|Dave's Dales Moors and Forest - 17 & 18 September
Report by Jim Paterson. Photos Mags Campbell Jim Paterson
Line-up growing at Gretna Green start
The crews lined up at Gretna Green Outlet Village to sign
on, refresh themselves at Costa Coffee ready for the first day of some
195 miles into the North of England. Roddie Main in his 1995 Mercedes
SL struggled as his softop would not open, which meant driver door
unable to open. Many hands to the rescue finding a dodgy relay causing
the problem. Once fixed top down to enjoy the sunshine.
With the border only yards away they were soon in England and first
town Longtown. Continuing south east the route crossed Hadrian's Wall
toward Brampton and Lambley. Famous for the Lambley railway Viaduct,
built in 1852 to carry Haltwhistle to Alston railway over the River
South Tyne, hauling coal and lead from the Alston mines. The nine 17m
wide arches were similar to the Ribblehead viaduct that we would see
later on the tour.
Starters in the sunshine at Gretna
The route headed east through County Durham to Allendale Town where it
turned south alongside the River East Allen through the valley.
Continuing east and south we reached Staindrop with the medieval Raby
Castle built in the 14th century not far off our route.
We still had a fair mileage to go, so the crews pressed on south toward
Scotch Corner. Dating from Roman times where it formed an important
junction between the easterly (now A1/A68 ) and westerly (A74) routes
to Scotland. The roman settlement even had its own mint.
views on our route Bartniczek Alfa overtake
and refreshed the route headed due east then south through the North
Yorks Moor. We passed Rosedale and 'Chimney Bank Hill' which shares the
title of steepest road in England (the other is Hardknott Pass in
Cumbria which we climbed on our 2019 tour).
George & Elizabeth Ferguson
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Tom Rae in Lotus 7 ready for take-off
The pass has an average gradient of 13%, with a maximum gradient of 1
in 3 (about 33%) and climbs 568 feet (173 m) on its 0.81-mile (1.3 km)
route. The local classic car club runs an event once a year, and
featured in the 2010 Flying Scotsman Rally. It is colloquially
known by cyclists as The Chain Breaker.
The route headed east toward Pickering, our farthest easterly point. A
short optional diversion to Thorton-le-Dale to visit Mathewson's Garage
and Museum was included, having one of the best display of vintage and
classic cars. Back on rally route we turned west toward Thirsk and the
final leg to Harrogate, the overnight stop.
The crews that stayed at the Premier Inn Harrogate South were treated
to an Italian meal, thanks to Roddie Main booking a big enough table. A
great way to end a long day.
Day 2, Sunday 18th set off leaving Harrogate heading North West toward
Pateley Bridge. Sheila Anderson, with Brian McGarrie in their BMW Z3
called me when they ran into the end of a long queue, possible traffic
accident, on the approach to the town. Passed their call onto others to
reroute around. Later crews found out it appeared to be an agricultural
show in the town attracting more visitors than they bargained for!
This shorter route of 125 miles meant plenty of time to take in the
sights, which included the famous Ribblehead Viaduct on the
Settle-Carlisle Railway, just over the border from Cumbria into North
Similar to the Lambley viaduct, but on steroids, with 24 massive stone arches 104 feet (32 metres) above the moor.
Hawes at the head of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, famous for its
Wensleydale Cheese, before turning north west to Kirkby stephen,
through Buttertubs Pass, claimed to be one of the best driving roads in
Our last leg of the tour continued north west toward Penrith, our final
destination, where a warm welcome awaited the crews at Penrith Golf
Club. A two course meal and a small trophy for each finisher completed
our two day tour across Northern England.
tour was in memory of and dedicated to David Spence ‘Dave’. Dave was
always keen to find new routes for our tours, design the road books and
gazetteers. This was one of his final productions which we hope you
enjoyed, as much as the club enjoyed making it happen.
Published 26 September 2022