It is said that from little acorns big oak trees grow. That adage can certainly be applied to this year’s Yorkshire Pudding Run and also to years gone by. From the beginning in 2008 when the run totalled a mammoth 19 miles finishing at The Crooked Billet at Towton it has grown steadily to the large event that it is today.
This year’s event started as in the two previous years at The Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley. Such is this events popularity that the parking of 160 cars was always going to put demands on the organisation, but this year the club had secured additional parking across the road from the hotel in Ilkley Grammar School grounds and this helped enormously. If the event grows any larger we may have to order a multi-storey car park.
On arrival the crews proceeded to sign on at registration and they were handed their comprehensive road book, rally plate and also a superb red travel blanket embossed with the MG logo as a keepsake for attending the event. After a very welcome bacon sandwich and coffee, those that had stayed the previous night in the hotel already had eaten a full English breakfast, so their sandwiches were wrapped in tinfoil to be consumed later in the day.
At around 9.45am the first car was flagged off by Sarah Tarpey from Martin House Hospice under the watchful eyes of Robin & Maureen Hallam, our start line officials, whilst in the background the wonderful Corpus Christi Brass Band played some great accompanying tunes.
For the first time on leaving The Craiglands, the cars this year turned right which led them up past the imposing Cow & Calf Rocks and straight onto Ilkley Moor. A right turn onto Bingley Road saw us on a superb moorland road passing Harvey Smith’s stables (we all looked to see if he was waving) on our right, with views of Keighley on our left before dropping down into Silsden. The route although on major roads through Eastburn and picking up signs for Colne (Lancashire) was still interesting before we turned off towards Cowling Hill. What a superb road; the views were amazing, the sun was shining, what more could we ask? A left after a cattle grid saw us dropping down into the little village of Elslack and The Tempest Arms. Following our instructions West Marton, Nappa and Wigglesworth were all encountered and then joining the busy A65 before we turned off into the little village of Austwick, the furthest point on our journey. The roads that we were travelling on were a classic car owner’s dream with twists and turns, ups and downs before we turned left in Stainforth towards Halton Gill and Arncliffe. Caution Sheep!!, narrow!!, undulating!! were all mentioned but they did not detract from the wonderful roads on which we were travelling and the descent into Malham, which was breathtaking.
Approximately 30 miles still to go but we were still enjoying ourselves. Villages of Airton, Hetton and Cracoe all passed before a right turn into Linton took us back onto the roads we all love and on into Burnsall. A steep climb upwards and a right turn just after Barden Tower saw us once again over the moors to Embsay. Following instructions we came to the roundabout near Bolton Abbey and then took the B6160 towards Addingham and Ilkley and the finish. Our thoughts were now straying to the welcoming sight of The Craiglands bar and a very well deserved drink. All the cars and their crews returned in great spirits after what can only be described as an excellent days motoring in God’s Own County (with only a slight incursion into Lancashire).
With everyone back safely, relaxed now and watered we all retired to the St. Bernard’s Ballroom where 247 of us gathered for a traditional dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The staff at Craiglands did us proud with a wonderful meal, all served expertly and efficiently. A big thank you.
There followed a brief talk from Sarah Tarpey about Martin House and all the wonderful work that is carried out by this superb charity and one that deserves all our support. As in previous years Robin Colvill of the Grumbleweeds took the microphone and had us all in stitches with his mix of jokes, impressions and general hilarity, thank you so much. The raffle and the auction were next with Charles and Robin announcing the prizes whilst young Kyle Brown pulled out the winning tickets. Some marvellous prizes had been donated by both companies and supporters of this event and the charity. Provisional figures show that we raised around the £2500 mark.
The evening (in fact the whole day) was a great success and a great tribute to all the hard work that had been put in by the organisers and numerous helpers too. Thanks to Charles and Martin for giving us yet another stupendous route to follow and for testing our navigational skills. To Gilly and Rita for supporting your chaps and encouraging them on. To all the ladies who sold raffle tickets and took care of the signing on with such organised grace. Great work, all. A big thank you to Dennis Hodge, Keith Dungate and Tom Gadd for providing some stunning photographs, which will soon be on our website and finally, thank you to everyone who contributed to making the day run smoothly. This event couldn’t go ahead without you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again this event is all about the people who run it and make it happen and the people who enter year after year, it’s all you folks that make this event what it is, SIMPLY THE BEST.
P.S. Charles and Martin, get the maps out for next year.