As magicians go Charles and Martin should be on the stage of the London Palladium by pulling yet another rabbit out of the hat, the boys provided the members of City of Leeds MG and Classic Car Club and their friends with a run to eclipse all the previous ones with its brilliance.
After registration was completed and all folders, gifts etc were handed, out the serious business of bacon sandwiches and coffee was undertaken whilst the entrants enjoyed the sounds of The Corpus Christi Brass Band playing at the ‘start line’. Bhranti Naik, the lady from Martin House Hospice, waved the first car away from the Hotel at the agreed time of 9.45 and then followed at regular intervals the other entrants all eager to enjoy a day out in The Yorkshire Dales. A nice run out on major roads for approx 5 miles gave driver and navigator a chance to settle down before the more serious part was to take effect. Across the tops and then onto the A65 towards Skipton before turning off for Embsay and the Embsay Steam Railway (opened 1981) and then a left saw us climbing over the moors to Barden Tower.
Following the Road Book we headed for Appletreewick and then joined the B6265 passing Stump Cross Caves and onwards to Pateley Bridge which incidentally is the home of the oldest sweet shop in England (dating back to 1827). Out of the sweet shop we rejoined the car and ran alongside Gouthwaite Reservoir and into the small village of Lofthouse (pop 197) after which the route headed out of the village following the route of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire up Trappings Hill and over the wild and bleak moors towards the market town of Masham, home to Theakstons and also Black Sheep Breweries and a comfort stop if needed.
The route then headed us Northwards seeing us skirting the military training areas around Catterick Garrison. Plenty of warnings of tanks etc, the garrison being the home of 13,000 service men and women although by 2020 this figure is expected to rise to 25,000 such is the demand on our forces.
Heading back down the map the route saw us travelling into Leyburn, according to Wikipedia Leyburn boasts among other things ‘two banks with cash machines’. I guess the rest of the world will catch up at some point! The route then saw us in Middleham where the town itself is famed as one of the major centres of horserace training and this was obvious as we followed the route passing ‘the gallops’ and heading for the signs which took us past ‘The Forbidden Corner’ and a stretch of 15 miles over the moors to the village of Kettlewell. This stretch was my favourite part of the whole event, the road meandering up and down through some of the most beautiful scenery that you could imagine. It’s Yorkshire in a nutshell!!
From Kettlewell the route made its way homeward via Kilnsey and Kilnsey Crag. The crag is a limestone cliff and is very much favoured by the climbing fraternity. A Left and a quick Right in Threshfield saw us once again on superb roads and enjoying the drop into Burnsall before climbing upwards and heading for the splendour of Bolton Abbey and onwards back to the finish at The Craiglands Hotel and hopefully welcome refreshment and a chance to recall experiences of the day. It was soon time for the Gala Dinner with roast beef and yorkshire pudding on the menu (it was to celebrate Yorkshire Day after all). The meal was speedily and expertly served by the staff of The Craiglands, they did a superb job throughout the entire evening.
All suitably refreshed and relaxed it was time for Charles to take the microphone and to thank the numerous people for all the help and contributions to the event that so many people give, To all the people behind the scenes who ensure that the day goes without a hitch, to the ladies at registration and those who ran the raffle etc, it’s their hard work that makes the day complete, it would be impossible to stage such an event without everyone of you. Thank you all. The microphone was then handed over to Bhranti the representative from Martin House Hospice who outlined the incredible work that the nurses and staff undertake 24 hours a day, Martin House has been caring for children and young adults for 30 years so a big thank you from all of us to all of you.
The microphone was then handed back for the Auction that followed and with the generosity of both individuals and companies and a wide variety of items we raised a further £732 to add to the raffle money already collected making a grand total of £1770.00. The evening and the day would not be complete without entertainment and this was to be no exception as with all the formalities taken care of up onto the stage came “The Grumbleweeds”, Robin and James to perform the complete stage show of their act. A tremendous show of jokes, impressions, sketches and singing, the whole audience were entertained magnificently and their enthusiasm and applause seemed endless. A very big thank you to Robin and James for putting on this show and keeping us all entertained.
Thanks must go out to Marion and Malcolm who once again sponsored the Road Book and Rally Plates for this fabulous event, as always, an event such as this takes tremendous planning and forethought, I guess it starts with the actual route itself, and for this we must acknowledge the great debt we owe to Charles and Martin for once again excelling themselves with this year’s route. It was a winner from start to finish.