Sunday, 16 August 2015

Second Border Raiders Tour

Over the previous weekend (8th and 9th of August) I took part in the second edition of Club Triumph's (Pendle & Pennine Area) Border Raiders' Tour. As ever when taking part in these northerly events we (in this case René with his Dolomite and me as his (co)driver) used the IJmuiden-Newcastle ferry to cross to England. This crossing has the advantage that wherever you go, the roads are rather challenging or are just nice to drive (with the added bonus of some nice scenery). This part of the journey sadly was slightly overshadowed by the fact the Brits have taken extreme measures to prevent illegal's entering the country. Which meant it took us 45 minutes extra to get on our way. At least the weather was fine and by the time we had left Newcastle behind, it was time to enjoy ourselves on some lovely roads. But the enjoyment was spoilt a bit by an ever louder blowing exhaust. Eventually, just past Stanhope Ford, we had to pull over to investigate. As some exhaust fumes had started to enter the cabin, it was easy to find. One of the nuts holding the downpipe to the manifold had come loose. As space is rather confined in the engine bay of a Dolomite this was rather awkward to rectify without burning the skin of your (or rather René's) arm. But with some assistance from me (I took some pictures, and gave irrelevant advice 😜 we were back on the road within 15 minutes ...

With the exhaust sorted it was time to enjoy some very nice roads and views North of Richmond, being my traditional lunch stop when travelling to Club Triumph (Pendle & Pennine) events.

Sadly the Buck Inn in Richmond, which I have been using as a lunch stop for almost ten years now, didn't serve food that Friday. Shame really as the views from their beer garden is rather nice ...

We didn't starve though and after a decent lunch and a short walk through this pretty little market town, we headed further south-west into the Yorkshire Dales. And by the end of the afternoon we arrived at the start of the Tour; The Old Stone Trough in Kelbrook. The evening's entertainment consisted of a BBQ and a few beers.

Next morning started rather nice, and after a short briefing by Martin Randle we were flagged of at 10:05 ...

The name for the Tour suggests that we should be heading for the English-Scottish border area. But thanks to lots of other events North of the border it was advised that it would be better not to venture across into Scotland. Luckily there are more than enough driving alternatives South of the border. With the first day (red) passing to the east of the Yorkshire Dales, heading north towards Newcastle for the overnight stop.

And as René wanted to enjoy the scenery from the co-driver's seat, I was "forced" to do the driving. Have to admit I didn't need much persuasion! But after some 40 miles into the first stage (actually in Kirkby Malzeard) I noticed that the exhaust again was starting to get steadily louder. Time to get the spanners out again. It looked like the thread on the top stud was on the way out. Nothing we could do but tighten it as far as we dared, which did cure the problem. But this meant that the problem would probably rear its ugly head every 40 miles or so, with the chance of stripping the stud's thread in the process. To prevent this happening we went for a little bodge repair. Using some steel wire we made a noose which we put around the stud underneath the nut. After which the wire was stretched tightly across the nut, thus preventing it from becoming undone.

Pleased to say that the problem didn't return after that. So I could enjoy the driving and René the scenery and the roadbook. But luckily it was not all about driving. And well past noon we stumbled upon the little, but very picturesque village of Blanchland, were we had lunch in the backyard of the local pub/hotel.

After which it was a relaxing drive towards the hotel near Newcastle. This was also the start for the second day ...

After the start of day 2 we first followed the old military road West, following (the remains of) Hadrian's Wall for some 16 miles before heading steadily South towards Kelbrook. And as on day one the Weather Gods were on our hands, with only some very light drizzle from time to time. But overall the weather remained fine. But all things must end, and after an extra stop for afternoon tea in Gisburn, we arrived back at the Old Stone Trough in Kelbrook. The second edition of the border Raiders was over. Thanks to Martin for organizing the event and Mik for finding all the brilliant roads.

As it was €50,- cheaper to take the return crossing on Tuesday instead of Monday we had a day to spare before heading back to the ferry. We used the opportunity to put on our walking boots for a lovely walk through the Upper Swaledale. Which, despite three heavy but short rain showers, was rather enjoyable. A few pictures to tell the story;

View over Muker from Ivelet Side.

Looking at Crackpot Hall, upper Swaledale.

Abandoned Ferguson (?) tractor below Crackpot Hall.

Remains of a dry stone wall, North Gang Scar.

View over Muker from North Gang Scar.

Lunch at the Farmers Arms in Muker.

River Swale below Calvert Houses.

Ivelet Bridge.

Marble Scar.

Buttertubs Pass.

But sadly all things come to an end, and  on Tuesday we had to head back to the ferry. But not before we visited a well known Triumph TR7 specialist, S&S Preparations in Bacup. Although their premises look more like a car breakers yard, there's no doubt about their expertise and the quality of their work on all things TR7 ...

It was good to see Steve again and have a chat with him on all things related to TR7's. But before we knew it we had to leave as we had a ferry to catch. While heading towards North Shields and the ferry, we stopped for lunch in Blubberhouses. And here we encountered some more derelict looking vehicles. A nice end to a nice trip  ...

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