This year’s Easter time run around the Howardian Hills north of York was organised by Chris Flanagan, one of the owners of MG Lifestyle in Brighouse, and assisted by his daughter Sophie, a first time effort from him. He, and all those who drove were blessed with good, hood down, weather even if the wind was a little chilly.
Seventy one cars, ranging from Bob Walker in his 1932 “F-Type” to a new MG3 hot off the production line, started from McDonalds Restaurant in York, and headed north up the A19 for a short while, before turning off into the countryside towards, Alne, then to the lovely market town of Easingwold. Just after here a few of us, including your scribe missed an un-signposted turn north. I must admit to committing the cardinal error of following the car in front. Breaking one of the rules (No.4) Chris had put in the excellent route book – “Never follow another MG in front – they could be lost!”, after charging east a few miles, I realised my mistake, and turned left at a junction to head back to Coxwold, and regain the route. I like to think at least I had an excuse – I was on my own without a navigator!
Back on the route, the MGs went through Kilburn passed the Visitor Centre for the ‘Mouseman’, famed furniture maker Robert Thompson, then by the “White Horse” carved into the hillside by the ‘Victorians’, the spectacular Gliding Club on the cliff at Sutton Bank, and over the A170 northwards. This part passed two of Yorkshire’s wonderful ruined abbeys, Byland, and the most spectacular – Reivaulx, before heading into Helmsley for lunch. I decided to avoid the crowds and keep going towards one of the spectacular parts of the run heading east then north towards Carlton, and over the moors to Bransdale, eventually arriving at Kirbymoorside. After this town the route turned into the Howardian Hills towards Castle Howard, and the run, at last, took on the flavour of the Daffodil Run with ‘daffs’ lining the sides of the roads, producing wonderful displays in the pretty villages.
Eventually we progressed back across the north of York, through the back lanes and ended at the Sidings Restaurant composed of old railway coaches, next to the East Coast main line. The award for the best car of the day went Tony Duffy with his 1966 MG Magnette Mk.IV; his prize being a meal for two at the Sidings, and plaque, and of course, an Easter Egg.
Perhaps the run should have been called the “Dandelion Run” because the first part we saw few daffodils, more the yellow of the weeds! We had been lucky with the weather, and most of the MGs made it back with little trouble, if as usual, there was a bit of ‘dodgy’ navigation on the way!
Ken Cothliff, navigation assistant “Morris” the MG bear, & “Marmalade”