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Dear Brian,

I thought that I would write and let the world 'such as it is' know what it is like to navigate for the one and only Carl Amos. Here is a brief encounter of what it was like at Catterick:-

We started the day on the Pink Course, all strapped in and ready for off. Down went the flag, away we went. As we came to that big drop with the very steep hill at the other side we got a puncture. '!!!???!!!' said Carl.

  'Oh heck!' said I, or words to that effect.

We didn't stop to look at the puncture but carried on. When we came to a very muddy, bumpy bit we hit a bloody big hole, '....' shouted I, as my full harness snapped, crunch into the windscreen I went

'Oh, me back!' said His Nibbs.

In spite of all this we carried on to finish the run. Take my word for it,  it's no picnic riding loose with Carl on a Comp Safari - even if he has got a puncture.

On the second run I did what no Navi should do. . I made a mistake!  To say the least Carl and I exchanged a few naughty words. I honestly didn't know that posh folk could swear like that. As we started to make up lost time that 'Mad Farmer' (That's what I call Ted Hartley) came past us like we had stopped to have a pee. Anyway, we finished the Pink Course without any more aggro.

The White Course was like a motorway because we spent most of the time in mid-air. Having finished the White Course we went to get our bait (Dinner to you posh lot). After we had fed, drank, and changed my pants - if you have ever ridden with Carl you'll know what I mean - we headed for the Green Course. 'Bad Course', says Carl. Off we go, - 'Bloody Norah' I thinks to myself, He’s puddle!. ‘Carl….Slow….Hazzard….HAZZARD!!' shouted me. 'Flat out' he said, 'Not much of a Hazzard'.

 I'm sure that he disconnects the brakes after screwballing! Not a bad first run. Onto the second run we went. Going great till about 1/2 a mile to the finish - BANG, down a ruddy big hole, up in the air we go. 'Going over' Sir says. 'My side as usual'. As if by magic my door flew open digging itself into the ground, putting us back upright. 'Get hold of that damned door' he said. 'Oh yeah' I replied. 'Use your foot' he ordered. Just as I got hold of the door it came off its hinges.  'Sod it!' shouted Carl, and carried on to finish the run in about 6 1/2 minutes.

I was the one who had to go and get the door, and I can tell you, dragging a lightweight door for 1/2 a mile whilst dodging low flying Landies is not much fun. I don't know why they call it a lightweight - that door was damned heavy.

Anyway we finished 3rd in Class 2 - which wasn't too bad after such bad start. People think I must be bent to ride with Carl, but honestly I do enjoy myself. We have a good understanding between us - If we win he's a great driver, ... if we lose it's my fault!  (Sorry Carl, I'm only joking!!!)

                                               WAZZACK

                                                            (David West)

 

BOVINGTON 150

Sunday 12th October 1980 will remain long in my memory. The reason - Well if I may plagiarise, a well known P.M. once said: Never in the field of Land Rover conflict has so much been gained by so few at the expense of so many. (Well something like that anyway).

As many of you may know after Hedley Drift Safari, a budding (probably fungus) A.W.D.C. reporter printed an article in their magazine which referred to Pennine as a set of Pansies because we protested at the state of the course. Consequently Pennine were more or less ignored on Saturday at Bovington and if spoken to, somewhat condescendingly.

Anyway, having said all that, I will try to explain my reason for saying it.

Bovington Camp is an enormous area of wasteland near Poole in Dorset with every kind of terrain which four wheelers love. The course itself was about 6.5 miles long with a lot of water in the final mile. And where there is water a lot of mud is sure to be found. The other point of interest to me was the roller shutter door type bridge, which more or less linked the two halves of the course. There was one long straight, perhaps half a mile. The remainder was mostly sandy hills, drops, and an area which one commentator called the speed bowl, which was one of the slowest parts of the course.

About five o'clock on Sunday morning I went to find overall positions of Pennine members and discovered that Brian Hartley was 4th overall, David Simmonite was 5th, Jonathan Oldfield 7th, unfortunately Russell Ridley had dropped out due to lack of gears and John Wright due to lack of gear stick, which inevitably broke off in neutral. Already quite a number of other entrants had dropped out and during the course of Sunday morning many notables (pronounced Not Ables) took their respective bats, R.R.'s and Buggies home.

There were still 3 Pennine motors grinding round, and that is exactly what they were doing. It is the only time I have seen the two pints of engine oil in the air filter of a Land Rover totally displaced by sandy water which is magically attracted to rings, bores and any surfaces which have bearing on the efficiency (pun) of an engine. Water also had a remarkable effect on Dave Simmonite's distributor, which I lovingly dried out each time he returned. Any one wearing a piece of clothing that could, in a torn up state, be called cotton waste we’re avoiding the Pennine Camp by 9 o'clock Sunday morning.

Amazingly the spirits of all three drivers were very high (perhaps the thought of work the following morning helped). At about mid-day there were approximately 20 motors left, which out of 50 is a very high mortality rate. This is also the time that B.H. and D.S. started pouring gear oil in their engine, to maintain some semblance of pressure.

Ironically the one really bad moment at this time was when all the water carriers were empty and various people were sent out to find water, while our gallant knights were tilting at thousands of gallons of it on the course.

B.H. started doing scenic tours about 1 o'clock and I scrounged a couple of rides. On the first one I brought some really good luck 'cos he got stuck in the biggest bog on the course. I was really surprised when he took me a second time. (For writing that it's the last time! Ed)

About 2.30 all three were setting off for the last time, Dave's motor sounded like a V.W. running on 3 cylinders (like a buggy), Brian was pouring oil in at the top to see it come out at the exhaust pipe,  even Jonathan's motor was smoking. I saw them off and sat on a bluff to wait for their return. B.H. and Jonathan returned, but no Simmonite Motor. (Now brown, not blue, with patches of Buggy Green). Finally I set off with John to walk round looking for him. We asked various people if they had seen him, but it seemed that he had disappeared. We trotted back to the start only to find him loaded up having been towed back by an 80 (Oh!, The Ignominy!).

We waited for the prize giving and when it came it was quite an anti climax, 'cos just about everybody else had gone home. The gentleman who handed out the trophies announced 1st and 2nd with great relish, then with some astonishment announced 3rd overall to B.H., he then came to 1st in Class A, Another Northerner he says, handing a cup to Dave Simmonite. Right, now for class B winner, J. Oldfield, another Northerner. They had to draw lots in classes D and E, 'cos no one finished, and I don't know who was first in Class C. (I'm sticking to my Cub Reporter rating.)

Then came the first Landy home, B.H. strides back to the rostrum again, concourse prize next, D.S. looking positively triumphant, collected a Silver dish for peanuts (provided you have 14 lbs of nuts!) Then the team prize, and B.H., John Wright, Jonathan Oldfield collected 2nd, 'cos I suspect that they had to give it to someone else (I'm only kidding).

All in all Pennine People collected 8 trophies out of a possible 16, with only three motors finishing, which I call a white wash by any standard (of which we had two).

The journey back was long and boring, but filled out with tales of conquest by Northern Barbarians in the gentle South over 'Gentlemen'.

All in all I feel that the reputation of Pennine as a club of competitors has been saved. Apart from that WE SHOWED 'EM,

                                                     Steve Flatt

Thanks for the report Steve. I'm still recovering from a numb bum after that lot! I think as I've allowed David West to give his account of life in the left hand seat as navigator it is only fair that I redress the balance a little or how 'we' see 'them'.

 

 DRIVING BLIND

 After last year's 150 I was left with a very wrecked motor after a  severe dose of driver fatigue, and this may have been the reason that my regular navigator, one Harry Haigh, just happened to be jetting off to Spain (to a wedding would you believe? No I didn't either.), on the same weekend as this year's 150. Upon looking round at my list of likely lads Neil Millington came up as the man most likely to! Caught off guard with his fourth drink in his hand he readily agreed to navigate. Two weeks later at 12.27pm Sunday morning, with a bitter wind blowing the start flag, he was still wondering how he came to be there as he pulled his seat belt tighter and buckled his helmet up ready for the first run at a 6 1/2 mile course in the pitch dark. He had had his crash course in night navigating some 20 minutes before. "You work the washers, wipers and horn on the three switches there, don't yell if you hurt yourself 'cos it upsets me and don't fall asleep like Harry does, I'll do all the complicated bits, OK?" He gives me a confident look which reassures me and off we go, 240 watts worth of halogen lights carving up the blackness ahead of us (You've all heard of black holes in space? There were plenty at Bovington I can tell you). About 5 minutes out the screen needed clearing as we had caught another vehicle which was chucking gunge at us. "Wipers" I barked in his best Sergeant Major voice. Out went all the lights! May the Good Lord forgive me for what I said in the next 3 seconds regarding Joe Lucas and every fuse, wiring loom and headlamp he ever made, the blackness in front was lit only by two tail lights of the vehicle in front and they grew dimmer as the screen grimed over, in desperation I flicked the headlight switch and my 240 watts worth returned, at the same time my feeble half watt brain registered that the switch was off??????????????????

Joe Lucas had it easy compared with Millington and his forefathers! Took it like a man he did. Five minutes later he did it again just to test my reactions!

In all we had 3 action replays. Millington testing my night vision at the expense of my almost imminent collapse due to cardiac arrest, his collapse would have been for a more physical reason!

I also noticed he was first in the queue for drinks and butties but last in the line when the spanners were being handed round for the underneath jobs, he does have his good points though, he found us a police escort at 1.00am Saturday morning to show us where the site was when we arrived!

Just thought I'd like to put the right hand seat's view!

Back to Pennine events now with not one but two reports on Windy Hill Point to Point, the first is from Keith Mellor of Rochdale who was out marshalling at his first Pennine event at Windy Hill (Talk about throwing Christians to the lions!) and he was still of sound enough wind and limb when he returned to pen this little gem.

 

WINDY HILL POINT TO POINT

I awoke on Sunday 19th October with the feeling that I have a big mouth. Maybe I should explain.

The week before Jim Burgess had rung to ask if I fancied having a go at marshalling at Windy Hill and as I had observed many times at motorcycle trials and being of a helpful nature, that likes to help out(l am specially qualified and have the letters MUG after my name) I had said yes. However, in the cold light of that Sunday morning I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of my offer.

However with a brave effort I dragged myself out of a warm bed and kicked my son out of his.

The weather was terrible, rain was moving horizontally and I knew that the odds were that Windy Hill would have visibility of just a few yards (or metres if you're metricated).

The diesel seemed more reluctant to move than we had been, but with a bit of coaxing it filled the garage with smoke and off we rumbled.

 All our fears were justified. Windy Hill transmitter had had the top 10% removed, and littered around its base was an assortment of Land Rover bits, trailers, triallers and lumps of yellow plastic which occasionally moved to show that they were enveloping Humans.

Jim was nowhere to be found and it did just cross my mind that he might have persuaded a lot of people to get wet and cold while he had stayed in bed.

At last someone pointed into the mist and said they thought he might be somewhere 'over there'. The ground was already cutting up and we lurched our way in the direction indicated. I stopped a trialler who was returning up the track (Had he already given up?) and asked if Jim Burgess was down there. 'Never heard of him!' was the reply.

Have you ever had that feeling in a fog when you think that you're the only person left on Earth?! We eventually found an abandoned Land Rover and did likewise with ours to scout out on foot, and after the Marathon Trek of some 50 metres (or yards - see how versatile we marshalls have to be!) we found a horse box and comfortably stabled inside was the man we had been seeking. He smiled (or was it leered) a greeting and indicated that we had been allocated Section II. We got a brief introduction on what was going to happen and what we should do.

We decided to walk rather than drive (Has anybody mastered descending steep slippery hills with automatic freewheeling hubs - I find it similar to playing Russian Roulette with a flintlock)

Section II turned out to be about 3 Land Rovers long with about one third fairly hard, that is you only sunk up to your knees, and two thirds a bit damp. We had picked up Derek Jefferson's son, William, on the way down and he weighed up the section with experienced eyes and announced that we should have an enjoyable day, in fact he could hardly wait for his father's team to arrive.

The mist cleared and we could see a line of Land Rovers on the hill like Indians in a Western. Somebody must have shouted 'Charge' because the Indians poured down the hill and we found ourselves surrounded. One stopped to chat and told his front diff was now very different from when Rovers made it, but he showed true grit, (or was it slime?) he deposited himself and Land Rover into the damp bit, that is, it came two thirds of the way up his doors.

Everything proceeded very well apart from one time when there seemed to be about 10 Land Rovers in the section at once and I got very confused about who had and had not actually been through the section.

Incidentally, have you trials lads ever thought of removing or covering your old numbers because trying to sort out what appear to be muddy Bingo cards isn't easy.

Dinner time came and we trekked up the hill to the start area and began to eat to the musical sounds of hammering and primitive chants as the entrants altered back the modifications of the morning. Some chap, who everybody seemed to ignore, was using a public address system from a long wheel base and due to his noble, persistent effort, the afternoon started.

We returned down the hill to find the section had filled up during dinner and now looked like an Olympic swimming pool full of soup. The afternoon passed without mishap but there seemed to be a lot of abandoned Land Rovers around the place (Maybe they are still there?)

 The end came and we again set off up the hill and found many people having more trouble with the moor than they had had with the sections.

And so we set off home feeling muddy and tired from walking, but Windy Hill was not finished yet and many were stuck on the track. Using my motorcycle trials experience I picked a new route and got past many who were stuck, and just as I was congratulating myself, Windy Hill struck back and hurled a huge boulder up against the bottom of the Land Rover and smartly bisected the exhaust pipe.

Ah, well, at least we hadn't faced the firing squad, like I'd had to do at Catterick. I'll tell you about that sometime.

     Jackanory - Jackanory - Jackanory.

                                               Keith Mellor

                                                            Rochdale

Who said Rochdale is a literary desert? After Keith's report we have Windy Hill as seen from the other side of the fence, still written with a Rochdale accent I might add.

 

WINDY HILL POINT TO POINT  19/10/80

     October 12th saw three bronzed specimens of magnificent manhood from the fair town of Rochdale surveying the events field at Windy Hill.

The sun shone casting a warm glow, softening the harsh desolate landscape and a gentle breeze flitted across that scene of tranquil beauty shading that man made trail, the M62, into insignificance besides this natural magnificence. I'm wasted writing for Bottom Box, wasted! (Why not go backworking on the newspaper? - Wife)

They set off down the hill, looking for bogs (I told them they were going the wrong way, they're over by ....). In no time they stumbled zip deep in the ooze. That was one section. The rest was fairly easy too, every time they slithered into a bog or fell onto their hands and knees in the longer grass they put a stick in to mark a section. After falling about in wet wellies 15 times, 15 stickers marked 15 recovery sections.

A week later, the day before the event, they were up there again. Again the sun shone, even though the ice had formed a crust over the puddles and the grass sparkled with frost. 'Should be a grand day tomorrow if it's like this' was the general thought as the other 45 sticks were put gently into the ground. (If they were put in too hard they sank through the peat into an unmeasured depth of slime below!) They left to pray for good weather.

Not being a pious lot in these quarters, supplications went unheeded. Indeed not only were they unheeded, the weather went (or was sent) worse. At 9 o'clock on the day it was wet, cold and misty, this cleared when, a couple of hours later, after the Yorkshire crowd had arrived, the Great God of Lancashire took pity on them and gave them SUN! By 10 o'clock only half a dozen motors had appeared and by start-time only one team had signed on. (Win trophies by default, no need to wreck your motor, just sign on, on time, you'll be the winner).

The do eventually started an hour late with 18 teams entered. 54 motors lined up on the edge of the hill, Dickymus waved the magic wand and they all took off, downhill. The land owner, Adrian Drake (also of Tunshill fame) was, to say the least, highly amused at this and was rubbing his hands together at the prospect of the salvage he could claim on Monday morning.

After the first few minutes he wasn't disappointed as one after the other motors tried in true Pennine style to imitate ostriches and bury themselves away. It didn't take some folk long to discover that the long brown grass meant mud and water - lots of mud and water! Others took a lot longer. It could be easily summed up by the saying 'Some live and learn, others just live'. And the smell! The guy who managed to bottle 'Essence de Pennine' tried it out there, you could be excused in thinking that you'd driven into Adrian's midden! (He breeds pigs!) Charred peat bog a la exhaust.

As usual for some folk, doing it on all fours wasn't enough. They wanted to do it on their sides as well. There's no accounting for taste!

As the morning went on the sections changed, some became stickier, others became easier. In many cases a little thought and a look - see first meant a clear section, unassisted, and dry feet.

Unfortunately the do ended too quickly for some. Ted Hartley was forced to retire after only a couple of sections and one team spent the whole morning getting out of the bog where they had landed only 30 seconds after the start. At least Ted got through a couple of sections as die most of the others who had to retire early due to breakages. One breakage was Derek Jefferson, actually not so much a breakage as a dislocation to his shoulder, gained after his motor rolled and he tried to get out. The damn thing started again and savaged him. To all who helped him and his tribe - thanks.

So after much ricking about, slopping through mud holes, scrabbling with slimy ropes and splashing through water 10 teams made it to the finish within time to collect points.

Dinner break was very short, because of having to start late, and by 2.15 only 9 teams lined up again for a battle. Just 10 sections in the afternoon and 1 and  1/2 hours to do them in. With two teams on equal scores after the morning and the possibility of a good afternoon score overtaking those as well as a separate afternoon prize, there was plenty to get mucky for.

Mucky it was. Anyone who came back clean either cheated or had a quick wash and brush-up on the way back (posers). After the afternoon session in what the Awfully Wobbly Drivers Club wished they could but they can't do only 6 teams came back over the finish line. There were still a few motor scattered around the moor and Adrian was rubbing his hands again saying "THEY'LL NOT GET BACK UP HERE." Wrong Adrian! All returned, some under their own steam, some with a tow, but not one was left to the marauding sheep, or the Adrian Drake.

As most folk had disappeared in the general direction of the trailer park it was obvious that prize giving was going to be a small affair. Even some of the prize winners were missing.

Lastly, after loading up, came the job of getting the club trailer back up to the road. What you didn't realise that the whole purpose of the event at Windy Hill is to find the man most capable of doing this job. The obvious choice was the leader of the winning team. (He seemed to be the leader, He shouted loudest!) And so Bill Leacock and motor were each given prizes.

Bill got a trophy and his motor got the honour of being hitched to the club trailer (roped up with 2 other motors) to tow it back to civilisation. Thanks Bill, for a great job. (And special thanks from Dickymus, if it wasn't for you it would have had to be him!)

The rest of the 'Thank Yous' go to Steve Parker for his help before, during and after the event and of course, the people who marshalled. Without a marshal, there's no section, without any sections, there's no event

They were prepared to stand there in pouring rain on an open moor, and they did stay at their muddy posts.

                                   Thanks one and all

                                        Jim Burgess (Mods by Dickymus 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