Minis to the Lakes and Borders 2011

Greame and Sheena Allen prepared the route earlier in the year but were unable to take part in the event. All crews assembled at the Westmoreland Hotel at Tebay Services on Sunday before spending 5 days driving some wonderful roads in the Lakes and Borders using a well prepared route book.

The route on day 1 took us east to the highest inn in England at Tan Hill using some wonderful scenic and twisty roads. Users of the clubs forum will be used to viewing Surfblue63’s pictures and he was out and about. One crew managed to take a wrong slot within minutes of leaving and missed the first photo stop! Never mind, everyone enjoyed themselves including former Chairman, Peter Barratt who quickly picked up a local Calendar Girls calendar at Tan Hill. Poor Rog “the hat” Wall was suffering from a very bad tooth ache so withdrew and not only lost a tooth but his clutch as well when he returned home. Ian and Paul Chilcot arrived and relaxed with members of the Herts & North London region over a meal in the hotel that evening while the rest of the crews took a coach to another restaurant; eventually!

On Tuesday the crews made their way west following a route through the Lake District to enjoy many of the famous rally route passes and some even managed to take time out to sightsee! Kirkstone and Wrynose passes were a challenge!

On Wednesday it was time to make our way to regroup at the Dumfries hotel using a great route passing the Kielder reservoir and Lockerbie. Surfblue63 was out again.

On Thursday crews enjoyed the roads in the Dumfries and Galloway region with a stop in the sunshine at the seaside for a drink before taking the road north past Glentrool followed by a loop further north on the B797 through Wanlockhead, and the B7040 which had some wonderful scenery and colours in the late afternoon sun before the final run back south on the A76 to the hotel.

Friday was the last day and tired crews followed a route through the border region including Selkirk, Peebles and Moffat. In the road book Graeme described the final section from Blyth Bridge to Dumfries as his favourite section of the route; all crews agreed despite a logging lorry slowing progress! When crews returned to the hotel they noticed that several functions were taking place that evening including a golfing party from the North East; and guess what one of them knew our Innocenti Registrar, non other than Foster Charlton. After a final dinner together and reasonably short speeches it was almost over but it was smiles all round.

Although we had a bit of wet weather each morning it usually cleared up by the time crews needed a morning refreshment break. The roads were excellent and all the crews pressed on each day enjoying the magnificent scenery and colours; including red mist!
It’s a small world when travelling in a Mini Cooper but the little car brings smiles to almost everybody, even the day after golfers arrived at the hotel! Enough said.

As usual Paul & Lynn Wilson were on hand to help sort out car problems and it was great to see Don & Julie with their son and grandchildren at Tebay. Thanks also to Stuart Watson for taking pictures during the event.

During the event there were a number of treasure hunt clues to solve and the intrepid crew of Rod & Ann Chilcot were the winners.

With very best wishes to Graeme and Sheena with thanks from all the crews for a great route and a fantastic event. We are thinking of you.

The Lakes and Borders invaders.