I talk about it an awful lot, but joining the Morris Minor Owners Club and more specifically, the Young Members register has had a massive impact on my life. I’ve been ever so fortunate to meet a gaggle of people roughly the same age as me and equally as obsessed with their rotten old bangers. These ‘people with shared interest’ have, over the years, become amazing friends who I’ve been lucky enough to go on heaps of adventures with.
To celebrate my err… 27th (God I’m old) birthday, I invited everyone ‘Oop North’ for a car run and a dodgy Huddersfield night on the tiles.
Everyone arrived on the Friday night and we went to the pub for a few drinks…ending with a dodgy dance floor incident involving the Macarena and an audience of middle-aged drinkers. An auspicious start to a fantastic weekend.
We woke up bright and early on the Saturday morning and after a rousing breakfast at the local cafe, Liam and David mapped the Allegro Yorkshire route we’d pinched to a real map (you know, that thing we all used before the Sat Nav was invented). Being somebody who could easily get lost on a weekly shop to ASDA; the help and support from the pair was greatly appreciated!
I’m not sure where the route started, but the views (once we got off the motorway) were absolutely fantastic. As we drove up through the countryside, the snow became thicker and the roads became windier – a true Yorkshire experience.
We drove on through all the villages; passing Todmorden, Hebden and over the hills. Our convoy of three (keeping numbers low and passengers high to avoid getting lost!) consisted of Liam, Kapil, David and Mark in BFC 777C (Charlie), Tom, Colin, Phil and Ryan in XAA 252 (known begrudgingly as Pricilla) and Boobie, Craig and myself in VBK 259 (Bee).
We came to the end of the route at beautifully quaint train station with a steam train and mini museum/exhibition of old train bits and bobs.
After this, we decided to head back into Hebden for tea and cake and took a route which will now fondly be known as ‘over the bloody mountain’. The snow we’d seen before was a mere snowflake compared to this – steep climbs and icy bends made for an incredible driving experience.
All was going smoothly until we started climbing a hill…and somebody (definitely not Bee or Charlie) couldn’t make it up the hill. Cue the passengers having to climb out and scale the mountain as the cars marched on up to the top.
After pulling over to stop laughing and try to figure out how long this mountain route really was, it was Liam’s turn to get stuck in the snow. With a gentle push from Ryan – we were back on the road and back down the mountain .
As we teetered back down the mountain, it felt like we were driving through a snow globe; the hills looked beautifully untouched and were coated in a near perfect layer of white which was shining in the afternoon sunshine.
It was amazing travelling for miles and seeing almost no signs of human life. However, we did see a brave pheasant that had ventured out across the road.
The views were absolutely breathtaking and the driving experience was second to none…even if I did end up with no brake lights by the end of it (now sorted thanks to a wiring fiddle).
Eventually, we reached Hebden Bridge – where Charlie had an argument with a wall (and came off slightly worse for the experience) and had a gorgeous afternoon tea in a 1940’s themed cafe.
After this, we headed on home to get ready for a night on the tiles!
In reflection of the weekend, I think the MMOCYM has made classic car ownership a much bigger deal and much better fun than if I’d been riding solo for the rest of my life.
I can’t believe that friends came from as far as Scotland and London to do what was essentially, a potter round a mountain and a cup of tea in a cafe.
I feel so lucky to have a car club and friends that are willing to travel so far and have such a good sense of adventure.
If you’re reading this blog and you’ve never gone to your local car club or gone on a random ‘car meet’, then I’d advise you to make sure this summer is the time you do it! I have an empty bank account and a photobook of memories simply because I once accidentally ended up at the MMOC National Rally in 2010…and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
PS. Check out the MMOC Young Members on the following links: