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Area Report - Windscreen November/December Issue 157
Our report this month turns over to our newest member contributions– Andrew Rudge, who describes his first experenice of Yorkshire famous end of season run “The Crank Down”

I feel Andy’s narrative sums up the way we do things up here…

Andy says… After several months of trawling the internet and sending messages to various MVT Facebook groups, I finally acquired my first Jeep in late September 2016. “You now qualify to attend our Crank Down event” said Brian (Slingsby). “Oh, ok” I replied. “When is it?” “1st to 2nd October” replied Brian eagerly and he emailed me details of the weekend event at Garton on the Wolds near Driffield.

This sounded great, I thought. I mapped out a route, avoiding motorways, from my starting point to the camp site where the event was to start. The route planner indicated that it would take 1 hour 30 minutes, so I added an extra 30 minutes to reflect that I would be travelling in my Jeep.

Shortly after acquiring my Jeep, it unfortunately developed a slight but consistent splutter and, with little mechanical experience or knowledge, I was a little concerned whether it would get me to the camp and back and also complete the tour. I expressed my concerns to Brian and suggested that if I was to attend, it would be for the Saturday only. “It’ll be an ideal opportunity to get to know your vehicle. Get there early, there’ll be plenty of “experts” on hand to take a look at the engine and offer an opinion” said Brian. I was still unsure but, with Brian’s encouraging words I advised him that I would go.

My Jeep came with a full winter kit ie doors etc, but (as many readers will know) this restricts visibility somewhat. I decided therefore that it wasn’t yet cold enough for the winter kit to be fitted. My wife didn’t fancy the road trip, so I invited a friend along to map read. We agreed to meet at 7:45am for an 8:00am start, aiming to arrive at the campsite around 10:00am.

Saturday arrived and we set off at 8:00am as planned. It was however a little colder than we had expected and about twenty minutes into the journey, we encountered a damp mist. The temperature noticeably dropped. Nevertheless, we pressed on passing through Monk Fryston and Hambleton, heading towards Selby.

On the outskirts of Selby, there was a diversion to our planned route. We took the opportunity to stop and add another layer of clothing as, despite having sheepskin leather gloves on, I was struggling to feel my fingers.

We continued on our way, following our scenic route towards Holme upon Spalding Moor and Middleton on the Wolds beyond. On this stretch, the mist lifted, the sun came out and we began to warm up. We topped up with petrol just before Garton on the Wolds, ready for the Saturday tour, and pulled into our destination at 10:00am, just as planned!

We poured a coffee, feeling relieved that we had arrived despite the continuous splutter along the way. Most of the other drivers had camped overnight and we were soon chatting with other participating drivers, discussing the problematical engine that we had experienced. It wasn’t too long before the bonnet was lifted up and heads were peering in assessing the problem. Various spare parts appeared and were soon fitted. A quick test drive around the campsite and the engine appeared to have been fixed – great! Information on the places we would be visiting was handed to all drivers, together with a map of the route we would be taking (alternatively, we could follow the vehicle in front).
Our convoy of approximately 15 vehicles set off at around 10:30am consisting mainly of Jeeps, plus several support cars. We wound our way through the Yorkshire Wolds countryside to our first destination – 158 Squadron Memorial at Lissett, erected in 2009 to educate people into the existence of the airfield and to the role that 158 Squadron played during World War 2. Whilst we were there, a poppy wreath was laid at the foot of the memorial on behalf of MVT Yorkshire.

We climbed back into our vehicles and we were once again travelling through picturesque countryside to our next location - Mappleton Sands. The small car park here was already quite full and the arrival of our military vehicles certainly turned a few heads given Mappleton Sands history and recent incidents. The area was used as a practice bombing range from World War 2 until the early 1970s. In 2012 and 2014 coastal erosion sent thousands of bombs onto the sands.

A passing couple, who were interested in our vehicles, explained that an old man had told them that something must be going on again down on the beach. They asked him why, and he said “Well, the army has turned up.” I’m not sure whether the old man was joking, but it’s a good tale. A coffee and thick slice of leek and potato pie (courtesy of my friends wife) set us up nicely for the next stage.

From Mappleton Sands we headed off to the final stop of the day for us – Fort Paull, Yorkshire’s only remaining Napoleonic Fortress, situated on the North bank of the Humber near the village of Paull.

There are several themed exhibits and displays covering the Forts 450 year existence including its role in the English Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars and both World Wars. One of the Forts most impressive exhibits is the World's only surviving Blackburn Beverley heavy transport aircraft. Our arrival again drew interest as we drove in through the Fort gates and parked up. We stayed here just over an hour which gave us time to explore the Fort and grab a bite to eat. A safe trip homeward followed.

A big thank you to those involved in organising the day and I would thoroughly recommend the event to anyone who has not participated before. Personally, I just can’t wait for the next one! 

Andrew Rudge