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Other Club's Events

TUNSHILL TRIAL

It was with much trepidation that I lay in bed on Sunday morning
listening to a Force 9 Easterly, machine gunning the bedroom window with
raindrops. Pulling the blankets over my head failed to cure the problem
and even in my semi-dormant condition I knew, as do all who failed “O” le-
vel geography, that Easterly gales come up the Lancashire side of the Pen-
nines with such ferocity that unwilling Lancastrians are blown over the
Pennines into places like Huddersfield and Bradford (well wouldn't you be
unwilling to go there if you didn't have to??) I suppose I could always
duck out I thought to myself, as another gust pushed the bedroom cur-       
tains into a fair imitation of Cutty Sarks canvas propulsion unit, but no,
it was impossible, there were a couple of Long Wheel Base novice owners
relying on me to introduce them to the gentleman's sport of Land Rover    
trialling and besides that I had a neat parcel of dainty 3-cornered Salmon
sarnies, courtesy of the ARC Secretary and his wife, whose hospitality had
been enjoyed only 5 hours before at their home in Walsall. That swung the
balance, a chance to lord it over the cheese and teacake crowd couldn't be
missed, so off we went!

The wind was so strong that even smoky old 2 1/2 diesels with vertical
exhausts could only manage a token smoke plume of an eighth of an inch,
and that was flat out in 3rd! There were breakers coming in over Scammon-
den Dam and even the Police 'High winds' warning notices had blown over
at the very aptly named Windy Hill. As we struggled down the Lancashire
side I couldn't help seeing the stream that runs through the middle of our
Windy Hill site, anyone attempting to drive up it now would have needed
a Mae West, screw propulsion and bouyancy tanks!                -         ,

We were fairly early into the trials field and already the top layer of
turf was being rolled back like a carpet being lifted for a dancing session.
Although it was raining as we arrived it soon stopped and incredibly it ne-
ver started again. Looking back on 1979's events (which tradition decrees
you should do at this time of the year) we have been diabolically lucky
with the weather. Even after such a pseudo Summer I can only recall two
events where the weather was really foul and Catterick was one of the
luckiest ever, with awful weather immediately before the event but holding
off right through, if you remember the National you know what can hap-
pen to a major event when the weather goes wonky!

So with a brisk, but not too cold wind whipping round the wellies,
the 42 entries slipped, slithered and slewed their way to the top of the
field for the morning's 5 sections. Conditions were cramped to say the
least, and the '4 foot sideways for every foot forward' driving technique,
coupled with the fact that all the Tunshill site is on a fairly severe slope
meant that several vehicle 'matings' took place. Throwing a bucket of cold
water over them usually did the trick! My own vehicle, whilst being piloted

by one of the aforementioned novice drivers I might add, scraped a little
yellow paint from Richard Hobbs' Lightweight, yellow Lightweights won
the day however when one demolished the back lights on my motor (2 - 1
to yellow Lightweights!)

The sections were very slippy and it could take as long to get to the
start of a section as it could to do it, the cricket scores also reflected the
ground conditions. The deep water sections were only paddled in round
the perimeters, at the last Tunshill trial it was possible to skate right over
the top on 9 inches of snow and ice. Dicky Day was brave enough to bring
his Ferguson 4 wheel drive 'Flying Pig' into the field, albeit only to the en-
trance due to the 3" ground clearance, it also has problems in reverse, as
4 wheel drive is only operative forward because of its pre-epicyclic con-
struction (and I thought it was made out of monkey metal like all Fords!)
There were several very smart road motors to be seen entered and despite
the ground conditions and the possibility of countless collisions the drivers
did seem to be enjoying themselves. Despite a late start the morning's sec-
tions were finished for 1-00pm and as if by magic the field emptied as most
people went to the local pub to leave a little of Adrian's land on their
lounge carpet and bring back some of their liquid refreshments on to
Adrian's land.

After lunch the pattern was virtually the same, although this time the
ground was even worse and at least two of the sections deteriorated to the
point where it was impossible to start. Just after the lunch break a SWB
S11 took an unscheduled run on 'automatic pilot' ending up in a shower
of mud and water in a conveniently placed mud hole, luckily no harm was
done though I've no doubt the driver got a shock when he realised his mo-
tor had disappeared, apparently Jim Burgess had the same experience the
previous day while marking out! (It's because of these kind of incidents
that such attention is paid to the handbrake test at scrutineering, indeed
4 motors were failed at scrutineering for this very reason, so please make
sure YOUR handbrake is ok before you come to the event) unless of cour-
se you like doing running repairs laid in 3 inches of slurry!

One return of an old face was Bob McArthy, ex committee member
from many years ago who left for sunnier places (Lincolnshire I believe)
and has now returned, nice to see you again. Bob, especially as you helped
marshall!

As the deep water had not been used for the actual trial it was a
nailed on certainty that someone would have to dive in at the deep end of
the big pond .... just to see what it's like!

Sure enough Neil Spencer was the first to find the temptation too
strong, so in he went. The water turned out to be nearer treacle than its
more fluid counterpart and well after Neil had left the water it was still

slowly oozing back up the sides of the pond. Once one had been in, it was
open season on frogs as Landy after Landy ploughed into the slime. Dave
Rae and lan Bartram tried the impossible by going up the hill out of the
pond. To his credit though, Dave's V8 Lightweight damn near made it, he
just got his front wheels over the top but couldn't manage the rest, lan
however never even made first base. As always, for everyone that made it
through there was one who didn't and had to sit in the s**t until a tug was
forthcoming. I often wonder what the passing motorists on the M62 think
when they see all these hundreds of people standing round the edge of a
hole, peering down into the depths and occasionally having a fit of the
giggles .... the mind boggles! Eventually all the latter day water babies
had had enough so the prize giving could be commenced with.

 

 
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