Saturday 23 August 2008

Yorkshire (again)

Adventuring again! Not satisfied with the trip to Yorkshire, narrow-boating a few weeks back, we're off up North again at the behest of the 2CVGB club, parent club to Dad's "Kentish Hoppers" crowd. It's the annual "National" meeting, taking place at the gorgeous Duncombe Park, in Helmsley, just east of Thirsk.
Just east, that is, but for Sutton Bank, of which more later.
So, leaving Mum behind as ever (Mum doesn't do camping!), we are all loaded into the 2CV last Thursday for a gentle toddle North, 290 miles, but determined to mainly (again as usual) tuck in 50m or so behind an HGV so that we can relax into a 56-60 mph stroll. You get to see the backs of a lot of HGV's in a 2CV and we're not particular which - Czech lorries, bulk food tankers, big grey container lorries with MOFU registrations (hmmm), NFT lorries..... We keep the speed down, mindful of the problems "we" (I wasn't born yet) had getting to Kelso (Floors Castle) for the International Meeting in 2005.
It nearly works - we get up past Peterboro' when the car suddenly starts kangaroo-ing, as if for fuel starvation. Dad recognises these symptoms (correctly) and guesses (wrongly) the cause - we had exactly the same when a fuel line blocked a couple of years back. So Dad starts with the routine of "dive under n/s front wheel arch - disconnect fuel line - blow backwards up it to clear block - reconnect (hopefully no face full of petrol and/or hand soaked in the stuff). Restart". Kinda works, and we get to a fuel stop. Dad figures that the extra fuel pressure from gravity might help.
Seems to have cracked it. Off we go again, and this time, nearly reach Thirsk, but then we kangaroo to a stop again, this time nowhere near a petrol station. We need the AA. AA man listens to Dad's description and susses that it's not a blockage, but an air leak in the uplift pipe from the tank, so the car is behaving as if it's only got 1/3 of a tank, then running out while still 2/3 full. (In fact, had Dad been more observant, you can see the stream of air bubbles in the (transparent) fuel line, where the petrol should be flowing!).
AA man tows us 6m to a friendly garage (friendly to AA men and, it turns out, westie owners, so friendly to we three too!), we tank up, and we're off again. AA man (bless him) advises us to just keep the tank full and stop every 50 miles for more, till we can get home and fix it.
Re-assured and mobile again we decide to risk Sutton Bank , a 1-in-4 (25%) uphill on the A170 between Thirsk and our destination, Helmsley. Caravan and trailers are banned, and even well-loaded 2CV's are risky, but by charging at it in 2nd, and then banging down into a high-revving 1st every now and then, we make the mile to the high ground. Scary, exciting, probably even a bit daft in a car with dodgy fuel supply, but we got away with it.
And so, coasting down through the Dales to Helmsley and sweeping majestically into Duncombe Park. What a beautiful place. First sight of it in slanting evening sun, through the trees, had us feeling like characters out of Pride and Prejudice (the bit where the heroine first sees the rich guy's pad - sorry about this, I asked Dad but he's a literary ignoramus.... Mum would be appalled!!!!)
More soon - I can't spoil you all in one write-up!

1 comment:

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