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NATIONAL '79 (From a Lancashire worm's eye view).

 

We are writing this in reply to Mr. R. Day's caustic comments in the May edition of BB re non-contribution of articles from members. This, we hope, will be the first of many. You must bear in mind that it is harder for us -to write because we have no schools in this area and we learnt to make our mark be scribbling on flag stones.

 

Six of our 'Gang' arranged to meet and travel to Harewood together, but as usual only three arrived at the appointed place at the appointed time, so the 'Gang' of three set off. After many adventures (Crashing through the Lancs/Yorks border check points) we arrived at Harewood House. Our little bit of 'Royal Turf was conveniently near the 'Beer Tent'; At this point we must say that the organisation was terrific, getting everyone placed on the field in reasonable order was a hell of a job.

 

At last the rest of our 'Gang' arrived, parked and then we rallied forth (or fifth) to the beer tent. To our uneducated taste buds the Theakstons beer was great, but next morning, and after only two pints, we all had  hangovers. Anyway! Dawn broke and off to scrutineering which  we went, all but one passed. Carl Amos had a broken back spring. This was quickly replaced, in fifteen minutes, with at least ten helpers (is this a record?). Carl's 'Red Devil' then passed.

 

Off we went to the Team Recovery area to do battle. Mick Moore and Paul Dewhurst were the first of our 'Gang' to play. Mike Henny and Richard Bradshaw followed, Ted Hartley and Carl Amos went shortly after and liked it so much that they went round twice. Unfortunately none of us won or were placed in this event.

 

In the afternoon it was fun time (Gymkhana), and due to persistent rain it was getting a bit gungy under foot and wheel. But we all had fun, except Ted who broke a diff and halfshaft. The evening was well spent, dancing and drinking, (Not Theakstons Beer!)

 

Srutineering on Sunday preceded the 'trial', which started about 10-30am. The thirteen sections were well planned with wide sticks, even for Series  2's. Again an enjoyable event, except for Ted, who broke another diff and halfshaft. (He will have a special.)

 

Another 'Good Night' was had by all drinking and dancing, but by this time the 'dance floor' had degenerated into a bog. Have you ever tried dancing in wellies?

 

Monday morning squelched in with more rain, and off we went to the 'Comp Safari', we thought that the sun always shone on the Y.R.O.C.

 

After the trial run round it was obvious that some parts were impossible to do, and the event was cancelled by the Park Management. Even though it was a 'wet do' we all enjoyed ourselves and our thanks must go to all who helped to make this 'National' a success. Paul Dewhurst was 'our' only winner, with third lightweight in his class in the trial. Monday afternoon saw us packing up to depart 'fair' Yorkshire. We attended .the prize giving, booing and cheering in the right places (I THINK), then into our motors and back over the border to the dark, satanic lands of Lancashire.

 

OK lads I'll play the game, I give in, who did write this article?? I've a feeling it was a team effort, so it's from one of two groups of the Lancashire Loonies, the fact they haven't signed it probably means they couldn't remember their names at the time!

 

The club is now just about made up of 40% from Yorkshire, 40% from Lancashire and 20% from all points North, South, East and West, in fact a quick peek at 'Arry's mailing list sees two or three Continental addresses, you never know we might get a Common Market subsidy for exporting surplus goods.

 

Thanks anyway lads for your contribution. Now I must move on to more  cultural happenings. After Pennine poetry we now have the first offerings for a Pennine official song book, to be sung while under the affluence of incohol preferably!

 

These particular lyrics have been supplied by Sandra Harlington of Doncaster. I hope you'll all learn the words thoroughly as we'll be testing you at the next film night!

 

THE PENNINE WILD ROVER (to the tune Wild Rover)

 

I've owned a Land Rover for many a year,

And I've spent all my money on petrol and beer.

I've driven cross rivers and up mountain sides,

And Ive got a bruised chassis from the bumpy ride.

 

Chorus:

And it's no, nay, never. No, nay, never no more

Will I drive my Land Rover o'er those Pennine Moors.

In Penniner's garb I look quite a sight,

And the oil on me coat would give 'Duckhams' a fright.

I've woollie hat and jumper that rarely see soap,

An 'elmet and wellies and me trusty tow rope.

Chorus.

Now some people's Landies have ne'er seen a field,

They've panels all straight and bright shiny wheels.

But my Landie's tackled the hail, sleet and snow

And its only straight panel bent six months ago.

Chorus.

There's Land Rover trials and Comp Safari,

And that car bending joy Team Recovery.

And all of your friends, when you get stuck,

Give a smile, stick their tongues out and holla 'Hard Luck'.

Chorus.

On reaching the rally we go-to the pub,

For gallons of ale and tons of Pub Grub.

There's mud on the tables and mud on the floor,

And the Landlady's prayer is we'll go there no more.

Chorus.

Last week at the rally I tried hard to win,

But the mud patch it beat me and I sank right in.

Right up to the axles and over me boots,

I cried out for help but I only got toots.

Chorus.

Last month at Catterick that greatest event,

I went all round the course without getting bent.

I was fastest through forest and fastest through streams,

But the prizes I won are still stuck in my dreams.

Chorus.

Now if you have a Landie for a 3 month old boy,

Be it a long one or short one or only a toy,

Please send it to my son who loves Landies too,

And I promise I'll write no more songs about you.

Chorus: And it's aye and forever, aye and forever more,

He will drive HIS Land Rover o'er those Pennine Moors.

 

Sandra Harlington

 

THE HAPPIEST MAN AT THE NATIONAL

 

The 1979 National may have been a disappointment for some, but it certainly wasn't for me. In fact, my friends called me the Happiest Man at the National - and so I was. But my story begins long before May 1979, so bear with me a bit.

 

When I left the United States in 1974 to come to England, I left my LWB International 4x4 behind. Our school geography lessons had taught us that England was one of the most densely populated countries in the world - no place for a 4 x 4, so I thought. Fortunately, it wasn't too long after my arrival that I discovered how wrong I had been. Off roading was alive and well in England - particularly in Pennine country. For the next few years I attended many Pennine evants and finally bought my own Land Rover, after explaining to the better half that it was to pull our caravan.

 

Well, I got a bit carried- away with paint, tires (tyres- Ed.), etc., etc. and just couldn't see it getting bashed on Pennine events. (Never did like the colour-Ed.) It was our road motor and we used it hard, including two long caravan trips to the Continent. Another year of spectating passed until Windy Hill 78 when I crewed. Just one overt act of participation and I was hooked - I had to become a competitor.

 

Luck was with me, because Tom Roberts had an 80 that only needed a 'few minor points' corrected, and it would be a good trials machine. I agreed to provide the unskilled labour, while Tom would provide technical advice, tools, etc. Our game plan was: start in January, complete it by March/April, enter several trials and get it spot on by National time. Unfortunately, our plan didn't even come close! There were many reasons why our plan failed, such as the day when our 'Resident Expert in 80 inch Land Rovers', Heath Smith, asked "Have you found the rot in the bulkhead yet?"

 

"Yes, there is a small patch right here in the bottom".

 

"No", says Resident Expert, "That's not where you look on 80's. Whip off the windscreen and look under the rubber gasket."

 

So I did and guess what - nothing, I mean no metal left! The bulkhead was in much worse condition than first thought. To make this story short, time flew past and we were working till midnight most every night. Our engine was still in bits with one week to go. So, one evening when we knew Big Norman Fleming was at his karate lessons, we piled into Cliff Roberts' Purple Demon and 'borrowed' Norman's spare engine from his garden shed. Tom and Cliff assured me that Norman would have given us permission to use his engine if he were home. Strange though, they said it would be best if I told Norman that we'd borrowed his engine!

 

The 80 was 'finished' (well, running) on Friday morning, the day before the National, but only because many of the Newnham Street Gang pitched in and helped. Tom Roberts really helped by breaking a bone in his foot and winding up on crutches. Our great plans for trial runs, etc. were reduced to a shakedown run from the trailer parking lot (car park - Ed.) to the Scrutinisers.

 

I had nothing to fear from the scrutiniser, after all, hadn't just about everything been replaced - brakes, pipe lines, cross members, etc., etc.? Would you believe that the very first thing touched failed? A clamp was loose on a tie rod end (track rod end- Ed.). My face was as red as my lightweight. One quick turn with the Whitworth wrench (spanner-Ed.) and      it passed. Now the long wait until Saturday morning and my first event -     Team Recovery.

My teammate was none other than Resident Expert. Well, two 80's should make a good team. I had watched many team recoveries during the past few years, but watching this one was considerably different. Heath and I would soon have our turn and we should set out some plan.

 

Oh-my-gawd it is our turn on the starting line. We're off and I am to go down and up the other side first. Strange, they never used hills this steep before! Half way up, I bog down and Heath is right there with the rope. Up I go and now it is my turn to get info-position to help Heath if he needs it. Great - 7000 acres of.Harewood Estate and I have to use the same square foot of land for the tow rope and the front tire. Quick, back into the 80 and move it up a foot. I'm certain they never used hills this steep before.

 

Now the other hill - I am first, then Heath - now we're done. Time? - well, not the best , but then not the worst.

 

Saturday afternoon and the Gymkhana brought another sort of competition. My wife had teamed with Nora Roberts, Tom's wife and they were good. I just couldn't let them beat us. Results - interesting.

 

Sunday and the trial, and that was what this whole exercise was about.   While waiting in line for the start, I thought I heard a con-rod (big end, Ed.    bearing banging, but soon discovered it was just my heart. And I was off along with my navigator. Bob (The Torch) Fenton. Our combined total experience being zilch (nil, Ed.).

 

After the first section, things settled down to a pattern. What I soon discovered about trialling was: (1.) It is harder than it looks. (2.) You sure can get pooped out running up and down the sections to check them out before driving them. (3.) They're using steeper hills than they did before, and (4.) It sure is fun. (a reight do, Ed.) Results - no trophies and no damage.

 

Monday brought the final event, the Comp. Safari. I had mixed emotions about this event believing that trials were more my speed. But I entered. What the hell, it was Tom's Land Rover and Norman's engine. What did I have to lose?

 

As you all know, we only had one lap 'en masse'. But it was enough to wet my appetite. The happiest man at the National was soon among the most disappointed when we learned the Comp. Safari had to be cancelled.

 

The purpose of this tale, which our illustrious editor has goaded me into writing, is to invite some of you other 'closet competitors' out into the open. Try it once, and you'll be hooked!

 

Dick Schaffer

 

PILLING SAND-ROVER RACE

 

At last, all is to be revealed, the biggest revelation since Diana Dors bared her left bosom - what happens at PLRC committee meeting.

B.H.2. 'One of the lads, James, says he's found a beach at Pilling Sands

near Blackpool!'

Rest of Committee. 'ZZzzzz. . , eh!, oh aye, ZZzzz'

B.H.2. 'I've been and it seems alright.'

Rest of Committee. 'ZZzzzz. . , eh! oh aye, ZZzzz'

Dicky. 'Mine's a whisky and orange.'

B.H.2. 'Well done Dicky, one volunteer is worth two pressed men, mine's a pint.'

Orders for the rest of the committee are taken and sampled. Committee

en block, 'ZZzzzz . . .'

Harry screams in his sleep, 'NO! NO! Not another 3000 gallons, there's got

to be a sewer somewhere.'

Neil. 'That's settled then, make a note of that Nigel, a weekend do on the beach, sun, sand castles, naked bronzed ladies on the beach, going for a swim!

Dave, David and Johnathan promptly wake up and all say, 'I'll second that and Melonie says, 'It's not that far off membership renewal time.' So yet another committee meeting drew to a close, the very core of Pennine competitive spirit flowing home. Dicky feeling conned yet again,  B.H.2 with a rosy glow of satisfaction inside him and the rest of the committee thankful for small mercies.

 

Never having run a gymkhana before, in fact never having been to one to see what happens (I went to the '79 National, but that was run by Yorkshire so it doesn't count.) I had to ponder upon what to do, events had to be formulatedl The Rochdale Mafiosa got together and out came a do. Basic rules were that a 1 cylinder concrete mixer powered LWB stood as much chance as an 80" with a V14 Ferguson Formula turbocharged thing in it. As it happened that is how it worked out.

 

Firstly, as I was conned into being a social Secretary I thought about socialising but, being a married man, I had to think again, so I thought about a Barbeque instead. Originally it was thought that about 70 to 80 would fork out their cash, but eventually that rose to nearly 150 with even more people asking on the day for nosh tickets. Sorry, but it couldn't be done.

 

Preparations began. The see-saw was tested on the road outside my house, it seemed to work alright then, kids were pushed down and their spades pinched, flags were made, we packed and set off. Graham had signposted the route there, so there was no problem! The lad from  Cheshire R.O.C. set off and when nearly there he stopped to ask the way. 'Excuse me Jack, but can you tell me the way to Pilling Sands?' 'How did you know I was called Jack?' 'Well I guessed it.' 'Well in that case you can guess your way to Pilling Sands!'

 

Anyway, we all got there. The sections were laid out and the tide rose! Remember reading about a 9.2 foot rise? I wish I'd have been told that it changes to a 25 foot one when there's an onshore breeze. However at 12.45pm I used the ultimate threat, 'B.H.2 is coming' - back fell the sea and at exactly 12 noon P.l.T. (Pennine Impeccable Timing) the afternoon's session started.

 

It was then that I became disheartened, disgusted, and damned disagreeable, (for all those entrants, passengers, co-pilots and marshalls, You lousy lot, you miserable gets, you bunch of sods, you'll watch it, enjoy it, say What good fun! But help - thanks a lot! Out of the whole group of Pennine members there, only two volunteered their services as marshalls. To those I say thank you, and mean it. They were great, for the rest of you - No comment. I won't  put down what I felt because it-would only get edited out. Suffice it to say that two of the ten sections were cancelled.

 

Two of the remaining sections were manned by non-Pennine members, Tony Ray, his wife, and her parents, a little plug for him, 'Protocol/Entrust' vehicle rust proofing, Lilly Street, Milnrow, Mr. Rochdale. Tel. (0706) 524490. They do caravan chassis, Land/Range Rovers as well as cars,  and do a right good Job at a fair price, their work is guaranteed  unconditionally and they also do an 'Armaglaze' body protection and make your paintwork gleam. If you're building an off road motor it's well worth taking a chassis there and having that done.

 

Now that's out of the way onto the gymkhana. Modifications will be made next year, it will be a little more difficult and the see-saw will NOT bend in half as soon as a LWB/Diesel/R.R. gets on it and, not only that, it won't wobble as easy. The balloon popping will have more balloons, the the water carry a little more bumpy, the stick between the motors should be unbreakable but, having said that unbreakable kids' spade wasn't! What the heck, for a first time do it seemed alright. The sun shone, the breeze was gentle and everybody laughed. 21 teams entered, that makes 42 drivers, 42 co-pilots, totalling 84 (or so) people who had fun and shouldn't feel the slightest bit guilty.

 

When the gymkhana was over it was time to play, water and sand was everywhere, even over a couple of axles, which caused some people a  slight amount of worry and others a great deal of fun. Complaints were received from the Skipper of The Sealink Ferry because he had to give way to the Landie entering Fleetwood Harbour, but he mellowed when the Landie towed him into dock. True story time now. Heard about the bombs found on Fluke Hall Sands? Yes, over 100 real bombs, the air forces equivalent to Catterick! The sands were used in both World Wars as a practise bombing range and the week before we got there the Navy arrived with various devices and unearthed over 100 things that would bang under the Landie! It makes you think you don't know what to think.

 

The barbeque started about 9pm, half an hour after the advertised start, simply because at 8r30 there was hardly anybody there. (By 8-35 the place was packed solid). All but two or three thought it was great, and if the same amount thinks so next year that will do me. If you didn't like it the answer is simple, don't come next year! From the demand for tickets and the  response afterward, there will be at least three more for your one to fill your place.

 

Prize giving was silly, just as it was meant to be, and after the prize giving I went out for a breath of fresh air and saw a young Pennine member chatting to an old Yorkshire R.O.C. man.

 

 'Hey' says the Y.R.O.C. man, 'Where you be going wi yon lantern?'

 

 'I'm going courting' was the reply.

 

‘Thart be a good idea, but when I werra lad we didna take lanterns.'

 

 'No,' says the Pennine chap, 'but when you look at your wife I'll bet you wish you had!'

 

Sunday dawned on time, bright and wet, but a few more magical incantations of 'B.H.2 is here' did the trick. Neptune had second thoughts thoughts and decided to keep a bit of water on the beach, just to see what a B.H.2 was. It was a lovely idle morning, more time to play on the beach (!), no need to rush about and get ready. One poor little mite got herself lost on the campsite field, and when she was brought to me she was upset. 'I've lost my Dad,' she cries. 'I'll find him' I said, 'Don't worry he won't have gone far. Now first of all you've got to tell me a few things. What's your Dad like?' Back came the reply, 'Beer, women and Land Rovers!' (Sorry Howard)

 

The speed event got under way and indeed there were a few surprises there, 2 to 3 inches of water above a sand surface was an unique mixture for the Pennine to run in. Tyre pressures were going up and down for fun Waterproofing was one of the real deciders though (not surprising) and it was evident quite early on that this would go a long way to being made a winner. It was fun, it was great, it was wet, the kids loved it, the sun shone (straight into your eyes) and it wasn't cold. It was a right good do.

 

Thanks again to David James, (who found the land) and to Mr.Halstead who let us use it.

 

To round off there is the tale about the woman Pennine member who hadn't been too faithful to her husband. She said she went to Pennine meetings EVERY Sunday, so going back from Pilling she thought that she have to do something to stop him getting too suspicious. So, on the way home she pops down to Blackpool and knocks up the local sports shop and asks him if he's got a trophy she can return to her hubby. But the sports-shop man only has a Greyhound Trophy with a dog on it. Anyway,  she took it back to show him. 'There you are, I won a cup,' she says. 'That’s great' he replies. 'You've won this cup for playing with Land Rovers and was beginning to think that you were telling me lies. Just take a look at this inscription, "For the fastest bitch on the course!"

 

Dicky Day

 

 

 
 
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