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THURSDEN POINT TO POINT.

 

The Trans Pennine vintage commercial vehicle run was in full swing as we headed West along the Calder Valley to Hebden Bridge. Buses, mainly double deckers seemed to be the main theme but there were quite a few old lorries and vans, and tucked in the middle of the convoy was a smart 1948 Landy, it certainly gave us something interesting to watch as we travelled.

 

We passed the 'Yorkshire' triallers at Heptonstall, and trundled on the narrow bumpy road past Widdop Reservoir to Thursden.

This is a brand new piece of land for us, for which we can thank Jeff Braithwaite for obtaining permission, and at first glance I wondered just what we were letting ourselves in for. Half the field looked like a Lunar landscape with towering mounds of rock, while the flat bits were pocked with holes as if it had been peppered with 30, 000 rounds of howitzer shells. It was also noted that some of these overgrown mole hills had markers on the top that looked suspiciously like section markers'. The other half of the field was surrounded by a ring of trees and was much higher than the lumpy bit, it was also criss-crossed by a number of wide marshy dykes, it, was in this part of the field that the start was situated.

Scrutineering was done as you entered the field, it was also where Malcolm Foreman very cunningly placed himself and the club shop so that he could have a captive audience to flog gear to. The weather was nice, which makes a change in our imitation Summer we're having this year, and spectators were plentiful,. Wait until the season starts on August 12th though'.

 

In fact for the first time in a very, very long time we only had a small turn out on a competitive event, 18 Land Rovers to be precise.

There were 12 sections for us to find and then negotiate, so at 11.10 6 teams of 3 were let loose like the hordes of Genghis Khan to wreak havoc and destruction (among themselves more than the land!. )

 

The usual format was employed of a one and a half hour time limit in which to get all 3 vehicles through the 12 sections, time to be the deeding factor for teams having completed all the sections.

 

The 2 month lay off from competitive events, (Kettlewell Gymkhana being the last event) must have meant that a lot of diffs had gone rusty, it was like a dentists surgery there were so many teeth being extracted . Carl Amos did a front diff very early on as did Barry Darwin.

 

A lot of thought had  gone into the siting of the sections and they were difficult to get to as well as needing a lot of thought as to the shortest way between them. There were many razor edged ridges, throughout the field which caught Land Rovers right on their cross members, and left them like beached whales, all four wheels spinning in thin air and the driver's language matching the colour of the exhaust smoke. George Carruthers put his diesel lightweight on its side, and then later, obviously not content with the way he did it first time, he did it again ........ glutton for punishment our George, Richard Hobbs was green with envy 'cos he

Couldn’t do any better than going on 2 wheels all day'.

 

By 1pm all the teams were back, 4 having done all the sections and 2 not, but all still in the running for the afternoon's run, well, after a bit of work that is!.

People and spanners descended on the front axle of Carl Amos's lightweight like  the Klondyke Gold Rush had started all over again.

 

The rest of us made full use of the sun which was shining upon us and butties were consumed with great rapidity, mainly to stop the flies getting on them'. Time was also taken to teach certain passengers how to carry on counting after, they run out of fingers in order that we didn’t spend half the afternoon looking for the 13th section like we had in the morning , . . . if the cap fits and all that!!

The sections were reduced to 11 for the afternoon and 4 them were moved to make them much more difficult.

 

1-15 saw us off again, with at least one team with a 2 wheel drive Land Rover, now that we all knew where the sections were, the pace hotted up quite a bit, and the 'new' improved' sections were quite impassable. Carl had spent all lunch break swopping his diff only to have his team mate 'Terrible Ted' retire after doing his front diff and getting a rope wrapped round the front wheel which pulled his brake pipe off, definitely not their day'. David Sagar Barry Darwin and George Carruthers were carrying on though Barry still had only 2fw drive, every time I saw them they were lashed together as a ten wheel drive caterpillar, Ian Bartram and his team came back to the finish, decided they'd missed a section and ricked off to look for it. By this time I think the spectators outnumbered the competitors

about 6 to 1, perhaps we ought to have gone round with the hat?

Eventually the time ran out and only 3 teams had returned , I knew about Carl’s team but what happened to Jim Burgess,  Dicky Day and Co, I don't know ..... I wonder if there still up there ??????

 

The results were as follows;

 

1st Team. David Simmonite, Melanie Simmonite and myself

2nd Team. David Sagar, Barry Darwin and George Carruthers

3rd Team. Tim Hovie, Ian Bartram and Neil Spencer.

 

(I've always said 'women drivers were good !! )

 

As always I would like to say a big thanks to the unsung heroes, our trusty marshalls, Us and particularly Jeff Braithwaite and Colin Howe for the help they gave John Lister in running the event.

 

 
 
MSA and ARC club members are welcome to come along and join our events. Phone Mark on 07866 506521 / 01282 703718

 

 

Pennine Land Rover Club, Pennine LRC