At the weekend we went along to a new VW show that was taking place in Pickering, which was VW Gathering, and with it being not so far away we organised for a club stand for the Harrogate & District VW Club that I help run, and got a convoy arranged for early on Saturday.
We met up with the convoy, that had started in Knaresborough, just by Dishforth and headed off to Pickering. The biggest challenge for normal vehicles and drivers on the way to the Coast, let alone old vehicles, is Sutton Bank just outside of Thirsk. It’s very steep, very long and very twisty. I wasn’t too concerned as I knew Mollie the Samba that I was driving would make it, and Bob the Campervan had been up it a few weeks before, but I had a slight concern going in convoy in case someone else had issues. As we went up, and got to a steep incline, the T25 in front of me had a bit of a gear change issue, basically I saw reverse lights come on and brakes… so I went onto my brakes, which meant that I had in fact stopped on a really steep bit. No worries, I’d put my handbrake on and do a hill start and get going. Hmmm… that would have been nice but Mollie’s handbrake isn’t the best so I was in fact just rolling back each time I tried to get the handbrake on, into Bob. Now that wouldn’t be good to crash both vans.
I was positively stuck on the hill with my foot on the brake trying to figure out how we’d rescue the situation. Dave jumped out of Bob who was behind me (fortunately Bob’s handbrake held) and after waving on a few cars that were hanging around I got coaching through the window. By now my knees were trembling, but had to concentrate on keeping my foot on the brake, while accelerating, while releasing the clutch and then the handbrake. Phew.. I did it, but that was nerve racking to say the least!
Here’s the convoy at the top of Sutton Bank taking a breather. We seemed to be nearly in the clouds.
After the adventure of the hill, we got to Pickering and met up with more club members for the day at the show. (These are just pictures I took with my phone which aren’t brilliant, but I can’t seem to work out how to upload the ones Dave took on his big camera as he’s in London at the moment after speaking at SMX London today so these will have to do.)
And here’s Mollie basking in the sunshine before the showers came
There were lots of cool VW’s at the show and it was a good turn out for a show in its first year and with the weather forecast being very wet. I know its not a VW by this was cool.. the General Lee. When it left towards the end of the day it did its horn, which was awesome!
There was a Show and Shine contest that Mollie was entered into .. and hurray, she won Best Bus, how brilliant. It was great to have her at a show all gleaming and to see people smiling as they walked around her. People were even taking selfies with Mollie…love it!
After the show we had a small convoy home, cruising along and turning heads through the villages. We stopped off at the Hambleton Inn at the top of Sutton Bank, which I have passed many times but never been in. We got parked up only to find the pub closed, but the super landlord opened up for us. Perfect! It was lovely inside, really cosy and a place we will definitely have to go to again.
A great day out at VW Gathering with old and new friends.