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Tan Hill Raid 2013

David Tocher

I'd read reports of past Tan Hill Raids on the Leeds 2CV website and knew that Pembletons and other 2CV based specials had taken part and it looked like a nice run from Leeds to Tan Hill. I planned not to go if the weather was bad, 'cos I'm a wimp, or there was salt on the roads, having seen the damage salt can to to aluminium. The forecast on the Saturday was favourable so I decided to go the following day.

I live about 15min drive from the start at the Lawnswood Arms and I set off on a rather grey morning, with low cloud, with some trepidation as someone had commented that 2CV club members were a little snooty about the loss of a 2CV just to turn it into a special. I arrived and was made most welcome. Great interest was shown in Quicksilver and many questions were asked and answered. I think I need a FAQ sheet to hand out as it would save a lot of repetion. I did wonder if it might be handy to get some busuines cards printed with Pembleton contact details, website etc. - could be useful on outings.

I didn't count the cars at the start (about 30 to 40?) - most were very smart looking saloons with a few commercial variants of the 2CV present. There were a couple of other 2CV specials apart from Quicksilver. We were sent of in batches but then joined a queue on the A660 for some unknown reason and then we all set off in a very long convoy out towards Otley. The traffic broke the convoy up and by the time we got to Ilkley we were in much smaller groups.

The weather improved as the low cloud broke up as we went up Wharefdale. The drive through uppper Wharfdale was in blue skies and sunshine giving fantastic views of the scenery. The convoy regrouped on the pass before the descent into Hawes. The clouds had returned at that stage but it was early January so we couldn't expect brilliant sunshine all the time. Duncan in Silver Surfer came roaring through and the rest of us then started on our way to the car park in Hawes for a coffee break. Cars were inspected and friends met. Sam Bike, Tom Rae and others (forgot to note who!) in Pembletons were waiting for us in Hawes as previously arranged.

We set off again for the final leg of the Raid. There was a long queue of cars waiting to climb the bank up to Tan Hill. The low cloud returned and we were driving through the gloom up to the finish. At Tan Hill I covered the cockpit of Quicksilver with a tarp as it looked like rain was on its way. Food was eaten, drinks drunk, awards awarded and tales told and then it was time to return. It had turned into a 'soft day', as we say in Ireland - just another expression to describe rain! I was glad I'd covered the cockpit otherwise the seat would have been very wet. I did consider visiting friends in Barnoldwick but the change in the weather changed my mind. The plan was for Duncan, Sam and myself to go back as a group with Sam branching off and Duncan and I goining on towards Ripon. We headed off into the murk with Sam leading the way and I was the tail ender and not able to keep up with the spirited driving of the other two. We parted ways in Reeth with Duncan and I returning via the back roads to Markington, where Duncan lives, and I went on home via Harrogate.


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