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2009 HRCR Just Round the Next Bend 7th Nov

Historic Rally Car Register

Just Round the Next Bend 7th November 2009


This event was to be our first in the Austin 1300GT. It looked the ideal starter event for the new to us car, starting in Rushton Spencer Cheshire, a daylight run of 60 miles. By entering early we had the advantage of the route being sent to us by post which was good, the lines could be drawn on the 2 maps 118 and 127 in the comfort of our own home. 

There was also another plus point to this it was going to be Hilary’s first event using OS maps and 6 figure references. The other rallies that we have competed on have all been by Tulip Road Books this was going to be a new learning curve. All went well with the plotting of the 25 references and there appeared to be just one not as map junction that could cause problems. To help this a large print from Memory Map was made to aid the navigator. The event was due to start at 10.00 hours so we made our way to Macclesfield for our overnight halt the day before.

 It was a horrendous journey high winds and very heavy rain I do not think the car had been in so much rain all its life. After a restful night the weather had improved and we were greeted with a cold but sunny morning. There was just a short drive to the Knott Inn where the usual signing on and coffee break took place. It was very nice to see some familiar faces from the Three Castles event who we had marshalled with earlier in the year these being Pam and Shon, John and Elaine both crews being on the starters list. 

There were 20 crews on the entry list and our start number was 12 and at 10.12 hours we were flagged away by joint organiser

Malcolm Hague. Discussion had taken place in our car that the road out of the pub car park did not look quite as map and we certainly did not want a mistake by turning the wrong way out of the car park in full view of the organisers. All went well Hilary was on the case, turn left and 100 metres fork left very steep uphill and true night rally country. 

This yellow road was very narrow and lots of mud something that Dippy had not experienced before. The route continued through Rushton Hall, Rudyard, Cats Edge to Control 1 which was manned by Pam and Shon who had started at car 1 question from Shon have you seen any of the other cars we were now running sixth on the road. At the close of their control they would become the last car on the road how about that for use of manpower. The next village that was passed through was Werrigton then brief 2km run down A522 before turning right back onto the interesting yellow roads. 

The heavy overnight rain had left these roads in quite a bad state with many being flooded across the whole width and memories came back of the road rally Mini days with the car expiring in the water. This was not the case here Dippy with his electrics on the front of the engine well shielded coped very well. Using the best of the roads in this area the route then went through Dilhorne and Draycott in the Moors before an interesting right and left, right on the edge of the map and then onto sheet 127. 

The roads on map 127 were a little easier and a bit wider passing through Sharpley Heath, Milwich, Sandon to the Stafford by Pass. This gave us a short break from the yellow roads and time to catch our breaths. A short run up the A34T and then back onto the very muddy narrow yellows with even deeper water. With the route now going via Great Bridgeford, Coton Clanford to Control 2 by the Handfords. This control was being manned by Peter Boyce driving car 2 who would now become the last car on the road with this system who needs marshals. 

Again a question on the other cars was raised it appeared that we were now running fourth on the road which place we kept to the finish. Leaving this control due south led us to the problem junction which I mentioned earlier but even with the large print out we still managed to overshoot the turn right, this did annoy Hilary after all the planning but of course it was my fault for going to quick. With this problem sorted the route continued round the old airfield at Wheaton Aston which brought back happy memories of Quinton Motor Clubs single venue rallies on this site. 

Another blast from the past was next, the roads round Weston Park more memories of R.A.C. rallies and more recently Tour Britannia. All that was now left was to pass through the village of Tong Norton under the M54 very tricky junction here and to the superb finish at the Aerospace Museum in Cosford. After a well earned lunch there was now time to look round the fantastic museum here. 

My sincere thanks to Hilary for letting me drive her car and get it very dirty and also for guiding me round the 60 mile route with just one overshoot well done. Our joint thanks go to June and Malcolm Hague for putting on a superb event what outstanding value for our £10.00 entry fee we had the event, coffee and entrance to the museum. We both hope there will be a similar offering in 2010 we would certainly enter again.

Hilary and Mike Stratton Car 12.