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HAWKSWORTH TRIAL & TEAM RECOVERY

 

And so Pennine Sunday dawned, bright and fair, and the wider reach of Yorkshire and Lancashire buzzed with excitement as the Pennine Petes girded themselves for their monthly foray into the wheelspinningvalvebouncingbodybendingdriverfatiguing -treepruning world of doing it on all fours in the dirt.

 

On Sunday, 13th July the wraps came off the mystery event at Hawksworth after spending the best part of a week in the woods with their motors and power saws sorting out the trial and team recovery course. Messrs. Rae and Leacock were ready for the "off" ..... well nearly.

 

9 am and the hot sun by now high in the sky having a bad effect on so me early arrivals. Six motors on the scrutineering line and 'Uncle Bill' showing signs of nervous strain pacing too and fro outside the locked control trailer.

 

"What's up Bill?"

 

"Dave told me to be here for nine, has he deserted me .... has it all been too much for him?"

 

Poor old Bill, poor old Dave! Stuck half-way up Hollins Hill trying to nail a Pennine arrow to a concrete lamp post! Well that sure is one way to escape the pressure.

 

All was not lost, Dave recovered enough by 9.05 to put in an appearance and literally opened the event. Phew! Right, back to plan one and the event started to run like clockwork. There seemed to be no problem with  Marshalls as any one who passed within arms length of the trailer who was not a driver, was made an instant Marshall by being given a 'badge' and instant lessons by Mr. Rae, because of the threats contained in these short lessons, everyone appeared quite keen to carry out their duties without dissent.

 

By 9.40 am the first group were attacking the trials sections, sooner than prompt. Another slight panic when the Lone Ranger and Tonto were spied on the horizon. Well O.K. then - Ted, Carl, Mick and Wazzack & Co. and we had been told that Lancashire was closed for the holidays.

 

By 10.30 am 34 motors were busy playing at trialling and just as scrutineering was closing the final competitor arrived with his famous 'taxed' cattle truck - Guess who? Well he's the chap that lives next door none other than Brian Dibb Esq., but to give him his due he had changed his excuse - he claimed to have been mowing since 6.00 am. I ask myself is it light at six? (Have you sold the cows then Brian - Ed)

 

The trial consisted of eight sections laid out in waist high bracken with the odd tree thrown in to really test hand and eye co-ordination (and what were you up to last night?).

 

After lunch 7 teams entered the team recovery which was shorter than anticipated initially, but  nevertheless a tricky little number that required slightly more application than usual, either because the trees kept hiding  the course, or the drivers lost their way. The course contained two recovery sections.

 

The Hawksworth trial and team recovery was a well laid out event and thanks to the brains behind the operation, Dave Rae, Bill Leacock and  team a most enjoyable event. Thanks also to Sue Rae and everyone else who gave a hand clearing the site, marshalling and timing which was done by young Mr. Jefferson on his digital stop watch checked by Harry Haigh using his chocolate noddy version.

 

 

Captain's log star date Sunday, 17th August 1980.

 

"Whot y’ doin this afternoon" came the delicate tones of my wife,.

 

"I'm finishing painting my Landie ready for Catterick my precious" I replied, "well finish it this mornin'she said, "child's goin in’t fancy dress at Jimmy Nelson's this afternoon, and you're coming", comprende, so on went the paint a little bit faster.

Anyway off we went about 1.15 pm, me, wife and sprog. On arriving at Jimmy Nelson's a frantic Marshall called Eric appeared. "Gareth, just the bloody man" came the greeting, "where's the beast?" he asked. "She's behind me" I replied. "No, not the wife, your Land Rover". "Oh that's in the garage, I've just finished painting it". "Is it dry?" "Yes", "Well go and get it. Red Rum's horse box is up to the axles in sh*t, we've got a tractor but it can't shift it".

 

Well I just had to have a look, and there it was, 5 ton of mobile horse box,right in the proverbial, and this little 1940ish Massey Ferguson riving its guts out, sickening really, so off I went home for me boggler, with mutters of he must be joking or words to that effect. Being a natural pessimist , I rang the infamous Adrian (let it develop) Barrett and asked him to conjure himself up there with as much Landie power and as many ropes as he could muster. "Right I'll just finish me pint and I'll be up", he said, HE SAID !!!!!

 

Meanwhile there I was with this tractor shortening ropes like they were going out of fashion and chewing up their football field a treat. Where the hell's that **!!!@@* Barrett I asked myself and thinking of his last words I realised.

 

Eventually he arrived "TEAM PISSHEAD" riding shot gun for a laddie called Duncan in a V8 Lightweight (Drool, Slaver) complete with rear drum winch. Magic, I said, and what ***!!!@@* time do you call this you drunken sods, then came the crunch, how to work the winch. Easy you think!! Not when you're half cut and especially when the mechanism needed a hefty blow from one of my shackles in order to summon the brute to life, anyway eventually we got it going. We tied the tractor to the front of my motor, and my motor to Duncan's and his winch to the horse box, such an exquisite burble as the V8 fired into life! What a sound! It pulled like a demon, the only fault was, yes, it pulled the tractor, me and Duncan towards the flaming horse box. However, such power has to be complimented, (the bloody stupid thing) anyway we eventually anchored ourselves down and rived the rascal out, so there you have it, truth behind the story hot from the press.

 

Just for the record Duncan ain’t going to use his motor on the rough because he says he loves it too much (wot a pratt) and me, well I rushed home and washed mine off, well I'd just painted it, and it's got to be clean

for Catterick, hasn't it! eh?

P.S. The child came second in the Fancy Dress (clever little sod).

 

Love & Kisses

 

Gareth

 

Just to prove that 1 can still cock things up completely I shall now print Gareth's other little gem (just a bit more of this flannel and he'll be volunteering for the Editor's job!) This report came after his little foray along with quite a few other Pennine members into the Lanes and Cheshire domain when they ran a trial near Accrington and kindly invited the PLR along, funny they've never invited us since, I wonder why????

 

SUNDAY, 27th July

 

Decisions, decisions, shall I take the door tops off or leave them on, till a drop of rain helped me make my mind up. So off we went, me and my mate Pete, first to call at work for some bits. Isn't it marvellous how many folk flash you to tell you that you're going the wrong way when you know you are, and when you're really lost there's no bugger in sight. Any way after picking up a lost lightweight on my tail we finally made the Accrington Trial, organised by the Lanes & Cheshire Rover Club.

 

The weather by now had made its mind up to sunshine. Yes, that's right . . . you remember what sunshine is don't you? Everyone was busy '    stripping down motors to the bare essentials to make most of the freak weather.

 

We were split into two groups to ease congestion and confusion, which I may add works! (Hint, Hint) Unfortunately one or two motors had to retire early in the day due to V8 plague ie. smashed % shafts and diff. But what a course, I.thought that it was excellent and enjoyed every minute of it ('Cos I only picked up 33 penalties which for me is incredible).

 

After lunch the Team Recovery was organised in which the V8 plague struck again, with the sweet tune of eight pots screaming, and the twang of    tensioning rope, BANG! There went another half shaft, isn't it fun when it's not your motor! However, credit where credit is due, the lad finished the course with front wheel'drive only. True grit eh?, or brain failure, call it what you like.

 

The Team Recovery was incredibly won by, correct me if I'm wrong, which no doubt you will, 1,00th of Sec. which was no mean feat when you saw  he antique ticker they were using, anyway 1st was Mick Moore and Paul Dewhirst, and 2nd was Duncan Smith and partner, both Pennine Teams. Well done lads.

 

After the Team Recovery a Speed Trial was laid on, by 'eck it were all go that day, you hadn't time to pump, well I would have said . . . . ? but you can't say that in a Class Magazine like wot this is!?

 

And there they were again with 2 wheel drive only, the lads with metal mice in their diffs and half shafts. You can't keep an idiot down, can you? Anyway it was just good clean fun to finish the day and as the meeting drew to a close, the weather Gods decided that we'd had enough sun for one year and it promptly wizzed it down, just for a change. All in all it was a very enjoyable day, and I enjoyed every minute even though half way round my steering ball flew apart and took a lump out of my very precious remaining limb with it.

 

Thanks to the Organisers and Competitors.

 

Love and Kisses

 

Gareth Almond

(The Flying Cripple)

 

Well he calls himself that not me! I laughed so much at that report I got my finger stuck in between the typewriter keys! That's what happens when the PLRC invade an L&C do and I do believe that most of the diff and half shaft disease was confined to the Rochdale Mafia, apparently the monkey metal disease didn't reach this side of the Pennines until just before Catterick.

 

 

CATTERICK '80

 

Catterick report would have to be a bit different this year I decided. For years I've been able to get away with a skimpy do, pleading pressure of work, couldn't see for dust etc. but this year I actually entered (A unique experience this!)

 

This year's report then is different in that it is done as an 'on the spot'  eporting job from your man in the front line. So it's 3.10 pm Saturday afternoon with the sun streaming through the caravan curtains and reflecting its fascinating patterns off the top of my bonce! The camp site is as peaceful and sleepy as a Mexican village at Siesta Time, all the big rough, noisy types are out on the Range hurtling round like angry bees looking for the honey pots.

 

This report must commence a little earlier however. Friday night found us and two million other people jostling North on the A1, the first sign of intense Rover activity being when a SWB Series II steamed past me  (Nothing unusual in that you say!) with an 80" swinging about on the back on an A-Bar, driver sat in his seat, arms folded, doing the Royal wave! I should be used to such sights by now but it still caused me to do a double take, so God knows what it did to the day trippers!!?!

 

Within minutes the other mob were to be seen, groups of Penninites in lay-by's with the bonnet up and anxious faces peering into the cavity. One very famous S/ll V8 had petrol problems .......... like he used 12 gallons in 70 miles, after running out he decided to investigate the problem. Eddy Bentham strikes again!!

 

By Friday night the camp site was well full and the celebrations started early this year, or was it just the Officials relieving the tension I ask myself. Saturday dawned bright and clear and the sighs of relief could be heard for miles! John Lister, Dave Hoskins and Colin Howe disappeared down the track to cunningly conceal the points for the afternoon's event, Dicky Day, Don Whittam and Mick Burdett brought out the crack detectors, tape measures and toffee hammers and slowly started to terrorise the entrants. Harry Haigh, Michael Challoner and Graham Lord breathed life gently into the slumbering site, while Jim Burgess checked on his Battalions of Marshalls (Planting Land Mines??)

 

Everything was gently brought to life for the hectic pace that was to follow later. The first new style event was the point to point. 15 points to visit  situated the length and breadth of the Range and marked by a 10 foot post topped by an orange marker near the sections. Unfortunately for some teams, especially the Army, they weren't tall enough and these teams were seen to be attempting the trials sections, then wondering where the Marshalls were! The event started smack on time. 34 Teams of two lined up and killed their engines, in the silence that followed all that could be heard were the birds, the bleat of sheep, and the ominous sound of Ray Crosland, The Chief Timekeeper, counting off the 10 second intervals to blast off.

 

Fingers gripped ignition keys, gears were ready selected, clutches were down, sweat trickled from over heated crash helmets, 5,4,3,2,1. Catterick  exploded as 67 engines of all shapes and sizes burst, coughed and spluttered into life (20 minutes later the 68th, David Ecclestone's Ford V6.engined Lightweight finally decided that it would play out too!)

 

From the top of the hill overlooking the range the first vehicles were already moving by the time the sound waves rolled over us and everything looked to happen in slow motion. Looks can be deceiving as 40 minutes and 28 seconds later Ted Hartley and Carl Amos flew over the finishing line, that worked out at just over 3 minutes per section, not counting travelling time, steamed heads were much in evidence! Yorkshire Rover Owners have always been in the forefront at Catterick and this year was no exception, 1 minute and 1 second slower put Philip and Andrew Beever into second place.

 

Even the 6th place crew only took 58.13, still less than 4 minutes per section, which is crashing on in fine style by anyone's reckoning!

 

Everyone agreed that it was a better event than the Team Recovery and I must confess that I had expressed many doubts about the safety of the event myself, so it's humble pie for me again and congratulations to all concerned.

 

The aftermath was rather a sorry sight. The camp site echoed to sounds of hammers beating away at aluminium and metal, and by following the noise to its source much entertainment could be had. Mick Henney was busy repairing a bent, busted, and b. . . . . front axle, which had disintegrated after the 1st section. Ted Hartley, despite being one of the winning teams, had lost a diff half way round, 'it didn't really matter' said Ted, 'Carl's a good puller'. (There's no answer to that I thought!)

 

lan Bartram had been doing the '3 wheels on his wagon' routine on what is probably his last event before he retires to enter 'Holy Deadlock'. Rather a sad finale his mates thought. Gareth Almond told me that 5" made all the difference when you tried following a lightweight through the tree (he has a Series II by the way). I was walking by the CROC camp (Cumbrian Rover Owners to the uninitiated) when I was savaged by a mad tortoise which travels everywhere with them (Emergency Rations?), some voice from under an axle somewhere shouted, 'Fastest thing in CROC that tortoise.' All good healthy fun I thought as the tortoise retreated into its shell to sulk!

 

Up to now you've had a blow by blow report as it happened. From here on in things get a bit grim, as a punishment for laughing at so many unfortunate souls, I bust a half shaft at 2 mph in the Camp Site, ultra reli-able eh? That little episode meant that here I am a month later still trying to recall what happened over the last 2 days of Catterick, you'll see why the memory's a bit dim as you read on.

 

Despite attention from Howard Leahy's winch, 2 anchor motors and several thousand helpers from the Harrogate mob, the shattered half shaft refused to leave its burrow which in turn left me with no option but to race back down the A1 at 10-0 pm back home to carry out open axle surgery using a cutting torch and blunt pliers. I must express my thanks to Jonathan Padgett who loyally accompanied me at great expense to his physical well-being and nightly kip quota, even if he did put on the full harness seat belt after the first roundabout down the A1 (well how was I supposed to know that front wheel drive Land Rovers understeer to that extent???

 

We landed back in the camp site just in time for Brekkers on Sunday then off to the trial, which also started smack on time. One hundred and forty entries this year, more than ever before, and still there were teens of reserves and disappointed entries. For all the bottom lip merchants I was

number one 'cos I was the first to stick my still wet cheque and entry form

into Chris Simpson's sticky fingers,., so there (how do you spell a raspberry?)

 

The first section was the omen of things to come, who got lost after number 8? After that things just couldn't get worse????????? There were 15 sections over the length and breadth of the range and varied from the drive round give us a clear' to the 'helicopters and hovercraft only' type of section, the final scores varying from 7 to 87.

 

That is about the limit of my remembrance of the trial as somewhere around section 4 I got it. IT being a many legged, unidentifiable little germ that succeeded in persuading my internal digestive system to reject all contents therein, by any route possible with as much discomfort as could be mustered short of my actual death, exit Hon Editor stage left, right and centre to re-appear some 16 hours later, a, mere shadow of his former self.

 

The pixies had been in the night and spirited my motor to scrutineering in order that if I didn't recover in time someone else could enter in it!

 

This was the day I'd been waiting for and by the sounds of it I wasn't on my own. Three separate courses, each to be driven 3 times, all runs to count to the final total, anyone winning this event couldn't be called a cissy and that was for sure! The total mileage was somewhere in the region of 25 miles, reliability then speed, in that order would be needed. Naturally number 1 was first off on my allotted course and even more naturally was first to retire . . . within half a mile of the start, the fastest line was the one with the large step in it! 60 seconds later Jonathan Oldfield also took the fastest line and received a severe dose of bent axle as a reward, 60 seconds after him Dave Rae engaged brain and showed how it should be done! Dischuffed to the knickers I shuffled back to the camp site to repair what was left of the front axle. Parked as I was by the entrance gate I was in a good position to view the happenings of the next two hours. A motor would come roaring into the camp site. There'd be a burst of furious hammering and banging interspersed with a few choice Anglo Saxon phrases to help with the really tight nuts, then the engine would bark back into life again and roar back down the track. There were bent axles by the score, missing exhausts, twisted steering arms, George Carruthers even returned with his fully floating gearbox dragging on the ground. The motto 'Beware of strangers carrying gifts' is a good one to remember at an event like this, when some perspiring Pennine person comes up to you and says something on the lines of 'Looks bad Brian .... are you retiring?' The answer is NO!

 

He's just waiting for you to say the magic word yes and seven of his cronies leap out with spanners ready to remove your whole front axle in 60 seconds and then depart with the immortal phrase We'll put it back when we've finished with it! Never leave an unattended Land Rover in Catterick camp site when the Comp Safari is in full swing!

 

On returning to the Comp Safari I was amazed at the number of motors still going round with axles the shape of well used knicker elastic, I don't think I'm exaggerating if I said there were at least 15 or 16 bent axles in  evidence. As I arrived at the finish of the Green course 'Wazzak' Carl Amos' navigator was just walking through the finish dragging a Lightweight door behind him, 'Always wanted to be a door to door salesman' he said!

 

I was by this time completely cheesed with my run of foul luck since the start of Catterick but with true devotion to Editorial duty I thought press on and get a cabby round with someone to see what the courses were like. Dave Rae in his V8 Lightweight was just about to start his final run to complete all 3 courses so he took pity on me and 3 minutes later we were bucketing up the hill at the sort of velocity that my 2 1/4 can only muster on the downhill bits, by the time we were a mile in I'd managed to extricate my finger nails from the palm of my hand (Don't drivers make lousy  passengers?) and was starting to enjoy the sensation when suddenly Bingo - I saw something disappear into the undergrowth at the same time as the motor lurched over to my side. "We've lost a wheel" says I quoting the obvious, or so ! thought. "Can't have" says Dave as we hurtle through two gorse bushes and continue on our downhill path. A few hundred yards on he finally relents and agrees that we had lost a wheel, a front one at that, and pulls over to stop .... or so I thought! Actually he pulled over so that he could set off in reverse round the course, much to my amazement it works and we crossed ditches and even got up hills, a muddy ditch on an uphill bit finally convinces Dave that he's gone as far as he's going and he finally submits to the inevitable. Dave Hoskins arrives shortly after with the errant wheel and a lift to the finish. I'll give Dave his due he didn't say he blamed me. He didn't have to, after my run of luck I knew who'd caused it!

 

I can't say I'm happy with this report because I'm not, Catterick was a marvellous event and deserved a better coverage than I've given it but it doesn't really matter as the events success tells its own story, when the entry list is down to 50 motors you'll know that the event is rubbish (or the Ayatollah finally lit the blue touch paper!) As I'm no longer a committee  member I can afford the luxury of praising the present committee for their work and effort to ensure that the event ran right and although it isn't really right to single individuals out John Lister and Dave Hoskins deserve a special mention for managing to come up with a new events format and making it work.

 

BAMA were very low key this year due, not to a lack of enthusiasm on their part, but because of financial cut backs on all their activities and the preparations for Operation Crusader, the latest NATO exercise. Those that did attend enjoyed themselves and will I'm sure return, unlike myself, who'll probably stay at home next year, it's safer!

 

 

HAGGATE NOVICE TRIAL

 

In only its second year Haggate is now as keenly contested as Catterick is, the preparations and 'psyching' of the oppo is tremendous; especially   among the ladies, and it is probably for this reason that the committee have slightly altered the wording of the event for next year.

 

At the next novice Trial there will be a ladies class in which any lady can enter irrespective of whether or not she has previously won a prize or not, the men's novice class will be for anyone who hasn't previously won an  award in a trial, a. novice trial award doesn't count in this respect only a proper trial award. This was probably in reply to a lot of the aggro the ladies were giving the organisers, Pennine Petticoat power in action: The  competition was definitely a bit fierce, how many other clubs get 46 entries in a novice trial.

 

I happened to do the scrutineering and it soon showed how many novice mechanics there were in the Pennine, failing wives motors was great sport!

 

Scrutineer. 'Sorry love I'll have to fail it - hand brakes no good".

 

Missis "OH!...... Cedric (names are changed to protect the guilty! Ed) what do you mean by letting me drive a motor with no hand brake? Come over here and mend it... or else!"

 

Minutes later I return to check the offending mechanism only to find a pair of legs stuck out from the side of the motor and muffled mutterings wafting out from the sides .... Great Sport!

 

The trial had to be more than just a trot round the houses and the sections, although quite gentle, were demanding enough to need four wheel drive and a bit of spirit as well, here again several marriages were tested to  breaking point as hubbies could be seen controlling Landies by remote  control, "For God's sake woman take your foot off the brakes", upon which the Land Rover catapulted forward down the hill. "Not like a lunatic woman, steady, steady", at which command Landy promptly stalled on opposite hill. Next second wife appears after disentangling herself from the steering wheel spokes caused by the sudden stop and promptly told hubby what to  do with A, his advice (easy) and B, his Land Rover (anatomically impossible I would have thought!)

 

Marshalling really was great fun, and it improved after lunch when several merry navigators appeared to guide their somewhat unwilling drivers Eh Mr. H??

 

The standard of driving was very good indeed and quite a few of both sexes would be in the running on a full blown trial. I saw no sign of vehicular damage, which was gratifying and lots of signs of real enthusiasm which bodes well for the future, where were all the regular drivers though?? The event was run for novice marshalls as well as novice drivers, it wouldn't do you any harm to don the armband in the cause once a year would it??

 

 
 
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