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JULY BLOG

I am pleased to say that my two ‘resurrected’ tours, The High Roads and The Autumn Tours are now almost fully booked. Most people who had booked originally have re-booked, but there may be room for a couple more on each tour. I think these will be the only ones this year but I will put a calendar together for next year soon, so long as things continue to improve?!

 

 I went out actually route noting the other day. well in advance of the High Roads Tour, and it was perhaps just as well I did. I discovered that the second day’s route was just too long so had to miss out the section through Moffat and past St Mary’s Loch. I then found that the road through Kielder Forest will be closed in late September – so, another major re-route.  However at the end of the day I was quite pleased with the results. I found several new ‘Kirk Roads’, one through a beautiful secluded valley and another in some real ‘MAMOFA’ country, while some of the detour mileage was on good (fast) quiet main roads, so all in all, a really good driving day. I did look at the Kielder Toll road as an option, but after the first mile it becomes just a gravel track, a little too rough for any low slung cars.* Luckily the toll was at the other end so I was able to turn round and go back without paying anything! The other days are more or less as advertised.

* Amazingly on one of the Ferrari Tours I organised, one car did take the Toll road by mistake, and went all the way through without complaint. When asked about it, he said; “It was great, lots of lovely trees….”

Similarly the Autumn Tour will hopefully run as planned although I have swapped a couple of days around just to get the best views from the direction of travel.

 

OK, I was too lazy to get out of the car and look over the fence!

The only problem at the moment is the rest/refreshment stops. On the Autumn Tour the first day’s coffee stop will now be at Lowther Castle because their café is open and there is outside seating if ‘social distancing’ still applies. In other places I have just recommended places to stop with several options as most cafes and pubs require advance bookings but will only take limited numbers. However, let’s hope things are a bit more flexible in two months time. There is still the packed lunch option!

I have used different cars on different recces, except the Alpine which is still being a little, er, recalcitrant  -- er, annoying! Therefore the Scirocco gets in the gallery this month. 

Mamofa country

VERY PROVISIONAL 2021 CALENDAR

Exact dates and hotels to be confirmed.

Early March

Heart of England Tour

Just two days to get you back into the swing of things.

DAY 1. START  STRATFOD UPON AVON

Cotswolds, Coffee – Hook Norton Brewery.

Lunch – Stoke Bruerne Waterways Museum.

Cross country, Grafham Water,  around Cambridge.

Tea at Newmarket, National Stud. O/N ELY 

DAY 2. The Fens.  Coffee Ramsey Countryside Museum

Lunch Deene Park, Cross country via Harringworth Viaduct and Eyebrook Reservoir.

Tea – Gaydon Motor Museum

Finish Stratford Upon Avon.

LATE MARCH/EARLY APRIL   (May depend on Easter)

The Welsh Borders Tour

As planned for 2020 but without the first day starting at Stratford. Instead 3 days, four nights based at Ludlow. An extra day in Wales. Some of the original first day will be used on the Heart of England route.

MAY

WEST COAST 250 ‘21

DAY 1. Start Crooklands, Eden Valley, Borders,

O/N WESTERWOOD

DAY 2. Glen Douglas, Loch Lomond , Glen Coe, Loch Ness.

O/N COUL HOUSE

DAY 3. Nam Rattigan Pass, Glenelg ferry to Skye return Skye Bridge, Plockton, 

O/N COUL HOUSE

DAY 4. Loch Carron, Pass of the Cattle, Sheildaig, Loch Maree, Dundonnel 

O/N LOCHINVER

DAY 5. Inchnadamph, Falls of  Shin, Loch Shin,  Laxford Bridge, Kylesku,

O/N LOCHINVER

DAY 6. Dunbeg, Durness Kinloch Lodge, Tongue

O/N ALTNAHARA

DAY 7. Baderloch, Helmsdale, Loch Budhe, Bonar Bridge,

O/N COUL HOUSE

DAY 8. Inverness, The Lecht, Pitlochry, Glen Quaich,

O/N CRIEFF HYDRO

DAY 9. Glen Eagles, The Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel, Lanark Heritage Village,

O/N LANARK VILLAGE

DAY 10. Return south via M74/M6 Option to break journey at Crooklands.

JUNE

Wolds to Windermere

As planned for 2020 

JULY

I might get to do the Classic Marathon after all!

AUGUST

High Roads

Start in Peak District follow Pennine Way.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER

The Eifel Tour

As planned for 2020 but with extension to Technik Speyer Museum

Autumn Tour

Follow Settle-Carlisle railway and Waverley route.

Other ideas for Ireland and the Alps possibly in 2022.

 

 

 

JUNE UPDATE BLOG

Just a little more news on future plans. I am looking at re-scheduling THE HIGH ROADS TOUR for September 22-26th. Both the Crooklands and Langley Castle Hotels have agreed this, but at this stage aren’t sure about the ‘Social Distancing’ rules. It may be that we have to have staggered dinner times. Also I don’t know about venues for rest/refreshment stops – but we could always take packed lunches!? We should know more by September (hopefully for the best!). I will send out letters (or e-mails) to all those who have paid deposits already, but there should be room for a couple more if anyone is interested. At the moment I am not sure if there will be any limit on numbers so let me know A.S.A.P if you are interested.

I cannot make a decision about the Welsh Borders Tour as the Welsh Government seem to be several weeks behind with their rules, so it might be difficult to fit it in this year. The Autumn Tour is still hopefully going ahead as planned – I have spent some time recently ‘perfecting’ the route.

The Escort has had a major ‘tune up’ in readiness for my planned entry in the ‘driver only’ rally next month. Unfortunately due to the wonders of modern technology the entry was fully booked within eight minutes of being opened on the dreaded ‘facebook’. Not being quite so glued to ‘facebook’ I missed out when I applied and hour later! Ironically the lads at Dockray Garage have done a fantastic job on the car and it is going better than it ever has. I just had to take it for a run, so had a drive around the Autumn Tour route. Fantastic – both the car and the route, though I do say so myself. See the pictures below, taken in the Dales with Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent behind.

 

I think the shine on the car is due to a quick shower of rain, not any serious polishing on my part!!

 

 

THEY ARE OPENING THE PUB NEXT WEEK

 

NO BULL! HOPE THEY HAVE GOT SOME DECENT BEER THEN!

 

JUNE BLOG

 

I should have been doing the CLASSIC MARATHON in Spain this week, just 20 years since I last did it, but in the same car, (above), despite a re-spray. It has been postponed to 2021 which I am not too disappointed about as I have had the Alpine out recently and it just isn’t running right, despite a major overhaul. The steering and brakes are much better but the carbs are still playing up and it has a very embarrassing habit of refusing to start when it is hot. That could have been a major problem in Spain. In the meantime I am getting the Escort ready for a proposed “rally without navigators”. Under new MSUK rules motorsport can start again at the end of this month, but not anything that involves 2 people in a car. Therefore some enterprising sideways thinking people have come up with the idea of an ‘Auto Solo’ event, i.e a sort of single venue autotest without navigators. Why not!? 

Talking of postponements, I have decided to postpone the HIGH ROADS Tour until later in the year, perhaps late September. Although there is some talk of easing restrictions on hotels in July, there wouldn’t be enough time to organise everything in the time before the original planned date. I cannot finalise the route at the moment as it was intended to cross into Scotland one day, and at the moment we aren’t allowed in! If necessary I can re-route to stay entirely in England. Also we don’t know how social distancing rules would apply to a group in a hotel and what venues will be open for lunches etc.

I have been in touch with the hotels and they are happy to discuss a new date when we all know a little more.

I am also looking into the possibilities of running the Welsh Borders Tour sometime later in the year, if not, it will be a similar date next year. The Wolds to Windermere Tour is postponed until 2021 but I am hopeful the Autumn Tour will go ahead as planned in October.

I think I have done every possible walk over the Helm recently so with the slightly relaxed rules on travel I have put the Porsche back on the road and had a couple of ‘essential’ trips out. i.e. route surveys. I concentrated on the English part of the High Roads and the more local bits of the Autumn Tour as below.

 

I am hoping to get a new 2020/2021/2022 calendar put together soon but obviously I cannot fix exact dates at this stage. I will ‘flesh out’ some of the itineraries though so you will have a better idea of what I am proposing. Hopefully I will be able to get new brochures out before the end of the year. I have had some positive feedback from last month’s ideas and will continue to work on them.

 

 

Looking forward to seeing you all on the road soon.

 

 

 

 

 

MAY BLOG

Some more photos from my daily walks on the Helm. This time looking south to Farleton Knott and the Kent Estuary (Morecambe Bay).

 

With time on my hands I think I have planned out enough tours to last a few years. Lockdown has made me realise I wouldn’t really like retirement – for now. It nearly got to me though – I started ‘spring cleaning’ the other day, aaaaggh!

 

Just a teaser;

WELSH BORDERS AND SHROPSHIRE HILLS

WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

HEART OF ENGLAND (Cotswolds to Fens or vice versa)

HIGH ROADS    Possibly the planned one in July, (or later in the year). I  will make a decision by the end of the month.

HIGH ROADS   Possibly 2021 – New event, The Pennine Way and Northumberland.

WEST COAST 250 as previously mentioned.

ARDENNES AND EIFEL as planned but with a little extension in 2021.

DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

CIRCUIT DES ALPS Reversed and shorter.

AUTUMN TOUR    Hopefully as planned.

DEVON TO DORSET   Similar to a few years ago but worth another visit.

ISLE OF MAN

SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 250  Aberdeenshire to the Isle of Mull and some new routes ‘up and down’.

SEEING RED TOUR     Vienne valley and Ferrari Track day.

WELSH HIGHLANDS TOUR 

I have no intention of trying to do all these in one year! Some of these may run in 2020 if restrictions are lifted soon enough, the rest may be in 2021or even 2022.

Please feel free to drop me an e-mail or text if any of the above appeal to you, or make your own (realistic!) suggestions. I cannot guarantee I will take any notice, but you never know, if the same thing keeps coming up then it may be worth investigating. 

YEEHAAA! I actually went for a drive the other day. Just to get my daily exercise of course. I had to do 100 miles to find a suitable place to walk, Ribblehead, Tan Hill, Shap Fell. Wonderful! I had forgotten just how much I enjoy driving. I even got the Escort going the next day and took it ‘around the block’. The Alpine is next on the list – the Porsche is still on a SORN but maybe next month?

 

Two of my favourite things. The Alpine and the ‘Back of Helm’.

 

APRIL BLOG 

No cars this month!

The Alpine and Porsche are tucked up in their garages, I have put the Porsche on  a SORN for now as the tax was due, and ironically the Escort is now Tax exempt, being a 1979 car. So, with virtually no fuel bills, at least I am saving money. The Escort is sitting glistening in the sunshine outside my back window but the surrounding red brick walls don’t make a very photogenic back drop.

 

However, I am very, very fortunate in that my ‘daily exercise’ can take me on a beautiful walk within ten minutes of leaving the house. The Helm, is a hill and area of common land just behind my house. From the 600ft summit there is a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view from Blackpool Tower in the south, across Morecambe Bay to the Furness area, Black Combe and all the south Lakes peaks, Caw, Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam, the Langdales right around to the Helvelyn range and then to the north, Shap Fell and back round to the east, The Howgills, Middleton and Barbon Fells, and on to Farleton Knott and Oakenclough Fell and back to the Fylde. A photograph could not do this view justice so instead I have picked a couple of my favourite places.

 

The “back of Helm” (the opposite side to where I live), is very secluded and apart from the M6 away in the distance and a few electricity pylons, it probably hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. In fact until recently one farm had no mains electricity or gas and the farmer used to bring his wife to the village shop on the back of his tractor. Sadly they have both long gone and the farm looks as though it may be about to be developed. There is also a small lake in a hollow overlooked by a large boulder. This makes a nice place to sit and daydream about future adventures, cut off from the rest of the world.

 

The other photographs are taken from above the old slate quarry. The slate was used to roof all the railway buildings in the village, including my house. I have had a slate loose once or twice over the years --- and I have needed the roof repairing once or twice! but the slate hasn’t done too badly for over 120 years.

 

Despite successive landlords over the years trying to promote the Station Inn as an old ‘coaching inn’, there is no evidence of there having ever been a building there before the railway came. It first appears on the Ordnance Survey maps after 1890 and so presumably ‘the Station’ refers to the railway station. The old pub signs always showed a picture of a train, except when the brewery once commissioned a new sign that showed a picture of the pub itself. I think someone missed the point (if you will pardon the pun.) The current landlords/brewery got a new sign made showing a train – but it wasn’t much of an improvement as it was an American cowboy train complete with cow catcher!

History lesson over --- I had to fill this page with something.

 

I have been putting together a list of possible tours for the future but there is no point trying make out a calendar at the moment, but, watch this space, even if it is only to see what sort of waffle I come up with next time.

Just a teaser;

WELSH BORDERS AND SHROPSHIRE HILLS*

WOLDS TO WINDERMERE*

HEART OF ENGLAND (Cotswolds to Fens or vice versa)

HIGH ROADS    Possibly the planned one in July,* (or later in the year)

HIGH ROADS   Possibly 2021 – New event, The Pennine Way and Northumberland.

WEST COAST 250 as previously mentioned.

ARDENNES AND EIFEL as planned but with a little extension in 2021.

DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

CIRCUIT DES ALPS Reversed

AUTUMN TOUR    Hopefully as planned.*

DEVON TO DORSET   Similar to a few years ago but worth another visit.

ISLE OF MAN

* Some of these may run in 2020 if restrictions are lifted soon enough, the rest may be in 2021or even 2022.

Please feel free to drop me an e-mail or text if any of the above appeal to you, or make your own (realistic!) suggestions. I cannot guarantee I will take any notice, but you never know, if the same thing keeps coming up then it may be worth investigating.

As ‘Captain Kirk’ would say “live long and prosper”.

FOOTNOTE

One bit of sort of good news for me at least. The Classic Marathon Rally I was due to do in Spain in June has been postponed until next year. It should give more time for things to settle down in the world, and more time to prepare the car which I can’t really do anything with at the moment.

 

 

LOCKDOWN BLOG

 

Still no good news.

BUT, I have had plenty of time already to think of the future. (The Spring cleaning still hasn’t got to the top of the list of things to do). 

It may be some time before we can roam across Europe again, but when we can, I think another trip to the Alps might be a good idea. Last years event was pretty successful but perhaps just a little too long. Therefore I am thinking of a reverse run around the central part of the French Alps, with a new route there and back and some different overnight halts. It is inevitable that some roads will be familiar but there should be enough different parts to make it interesting, and let’s face it, some of last years route is well worth repeating.

 

The plan would be to take a more direct route to the Alps, not going as far south as Millau, or as far north as Mulhouse. Instead there would be new routes across the Massif Central and the Ardeche and one or two different passes in the Alps themselves. It was suggested that we might take in the Stelvio Pass which has always been on my ‘bucket list’, but I think this would make it a very long event again. In any case I have heard horror stories of the pass being clogged with camper vans and motorbikes, so not much fun anymore. It might be some time before we could go into Italy so I think that is put on the ‘back burner’ for now.

 

In summary; a little less driving on the days in the mountains and more free time. Long driving days would be on main roads only. Obviously I cannot even suggest a date at the moment, it might even be 2022.

As for this years Calendar, well it is pretty much off! The Wolds to Windermere is cancelled, as is the Ardennes and Eifel. The High Roads might just run but possibly put back a month or so. Even after the release of ‘lockdown’ restrictions, it may depend on the hotel’s availability. Hopefully the Autumn Tours will run as planned.

It might just be possible to squeeze in the Welsh Borders sometime in this period as well.

Whilst the Ardennes-Eifel Tour is definitely off for 2020 I have been looking at ways of making it more interesting. An extra couple of days to visit the spectacular Technik Museum Speyer might just add something and as the original route went within striking distance of the Nurburgring… it might be rude not too? Obviously I can’t put a date on it at the moment.

 

ARDENNES, EIFEL, MOSEL, SPA, NURBURGRIING, TECHNIK MUSEUM SPEYER -  Starting to sound interesting?

I have already proposed a Scottish Tour, including, Coul House, the Pass of the Cattle and a little more of the North Coast than previous years.

Retirement is definitely on hold as I need to make up for all the losses made this year so far.

In the meantime, stay safe, and dream of tours to come.

 

 

MARCH BLOG

No good news I am afraid. 

The Welsh Borders Tour has been cancelled. I am looking at possibly running it in some form some time later in the year if things improve.

The Wolds to Wales will also have to be postponed indefinitely and the EIFEL/ARDENNES TOUR is cancelled. Although it is later in the year I doubt if things will be back to normal in Europe by then, plus it doesn’t give me time to do any recce. Also as things stand there aren’t enough bookings to make it viable and I doubt if any are going to come in now.

The remaining events are also in doubt but let us hope we can have a very busy Autumn. The Motorsport UK has suspended event permits until the end of June, not that I need permits for my events, but it is a sort of guide, possibly optimistic!

I did get out just before the ‘lock down’ and got a picture of Wainwright’s ‘Sleeping Elephants’ (the Howgill Fells) in the snow.

 

Ironically I did get one event in before everything was cancelled. I took part in Knowldale Car Club’s Mini Miglia Tour last week. Fifty cars, 150 miles round the Dales and North Lancashire and lots of familiar faces – some consolation for what was about to come. There were even one or two roads I didn’t know, but also a lot that have, or were to, feature on my tours. I took the Escort which got us round OK but was not at its best. It really needs ‘setting up’ on a rolling road but there isn’t much incentive at the moment – although I will have a lot of spare time. The Alpine is in a similar situation. I got a lot of work done in preparation for the Classic Marathon in Spain in June but although it isn’t officially cancelled I am sure it will be. So again no real incentive to get it fully sorted.

 

 

Many thanks to all who have sent their best wishes. Look after yourselves and I hope to see you before the year is over.

FEB BLOG

No nice sunny days for a run out in the Porsche since the last ‘blog’, although I did sneak out between the showers one day. The view over the Eden Valley was spectacular as the sun went down.

 

 The Welsh Borders Tour is now definitely fully booked, the High Roads is getting there but there are still some places on the Wolds to Windermere Tour and the Ardennes/Eiffel. I don’t know whether it was ‘Brexit’ or the fact that I maybe didn’t get my brochures out so soon this year, but things got off to a worryingly slow start, but then there was a sudden rush of bookings making the overall picture look a lot better --- but there is still room for more. 

In the meantime I have been busy with other projects. I got my little ‘private commission’ and that has been done and sorted! The main thing though is, I have been trying to get the Alpine going with a view to doing a couple of events before the Marathon in June. The ‘old girl’ was very reluctant to come out of the garage after a six month rest. Several laps of the local block on a tow rope eventually got it started but it wasn’t for running. It is now ensconced in someone else’s (warm) garage and about to have a major ‘re-fettle’. Next on the list is the Escort.

I visited Race Retro last Sunday and for the first time ever watched the live rally stage in bright sunshine. There was an eclectic group of cars and the organisers seemed to have drifted away from pure classics and accepted all sorts of ‘oddballs’. A Jaguar V6 engined Fiesta was one example. It went well and sounded terrific but I suspect it is not eligible for any other sort of motorsport event. At the other end of the scale, 2 Ferrari 308’s were genuine ex rally cars. It all added to the entertainment, but the following day the weather returned to torrential rain so we abandoned our intended recce trip for the Welsh Borders tour as we would have been heading into the areas  worst hit by the flood, the Severn and Wye valleys, and the continuing rain would only make matters worse. Therefore I have no nice pictures of the route and will have to reschedule my trip when things have dried up a little. I was rather shocked to find there had been a covering of snow when I arrived home on Monday, but the rain soon washed it away.

 

I am planning to take part in a local tour in a couple of weeks time. Last year it had to be abandoned at half way because of floods and the year before it snowed at Tan Hill. This year it is looking like snow may be the problem again, so I don’t know which car to get ready. The Alpine has already had a lot of work done on it but the Escort hasn’t come out from under its cover for several weeks. Decisions, decisions!

 

JANUARY BLOG

A very nice sunny day so it just had to be done. Buttertubs, Tan Hill, and Shap Fell with the top down all the way – great, and it would also make a nice tour route! Barely 6 degrees outside, heated seats inside – wonderful.

 

The Stuff the Turkey Treasure Hunt went off well with surprisingly good weather after a dull Christmas. I thought I had set a fairly easy test this year as I was running out of ideas, but the winners only got 53 points out of 66, and some newcomers did suggest that some of the clues were “a bit off the wall”. Well, what would you expect?, after all, on a previous ‘Turkey’ one competitor was heard to say “Kirky’s brain must be a scary place to be”! They should worry, I live with it every day!

Perhaps ‘they sail from Portsmouth’ was a little obscure, but at least one person who had spent time in Portsmouth recognised the white painted chain link fence as a reference to Wight Link Ferries (the ones that go from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight). The only other clue that no one got was the sign for Christmas trees – which perhaps not surprisingly had been taken down since Christmas – dash! I never thought about that. My misspelling of oi(n)tment did give some people a few problems, but quite a lot worked out that it referred to “20 ACRES”. Off the wall? NAH! Warped – maybe.

I cannot actually remember the first ever ‘Turkey’ but the Whitelock family reckon they have been doing it at least 20 years!! No wonder I am running out of ideas – perhaps this is one event I should retire from – at my age I don’t need an excuse to spend all day in the pub on my birthday.

 

I am considering doing some local rallies this year so will have to get the Escort going. It has been M.O.T’d and taxed but wasn’t running at its best the last time I tried it. I haven’t done anything since the Devils Own Historic in 2018 (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and need to get some practice before the Marathon in June.


OK, OK! I won’t mention retirement again! 2020 was however deliberately planned to be a bit quieter year and it looked as though it might be. Bookings are coming in steadily for the first two tours of the year, (The Welsh Borders is virtually fully booked) and there is quite a lot of interest in the Belgium/Eiffel Tour, so things are well in hand for those events. However, I need to know if you are thinking about the High Roads Tour as I will soon have to confirm hotel bookings. I might also have an interesting ‘private commission’, so things may not be that quiet.

Nevertheless my thoughts have wandered a little further ahead and the calendar does look as though it is missing something without a Scottish Tour. So, maybe in May 2021 there could be a return to the Highlands. Ten days featuring Coul House, a new hotel further north, and a new route along the north coast, plus old favourites like The Pass of the Cattle and Glencoe and perhaps The Isle of Skye (although that might add a couple of days). Start and finish at Crooklands. Food for thought?

 

 

PARTING THOUGHT

On a birthday card from a regular CCT(MK) Tourer;

 

“DIFFICULT ROADS OFTEN LEAD TO BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS”

 

Melchor Lim 

 

Thank you to all who sent Christmas and Birthday cards – and facebook messages. I am afraid I am still a bit lost when it comes to facebook but I have been trying to master it recently, but please don’t rely on it for messages, I still prefer e-mail.

MIKE

 

 

CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR BLOG

 MERRY CHRISTMAS

To all CCT(MK) customers and friends, past, present and future.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SUPPORTED US THIS YEAR

AND A HAPPY TOURING NEW YEAR

 

You should have all received 2020 brochures by now so you can peruse them over the holiday period and plan your tours for next year – (Booking forms on the website). Yes, retirement seems to be on hold again!

 

Two events which aren’t in the brochure are local events in conjunction with Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club. If you live near enough, the first one is my annual ‘Birthday Bash’, the Stuff the Turkey Treasure Hunt (although my birthday is actually the next day). At the moment there is one room available for Friday and Saturday nights at the Station Inn.

 

KIRKBY LONSDALE MOTOR CLUB

In Association with

CLASSIC CAR TOURS (MK)

PRESENT

STUFF THE TURKEY

TREASURE HUNT/CLASSIC CAR RUN 

SATURDAY DECEMBER 28th

START STATION INN OXENHOLME 11.30AM

FINISH STATION INN

ENTRY FEE  £15 per car

includes coffee and mince pies.

CRYPTIC AND ‘OBSERVATIONAL’ CLUES

30 MILE SCENIC ROUTE

PRIZES FOR CLASSIC AND/OR ‘TOPLESS’ CARS

N.B. TO BOOK AN ENTRY; PHONE OR TEXT, MIKE KIRK  

07795204533  BEFORE FRIDAY 27th    

e.mail – mikekirkrallying@aol.com

THE STUFF THE TURKEY

TREASURE HUNT/CLASSIC CAR RUN

REGULATIONS

1 EVENT DEFINITION 

1.1 The STUFF THE TURKEY is a non-competitive  "Touring Assembly"/Treasure Hunt for all road going cars of any age. All vehicles must be correctly registered, currently licensed with a valid MOT Certificate, and be in roadworthy condition. Trade plates are forbidden. Cars may be scrutineered for compliance with the RTA prior to the event  

1.2   The event will run on Saturday, December 28th, 2019


1.3   The event will be run under a ‘Waiver of Permit’ issued by Motorsport UK

Entrants need not be members of any recognised motor club, nor have a Competition Licence. Drivers must hold a current and full driving licence, and have valid insurance in accordance with the requirements of the Road Traffic Act.

2 THE ROUTE

2.1 The total route is approximately 30 miles, starting and finishing at the STATION INN, Oxenholme.  MR. 97/536900 LA9 7RF

2.2 There will be no timing. However, entrants will be expected to reach the Finish by 5.00pm.

2.3 There will be cryptic clues to find on the way round.

3 ENTRIES

3.1 Entries will be accepted on the day upto 12.30 pm, but a phone call or text to 07795 204533, 24 hours beforehand would be helpful. E-MAIL; mikekirkrallying@aol.com

The entry fee will be £15 per car which will include; coffee, and mince pies at the start. Bar meals will be available all day at the Station Inn.

4 START

4.1 The start will be from 11.30 to 12.30. The finish will be when you get there but clue sheets will not be marked after 5pm.

4.2 Cars may leave the The Station Inn any time from 11.30 am, subject to paying entry fee and obtaining route information.

5 OFFICIALS

5.1 Clerk of the Course;   MIKE KIRK,      01539 728832

  Secretary of the Meeting; MIKE KIRK

  Results; MIKE KIRK   (see below)

6 RESULTS AND PROTESTS

6.1 The organiser’s decisions will be final ---- however un-solicited gifts of alcohol may be taken into account.

7 CLASSES AND AWARDS

7.1 There will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall, based on the highest scores (see 6.1 above!)

7.2 Subject to sufficient entries there may also be awards for the best ‘classic car’, and best ‘topless car’ i.e. an open top car that is driven with the hood down all day regardless of the weather.

 

The other event is the PETE COOPER MEMORIAL RUN on July 12th. This is just a short 60-70 mile run finishing at the KLMC Car’s the Star Show at Holker Hall.

Pete Cooper was a stalwart of Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club who sadly passed away in 2019. Pete was renowned for his passion for  Ford Cortinas. He reputedly had a ‘secret’ collection of one of every model of MK2 Cortinas, from standard 1300’s to a Lotus Cortina. His pride and joy though were his V6 Cortina Savages and it was with his last incarnation of one of these that he made his final KLMC Club appearance at the Car’s the Star Show, last July. Hence this little tour in his memory will finish at the 2020 show.

The route will start from the Crooklands and go via some typical road rally routes to Kirkby Lonsdale for a coffee and then past Pete’s home and into the South Lakes to Holker Hall, where cars will be displayed on the showfield.

Not much news at the moment, I recently marshalled on a very wet Grizedale Stages Rally, but declined an offer to do similar on Le Jog the following day. Getting cold and wet for your sport is O.K. once in a while, but not 2 days on the trot when you are bit older.

On the car front, the Porsche is tucked away for the winter unless we get a really nice sharp sunny day, the Escort has just passed its M.O.T. and becomes Tax Exempt at the end of this year (2019), while the Alpine is still awaiting some TLC which will have to be done sooner rather than later if my plans to compete in the Classic Marathon go ahead. I did see a fully rally prepared Alpine for sale, a car I actually have competed against and won a team prize alongside. It wasn’t big money either – but realistically I haven’t got the garage space – hmmm, what I want for Christmas this year is a four car garage with a flat above it!

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL IN THE NEW YEAR.

MIKE

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER BLOG

The Autumn Tour was a very successful way to end the season and gave me the incentive to make plans for 2020! The weather was remarkably kind to us on the first two days with the Lake District Scenery looking its stunning best on Tuesday and the Dales bathed in sunshine on Wednesday. Thursday was OK but the rain came in on Friday.

 

However, the low cloud wasn’t actually down to road level so although it did obliterate the views of Pen-y-ghent it made some of the other views more dramatic. The Crooklands and Gibbon Bridge both provided excellent accommodation and food and we had a little extra ‘treat’ with tea and scones (with lemon curd!) on arrival at Gibbon Bridge.

 

Although we went around Pendle Hill which is famous for its witches, and was looking rather sinister blanketed in cloud, it was actually at Muncaster Castle where the witches were more evident!

 

The only annoying part of the tour was ironically rather like the Alps Tour – “Route Baree”! One minor road was closed on Wednesday but the big disruption to the route was the closure of the full length of the Trough of Bowland. What made it more annoying was that it wasn’t actually closed. Those of us who ignored the signs and carried on, found there was just one man and a mini-digger cleaning out the ditches and his companion waved us through. This was particularly galling to those who followed the diversion signs and ended up doing a 40 mile detour across the M6 and back, because another road was closed on the direct route to Chipping and the hotel. Unbelievable! Fortunately it didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the event and ‘The Last Supper’ was held in a good ‘end of term’ atmosphere.

 

I didn’t get many photos though as I never seemed to be in the right place at the right time. The Porsche performed faultlessly but now may be put away for the winter, although we seem to be having a bit of an ‘Indian Summer’ up here in Cumbria so I may do a little advanced recce-ing in the next couple of days.


Once again, thanks for some stunning routes - probably the best Autumn tour of the many we have been on with you.  The colours of the bracken going over the moors was amazing and we had 2 or 3 good days of open-top motoring before the rain set in, which is more that we could hope for at this time of year.

Thanks for another great year of motoring, here’s to many more.

 All best wishes

 Helen & Brian Anderton

Hi Mike

Just to let you know how much we enjoyed this years Autumn, Lakes and dales Tour. The scenery at this time of year was stunning- shown off to it’s full advantage by your expert route planning and the good weather.

The hotels, as always, were excellent as was the company.

We look forward to more of the same next year.

Have a bit of a rest and best wishes for Christmas and 2020.

 

Cheers

Martin and Carol

 

Plans for 2020 are going ahead as per the proposed calendar in the last ‘blog’.

Brochures and confirmation of dates and prices should be sent out before Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER BLOG

PHEW! It has been a hectic few weeks! The ALPINE Tour was an epic in many ways and then it was straight back to organising The Autumn Tours.

In general the Alps Tour went very well after a few ‘teething problems’. The weather was very good in the main, only a couple of cloudy mornings and the top was down most of the time. The rendezvous at Portsmouth worked well and got things off to a good start, but unfortunately we lost one car before we reached the first hotel. The Roseby brothers Alpine stopped with only 20 miles to go with the splines stripped on one rear wire wheel. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of the crew and several others who stopped to help, the wheel wouldn’t come off altogether. We managed to organise some help from a nearby garage but the boys eventually had to admit defeat and resort to a hire car for the next few days. This resulted in them having to cut short their holiday to supervise the recovery of the Alpine. A great shame but they enjoyed what they did and made it home safely.

The route and all the main features more than lived up to expectations. The Millau viaduct was bathed in sunshine as was the following Gorge de Tarn. The Gorge du Verdun, the following day was covered in cloud and there were some heavy showers, but as it was a short day there was time for a coffee while the cloud cleared and most people saw this amazing spectacle in clear weather.

Similarly the Col de Bonnette was shrouded in cloud as we approached the summit, but those who braved the top loop were rewarded with clear views on the other side. The descent was made more interesting when we met a classic rally going in the opposite direction, dozens of MG’s Alpines, Tigers, Alfas etc, etc were obviously tackling the climb competitively. Later we ‘ran into’ a sort of off road 2CV rally. It all happens on a CCT(MK) Tour. 

Those who stayed on for the visit to the Mulhouse Museums were treated to a little surprise. The hotel was in the small town of Eguisheim, which turned out to be a ‘fairy tale’ type of place with mediaeval houses and lots of curious little alleyways – and it just happened to be ‘harvest festival’ when we arrived (the wine harvest) so there was a party atmosphere in the town.

 

One problem which we did have was that we managed to drink the bar dry of beer in more than one hotel. It was the end of season in some places and they obviously weren’t prepared for the English thirsts. No doubt they expected to have a last minute rush on wine sales. Many of the roadside cafes were also closed. The other ‘down side’ of the whole tour was the painful speed limits the French have now introduced, along with speed cameras in rural areas. 80k, or 50 mph, is the standard limit everywhere. Such a waste of beautiful driving roads, but still a great experience.

 

Another problem was the dreaded “Route Baree”, an organiser’s worst nightmare. In most cases they didn’t cause too much of a problem but it did cause one big disappointment (for me at least!), we couldn’t use the single track Tunnel des Ecouges, although the diversion did take us through quite a dramatic gorge.

The hotels varied from quirky to quite grand, and the fixed menus were an adventure in themselves, but all added to the experience. The Champagne reception at the final hotel went down well – literally!

I did come away with one resolution though – never to do such a long event again! Dealing with 12 different hotels was hard work.

 

Once home I barely had time to lie down in a darkened room as there were only 2 ½ weeks to the Autumn Tour, and I had several parts of the route to recce, and everything to type up. It was made worthwhile though as I received a few late entries to bring the numbers up to double figures.

I used the Boxster for the Alps trip (it was the main reason I bought it!) and I have to say it ran faultlessly and was a real pleasure to drive. Even 50 mph up some of those passes is quite enjoyable. I was planning to give the Escort a run out on at least part of the Autumn Tour but I have just realised the tax and M.O.T. have run out and I don’t really have time to do anything about it now – oh dear, I will have to use the Porsche again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020

Many people have been pressing me for details
of next year’s calendar. I keep telling them I am
retiring, but to no avail, so I suppose I will
have to do something?

The rough plan at the moment is something like this;

 

 

 

MARCH 30th – APRIL 2nd WELSH BORDERS AND THE SHROPSHIRE HILLS

Start Stratford then 3 nights near Ludlow

 

MAY 17th 21st      WOLDS – WINDERMERE

Start near Hull, The Yorkshire Wolds/Moors/Dales, 2 nights near Whitby (possibly a day on the North Yorks Moors Railway) finishing with 2 nights at Crooklands and a day in the Lakes.

 

JUNE      I am competing on the HERO Classic Marathon.

 

JULY14-18th THE NORTH BRITISH TOUR

Start/finish Crooklands  2 nights at Langley Castle, Lakes Borders and Pennines.

Option to stay on for;

JULY 19th   THE PETE COOPER MEMORIAL RUN

Half day in South Lakeland finishing at the Car’s the Star Show at Holker Hall

 

AUGUST 23-30th   ARDENNES AND EIFFEL

Brugges, Luxembourg, Eiffel Mountains, Belgium. 6 nights ex. Ferry.

 

OCTOBER  17/18th      LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

2 Nights at The Station Inn.

 

OCTOBER 19th – 22nd    AUTUMN TOURS

A reverse run of the 2019 Autumn Tours but with perhaps one completely different day. 2 nights at Gibbon Bridge 2 nights at Crooklands.

 

 

JULY/AUGUST BLOG

I have just returned from a somewhat demanding final recce for the ALPS TOUR. A case of the ‘best laid plans etc.’ Fantastic roads, incredible scenery but a series of unforeseen problems with venues closing down or being moved and road numbers and sign posts changed meaning that previous road books had to be redone causing a lot of extra work. This was all in 30plus degrees, wonderful for sitting by a pool all day but not ideal for sitting in a car all day. I am ashamed to admit it I got quite a taste for the fizzy foreign lager that I wouldn’t touch with the proverbial ‘barge poll’ in England. All the problems eventually got solved and the route proved as spectacular as I had hoped. It will be an ‘epic’ tour, but if anyone really doesn’t like heights – er, wrong tour!!

We did the trip in the old reliable ‘workhorse’, the Scirocco, which never missed a beat and averaged well over 50mpg. I took the Boxster for a run on a local motor club tour the following weekend and that didn’t quite manage the same economy – but it is fun. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet. I have even started both the Escort and the Alpine recently, but just can’t find time to drive them. I doubt if I can fit in a competitive rally in the Escort this year although I may take it out on at least one day of the Little Devils Tour. The Alpine is entered in a major foreign event next year so will have to pay a visit to the garage over the winter for another overhaul.

The Little Devils is filling up nicely with quite a few local ex-rally crews taking part. The Autumn Tour isn’t filling quite so quickly and there are plenty of places left at the moment, but with over 2 months to go things could change very quickly.

i.e. if you are thinking about it, don’t wait too long! 

SEPTEMBER BLOG

I never got time to finish last month’s blog so I might as well get an early September one in.

The Little Devils Tour went really well and my local pub, The Station Inn did us proud, everyone was impressed with the food and general atmosphere. The weather on Sunday was ideal for the run round the Northern Dales. Although there were a few very big showers the visibility was superb. The same couldn’t be said of Monday. Thick fog hid the views from Kirkstone Pass, the middle part of the route around the north lakes and Eden Valley was not too bad, but the run in to home which should have provided some spectacular views was blighted with torrential rain. Nevertheless the route was still appreciated by all.

(Hi Mike. 

Just to thank you for a great day, thought I new the roads round Cumbria but you still managed to take us on a lot of roads we hadn’t been  on before. Hope to get on some more runs in the future, see you soon. 

Regards Alan. )

The success of the Little Devils Tour, and the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the weekend (not necessarily because I go to spend a lot of time in my local), I think I may put more emphasis on this type of event next year. The Alps Tour has been a bit of a nightmare to organise and was making retirement look more and more attractive, but last weekend renewed my enthusiasm for the job.

I don’t intend to put out a 2019 calendar yet because we don’t know how ‘brexit’ is going to affect foreign travel, but I think there will definitely be fewer long events. For instance I am thinking of giving Scotland a rest and the proposed Donegal event may be postponed. The Belgian/Eiffel Tour looks possible as my friend and good customer, Hugo, has done some research for me already!

I will see how I feel after the Alps.

 

 

 

 

 

May/June Blog

I haven’t had time for a ‘Blog’ recently. The combined Scottish and Northumberland Tours meant about 14 days on the road solidly, then there was a week recce-ing Wolds-Wales and then a week in Ireland recce-ing a possible event for 2020  -and spectating on the Donegal International rally. In amongst all this I have been organising an over-lapping tour of Scotland for the Ferrari club of Luxembourg, partly for the week we are in Wales. Retirement—I wish!!

Scotland and Northumberland were blighted with bad weather although there were some good days and in general the scenery in Scotland is spectacular whatever the weather. It was just unfortunate that the last day of the Northumberland Tour was in thick mist. My planned ‘grand finale’ over Hartside and Kirkstone Passes was a great disappointment as you could hardly see the car in front. A sumptuous lunch at Langley Castle was some consolation. Let us hope the current sunshine lasts over the next couple of weeks, although I don’t mind if it is slightly cooler. I haven’t taken the Boxster out for a week or two – it has either been too wet or too hot, the old faithful workhorse, the Scirocco did us proud in Ireland and Wales.

We found some fabulous roads in Ireland and some surprising spectacular views which I hadn’t expected, even though I have visited the area before. The north west coast is stunning in sunny weather, white sands and turquoise seas and we found a fabulous hotel right on the beach. Dublin to Donegal a definite for 2020, possibly in May.

Other thoughts for next year is that I may modify the coast to coast event, Whitby to Whitehaven, as Whitby is a long way north for most of my customers, and to be honest Whitehaven is not the prettiest part of the Lake District to finish with. Instead I am looking at something similar but starting further south – Wolds to Westmoreland. The Yorkshire Wolds and through the Dales into Westmoreland – the old name for my ‘Neck of the Woods’.
 

The Eiffel and Ardennes is still on the cards but may need a bit more research. It might just need a recce trip to the Eiffel Rally.

There may be a large gap in the calendar in mid 2020 as I have entered another major classic rally in  

Spain and Portugal. (Something for 2021………?)

No more news on this years Alps trip. When everything has settled down I hope to get out there for a final recce.

FOOTNOTE;

I have just spent the day at Barbon Hillclimb. Beautiful sunshine all day, a 100 car entry, and crowds of spectators –typical, after all the bad weather we have had when I have incorporated it in a tour!

One thing I noticed in both Donegal and Barbon, is that while both attracted huge crowds of spectators, there were a large proportion of them who didn’t seem actually interested in the event. I couldn’t believe how many youngsters (under 40!) spent more time on their phones than actually watching the action, and in very many cases they spent the day with their backs to the track talking to their mates.

In Ireland the spectating was free, so I could see that many people would just be having afamily day out making the best of the occasion, but at Barbon you had to pay to get in. I’m obviously getting old. OK, OK so I am old!

  

April/May Blog

Well I finally bought that birthday present for myself. It is bright red and a sportscar, but no, I couldn’t quite manage the Dino. In the end I opted for a Boxster mainly because I fancied a convertible for the Alps, and I just happened to find a low mileage one in vivid red. I won’t say that I like it ---- but I have done 2,000 miles in barely two weeks. I perhaps rashly took it on the Downs to Downs Tour the day after I bought it and then had a few days finishing the route notes for Nothumberland. I have got to say that driving the quiet Northumberland roads in a red sports car with the top down in glorious weather was just “living the dream”!


The Downs to Downs Tour wasn’t quite as idyllic, the first two days were rather wet and on Tuesday in particular there was just one big shower – from morning until night. I am always being told it only rains in the North! Well, I now beg to differ! Wednesday was better for the crossing to the Isle of Wight and then Thursday was perfect, showing the Island off at its best. In those conditions I think everyone would have been happy to stay another day and there is certainly plenty to see, but the roads were incredibly busy in places. In contrast some of the Surrey and Hampshire backwaters were relatively quiet but unfortunately the weather didn’t allow us to appreciate the pleasant if very wooded countryside. 

At one point on the Isle of Wight we stopped at a view point to admire the view not only of the coast but also an interesting sports car. It was a Healey 3000 replica with a 5 litre Chevy V8 and was there to star in a Bollywood film --- you see everything on a CCT(MK) tour. 

Since getting home I have taken the Escort out on the MINTEX YORKSHIRE RALLY TOUR. An interesting event based on the old MINTEX rally but totally non-competitive. That is, there was no timing but there were some spectacularly good special stages where you could go as fast as you liked without all the hassle of competition licences, crash helmets, overalls etc. It was upto you – need I say more.

After weeks of aggrevation with the car and not getting it running until the afternoon we were setting off to York, the little …….. ran perfectly, and once we had navigated our way through the centre of Leeds and Bradford on a Saturday morning, we had great fun.  

The event was designed as a sort of show case/demonstration event for cars and crews of 70-80’s rallying. At one point we were in a queue of cars which represented the entire rally scene of this period, with a Chevette, Lotus Sunbeam, TR8, Renault Alpine, and of course Mk1 and 2 Escorts. It was good to see a vast variety of cars, with only a few Escorts but all sorts of rarities such as a Stratos, 2 Ferrari 250SWB replicas, Renault 5 turbos, Hillman Hunters and Avengers and a Safari Spec Beetle. There were also celebrity drivers, some actually driving, others just there for the after dinner speeches. Drivers included Billy Coleman (Philliskirk Mk2 Escort), Cahal Curley (Beetle), Louise Aitken Walker (Toyota Corolla), Robin Eyre-Maunsell (Toyota Celica) and these joined Russell Brookes and Peter Scott for the after dinner entertainment.

It was an enjoyable if somewhat expensive weekend although with all those famous names to pay expenses for and venues such as Harewood Hillclimb and Bramham Park, it was easy to see where the money went, but the organisation did leave a little to be desired. If it had been a competitive event it could have been a shambles with queues and delays and sometimes a lack of information – but there again as an organiser myself I am probably being a little ‘picky’. Just watch this space for details of a “Devils Own Rally Retro” in 2020. I can’t promise famous stages or famous competitors, but I think I can promise a better route.

 

 

 

February Blog

 

I didn’t want to make an ‘Ass’ of myself driving in the recent snow and ice, so went for a long walk instead.

Nothing much to report this month with the weather so bad, however things should start to move soon. I am visiting Race Retro on Sunday 24th  so if anyone is about I may bump into you. From Stoneleigh I am then going on to recce the Downs to Downs route and maybe some other little diversions on the way home.

The only news on other events is that I have decided to swap the two days around on THE LITTLE DEVILS TOUR in August. This is because we usually get a handful of entries from local car clubs for the Sunday run, and these tend to include some ex-rally drivers who remember the original Devils Own Rallies. Therefore I thought the proposed Monday run was more suitable for them, and the proposed Sunday route was more of a scenic tour, plus it was very similar to last years Sunday route. The actual content of both days is still basically the same as advertised, just swapped round. The Station Inn is now fully booked so future entries will be accommodated at the B+B down the road, so if you are thinking about entering please let me know A.S.A.P. before the B+B gets booked up!

Everything else is proceeding as planned but I do have some spaces available for Scotland and Northumberland. I have no more news about the Alps tour – I am waiting for Brexit like everyone else! All the hotels have been provisionally booked but some seem to want to beat Brexit and are asking for sizeable deposits. I am stalling them at the moment but we will soon reach a point where I will have to ask for a further instalment of the entry fee if I have to pay these deposits.

During the dark nights my mind has wandered to 2020 and while I do intend to slow down a little, the following are in mind;

COAST TO COAST  - Yorkshire Moors to Lake District. (Whitby – Whitehaven)

DUBLIN – DONEGAL via the Glens of Leitrim. (North West Ireland)

THE EIFFEL TOUR – No not Paris – The Eiffel Mountains in Germany (plus the Ardennes in Belgium)   EU permitting!

LITTLE DEVILS DE JA VUE – A complete re-run of the 2018 Devils Own Classic – without the timing, the tests and the forests – a surprisingly scenic route even though most of it was originally run in the dark. (South Lakes).

There will probably be something else but I don’t know what yet. Maybe Shropshire and Welsh Borders? Or a re-run of one of the original HIGH ROADS TOURS.

As for the ‘fleet’; the Alpine still hasn’t seen the light of day yet, and the Escort is currently having a check over with a view to doing a competitive event next month. Also during the dark winter evenings my mind has wandered to the Alps Tour and the thought of doing it in something a little more appropriate than the Scirocco…….. no not the Alpine. Been there and done that!

I may buy myself a belated birthday present?

Well, I can dream can’t I ? (the top one is probably a fantasy rather than a dream, but the bottom one, hmmmm?)

HAPPY NEW YEAR

The first load of old bull for 2019 

Thank you to the surprising number of you who sent me Birthday cards - I’ve never had so many! I was also amazed that so many of you were surprised I was 70, although I did suspect there was perhaps a ‘tongue in cheek’ element to some of the remarks. All I can say, it isn’t due to an easy paper round, but perhaps 30 years as a Civil Servant wasn’t too taxing - or it may be that alcohol is just a good pickling agent. Suffice to say I haven’t retired yet.

I did say to people on the ‘Stuff the Turkey’ treasure hunt that it might be my last as I was planning to retire when I was 71. Unfortunately someone spotted the flaw in that. As the ‘Turkey’ is usually the day before my birthday I will still only be 70 next year! Dash! Or words to that effect.

As for the treasure hunt itself, it was reasonably successful with 14 starters. This year I used a new format where instead of giving everyone a set route, I merely gave them all a map with the rough location of the clues marked on it. As you would expect though it wasn’t quite as simple as that, as there wasn’t an obvious route around the clues in any particular order, so it was down to the individuals to devise the best/shortest/most practical route. This didn’t totally phase the normally ‘fancied’ crews but some of the less experienced ones were completely lost from the word go. This wasn’t my intention but I had to make it hard enough to get a result. Somebody once got a full score. However one crew retired after only getting 3 clues after going through the same village 4 times – you might wonder why they didn’t try somewhere else!? And 2 crews arrived at the finish before I had had my lunch, but had only got 7 out of the 47 points available. I was actually quite relieved when the winners arrived back well before the deadline and scored 44 out of the 47. This vindicated my plan as no one could then say it was too difficult. In fact previous winners came 2nd and 3rd with 40 and 35 points respectively.

On a slightly less encouraging note, I now have several more places available on the Scottish Tour, as several promised bookings have not materialised – so if you are thinking about it, please let me know before I have to cancel the hotel rooms – which will be sooner rather than later.

The ALPS Tour still looks healthy although I could possibly take another 1 or 2 but again I will have to start finalising hotels soon. It is impossible at this stage to know how, or if, the dreaded Brexit is going to affect things.  As things stand there should be no major problems unless there is a dramatic drop in the exchange rate after March 31st.

There are still a few places on most of the other tours.

The weather has been so grey* recently and the days so short I haven’t been out and about much and the cars haven’t come out of the garage. The poor Alpine hasn’t been started for months, so that is my New Year’s resolution, get it going on the first nice day of 2019. I have started the Escort regularly – just because it sounds great in the garage. Once a boy racer etc. – did I really just turn 70?

 

MIKE KIRK

 HAPPY TOURING IN 2019

*FOOTNOTE;

New Year’s Day was nice and sunny! See above.

Some views you will see on the Little Devils and/or Autumn Tours

 

 Merry Christmas

To all CCT(MK) customers and friends, past, present and future.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SUPPORTED US THIS YEAR

As I have mentioned before we are becoming more like a club with a ‘hard core’ of regular customers who I like to think have become firm friends – with each other as well as me! Several people have commented on “what a nice group of people you get on your tours”………………hmmm. The enclosed brochures are almost surplus to requirements I am amazed to say! Half the events on the calendar are very nearly full already.

 There are 12 couples confirmed for the Alps in September. I could take a couple more but you will have to be quick! Similarly there are 12 provisionally booked for Scotland with 5 more just for Northumberland. As ever it is hotel availability which is the governing factor on numbers. I also have ten provisional for Wolds to Wales, and currently have ten rooms booked at the final hotel Chateau Rhianfa, so I will need to know if there are any more likely takers for this tour.

PLEASE NOTE – THE WOLDS-WALES TOUR is July 8th to 13th  The tour starts on Monday night (8th) and finishes on Saturday night (13th), both nights included.

The Little Devils Tour will just be 2 days based at the Station Inn again but we won’t be visiting the hillclimb at Barbon.

For those who live near enough, or fancy a night in the Lakes, there will be the ‘Stuff the Turkey’ treasure hunt on Friday 28th December. (The day before my 70th birthday!!).  A 30 mile scenic run around south Cumbria with some cryptic clues to answer as you go. A chance to get the ‘little grey cells’ working again after the inertia of Christmas. This is based at my local pub and I may be able to organise accommodation for anyone interested.

Full details for most tours are now on the ‘itineraries page’.

I am already thinking about 2020 – so no retirement yet. Belgium, (the Ardennes), and Germany, (the Eiffel mountains) and Ireland, (Donegal) are the subjects for my winter researching this time. After that I might just take some time to tick off items on my own ‘bucket list’. I think there is still some serious rallying to be done!

MIKE KIRK

HAPPY TOURING IN 2019


FRIDAY DECEMBER 28TH

 

START HEVERSHAM HOTEL 11.30AM

 

FINISH STATION INN OXENHOLME

 

ENTRY FEE  £15 per car

includes coffee and mince pies.

 

CRYPTIC AND ‘OBSERVATIONAL’ CLUES

 

30 MILE SCENIC ROUTE

 

PRIZES FOR CLASSIC AND/OR ‘TOPLESS’ CARS

 

N.B. TO BOOK AN ENTRY; PHONE OR TEXT, MIKE KIRK  

07795204533  BEFORE WEDNESDAY 26TH.    

e.mail – mikekirkrallying@aol.com

REGULATIONS

1.0 EVENT DEFINITION

1.1 The STUFF THE TURKEY is a non-competitive  "Touring Assembly"/Treasure Hunt for all road going cars of any age. All vehicles must be correctly registered, currently licensed with a valid MOT Certificate, and be in roadworthy condition. Trade plates are forbidden. Cars may be scrutineered for compliance with the RTA prior to the event.

1.3   The event will run on Friday, December 28th, 2018.

1.4   The event will be run under a ‘Waiver of Permit’ issued by Motorsport UK.

Entrants need not be members of any recognised motor club, nor have a Competition Licence. Drivers must hold a current and full driving licence, and have valid insurance in accordance with the requirements of the Road Traffic Act.

2.0 THE ROUTE

2.1 The total route is approximately 30 miles, starting at the HEVERSHAM HOTEL 97/495834 and finishing at the STATION INN, Oxenholme.

2.2 There will be no timing. However, Entrants will be expected to reach the Finish by 5.00pm.

2.3 There will be no designated route but entrants must find and answer cryptic clues, the location of which will be shown on a marked map issued at the start.

3.0 ENTRIES

3.1 Entries will be accepted on the day upto 12.30 pm, but a phone call or text to 07795 204533, 24 hours beforehand would be helpful. E-MAIL; mikekirkrallying@aol.com

The entry fee will be £15 per car which will include; coffee, and mince pies at the start. Bar meals will be available all day at the Station Inn.

4.0 START

4.1 The start will be from 11.30 to 12.30. After 12.30 I will be on my way back to the Station so late entries cannot be accepted this time. The finish will be when you get there but clue sheets will not be marked after 5pm.

4.2 Cars may leave the The Heversham Hotel any time from 11.30 am, subject to paying entry fee and obtaining route information.

5.0 OFFICIALS

5.1 Clerk of the Course;   MIKE KIRK,      01539 728832

     Secretary of the Meeting; MIKE KIRK

      Results; MIKE KIRK   (see below)

6.0 RESULTS AND PROTESTS

6.1 The organiser’s decisions will be final ---- however un-solicited gifts of alcohol may be taken into account.

7.0 CLASSES AND AWARDS

7.1 There will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall, based on the highest scores (see 6.1 above!)

7.2 Subject to sufficient entries there may also be awards for the best ‘classic car’, and best ‘topless car’ i.e. an open top car that is driven with the hood down all day regardless of the weather.