English Stages and Reports

A list of the English stages are detailed in the table below, and beneath this, read the  accounts of the stages completed.

Morton - English Map

Stage From To Via Miles Done
E1 Osterley Park(see note below) Reading Datchet, Eton, Windsor 26 Yes
E2 Reading Winchester Bucklebury, Newbury, Whitchurch 42  Yes
E3 Winchester Lyndhurst Southampton, Beaulieu, Buckler’s Hard 30  Yes
E4 Lyndhurst Stonehenge Christchurch, Bournemouth, Ringwood, Salisbury 40
E5 Stonehenge Portland Blandford Forum, Dorchester, Weymouth 45
E6 Portland Lyme Regis Bridport 30
E7 Lyme Regis Newton Abbot Seaton, Sidmouth, Exeter 36
E8 Newton Abbot Devonport Totnes, Plymouth 30 Yes
E9 Devonport St Austell Saltash, Liskeard 35
E10 St Austell Falmouth 26
E11 Falmouth Land’s End Helston, St Anthony, Penzance 45
E12 Land’s End Wadebridge Sennen, St Just, Redruth, Fraddon 44
E13 Wadebridge Launceston 35
E14 Launceston Okehampton Tavistock, Princetown, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Moretonhampsted 55 Yes
E15 Okehampton Clovelly Great Torrington, Bideford 40
E16 Clovelly Lynmouth Barnstable, Blackmoor Gate 43
E17 Lynmouth Bridgewater Countisbury, Porlock, Minehead, Watchet 45
E18 Bridgewater Bath Glastonbury, Wells 42 Yes
E19 Bath Bristol Corsham, Bradford-on-Avon 35 Yes
E20 Bristol Ross-on-Wye Gloucester 40
E21 Ross-on-Wye Worcester Hereford 40
E22 Worcester Ludlow Tenbury Wells 25 Yes
E23 Ludlow Shrewsbury Church Stretton, Wroxeter 28 Yes
E24 Shrewsbury Chester Ellesmere, Wrexham 41 Yes
E25 Chester Wigan Warrington 38 Yes
E26 Wigan Lancaster Preston, Garstang 35 Yes
E27 Lancaster Grasmere Levens Bridge, Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside 35 Yes
E28 Grasmere Penrith Rydal Water, Keswick 34 Yes
E29 Penrith Brampton Carlisle, Longtown, Gretna Green 36  Yes
E30 Brampton Hexham Housesteads 37  Yes
E31 Hexham Durham Corbridge, Newcastle 38
E32 Durham Northallerton Darlington 39 Yes
E33 Northallerton York Thirsk 32 Yes
E34 York Bawtry Doncaster 44
E35 Bawtry Lincoln Gainsborough 42
E36 Lincoln Boston Sleaford 43
E37 Boston Peterborough Spalding 30 Yes
E38 Peterborough Oakham Tickencote 25 Yes
E39 Oakham Wisbech 38 Yes
E40 Wisbech Dereham Swaffham 40 Yes
E41 Dereham Cromer Norwich 40 Yes
E42 Cromer Dereham Stiffkey, Peddars Way, Wells-next-the-sea, Fakenham 35 Yes
E43 Dereham Newmarket Thetford, Brandon 40
E44 Newmarket Market Harborough Ely, Huntingdon, Thrapston, Kettering 50
E45 Market Harborough Kenilworth Coventry 35
E46 Kenilworth Banbury Warwick, Leamington Spa 35 Yes
E47 Banbury Aylesbury Bicester 35
E48 Aylesbury London (see note below) Watford 30

Note

Morton headed West out of London, on the A4, and started his journey at ‘the place where London ends’. He describes new suburbs. My guess – though you may know better – is that this would be somewhere near Osterley. Feel free to choose your own starting point. In the same vein, coming back into London from the North, end your journey at any convenient point in the suburbs.

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REPORTS

Just click on the photos to enlarge them!

Section E1

Driver: Jim Beaumont, Passenger: Alan Doel
Car: 1936 Wolseley 25, Series II, DKJ 87
Date: July 6th 2014

Osterley Park

Osterley Park

We arrived at Osterley Park at 10am, a Sunday morning, parked up and found our way to Osterley House. It had a lot of steps leading up to a Greek temple of an entrance. After having coffee and cake we left and threaded our way through the suburbs to the A4.

This took us past Heathrow Airport and just before the M4 we turned onto the B470 for Datchet. Turning left and crossing the railway we met the River Thames where we turned right and headed to Windsor. Here was a very steep hill which the Wolseley had to take in second. At the top was the castle on the left and shops on the right and the whole place was teeming with visitors.

River Thames at Datchet

River Thames at Datchet

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Eton College

Eton College

Eton Wick

Eton Wick

Forbury Park

Forbury Park

From there it was the by-pass towards Slough and right into Eton and the old College buildings. Then onto Eton Wick and the grassy flood plain before rejoining the A4 and on through Maidenhead to Reading.

We concluded with a visit to Forbury Gardens and the lion statue.

 

Jim Beaumont

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Section E2

Driver: Jim Beaumont, Passenger: Alan Doel
Car: 1936 Wolseley 25, Series II, DKJ 87
Date: October 15th 2014

Calcot Old Post Office

Calcot Old Post Office

Approaching Bucklebury Common

Approaching Bucklebury Common

‘Our starting point for this stage of the tour was the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, which is on the A4. At 0930 we were on our way, passing the old Post Office at Calcot. At Theale we turned off the A4 and onto country roads going through villages, Southend, Chapel Row and Upper Bucklebury. Bucklebury Common still has many gorse bushes, as mentioned by Morton.

Newbury High Street

Newbury High Street

River Kennet at Newbury

River Kennet at Newbury

Turning south through Thatcham we rejoined the A4 and onto Newbury for a coffee stop. Leaving Newbury we took the A339 for Kingsclere and Cannon Heath Down where we stopped for a photo. After this we took a right fork and followed a Roman Road (Ceasar’s Belt) to Whitchurch. From here we followed country roads to Micheldever to the A33 and B3047 into Winchester.

Westgate, Winchester

Westgate, Winchester

Buttermarket Cross, Winchester

Buttermarket Cross, Winchester

Jim Beaumont

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Section E3

This is a report on our visit to Southampton, Winchester, Romsey, Lyndhurst, Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard – all places of interest between Southampton and Bucklers Hard.

Arcadia leaving Southampton

Arcadia leaving Southampton

Our journey was split into two days, both starting from our home in Petersfield. We had visited Southampton on the 15th August on a coach tour from Petersfield with the prime aim of seeing 3 cruise liners depart. As H V Morton wrote about being impressed by the departure of an Atlantic liner we thought it appropriate to include our visit as we saw three depart – the Arcadia, the Oriana and the Ruby Princess. The ease with which they could glide out of their dock without so much as a tug is truly amazing. This was seen on a 2 hour harbour cruise, Morton would also be amazed at the huge harbour development, not just for cruise ships but for the container vessels and residential high rise blocks. We had no time to see the many other interesting buildings and museums in the town.

At Hinton Ampner

At Hinton Ampner

A week later on the 21st August we had some business to attend to in Winchester so it seemed a good idea to extend the day by going onto Bucklers Hard and use our Wolseley 1500. Hope we are excused for not including Southampton again – Southampton traffic is not a happy place for a 54 year old car or for an 84 year old driver!

 

 

 

The Round Table at Winchester castle

The Round Table at Winchester castle

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

 

 

 

 

Whilst in Winchester we saw the famous Round Table reputed to have been used by King Arthur, the Cathedral and the St.Cross Hospital. The latter is a famous home for old gentlemen and used to welcome wayfarers with a drink. No longer I’m afraid, now it is £4-50 for entry and guided tour. Still a nice relaxed place to visit, but we warned finding a parking place in the immediate vicinity is nigh impossible unless you have a permit.

Alms Houses at St Cross Winchester

Alms Houses at St Cross Winchester

Old streets overlooking Winchester Cathedral

Old streets overlooking Winchester Cathedral

By early afternoon we had progressed to Romsey where we had a quick look round the town and a snack lunch. Once the home of Lord Palmerston he is remembered by a huge statue in the town square. Like Southampton and Winchester there was again lots to see but we had not time to look around.

Romsey Town Centre

Romsey Town Centre

Once more on the run we reached Lyndhurst after about one quarter hours in the notorious T-junction which gives access to the High Street and the town centre. No time to stop we emerged from the town onto the open New Forest with its traditional ponies and even an odd donkey holding up all the traffic. Nevertheless it was the first time all day that we had a relatively traffic free drive and we had a pleasant ride down to Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard. Now it was years since I had last visited Bucklers Hard and in those days you could drive into the village with its delightful wide grass verges overlooked by lovely old cottages and the view down to the river. I was looking forward to seeing it again but it was not to be. The village is now cordoned off and an entrance fee is payable. “Could we go to the village”? we asked. “Sorry it closed at 5-30” – it was then 5-35. “How long has it been like this?” I asked –“about 50 years” I am told – good heavens I am not that old, but on reflection I realised it must have been 30 or 40 years! Ah, well you don’t get much for nowt these days!

That was enough for us that day and we set off for home to be hurtled along the M27 and M3. It had been an interesting day with its reminders of places not seen for a while but I think it would have been more enjoyable in HV Morton’s day. It was unfortunate that we had not more time to spend at various spots on route. There is a lot to see on this sector and two or three days on it could be beneficial.

The total distance covered with our start in Petersfield was about 120 miles which the old car covered effortlessly.

Ken Binks

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Section E8 and part E14

Teign Estuary

Teign Estuary

18th May 2014. The centre of Newton Abbot lies on the South side of the river Teign but it is now pedestrianised and so we lined up for our HV Morton tour in three Hornet Specials at a spot on the river with views out over the estuary.

Totnes

Totnes

Setting off towards the west we skirted Newton Abbot and were soon on the old Totnes Road. The centre of Totnes is largely unaltered from Morton’s time with the High Street still bridged by the clock arch.

Plymouth Sound

Plymouth Sound

Leaving Totnes on the Plymouth road soon had us in the village of Avonwick. Here the sign posts would have us go up onto the A38 dual carriageway but a little determined navigation is all that was required to follow the old route through villages with such delightful Devon names as Ugborough, Ermington and Yealmpton. We diverted here from the direct road for a view down over the Plymouth Sound. No longer the home of the British Fleet but still with the famous forts and breakwaters built in Napoleonic times now providing protection for ferries, pleasure craft and other watersports. Also it was time to stop in the sunshine for a morning coffee and cream cake (Devonshire cream of course).

The Barbican, Plymouth

The Barbican, Plymouth

From this point the route to Plymouth took us through a vast urban sprawl and down to the old fishing port, now generally referred to as the Barbican. This is a little bit of Plymouth which escaped the worst ravages of war. However the fishing harbour has now been lock gated and the trawlers replaced with pleasure craft, but the flourishing trade at the many hostelries around the old dock still continues unabated. In fact, what with beer, cider and fish and chips to be sampled we spent so long that no-one felt inclined to walk up the hill to the Hoe where someone in the distant past played bowls.

Devonport, now dominated by three huge submarine pens, is difficult to see from the Devon side and is best appreciated from the Torpoint ferry on a crossing to Cornwall. Too far for this trip, so we made our way back to pick up Moreton’s return route at Princetown in the wilds of Dartmoor.

Warren Inn

Warren Inn

The route to Moretonhampstead takes one past the Warren Inn, where the log fire has been kept burning since Moreton’s time, and few hundred years before that.

Widecombe in the moor

Widecombe in the moor

A slight diversion to the south brings one to Widecombe in the Moor, where the fine church can be seen from a distance beckoning travellers hence. Full of tourists still, but it was an Antipodean, not American, who offered to take the picture of us in our cars.

Hay Tor

Hay Tor

Now too late for the motor museum at Moretonhampstead (full of Wolseleys and well worth a visit) we finished our day with a picnic tea by the Rocks at Hay Tor. In the cars were Rick and Ann Pardoe, Richard and Margaret Candy, Rob Horne and Alan Boyce.

Rick Pardoe.

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Section E18

We commenced our journey from Bridgewater, a small market town located near
the mouth of the river Parrett, the birth place of Robert Blake, the famous
17th century British admiral.

We proceeded east avoiding any involvement with the M5 motorway to
Glastonbury observing the famous Glastonbury Tor through the mist & rain.
The town is probably better known today for its annual pop music festival
than for its romantic links to King Arthur and his knights of the round
table.

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral

Bishops Palace, Wells

Bishops Palace, Wells

We continued east to the beautiful old city of Wells, the smallest city in England with its magnificent cathedral encircled by buildings almost as ancient as its self. The Bishop’s Palace with its defensive walls and surrounded by a moat crossed by a drawbridge leading to a castle like entrance.

Royal Crescent, Bath

Royal Crescent, Bath

Holburne Museum, Bath

Holburne Museum, Bath

 

We arrived in Bath, our final destination via the A39 trunk road clocking our final mileage at 43miles (1 mile longer than HMV). Bath is so grand and special that it has been designated a World Heritage site. The city retains some of the most complete Georgian architecture, the Royal Crescent and the Circus probably being the best known. The recently refurbished and reopened Holburne art museum being another excellent example.

Don & Mavis Gray

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Section E19

24th August – a warm Sunday afternoon!

Great Pulteney St, Bath

Great Pulteney St, Bath

We commenced our trip in the city of Bath, departing via one of Bath’s jewels, crossing the Pulteney Bridge. The bridge, comparable only to one similar in Venice, is lined on both sides by small specialist shops. We then proceeded down Great Pulteney Street, the longest and widest Georgian street in the city and on to the city ring road (unlikely to be in operation in HV Morton’s day) and eventually joining the A4 and headed east.

 

Corsham Court

Corsham Court

After approximately 10 miles (including a new by-pass) we arrived at Corsham, a quiet unspoilt town where peacocks wander freely around the streets. We took the opportunity to visit Corsham Court, a Royal Manor in the days of the Saxon kings and now home to the Methuen family. Sir Paul Methuen’s celebrated and extremely valuable collection of 16th and 17th century Old Master paintings are on display in a special picture gallery
designed by Capability Brown.

A Corsham bird

A Corsham bird

A new friend at Corsham Court

A new friend at Corsham Court

Tea stop in Bradford on Avon

Tea stop in Bradford on Avon

Our next stop was Bradford on Avon which owes its prosperity to the wool trade and is often described as a mini Bath. Bradford OA is one of our favourite towns locally and is very much an architectural treasure chest with its grand houses, handsome public buildings and churches plus numerous ancient alleyways. It was therefore here that we took the opportunity to enjoy our afternoon tea!!

 

 

 

The final stage of our trip was the drive to Bristol, the largest centre of culture, employment and education in the region and birthplace of the engineering pioneer and inventor Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Two examples of Brunel’s genius can be observed in the city – The Clifton Suspension bridge and the first steam ship the SS Great Britain.

Bristol Suspension Bridge

Bristol Suspension Bridge

Our recorded mileage was 41 miles suggesting perhaps that the new highways improvements, presumably built to relieve traffic congestion, created longer journeys.

Don & Mavis Gray

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Sections E22 & E23

Date: 27th September 2014
Driver – Syd Cheetham: Passenger – Sue Cheetham
Wolseley 14/56 1937 HF7306

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

For section E22, we set off on the return journey starting at Worcester, with its lovely Cathedral and famous Pottery, although now made somewhere in Eastern Europe, and along the A443 to the market town of Tenbury Wells, passing Hop Farms and the tower clock of Abberley Hall. We then proceeded towards the ancient market town of Ludlow, with its castle built originally by Walter de Lacy and started in 1086, the town is also well known for its food festival.

The mileage for this section was 23 miles.

 

For section E23, we left Ludlow and continued on the A49 through Church Stretton past
Stokesay Castle a 13th Century Manor House, detouring to take in Wroxeter (Viroconium) which was the fourth largest city in Roman Britain.

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Wroxeter

Wroxeter

Then onto to the ancient town of Shrewsbury and yet another castle, built by Roger de Montgomery in 1070. There is a lot left of the original castle, but it played its part in the Civil War and today houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum.

Total mileage: 37 miles for this section.

Syd Cheetham

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Section E24

Our intrepid East Anglian band of travellers, which consisted of two classic cars, four adults and a dog, were taking a break in the wilds of Shropshire and found that during our time there, we were able to trace H V Morton’s steps on one of his journeys. As we did with our local area trips, we tried to keep to the quieter roads and avoid the newer dual carriageways and motorways as much as was possible.

Attringham

Attringham

English Bridge, Shrewsbury

English Bridge, Shrewsbury

Our first port of call was to be Shrewsbury, which we approached from the Wroxeter side on the B4380. This would probably have been the direction used by Morton on his approach to the town. On this road, just outside Shrewsbury, we came across Attringham Park Estate and had to stop and take a look. The estate was built around 1780 for the first Lord Berwick and would still have been in private ownership in Morton’s time, but is now owned by The National Trust. Whilst there, we were treated to a charming little playlet based on the round-robin letters from the daughter of the house to her friends at about the time of the First World War. We then did a tour of the house and grounds and saw the on-going restoration work that is taking place, mostly to renew the original glass roof.

The Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury

The Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Tudor building

Shrewsbury Tudor building

Next, we got to look around Charles Darwin’s birthplace of Shrewsbury and found it to be a delightful market town with its two bridges; the Welsh Bridge and the English Bridge. There is still evidence of the half timbered, overhanging Tudor buildings that Morton described, although many of these in the town centre are now in use as businesses of various kinds.

The Knockin Shop

The Knockin Shop

While meandering our way through the countryside vaguely towards Ellesmere, we passed through a village named Knockin, and yes, there is a Knockin shop, which we had to photograph for posterity!

Narrow boats at Ellesmere

Narrow boats at Ellesmere

Ellesmere

Ellesmere

Journeying on, we arrived at Ellesmere, a pretty little town, which is situated on the Llangollen Canal. There are still signs of it once being a busy area for transporting goods around the country by canal barge. A disused warehouse building by the side of the canal bears testament to this once thriving commercial side. This spur of the canal is now used as short-term mooring for narrow boats to stock up with provisions at the local chandlers (Tesco).

Market Hall, Wrexham

Market Hall, Wrexham

Tudor building, Wrexham

Tudor building, Wrexham

Moving on to Wrexham we found that there are still a few older buildings surviving , including Tudor buildings, which as in Shrewsbury, have the street level shops incorporated into them. The streets here do not have quite the ‘old world charm’ of Chester or Shrewsbury.

 

Nearing Chester

Nearing Chester

Finally, we headed for Chester, but lack of time and volume of traffic meant that we would have to postpone our full exploration of this city until another time.

Paul Scotten

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Section E25

City Walls, Chester

City Walls, Chester

Chester Racecourse

Chester Racecourse

Watergate Inn, Chester

Watergate Inn, Chester

We set off for Chester from Prescot at 11am, it looked like the town centre was pedestrianised and it was very busy, we were hoping to get to Eastgate St and get a photo by the clock but decided to stay out of the town and took a few snaps on the outskirts.

Chester Football Club

Chester Football Club

Dunham Arms, Dunham

Dunham Arms, Dunham

Frodsham Parish Church

Frodsham Parish Church

We then got a bit lost and ended up heading for north Wales, so turned around and headed back towards Chester to pick up the A56. It’s a quiet road now because of the M56 so it was a pleasant drive stopping off at the Dunham Arms for a shandy and a sandwich, the manager commented on the car and we explained what we were doing, then we passed through Helsby and Frodsham on our way to Warrington.

Helsby Arms, Helsby

Helsby Arms, Helsby

Warrington Town Hall

Warrington Town Hall

Warrington Masonic Hall

Warrington Masonic Hall

Again as we approached the town it got very busy, stopping in Winmarleigh St to get a shot of the Town Hall, which had to be quick as there was a traffic warden looming. Then off again on the A49 through Newton le Willows and crossing the East Lancs and into Ashton in Makerfield, the traffic was building up again and was busy all the way into Wigan.

Trencherfield Mill, Wigan

Trencherfield Mill, Wigan

Wigan Pier

Wigan Pier

We were going to stop at Wigan Pier for a cup of tea and take a few snaps, I remember it being a heritage centre with stalls and a cafe, but that has all been closed and now it’s just the pub, so pulling into the forecourt we again took some snaps and made our way home.

Mortons route said 38 miles and I suppose it would be if we hadn’t headed the wrong way in Chester, so we ended up doing 45 miles, We had fitted the car with a new radiator core, so even with all the heavy traffic it ran beautifully, and had no trouble at all. getting home at 5pm. On reflection it may have been better doing the the run at the weekend.

Bob and Geoff Cliffe

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Part Sections E26 & E27.

Mike Stanley led a North West Region attack on the H V Morton route, covering miles in stages E26 and E27 just a fortnight after the project began!  Mike was in his 18/85S.  Also taking part were Bob Langston in his 14/60, Peter and Pauline Cope and Colin Briggs in non-Wolseleys.  Below is a photograph of Mike’s car in Garstang.

Mike Stanley's car at Garstang

Mike Stanley’s car at Garstang

Mike Stanley

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Sections E26, E27 & E28.

After studying the H.V. Morton information booklet, which was sent to all members, we decided we would like to do part of the tour as near as possible to his original route. So after a lot of map studying and deliberation we thought that with an early start and decent weather we could comfortably do stage E26 Wigan to Lancaster (35mls), stage E27 Lancaster to Grasmere (35mls) and finally stage E28 Grasmere to Penrith (34mls), with a return journey south along the A6 over Shap Fell and down to Kendal, Lancaster, Preston and back to Southport.

We decided rather than pick a specific date to do the tour, which may have had us travelling in inclement weather, it would be better to listen to the weather forecast on a Saturday night and do the tour the following day, preferably during June or July to take advantage of the light nights.
Our day finally came on Sunday 22nd June, so with 641 CAB filled with fuel and the trip gauge set to zero we left Southport at 7am. We drove across country to Wigan, where we picked up our 1st stage of our H.V. Morton route, the A49 just north of Wigan town centre. We then travelled northbound along the A49 and continued north to the end of the A49 at Bamber Bridge. This is where you also find Junction 29 of the M6, which was the southern end of the Preston bypass opened in 1958 (the 1st length of motorway in Britain).

Leaving the A49 we joined the original A6 through Bamber Bridge which is now the B6258. Bamber Bridge itself was bypassed in the 1980’s with a new section of the A6. Eventually at Walton le Dale we rejoined the original A6 opposite where Atkinson vehicles were built until 1975 (no prizes for guessing this is now a retail park). We then followed the original A6 through Preston and past Junction 32 of the M6 which was the northern end of the Preston bypass. We continued northwards and as we approached Garstang, which was the first town on the A6 to be bypassed in 1926, we asked ourselves would H.V. Morton have driven through Garstang or would he have used the then new bypass. We ourselves decided to drive through Garstang which is now the B6430.

After rejoining the original A6 we continued northwards past Junction 33 of the M6, which was the southern end of the Lancaster bypass opened in 1960. When we reached Lancaster we could still follow the A6, apart from crossing the River Lune over a new bridge, which is one way northbound. (The A6 southbound crosses the river over the old Skerton Bridge which is also one way in the opposite direction).

On leaving Lancaster we continued northwards through Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth (where the film Brief Encounter was filmed starring Trevor Howard & Celia Johnson). Just north of Carnforth, still on the A6, near Junction 35A of the M6 (which was the northern end of the Lancaster bypass), we decided to have a break at Truckhaven Services. In the past we have found this to be much more pleasant and more reasonably priced than the motorway services.

Heversham Church

Heversham Church

Continuing northwards on the A6 we passed close to Leighton Hall, once home of the Gillow family, the well known furniture manufacturers, then on through Beetham. This was where we encountered our first traffic hold up which was, believe it or not, an entrance to a Car Boot Sale. After passing through Milnthorpe, at Heversham (which was bypassed in 1937) we took the old road through the village, which is now unclassified, and rejoined the A6 just before Levens. We passed Levens Hall famous for its Topiary Gardens, and here were forced to turn off the A6 over Levens Bridge and on to the new part of the A590, at this point the A6 is one way southbound. Once on the A590 we had to keep on the new road for about 4 miles (parts of the A6 still exist but it is impossible to use them). Then we were able to pick up the A6 once again and drop down into Kendal which was bypassed in 1971 by a new link road direct to Junction 36 of the M6.

Leaving Kendal on the A5284

Leaving Kendal on the A5284

In Kendal town centre we had to follow the one way system as the original A6 is now partly pedestrianised. This is where we left the A6 and took the original A591 which is now the A5284. We followed this to the northern end of the Kendal bypass. After a short distance we carried on following the original A591, which is now unclassified, through the village of Staveley which was bypassed in 1988. This is where we encountered our second traffic hold up of the day which was yet another Car Boot Sale.

Wordsworth's Grave

Wordsworth’s Grave

After rejoining the A591 we carried on through the heart of the Lake District travelling through the towns of Windermere and Ambleside still following the A591. We passed Rydal Water and Grasmere on our left and on to the village of Grasmere itself where we had planned to stop for lunch. To enter Grasmere Village we turned off the A591 on to the B5287 which takes you through the village centre and eventually back on to the A591, we thought that possibly at one time the A591 went through the village centre and was now bypassed but this is not so as a 1922 road map shows the roads exactly as they are today, so H.V. Morton would have found the roads as we did. As we turned into the village, on our right we saw a sign for the Lakeland Classic Car Show and as we had already planned to stop at Grasmere for something to eat we felt that we could spare a couple of hours to visit the show. We parked on the car park for the show and also parked there was the 21/60 sports coupe special owned by Nick & Helyn Pighills. There were no Wolseleys on display at the show. Grasmere Village is well known for being the home of the poet William Wordsworth where his grave can be seen in the local churchyard. We left Grasmere Village and rejoined the A591 and continued northwards past Thirlmere on our left then on to Keswick which is situated on the banks of Derwentwater.

To say Keswick was busy was an understatement, as there was a Summer Festival taking place, but we eventually found parking at the Rugby Ground. After spending an hour in Keswick we left by taking the A66 (which in H.V. Mortons day was the A594 and is now also the Keswick bypass, opened in 1976).We then travelled eastwards towards Penrith. Of the whole journey this was the worst 18 miles, as the A66 is now a major cross country route and is a very busy, fast and mostly single carriageway road.

Musgrave's Monument, Penrith

Musgrave’s Monument, Penrith

When we arrived at Penrith, the town centre, in total contrast to Keswick was completely deserted. We had intended to park on the main car park but found that this was now a large Sainsburys, but as it was 4.00pm on a Sunday we had no trouble parking. The mileage covered on our journey from Wigan to Penrith via Lancaster, Grasmere and Keswick was 110 miles and as this had completed the 3 sections of the H.V. Morton tour we had set out to cover it was time for us to commence our homeward journey.

Summit of Shap Fell (on return journey) opposite the tribute memorial to all drivers and crews of commercial vehicles

Summit of Shap Fell (on return journey) opposite the tribute memorial to all drivers and crews of commercial vehicles

After a photo shoot in Penrith, we started our journey south along the A6, which even today is a most pleasant and traffic free road. The journey home was uneventful and after a couple of short stops and no hold ups, as the Car Booters had long gone, we eventually arrived back in Southport about 8.30pm. Although it had been a long day it was most enjoyable and informative.

Mileage covered on H.V. Morton tour 110 miles
Total mileage covered on the day 218 miles

Vic and Thelma Waddilove
Wolseley 1500, 641 CAB

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Sections E27 & E28.

On Tuesday 24th June, Jan and I decided to have a day out driving around the Lake District, covering stages E27 and E28 of the Register’s H V Morton tour, and using our 1948 Wolseley 14/60, registration JOF 689.

Ashton Memorial

Ashton Memorial

Beetham Hall

Beetham Hall

For stage 27, we set off from Lancaster, a city that will have expanded considerably from Morton’s days, although many of the landmarks such as the Ashton Memorial , would have been seen by him. We drove northwards along the A6, through Carnforth and on towards Kendal. Beetham Hall, now a farmhouse and incorporating the remains of a 14th century peel tower, will have changed little.

Heversham Church

Heversham Church

Heversham signpost

Heversham signpost

The village of Heversham is now bypassed , but Morton would have driven through the village, seeing Heversham church in the centre. On to the busy market town of Kendal where sections of the original A6 have been carved up and renamed, following the development

Kendal nameplate

Kendal nameplate

Kendal

Kendal

of the dual carriageway built to enable tourists to access the Lake District more easily.

Staveley

Staveley

From Kendal, we took the A591 which travels through the centre of the Lake District and which surely must rank as having many of the loveliest views in England. We ignored the Staveley bypass, instead choosing to drive through the old village as Morton would have done.

Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Bridge House, Ambleside

Bridge House, Ambleside

We continued northwards, driving through Windermere and Ambleside, both lovely villages, although possibly victims of their own success, as they are so busy that they are now quite difficult to navigate through with the volume of traffic and tourists.

Grasmere

Grasmere

This stage of the tour ends at Grasmere, again a major ‘honeypot’ for tourists, and which therefore is now bypassed. The village itself is unlikely to have changed significantly from Morton’s days, although he would not have had to contend with the coachloads of tourists which visit this gem most days of the year.

Dunmail Raise

Dunmail Raise

For stage 28, we departed from Grasmere and headed north up the A591 towards Keswick. The long uphill drag from Grasmere is called Dunmail Raise, and there is a preserved AA phone box towards the top, which is now a listed building.

Thirlmere

Thirlmere

Coming down the other side of Dunmail Raise, we headed towards Thirlmere, a reservoir supplying water to Manchester, and took the quieter lane along the west side of the lake. This enabled us to stop and admire the views along the lake. At the end of the lake, the lane rejoined the main A591 and we headed on towards Keswick.

Old signpost, Keswick

Old signpost, Keswick

The road dips down steeply into Keswick, but we turned right towards Penrith just before entering the town. Keswick is a busy and interesting town, but we decided not to stop there, and to continue on to Penrith.

Underneath Blencathra

Underneath Blencathra

The A66 follows the same route as Morton did, although it has been upgraded and straightened, making it a busy and fast road. We found the most interesting point was passing under Blencathra, one of the highest mountains in Cumbria, and currently for sale!

Penrith nameplate

Penrith nameplate

The road raced on towards Penrith where this section ends, and we finished just after entering the town.

Going home, we continued our drive down south along the old A6, finishing the route having driven 130 pleasant and trouble free miles.

Bob Langston

  ———————————————————————

Sections E29 & E30.

On 18th September, Jan and I set out to drive a circular route over 2 days in our Wolseley 14/60, incorporating two more Morton stages – E29 and E30. These would take us over the hills of the Lake District to the very top of Cumbria, into Scotland (just!), back into Cumbria and on into Northumberland, before returning back over the Pennines.

Leaving Penrith

Leaving Penrith

Approaching Carlisle town walls

Approaching Carlisle town walls

In glorious sunny weather, we drove up the M6 to the start point of stage E29 at Penrith, where we joined the A6 heading north towards Carlisle. The scenery of this 17 mile stretch to Carlisle is pleasant but without any major highlights. Carlisle on the other hand, is quite a spectacular city, with good examples of Roman city walls and gates, a cathedral and a castle, all built in red sandstone and well worth seeing.

I bet Morton didn't do this!

I bet Morton didn’t do this!

However, with a good distance still to go, we drove straight through the city, joined the A7 and headed north to Longtown. Just before reaching Longtown, we passed the Sandsyke Industrial Park where Cumbria Metal Finishing are located. I had decided to drop a spare bumper in for rechroming whilst I was passing, as they are a recommended company and do an excellent job at a reasonable price. Then onwards to Longtown, where we crossed over the River Esk on a lovely old bridge, again made from sandstone.

Longtown bridge

Longtown bridge

The Blacksmiths Shop

The Blacksmiths Shop

It seems that Morton may then have decided to head for Gretna Green, a few miles further North West, only to then double back to Longtown and onto Brampton, so naturally, we followed suit! Gretna Green is just inside Scotland, and is famous for its Blacksmith shop which has been the wedding venue for eloping couples since the 1700’s. Today also, it had a wedding on when we arrived, but judging by all the pomp and ceremony, I doubt that this couple had eloped! The place is now very much a tourist spot and is no doubt a far cry from Morton’s day. Far more interesting to me was the polling station opposite the blacksmith shop, where the Scottish public were voting on their country’s possible split from the UK.

The Moot Hall, Brampton

The Moot Hall, Brampton

Lanercost Priory

Lanercost Priory

Then back towards Longtown and on to Brampton along the A6071. Brampton is a lovely little market town with an interesting moot hall in the centre of the market place. The place is well worth a little time exploring its central streets and shops. Brampton is also the end of stage E29, and hence we now started stage E30 of the Morton tour by driving north east towards Hadrian’s Wall, passing Lanercost Priory, a stunning ruin with a large newer church built into it.

 

 

On Hadrian's Wall!

On Hadrian’s Wall!

From here we joined the B6318, which follows Hadrians Wall for many miles, and is so straight that I would imagine it is the original Roman Road and will have indeed been the route driven by Morton. There are many remnants of the wall visible from the road, indeed many parts are right next to it. However, after a few miles, we had to turn off to Haltwhistle where we were booked into an excellent B&B for the night.

 

 

 

The next morning was misty and damp, but insufficient to dampen our enjoyment of the tour. We set off back to the B6318 and continued to follow Hadrian’s Wall until we arrived at Housesteads Roman Fort. This is one many forts along the wall, and which now just consists of the bases of all the original walls and buildings, along with a small museum. The site is none the less really interesting and very evocative of the area’s former turbulent history.

Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort

Continuing along the B6318, we eventually left the wall, crossing over the North Tyne river on another lovely old sandstone bridge at Low Brunton, and headed south to Hexham. Hexham is another really interesting little town, with many old and narrow streets, a cathedral and many historical buildings including ‘The old gaol’. A town well worth stopping in and exploring.

Hexham

Hexham

This was the end point of stage E30 of the Morton tour, and so we headed south west and homewards, travelling over the hills to Alston, where the car had to work really hard as the road went up over the moors. A wonderful 2 days of touring during which we covered 190 trouble free miles over mostly quiet roads amidst some breath taking scenery.

Bob Langston

  ———————————————————————

Sections E32 & E33.

Darlington

Darlington

Darlington

Darlington

After our Drive it Day event at Shildon, Peter and Judith in the incredible New 14, Keith and Fiona in their newly acquired 16/60, and Betty and I in our 6/90 set off on the H V Morton “trail” via Darlington ,thence on the A168 (the old Great North Road) for Northallerton, covering sections E32 and E33.

Northallerton

Northallerton

Northallerton

Northallerton

Northallerton

Northallerton

Geoff Craggs & Peter Seaword

 ———————————————————————

Section E36

Name of Driver: Stuart Nell
Car Used: Wolseley 18/85 II
Registration Number: NDO 71H

After completing a section of the H V Morton route with the East Anglian Section from Peterborough to Boston I decided to extend my journey home by completing a portion of the route taken by H V Morton from Lincoln to Boston albeit in reverse. There is very little in H V Morton’s Book In Search of England to give any clues about the actual route he took but for the purposes of this exercise I am presuming he used the old turnpike route through Hubberts Bridge, Heckington and Sleaford before taking the A15 north to Lincoln.

H V Morton comments on the flat monotony of the Lincolnshire Fens and the lack of landmarks on which to focus. Visitors often comment on the beauty of the large open skies but this is perhaps a kind euphemistic remark meaning that below the sky there is little of interest in the landscape which evolved from the drainage of marshes by Dutch Engineers in the C18th. As a result the landscape is as flat as a witch’s tit. Because of the part the Dutch engineers played in the history of this area and also perhaps because the landscape resembled the polders in the Netherlands this part of Lincolnshire is called Holland. The fields of wheat H V Morton refers to are now replaced with acres of vegetables. The once thriving bulb industry that was prevalent in the C20th century has all but disappeared.

Heckington Windmill

Heckington Windmill

On leaving Boston the road runs arrow straight along the bank of the large South Forty Foot Drain and railway past Hubberts Bridge and Swineshead Bridge. Both these settlements are little more than a cluster of houses with a railway station and a bridge over the Drain. At Swineshead Bridge the route joins the A17 to Heckington and Sleaford. At Heckington there is an impressive eight sailed working windmill. Heckington is one of those unspoilt small Lincolnshire towns which, now having been by passed, must be much as H V Morton would have found it. It is not a long way to Sleaford which is a small market town which like Heckington is quite unspoilt and has a fine church. The name of the town arose because there was a ford over the River Slea.

 

Cogglesford Water Mill

Cogglesford Water Mill

On his route to Heckington from Sleaford H V Morton would have passed by the picturesque Cogglesford Water Mill. Both Heckington Mill and Cogglesford Mill are in working order but were probably not worth mentioning in the 1920’s because then they were both operating commercially.

 

 

 

 

At Sleaford the route joins the main A15 and travels north to Lincoln. The flat landscape gives rise to a more undulating landscape. Names like Nocton Heath and Bracebridge Heath may give a clue to the original character of the countryside in this part of the route.

Newport Arch

Newport Arch

The route took by H V Morton through Lincoln is not clear but it seems likely that he may have stayed at the White Hart Hotel which would have been the most favoured hotel in Lincoln at the time. Arriving from the north he would have passed under the Newport Arch which is a remnant of a C3rd Roman gateway. The arch is reputed to be the oldest arch in the UK under which traffic still passes. The Newport Arch is described by HV Morton in his book.

 

Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square

If H V Morton stayed at the White Hart, which I accept is a matter of conjecture, it is only a short walk to the Cathedral. The picture shows Lynn and Steve Rowitt’s Wolseley Hornet in the square between Lincoln Castle and the Cathedral in the summer. Again H V Morton describes this view of the cathedral in his book. Little would he know that only twenty years or so after writing his book Lincoln Cathedral ,so majestically situated on the top of the hill and visible from miles around ,would be a landmark so loved by RAF crews returning from bombing missions over Germany . The White Hart also became a favorite haunt of the RAF officers during the war.

 

 

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

It is evident that H V Morton walked up Steep Hill, as the hand rail he refers to is still there and is situated on the steepest part. In the 1920’s it would have still been possible to drive down Steep Hill into the main shopping area of the town. Walking or driving he would have passed the famous Jews House.

Jews House

Jews House

At the bottom of the hill he would have passed under the Stonebow and joined the High Street. One picture in his book is the High Bridge which is the only remaining bridge with shops on it. The as now the shop is occupied by Stokes Coffee and Tea specialists and it is quite possible that he went into their café to have a cup of coffee to prepare himself for the climb up Steep Hill. The picture above is taken from very near the place the photo that was used for In Search of England was taken. The picture opposite is the front of the building on the street side.

High Bridge

High Bridge

High Bridge

High Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Nell

 ———————————————————————

Section E37

Once again East Anglian Wolseleys are on the road! This time we followed H.V. Morton’s exhaust smoke from Peterborough cathedral to Boston Stump but, due to timings at the cathedral, we had to do the run in the opposite direction to Mr. Morton but we DIDN’T do it in reverse!

In front of Peterborough Cathedral

In front of Peterborough Cathedral

In Peterborough Cathedral grounds

In Peterborough Cathedral grounds

At an ungodly hour last Sunday morning, 6 young Register members (John Parkinson in his 12/48, Paul Scotten in his 4/44, Stuart Nell in his 18/85, Kev Benbow in his MGB, John Willis in his Triumph Herald convertible and my 25hp Drop Head) parked their cars in the precinct of Peterborough cathedral at the kind invitation of the clergy. Despite the sun shining from completely the wrong direction we managed some fantastic photos of the cars against the magnificent backdrop of the frontage of the front door of the cathedral itself.

Triangular bridge at Crowland

Triangular bridge at Crowland

Leaning tower of Cowbit!

Leaning tower of Cowbit!

We motored out of the big city onto the empty roads of the fens, over some annoying speed bumps, to have a look at the strange triangular bridge at Crowland and then on to the “leaning tower” of Cowbit. At this point we split up with our more “culturally-interested “ drivers going off to look around Ayscoughfee Hall while the rest of us went to SILVERSTONE!.

Slot Car racing......

Slot Car racing……

OK. Morton never went slot-car racing but we did. We hurtled around 5 grand prix circuits in Minis, Porches and other performance cars and this proved an amazing counterpoint to the sometimes steady progress our classics achieve!

Spalding Forge

Spalding Forge

Next stop was the Forge at Spalding which would have been a busy place in Morton’s time. Paul and I had a go at making coat hooks and my two most enduring memories were the heat and the ease at which metal bends when it is red hot. The volunteers at the forge have offered to make a “W” with wings to be a centrepiece on the table at future Noggin and Natters.

We continued north along roads that were pleasantly devoid of traffic as, since Morton’s time, their importance had been transferred to new roads built on the trackbeds of abandoned railways that were still the “latest thing” back in the 1920’s. Along the road we passed another “leaning tower” in Surfleet before arriving at Boston.

View from Boston Stump

View from Boston Stump

We parked the cars and climbed the exhausting 207 steps of Boston Stump as Morton had all those years ago. Due to Health and safety implication and a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting amongst the bells it is no longer possible to attempt the full climb of 365 steps but there were no complaints from the breathless crews. From the lofty viewpoint we looked down at the cars but, due to a tree, the only car visible was Paul’s 4/44 looking like a model when viewed from this height!

Boston Church

Boston Church

A quick photo-opportunity in front of the west end of the church just off the Market Square which was quiet at this time on a Sunday afternoon but still hosts a weekday market. Whether or not you can still find “Flea Walk” and “Bug Row” as Morton did I shall have to find out on another visit. Boston still resounds to foreign accents but now from Eastern Europe rather than Boston (Mass.) and our cars were soon surrounded by locals wanting to know more about them.

Another enjoyable touring day was over. Morton could never have known that, 80 odd years on, people would have so much pleasure following his route and enjoying each others company, could he?

Chris Arnold

 ———————————————————————

Section E38.

Name of driver: Norman Pepper
Name of passenger: Gill Pepper
Car make and model: Wolseley 6/80
Car year: 1950
Car registration: YVG 100

Helpston

Helpston

Sunday 7th September 2014, a beautiful sunny day. Although not knowing for certain the actual route Morton took, we decided to leave Peterborough on the A15, turning off on to the B1443 towards the fairly large village of Helpston. In this village the poet John Claire was born and is buried, the cottage where he lived has been restored and is now open to the public. As we entered the village we pulled over and watched as a Grand Central train sped by on the East Coast Mail Line.

 

 

Barnack

Barnack

We drove on, passing through the village of Bainton and continued along to Barnack. Stone was quarried here for many years and was used for the building of Ely Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral and many buildings in Stamford.

 

 

 

 

Stamford

Stamford

We entered the town of Stamford and drove along the road under the famous arch known as the George Hotel ‘gallows’. It’s hard to believe that this road, winding through the centre of town was once the A1, Great North Road, until it was by-passed in 1960. The church of St Mary towered over us as we drove up St Mary’s Hill.

 

 

 

 

Leaving Stamford we passed through Great Casterton, and on to the village of Tickencote where we parked outside St Peter’s Church to take some photos of the 6/80. In the church there is an impressive chancel arch from Norman times.

Tickencote

Tickencote

Tickencote

Tickencote

Tickencote

Tickencote

On then through Empingham, heading on to Oakham where we parked close to the famous stocks under the Buttercross. Oakham is also famed for its public school and its tradition whereby any Royalty visiting or passing through the town has to pay a forfeit in the form of a horseshoe. There are over 200 of these horseshoes displayed on the walls of Oakham Castle.

Oakham

Oakham

Oakham

Oakham

Oakham

Oakham

Norman Pepper

 ———————————————————————

Sections E38 and E39.

On Saturday the 21st June 2014, we aimed our trusty (or is that rusty?) steeds towards Oakham in Rutland; the “now you see it – now you don’t” county. During the years from 1974 – 1997 Rutland was swallowed up by the county of Leicestershire, it took a long hard fight to get it reinstated, but we won in the end.

With fantastic weather on our side, (Paul had finally stopped his rain dance and Chris his wailing lament about the curse of the Willis’s, after his drowning at Elgoods Brewery and a soggy start to the Letchworth picnic. (That Garage came in awfully handy to shelter in!!), we headed off towards the smallest county in England – RUTLAND.

Thorney Abbey

Thorney Abbey

We called for a quick photo shoot at Thorney Abbey, which we thought was in tune with our tour as we were unable to obtain access to the Peterborough Cathedral which was originally visited by Morton, because it is now within a pedestrian only area. We then completely ignored our own written directions and all shot off towards Oakham. We traversed via Helpston – famed for the busiest railway crossing gate in the country and keeping to the village lanes we crept through Bainton looking out for “Hot Cats on a Cool Thatched Roof” and so on through Barnack, to miss the ‘Mouse’s House – a windmill, that is depicted within the village sign of Pilsgate.

We swiftly passed the Burghley Estate and galloped on towards Stamford. The George at Stamford boasts its famous Gallows Sign as both a welcome and a warning to travellers of the Great North Road. The church of St.Mary is framed within the great oak beams as you prepare to pass beneath. We swing around the old market square where a stall was plying its wares. Old galvenised buckets, baths and the like, – how in keeping.

We leave behind the flat fenland fields to open up onto gently undulating pastures of a verdant green, with hints of gold both foregone and foretold. Much of the glorious view was just the same as it would have been in the 1930s, that is until you looked to your left. The original farmland and river is now Rutland Water, a great fresh water reservoir.The river was dammed by an Act of Parliment in 1970, to build the reservoir for Anglian Water resulting in the the loss of over 3000 acres of fertile land and homes. It is a wonderful place to spend a leisurely day, but your heart still goes out to all those folks who lost their homes and their livelihoods so that we could all have fresh clean water to drink.

Oakham Castle

Oakham Castle

Horseshoes at Oakham Castle

Horseshoes at Oakham Castle

We canter apace into Oakham for our first visit of the day, as due to Civil Weddings we have to view the Castle and its famous horse shoes early in the day. We see 240 horseshoes hanging on the walls of the Great Hall. These represent the unique custom that every peer of the realm must give a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor on their first visit to Oakham. The custom has been followed for at least 500 years and probably dates back to the 12th century. The oldest surviving horseshoe is said to have been given by Edward IV in about 1470. The most recent were given by HRH The Princess Royal in 1999, HRH The Prince of Wales in 2003 and HRH Princess Alexandra in 2005.

Pepper in Twiggy

Pepper in Twiggy

We lined the cars up for a photo shoot and other visitors to the Castle were looking about for the bride – the only passenger in the car was Pepper the dog.

We made a comfort break at Barnsdale Garden Centre (Geoff Hamilton) and had a rare treat of being able to clamber onto an old Routemaster Bus that had been lovingly renovated and was being used to convey a wedding party. A few of us also made a ‘greedy stop’ at the local artisan Hambleton Bakery for our fix of olive bread and pippins – yummm!

Tickencote Church

Tickencote Church

Tickencote

Tickencote

Refuelled, we took to the narrow lanes and steered towards Tickencote and its famous Norman Church. We were not disappointed. This little church is a fabulous example and well worth a visit. It was difficult to photograph the outside as the trees had grown a lot since Morton’s time, but we took some pictures for our album just the same.

Inside Tickencote church

Inside Tickencote church

Tickencote is situated just off the A1, in fact the last part of the tiny lane runs right alongside it. We retraced ourselves back towards Rutland Water and followed a trail around its edge and headed off towards Wing.

Wing Labyrinth

Wing Labyrinth

Wing is a village with an unusual attraction. It boasts 1 of only 8 surviving ancient turf labyrinths in England (only 11 worldwide). This is known locally as The Wing Maze and is medieval in origin. We had an excellent luncheon at The Kings Arms in Wing. This 17th century Inn and Restaurant uses only local and home grown produce, and it does its own smoking and curing and also keeps its own hens. Well worth a visit. We gained another Wolseley at this point, Dave & Wife in their 14/60. We so far had been Paul & Jackie (14/44), John, Janice & Pepper (Triumph 13/60 convertible), Andy & Elaine (Singer Gazelle), Chris & Terri (Volvo due to his Wolseley 25 being poorly).

Oakham Butter Cross

Oakham Butter Cross

Stocks under Butter Cross

Stocks under Butter Cross

We headed off for our second visit of the day to Oakham. We were after some photos of the Buttercross and stocks, but have had to wait until after 4oclock due to the market stalls. We arrived to find the area nicely clear and then began the fun of shunting into position. Note the stocks, they have five foot holes?!? Was this where ‘Jake the Peg’ hailed from I hear you ask!

We say goodbye to Chris & Terri at this point. The rest of us head off to see the Clipsham Yews. These are an avenue of Yews that in the past have been carved into all manner of shapes. Sadly, it seems that the forestry commission can no longer afford their upkeep as they have all but lost their defined shapes. Pepper enjoyed the visit and a cooling mud bath – poor Twiggy (that’s the car)! Dave & his wife say farewell at this point.

Crowland Abbey

Crowland Abbey

We took back roads where possible and made for Crowland Abbey, just because it is a while since we last visited and thought it would make a great photo.Sadly this marked the end of our day. We had met up at 9am and it is now well after 7pm. We have had a great day out and fantastic weather – top down all the way, much to Peppers’ liking. One comment often heard throughout the day, was how often we do not know the local attractions around us because we go further afield for outings. Sad but true.

As a postscript:- Apart from fuel for the cars, and food and drink for ourselves, this day out was totally free. All of the attractions we visited, plus the Oakham Museum (the car park next to the museum is Pay & Display) which we unfortunately did not have time for, are all FREE.

Janice Willis

 ———————————————————————

Sections E40 & E41.

On Sunday 18th May, following in H V Morton’s footsteps (wheel tracks), we aimed to drive through the Norfolk countryside to try and see the type of things that Morton may have seen on his journey. Unfortunately, even though we avoided ‘A’ roads as much as possible, no large pig that he encountered on his trip came to greet us along our way.

We had drafted a route plan as a guide for each of the participants, but told them that they could devise their own variations in order to arrive at Morton’s destination at each stage. Our intrepid band of club members set off in the glorious sunshine at random intervals from Wisbech on the first leg of our adventure.

Downham Market

Downham Market

On our way towards Downham Market we came across a First World War memorial, which had been erected on a grassy bank and would have been there in Morton’s time. On the outskirts of Downham Market we encountered our first hurdle in the form of a sign informing us that the town centre was shut off. We had to follow a diversion and missed seeing the majestic black and white clock tower, which had been erected in 1878, but this will be rectified on a subsequent trip!

Flint clad church

Flint clad church

After driving through Swaffham, we soon got onto the picturesque Norfolk by-roads. In his book, Morton was fascinated by the flint-clad churches that he encountered and we too, came across many fine examples, some seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Our journey took us through Sporle, Little Dunham, Great Dunham and Beeston, where the 14th century church of St Mary The Virgin was completely surrounded by fields; the nearest habitation being over a mile away.

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum

Lunch stop at Gressenhall

Lunch stop at Gressenhall

We finally met with the others at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum for a spot of lunch. The duty manager had kindly provided us with a special parking area just outside the main entrance, which allowed the visitors to the museum an opportunity to admire our classic cars as an added attraction. Had Morton travelled this route to Dereham, he would have seen the Victorian Workhouse at Gressenhall, whose exterior has changed little since it was built in the late 18th century.

After an excellent lunch, the next leg took us past Dereham’s market place and through Clints Green and Mattishall, where the speed humps every 100 yards certainly slowed our progress.

On the way to Norwich

On the way to Norwich

Norwich

Norwich

Cromer

Cromer

Travelling through East Tuddenham, Easton and Costessey, we came into Norwich, but due to the volume of traffic, this was only a fleeting visit before our next stop in the historic market town of Aylesham. Finally after Ingham, we arrived at our final destination of Cromer where we saw some magnificent Victorian houses, which must have impressed Morton on his drive into the town.

We concluded the trip with a stop for refreshment at Felbrigg Hall, a National Trust property which lies just outside Cromer. The sun shone all day and we were able to see the rural Norfolk countryside at its best. The total trip was about 86 miles and all the cars made the trip without mishap.

Paul Scotten

———————————————————————

Section E42

Downham Market Clock Tower

Downham Market Clock Tower

On the way

On the way

On Sunday 24th August, we decided that we would try and get a photograph of the clock tower in Downham Market. We had been unable to get this on our first Morton run (E40 & E41), due to the town centre being closed. Having achieved our aim and got our photograph, we decided that as the weather forecast for the day was good, we should set off and complete the last remaining section of the North Norfolk coastal loop to bridge the gap from our earlier trips; Morton’s Bridge you could say. Although we did this stage in reverse, we did attempt to visit all the places mentioned in his book, using the smaller roads where possible.

Dereham Assembly Rooms (1760)

Dereham Assembly Rooms (1760)

Dereham War Memorial

Dereham War Memorial

The stage started in Dereham. This is a bustling market town with a mixture of old and new buildings. The Assembly Rooms date back to 1760, which contrasts with the more modern floral roundabout with the War Memorial as its centrepiece.

Fakenham

Fakenham

Fakenham War Memorial

Fakenham War Memorial

Heading north on the B1146, we reached Fakenham. Again, we found that despite it being Sunday, there were quite a few people to be seen around the town centre. We parked near St Peters Church, which was a quieter spot and managed to see many old buildings that would have been around in Morton’s time.

The next ports of call were Great and Little Walsingham, where, although we encountered many pilgrims using various modes of transport, none of them were shoeless. This was probably just as well, as we did not discover Shoe House, which Morton mentions. With the exception of the churches, the buildings in these two villages remain largely unchanged from the time of Moton’s journey and examples of old-fashioned tea rooms still abound.

Walsingham

Walsingham

Walsingham

Walsingham

 

 

Getting out of Little Walsingham on our way to Well-next-the-Sea was by way of a single track, tree-lined road, which meant encountering not only walkers and cyclists, but cars coming from the opposite direction; this proved to be quite an experience with each vehicle having to mount the sloping bank on their side in order to pass, often with only inches to spare.

Stiffkey

Stiffkey

Thankfully, we eventually got on to a better class of road (B1105) and reached Wells without further problems. Wells, like most of the small towns on this part of the coast, has a small harbour and a variety of shops, cafes and pubs catering mostly for the tourists.
Feeling the need for refreshment, we arrived at The Red Lion in what Morton describes as the cosy village of Stiffkey (pronounced Stewkey, if you are a native of the area). This appeared to be the only pub/restaurant in the village and was extremely popular. The cottages here, as with many of the surrounding villages were clad with large, smooth pebbles and there are many examples still to be seen.

Refreshments at Stiffkey

Refreshments at Stiffkey

Unfortunately we saw no evidence of anyone collecting ‘Stewkey Blues’ (Cockles) that Morton tried to photograph. The region that he described as being barely touched by tourists has changed considerably; now people from all over the country and from abroad, throng the whole of the North Norfolk coastal towns.

 

 

 

Blakeney

Blakeney

Blakeney Hotel

Blakeney Hotel

Flood levels at Blakeney

Flood levels at Blakeney

The A149 along this part of the coast is quite narrow and there are times when one line of traffic has to give way to the on-coming flow. However, we journeyed on through to Blakeney. Where the tide was out leaving small boats stranded on the small inlets.

 

 

 

Cley

Cley

Next it was on to Cley next the Sea (Cly to the locals). Unfortunately, being a lovely sunny day, there was much traffic, which meant there were few places to park and photograph many of the sights along the way. We did manage to photograph a shop selling a variety of seafood, but alas, no cockles! Morton mentions Peddars Way as being dead and a ghostly spot, but these days, this is not so desolate as he describes, as it now has stretches frequently used by legions of hardy walkers instead of legions of men he envisaged using the flint mace-head.

Cromer Pier

Cromer Pier

Weybourne Windmill

Weybourne Windmill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along the A149 towards Cromer, we spotted, across the salt marshes, the majestic Weybourne windmill, which must have been one of many on that part of the coast in Morton’s day.

Being a fine day, Cromer was full of people enjoying the bracing sea air, both in the town and along the sea front. Again, there was nowhere to stop, so we headed to Felbrigg Hall for a peaceful drink before setting off for home.

Paul Scotten

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Section E46 (part)

Drivers: Graham Ryder and Amy Egan
Passenger: Jenny Ryder
Car: 1963 Wolseley 1500 Mk III, reg. ALC 610A
Date: October 12, 2014.

Ready to depart

Ready to depart

The first excursion in our newly-restored Wolseley 1500 presented the Ryder family with an opportunity to follow part of H V Morton’s trail “In Search of England”. Armed with a 1938 edition of the book, a modern map and a fresh bag of assorted mints, we set off on a cool but dry autumn Sunday morning. Chapter 12 indicates that Morton relived his childhood memories of Warwickshire at Stratford, Coventry, Kenilworth and Warwick towards the end of his journey so we headed east from North Worcestershire into Warwickshire and picked up the trail approaching the county town.

 

 

Leycester Hospital

Leycester Hospital

Whilst driving through the not so “quiet, attractive streets that have not lost a look of other days” as Morton described Warwick, we recognised the Lord Leycester Hospital from the final photograph in the book: see Morton’s Original Photographs page.  Flouting the yellow lines introduced more than 30 years after Morton’s time, we pulled in briefly to take photographs of our own.

Jenny and Graham & their 1500

Jenny and Graham & their 1500

We headed out of Warwick through Leamington Spa and picked up the Kenilworth Road in search of our main objective, the castle. Morton describes Kenilworth Castle as a “rambling, chocolate-red ruin” which was brought to life for him by “the best guide in England”. We judged that the modern audio guide would not be quite the same and opted to explore at our own pace, Morton book in hand. There was plenty to see with exhibitions and information boards around the grounds.

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

Having thrived between the 12th and 16th centuries the castle was sadly laid to ruin after the English Civil War. Following the Restoration it was given to the Clarendon family who maintained it right up until 1937 when it was sold to the industrialist Sir John Siddeley, who had lived in Kenilworth since 1918. In 1905, when Wolseley dominated the UK car market, they took over the Siddeley Autocar Company and later that year, when Herbert Austin left Wolseley to found his own company, Siddeley was appointed manager of Wolseley in his place, moving on in 1909.

Elizabethan Garden

Elizabethan Garden

The castle is classed as a Grade I listed building and became a tourist destination from the 18th century onwards, becoming famous in the Victorian period following the publishing of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Kenilworth in 1826. English Heritage has managed the castle since 1984, restoring the garden to Elizabethan form in recent years.

 

 

 

Leicester's Gatehouse

Leicester’s Gatehouse

Jenny and Amy with 1500

Jenny and Amy with 1500

After enjoying a bowl of Spicy Pumpkin soup in The Stables café, exploring the ruins and taking photographs, we headed home through Balsall Common, Knowle and Wythall having covered 64 miles on our round trip. Although we didn’t fully complete the E46 stage, we had seen where Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester had entertained Queen Elizabeth I and the hospital he founded for old and injured soldiers in Warwick. Our 1500 had performed well on its first official outing in its new two-tone livery.

Jenny Ryder

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 “I saw 2 England’s”

This report is of a stage taken from another of H V Morton’s books – “I saw 2 England’s”, published in 1942. Hence the stage does not appear in the stage table above. 

 Mrs. Burton's Tea Rooms

Mrs. Burton’s Tea Rooms

We drove the the H.V. Morton section from Battle to Alfriston in our 6/90, UDG 163. We enjoyed an excellent lunch in Mrs. Burton’s Tea Rooms overlooking the Abbey Green.  The parking arranged with English Heritage was very good, right in front of Battle Abbey a centre piece of the town & the 6/90 looked as though it belonged.

 

 

 

The Long Man

The Long Man

We set off for Alfriston in H.V. Morton’s footprints, travelling via Borham Street and Wartling to Pevensey where we stopped briefly by the Roman walls of the castle. From there we travelled via the A27 to Wilmington and a stop to look at the Long Man carved into the Downs before driving on the short distance to Alfriston. The weather held off and apart from a single light shower the run was in the dry.

 

 

Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle

We did not stop in Alfriston which we know well, but returned via Seaford and the A259 over the Downs and then back home. Rosalind and I enjoyed the drive and we did cover a section of the journey described in H.V.Morton’s 1942 book ‘I Saw Two England’s.

 

 

 

 

Rosalind and Jeff Bridges

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