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Daffodil Run 16th April 2017

The sun was peeking through the clouds as our 1973 MGB “Marmalade” joined the starters at McDonalds at Clifton Moor, York for the Yorkshire Area Centre spring “Daffodil Run” through North Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills, some of England’s most spectacular countryside. The route was planned by the two David’s Chapman & Copeman of the West Yorkshire Natter, with the support of sponsors Retro Sports Cars, and Boom Marketing who produced the route booklet.

Some 80 cars had planned to come, and there were a few late additions taking the number a little higher. In addition to the majority of MGs were a few visitors including the lovely 1930’s Lagonda drophead saloon of David Lloyd, Brian Viney’s 1961 Jaguar 3.8 Saloon, and Derrick and Sue Gough’s 1966 Austin A40, not unrelated to the MG marque through its BMC heritage and engine. East Yorkshire MGCC member Chris Moore brought his 1990 V8 Landrover to add a rustic flavour to the runners. Members from all the eight Natters of the MGCC were well represented although the poor forecast kept some of the older cars indoors.

The route took us north alongside east bank of the River Ouse towards the village of Helperby Brafferton, past the old RAF stations at Linton on Ouse, Dalton and Tholthorpe, though an area that saw much action with RAF Bomber Command just 75 years ago. We then headed north east toward the Hambleton Hills, through the pretty village of Kilburn, famous for the master wood craftsman Robert “Mouseman” Thompson, and up the steep hill past the “Kilburn White Horse” and Yorkshire Gliding Club on the top of Whitestone Cliff, to the North Yorkshire Moors visitor centre. Here the route took us through lots of small tortuous hills and farm lanes towards Hawnby, and past the wonderful ruins of Reivaulx Abbey to the busy market town of Helmsley. It was notable how many 4WD vehicles confronted us, and yet it was us that had to move over, not the 4WDs; several members commented on this.

By this time the forecast clouds had arrived and rain had set in, so those hardy souls who had started out ‘topless’ had resorted to hood up. Leaving Helmsley, and the excellent selection of pubs, we headed towards the Howardian Hills, through the pretty villages of Harome, and Hovingham. Normally this is where we see the best displays of roadside Daffodils, but with the warm spring and the recent cooler weather, they were past their best.

After a roadside picnic huddled in “Marmalade” in the pouring rain at Nunnington, by the Elizabethan stately home, the rest of the run was an enjoyable route around the countryside east of York, past locations featured on TV personality Tony Robinson’s Coast to Coast walk programme on TV only a couple of days before, through more pretty villages, and the Derwent Valley, eventually approaching our destination at Elvington – the Yorkshire Air Museum. Their new exhibit, a French Air Force Mirage IV Nuclear bomber, still in its shrink wrap protection from its transit from France, was a highlight exhibit, and the NAAFI provided welcome hot food and drinks.

Our thanks go to David Chapman for all his hard administration work and car parking skills, and if any folks from southern England, or Scotland want to visit “God’s own County”, join us 2018 for Yorkshire Centre’s “The Daffodil  Run” or the “Dales Run” this coming August – details on the MGCC Yorkshire Centre website.

Now I’m off to give “Marmalade” a good wash and rub down!


Ken and Julie Cothliff and “Marmalade”