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March 02, 2021, 08:47:53 AM

Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 2 Saturday 13th August

This is a discussion for the topic Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 2 Saturday 13th August on the board Pier Pressure 2016.

Author Topic: Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 2 Saturday 13th August  (Read 3350 times)

this user is offline Chad

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on: September 10, 2016, 11:46:35 PM
Saturday morning arrives and even after sharing a double bed with Alex and Ruth I still feel refreshed, excited and full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. 5 more piers today and another long slog to finishin Kilmarnock, but at least the weather gods were smiling on us. However Tony Krug had texted saying he was now going to meet us at Southport as the weather in his neck of the woods was pretty bad with heavy rain and strong winds. But I did take the opportunity to ask if he had any spare gloves.

An 8:30 start was on the books and loading the car I spot 3 things. The restaurant next door didn’t open until 9 so breakfast on the road, Dav Michell was sat on the car park in his sparkly blue Rat to join us for the day and a large oil slick coming off Hazel’s buggy.

Thankfully it turned out Hazel’s issue was simply due to parking on an angle and overfilling the engine with oil. So off to the first petrol stop of the day (only 15minutes behind schedule, getting better) until Dav comments that the one we planned for was closed. Dav duly leads us to another one nearby and once all fuelled up we are off to our first pier at Southport.

Now how should we cross the Mersy? Easy – hit the tunnel. The Mersey tunnel took over 5 minutes to pass through with a junction in the middle. It was like a mad game of OUTRUN and I couldn’t help think of what Mr Dave Dream would have made of it all.

We arrive at Southport with no incident and we are dry but quite cold; my hands are suffering again from no gloves - DOH. Dav contacts Tony, who has son Arron and Dave the new owner Pilgrim’s Old Buggy with him. They have gone from a drive down the promenade as they were getting cold waiting for us. We also meet up with Rich and Sarah - some old friends from home.

We take our pier and number pictures almost on the deck boards before parking up in the pre-arranged area out front. It was still very windy and as Ruth opened the folder to get the pier number out my sheets of music notes blew out. You know the notes I really really need for my re-union gig later in the week in Dorset? The notes I can’t lose at any cost as I didn’t put in as much practice as I should, the notes that are really important to me. Well some of those notes are still under the carousel in Southport – ironically including the sheet for one of our songs called Carousel – you couldn’t make it up……

Soon we hear the burble of a V8 and along swings Pat Masters in his High rise Koyote II, complete with its genitalia, quickly followed by Tony, Arron and Dave. Much to my delight Tony furnishes me with a pair of large welding type gloves and Dave gives us a pair of woolly type gloves.

All too quickly it’s time to hit the road and off we pop to St Anne’s pier, but not unitl we have to bump start Dave across the promenade. This part of the trip unfortunately meant passing through Preston and its endless traffic lights. On the way out it soon becomes obvious we had lost Pat, Tony, Arron, Dav and Dave. Top Gear rules apply so on we go until we find ourselves caught right in the middle of a huge and busy 1940’s day in Lytham St Anne’s surrounded by army folk and war time vehicles.

By now Dav has caught us up but with no sign of the others. It turns out Dave was having issues and Dav had been sent ahead to warn us. On the way into St Anne’s we are filmed by a guy kneeling next to his T4. Can’t remember his name but nice chap and friend of Krug.

St Anne’s pier is a lovely unspoilt pier and we get permission to pull up right outside. The nice lady in the café not only fills our thermos mugs up with tea but also makes a healthy donation to our rattle cans. It appears all these pier folk are genuinely nice and welcoming.

The Pressure Crew along with Hazel and Dav are just about to head off when the others appear with Pat towing Dave into the car park. Unfortunately it’s looking terminal, so we push Dave into a parking space and leave him to phone recovery – Top Gear rules. A quick squeeze down the side of the pier for one last photo and off we head for the madness that is Blackpool.

It’s the BIG ONE, The Tower, Vintage Trams, Illuminations, Stags and Hens dressed stupidly – we must be in Blackpool. Now some love and some hate Blackpool. I have family in Fylde and spent many a memorable week there in my youth so I really do love all the theme parky, tackiness of it all. The last time I was in Blackpool in a buggy was at Pat Masters wedding some 18 years ago, so it was good once more to be cruising down a packed sea front on a Saturday in August.

First stop was South Pier. I did have permission from the owners of all three Blackpool Piers to pull up outside but we had failed (not without constant trying) to contact the guy at the council who allows you to cross the tram tracks. Undeterred, we crossed the tram tracks and pulled up right outside South Pier. We had decided to spend a short while at South and Central Piers, and lunch at North Pier. So a quick photo and we headed off to Central Pier.

Again we jumped across the tram tracks right to the front of Central Pier. This time there was little room between the tram tracks and the pier front, so Pat had at least 6 inches between the front of his buggy and the passing trams.

Next it was off to North Pier, just a short trundle up the front. This time Pat pulled out in front of the traffic lights and a Police car in order to stop the traffic for us to get out. To be fair the coppers took in all in good humour. A quick stop to get the obligatory Blackpool Tower photo, before we head to North Pier.

The café owner came and quickly warned us of the traffic wardens in the area but was soon calmed once we said we had permission (well we would have done if we could have spoken to the bloke any way – don’t tell the others  ;-)up). A nice relaxed hour with sausage and chips for lunch and all too soon it was time to head further north.

It was now about 2:30pm and we had to get to Kilmarnock for the night stop . Pat said he would show us to the petrol stop in Poulton Le Fylde and headed off the pier front with Tony and Dav in tow. As we were about  to set off Hazel revved up and something metallic shot out the back of her buggy. Once again, feeling bad about having no time to stop George and myself had no option but to hit the road and leave Hazel to sort herself out.

Fully fuelled up and many goodbyes said and for the first time since we set off, we were cruising on our own. Just 190 miles or so north without having to worry about piers for a while. Our route took us up through the beautiful Lake District. Thankfully the road that had been lost into Lake Windermere during the winter floods had now been repaired. The weather was still being kind, giving us chance to cruise open top through this wonderful part of the country.

We are now running about 1 hour late and time is around 4:30. After passing through Ambleside, George suddenly gestures to me and makes a U-turn and for the first time I am following George. We quickly head back to Ambleside Pier and the café which ironically has a paddle steamer moored up. Time for tiffin and tea. A nice relaxed stop and we realise it’s now 5:30 and we still have the best part of 150 miles to go.

On the car park we meet a Scotish guy who wanders over and utters the words ‘I have got one of these’. Now those long in the tooth buggy owners know this statement could mean anything from ‘I have a mobility scooter’ to ‘I have a jeep’ – normally followed by ‘Is it a GP?’  After a bit of conversation the guy asked if I had brought my kit and when I said no I designed it, he said ‘are you Chad?’. Turns out he did in fact have a Doon and brought the kit off me 8 years ago. Ray McKay lives up in Kilbarchan but was on holiday in the lakes – small world.

We leave Ambleside and take a drive up the truly amazing A591 through Kendal. I know its good from teh massive grin on George’s face in the mirror as will pull up at the junction with A595.

Through Carlisle to Gretna Green and then to Dumfries for a quick fuel stop. Even at this early stage we are averaging 34 to 35 mpg – not bad for a pair of old type 1’s.

Just a final 60 mile blast up to our stop for the night. The roads are empty and the light Is starting to fade, but the strange thing is we pass through a number of villages in which there are loads of cars but no people and no lights on in the houses. In fact it is quite creepy. The only place we see people is in the local cemetery. The weather stays dry but not that warm. My hands are once again freezing as Alex has taken to Tony Krug’s big gloves and Ruth has stolen the fleecy pair. Really must find some leather driving gloves. Finally in the last light of the day we finally reach the Travelodge around 9:30 with some 278 miles travelled today.

We are now feeling quite tired and hungry, but unfortunately the only food available is from the 24 hour McD's or the late night subway in the BP Station next door. We opt for a nice 6 inch which we eat in our rooms. At least tonight we all have a bed each with Ruth sharing a double with Alex and George and Myself sharing a twin. We all take a little time winding down, having our customary cup of tea, downloading pictures and GoPro, social media, setting the satnav and catching up on the Olympics. Isle of Bute awaits.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 11:54:37 PM by Chad »
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this user is offline Buggybaggy

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Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 08:24:05 AM
Good one Chad.  Although the road you mentioned is from Ambleside to Keswick, not Kendal. Just in case anyone is heading that way.

this user is offline Hunter

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Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 08:38:36 AM
Great stuff Chad.
enjoying the write up and looking forward to the next installment.

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this user is offline apmaman

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Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 08:49:17 AM
 ;-)up ;-)up ;-)up