The forecast was dry, and after all the snow of recent times, we were glad for a good day, even if the skies were leaden and grey. On Easter Sunday 1st April, seventy MG owners registered for the run, including your scribe and his wife in “Marmalade” our 1973 MGB, and met at the McDonalds restaurant at Clifton Moor, York. At the last minute we were advised there was an event near the route, but this should not affect our plans – oh! How wrong that proved to be!
At about 10am for a route of 92miles taking in the Howardian Hills, and part of the North York Moors. The weather of previous days kept away some of the older pre-war vehicles, only a white VA joining in. Most entries were MGBs and MGFs and TFs whilst Robin and Linda Kent represented the later models in their 2016 MG3. Non MGs included Steve and Chris Moore for East Yorkshire Natter in their Landrover, Derrick and Sue Gough in their 1969 Riley Elf, as well as a Jaguar MkII.
Heading north, past pretty villages with hedgerows scattered with daffodils, we went over the hills to our first major location, the lovely market town of Helmsley. As we left the plan was to turn north up to Bransdale, but here it all went wrong and a man in a hi-vis vest manning a roadblock pointed for us to continue on the A170 east. A mile or so down the road several of us pulled off and consulted maps. Luckily for us, we know the area well, and we decided to continue east past Kirbymoorside for about two miles then turn off north to follow the signs for Fadmoor, then on to the village of Gillamoor, where we re-joined the planned route. At this point several MGs joined us from different directions, and by the time we got to Hutton-le-Hole on the edge of the moors, quite a lot of MGs were back on the run.
Here the weather started to go downhill and by the time we were at high level we were driving in sleet, then snow, before we had the scary part of the run down the “Chimney”, a very steep winding hill into Rosedale. Not the easiest in an old car with slow wipers! After a quick coffee break to revive our energies, we turned south, and through the low hills, skirting Malton, towards Castle Howard, and our lunchbreak at Yorkshire Lavender outlet.
The remainder of the run took us across the Vale of Pickering and past the ancient castle at Sherriff Hutton, and south over the A64, and through Stamford Bridge, site of King Harold’s victory in 1066, and eventually over the River Derwent to our finishing point at the Yorkshire Air Museum. This was appropriate, as the day marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. The following day, Easter Monday, the snow was back – when is this winter going to end? Our thanks to all the MGCC member and friends who participated, and contributed to our support for the Marie Curie Cancer Care Charity.
Photographs, Mike Breedon, Colin Brear & Ken Cothliff