By Paul Allen
Crews met up at Westlinton layby on the A7 for the March 12 car organised by Barry Lindsay. It was a cold, windy night with the threat of showers but the roads were mostly dry. The first expert clue looked like a list of 3 directions, but it was actually 9 craftily grouped together and they were giving us the direction that we were to depart grid squares. The route took us up around the 1542 battle ground, across the A7 and to 1 mile east of Longtown. TC2 to TC3 was a 4 min section using clock directions which did in fact take 4 mins due to the narrow and twisty lanes used. Continue reading
By Barry Lindsay
The February 12 car was organised by Richard Todd and started from the car park at the top of Caldbeck. Five crews set out and four of which set off from the start in the wrong direction not spotting that the actual start ref was the crossroads 100m away! The route then looped south round Branthwaite, Longlands and Bassenthwaite before heading north to Uldale, Sandale then Boltongate. A real narrow country road which deteriorated to grass in the middle! Then up to a control near Westward. Another rough road through Reathwaite which even had a wagon parked up delivering at a farm. All the crews went passed it down the farm yard. Not sure where we went next (I am a driver and don’t have the map!) but we were round by Wiggonby, Thursby roundabout, Baldwinholme and back to the finish in Dalston. Brilliant route on some of the narrowest roads and good instructions.
Thanks to Richard and his marshals for an entertaining evening, and to Neil for navigating.
1st 1st Exp Tom Wilcox & Paul Allen 2 F 3min
2nd 2nd Exp Barry Lindsay & Neil Thomlinson 2 F 4min
3rd 1st Nov Chris Thornton & Chris Ware 2 F 10min
4th 2nd Nov Chris Walker & Joe Walker 3 F 4min
5th 3rd Nov Henry Lowthian & Dave Taylor 3 F 35min
By Paul Allen
5 or so crews gathered at the Windy Hill car park under the shadow of the Caldbeck Mast. The first section should have included a quick loop down to Ratten Row and back along a narrow yellow, but the start ref was interpreted incorrectly by many crews. Further down the fell, Toddy had put out some code boards facing the wrong way, just to cause added confusion and mayhem. After visiting the outskirts of Caldbeck, the route took the fell road through Fell Side and Branthwaite before arriving at TC1.
The second section continued along the fell through Longlands and south westerly to Bassenthwaite where we turned north and headed back up to Uldale and a very rough road heading up to Aughertree and TC2. There were certainly plenty of codeboards out and about and the route info was interesting enough to keep us sharp.
Back onto map 85 now via Boltongate and there appeared to be a massive white Renault artic parked in the middle of the road, but there was room to go round it as it turned out. Toddy was at TC3 near Westward with his timewarp clock, issueing some instructions that led us on a very tricky to plot route. The next 5 miles were pretty rough with loose gravel, potholes and puddles, the yellow roads were more like whites and I think a hard bash through one pothole had blebbed a front tyre as Tom noticed we now had a bad wobble making the car shake. TC4 was just west of Wigton and Tom was out of the car checking all the wheel nuts were tight before we moved off.
After only 3 or 4 miles the bad news came across the car that we had a flat, front left, so we found a suitable stopping point and jumped out to perform the well practised wheel change routine… Coincidentally this was the northern most that the evenings route took us. We rolled into the penultimate control a couple of minutes late and received a herring bone as the final clue. This took us along yet more narrow and twisty back lanes to the finish at Bridge End Dalston. An interesting event by Toddy and a good range of results across the board. Thanks to Richard and all the marshals
By Paul Allen
7 or so crews gathered at the Miltonrigg Wood car park for Jerry’s 12 car which was originally planned for October 2010. Our first expert clues were simple, but crafty, if we crossed grid line 56, were given 11 (5+6) and if we crossed GL 62, the clue was 8 (6+2). Fortunately we had a good couple of miles of A-road to work this out and Jerry had avoided using an area where the sum of the northing digits matched the sum of the eastings.
The route weaved around south of Brampton and reached TC1 at Castle Carrock. From here we passed through some spot heights around Talkin Tarn and passing quietly through Farlam before reaching TC2 over at Forest Head. TC3 was then a quick 5 mins back to the start, approaching from the south where Jerry still was waiting for us.
Next was a bespoke Jerry instruction that looked like a herring bone but was actually more grid line trickery. We headed up from Banks to Gilsland where there was remains of a massive wall on the south side of the road. Tom mentioned something about Adrian, but I was busy deciphering Jerry’s work of art. We located a NAM on the 15th coloured junction and found a codeboard, so far so good.
From TC4 we headed up anti-clockwise round the big Bewcastle loop. The clue was an innocent looking circular herring bone which fitted ok, but the fog came up on high ground and slowed us somewhat. This allowed local man Geoff with Caroline to reel us in as we floundered about with the blind crests and bendy road. We were late at TC5 and even later at TC6 just north of Walton.
The final leg headed towards Smithfield via Gillbank and Hethersgill. We were given 6 grid refs to pass through, but they were presented reading from top to bottom and were disguised as something else entirely.
It was a nice event with the usual Jerry devious presentation, I was grateful for Tom’s input for interpreting route instructions on a couple of occasions. Two heads are better than one, even if they are sheep heads…..! Thanks must be given to Jerry for keeping us on our toes and the usual slick organisation. Gratefulness too for the marshals for all turning out and being where they should. There was a minor diversion around a closed road near Kirkcambeck for which there was a brief re-route. Everything worked perfectly.
By Neil Thomlinson
Jerry asked me to navigate for him on this event if I was available, which I was and was more than happy to. This event ran at the back of the Hexham Historic and John Robson road rallies held by the Hexham and District motor club. Off we went in Jerry’s 309 with me making some final marks on the map, and testing the spotlights on the way. After realising that the spotlights were fine on the way there, they didn’t work when tried in scrutineering. We realised as the event went on that this was due to a faulty relay, as between time controls they would suddenly come on, but not far from either the next time control or a quiet zone meaning they had to be knocked off again!
The event was good with some cracking roads; as far as the navigation went it was a tulip road book for both halves which I enjoyed. We dropped time in the first section, booking in 3 minutes late at TC1, and also at the 2 secret regularity sections we dropped time, apart from those no time was dropped, and all the route checks were correct.
There was even a pair of competitors with no roof! Which I’m sure they loved the coloured rain which we experienced in the last section.
Total Time Route Checks Pos. O/A
Jerry Hettrick/ Neil Thomlinson 7.17 0 2nd