SKCC – Southern Kit Car Club Road Trip
by admin on May 07, 2011 in Reports
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Apparently even the best laid plans can go wrong – well luckily enough not this time and thank goodness for that, because I was playing with peoples hard earned cash as well as their precious time. The plan was hatched last year, to have a Road Trip in the UK that would end up at Stoneleigh at the National Kit Car Show.
In the end we had 13 cars and 17 hardy souls who managed to get to the start line in of all places ‘Lakeside Shopping Centre’. Most of us had fractured sleep, excited like kids at Xmas time, one by one the cars rolled into the car park, sat nav’s were checked and checked again ‘where are we heading for first’ ?
And then we were off, the din of the collective exhausts breaking the still of the Essex air ( ok poetic license). Our first stint took us deep into Essex where the scenery changed, thatched cottages and green fields – a pleasant sight after suburbia. Onwards we pressed, touching Suffolk before lunch beckoned in Fen Country. Suitably refreshed we ploughed on our stop that night was to be Skegness, along the way we found the roads changing as the flat lands of the Fens started to give way to the subtle contours of Lincolnshire.
No Trip would be complete without either a curry or a kebab, so in keeping with tradition we managed to tick that box ( along with a beer or two ). One or two of us decided that karaoke was the order of the day with Neil providing some mellowness ahead of the Captains version of My Way – Sid Vicious would have been proud. The tinkerers tinkered next morning whilst the sane amongst has had another coffee before we set off in pursuit of a Cafe…….well you can’t drive on an empty stomach can you!
Once replete we headed off, the traffic splitting our convoy into Groups, soon we were through Horncastle and one what was to become a series of superb roads. The countryside changing now to undulating, a veritable rollercoaster as we headed for the Humber and the mighty bridge that spans it. Those with passengers got busy with their cameras as we neared it, a great sight and an excuse for a quick coffee stop and a group photo
Lunch that day was to be at an Open Air World War Two museum – Eden Camp a former POW Site. From there it was a short drive to Scarborough where the intention was to visit Olivers Mount a street based Hillclimb circuit. Needless to say this is where a few folks ( scrub that – everyone barring Kenton and I ) went wrong. Talk about give up and go home! The circuit needed to be found as it nestled above a traditional ‘30’s housing estate. Our reward, tarmac as smooth as the proverbial and a stunning view across to Scarborough – puuuuurfect.
Our adventures for the day were not yet done. For the rolling roads of Lincs had now turned slightly more appealing as we hit the edge of the Moors. Kenton and I were blatting together when suddenly a small group were sighted – heading the other way. A quick ‘u’ turn and they joined us as we cruised into Goathland – where the filming was done for Heartbeat. Of course we had to have a pic of the cars infront of the garage! With cameras stowed we headed off to be confronted with what has to be one of the highlights of the tour from a merriment perspective. Picture this: a narrow single lane track, 8 cars in formation ( goodness knows where the others were ), a steep hill and a car coming the other way. The kindly driver pointing out that at the bottom of said steep hill there’s a ‘ford’ ….well I wasn’t about to pass on that titbit – no, let it be a shock for them all! In truth the advice was slightly wrong, she should have told us there were 3 fords!
After much hilarity we crossed the obstacle and settled down to the delights of Whitby. So curry & kebab the 1st night, Fish n Chips for day two!
James and I ventured out early the next day, the others content to check oil and water – a pity as we found a fantastic location for some beach shots. A healthy Full English set those with bleary eyes straight and we were ready for day 3. A simple 180 miles of Moors that would take us to Holmfirth
( yet another TV connection – Last of the Summer Wine).
The Moors were stunning, twisty roads taking us through parched landscapes until oddly enough we found a real ( and I mean real) coffee bar in the middle of a car park in the middle of nowhere. The Gods were truly shining on us.
As usual the convoy became fragmented, no matter as plenty had the route programmed and our Group of Rob, Bryan, Tony had James as ‘Reconn’ scouting ahead, stopping and taking pictures as we headed by.
We all reconvened at lunch where Barry from Frank Pickles had given up part of his Bank Holiday to meet with us – a nice gesture!
Holmfirth. What a strange place – strange in a good way though. Sleepy, quiet erm, not on a Friday night. A lively atmosphere ensued at our Hotel which seemed to be the stopping off point for a fair few folks! But travel 4-5 miles from Holmfirth as we did the next morning and ‘wow’. I’m not sure what superlatives exceed the word ‘stunning’ that I used before, but for me the Peaks are just beyond description…..and if you want to know where all the tarmac is – well its been laid up there! We criss crossed the peaks taking in every well known drivers roads as well as a number of others that I’d been recommended to try, sorry no words left to describe this.
Lunch was taken close to Ashbourne, yet another of the many funnies, as cars appeared in this tiny village from all points of the compass – with hikers looking on bemusedly. Part of the Group headed for a micro brewery where we had trouble persuading the host to pour tiny measures for us and where we stocked up ready to kick back once we reached Stoneleigh – which we did in dribs and drabs around 6pm. It seems that the organizers of the Show take delight in shoving us in the coldest, windiest corner of the ground – has someone upset them? In truth we wandered the Show but our hearts and minds were elsewhere. How can a static display compare to the delights that we’d experienced for those 4 days, those 800+ miles of fun and banter. It couldn’t, no matter that the sun shone or that the BBQ and brekkie was stoked up we just weren’t in the right place mentally. Tales were recounted, experiences relived as our thoughts turned to the final leg – the one that would take us finally back to reality.
Will this be repeated, absolutely, but I fear not to Stoneleigh. No, next years adventure will have perhaps a continental air to it. Watch out on the forum, we’ll start planning in August so we can save our pennies.