Not The Bank Holiday Weekend to Goathland 2011.

Goathland, or more popularly known by the name Aidensfield, was the venue for our stay in the North York Moors this year.  Our journey started at Chatburn at 09:00 on the Friday, bacon butties and tea or coffee to go with them. After we arranged the cars in a semicircle together with the owners TC for a photo shoot. After that it was first come first served to the tulip maps, and the open road.

Our first stint was to take us through Lancashire, and Yorkshire, to The Bull Inn, West Tanfield. Unfortunately for Bob and Carole we drove via Hellifield, and they had travelled from there to meet up with us at Chatburn. The Bull had extremely good food, and we sat in the garden next to the river whilst we enjoyed it. After lunch, the lovely scenery of the North York Moors National Park provided the backdrop to the driving. This was one of the best days driving that I can remember, and it served as a taster to the rest of the weekend.

On arriving at The Mallyan Spout Hotel, our venue for the weekend, we checked the rooms to find them to be excellent, so down to the garden for the first of many sherbets. Evening dinner complemented the hotel with good, varied and tasty food.

Saturday saw us all assemble under orders, in the car park, where Andy and Tony had a plan. This had been devised by Bill R. “Get the cars in formation, and draw out the MG sign with them”, was the order. Much tooing and frowing, grinding of gears, together with the odd expletive finally showed the cars in the correct formation. This could be viewed from the on hand cherry picker, brought in for the purpose. After the local news rag, (not part of News International), had taken their pictures, then anyone with a camera was allowed to ascend to the heavens to take a pic or two.

Bill had once again arranged a visit from the local Mayor, as he had last year at Barrow in Furness, but this Mayor was a Mare, and was not well, so she failed to turn up. We drove the cars to Goathland railway station and left them on display in the car park. We then boarded a chartered bus and travelled to Whitby, where we had a free day, before assembling to catch the train home in reserved carriages. During our return journey I was enlisted to advise those present that they would be held back at the station, to return 30 seconds apart, stopping at Scripps Garage to meet, and have a photo opportunity with “a star of stage and screen”. Excitement was rife, and all were ecstatic to find David, from Heartbeat ready and willing to “fill her up for a fiver”. Actually it was me dressed in an old coat and hat, but nobody seemed to realise that it was not actually David! I will be applying for my equity card in readiness for the return of Heartbeat, if ever it does return.

Sunday arrived and today we were off to meet up with some of the members of Rydale & York MG Owners Club, and proved to be the breakdown day. So far not a missed beat or faded brake lining, except of course Bill’s TA, but that always has faded brakes. Tony, Andy and I had gone off at a rate, and we were first to suffer. As I negotiated a sharp right-hander, and floored the throttle to keep up the pace, nothing happened. A quick inspection by the others showed a broken throttle nipple at the pedal. We removed the one from the heater, tied that up to stop the heat, and Tony used it to fix the throttle cable, after first adjusting the play for it to fit. Whilst this was going on we were passed by lots of our members, and approximately 40 Minis, all beeping and waving. As we were about to move off, we heard that Olive’s Midget was having clutch problems. When she caught us up we escorted her to out meeting point at the Cropton Brewery. Again Andy and Tony swung in to action to try to get her going, but the slave cylinder was not having any. During this Bill noticed his TA had disgraced itself by peeing all over the car park. A split hose was found and I helped this time, with a cut down hose from Godfrey’s boot.

Unfortunately Olive’s car was U.S., so we carried on without her. Just joking, she received various lifts for the rest of the day, and Bill trailered her back to the Mallyan Spout that night. The RAC was to finish her weekend in what I heard was a rather untidy truck on Monday! During the day the run was still up to the high standard Bill had set himself on Friday, and after lunch at The Hayburn Wyke, we carried on to Thornton Le Dale, where we all had a route around the North Yorkshire Car Museum. Again Bill had negotiated cheap rates, and a free tea or coffee at the nearby Balderstones Café. Here we said our farewells to the local MG nuts, and drove back to the hotel.

After dinner and a commemorative photo, Bill awarded Olive with a car badge for being the member of the weekend, and we all then thanked him in turn for such a well organised and spectacular weekend.

Monday was for returning home so after a quick walk to see the actual Mallyan Spout, we went our separate ways. Unfortunately once again the spectre of breakdown reared its ugly head over our windscreen. After a lovely lunch in Pately Bridge, we drove up towards Grassington, but gear changing became difficult. Fearing a similar problem as Olive, I tried various tests, and came to the conclusion my maintenance routine had missed checking the clutch fluid levels. A detour towards the motorway was found, as three motorways and we would be home, (motorway driving needed no gear changes). When we arrived
near Skipton I pulled in to a petrol station, and bought some fluid. This I topped up, and continued on our journey. The following day was SYCO night so that afternoon, I enlisted Jo’s right foot, and bled the clutch fluid removing all the air. The car is now back up to its former glory and just waiting to do it all over  gain.

So if you think that a weekend away might not be as good as doing the garden or looking after the grandkids, or whatever takes your fancy just after the spring bank holiday, think again. This one was one of the best, if not the best, and all the congratulations are due to Bill Ryding, ably assisted by Mick Bamber. And don’t forget Lillian, who has to put up with months of Bill’s planning and travelling to make our weekend a success.

Mike Newton