR-V swallowed it all with ease and space to spare. However, 5 hours in the office had to be endured before I could escape north.
1PM finally arrived. Gladys the satnav was now telling me it would be a 4 hour trip along the A429, A46, M69 and M1 instead of the 3 hour trip on the M5, M42, M1 it was telling me we would take earlier in the week. Apparently Friday traffic meant this route would take 5 hours. I didn’t care though. I was in the mile-munching air-conditioned comfort of my CR-V with the absolute certainty of arriving on site with absolutely nothing blog-worthy to report. Which I did at 17.05. Exactly when Gladys said I would. Oh the dull predictability of modern motoring eh? Wonderful isn’t it?
Many of the crew were already there. The Coleman shelter already erected and full of crew members and Gus and Tosh were fiddling with the brakes and engine on the Talbot. Apparently, it needed new spark plugs as the engine was running roughly so Tosh was dispatched to find them. A forlorn hope we all thought. However, just down the road was one of those blasts from the past petrol stations that was also a proper old school garage with none of this self-serve nonsense. So Tosh showed him the duff spark plug. After quite a while rummaging in shelves of old boxes, a pleased shout was heard and the proprietor returned with a set of matching plugs. Not only that but when price was discussed, the chap in greasy overalls replied, “Well, when I put them in the box, they probably cost me a quid each so how does that sound?” Well of course, this was music to a Yorkshire man’s ears and the deal was done and the Talbot’s engine was running smoothly… and innocently…
Such good service deserves a shout out so if your in the area, this chap is brilliant.
I wasted no time at all in pitching my traveling gentlemen’s abode that was to be my home for the weekend. Yes, it is still the same tent I’d used in Snowdon as the people that weren’t in Boston or Somerset needed assuring. Although I did need to borrow some pegs from the Allins after I’d bent all mine on the stony Somerset soil the last time I’d used it. I could have taken the caravan as I was in the CRV, however, I still hadn’t sorted out the road electrics after the Cotswold tour.
My "friends" put my tent up for me in Snowdon as I was arriving late (picture on the left). How it should look in the Peaks when I put it up. So, never let "Mates" put your tent up!
Home for the weekend was now sorted so I cadged a cold one from Phil (thanks Phil) and joined everyone gathered around the BBQ. An evening of serious cake and alcohol consumption ensued along with much jollity and laughter and getting to know some new faces.
Oh the Yoof of today!
Nooooooooooo,,, Please don't do the Full Monty! Please!
It was all going so well until Phil bought out a bottle of Red Stag which was surprisingly nice and went down far too easily. Our uncouth Yorkshiremen caused utter outrage by mixing it with coke, but what can you say apart from “Tha’s from t’Yorkshire tha knows”?
It all got a bit blurry after this but I’m pretty sure we were all returned to the comfort or otherwise of our beds by about 2 AM.
Next morning, everyone was up and about and all bright and breezy without a hint of a hangover on anyone. Well, after a truckload of bacon was consumed there wasn’t a hint of a hangover on anyone.
Phil handed out the rather fine tour notes and even finer tour plaque to everyone and we were ready for the off. Well almost. We had to wait for Phil’s Dad to return from the toilet block.
So while we wait, let me introduce you to the cars on tour.
Mick and Gill Taylor and Lexy the big soppy German Shepherd actually came back after the Cotswolds so they must have enjoyed themselves and hadn’t been scared away. Mick bought a different Vauxhall Victor, unrestored and gorgeous (the Victor, Not Mick!)
The ever up for a laugh and a tour Brooks brothers were there of course. Tosh in the deceptively innocent and lovely looking Sunbeam Talbot and Gus in the ridiculously fun Henry.
Kurt and Lee had blagged Tosh’s Rover P6 2000.
Phil, Lorrain and Lucas Allin with Big Rov and Phil’s Dad.
Nick Arthur and Jo Tait with the thundering Jensen Interceptor.
Old Father Time AKA Brian Allison. Brian is current custodian of my Triumph 2000, He’s leaving it to me in his will. It can’t be long now. I mean, even God isn’t as old as Brian. (Edit: Nooooooo! He’s selling my inheritance!)
Keith McGovern and Mette Cooper were also new faces to touring with the group. Keith has been very active on the Facebook page but hasn’t joined us in the real world before. However, he was so keen to join us that he even went out to buy a car just so he would have an excuse. A lovely patinated Hillman Minx was purchased for this event.
Our ever-present mad Scotsman Eric Dalton Joined us in his Rover VDP having rolled it all the way down from deepest darkest Scotlandshire to save on petrol (It is all downhill you know. Look at a globe if you don’t believe me.)
Being fairly local to them, our resident aging hippies joined us again and it was good to see them. Richie Moore surprised us by not bringing his gloriously crusty Mk1 Granada but turned out in a rather lovely Mk 2 Ford Escort Ghia. Lefty Wright was in his very well-travelled LHD German spec Mk 2, 2 door Granada, in that well known Ford colour “Eye-searing Yellow”. Top notch car.
Lincoln Hunt with his very bouncy Metro.
Possibly the most luxurious car to attend a tour. Ever. Chris and Ann Howarth in THE BENTLEY. (That's MY inheritance - Ed)
John Dickson's Stunning Austin A55 Cambridge
Steve and Jane Hancock in their beautiful Opel Manta.
Finally, Graham Adams and Sue Clamp in the very very late 1999 Rover 75 that seems to really, really hate Graham. It tried to kill him yet again.
Shiny Paul Clappison refused to bring his shiny MGB GT on the grounds it might get less shiny, Young Paul Cheetham forgot his car altogether and Poppy is undergoing works so the 3 of us planned to car hop.
To be continued...
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