Scarborough week - 2015
words and music by Rob J and Terry H

At the end of June Rob, Terry and Dilys, Bruce and Diane set of for the Scarborough Week. This year the event was held at Arosa Campsite, Seamer. Terry arrived a few days earlier to ensure an electrical hookup while Rob and Bruce and Diane arrived on the Friday and had to manage without. The camping field was full and others were dotted around the campsite. There were over 100 riders entered.

The first day involved signing in at nine with all runs starting at 10.30. The run was to the Craven Collection at Stockton-On-Forest near York. Bruce and Diane on the Honda 400/4 left early, whilst Rob on the Venom, Terry and Dilys on the Guzzi were joined by Willy from Antwerp on his BSA and set off a little later. Mady wasn’t riding as she was recovering from injuries received on the Tour of Luxembourg. The route took us through some pretty villages and after 40 miles we reached the Museum by 12.30. The collection was started by Dick Craven and was opened in the 1990s. It holds some 200 bikes mostly from the 50s to 80s with a few earlier machines, plus many bits and pieces of Ephemera. Some of his bikes have featured in the Heartbeat TV series. We spent a good hour looking around but could have spent much longer. After lunch in the nearby garden centre (which was crowded) we were some of the last to leave and headed to the afternoon tea stop which was on the site of the disused Fimber and Sledmere railway station. From here it was a 20 mile run back to the campsite. We covered a distance on some 90 miles including a few detours when a route sign was misread.

The run today was a 44 miles westward tour through the Yorkshire Dales to the lunch stop at Helmsley. We passed the impressive Castle Howard and stopped at Terrington for a break and pot of tea. Quite a few other riders had the same idea and we were joined by Ian, Gareth and Terry from Swansea and Richard from Abergavenny amongst others. After parking in the bus park in Helmsley we wandered around the market square and had a light lunch as we were having Sunday dinner back at the camp in the evening. The weather was bright and sunny although riding over the moors between Carton and Hutton-Le-Hole we did suffer some side winds on exposed places. This 15 mile section afforded some lovely views but showed how wild and lonely the moors could be. At Hutton-Le-Hole we spotted bikes parked up at The Crown and so pulled over for a cup of tea. Refreshed we tackled the last 30 miles back to the Camp and Sunday Dinner.

This run was to be south over the Yorkshire Wolds to the Seaways Motorcyclists cafe in Fridaythorpe and would be some 94 miles. The countryside here is not so rugged as the Moors but there were some very pretty villages to pass through. Our group parked outside the car park at the Seaways Cafe where some modern bikes were also parked. Spotted there was a brand new Ducati Diavel, find the photo below. On our return leg we were unable to find a cafe or pub for a tea stop so made do with a rest at a gateway to a farmer’s field. This did offer an opportunity to take some shots of riders approaching up the hill. Back at the campsite there was entertainment in the form of a quiz by Denis. Bruce and Diane’s team were narrowly pipped for first place.

Today’s run was back over the Moors toward Blakey Ridge with lunch being taken at the Feversham Arms at Farndale and a distance of 101 miles. We were told that we were heading for ‘The Chimney’ at Rosedale. Rosedale Abbey is set at the bottom of a steep sided dale and we were warned that ‘The Chimney’ was step and tight. We had arranged to let Bruce and Diane lead on the Honda 400/4, with myself on the Venom and Terry and Dilys on the Guzzi following. Bruce led us through Pickering to avoid the hold up at the traffic lights. Bruce got through the town centre fine but we were held up by a little old lady, in a Micra, slowly trying to find a spot to park. After passing her and negotiating the speed bumps we were soon back on the country lanes. Bruce spotted Richard Williams on his Velo parked in a lay bye and pulled over to investigate. He was replacing his bag from the pillion seat to the tank as he said “The weight was making the front wheel lift into the air.” I don’t think Bruce believed him. Riding along the ridge afforded great views of the moors and the valley leading to Rosedale Abbey. Dropping down the hill I thought it was steep but nowhere as steep as people had said. Oh little did I know what was to come, for this hill was not the Chimney. Riding through Rosedale we took a small road and then.... The bottom part of the hill seems relatively easy but it soon steepens towards the first, right hand, hairpin and almost immediately there is a left hand hairpin. (A move to the right hand side of the road here if traffic allows, would be good, as it will smooth the gradient out a little) Once around, the next bit of the climb goes straight up and is the steepest section of about 1 in 3. It eases to about 1in 7 as you get towards the old mine workings and the nearby parking spot. There were people on the bends watching and waving. The Velo flew up in second gear which I had selected at the first sign of a hill. Thank goodness, as the bends rapidly approach each. Bruce and Diane and I made the climb with no problem but Terry and Dilys were baulked by oncoming traffic. I waited at the parking place whilst Bruce and Diane set off to their chosen lunch stop at the Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge. After a while I spotted Terry alone on the Guzzi. The car had caused him to stop and on the poor camber his bike had slowly toppled onto the bank. No damage and Dilys was given a lift to the top by a kindly car driver. Back on course we reached the designated lunch stop in Farndale where I had home made steak and ale pie, veg and chips and Terry and Dilys both had cheese ploughmans. The food was lovely and plentiful and the owners were very helpful. Our afternoon route took us through Castleton, (where we missed a turning and cut off a 10 mile loop) Glaisdale with another steep descent, along the A171 and Forge Valley where we stopped for tea before reaching the campsite.

Photo shows Pat Kirkham and bike at the top of the Chimney, followed by a Panoramic view.

Today’s run was a slightly shorter 85 miles which would take us over the Moors to Whitby for lunch. On a lovely sunny morning, Terry and Dilys led and I followed. We travelled on some of the roads we had used yesterday, before heading off through Boggle Hole, Ugglebarnby and Ruswarp and on to Whitby. It was a slow crawl to the sea front with all the holiday traffic, but all the bikes were parked along the pier. Once we had settled in we headed to The Quarterdeck and made use of the special,- fish, chips, peas, bread and butter and pot of tea all for £7.50. Quite a few of our riders were also there. Back in the sunshine we had a quiet stroll around looking at the 100 or so bikes. I did count 10 Velos on the pier (getting more common than Triumphs). Also spotted was the earliest Brough and all the bikes were getting a lot of attention from the visiting public. After lunch we set off along the coast passing the delightful fishing village of Sandsend and on to Staithes before turning inland. The return took us over the Moors to Egton Bridge and Pickering. At the Hole of Horcum we stopped for ice cream and looked at the dark clouds way up to the north. These, it turned out, were releasing heavy rain and hailstones. Luckily, we missed it all. Back on the route we stopped for tea at Thorton Dale with other riders before returning to the campsite.

First pic of our bikes at Whitby

This was to be the last day riding for us as we were all leaving on the Friday to do other events on the weekend. The run was to Fort Paull on the Humber Estuary. It would be 100 miles through the Yorkshire Wolds and as these are not as scenic as the Moors, Terry and I debated about going to Eden Camp and the Moors instead. One of the other riders had done his own thing earlier in the week and had gone down the same area and was disappointed as the road near the coast didn’t give him any sea views. As Dilys was staying on site we decided to do the route and set off. The route wasn’t too bad but we didn’t see the sea and couldn’t find any place for a tea stop in the villages we passed through. We did manage to get through one section of road as the workers were putting up bollards before closing it for relaying. We were both glad to reach the Fort and stretch our legs. All the bikes were parked along the road inside the walls. Fort Paull is a Napoleonic Defence Fortress which also housed Anti Aircraft batteries during World War II and has a range of exhibits. The weather was again sunny and we wandered around the exhibits. On our return to Scarborough we did see two impressive Elizabethan manor houses at Burton Agnes and Burton Constable, but no places to have a tea stop. Coming up to Lissett we ground to a halt as the road was closed for resurfacing. (The one we had just managed to get through in the morning.) The workman indicated for us to wait and within a few minutes the last of the machines pulled across us and we were waved through with a warning to go steady. There was a 4x4 in front and with our half a dozen bikes we were the first through. Our tyres left dark lines on the newly laid gravel. We proceeded along slowly and carefully and as we turned a corner I spotted, standing at the edge of a field, a metal sculpture memorial to RAF's 158 Squadron, Bomber Command. It looked really atmospheric but I was unable to stop and take a photograph(
photo of the Lissett memorial below is courtesy of Google images). The Lissett Aerodrome was brought into service in 1943 and was operational until 1946. On any given day there were 20 Handley Page Halifax bombers on standby. The memorial is in the form of seven airmen and stands as part of a wind farm at the aerodrome. Adrian Hammond, of the 158 Squadron Association, said: "We are pleased the 851 men and women who lost their lives while based at the site are to be honoured. The 158 Squadron had members from all over the Commonwealth who took part in bombing raids almost every day. The sculpture is a fantastic tribute to the memory of all the crew and personnel who kept our shores safe. Back at the camp we loaded up our respective bikes ready to leave in the morning. Over the hog roast that evening(spies tell me that our Rob bought a second helping), and the first rain we had seen all week, we chatted about the event, the 560 miles we had covered, the places we had visited, the roads we had travelled and the countryside we had seen. All in all an excellent week and the bikes never missed a beat.

It was off home for our members. Terry and Dilys headed to the NACC National rally at Wolverhampton. Bruce and Di suffered a broken trailer axle on the M1 and were eventually helped by a 'jobsworth' traffic policeman, who was more concerned that Bruce did not have his hazard flashers on and that his dash cam would record him helping to load the Honda and remains of the trailer into the camper. Rob disappeared into the ether, as all good Velo owners should.