2016 GS Register

at the Tough Nuts Rally

Tough Nuts Rally – A Yorkshire Section Event

The GS Register was formally invited to this event so on Thursday morning I loaded up and set out from Cardiff to travel to Naburn Lock Camping Park just South of York.

This camping park is a friendly, family-owned site, run by Peter & Catherine Wilkinson.

For the first time in years the journey took less time than expected and I arrived expecting to be first.  But no, Jack from Northern Section had beaten me and was already set up and having a hot drink.  As the site is limited on the number of days the rally field can be used we were asked to use a hard standing in part of the campsite proper for Thursday night.  So 5:45 pm saw me set up and starting to make some food when the lights went out!  No it was not the lights, darkness had arrived.  Being a soft Welsh southerner we had been having daylight till nearly 8pm so this was a surprise.  One other thing was noticeable – it was just a bit on the chilly side.  The thermometer showed just 3 degrees.

Saturday morning saw similar temperatures and an early start as we had a ride out to look forward to.  The ride out set out with good intentions of going to the Seaways Café at Fridaythorpe and returning after a food interlude.  However after pausing for refreshments at Seaways Cafe, Piers was outvoted by the Steam Train anoraks amongst us.  “The legendary locomotive 60103 Flying Scotsman, is coming back into service following a £4.2 million overhaul and will be running on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway during March” they said!  And, we were apparently only about 60 miles from Goathland Station where it was going through!  Jack Galloway swore the station café did the world’s best Cornish Pasties and we were hooked.  Job done, decision made.  We were off to see it!   

A fabulous ride over the moors.  Then once at Goathland we all trekked into the café to get warm and sample these famous pasties.  Having done impressions of starving men eating their first meal in a month someone declared “It’s here” and miraculously we were out on the platform with the entire local population.  The engine was pulling the train backwards which spoiled the photo opportunity somewhat, but that didn’t matter to the throng of people around us.

The return ride led by Piers was not without interest.  Hurtling across country avoiding A roads our glorious leader was in firm control.  Typical when all is well a spanner jumps into the works!  A diversion around Stillingfleet meant following a tortuous route of about 5 miles around fields and villages.  As we were going around the diversion for a second time a couple of us dared to approach Piers with the bad news.  As hardened adventurers none of us wanted to use the Sat Navs we had so Piers now flew by the seat of his pants and after a tour of what seemed like most of Yorkshire we finally arrived back at base!

At the camp Saturday evening a repeat decision was made to walk to the Blacksmith’s Arms to eat and drink.  An uncoordinated attempt was made to book a table and then we set out.  On arrival with three tables booked capacity was not a problem and we fell on the food and beer once again.  I took a liking to the Hobgoblin as it was on draft.

On the Friday morning the thermometer was creeping up to 5 degrees.  I always remember that the temperature in a fridge is regulated between 3 to 5 degrees.  So here I was enjoying balmy fridge temperatures!  Catherine allowed me to move into the rally field but not without protracted negotiations over where we could and could not use.  The rally field was higher than the proper site but the top far end was still waterlogged, the lower near end was less waterlogged but the slope between was fine.  What I had not realised was that the permanent part of the site had been under about ten foot of water in the period of weeks after New Year.  

Piers Kurrein and Mike Dorking the organiser showed up early and Jack Galloway, Graeme Robinson and Michael McFarlane, then during the day 10 very brave souls had arrived to enjoy the event.  A number of them helped me put the event shelter up and set up a table with Yorkshire’s endless coffee and tea plus biscuits for members to take whenever they wanted.  As people arrived and erected tents they were given the usual cross examination about where and when they set out.  They in turn told us all about their tribulations of getting to the site.  John and others went exploring the area and by Friday evening most of us had decided to eat at the warm Blacksmith’s Arms a half mile down the road where we expected to thaw out a bit.

Sunday we all slept slightly later with the threat of decamping day in our thoughts.  However it was the sunniest day of the weekend and really cheered us up.  Funny how 5 degrees in sunshine feels so much warmer than 5 degrees in the shade!

A really good weekend event.  Many thanks to Mike for organising it, Piers for showing us most of Yorkshire in one ride out and the cast of many who came along to join in.  

Good times, good company, don’t miss this event next year!