We arrived at Steven Smiths Garden Centre at Otley at about 10.00 am in the pouring rain, thinking that there must be better things to do on a damp Sunday morning in October, like stopping in bed! However in true car club fashion we were not alone as 18 cars and their crews assembled before joining a happy band of members drinking coffee and devouring bacon butties. John and Rose Marie gave out the route papers and everyone sat chatting and listening to the rain bouncing off of the garden centre roof, strangely no one seemed in any hurry to be the first away! Eventually the rain eased slightly and someone suggested that we had better make a move if we wanted to be in time for our lunch. After negotiating our way through Otley and crossing the River Wharfe we followed the river towards Ilkley and skirting around the edge of Ilkley we climbed up the hill towards Beamsley enjoying some lovely views across the moors.
Leaving the short stretch of the A59 and heading up the A6160 with the river Wharfe on our left, the rain had stopped and we got the first glimpse of sun. Carrying on through Addingham we turned right onto the A65. Passing the Chelker Reservoir we then turned left off the A65 where enjoyable views were seen on our way towards Bradley and then wound our way through the parked cars in Bradley’s narrow streets. Dropping down into Kildwick, we were treated to a lovely view of the Leeds Liverpool canal from the unique little swing bridge. After going through the built up areas of Cross Hills and Sutton more beautiful countryside beckoned ahead. As we turned off towards Oakworth, lo and behold, the sun came out again! We passed some beautiful properties, (who lives in a house like that?). Carrying on through Oakworth arriving at the station, we found the crossing gates closed and sitting waiting for the train to appear, sadly when it did, it wasn’t steam hauled but only a mundane 2 car diesel! It was still fascinating to see the old fashioned semaphore type signals and the gates operated by man power alone, quite nostalgic! We proceeded on through Haworth and past the station (still no Steam trains).
Leaving Haworth behind and soon back in the rural environment winding our way around the twisty lanes, we were soaking up the stunning scenery of the Bronte countryside. Joining Harehills lane, an enjoyable run across the moors road was taken, looking down onto the Ponden Reservoir then passing Watersheddles Reservoir and into Laneshawbridge. From here, we had another sprint across the moors then turned onto the Pennine Way and headed on to Elslack and into the Tempest Arms. The 28 Members, who ate at the Tempest Arm Hotel, agreed that the Sunday roast was as usual, very good. John and Rose Marie, a big thank you for such a good run and hopefully you will be able to provide us with another one next year sometime.
Gwen and Derek Taylor