NSRA Pre49 Lake District Weekend

Wow... I really don't know where to start or if I can truly relate to anyone reading this just what a roller coaster ride organising the run outs and being part of this event has been like for me..... But I will give it a go and hopefully people do bother to read it and do get a true feel of what it was like.. well here goes... words don't fail me now ;o)

It all started back in June last year at Billing, Steve Marley who is an NSRA committee member and the chief organiser of the Euronats and the Pre49. Asked me if I knew of any suitable camps sites up't North that could host the Pre49 bash, the criteria was Static's, tourers and tent camping facilities. He did say he would like a meet in Morecambe, a place of fond memories for him as a child as he had holidayed there many many moons ago and thought it a great place. I said Morecambe is now a shit hole full of bedsits and druggies, not the place really to hold a rod run and the Lakes would be far nicer and more suitable. And I would send him details of ones I thought would be good, but added dont ask me to organise anything as I am no good at that sort of thing, in many respects mainly as I am to shy to go asking people if we can bring the cars to their place etc and I am also a manic worrier and it would traumatize me to have any kind of responsibility.. oh and also I am a lazy git.. is that enough reasons... I said I would help or assist all I can but don't rely on me to organise anything.... ;o)

So the venue was chosen, Haven Holidays Lakeland (Flookburgh) the main booking office was only 1/2 mile from Steve down in that there London so he could get the booking sorted personally. The next thing I know about it is reading in the Gasser "and of course the local people will be organising the drive out for Saturday and Sunday"... *gulp* shit I thought that's me !!!!!!

As locally there are 4 Rodders and Me, 2 of them don't go to Rod Runs anymore and not really into it now, 1 never goes to Rod Runs ever and my Mate Bakey was the only possibility of some assistance if what I had read was really meaning me. Sure there are many Northern Rodders and maybe Steve thought they all lived up my street but in fact the closest is 60miles away and most are over 100. So would be a trek for them to come up here then set about working out a drive up the Lakes on top... No try as I might.. this was looking like my assignment.

I spoke with Steve and he Said yeah you can do it, just work out a couple of drive outs make it lots of miles, as everyone who does this run is into driving. I could not leave them in the lurch and refuse, though I did not want any of this, I don't even have a pre 49 car so even if my Truck (55F100) was finished I would'nt be allowed to participate... so yeah I really wanted to do this didn't I ;o) The thing is I had no internet access for 3 months of this year and by now it was getting close to the Pre49 and I had nothing sorted and Steve was getting bookings and from well respected Rodders.. I didn't want to look a prick so had some real sleepless nights and worrying days, wondering where to take around 20 rodders in the lakes?? .

As time grew nearer and nearer the stark realisation that no body was going to take the helm and do this for me.......
Me and the wife had a day out driving up the lakes trying to work out a suitable route, but some of the roads we drove would not of been fun in a Rod and could of been a tad dangerous... so I had to have a re-think, where would show the Lakes awesome beauty without being dangerous or risky?????

I asked Bakey would he help? Bakey has a Pop and sure course he would no worries, he is a good mate I have known him since primary school and we get on real well, Bakey couldn't make it the day I had planned to do the Saturday run so I bit the bullet and armed with a map and a dictaphone I set off from Haven Holidays and planed the first route on my own. I was happy that this would be a great run up the lakes with some good roads to blast out the pipes aswell.. I even plucked up the courage to phone the Inn where I planned a meal/refreshment stop and they were Ok with my vague amount of numbers, I only knew 22 cars booked in..

I was really papping em as I have never organised anything in my life and most certainly nothing that people from all over the country in cool as fuk cars would be coming to expecting it to be worth their journey. To cap it all Steve sent up the route plans from past events so I could see what had been done in past years, oh my golly :o) they were in plastic sleeves with route maps and detailed directions with History of where they were visiting and on and on and looked very professional "more pressure".. Jeez.. I best have a rethink eh!

I sat for hours doing photos getting history and actually learning a bit more about where I live which was quite interesting in the end. Then me and Bakes sorted the Sunday route together with a planned Sunday Dinner (Lunch if ya posh) at a great historic old Inn for a carvery. Again not knowing how many to pre book tables for, all I really knew was that there were 22 cars booked in with interest raised from up to another 8 cars who could just turn up for the runs out but I had no idea how many people or of that amount how many would like a meal so how do you book a meal stop ??? arrghhhhhhh

So we had the Saturday and Sunday runs sorted now, I was in charge of the Saturday drive out maps etc and Bakey did the Sunday one.. Bakey just finishing the Sunday one Friday afternoon the day of the Pre49 as we had only sorted that one a couple of weeks before and Bakey was very busy with work, even working nights to get his job sorted. I could think of nothing else for weeks before the event, Steve Marley who should of been coming rang up a week before and gave me the news he was not as he had a big job on at work and just could not cancel it, but its OK the Chairman of the NSRA Dave Biggadyke was coming instead to oversee it all so *phew*... I did not want to be left holding this baby, I needed a grown up to help me ;o).

A guy put a note on the NSRA message board asking if it was possible to still book the Pre49 I said yeah should be ok but ask Steve to be 100% sure.... he mailed me saying he had booked.. but wait for it............ he had got Dave Biggadyke's place (Chairman of the NSRA) as he wasn't coming...I was now really getting stressed... I was assured that there would be NSRA committee members there so don't panic and that the Rodders who do this event are very laid back and just do what is planned no winging and moaning.. but that did not stop me from being incredibly worried about how it was going to go as I would feel personally responsible for it being a flop, I was even feeling that the forecasted bad weather was my personal responsiblity to...see told you I was a stress head... I was a nervous gibbering wreck by Friday....

Right as you have come to expect I have the worlds worst memory and amazing ability to get car years and makes totally wrong but, here were the first arrivals I met. Chris Hay, Michelle Hay, Ian Armstrong and Julie Armstrong . With Michelle's newly painted 36 Dodge and Ian's part of the family Pop... Morris8 belongs to Steve Fleming and hus wife Kim they came up from Surrey just to prove not all southerners are afraid of going north of Watford gap.

Friday: I decided to go to work in the morning and get to Haven Holidays about 1pm as nobody was expected to arrive before then and I would only be sat waiting, so I needed to keep busy. Honestly my stomach was like a churning food mixer I felt sick...I got to Haven about 1:30pm I had my Saturday maps and finally I had a list of the names of people who were pre booked. I decided I would ask them all if they would like to go to the planned Carvery on the Sunday as the guy at the inn was asking how many he was to cater for. Me and Pete had no idea and said err could be 10 err could be 60 and that was as close as we knew.

Respected UK Rodder Alan Spittle and his wife Carol were an early arrival in their real sweet Blown 37 Coupe. I was really quite proud to be finally talking with Alan who I have read so much about and admired his Cars and rodding achievements and contacts over the years. I was really starting to enjoy my task as it gave me the opportunity to meet some great people.

So began my task of greeting people and immediately asking them to commit to a Sunday Meal on the friday as they arrived... a bit weird but I was worried everyone would say na don't fancy that and I would be left with egg on my face.

My good Rodding Buddy Dusty arrived with Debs his wife in his recent acquisition this cool as owt 30 Model A coupe and Daughter Natalie also came with them ... er no she isnt in the trunk Natalie came in her daily as she had sold her Pop.

So that was my Friday afternoon, trying to keep calm and trying not to get to flustered talking to people which I am not usually very good at, as I am quite shy and find speaking to people I don't know very embarrassing. but after about 10 people my confidence was growing and I was quite enjoying it and I felt a lot more positive about what me and Bake's had planned for the weekend.

I found Billy Marshall who had just arrived as I walked back to where I was camped. I gave him a map but I think he was harassed as his wife had followed down with two 20month old children and they had traveled all the way from Glasgow a good few hours. And the kids needed settling.. so he couldn't stop and chat..

I was going back to my caravan for a coffee but I couldn't settle I felt I needed to greet everyone and give them their planned itinerary and also see if they wanted a seat at the Carvery on the Sunday... so I went for a look round the Static caravans to see if I could see any more arrivals.. I knew some where in the Windermere section as Steve Marley had asked if they could keep all the Pre 49 goer's together...... so that was where I was going to look.

Sue & Colin Ayres 37

I thought some gypsies had arrived when I saw this 36 coming down between the static's :o)... This super straight & solid bare metalled 36 belongs to Ali Taylor but is being driven by hubby Chris, Hard Core, looked cool as owt... I want one.

Steve and Kim Flemings Morris 8

I think this is Phil Perry's stunning 37 been around a lot of years but still looking perfect and he isn't afraid to use it either as being here proves.

Billy was in his Static now but still looked harrased so I dint knock and annoy them. I thought best leave them to setlle we had planned to meet in the Aqua bar at 7pm so I could see him then... but never did see him there?

A bone of contention... now it aint up to me so I chose to let it slide would of been a committee decision anyway not mine. But I asked this guy if he was with the Pre 49 and he said yes... I asked him his name Dave Lanham and his wife Sharon, they were on my list so I guessed it had been ok'd for a 49 car to be at the event.. I did say is this a 48 ;o) he said no a 49... Oh I said then it isn't strictly a pre 49 then... so you really cant participate and he looked quite shocked.. I smiled and said I am sure its a 48 that didn't sell until 49 and he agreed :o) . I just hoped no one would get a bag on about it, as it was not my place to say no and it turns out I got on real well with Dave and his miss's and spent most of Friday and Saturday nights with them they were sound. But rules is rules thankfully there was nobody causing a stink about it or it could of put a bit of a downer on what was up to now a real buzz. Dave is from Selby Yorkshire and really just wanted to show his support for a Northern Rod event. *phew*

I understand why it is strictly pre49, as on a drive out it can look like Fred Carno's Circus is in town with a Rod followed by a Mustang, then a Day Van, then a Rod and a mini *spit* and a Volky and so on. If you have a Rod and are in a line of Rods it looks Very very impressive. and what the heck as a Line dancing American flag waving Day vanner got in common with a Rodder?? so you get the picture eh.. ;o) But a pinstriped 49 Merc fits right on in in my eyes.. but not maybe for the pedantic types. So I thought I wont say owt and hope nobody mentions it.

Brian & Jill Crossland arrived mean time and struggled in the blustery wind to erect their Awning, they gave up in the end. One of only 2 cars to bring a touring caravan with Dave above being brave enough to stop in a tent, the forecast was not really tent weather that's was for sure. Across they way in an A Sedan was Lee Hall and his wife Julie.

Well I got round as many as I could, I had 49 names and by number 22 I had a full house of positives I was feeling better. and rang the Carvery (Abbey Tavern) and said keep us 40 seats minimum.

I now needed a drink and there was now 2 NSRA committee members on site, Mark McHardy and Colin Parkinson. So I gave them the rest of the maps and asked if they would ask any others who arrived if they were up for the Sunday Carvery and tell them about the planned meet in the Aqua Bar for 7pm. I just thought this would be a great idea for us all to get to know who had come to do the Lakes Pre 49 and try and get to know each other better. Brian was saying he didn't know anybody and hoped this would be a good opportunity to get to know some more Rodders...

By 7.20pm I was pacing up and down the caravan waiting for my Princess to get ready to go out... "Come on I should of been there by now" " ahhh its alright no one will be there yet any way" "arghh"... and relax!!! We did get there by 7.30pm and the place was packed with holiday makers I had hoped they would all be in the entertainment bar so me and Bakes could address the group and explain what we had planned.. I did also expect the committee to have got everyone together really as it seemed there were 3 or 4 cliques. I saw Dave and his wife sat all on their own on one table and Brian his wife with Lee and his wife on another table and two bigger parties of people on two other tables who obviously knew each other and were catching up on what had happened since they last saw each other ... *hum?* Now how the Hell we gonna do this then?

Well I got one of my folders with the Sat route and my carvery list and, Colin from the NSRA had managed to add a few more positives for the Carvery and I talked with those I had missed and was soon up to 39 I could now relax.. Oh as long as the weather didn't piss them off and they went home early as a couple had expressed some concern about doing a long drive out Sunday as they wanted to set off back home in the afternoon. Luckily we had only planned a short run anyway on the Sunday as I thought some would want to go home or want free time as lets face it, they all, bar a couple had a long enough drive home anyway, good job I didnt do the first route I had planned for Sunday and went for the short one for Sunday Lunch.

Bakey was fantastic, he is a BBC Cameraman and is used to meeting people, so he just jumped in, they all seemed amazed at all the effort we had put in with the route plans we had done all neatly clipped into plastic folders, one for Sat one for Sunday, with photos maps and little snippets of history about the places we were to visit.. Bakey had done us proud and he was in full flow. Like a Holiday rep selling a trip out he was brilliant.. I think some were worried there may be an essay assignment to be ready for Monday.. but all took it in the Humour and context it was intended.

We tried our best to make everyone feel welcome and get them talking with others who may of been feeling just a little out of the clique. When you are doing stuff like this and not at all comfortable doing it it is easy to get the piss taken out of you, but nobody did try to look big and ridicule us two Northern fat lads gibbering on in relief and excitement, everyone seemed interested and a tad excited at what we had planned, Reeesulttt

That done it was more Beer time and did me and my wife hit the Razzz big time, my good mate Pudzz was also with us he had kept out of the way while we were talking to the group, as he knew this weekend was about the pre 49 run and people not about a family holiday.. er but it was now Yeehhaa lets get into that beer as there would be no driving for me tomorrow.

We were joined by Dave and Sharon Lanham who have the 49 Mercury Dave was telling me he had had not long imported it, yet another e-bay find. The entertainment in the "show bar" was pure amateurish crap.. and I mean real cheesy holiday crap... we just drunk until my wife fell off her chair then we knew it was time to go ;o) I said leave her there but Pudzz picked her and the chair up while she was still sat on it but laying on the floor and sat her upright in one swift move, I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing ;o).. But not everyone was being boring like us and not joining in.. if you just look over by the wall in the above photo Michelle Hay and Julie Armstrong are getting into the spirit and standing on their chairs... trying to win a prize.

In this day and age of pedophiles and voyeurs and the like... you would not expect to see CCTV in the Gents toilets would you... strategically placed so they get a clear shot of the gents latrines/todgers .. Barstards.. I hate that.

Anyway in a great but slightly pickled mood, we headed off back to camp. My wife propped up by two teenage girls.. we got back and the wind was pretty wicked and all while we tried to sleep, it felt like 10 blokes were ragging our awning and trying to pull the caravan over. I had to get out about 20 times to readjust the poles as they kept dropping down.. until at 2.30am I could stand no more and went out to find one of the main awning poles bent double like a banana.. Great.... time to empty the awning and take it down.. just what you want with a gallon and a half of beer floating round in ya belly and ya head... My misses was no help... as she slid down the caravan steps and onto the ground.. muttering.. "I'm Sorry Dave... I cant help... I'm to Pissed" then bang onto the floor ;o)....... Hey Ho what a great start to the weekend.. I cant wait until tomorrow.. can you?

Page 2 Saturday

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