2016 Lakes Tour
7th , 8th and 9th October 2016
Ten intrepid crews made their way to the Lake District from Tyne Tees Centre to withstand the hardships of a few days at the 4 Star Inn on the Lake I know that some may think this was too much to ask but they bore it well.
The advance party gathered on Friday 7th October at Rheged the visitor Centre near Penrith at the junction of the A66 and A592 to enjoy a well-earned coffee and cake stop. The Road Books were distributed and everyone signed on before we wound down the A592 alongside Ulswater down to Glenridding and the Inn on the Lake our hotel for the next two nights.
Ed and Dorothy Harvey MGTF
Noel and Max Lindford MGTF85
Ian and Christine Far MG TA Tickford
Kevin and Lynda Prosser MGB
The Alexander’s Mazda MX5 and MGB GT
John and Carol Brown in the MG3 had forged the way as a scouting party and sussed out the bar and the comfy seats next to the log fire. As the organiser, I appreciated their selfless actions in carrying out this vital task. The hotel greeted us with cream scones and tea or coffee and plenty of time to relax and maybe go for a walk down to the lakeside before Dinner.
Reinforcements in the shape of Ian and Justine Graham MGTC and Steve and Christine Lidgate Triumph TR3 arrived after finishing work but still in time to polish off some scones before dinner.
I think by now the crews were beginning to see what they had let themselves in for and diets were going to be severely challenged.
After a very nice Dinner and a few drinks Saturday started with the full Cumbrian Breakfast before we all gathered for the driver’s briefing in the Lounge. More reinforcements arrived in the shape of Martin and Sue Robinson MGBGT V8 and David and Kathleen Slaley MGTF 85.
The weather was set fair for the day so it was definitely hoods down before the off tackling the Kirkstone Pass en-route to our first stop at the Old Mill Yard, Staveley.
1939 MGTA Tickford and 1947 MGTC ready for action
First cars away were Ian and Justine
Followed by John and Carol
The fearsome reputation of the Kirkstone Pass was overcome by all the crews Ian and Christine’s MG TA Tickford storming the hill with aplomb pausing only for a photograph on the top.
Ray Abbot paused to take some pictures the MGB GT going really well in the sunshine.
After 16 gruelling miles which included the Kirkstone Pass everyone was pleased to reach Staveley Old Mill Yard where Wilf’s Café was serving Coffee and Cake after all it was nearly two hours since breakfast.
There was plenty of time to take in the warm Autumn sunshine and some even had a look around the Old Mill Yard complex. It was a bit busy but an interesting stop with an Artisan bakery, Hawkshead Brewery and the UK’s largest Cycle Store along with other retail outlets.
Carol and John with Noel and Max
The Graham’s and Lidgate’s take coffee and cake with Ray
David and Kathleen and a gathering of the faithful.
All to soon it was time to move on as the next stop on our route was the Lakeland Motor Museum at the bottom end of Windermere. The devious 14 mile route I devised was largely traffic free although the hairpin left after the Masons Arms certainly meant it was not without its challenges. The stunning views over Lake Windermere made everyone stop a take their time.
The Lakeland Motor Museum could not have been more welcoming the cars getting pride of place in the Courtyard outside the main entrance. In the sunshine, we put on a stunning display with MG’s from 1939 to 2016 along with Steve’s immaculate Triumph TR3 and Matthew’s Mazda MX5
There was just time for a group photograph before lunch although four members of the expedition needed urgent sustenance and had already made their way to Café Ambio.
Such was the dedication some of our party it is rumoured even managed two sweets after their lunch.
Pictured in front of the AA Box are
David and Kathleen Slayley MG TF,
Ian and Christine’s MGTA Tickford
Kevin and Lynda Prosser MGB
Steven and Christine Triumph TR3
Ian and Justine MGTC
Sue and Matthew waiting patiently for Martin and myself.
The museum has something for everyone here Christine, Justine and Lynda discuss the merits of the big red car.
Ian Fair captured the scene as a close inspection is made of Donald Campbells Derby Bentley.
Noel took this nice picture of Ed and Dorothy’s alongside his own and my MGBGT.
Ray’s MGB GT at Lakeland Motor Museum.
John and Carol’s MG3 the newest car on parade this weekend. With John navigating Carol was enjoying her first weekend away with the MGCC.
Soon it was time to leave and despite suffering all that cake Steve and Christine were still smiling. You just have to admire the stamina of a Tyne Tees Centre member.
Martin and Sue’s MGBGT V8 cooling in the sunshine.
Using his Mazda MX5 Matthew and Emily acted as the sweepers all weekend checking to see that no one got left behind or cake left uneaten. They carried emergency rations in case someone could not make it to the next coffee stop
The main A roads around Newby Bridge and the Lakeland Motor Museum are very busy being the primary routes into the south Lakes. The route was rather torturous to get us to the bottom of Coniston without having to use these busy roads. The main hazard was cyclists coming the other way particularly when they were going downhill at speed without appearing to consider it was a two-way road.
The route up the east side of Coniston gave us some tremendous views of the lake which was like a millpond in the late autumn sunshine and again with very little traffic. In the spirit of the Lakes Tour Martin and Sue diverted for afternoon tea into Hawkshead while others found Coniston Village tempting. As we approached Ambleside and then ran down to Windermere the traffic was much heavier but turning to go back over the Kirkstone Pass the roads were much lighter. The orange sheep caused a few moments for people as other road users just stopped in the middle of the road to stare but we all made it safely back the 39 miles to the Inn on the Lake.
The hotel was busy with its second wedding of the weekend when we got back so the car park was quite busy although we all got a space and the cars soon drew a crowd. A few crews took the opportunity for a power nap as the bar was quite empty until time for dinner approached and our intrepid crews emerged refreshed for the evening. We had the dining room to ourselves although refreshed it was soon ringing to laughter and tales of our day.
I had promised a relaxed start to Sunday so there was time after breakfast to check our steeds.
Emily was amused to see Ray’s car with the bonnet open surrounded by willing helpers. It had succumbed to that MGB safety device where the leak from the heater valve falls on the distributor so stopping the engine preventing any further damage.
This was designed in by the factory and was way before we had ECU’s to do the same job.
A democratic vote was taken as to whether we could manage to get as far as Alston on the way home and it was agreed we would stop at the Hartside Café after all it was 26 miles from Glenridding.
Ed Harvey took a few pictures on the last climb to the Hartside Cafe
TC going well in the sunshine.
Steve and Christine looking forward to the Hartside Cafe.
Sue and Martin giving the V8 its head.
The TA never dropped below 30mph all the way up corners included !!
Cooling down in the car park where the temperature was distinctly cooler than Glenridding the cars soon drew a crowd while the weary crews fortified themselves with large mugs of coffee and slabs of tray bake. Difficult to believe but cyclists and bikers must eat more than we do.
Our last stop was in Alston at the at the South Tynedale Heritage Railway and the Alston Moor Heritage Transport Collection which was a surprising collection and a fitting end to the weekend.
Martin and Sue took the opportunity to ride on the Heritage Railway while others had lunch before heading home.
Goodbyes were said and as though the weather was sad to see us leave Cumbria the skies darkened and we had a shower of rain but nothing could dampen the spirits.
As organiser, I must thank the entrants for truly entering into the spirit of the Lakes Tour, working their way through vast quantities of Coffee and Cake. The Inn on the Lake were very welcoming hosts despite being very busy with weddings and then a Wedding Fair on the Sunday we were never rushed given great attention by all the staff. Finally thank you to Lynda, Matthew and Emily for their support helping me host the event all weekend.
I already have some ideas for 2017 but the Lake District will be hard to beat.