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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