Plan ‘A’ was to go and Marshal on the John Robson, however, following the cancellation of the Devils Paul Brereton(my ride on the Devils) rang to ask me if I would sit in the silly seat for him. It is well known that P&B is not my favorite format but after a long discussion – I eventualy agreed – Plan ‘B’.
Saturday 10th November – Maps all marked up, potty packed & batteries changed in head lamp and the phone goes. Paul (following a dose of Flue) has pains in the back of his chest and is off to Hospital for a check up. Pluerisy Diagnosed – Not running. Bugger. So its back to plan ‘A’, make a flask of Coffee, Burgers & buns out of freezer and off to the wilds of Northumbria and the pleasures of marshalling.
The journey up the M6 is aweful – heavy rain and lots of spray – and to make matters worse I am running behind time (my son borrowed the car and returned it later than agreed). Arriving at the start, the rains of Lancashire & Cumbria have not made it to the North East. Clear skies and without the light polution we suffer in good old Morecambe the stars are out in magnificent glory. Let Ed Graham know I am not running and then sign on as a Marshal. Clocks, Reference to TC8 and pens sorted and off I go.
Arrive at control point and unload camp chair, table, camping stove and burgers are soon frying. The people in this neck of the woods keep stopping and ask if I am OK – no I am not broken down, I’m marshalling on a Rally. Very impressed -I could be sat at the roadside down at home for ever and no-one would think of checking that everything was fine – I would probably be reported to the police for something.
Course car comes through and I await the action. First to arrive is Pete Tyson/ Neil Harrison (at this point they had dropped a minute in total) and then nothing for a further 6 minutes when cars started to arrive thick and fast. Slight gap and then it’s the first of the Road Rally crews – Tony Harrison & Paul Taylor (they had also only dropped a minute) – me thinks this could be tight at the top – this event would decide the Kirkby Lonsdale MC Championship between these two crews.
Nothing of any excitement happened after that other than the none arrival of Alan Barnes who was sat in with Simon Boardman – Me and Alan have been nip & tuck all year in the SD34MSG championship – so (whilst I don’t wish them any harm) my spirits are raised.
Finish my stint and its off for a bit of spectating. I chose a difficult to spot Slot right leading down to a Ford near the finish. Difficult to spot ! Not many of the crews got it the first time and there was plenty of tooing and froing trying to find this slot – it looks like the road required is the access to the back of a row of cottages and 200 yards further up the road is a far more tempting turning.
Great night, Great people and Ed Graham is (probably unknowingly) a total comedy act and great entertainment
Maurice Ellison – Marshal