Today was a run of some 75 miles down the A9 to the House of Bruar where we stopped for a comfort break and a cuppa.
|Oily Hand's Life with MGs||
A hearty breakfast started the day off well before we packed our bags, paid the bill and loaded the car.
Today was a run of some 75 miles down the A9 to the House of Bruar where we stopped for a comfort break and a cuppa.
On our return to the car we met a lovely couple who were taking a break on their journey to Bicester in their stunning HRG. We had a few minutes chat before wishing them well on their trip and setting off for the next part of the run.
The next 53 miles to the West Huntingtower Hotel in Perth took us off the main roads onto a stunning mostly single track road which was sheer bliss to drive.
A buffet lunch was provided at the Huntingtower which was most welcome and all too soon it was time to say our goodbyes. This was the end of the Jacobite Jaunt but not the end of our time in Scotland. We were moving back to Stirling for the night before going down to The Solway Coast for a couple of days.
I had been an amazing weekend and we were sad to leave. I know that these events take untold hours of work to set up and our heartfelt thanks go to all who made it possible.
With the bacon butties on offer when signing on we didn't have breakfast, just packed up our worldly goods and loaded the car. Signing on was busy but we got sorted and sat down to look through our goody bag and munch our bacon butties.
Meeting old & new friends is always a good part of these events and this morning was no different.
This year the organisers had a timeline of a few cars to go off first and our car as selected as car 3. I'm not sure how that happened as our BGT isn't the most pristine example but we'll take glory where we can.
The ten o clock start was soon upon us and we were on our way to Fort William, a journey of about 96 miles.
This route took us through the beautiful Glencoe where we stopped for a short lunch break.
From Fort William we headed north west to Inverness and the Kingsmills Hotel which was to be our base for the next two nights.
We stopped for a while at The Commando Monument which was quite a moving experience.
A few miles further on we passed the Invergarry Hotel where we spent the premature last night of our 2016 Numbum Round Britain tour in the MG TA. It brought back some memories.
Some delightful single track roads made driving fun and we made it to our destination in one piece as did everybody else thankfully.
It was a busy check in but we eventually made it and went up to our room. What a room it was. How did they know we were an old married couple? The bed was huge so if we had a barney we could keep well away from each other. If it was a serious row, there was an extra bed!!
We had time to freshen up and change before going down for dinner which was preceded by wine and canapes. After a good meal there was a casino evening with blackjack, wheel of fortune and roulette. We managed to lose all our chips and being lightweights headed for bed. It was a great fun evening.
A lovely 161 miles today.
Although this event doesn't officially start until Saturday we travel up on the Friday as it's too far to travel for the start on the Saturday morning, so we count this as part of the trip.
The most direct route is only a little over four and a half hours travel but it includes quite a few motorway miles. The BGT is OK on motorways and can keep up with the traffic easily but it's very boring so we decided to take a scenic route.
We left home at quarter to ten and headed for the A68 via Darlington and took that road to the Scottish border, stopping for a bite to eat at the Last Cafe in England.
From here it was onwards up the A68 to Melrose where we headed west to Peebles before threading our way northwards and joined the M9 for the last few miles to Stirling.
We arrived at The Highland Gate Hotel, about quarter to four, after a leisurely drive of 194 miles. As this was the stating point for the Jacobite Jaunt there were other MGs there and more arriving all the time.
There were tables booked for 50 to have a meal together which we duly did. Good food and good conversation passed the evening on well. We got back to our room and Pam asked how much our meal had cost. Errr. I dashed back to the restaurant to pay for it.
Sleep called so we settled down looking forward to a fun day on Saturday
We love all you can eat breakfasts and we made the most of one this morning before setting off on the short run to meet our fellow travellers. When we arrived many were tucking in to bacon butties. We were tempted but managed to resist.
Today was an in your own time start so we eventually set off on the planned route to Loch Katrine where we had some time to kill before our sailing on the Sir Walter Scott steamboat.
Although our drive was short were some interesting roads and the views would have been super if it hadn't been raining.
The guys from the Caledonian Centre are masters at packing many MGs into small places.
We had time for a coffee and a look round before our sailing time and as is usual there was much great chatter.
The sail on Sir Walter Scott was a great experience that even the rain and cold wind couldn't dampen.
After the sail we were a bit peckish so went in search of a sandwich. Getting served took some time and when we headed back to the car, where there had been some 25 MGs, there was only one. I should have taken a photo.
A lovely run took us to the finish where we had a cuppa and a lovely scone before saying our goodbyes and heading for home.
Because of the roadworks at the M73/M74 junction we decided to head for Edinburgh, round the southern bypass and pick up the A68 home.
This was an easy trip with no real problems and we made good time. On the A68 I thought we were going to be held up by a continental 6 wheeler pulling a trailer but that wasn't the case. He was going well and most of the time making the 60mph speed limit. We followed him down to Corbridge where we stopped for fuel. It was an easy run, keeping a reasonable distance behind him. I didn't have to worry about the next bend. If he could get round it, I'm sure I could.
South of Corbridge there was little traffic and we made good time. There was even some sunshine to boost our spirits.
The journey home took four hours and we soon unloaded what we had in the car and settled in front of the TV with a welcome cuppa.
Despite the Friday problems, we had a great time. Thanks to all who made it possible and for the warm welcome.
We set off in the MGB GT just before 1pm heading to Stirling for an overnight stay before meeting the Caledonian Centre of the MG Car Club for their Sail & Drive event tomorrow.
The planned route was A66 - A1M - A66 - M6 -M74 - M73. Just before Scotch Corner I saw a sign saying A66 closed. Not a good omen. Sure enough when we arrived at Scotch Corner it was closed. There was no indication of where it was closed.
We took a chance and headed for Richmond and Gilling West to join the A66 there. That was a no go as there was a police car closing the westbound lane of the A66. Plan B. Head for Piercebridge and join the A67 to Barnard Castle and hope we could rejoin the A66 there.
This must have been the main diversion route as the traffic was heavy. Getting through Barnard Castle was a nightmare. The only bright spot was that judging by the amount of traffic coming towards us the A66 must be open.
We eventually joined the A66 just outside Barnard Castle 2 1/2 hours after we set off. We'd covered 44 miles. The direct route from home to Barnard Castle is 25 miles with a 40 minute travel time.
Pam rang the hotel to tell them we would be late and to ask them to reschedule our 6pm meal booking. They would do this but couldn't guarantee a time as the restaurant was busy on Friday nights.
Once on the A66 it was pretty easy going until we came to the M74/M73 junction where there were delays due to roadworks. We found out at this point that this junction would be closed for the weekend from 8pm so we would have to find a different route home.
Eventually we arrived at the hotel at about ten to seven, six hours after we set off. According to the route planner it should have been a 3 1/2 hour journey.
Our meal had been re-booked for 7pm so we just had time to have a quick freshen up before heading to the restaurant for a hearty meal.
After another hearty breakfast it was time to tackle the 3D jigsaw puzzle, also known as loading the car. This requires some precision as there isn't much room. It was more difficult because we had a very full goody bag and a raffle prize to squeeze in as well. A bit of pushing and shoving eventually got it all in. Having a baggy tonneau cover helped quite a bit.
We decide to take the long route, about 78 miles, to the lunch stop and we set off in high spirits waving goodbye to the Cardrona Hotel as we drove off.
The high spirits didn't last long as just after passing through Ettrick Bridge, about 20 miles into the run, we lost all drive. Luckily there was a safe place to stop just ahead and we coasted into it. While Pam was calling the organisers to tell them we wouldn't be there for lunch I called the RAC and eventually we pinpointed our location and help was on the way. All we had to do was wait. While we were waiting I set up a video camera to capture some of the other cars.
Thanks to all who checked that we were OK and offered help. It was greatly appreciated.
I eventually got a call from the RAC patrolman who was in Berwick, a good distance away. Usually the patrolman arrives, decides it can't be fixed and calls for recovery. This means a long wait. This guy was good though and after explaining the situation he saw little point in coming out to us and booked a recovery truck.
The recovery truck duly arrived and we were soon loaded.
We were pretty sad not to have made it to the end and missed the chance to say goodbye to folks personally, but looking on the bright side, we saved a few gallons of petrol.
Despite the ending we had a brilliant weekend. It was very well organised, had some great roads, a good hotel with lovely food and most of all, great company. The Caledonian Centre certainly know how to run an event. Thanks to everybody involved in making it happen
After a hearty all you can eat breakfast we set off on the long run of about 106 miles.
The route took us through some beautiful scenery.
The long climb of appropriately named Carlovin Hill, caused Numbum to blow a bit of water out but it was nothing serious.
We stopped at The Gordon Arms for coffee as did many others. I think the landlord was a bit surprised by the sudden boost in custom. We spent a while browsing through pictures of the aftermath of a serious fire a couple of years ago. It was hard to believe that where we were sat was a mass of charred rubble such a short time ago.
From there it was an uneventful run to The Dryburgh Abbey Hotel for lunch.
After lunch we found that we were hemmed in and couldn't leave. It wasn't a problem and I decided to use the time to see if the points was the cause of the high revs misfire that we'd suffered for a while. Opening the bonnet soon drew a small crowd around us. One of the guys showed Pam a component which she correctly identified as part of a points set. She also correctly identified what was wrong with it, the contact nub had gone missing. Apparently few who were asked could answer the question. I was initially surprised by this but then I realised that cars haven't had points since probably the early 90s, which is over 25 years ago. Sadly there was no prize for this.
It was an easy afternoon run back to the hotel with a brief stop at Scott's View for a photo.
Back at the hotel there was plenty of time for chilling out and telling of tall tales before the gala dinner. The room was stunningly decorated and the meal was delightful. The evenings entertainment was a five piece jazz band. The theme was the 1930s and many were in period dress. There was a surprise award for the car & passenger combination with the greatest number of years. We came second with 211 years and were beaten by quite a bit as the winners had 225 years, if I remember correctly.
Today proved once again that modern technology and I don't mix well as the car cam gave up recording just after the morning coffee stop. Here's what we did get.
Another super day over, it was time for bed.
With the start of this superb event being a short 75 mile hop away we decided to avoid an overnight stay and have an early start. This meant getting up at daft o clock to be off the drive at six thirty. I'm still not sure that this was the right decision.
The trip to the start at Vallum Garden Centre near Corbridge was uneventful up to the last few miles when we caught up with a slow wide load but thankfully it turned off after a few miles and we soon made up some time
We got signed on and enjoyed the bacon & sausage butty and good conversation. It was great to meet everybody.
I left the camera running in the car to catch some of the other cars arriving.
It was soon time for us to hit the road. There was a choice of routes, one long and one short. Given our early start we chickened out and took the short one. It was a good route with interesting roads and lovely scenery. We stopped for lunch in Kelso where we met up with those who started from the Northern start point. It was a tad crowded in Kelso square but we all managed to squeeze in somehow. Lunch was a chicken bake and a cup of coffee from Greggs. It doesn't sound like a lot but the buns at the start were very filling.
From there it was a lovely run up to The MacDonald Cardrona Hotel in Peebles which was our base for two nights.
Apart from a slight misfire at higher revs, old Numbum ran well and we arrived weary but happy.
After checking out our very full goody bag it was time for a rest and a shower so we felt ready to tackle the evening. We took the long walk, all of 30 feet, to the dining room where a sparkling wine and canape reception was laid on before eating a delicious buffet meal.
We won a prize in the raffle, a set of car cleaning cloths. Anybody who know me will see the funny side of this. Once again it was conversation time and we met new folk and caught up with others we'd met before. All in all a great night and a fitting end to a super day.
Once again, thanks to Pam for most of the photos. I haven't mastered the art of driving and taking pictures at the same time.
I love 'all you can eat' breakfasts and I made the most of it today to keep me going through to afternoon tea.
Room emptied - check. Bill paid - check. Car loaded - check. We didn't have any more than we came up with but it seemed to take some getting in. How that happens, I don't know. A final visit to the filling station and it was time to go on the final leg of this superb tour. It was dry & bright, if a little cool. Thankfully the torrential rain of yesterday had passed and we looked forward to a good run.
The car started easily with its new battery and we rumbled off. All was well until navigational errors took us off the planned route in the Garvald area but the roads we used to get back on track were just as good as the ones on the route. Not all errors are bad.
A brief stop en route to take some pictures & video gave us the chance to stretch our legs for a while.
We took another short stop are Scotts View where Pam took this panoramic picture. It was a lovely view.
Moving on for more lovely driving roads & views we came to the climb up to Witchie Knowe and across Ettrick Valley. This was so good I deemed it worthy of a video on its own.
Finally we reached the end of the run at The Woll Golf Club where a super afternoon tea awaited us. We said goodbye to old & new friends and headed for home with Don & Eileen riding shotgun most of the way in case our battery troubles of yesterday recurred. Thankfully they didn't but the run wasn't without drama. Our route was across country to pickup the A68 then a blast south down to Darlington.
All was well until we were well south of Corbridge when suddenly old Numbum started to run very rough with losts of popping and banging from the exhaust. Under hard acceleration it would cough & splutter then smooth out and pull like a train. On a cruising throttle it popped and banged as it did on deceleration. I pulled up at the first safe spot I could find and opened the bonnet on the passenger side, fully expecting to find a loose plug lead. All the plug leads were fine and as I raised my head the view across the rocker cover showed the problem instantly. The dashpot & piston from the front carburetor was missing. Gone completely.
I found the dashpot laid on the chassis rail but the piston had certainly done a runner. Don, behind me, didn't see anything drop off, and it wasn't embedded in his grille, so I can only presume that it's laid somewhere along the A68. As the car was still running, albeit badly, we decided to press on for home and we made it without any more trouble. I'll have to raid the parts boxes to find the bits to fix it. If you read Friday's report you will recall the song 'Nothings going to stop us now'. What an omen that was! Nothing did stop us.
Here's the final video from the weekend. Watch carefully, you may be on it.
Despite the problems we had a wonderful time. Even problems make great memories. Memories that couldn't have been made without all the hard work of the Caledonian Centre committee who must have put hours and hours into organising this.
We thank you all very much indeed.
Up early for a quick coffee and breakfast biscuits before heading off to the start at Dobbies Garden World. Despite having a map and instructions we had trouble finding the place. The bright side was we found a reasonably priced filling station and topped up the tank.
We arrived to find a car park full of MGs of all ages ranging from a 1934 PA to a 2010 TF. That's according to the list of runners but I'm sure I saw an MG3 & an MG6 on the run.
We signed on and enjoyed a substantial bacon butty & a cuppa before going back out to the car park, which was full of activity with people attaching rally plaques and having convivial conversations.
We were soon flagged off and on our way to North Berwick by what must have been the least direct route possible. This of course was much more interesting than the direct route and we had a blast on some fine driving roads.
We stopped along the way to take a few pictures of our fellow travellers. There is also some video of them.
Peebles was about half way in our journey so we made a comfort stop and decided to have some lunch. Just as we parked I got something in my eye. Pam had a look but couldn't see anything. It was driving me crazy and I could barely see out of that eye. We found a chemist but they wouldn't even look at it, but sold us some eyewash and directed us to an optician. The eyewash didn't help but the optician did find something and removed it. There was still some irritation there which steadily got worse. I stopped on the roadside and Pam had another look and removed what seemed to be half of Scotland from my eye. Just as well that she did or we could have been arrested at the border for tyring to steal the country.
The second leg from Peebles to North Berwick was uneventful apart from in North Berwick itself where a navigational error had us going round in circles for a while, but we made it in the end.
As is normal with technology, I somehow lost quite a bit of today's video, but I've made the best of what I had. The sound of three PAs pulling away from a junction is amazing
Check in at the hotel was chaotic as you would expect with 60 couples all turning up almost together, but we were soon in our room which was warm & comfotable with a great sea view.
The evening meal was very tasty but, being a pie & chips man, it was a bit arty farty for my liking. Following the meal there was a quiz which our table won. Yipeee!!
A couple of drinks and some chat wound up the night and it was time for bed.
114 miles on the clock today.
Hi, I'm Owen and I've been having fun with MGs since 1970, starting with my 1937 MGTA. Since then I've had three Y types and a couple of Z Magnettes. I now have a 1971 MGB GT along with the TA and my wife and I are still having fun