Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
March 02, 2021, 07:52:11 AM

Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 4 Monday 15th August

This is a discussion for the topic Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 4 Monday 15th August on the board Pier Pressure 2016.

Author Topic: Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 4 Monday 15th August  (Read 3551 times)

this user is offline Chad

  • MBC Moderator
  • Buggy Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 2237
  • Kempsey, Worcestershire
  • Doon SWB
    • Doon Buggies
on: October 26, 2016, 01:57:45 AM
During the first three days of Pier Pressure I had undoubtedly been to places I had never visited before (such as the Isle of Bute) but generally we had travelled through areas of the country I was quite familiar with. Today was going to be completely different.

The North East is new to me. I have been as far as York, played on the sand at Cleethorpes in the 1990’s with the National Buggy Register as was and even went on my first roller coaster at Skegness, but the true North East was a place, as a Midlander, that I had never really visited. Therefore, I was really looking forward to our trip through this area.

Once again the weather gods were looking kindly on us and the day was blue sky and sunny. Our day began for once with the opportunity for a ‘proper’ breakfast. The Travelodge in Berwick sat next door to a Morrison’s which had a café serving full English Breakfasts (as we were technically now back in England). In all honesty we took longer at breakfast than we planned which meant we were sat at the Morrison’s petrol station around 9:00am, some 30minutes behind schedule already.



It was at this point I realised we had lost the Sat Nav. It was in the buggy when we drove the 200 yards to Morrison’s earlier, but it wasn’t there now. We were also missing Alex’s welding gloves (donated by Krug remember in Southport). Our first thought was we had been robbed. This caused a massive issue in that the route we were taking had been heavily advertised all over the web and trying to remember that detailed route w=sing a map would be almost impossible.

After many minutes of panicking and George buying a new road atlas from the station, Ruth appeared back from Morrisions with the Sat Nav and gloves. Mentioning no names, our youngest member had taken them with him to breakfast and had left them in the café.

Disaster averted we set off south towards our first pier of the day at Saltburn, some 115miles south of our overnight stop. This would involve a trip across the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, something I knew little about but a crossing that looked very different.

A little side story that had started a couple of days previously was the appearance of Gordon the Goffer. There had been this terrible squeak appeared around the buggies which turned out to be   George’s front shock absorbers. The squeak was getting louder and I could even hear from my buggy up front.

On the Saturday we had contacted our friendly man at Cheltenham GSF (who had already donated a load of spare parts for our emergency parts box), who was to get in contact with his counterparts at Middleburgh GSF and have a pair of shocks ready for us when we arrived. Fab.

The first part of the trip was remarkably uneventful which started with a quick trip across the Royal Tweed Bridge at Berwick.



Then it was basically a 55mph cruise straight down the A1, turning onto the A19 to circumnavigate Newcastle, under the Tyne tunnel, miss Sunderland to the left and finally turning off towards Hartlepool via the old colliery town of Blackwell. In all honesty I would like to have hugged the coastline much more on this stretch, but time was our enemy today having to travel 272 miles to Skegness before the day was over.

Driving south from Hartlepool you get a wonderfully strange view across the mouth of the river Tees with Teesside National Nature Reserve and the beaches at Seaton Carew to the north shore and the mass industrial structures and smoke of Tarmac et al on the south shore.



Before long a strange structure came into view above the trees, looking like something the imperial troops would use against the rebel alliance on the planet of Hoth. Just a mere . 101 miles south of Berwick, this was our first view of the brilliant Middleborough (Tees) Transporter Bridge.



When planning our trip, I looked for a way across the Tees, closest to the mouth of the river and saw the route across the Transporter Bridge. I must say I knew nothing of it until that point (even though I am a qualified civil engineer – shame on me), but I am glad we choose to go that way. Built in 1911 the bridge has a travelling 'car', or 'gondola', suspended from the bridge, which crosses the river in just 90 seconds. The cage can carry just 9 cars in 3 rows of 3, or 200 people. This was certainly one of the highlights of our trip so far.




We arrived at the bridge around 11:40am to be met by Dave ‘Billa’ Bell and Mrs Billa in their sparkly purple sidewinder buggy. It was once again nice to put a face to the forum name and we had time for a quick chat as the gondola was on the other side of the river. It turned out that we had made it just in time in that the bridge closed at 12:00 for lunch and we were about to get the last cage across before it stopped for one hour.

The ride was amazingly smooth and quick considering it was over a 100 years old and soon the three buggies were disembarking on the south bank of the Tees.





As we drove off Alex spotted someone in a Pier Pressure t-shirt and in the car park was an orange SWB Volksrod. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there in the flesh was Steve Saville’s (Baggy Buggy) long awaited buggy actually on the road. Last time I saw Steve driving a buggy was at Cleethorpes beach in 1994 so it was great to see him back in a buggy of his own once again – even though I will never understand as a Wolves fan why anyone, let alone a fella born and breed in Leeds, would support West Bromwich Albion.

A quick ‘ello and of we set to find GSF in Middlesborough to get George’s new (and none squeaky) front shocks. Just a mile or so from the bridge, we head into GSF only to find they had no shocks in stock. Apparently, I had had a call but had never heard it in ring whilst driving and hadn’t checked my phone for a while – doh!



Lunch was fast approaching and the four buggies head off west towards Redcar and onto Saltburn, some 12 miles away, for our first pier of Day 4. The drive down to Saltburn Pier was brilliant, a steep windy switchback road straight down to the beach front and car park near the pier.



The pier was set back a long a promenade and is served from the town high about by a Victorian angled cliff railway, We have one similar in the midlands at Bridgnorth and they are a great piece of Victorian ingenuity and engineering. As we had no reply to our pre-visit e-mail we left the 4 buggies blocking up the small car park whilst Ruth and myself headed off to speak to the lovely cliff railway ticket master. Resplendent in his best Victorian finery he made a quick call up to ‘the office’ and soon we were given permission to park on the slipway that led to the beach right amongst all the holiday makers catching the rays.





I loved Saltburn. When asked which pier I liked best, Saltburn always gets a mention. I think it wasn’t just the pier, but its lovely isolated position, nice beach, lovely warm sunshine and an hour or so break for lunch with a little time to chill all made it a really nice experience. Apparently, the pier looks very much as it did in Victorian times and wasn’t spoilt by tacky neon signs and massive amusement add-ons to the frontage.






After too short a time and a quick pasty for lunch, we were back in the saddle and heading off south along the coast road for our next rendezvous. I have always wanted to visit Whitby Abbey, and being so close we were not going to miss the opportunity this time around. Dave was originally going to leave at Saltburn but with the day so nice and a small buggy cruise going on, he decided to extend his trip for an extra 24 miles down to Whitby with us. We took the coast road which was brilliant and the day was getting warmer with little wind, perfect cruising weather.




Then, taking a steep downhill, there is the distance was the magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey. Unfortunately, with time at a premium across the whole trip, we never planned to actually go into the abbey just do a quick photoshoot outside.



So…. we headed up the ‘no visitor access’ access road to get really close to the abbey. A quick photo stop in the staff and coach drop off car park and we head off again.  On the way out we spot another great photo opportunity too nice to pass by and get some additional shots with the abbey in the background.




At this point Dave and his lovely lady head off towards Whitby for food and the rest of us carry on along the coast towards Scarborough (but not to the fayre sadly). Steve takes the helm for a while and leads us to Scarborough and around the fantastic Marine Drive under the castle, for a good bit of posing.  Alex even manages to find the Tardis so we assume Doctor Who must be on his holidays too.






The Classic Evovles
www.doon.co.uk


this user is offline Chad

  • MBC Moderator
  • Buggy Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 2237
  • Kempsey, Worcestershire
  • Doon SWB
    • Doon Buggies
Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 02:01:58 AM
All too soon we have to say good bye to Steve and the Pier Pressure 4 head off south for a rendezvous with the iconic Humber Bridge. By now we are behind schedule due to too long spent at Whitby and then getting caught in traffic at Scarborough, which leads us to being stuck in peak work traffic passing through Bridlington. All in all this makes us just over an hour late to the bridge.

On the way, amazing I hear my phone ring and of course, as a road safety officer, I find a suitable safe place to pull over. It’s Lawson from the MBC waiting in a layby near the bridge. We are still 45 minutes or so away. Lawson continues to call every 15 minutes or so until we finally we reach the Humber Bridge and pull over in the layby that all the big toll bridges seem to have on the approach, to ensure you have enough change for the toll booth. Unfortunately, Lawson is not there. Turns out he was waiting in another layby on the other approach ‘A’ road to the bridge, so 5 minutes later Lawson appears in his son ’s, Jayson, orange GP buggy with his brother in law for company.




At this point I also get a call from Andy Robinson who is waiting on the other side of the bridge for us, in another layby. We cross the third major bridge of the day over the Humber and cross from Yorkshire to Lincolnshire. A few miles passed the bridge we turn left on the A180 towards Grimsby and Cleethorpes Pier and Andy joins us from a layby without us having to break stride.

Soon we pull over for fuel which gives us chance for a quick chat with Andy and much needed Loo break.



In all honesty, the ride from Scarborough to Grimsby had been a start stop affair through rush hour traffic and behind slow moving HGV’s, meaning it wasn’t as enjoyable as some of the other driving we had so far.

However, we were now just a few miles from our second pier of the day at Cleethorpes although we are now over an hour later than our scheduled time. The last time I was in Cleethorpes was 1996 as part of the National Buggy Register’s DYNO series of beach race meets. In those days we were allowed by the county council to put on 1/8 mile drag race and short course beach event as part of the local festival of transport. Every June between 1994 and 1997 I used to drive my old RAT buggy to Cleethorpes on a Friday night, race on the sand all weekend and drive home late Sunday for work on Monday morning – great memories. Ironically in all that time I never visited the pier at Cleethorpes.

The front of Cleethorpes Pier was not the prettiest we had seen and was dominated by 1970’s / 80’s amusement arcade and fast food places.



However, we spot a slip road down the side of the pier and on heading down we were pleasantly surprised to find a fine example of a lovely Victorian Pier and Ballroom. With the sun starting to set, this made for some nice pictures. Andy even managed to dip a tyre on the sand too.






We had now driven 233 miles today and originally we had planned to stop in Cleethorpes for the night. However, a few weeks before we had a brilliant offer from Russel…. who owns the Grosvenor Hotel in Skegness, who donated two rooms, evening meals and breakfasts for us. This effectively allowed us to donate the hotel cost for that night into the charity pot. Amazing generosity.

The sun was getting low in the sky and the temperature was now starting to drop, so Andy took the lead and showed us the way to his mother’s home town of Skegness some 40 miles away.




A few miles out of Skegness Simon Ward and family were waiting in their nice and tidy RAT to join in the cruise. We were now 5 buggies and finally the bright lights of Skegvegas appeared on the horizon. It turned out that Skegness Pier was literally across the road from Grosvenor Hotel.

time was now around 8:15pm and so we left our buggies on the pavement outside the pier with our willing bodyguards of Lawson, Simon and Andy whilst we checked in, took our bags to the room and ordered our evening meal before the 9pm deadline.





The only issue with the Grosvenor was there was no car park. As it turns out Andy’s mom had kindly offered to house our buggies for the evening as she lived less than a mile away as well as doing a much needed laundry run for us. We were really thankful for her help.

Whilst Andy led the way to his moms, Ruth and Alex made stayed at the hotel trying to find a third small bed for the room. The hotel staff were brilliant and found a put me up bed for Alex in our brilliantly located corner room, which had a great view over the pier.



Andy’s sister was kind enough to drop me back whilst George stole a lift in Andy’s buggy. Andy now left for the night and we managed to get our evening meal and a well-earned real pint of beer from the bar. This made a nice change to our usual can of warm larger in one of our Travelodge Rooms.

For once we found ourselves actually staying the night in a town, rather than out in the wilds in a Travelodge, so we took advantage and decided to go for an evening stroll down towards the pier. The lights of Skegness were burning bright and like Cleethorpes before, Skegness Pier was fronted by a large neon emblazoned arcade. However, once again around the back was a lovely Victorian promenade pier, with original gateway signing and boardwalk.



We finally headed off to bed reflecting on a day that saw us cross 3 iconic bridges, pass through the Tees tunnel, visit 3 more piers and add another 272 miles to the overall trip – now passing the 1000 mile barrier in the first 4 days.
The Classic Evovles
www.doon.co.uk


this user is offline Paul1953

  • Buggy Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 2062
  • Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham
  • MANX SWB
Reply #2 on: October 26, 2016, 03:48:46 PM

Hi Simon... Brilliant photo`s. Wished I had come across the Pier Pressure event sooner than I did. I work pretty close to the Middlesbrough transporter bridge and guess I take it for granted despite it being a unique 1 of a kind structure.

What really struck me though is that the photo`s show blue sky  ;-)up  Something rarer than hen`s teeth in this neck of the woods.  (Hope all went well with the op). 


this user is offline Chad

  • MBC Moderator
  • Buggy Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 2237
  • Kempsey, Worcestershire
  • Doon SWB
    • Doon Buggies
Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 10:52:29 PM
Hi Paul. Thanks for the comments.

Just one thing though, who is this Simon Bloke  ;D

All the best
CHAD.....
The Classic Evovles
www.doon.co.uk


this user is offline Paul1953

  • Buggy Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 2062
  • Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham
  • MANX SWB
Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 02:42:32 PM
Hi Paul. Thanks for the comments.

Just one thing though, who is this Simon Bloke  ;D

All the best
CHAD.....
Here is a story and, if it makes you wonder why on earth I am building another buggy up here in the north east, all I can say is I am one sad bloke  :-X   I come, originally from Shildon, home of the railway. Moved a couple of miles to Newton Aycliffe. Well.. Just after world war 1 the mod were looking for places in the UK to build munitions factories. They had a proviso.. had to be locations that had the most cloud cover throughout the year for obvious reasons. These sites were located and munitions factories built. Just after world war 2 and the imminent expected baby boom following soldiers return the government decided to build "new towns". Two built up my way Peterlee and one right next to the munitions factory- Newton Aycliffe- get it- they missed out the w :o The idea was that as the munitions factories n longer needed would make a good trading estate site to support the town. So I live under clouds most of the year. Why could I have not been born somewhere in Calafornia.. Baja maybe...... Going to need a big brolly I think.  and    ok... CHAD IT IS ;-)up


this user is offline Chad

  • MBC Moderator
  • Buggy Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 2237
  • Kempsey, Worcestershire
  • Doon SWB
    • Doon Buggies
Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 10:23:05 PM
It would have been great to meet up Paul.

Sadly we were really only in each part of the country for no more than a few hours, but we were certainly blessed with fine weather your way. In fact the first 7 days were pretty much dry but then the weather had its own back for the final 3 Days.

The Chad thing is funny.  My real name is Simon Chadwick but ever since I can remember I have been called Chad - even by my family. In fact I don't even associate myself with the name Simon unless at work in meetings with outside parties.

All the best. Chad
The Classic Evovles
www.doon.co.uk