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|History '88 Derek Pollock|
Following CTNL’s Tenth Run in 1986 Les and I decided that we had come to the end of the road with this event and somebody else could take a turn wrestling with the jig saw puzzle. However, by early 1987 when it became necessary to start work on a 1988 event, “else” had not materialised and, rather than let the event die, we somewhat reluctantly agreed to organise another run.
It took place last month and attracted a record entry of 35 cars involving some 79 deposit paying drivers. There were two withdrawals and two cars failed to appear at the start. Thus 31 Triumphs were eventually flagged away from Broadfields Garage at Cockfosters by our President, Jack Hawksley, aided by W.P.C. Robinson from Southgate Police Station. She managed single handed to stop the flow of commuter traffic and let the Round Britain cars out.
The first (optional) refuelling stop was on the A1 on the Wentbridge by-pass followed by the traditional early hours call at John Bishop’s garage at Corbridge in Northumberland, where the organisers received details of those who had failed to start the event. So far the weather had been dry but with strong gusts of wind in exposed places. Edinburgh was safely negotiated with the aid of a police escort through to the Forth Bridge arranged by our Scottish member Charles Sneddon who is Regional Sales Manager for Land Rover Ltd in Scotland, The Fair City Filling Station in Perth saw the cars refuelling at about 4am and then pressing on north in the sunshine to breakfast at John O’Groats. We had arranged this at the John O’Groats House Hotel for a change (they were cheaper!), but a few days before the off they telephoned to say that their boiler had blown up………………This was great news for the organisers and meant a change back to our previous breakfast halt at the Seaview Hotel, now under new ownership. This minor nightmare was negotiated and then the Triumphs were off again across the northernmost part of Scotland, via Dunnet Head and Thurso, refuelling at Scrabster (40p a litre – never again!) and then descending on a scenic route though Lairg and Bonar Bridge to a refuelling and refreshment stop at the premises of Macrae & Dick Ltd in Dingwall where Manager Alistair MacPherson had laid on some helpers with good grub. This was when the rains came and the drivers were contending with very wet weather all the way to Fort William and through Glencoe with its atmosphere of doom and spectacular waterfalls in full spate. Evening saw the crews enjoying the usual great welcome from Logan Morrison and his family at their garage in Stirling.
Leaving Scotland, the cars set off on the long motorway haul down to Bristol where Martin Cox of the Bristol Club was signing road books at Gordano Services in the small hours of Sunday morning. This had been another very wet section with great pools of water lying about on the roads. Devon and Cornwall were very gloomy, although it was just possible to take photographs at Land’s End where breakfast was taken at the newly refurbished Land’s End Hotel – courtesy of Peter de Savery. Here one of our Cornish members, Jack Harris, was on hand with his Spitfire to sign road books. Then came the run up through the Sunday traffic of the West Country to a lunch stop at the Regional Shopping Centre at Trago Mills, near Newton Abbot. On duty to direct the cars to their reserved parking spot were Devon member Roger Clarke and family. There followed a fairly trouble free run to Fleet Services on the M3 where everybody collected for the run back to Broadfields via the M25 – except for those who took the alternative A406/North Circular route – they backed the wrong horse!
Only one car had mechanical problems serious enough for it not to finish and there seemed to be a great deal of enthusiasm from drivers to do the whole thing again. Indeed, one lady driver who had previously been unwell – can’t sleep, can’t eat etc., went to the doctor – now said she had never felt better!!
There follows the final entry list and updated details of Triumph model participation in all the runs from 1966 to date (starters only). Will there be another run in 1990? We don’t know!!
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