The club’s events began with the Aysgarth Run in April and continued with an outing in the Lake District with Cumbria members in June. Both on this trip and that in August we stayed at The Royal in Dockray. The August visit included attending the Cumbria Classic Car Rally at Dalemain House organised by the Wigton Motor Club. In September N E Mercedes-Benz Club members attended two events: the Whitley Bay Classic Car Show, and NECPWA ‘s classic car day at Beamish Museum. During the year pub meets were held at Burtree Inn, Burtree Gate off the A68 near Darlington each month.
This was our last Aysgarth Run. This event, organised by David Pointon, had usually heralded the start of each year’s programme of events for members of the North East and Cumbria Mercedes-Benz Club.
In 2015 the convoy of cars from Scotch Corner drove via Richmond, Leyburn and Middleham to Coverdale. Quentin and Trish travelled the furthest as they came from just across the Scottish border.
The destination was the Saddle Room restaurant beside the Forbidden Corner at Tupgill Park. Several members said how much they enjoyed this venue – and the magnificent view across the dale from where we were allowed to park. The cars there included an AMG, Pagodas, 107s, 124s, an SLK, a Smart Roadster and a ‘Smarty cab’.
David and his “double” outside the Forbidden Corner in January 2015. That was our first visit to the Saddle Room restaurant – and our first of three very enjoyable meals there.
LAKE DISTRICT OUTING
It was a day to go topless -if you owned a convertible as several North East and Cumbria Mercedes-Benz club members did on the outing to the Lake District on Sunday, June 7. Out of the ten cars seven were cabriolets – including David Pointon’s Smart Diesel. For more photos of that trip click on the picture above – of the line of cars at The Royal at Dockray.
Paul Jobling organised this outing which began at a car park in Penrith. From there he led us on a tour around Bassenthwaite Lake, first along the A66 and then back via the A591. This scenic route provided us with many glorious views of the lake.
We then headed for The Royal at Dockray where Tyrone Castles was waiting for us. Although we were hungry several, including Paul and David, took time to inspect Tyrone’s Bubblecar – a BMW Isetta. Below: A “Mini Roundup at The Royal at Dockray, with David’s Smart car on the right, and Tyrone Castles’s original style Fiat, BMW Isetta and Morris Minor.
The dining room was beautifully prepared for us and David and I certainly enjoyed our meals. We heard lots of other good comments as well.
As I was due to be on duty as a community first responder at 6pm David and I left at 4.15pm. Following Paul’s advice we took the scenic route from Dockray to Penrith – along the side of Ullswater on the A592.
Our big mistake that evening was to use the A66 and we got caught in the heavy congestion following Appleby Fair. When we finally got clear of that and I had sent a message to say I would be late for duty, David decided to take the high road home.
So from Brough we went to Kaber and Barras and then up to Tan Hill. The views across emerald green fields to the northern part of the Lake District were magnificent in the late afternoon sun.
We didn’t reach Wensleydale until 7pm! After a relaxing day and a light supper all I wanted was a peaceful night’s sleep. Instead the emergency phone rang just before 11pm and off I went on a “shout”. It was not a difficult situation, however, and I was soon able to leave the patient in the capable hands of a paramedic. Thankfully there were no more shouts that night.
Many thanks to Paul and to Tyrone for a great day out.
CUMBRIA CLASSIC WEEKEND
I have two special memories of the club’s weekend in the Lake District at the end of August. The first was that the sun shone! And the second was the the warm hospitality and great food at the Royal Hotel, Dockray. This year Mercedes-Benz was one of the three featured marques at the Cumbria Classic Weekend at Dalemain House so well organised by the Wigton Motor Club.
This enjoyable weekend began for David and I with the scenic route through Upper Wensleydale and the Eden Valley and then along the east bank of Ullswater to reach Dockray. At The Royal it was good to meet up with old friends and with Tyrone Castles, the landlord. Some had travelled a long way to join those of us from the North East and Cumbria including from the Isle of Man and Scotland.
Our room was pleasant and comfortable – even if David had to duck to get into the bathroom. The staff were very friendly and helpful and had beautifully prepared the restaurant for us. I was delighted with the honey and mint sauce that Radek, the chief chef, especially made for me to go with lamb shank.
Tyrone went early to the Classic car rally on the Sunday as he was on duty as a steward. He packed his wellies as we were all so used to the field being wet and soggy. He drove his left-hand drive Fiat 500 and Radek was in charge of Tyrone’s well-polished Mercedes R107 SL. Meanwhile some of the club members were busy mopping the water off of their cars for it had rained very hard overnight.
It wasn’t long afterwards when a convoy of Mercedes left the hotel for the short drive to Dalemain House. Slowly but surely we realised that we didn’t need fleeces and sweaters but rather began to seek shelter from the sun! The one person who did dress beautifully and most appropriately for the weather was Cornelia Downham.
There were over 30 Mercedes in our group with 70 members and their partners. There was a great selection of SLs and SLKs from 1970 to this year, with the SLs being the featured model in the Mercedes marque. Other models included David’s E320 Cabriolet and John Collier’s CLK240.
As usual members had brought so much food for the Dutch picnic that there wasn’t enough space on the tables inside the club’s tent. There was even two very special “Mercedes” cake thanks to Chrissie Evans. One was cut but the other was raffled with the money going to charity.
After the al fresco lunch nine Mercedes cars were driven into the main ring and the drivers were interviewed by Paul Jobling. Click on the photo below to see more pictures.
Later Paul fulfilled his final duty as a NE Mercedes-Benz club official by presenting the fun concourse prizes following voting within our group. These went to Brian Green for the Best SL and to Howard Graham for “best of show” with his Gullwing SLS.
Paul has now moved down South and so won’t be assisting Giles Brown and David any more. He was warmly thanked for all he had done for the club by David.
For us the year ended in style with a grand selection of vehicles at the Whitley Bay Classic Car Show on Sunday, September 20 and at the Beamish Museum on September 27. The show at Whitley is organised by the events team of North Tyneside Council and that at Beamish by NECPWA.
Above: Topless at the seaside! Bernie Surtees’ SL500 was one of the last cars to leave Whitley Bay after the Classic Car Show. Click on that photo to see more photos from these two events.
These are two special venues for very different reasons. The show at Whitley Bay at The Links is right by the seashore and not surprisingly on a sunny if breezy afternoon thousands of visitors took the opportunity to browse among the cars as well as enjoy the view across the bay to the lighthouse.
“I loved walking around that show. I find it encouraging because there are no barriers – and its organised by the council,” David said. This means that all those visitors had easy access to the cars, could ask questions, and get a quite a comprehensive glimpse of the history of motoring.
Over 20 Mercedes-Benz club members were there with the cars in our section ranging from Albert Gurteen’s 1964 SL230 to some of the latest SL350s as well as the new E63 AMG V8 BiTurbo brought along by Giles Brown (NE Mercedes Benz club official) thanks to Mercedes Benz of Newcastle.
There was plenty of space between the lines of cars for members to socialise, put seats out for their picnics, and to entertain family as Albert did with John Binks. This event does give us the opportunity to meet with club members and also go sightseeing ourselves. David reminisced about all the cars he had owned in the past and admired some he had never driven – such as the very rare 1935 drop head Railton coupe – a “massive eight cylinder four litre 100 brake horse power petrol guzzling behemoth” as it has been described.
He chatted with Tony Franklin about his 1937 Armstrong Siddeley 12 hp coach built saloon before swapping stories with Derek Cansfield. Derek had brought his Daimler DB18 Tickford all weather cabriolet which was registered in December 1940. This was one of four tourer bodies built by Tickford that year and three were destroyed when the Daimler works were bombed.
It was good to see more food stalls this year but we were surprised to find that there were no veggie burgers nor an ingredients list for the bread rolls so I couldn’t be sure they were milk-free. But David did enjoy his chip butty. He didn’t get one of those the following Sunday at Beamish as he didn’t join those who queued for up to an hour at Davy’s very popular fried fish shop.
We had had the privilege of following Ken Nicholas in his 1989 Lenham GTO Spridget from Wensleydale to Beamish and it was so warm at 9.30am that both cars were topless for the journey.
Derek Cansfield, as the NECPWA chairman organising the event, must have been delighted as over 790 vehicles had been booked in and many of the thousands of visitors took time to come and see them. NECPWA is often affectionately known as the “Nearly Everywhere Club for Pretty Well Anything” and it lived up to that at Beamish with an amazing selection of cars. Again there were about 20 Mercedes which were lined up together thanks to Giles’ careful organisation. Below: Giles, with his son Christopher, keeping watch… An ambulance was called during the afternoon but thankfully the member who was taken ill was able to go home that evening.
There’s so much to do at Beamish that we didn’t see as much of the other club members as we did at Whitely Bay. Ken and Pat went on a tour of the museum before us but returned in time for a picnic in the sun beside David’s 1995 E Class. Yet again we admired the carved wooden stick that Albert Gurteen used to prop up the car boot while having lunch.
As we have been to classic car shows at Beamish several times there wasn’t much that we hadn’t done there. This time we enjoyed the short train ride but wished it could have been longer and visited the Sun Inn again for a drink. It wasn’t until we got into the 1900s Town and wanted to catch a tram that we realised just how busy the museum was that day.
Our homeward journey was again “topless” on what was more like a warm summer’s evening than the beginning of autumn.