Another good showing of Triumphs for our annual run to Cromer for Fish and Chips. With four starting at the Easton layby and a further four joining us at Dereham. A good run up to the coast, the dark clouds looking ominous at times but not actually dropping anything. Arriving at Cromer around 7.30pm where there were a few more Triumphs waiting making a total of 11 on the cliff top. A walk down to the chippie and then back to the car park for a good natter.
Well that was a busy one! Our third Scatter Treasure Hunt saw Norfolk swarmed with classic cars. Every classic in seemed to be on the road for Drive It Day. While great for those taking part it did make the counting of points at the end a lot more time consuming. With three points given fo every classic car photographed and five points if they were snapped on the move (by the navigator obviously) there was a lot of photographs to look through. But many thanks for all those who took part and took the time to send me so many. The winners were Mark and Mike (Spitfire) with 233 points. Next time I’m thinking we might restrict it to just Triumphs’s! Many thanks also for the positive comments, it would appear that you all had a great time.
Since the last post, we have been spending more and more time working on the Viking. Internally, the fixtures and fittings were decorated, and the first splashes of the lime green appeared. We looked at the possibility of reusing seating from another disused ‘van but decided it would be worth investing in new foam, which we bought online. We found a fabric place locally that was closing down, and after searching through hundreds of rolls we managed to find a colour match to the orange in the curtains for a bargain price, so Christina got to work on this while Paul successfully installed the electrics, both mains and 12v, including sockets and lights.
As the Easter break approached, and the weather forecast was looking good, we decided to focus our attention on the exterior. The first job was to remove all the rough paint from a previous attempt at restoration. This proved to be the worst job yet. The paint was thick, lumpy and peeling. With a combination of heat gun and scraping, and electric sander, it took both of us many hours over a week to get the surface ready for spraying. As the saying goes, the secret’s in the preparation, so we had to make sure it was done properly. Finally, yesterday, she was ‘naked’ and ready for her new coat. With no hitch, moving her to a space away from other cars wasn’t easy, but once in position, Paul was able to get to work, applying primer and undercoat. The top coat paint should hopefully be ready for collection later today, as they have had a door from the Herald since Tuesday, in order to make a good match, so fingers crossed they will have been successful.
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Using a tulip route originally planned for 2021 but cancelled thanks to Covid, we met for a chilly 9.00 start from Dereham Market place. The 50 mile run took in Swanton Morley and the old runway at Deopham Green (usually a good road for some foot down driving but today unfortunately curtailed due to a lady and her horse), then continued along the A11 to Spooner Row, before taking a circular route around Old Buckenham for some Triumph spotting. It finally crossed a ford just before arriving at Peter Beales Roses. Yet again the restaurant did us proud with lovely food and great service as the staff coped brilliantly with our group of 28.
Three Triumph clubs were represented with 14 classics including three big Triumphs, a Vitesse, a Herald, three TR4s, a TR3 and an MGB. Most popular was the TR7/8 with four.
We had planned to go to the pre 1940 Triumph Club Picnic being held at the Walton Hall Hotel since I had suggested to the Triumph 2000 Register (now that I had found myself on the committee) that we use it for their 40th birthday celebration with free cake for big Triumph owners.
Like the Dales break the other week it seemed a shame to just go there for the day, so we decided to make more of a break of it. As we were helping organise it, it seemed obvious to take the Triumph 2500S estate along. So we had a deadline to get the Sprite Musketeer habitable.
Most of the rebuilding work was done. At least the cupboards etc were, in but still needing laminating. We had electric but no gas, but we were ready to go. The biggest problem was the Triumph running a tad hot. I’d flushed it through a couple of times before we went but it only seemed to make it worse. I had the feeling I was just pushing sludge around.
But Tuesday the day we were due to go, rain was forecast the whole day. For once I was happy to do a four hour drive in the rain with the caravan on the back if only because I figured the temperature would be cooler and better for the car.
We started off at 9am and luckily we met with only minor traffic and the temperature gauge didn’t get any higher than the 3/4 mark. We did stop halfway for a cuppa in the caravan. Followed by using the loo in the Sprite bathroom. A very useful facility that the Viking caravan hasn’t got.
Getting to the campsite for lunch, we spent a restful afternoon in the caravan after setting up. The rain cleared giving us a chance to pop down to the pub which unfortunately didn’t open for another hour. So back to the ‘van for our first night curry.
Wednesday was lie-in day, as I struggled to get over the drive and the two ring pulls I’d had the night before. A visit to Banbury to see the cross and do a bit of charity shop shopping before lunch and a four mile hike across fields in the afternoon.
We were starting to like the look of the Sprite and also enjoying the extra room, 14’ length as opposed to the 10’ of the Viking, although we didn’t seem to be using the extra room much.
Our last day of Triumphing until we leave on Sunday led us to Stratford upon Avon. A great place to visit if a tad ‘Bard’ heavy. A nice walk along the canal and around the shops in the town. Topped off with an ice cream and back to the caravan. Where the pitches opposite were taken, meaning we weren’t alone on our part of the campsite anymore. And, to make matters worse, ‘our’ toilet now had its doors locked meaning we now have to remember the keypad number for the main toilet block.
A look at the map showed us that the National Herb Centre was in walking distance, so Fridays day was sorted. A pub lunch on the way back rounded the day of nicely.
Saturday was a lazy day but still involved a five mile walk to the local shop for some bread (we also treated ourselves to some tea and cake sitting by the canal). Pack up time in the afternoon ready for our quick getaway on Sunday morning.
A quick wash for the car on Sunday morning before setting off for the Triumph picnic in time to help set up. 30 Minutes later we were lined up ready. A great turn out for the Triumph 2000 Register with around 30 cars, more than any of the other triumph clubs that were attending (not that it’s a competition 😉 ). A really good day meeting big Triumph members for the first time and meeting old friends of the TSSC we hadn’t met for a couple of years. On mentioning my over heating problem to those that know the bonnet was soon up with work being done on it.
Leaving it as late as possible before heading home on the off chance the temperature would be cooler. We got as far as the A14 before the temporary gasket fitted during the afternoons attempts at fixing things gave out. This was suitably replaced with a bit of cardboard and on we carried. After a stop at the services for a break the dipped beam gave out, so with gaffa tape applied to the main beam to stop it shining at oncoming vehicles we continued. It would be nice to get this Triumph as reliable as the Herald!
Our big road trip of the year, driving up to the Yorkshire Dales for the TSSC Yorkshire area’s Dales Run.
A long but enjoyable seven hour, traffic jam free journey up to the Dales along the A17 and A1/(M). Plenty of people taking photos and interest shown when we parked the combo up for our lunch break. We’d forgotten how much attention the Triumph Herald and Viking gets. Driving through the narrow cobbled streets of Hawes we even got a load cheer from a group of bikers sitting outside a pub.
The fun started when we came off the A1(M) along the smaller windy, hilly roads. Especially the final road to the campsite. It’s amazing how many campsites are on roads that are a tad difficult for caravans to go along. But this one was well worth the trip. Amazing views from the caravan!
What a difference a day makes. After a seven mile trek around Dent on Friday morning we returned to find a motorbike group setting up camp between us and the view. Nice enough crowd but will be happy when they go and our clear view is with us again.
A leisurely afternoon with a few more Triumphs turning up. Chilli for dinner followed by a cocktail sitting outside Keith and Lynn’s tent made for a very pleasant evening.
Saturday, the Dales Run day. A twenty mile round trip to get some E5 petrol, a sign of things to come perhaps? Then back to the campsite to join the gathering of five Triumphs to set off for the run. Some very windy steep hills and fantastic scenery including the “Buttertubs”. Making the occasional stop to let sheep cross the road we ended up at a pub for some lunch. Taking more major roads after the lunch stop gave us a good chance to put our foot down. A hundred miles covered in total, including our search for E5.
Saturday evening saw us congregating in the local village hall for some fun and games orchestrated by Alan. Great fun but probably for all the wrong reasons.
Goodbye Sunday saw us left on our own with the views. The over riding question is why are these events so poorly attended? Don’t get me wrong, we thoroughly enjoyed it because it was such a small gathering. But it deserved to be so much bigger.
We spent the day relaxing in the sun by the caravan after a walk to the local shop for an ice cream. It was starting to feel that we were actually on a holiday. Monday saw us driving to Hawes for another walk and ice cream at Wensleydale Creamery. Followed by another trek to the M6 for fuel. On our return the view at the campsite had now been taken over by a bunch of cyclists and a very bendy woman doing yoga next door to us.
Looking at the weather for Thursdays trip home where thunderstorms were forecast. Our thinking is to leave on Wednesday. So on Tuesday we did our final long hike. Another 7 miles from the campsite in glorious sunshine. Followed by a leisurely afternoon trying to work out what the best time would be to leave, with the least amount of traffic on the narrow, windy road out of the campsite.
So the last day arrives. A short walk in the morning followed by a fry up and leisurely packing away. The worst part of the journey, five miles on a single track road from campsite to the main road, went without any problems. We even manage to stop on a bridge for a scenic photo. The rest of the drive also went without a problem, very little traffic but oh such a long way. Seven hours later saw us sitting in Swaffham market place having fish n chips. Another big trip under our belts.
A bit of a funny one this. Not too sure what made us decide to go the night before the show. We had intended to go with somebody else who dropped out, leaving us spending the night in our Herald / Viking combo on our own in the middle of the show field.
It was good to see the cars arriving in the morning though. This year we spent the Sunday in the field catching up with friends we hadn’t see for a couple of years due to the lockdown.
Much smaller than previous years but still worth attending.