Wolseley Register Weekend in County Durham, 23-25th September 2016

deer-at-whiteworth-hall-hotelRegister Members from across the North East, North West, Midlands and Scotland gathered in County Durham for the weekend of 23-25 September.  Most participants stayed at The Whitworth Hall Hotel at Spennymoor, which was a delightful location where very tame deer roamed the grounds.  Other local members joined in with various activities over the weekend.

wr-cars-at-whitworth-hall-hotel-4engine-at-shildonsteampunk-fest-shildon-2On Saturday morning, 9 cars lined up in front of the hotel for a photoshoot before setting off to nearby Shildon to visit the Locomotion museum.  This is a well laid-out free museum and our visit coincided with a Steampunk Fest with stalls selling clothing, jewellery and other items to the elaborately-dressed participants.  Two more Wolseleys joined the group at this venue and the display of Register cars attracted much attention.

wolseleys-at-shildonIn the afternoon, some participants took the opportunity to visit other local places of interest before reassembling for dinner at the hotel, where additional Register Members had arrived.  Each evening’s meal was taken in a private dining area and the hotel provided excellent accommodation.

rally-field-beamishwr-display-beamish-5wr-display-beamish-1An early start on Sunday morning saw 11 cars depart for Beamish Museum to attend the North of England Classic and Pre War Automobiles Club end of season Rally.  This was a well-attended event and rally participants were able to visit all areas of the Museum, enjoying bus and tram rides around the site and exploring the recreated Town and Pit Village.  Additional local Wolseleys joined the group at Beamish where a sign in the 1900s garage window caught our attention – the photograph below shows the window with buildings opposite reflected in the glass.

wolseley-sign-beamishAfter a more leisurely drive back to the hotel, participants gathered for the last evening to enjoy each other’s company over dinner in the Library.

tram-and-traction-engine-at-beamish-3Jenny Ryder

Postscript by Geoff Craggs:

Our ” Beamish” weekend last year was so successful that it was decided that we should repeat it….. so we did !

As “our” hotel of 2015 ,the Derwent Manor, was fully booked, we cast around and found a hotel which turned out to be even better, albeit a little farther away from Sunday’s rally venue at Beamish Museum; what could be more idyllic than a weekend in the erstwhile home of the Shafto family, with tame deer coming up to be fed – venison was NOT on the menu we noticed. Over the weekend 24 Members, spouses and friends stayed at the hotel, Whitworth Hall Country House Hotel, for either 3, 2 or 1 nights and we could not have been better looked after.

Thanks to all who made the effort to join in the fun – from the North West gang Colin Briggs in his 1300, Jean and John Schofield in Colin’s Rover P6, Vic and Thelma Waddilove in their 1500, Peter and Pauline Cope, proving that they DO have a 1500 and it IS roadworthy, Mike Stanley in his 18/85, defying the dire predictions of rain and pinning his faith in “Rain Clear” ( who needs wipers?), and Clive and Debbie Button in their 6. From the Midlands, Graham and Jenny Ryder in their 1500, Stephen and Paula Hunt in the 1500 which they seem to have had forever; from Scotland John and Seana McCombie in their redoubtable Mini Hornet; from the Yorkshire and North East area, Chris and Pam Cowell in their 14/56, Fiona Reeves and Keith Warren in their 16/60, Betty and Geoff Craggs in the 6/90, Alan and Lilian Johnston, who sadly were in their modern car and had to go home after being with us Saturday evening because of dog- sitting problems. Not staying at the hotel but joining us for all or part of our activities were new member Eric Whitehouse and his 16/60, Don Fothergill in his 4/44 and Paul Champney and his cousin who drove up from Otley to Beamish for the day on Sunday, driving back the same day in the oldest Wolseley on parade, their very desirable 1934 “9” – a round trip of some 180 miles by my reckoning and proof indeed of how capable and reliable these older, smaller Wolseleys can be – I often wish I still had mine!

Saturday’s visit to Locomotion was interesting and very entertaining – most of us had not encountered “Steampunk” before, and I thoroughly recommend the experience to you all; I say no more, save to say that Goth weekend in Whitby pales into insignificance in comparison. Lovely people all on a level of magnificent eccentricity surpassing even the wildest Wolseley owner. We did look at some steam engines as well — honest!

Sunday at Beamish was enlivened by (I think ) Durham County Council who decided in their infinite wisdom to close the minor road which all the rally vehicles normally take, causing a diversion through a newish housing estate… oh joy, oh bliss, for residents and rallyists alike, but somehow we got there, had an excellent day and found our way home or to Whitworth Hall. A good weekend? – a great weekend!….. next year where and when ?