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BORDER 100 4 WHEEL DRIVE COMP SAFARI

I arrived home from work only to find that half the leg-iron's family
had moved in for the weekend, in order to keep her company. 'Christ',
I thought, 'I'm only away for two sodding nights. God only knows what
I'd have come home to if I'd have been going for a week.'

After sitting down to eat my tea with what I can only describe as a
herd of troughing pigs, I loaded up my Landy and made ready to set off.
And there it was, hairnet on, curlers in, stockings round her ankles, and lips
puckered, what a sight! stood there in the doorway, wearing Quasimodo's
spare body. Y'know I wish she would come with me on these do's, she's so
ugly I'd rather take her with me than kiss her goodbye.

After busting a gut so as not to be late to meet Carl at 6 o'clock, I
found the berk still pratting around, it was around 6.45 when we eventual-
ly got going. There was Paul Dewhirst in his new V8 LWB, with caravan.
Pete (Agadaye blue) Baldwin in Paul's race motor, Carl in his Range Rover
(Tough at the top, isn't it?!) with his red peril on tow, and Wazzack (Dave
West) riding shot gun, and not forgetting yours truly in me likkle 2a.

Our convoy got a whole 3 miles out of Whalley before the first inci-
dent. Carl decided to treat us all to an aerobatic display, he developed a
lovely snake with the trailer which looked rather like the tail shaking the
dog as the trailer picked up the Range Rover and hurled it all over the road.
After performing one or two rather precarious two wheel balancing stunts,
it finally came to rest with the shiny side still uppermost.

Carl immediately emerged somewhat pale and shaken. Wazzack took a
little longer to appear as he found it harder to get out from under the
passenger seat than it was to get under initially.

When Carl stopped shaking and shrugged off the last of my fly
comments such as 'Would you do it again 'cos my camera wasn't loaded?'
We moved on, pulling in at the first lay by to change a buckled Rangey
wheel. This is where Wazzack decided to entertain us, forgetting Carl's
Land Rover was on the trailer, he stepped off the rear of the motor back-
wards and landed flat on his brains. 'Oh my @"£&!!!?? bum' he declared.
Anyway with the wheel changed and Dave's posterior suitably nursed (by
his own fair hand I hasten to add) we set off yet again.

We must have travelled another whole mile before the next occurence.
The trailer spare wheel decided that enough was enough, and flew off in my
direction. 'Oh Bizz!' I exclaimed, as a huge 750 x 16 came tearing towards
me. Fortunately it veered off and leapt over a 4 foot hedge into a field,
bringing forth such words of wisdom from Pete Baldwin as 'My money is
on the spare for the National' (The National being the following day.) We
eventually got under way again!, stopping once more at a Motorway Service
where Carl and Wazzack were doing their utmost to pull two blondes who
had served me with a pasty which resembled more a sex aid than a piece
of food. I was later dragged off the services by my colleagues after trying
to castrate the petrol attendant who had informed me that I had just filled
my petrol tank at one pound blumin’ sixty-three pence a flamin’ gallon. We
reached the camp site, amazingly still in one piece, at around 1 1 pm.

I woke the following morning to what sounded like a parrot squawking

down a funnel ie. some berk on a tannoy telling us scrutineering was starting.

I'd had a reasonably comfortable night on the front seats of Ted's

camper, unfortunately I'd left the front window open and had spent half

the night trying to close them, but every time I moved the seats creaked

and woke everybody up. So I gave up the idea and froze as quietly as I       

could.

After some confusion I was issued with a green fluorescent vest which
wasn't big enough to cover an African Pygmy's embarrassment, let alone
my vast bulk. Eventually I was positioned at a point which I was to marshal.   

There were 3 motors on top of the moor, till around lunch time that is, and   
then the sods vanished and left me to it, just when the action started. First-
ly there was 'Somersaulting Simmonite' followed by some idiot in a Lada
doing a follow up act, AND even though I was in the thick of it, the TV
cameras left me off. so all I have to say on the subject is 'I didn't want to
be on your flamin television anyway, so you can stick your cameras where    
the monkey stuffs its nuts!                                                  ^

I'll tell you what, I was sick to death of pulling those silly Subarus out,    

it was pathetic. It got to the stage where I was stopping them before they

got to the muddy section and walking them round it. At around 3 o'clock     

things got quiet so I just lay prostrate in the sun. disturbed only by the        

occasional fell runner and Mr and Mrs Chaloner and friends who stayed for

a short while,                                                                  

At around 6 pm someone must have realised I was still up on the moor,
and sent up a motor to tell me that the course had been closed since 3 pm.
Flamin marvellous, I thought, and to add insult to injury asked me to
collect some sticks as they weren't going to use the top of the moor the
following day.

After filling my motor with sticks and bunting I set off back towards
the start. I was soon to see what had held up the event, what was once a

track was now a quagmire. Trying not to get stuck, I eased my way back
to all but 50 feet from the gateway, when 'Glug' down went the front of
the motor, disappearing up to the bonnet. 'Oh Heck!' I said, (Well, some-
thing like that) then appeared a well used looking Series 1 'We bin hanging
aboot till ye cam doon off the moor Jimmy, but ma motor's seizing up, so
I dini think I can pull ye oot by ma sen' came the incredible Gaelic slang.
Having said that, he did try but only ended up getting himself bogged. Now
he was worse off than me 'cos his motor was seizing fast and his battery
was flat, so he couldn't switch off. I got out my CB and called for help. It
took till 7.30 pm before any of the A.W.D.C. decided to shift themselves
and send assistance.

In the meantime we were busy trying to keep Jock's motor cool with
the contents of my1/2 gallon washer bottle.

Eventually Ted and Carl twigged that I hadn't been back for my Pot
Noodles and contacted me on the radio. I told them of our predicament,
so off they set to rescue us.

By now an A.W.D.C. member had appeared and ignoring advice from
myself and two fuming Highlanders proceeded to get himself bogged, fan-
tastic, bloody priceless, I exclaimed. Then at last the Pennine Cavalry
arrived. Carl got me out with one snatch, and the same with all the others.
(I tell you, flamin amateurs). I by now was somewhat vexed, and set off to
find the organisers and fill him in on what had happened. When I eventual-
ly found one of the suave sods he took the wind right out of my sails.
'Sorry old chap' he said, 'But we've had rather a predicament. Would you
like us to unload your vehicle now or would you like to leave them in so
as to save time in the morning when you lay out the new course'. I mean
what can you say to a cheeky sod like that?!

All I could do was to walk away mumbling 'You'd best leave 'em,
'cos I know where I'll stick 'em if you start unloading!'

After snatching a quick Hot Dog and Hamburger I rushed off to the
nearest telephone to ring the wife and tell her what a good time I was
having.

We all retired early that night, me back to the front seat of Ted's
camper, but with the windows well and truly shut. We had by now gained
another body to share the camper with us, (Pete Baldwin) as he'd been
thrown out of the caravan in which he'd spent the previous night. We were
soon to find out why ... it was like sleeping with a pig on heat, boy can
that lad drive them z's home.

Morning was thankfully soon back on us, and I got out as quickly as
I could leaving the human buzz saw rattling on. As I arrived on the field
of battle I recognised a pair of overalls jogging about with sticks and buntin,
Wazzack was having a ball. 'By eck I'm glad to see you'; he said. 'These

Southerners have no sense of humour. While I was being driven up here in
the back of that Cournill I said to the bloke opposite 'That's not a bright
place to sit, 'cos the way I feel this morning you could get showered in
bacon, egg and beer'. The miserable devil just grunted and moved.'

He was right though, they didn't have much sense of humour. For
whilst laying the rest of the course we were playfully hurling the sticks at
one another and all we could muster from them was a look that gave us
the impression that they were not amused. After we had used up all the
markers we set off back, with my cassette blasting out War of the Worlds,
and Wazzack freaking out I drove like a bat out of hell. Unfortunately my
boyish enthusiasm ran away with me and we disappeared over a rather
muddy banking. An A.W.D.C. chappie backed up to assist me, but only
made things worse (my God what a fiasco). He then decided to pull me
out backwards, he produced a rope, A ROPE? I don't kid you, I had
thicker laces in my boots. He then proceeded to snatch me out with the
speed of a mule with a rupture. Then appeared another A.W.D.C. dream-
boat. They tied both their motors together but still couldn't budge me.

On the top of the ridge stood a stout looking gentleman with a Range
Rover kitted out with Dumper Truck Tyres. 'Having Fun?' he shouted.
'Is this a private game or can anyone join in?' he added. 'Do you think
that you could give me a proper snatch out before we all die of old age?'
I asked. He disappeared momentarily, reappearing brandishing at least
60 foot of snatch rope. 'Christ' I thought, 'he must get stuck in some
hellish places'. 'Fasten that on' he shouted, as he slung the rope down to
me. 'Right, let's have a right snatch' I replied. At which he just smiled
knowingly. Oh Heck, I thought, now I'm in for it, as I braced myself for
the neck breaking wrench. I heard the V8 reach something like 12,000rpm.
Oh hell, I thought, and as I glanced into my mirror I saw him set off like a
man possessed. By 'eck. I cum out of that 'ole at a fair rate o' knots. He
didn't stop until he had dragged me all the way to the top. 'Is that snatch
enough for you?' he asked. 'Oh yes, fantastic, magic', I replied, rubbing
my aching neck.

We eventually returned to the camp, still in one piece, and just in time
for me to set off again to a new marshalling position, accompanied by
Wazzack's and Carl's women folk Janet and Carol. The weather was now
being unkind (persisting it down) and Carol was soon bored, and dis-
appeared into the woods with a tall, dark, handsome stranger. I will say no
more. (Unless bribed by a substantial amount of 2A spares.) Janet how-
ever was in a state ready to disgrace herself (she wanted to widdle), but
she wouldn't go behind a wall or use the centre seat hatch over the gear
box. Then as in a fairy tale a Range Rover appeared out of the mist driven
by Harry Haigh and navigated by the other club cripple Brian Hartley, com-
plete with plaster cast and crutches. 'Are we on the right road for Catterick
Mister?' or some other silly remark came from the Solihull Passion Wagon,

followed by a bag full of boiled sweets rammed in my face. 'Go on, grab
one' said Brian. (Cor the mind boggles). With my cheek pouches bulging I
managed to get across the urgency of Janet's predicament ie. she was dying
for a widdle. Without further ado our two gallant heroes swept Janet away
to the nearest convenience, finding every bump on the way. (Sadistic Sods)

As the event drew to a close I slipped back to the camp site to load
up my motor for the return journey. Bu gum there were some sorry sights,
loading their trailers. The site was soon cleared and before I knew it we
were heading for home. The journey back proved almost as eventful as our
trip up. For when we reached Kirby Lonsdale there had been a bad road
accident, so we all helped till the emergency services arrived. It's all action
and adventure y'know in the World's greatest 4x4 club.

Many people came away with different views of the Borders 100,
granted they ain't easy to organise, but I know what my feelings were.

'Come back Catterick, All is forgiven xxxx'

Gareth Almond

Oh Gareth, if only it would come back! For all those of you who
have asked me who this nut Almond is, he's the one with the fancy painted
bonnet depicting 'Moorland Warrior', the crazy sense of humour and a
slight lack of one arm. Oh, he's got a long suffering wife like all good
comedians too!

The next 'big' event was the National and it is to the land of twisted
spires that we next go, some of the gasometers were nice too.

 

NATIONAL 1981

'Welcome to the 1981 National Rally' said the banner as you passed
beneath its rustic poles. 'Frame yourself or else' hinted the dirty great
tractor parked inside the gateway with towing ropes at the ready. The
competition has started early this year, I mused, casting a jaundiced eye
at the stretch of morass serving as an access link, trust P & D to think of a
caravan recovery section on the Friday night!

It's great being well known, the amount of abuse, catcalls and jeers
received along with the envelope of goodies makes you feel at home .....
funny but most of the Pennine got this treatment! The competitive spirit
is flowing already, weighing the ground up as you engage the front hubs,
tractor man has already decided that your Avon radials are not up to the
job in hand and is only prevented from starting the engine up by the
caustic reply 'But these are Pennine Avon radials'. You're on your own
now sunshine, I thought, if you do get stuck it's a push from behind with
the tractor after a clever clogs answer like that. Oh well here's hoping that
Dumbo (affectionate term for very ancient 16 foot caravan loaded with
boggling boots and other bits) doesn't prove to be too much of a drag and
off we go.

Got a good time AND put the corner of the van straight over the peg
first go, highly chuffed 1 was and in the dark too, my little group seem to
have a strange affection for arriving at Nationals in the dark even when it's
only 40 miles from home, actually we're afraid to arrive in the daylight in
case they throw us out thinking we're squatters!

One of the best things about arriving in the dark is having a look
around in the morning to see just what sort of a place you're in, allowing
for the Dronfield gas works in the distance the view was great, especially
when you realised how close Sheffield's industries were, even the weather
was nice after the previous day's torrential rain. Even though it was as ear-
ly as 11-Oam many of the keen types were already changing wheels or
polishing the paintwork. Nothing too demanding on the first day, Con-
course, not a Pennine motor to be seen! Team Recovery was 65% Pennine,
and boy what a Team Recovery! It certainly was impassable, many
mutterings and chunterings could be heard . . . too deep, too steep, too
hard ..... too late we've started! It's all your own fault really, it was a
lot easier at first, but the organisers were so frightened by the thought of
some hairy assed V8 type throwing a wobbler and doing vertical take offs
up it that they toughened it up, so it serves you right! It was certainly a
spectacle worth watching from the spectator's point of view, it had every-
thing, deep muddy water, steep, like damn near vertical hill and 36 slight-
ly demented comedians in teams of two doing the nearest thing to slapstick
you'll ever see in motor sport. I saw Tom Roberts walking away from the
recovery section looking like the creature from the Black Lagoon, the water
didn't smell too good neither. I also saw Bill Leacock being towed out by
already mentioned oversize Tonka Tractor with about 40 gallons of sludge
swilling about in the back of his Lightweight.

While all this mad thrutching and pulling was going on, some hundred
yards away the more gentlemanly art of winch recovery was under way.
This was great fun as it involved doing the sort of things to a Moskovich that you've always wanted to do but daren't. It had double appeal for me,      
A) it allowed me to express my feelings towards communism and B) Neil      
Millington was steering it! The competition here is every bit as fierce as in
the Team Recovery, but it's quieter!                                         

By the time the oil smoke had cleared over the competition area the
results were as follows: Despite the biggest number of entrants we didn't
do anything in the Team Recovery other than provide amusement! The
Boydell Bog Bashers taking first place for P & D, with Jim Hughes and
Neil Williams taking second place for L &C and Robin Haddock and Derek
Montford taking 3rd for L & C too, mind you Derek has a built in advan-
tage with his webbed feet, the man from Atlantis has nothing on this guy
when he's near water!

Modestly I'll print the victors of the winch recovery. Harry Haigh,
Neil Millington. Bill Leacock and humble self followed very closely by a
determined Cumbrian Team of Neil Buckley, Tony Walker and Ray
Shuttleworth. Midland brought up the rear but I know for a fact that
there's going to be a real needle match next year!

The caravan field was already showing signs of strain especially round
the watering holes, they were both next to each other, one the'bar, the
other the loo and both bringing relief where it was most needed, especially
as the inevitable scrutineering round up had begun, like migratory lemmings
the line of Landies weaved, curled and threaded its way across two fields.
Not one off road club in England (and I include the other mob as well as
the Rover clubs) as yet cracked the delay at scrutineering on a big event
(including ours!), so I always look on it as a reason for getting away from
the washing up and a good time to swap the sort of mucky 'orrible jokes
that can get you a stern look if told in mixed company at the bar, me and
Alan Jefferies spent the whole time laughing ourselves silly and there wasn't
one joke told that could ever even be hinted at in these pages.

Sunday is of course the Trial day and I reckon 180 entries must make
it one of the biggest entry lists ever. The weather was again threatening to
heap H20 upon us and this frightened a few of the marshals away meaning
delays for the start of the Trial, it's a bit sad when out of nearly a thou-
sand people on the site it took a lot of arm twisting to get the last few to
make the 40 marshals up. The marshals certainly had their work cut out
for them with sections as long as motorway road works, they were so hard
worked that John Allard from the Midland club had a heart attack!
(Seriously, he is now out of hospital and doing fine, I know anyone who
was at the National will wish him well and a good recovery .... Midland
will need him for their National next year!)

Despite the rain we'd had the previous day, all night and some of the

morning Ron Fisher, who had been walking ON water up to then, finally
got the weather sorted and it was glorious for the rest of the Trial. If any-
body deserved a medal it was him, he must have had a pocketful of bad
pennies the way he kept turning up, and he was at it from very early to
late every night, all he needed was the fish and a loaf of bread! I'll stick
my neck out and say what I said after I'd done the first 4 sections. It was
the best Trial I can remember, the sections were long, wide, very varied
and none of them cut out to the points of being totally impassable. Harry
Jefferies (who's even older than me) deserves a new bobble hat on the
strength of it 'cos there's life in the old dog yet!

I remember one section in particular that had the usual crowd of
action seeking spectators round it as there was a very slippy slope down
into some thick hawthorn bushes. It was still relatively easy for the
eighties and the lower powered machines though a bit on the seat squeezing

side, but the bigger engines were making heavy weather of it. I saw Ted
Hartley christen his new Lightweight, after a fine display of foot down at
all costs the motor finally slithered sideways and tipped over on to its side
.... but the wheels were still spinning, that's what I call determination!
Raymond Sagar also went hedge pruning with his 3 litre Series 2, taking a
great swathe of tree with him to the delight of the watchers. It was a long day
day, but a good one and the marshals can be proud of their work .....
meanwhile back at scrutineering!

 

 
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