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CLAWTHORPE

CROC, the really snappy club, are once again inviting you to join them
at Easter. Trial on Saturday, Comp Safari on Sunday and Point to Point on
Monday, with a kids' bike trial thrown in on the Friday. Caravanning is
available from Thursday night through to Monday night, but there will be
no toilet facilities available, what's even worse there won't be a bar! (the
pub's handy though!) For an entry form send a SAE to Tony Walker,
65 Barley Cop Lane, Vale, Lancaster.

Can you remember back to December 1981, last year no less, and a
damn sight warmer than what it is now as I remember too! Our first event
in years to be held in deepest Yorkshire at sunny Castleford no less, wedged
between a slag heap and a huge Pomfret cake, lay a little quarry which
Pennine member Alan Rogerson first clapped eyes on at the beginning of
the year, stout fellow that he is (and keen to win his Pennine scouting
badge) he duly earoled the friendly farmer who was somewhat amused at
the thought of Land Rovers belting up and down the place. The committee
deputation of two sussed the place out with Alan sometime in September
and lo and behold Castleford Comp Safari was born. Pennine must be getting
desperate as BH2 (ie me) had been brought out of retirement, dusted down,
put back on the committee and given Castleford to run, my first event in
over 2 years, and it showed! Should have been a doddle, there was this super
track curving all round the edge, real fast, hairy and long, then you dived
off into the undergrowth and started the tuff stuff, a good mile and three
quarters, just the job. Trouble was the farmer disagreed, so one week before
I found myself devising a new route that involved quite a bit of land

clearance, was quite a bit rougher and only just scraped a mile in length,
but what a mile, there was a bit of everything thrown in, uphills, downhills,
mud, slime, trees, bracken, clay, rock, angry residents, just about everything!
Saturday before the event saw our two resident wood choppers Phil Whitaker
and Russel Robinson power sawing trees down like there was a bonus scheme
in operation, and arguing over the various merits of Stihl or Husqvarna saws,
me I kept well back from the lethal things and helped Phil's Alsation pull
felled trees away. Michael Chaloner appeared, as did a new chap named Brian
Pedley who brought his Ginormous Chevy Blazer up from Chesterfield and
helped us lay out. There was much head scratching over the steep drop down
into the quarry, it looked fearsome but after a dozen or so ever faster
attempts at it I decided that only a really persistent Pennine Pete could come
to grief there (see following report for his real name!) What should have been
the easy bit back up the hill out of the quarry proved to be the downfall,
quite literally, of many of the entries. Quite a bit of time during the day was
taken up in pacifying the locals' fears as to what was about to happen on the
Sunday including the local killjoy, who was determined to be upset by the
event whatever happened!

Sunday morning and many anxious Lancastrian faces could be seen
arriving at Castleford, many had never ventured this deep into uncharted
territory before and were nervous about the tales of flesh eating miners that
are supposed to abound in these parts, (actually lads they're further South
in Barnsley!) In a Hash Dicky was scrutineering the 29 entries, and before
you could say 'brass monkeys' the first motors were away. The first run in-
volved doing 2 laps, which confused 90% of the entries straight off, as soon
as all 29 had been on their first run we reverted to straight single laps at
30 second intervals. This meant that there was non stop action on the course,
but also made life a bit fraught if there was a breakdown or roll over, and
there were plenty of each, in seconds there was a traffic jam worth of Picca-
dilly Circus with hyped up drivers getting all hot under the helmet at the
thought of another re-run, it was all go! The size of the crowd watching the
hill out of the quarry proved that something was going to happen and it did,
several motors turned sideways when unable to crest the hill in one run and
ended up rolling back to the bottom, including Pete Baldwin who virtually
landed on top of Geoff Dyer who was on his way up as Pete was returning
to the bottom under the power of gravity. The Sagar twins had a dismal day,
Dave Sagar having his first return to a Pennine event in his original V8
eighty but having to retire eventually and Raymond casting wheels off before
eventually succumbing to a mechanical failure. John Lister was up and run-
ning for the first time in many months and proving that he'd not lost any
of his old nerve with a side by side dice along the edge of the quarry, but
it was left to Richard Hobbs, also on his first Pennine event for many months,
to win the 'Man of the Match' award with a spectacular forward flip down
the quarry drop (read the 'Don't blame me I'm only the navigator' report
for a blow by blow account!)

Despite the impression that this report may have given the event ran
very well with some very impressive driving taking place on treacherous
surface conditions, a good turn out from both competitors and marshals
alike ensured the success of the event, even if the local moaning minnie did
complain about the noise, (he did admit however that he'd had to open his
window in order to be annoyed by the noise!!!) Thanks go to Alan Rogerson
for his Sterling work in getting this new Annual venue for us, he gets
awarded his Pennine Scouts badge, and the landowner for his genial accep-
tance of our brand of lunacy, the marshals for braving the freezing cold and
the timekeepers for not cocking it all up despite all my interferings. (Psssss
it's going to be a Trail and Team Recovery next year!)

We haven't seen Richard Hobbs at an event since last Catterick I think,

and after his performance at Castleford it may be a while before we see him
again, well have a read at his navigator's (Sue Parker) account of his return.

DON'T BLAME ML I'M ONLY THE NAVIGATOR.

After arriving at Castleford on a bitter cold Sunday in December, I

decided to ask Richard Hobbs if he'd got a navigator. On hearing the answer
No 1 volunteered my services. He took me up on my offer saying 'at your
peril'. At the time I didn't realise just how much he meant it. So I intro-
duced myself and then went to adjust the seat belts to fit me. He said that
he had forgotten his intercom, but 1 wasn't bothered. Who needs an inter-
com with a foghorn like mine, as many of you will have heard from the
comments I receive. In fact my brother heard me that day in a closed motor!
(I knew it was loud, but not THAT loud).

We set off on our first run through the twisty course, with me shouting
out instructions, left, right, sharp left. There's little me shouting left, left,
LEFT and thinking he's not going LEFT, and there's us heading for a tree,
but we managed to stop in time and eventually we went left! Over the bumps
we went, trying to find the smoothest, fastest route (which was impossible).

We bumped our way through and then round a sharp right and a hairpin
left. Then came the opportunity to use the V8 power on the short straight,
leading to the quarry area. I could see the left hander coming up and started
to warn my driver, he seemed to be ignoring me, so I said left again, and
again. I thought he's not slowing down, so I shouted 'LEFT! SHARP LEFT!
LEFT!' At what seemed to be the very last minute it magically went left.
On turning left I could see the 'lovely' steep hill we had to go down. It was
too late to go back, so down we went, smoothly to the bottom. And then
I saw the hill we had to go up. It doesn't half look different when you're in
the Land Rover from walking round. Anyway we climbed up it beautifully,
just a few more corners and we're off on our second run. We did another,
then set off on our fourth run, on which we managed to hit the trees. On
the driver's side for a change. Have you noticed that it's usually the naviga-
tor's side that gets the damage. We went quite a length through the trees
(are navigators meant to put their hands over their eyes?) and then sudden-
ly we were heading for them on my side (Yes, I was peeping). We came to
a rapid halt inches away. Although one person wasn't that lucky and hit the
tree bending his neat and pristine motor and still managed to come first in
class. 'Good on ya' Jonathan!

On the last three runs Richard decided to go a bit slower!! On the
seventh run we didn't quite make the finish, having lost the oil pressure go-
ing down and up the hills in the quarry area. So I go and get a maximum
time on our card thinking that we will probably have finished for the day.
However, it was not to be so. After helping to add up the times Richard
shouted to me, 'Come on it's alright, we can go and do our last run'. It
definitely was our last run! We set off still going a bit slower, he said. The
run was pretty good until we got to the straight bit that led to the quarry.
It was foot down again and last minute braking, change of gear and sharp
left off the shelf. I shouted my last instructions or was it destruction,
'HAZARD'. We went over the edge and I thought, 'I hate this hill'. I felt
the back of the motor skip over and then bounce up, and over. All of a
sudden I realised we were rolling over (My first one, trust me, I couldn't
just be in a gentle roll on its side, oh no.) It went all dark and quiet. We
hit the ground with the roof first on the passenger corner, and I felt my
back crack on impact and the roof came in to meet my head, and glass was
flying all over the place. The motor carried on and came to rest on the
driver's side, and I felt to be suspended in mid air. After making sure we
were both OK, the motor was put back on its wheels and then the doors
came open and Christine Birchall helped me out. My arm was throbbing and
I felt dazed. I was escorted away from the wreckage and after the pain in
my arm became more persistent a check up at the hospital was ordered. So
off went Richard and I in Brian Slingby's Range Rover. Who needs an
ambulance, all we needed was the flashing blue light as we went speeding
up the motorway at 90 mph. Of course we had to pick the hospital that
was furthest away. So four of us traipsed into Leeds Infirmary, with very
muddy wellies and boots, much to the disgust of the other patients. After
several hours and a good check up, we were both found to have no broken
bones, just bad bruising. This is thanks to a good roll cage, crash helmet and
tight seat belts. Next time you're scrutineered and these things don't come
up to scratch just think of the possibilities of what can happen when you
go for a Sunday drive with the Pennine!

People have been asking me if I'm put off at all now. I will know at
the next comp safari, but I doubt it. I'm a glutton for punishment. I must
be because Richard gave me plenty of opportunity to give in and be a spec-
tator. Thanks very much to everybody that came to our aid and put us back
on our wheels quickly (and gently). Now I know why everybody was stood
at the top of that hill!

Sue Parker

Let's face it we all have different ways of enjoying ourselves on a Sun-
day, don't we'.' Thanks Sue for putting pen to paper, let's hope that roll
overs aren't habit forming!

Even further back was Whithaugh and I've had this particularly biased
report for quite some time but have used my Editorial powers to withhold
its publication, containing as it did in my opinion false rumours and slurs
on the reputation of an upright and honest member of this club. HOWEVER!
pressure has been brought to bear on me from many quarters (not least of
which was my arm up my back and the threat of further physical violence
to my person, resulting in permanent damage to my vocal cords), so I have
relented and shall grudgingly print a heavily edited version of aforesaid
report while disclaiming any responsibility as to the truth of its contents.

As it would appear that Pennine navigators are now discovering the
power of the pen in some force 1 reckon it's only fair that us drivers get
our own back by blindfolding them throughout the event in order that they
don't see too much, judging by the performance of most of my navigators
it wouldn't make too much of a difference! Here is Mr Gareth Almond's
highly biased report of life in the left hand seat from Whithaugh 1981!

 

THE LIFE OF BRIAN, Part 1, Take 99. (Censored version X rated)

Have you ever wondered what it's like being out in the middle of no-
where, strapped in a motor, bounced around till your fillings rattle loose,
with a raving maniac for a driver? Well read on, dear friends, read on.

August Bank Holiday at Whithaugh. 1 had just been busy half wrecking
my motor in the Point to Point and making a right Charlie of myself in the
Trial (The less said the better, OK Mr Schofield?) when 1 came to the deci-
sion that it was about time I wrecked somebody elses motor and reputation,
so without further ado and total disregard for body and soul I dashed off
to ask Brian Hartley if 1 could ride shotgun for him. Grudgingly he agreed
as he thought he could do with an extra pair of eyes for the night run.

As the sun set on the Scottish heather and darkness fell upon us like a
great velvet cape, the silence of the night was broken by the sound of dormant

beasts awakening. The inky black darkness was pierced by laser like beams
of light and small figures could be seen dashing impishly around. The atmos-
phere was truly electrifying, you could feel the tension and excitement
around you, the adrenalin pumping through your veins. 1 could tell Brian
was a little anxious about yours truly by the way he kept on wittering
about the previous berks he'd had for navigators (Not you Harry lad, well
not much anyway.) and the jewel like beads of sweat glistening on his bald
dome told their own story. 'Right' said his lordship, 'Are you strapped in
OK?' 'Yup!' I replied. 'Now then' he went on, 'I want you to keep your
eyes peeled and call out any hazards you see, and if 1 look at you like I'm
lost point me back in the right direction, watch for the oil pressure falling,
and keep your hands off everything, except the horn switch in front of you.
Whatever you do don't touch the washer switch next to it, OK!?' 'DO NOT
SWITCH ON THE WASHERS!!!'

Now it was our turn on the start line . . . 5-4-3-2-1 we're off. 'Come
on you slug' came the encouraging words from my hero as he crashed through the gearbox like a London bus driver, up the first hill, funny we're slowing down. 'What the censored hell's up with you, you jumped up poxy motor' screamed Brian as he crashed back down through the gears. 'Come on pull you - more censored bits - or I'll swop you for a Subaru.'Don't ask me how but the abuse and threats worked, and off we went again. Hard left. Hard left I shouted to Brian who was still churning out streams of abuse to his motor. Oops, Ouch, Bang, Wee, as we flew over the first hump. 'I'll show you, you swine' he mumbled as we tear-arsed around the edge of the hillside.
GO! GO! GO! I screamed . . . what the hell am I saying? Oh! .....         !
HAZARD! HAZARD! WAO! BANG! You know he was still muttering on
about the motor. 'OK up to the gate, 'Hard left, keep left down here, now
to your right, GO! GO! Oh no HAZARD!! Edge of the World' I screeched
in sheer panic as we hit it flat out. Bravely I opened one eye to note that
we were still upright and going strong. Right! Right! as we banked round
the bottom of the hill, OK straight on. GO! right up the hill (you know
his gear changing never got any better), left round the pole, back on your- self, HAZARD! HAZARD! I shouted WOA as we approached the second drop. But I might as well have been talking to the wall, when he gets behind a steering wheel he's like a rabbid dog, nay, man possessed. Oh, my giddy Aunt, the daft devil's going to kill us I thought as we flew through the air.
'Hard right, back up the hill' 1 screamed. 'Hard left round the pole. HAZARD! BRIAN! HAZARD!! BRIAN?? ..... Bang, Crash, Wollap. 'WHAT!' he spurned. 'Now’t, forget it, keep going, right through the gate, go on give it some welly, go on we're catching them up, go, go!' 'Hit the horn, hit the horn' Brian yelled. Groping round in the dark amongst the cluster of switches whilst bouncing round isn't easy you know, at last a switch! I flicked it on. 'What the censored hell' came the colourful picturesque tones. Oh Christ it was the washer switch. Frantically I fumbled for the switch again to turn them off. Wipers, I thought, switch on the wipers. Another classic, priceless move, as they smeared grease and dust across the windscreen. 'Switch the censored things off!' he screamed. When sanity regained control, we found that we'd passed the other blokes. (More luck than judgement.) Up to the top, hard left down to the bottom corner, hard right. By now my bum was really pulsing and gripping at the seat. 'Slow down. Hazard. HAZARD, bloody great bomb hole!! YIKES. We flew out of the crater like a ferret up a drain pipe. 'Right, right, up to the gate. Left, left. Go!' Hard left and
through the wall. Very rough and boggy, don't stop, keep going. I didn't
mean flat out. 'Oh NO . . . Oops, Ouch . . Watch for the logs. Hazard.
Through the gate. Go!' I didn't see that, watch that magnetic tree. OH
MOTHER! Why me? Phew, missed it. Go on hard right, stop posing for the
spectators and their flaming cameras, get your finger out and give it all
you've got. Hard left, watch that dip, Ooops. too late, never mind it'll mend.


Hard left. flat out, then came a sigh of relief as 1 spotted the finish line.
SANCTUARY, I screamed, I claim sanctuary!

'Magic, sheer bloody magic' came the immortal words from my well
wound up truck aimer. 'Great, let's get in the line for another run. Wonder-
ful I thought, here we go again ......

That's roughly how our night went apart from one where we got
bogged (Sorry Brian, Buddy, Old Pal - It cost us first place), that and the
broken front half shaft, and engine problems, though we still managed the
fastest lap, and third in class.

I still have the brown pants and bruises to prove it. As for the engine/
fuel/electric faults, well it's back to the drawing board, Brian old bean.

Personally I enjoyed the night runs more than the day runs, and I'm
sure many others must have also, so come on lads, find the land and let's
get it organised. Thanks to all the organisers at Whithaugh and last but not
least thanks to Brian for the new experience. I say that in the widest possible
text. Eh Sailor!

Gareth

 

 
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