Home - Events Diary - Events Gallery - Members Vehicles
Area Reports - Articles - For Sale/Wanted

Area Report - Windscreen November/December Issue 163

September and October continues to be active months for the area, with a few popular wartime weekends and of course the now famous Area Crank Down run.
Grassington’s 1940s weekend, is always a popular event, the town square centre piece this year was a Mk.IX Spitfire and crew dispersal from the Iconic Aircraft and Northern Forties team. Big band swing music, street dancing and the Sunday parade drawing the crowds and the afternoon flypast from the BBMF Lancaster bringing an excellent weekend to a fitting close. 

This year’s Yorkshire Crank Down, organised by Brian Slingsby and Simon Roberts treated the hardy souls to a cornucopia of terrain and views across part of North Yorkshire, covering over 60 miles of previously undiscovered leafy lanes, open road, deep valleys, moorland, some steep climbs, fords and continually changing panoramas. We’ve detailed the route as it is well worth a drive.

The 13-vehicle convoy left the damp campsite at Nawton, outside Helmsley and headed for Rivieulx Abbey. then encountering the first of what turned out to be hundreds of cyclists of all shapes, sizes and ages participating in an extremely strenuous event called the Wiggle-Ay-Up which offered the riders a choice of 32, 56 or 93 gruelling miles! At times the lanes proved just a little too narrow for us going one way and the riders the other.

After passing the Abbey we headed to the small hamlet of Old Byland and then to Caydale Mill. Here we came across a ford that ran the same way as the road curving to our right as we entered the 6” or so of water. Most unusual, and beneficial as it washed off some of the mud acquired earlier. After passing through Hawnby with it’s round millstone village sign we went gingerly down a 25% slope (1 in 4 to us older motorists) and on to pass over the Grade2 listed 18th century Laskill Bridge which spans the River Seph. A few hundred yards further on we re- joined the B1257 on a lovely open stretch heading towards Stokesley. The hamlet of Chop Gate, pronounced 'Chop Yat' came next. Over the moors next for a welcome stop at the busy, but very smart subterranean Lord Stones café for the call of nature and a cuppa, although some decided to have lunch as, by then, it was 12.00 noon.

Suitably rested we turned right out of the car park and up to the ridge at Carlton Bank to take in the vast panorama of Middlesbrough, the Cleveland plain, Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument. Truly some view! Descending the bank to pass through the well kept village of Carlton and on to Great Busby, Kirkby, Ingleby Greenhow and Easby. From here on to Commondale and Castleton junction seeing Station signs en route, but not passing one to my knowledge. The Esk valley railway from Middlesborough to Whitby winds its way through the moors here. This stretch was a long run and about an hour after leaving the café we pulled into the ancient Lion Inn’s Car Park on a particularly bleak stretch of moorland and boy was it cold.

At 1325ft it must be one of the highest pubs in England. Only downhill from here, and another steep slope of 1 in 5 took us through Church Houses and Low Mill before climbing again to Gillamoor, Fadmoor and crossing another ford before joining the A170 Pickering to Helmsley Road. Rain set in later than forecast so all were lucky to enjoy a bright and sunny day for most of the 60 mile run. The last couple of miles on the A170 took us back to the campsite at Nawton. Many thanks again to Brian for planning and organising the event and, also leading the convoy on what turned out to be a superb route exploring this beautiful part of ‘God’s Own County’ A great day out and a chance to catch up with old friends.

The true October’s highlight is Pickering’s Railway in Wartime event and this continues to be a big draw for many across the UK. Mike Humphreys was back again in his Bedford MW in convoy for the 80 mile trip with Mel Bean with his AEC Matador and 5.5" gun. The Saturday parade left from Park Street outside Pickering Station and for the first time went up Market Place and was hemmed in by ridiculously large crowds almost brushing vehicle mudguards at times.

( further pictures can be found in the Events Gallery )

Sadly, MV vehicle attendance is a shadow of its former self, as the event lacks a central organisation and little provision is made for MV owners since the Railway ceased to coordinate the event, that said Pickering continues to be hugely popular dominated by civilian and military re-enactors. Further up the line Jack Ford in a Bedford MW and Tony Boyle in a Standard Tilly, drove over the moors in convoy with other members to Whitby. To once again perform the recovery and de activation of a sea mine on the harbour jetty. Adam Wright and the Trouble Shooters were once again in position near to Pickering station with their riverside camp displaying a variety of weaponry and engineering equipment to visitors.
Many of you will know John Gray and sons; Matt and Tom, they have been busy locating a new project for the winter – thanks to their European friends at Patton Drivers.
They have located a rusty hulk of a half-track, early White mk 2, probably converted into mk 2a1, in a Belgian wood. Now back in to the UK ready for a their full restoration which will keep the Gray boys under the watchful eye of Dad, busy and searching Europe for parts.