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The Northern Duttoneer’s North Wales Spring 2011 Run. The Story

 

 

Well we did it, all be it with a few misadventures. But we managed 381 miles of absolutely brilliant roads, in glorious weather.

 

We met at the Royal Oak on the A6 at Westhoughton, near Bolton at noon on Friday, Noon must mean time to eat and drink this as become feature of the Northern Duttoneer’s tours, Eat, Drink, Drive, Eat, Drink, Drive etc.

 

Once we were all together and refreshments finished we set off for North Wales, keeping to the A and B roads through Hindley, Ince, Golborne and into Cheshire.

Crossing the A556 at Delamere  as I accelerated there was a metallic clicking noise as the rev’s came down. Could this be the first breakdown with only 30 miles done? We pulled up, and checked under the car, and under the bonnet, the only thing we found was the locknut on the clutch cable, so quick adjustment and give it a try, the noise was still there. I decided to let it develop until we could get off the road and get underneath.

 

First stop 34 miles on and it’s time for tea at the Boars Head at Beeston see from the photo this is a lovely building, service was great before we had finished tinkering the Girls were served with Tea in the lounge.

Still couldn’t find the noise, at first I thought it might be the clutch disc breaking up, but it drove OK. The decision was made to carry on and worry when it stops working.

 

Then onward towards Wrexham, then onto Trevor and our first sightseeing detour to Pont Cysyllte Aquaduct, one of Thomas Telford’s great works in cast iron, see the photos they speak better than I can.

 

No noise from Cheshire now, so the broken bit as fallen off or we have just got used to the noise!!! Last 5 miles from Trevor to LLangllen and out towards the Horse Shoe Pass and The Britannia Hotel.

 

After Checking in we set to trying to find my noise, jacked up the back, wheels and drums off, thinking broken brake spring, nothing. While it was up in the air started it and run it up and down the box, again nothing. Back on the ground, and with Steve Heap as a passenger aquick run back down to Llangollen no noise until we turned right and there it is, after a visit to the shop, we hammered it back up the hill to the Hotel. Looks like the noise is coming from the exhaust rubbing on the side of the ally side panel as the engine shifts under power, Phew!!

The Britannia is at the bottom of the Horse Shoe Pass, and a grand place, comfy rooms, good food (see again eating) and BEER.

Quick shower, and down for Tea (dinner if you are reading this in the South) and it would not be a Northern Duttoneer’s outing without a quiz, Thanks to Sue for that, The guys came runner up, Oh the Girls won, but we think there may have been a little under hand work going on there, no engine, suspension, or gearbox questions.

 

Tomorrow we hit the Horse Shoe Pass

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Comment by Adrian Southgate on April 23, 2011 at 19:37

It would seem my rear shocks were punished a little too much on the wales run. Had the back end in the air today to sort the handbrake issue and both shocks are soaked in oil, covered in dust.

They were brand new custon made SPAX fitted two years ago, have done about 20K miles. Seems they don't make them like they used to. I am well unimpressed with Spax at this point. I need to check the warranty on these as I am sure it was 3 years. They still function as shocks on the driveway so I am hoping they will last until after Stoneleigh at least. At £244 for the pair they bloody well ought to have done better than this.

Comment by The Northern Duttoneer's on April 21, 2011 at 18:36
Thanks David, we did, hope you enjoyed the next 2 day there will be more photos on www.thenorthernduttoneers.com later, we are getting together tonight to swap photos. see you at Stoneleigh if you're there Monday.
Comment by The Northern Duttoneer's on April 20, 2011 at 23:44

Day 3

Last day and on to Snowdon.

 

Breakfast was a grand affair, full English, home baked bread, Chelsea buns the whole works.

Then onto the lawn for a photo session care of David the hotel proprietor, very kindly print us all a copy and posted them home.

 

Photos over, onto the hard standing car park to jack my Car in the air to adjust the rear brakes, as most of yesterday afternoons braking was coming from the front. All in order, off we go out through Nefyn following the coast road before turning in land toward Bontnewydd turning RH onto Caernarfon bypass to pick up the A4085, 200 yds along ting a stone flies off Ade’s tyre bounces off my screen just leaving a slight mark. At the end of the bypass at the round about, Ade pulls away and another stone comes flying my way, I watch it as it hits in exactly the same spot and Boom there goes the screen, as it is the original toughened glass screen everything just crazed up. Luckily at the roundabout was a Shell petrol station, I managed to look over the top of the screen to get onto the forecourt.

The guys all got to work fleece blanket to protect the inside with a bin liner on top of that, I un-bolted the surround and Ade set to work cutting the bottom silicon seal, then lifting carefully we took the screen off in one piece, broke out the glass and recovered the seals. As we where on the garage forecourt there was a vacuum cleaner, sucked away the stray bits of glass and splinters.

I quite liked the look without windscreen, but we decided to refit the surround so that the doors could still go on. Then re-think not to fit the doors which would have caused a wind tunnel effect.

 

After a delve in my bag of tricks, I found my aero goggles and flying helmet, Marian had the furry flying helmet, buff and sunglasses, it was the hottest day of the year and here we where dress up in 5 layers flying helmets goggles we looked like to first world war fight pilots (I’ll post the photos later in the week).

 

Right back to the tour, once we got used to the wind noise, I was surprised at how different the car performed, I have found 20 BHP I never knew was there, very quick acceleration. Next stop Beddgelert and cup of tea and a piece of cake. Sue arrange a walk to see Gelert’s Grave, Which is the grave of the Kings dog (see the photo which tells the story).

After the leg stretch it was back to the car’s and onto the Pass of Llanberis which goes around the foothills of Snowdon, photo stop from the car park half way up. Incredible view’s of Snowdon (photos to follow).

On then through Llanberis, past the Snowdon mountain railway station towards Bethesda turning back around the far side of the Lake (Llyn Paddarn), brilliant little single track road. At Bethesda turning RH onto the A5 heading for Capel Curig, about 4 miles down the A5 checking my mirrors for the other guys, I caught sight of a Traffic car behind Steve, over the next 14 miles he check each one of us out by pulling in behind each of us, until he got to me and there he stayed, it was like being on my driving test trying to keep with in the double white lines. I did expect a pull has we had no screen were not displaying a tax disc it was safe in my wallet. As we approached Betws-Y-Coed where Sue had planned a stop for lunch at the Swallow Falls Hotel, we indicated RH for the car park and our Police escort pulled away from us like we were stopped towards the village, We could breath again. Tea anyone?

 

Quick call into Betws-Y-Coed for fuel in the Westie, we all decided to cut out the Denbigh pass, and go straight for Mold and you guessed it Tea!

 

Just before Denbigh Ade turned LH up this tiny single track road, which was awesome for the first part, but as we got near to the end there where more and more potholes and rut’s speed right down then what sounded like a jet engine, we realised it was coming from Steve H’s Phaeton, the exhaust manifold had snapped both pipes as it comes out of the 4 branch. Steve has a stainless 4-2-1 manifold and it was the 2 pipes that had snapped.

BODGE WARNING!!!

Bodge No 2 and again on Steve H’s car. After a quick reccie, I turned to our Support vehicle and Steve K, who has an addiction to Pepsi Max, a couple of empty cans and scissors we had 2, 5 inch long ally sheets these where wound around each pipe at the crack, then a jubilee clip place around the sleeve right over the crack and tightened, then 2 larger jubilee clips coupled together and tightened over the first 2 clips this held everything into place, we then fixed a couple of bungee elastics onto the down pipe and supporting the weight. Steve fired her up and although it was blowing, it was drivable. Bodge done…

 

We had planned to have dinner at the Three Loggerheads Pub just outside Mold, but when we got there, there was nowhere to park. Because of the problems with Steve’s manifold and our lack of windscreen, the plan changed to plan B, back to the Motorway and back to our starting point the Royal Oak, where they do an all day carvery.

 

WE got onto the A55, and then onto the M56 all went well until I noticed Steve indicating to pull off at the Runcorn exit, blowing the horn, flashing my lights trying to attract Ade’s attention to no avail he was already past the junction. I pulled off with the others and we found somewhere to stop. Turns out that Steve’s exhaust had completely broken away, this needed a re-bodge and after a few minutes we where on our way again, Steve said he would keep off the motorway and go back through Frodsham, this agreed he went first then Martin, me and Steve in the support car. As we got to the roundabout Martin turned for Runcorn not Frodsham, so I went after him, Steve K didn’t follow me but went towards Frodsham to follow Steve. After a couple of phone calls to Ade who was carrying on to the Pub, and Steve K who had not yet found Steve H but would go back the way we came to see if he could catch him up.

I and Martin carried on through Widnes picking up the M62 and back to the pub through Leigh.

We all arrived within a few minutes, 10 carveries ordered and another tour is over. What’s the saying “I counted them out and I counted them back in, they all made it”.

 

The planning is underway for the Autumn Tour more on that later. Hope you enjoyed the write up, but don’t you wish you’d been there?

Comment by The Northern Duttoneer's on April 19, 2011 at 23:57
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Day 2

Happy Birthday Karen

Saturday morning, after a great full English each and gallons of tea it was time for a fiddle and fettle, Ade had already been out and leather the Legerra off.

With everything in order we were off to the Llangollen Motor Museum and the girls went to view Dalle Crucis Abbey, my noise had completely disappeared in the night and never returned for the rest of the tour. The Museum is only small but packed with interesting cars and bits and pieces which they also sold. Well worth a trip £3.50 normal price, £2.50 to motoring clubs.

 

Then with the Ladies back from their adventure it was time for some serious driving up over the Horse Shoe Pass, well up to the top of the Pass and there it was the Ponderosa Café, you guessed it 5 miles done it must be time for tea. The Ponderosa Café is a famous meeting point for Bikers from all over the UK.

 

After leaving there it was onto the A5104 turning sharp left towards Bala Lake taking the A494, through the village of Bala and along the side of the Lake staying on the A494 to Dolgellau, Leaving here on the A470 towards Porthmadog through the river valley past Llyn Trawsfynydd taking the A487 just after the reservoir, we had now covered about 50 miles without a brew, so it was decided we would stop at Porthmadog, but didn’t account for it being Saturday afternoon, the place was packed with no where to park, quick rethink and we were off towards Criccieth a further 10 miles along the coast.

 

We parked up on the sea front and found a café, awesome scenery and a castle on the headland. Refreshed we were on our way up the coast along some of the best country lanes (A497) of the day through Pwllheli, Llanbedrog and Abersoch.

 

Continueing along the A499 to Aberdarren where we planned a walk on the beach, we pulled into the carpark at around 5:15 pm went to pay at the pay and display, shock and horror £3.00 for 3 hours, then with closer inspection the sign said 5:30pm to 9:30 am £1.00, so we stood by the machine until 5:30 then paid our £1’s. The beach was about 100 yards away, and has you can see it didn’t take the children long to get paddling, skimming stones (Ade won with a 9er). We had done it crossed Wales and got the sea, (what is it with Dutton’s and sea, Tim Dutton over to you).

 

We left Aberdarren heading for Morfa Nefyn and our next over night stop at Llys Olwen Country Guest house, WWW.LlysOlwen.co.uk.

This was a lovely old country house set in it’s own grounds, we where directed to park up on the lawn as parking is a little tight.

Very friend place we were made very welcome and after putting the tops on the cars, just time for quick wash and Dinner, amazing food all well cooked, homemade bread.

 

After dinner it was time to award The Northern Duttoneer’s Tour Trophy, all day we had checked on Karen’s navigational skills at every stop. Very impressive Karen was spot on without the use of a sat nav, just a OS 250,000:1 map every time,

So the Trophy This year goes the Karen (Birthday Girl) Heap for Navigator of the Tour.

It wouldn’t be a Tour without a quiz, this time the guys came second out of 2, wait a minute we lost again.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about our wind swept last day and police escort…

Comment by Dave Price on April 18, 2011 at 22:30
Sounds like you had a good run.  That noise must have been driving you mad trying to trace the problem.  Can't wait to read the next day's report.

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