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Ripon Old Cars Gathering
27 July 2008

For Weddings and a Funforall
by Andrew Coulson

Another hellish day in the camp; nothing but cold beer, chilled Sauvignon blanc and over 500 cars to look at! When will this torture end!!

Ripon Old Cars was held for the second of its 14 annual appearances on Ripon’s “Garden” Racecourse and the Y Register took its place at the side of the racecourse’s famous lakeside. Here the intrepid appearance from Lancashire of Roy & Sue Clapham and Malcolm & Pat Hardy was balanced by the northerners – Bernard & Margaret Maynell and Brian & John Arkley. Yorkshire as usual had Michael Nicholson, Andrew & Arlene Coulson, Dennis & Joan Greenwood and Alan & Barbara McCormack. And all the way from Filey were Simon & Jill Barker – new to the Register!

Some clarification is needed as, in keeping with that wedding guidance of “Something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue!” the Y Register experienced all of these on the day…

Something old… Roy’s YA is joining the older cars now with a classic misbehaving clutch – slipping when going uphill, not always, but always a bit embarrassing!

Something new…Dennis and Michael were very bullish about their experiences of running the cars on 10% paraffin (kerosene) in line with some current thinking from the various car clubs. (NB Personal licences are needed to do this on the road!)

Something borrowed… Michael’s car had experiences three electrical shorts before he arrived at Ripon and despite heroic efforts he still had no semaphores or flashers. Borrowing wire strippers and advice from the regulars faults were traced – unfortunately to the infamous slip-ring! He left for home still without artificial indicators!

Something blue … The sky of course – all day! Thank heaven for the shade of a gazebo and the wonders of an ice-packed insulated picnic bag (with appropriate contents!)

Malcolm’s two tone green Y is now MOT’d – but sadly not with us for the day due to persistent petrol leaking from the sender unit. He did however bring the first (Director’s Cut!) video of his road run locally – filmed by Pat, so the hunt is on for a date in August to all meet up again for a celebration meal to christen his “Just a few months”  - “Well 12 years actually!” of restoration. The McCormacks were also not in the Y, having found the need to rotate their fleet they arrived in a petite Austin Nippy but finding no Austin Club on site they took up residence with us for the afternoon. Now if only we can modify the Austin grill to take a Y front……

Continuing the wedding theme was a visit from John Thornley – no not THAT John Thornley, his namesake, a YB owner from Cumbria. He came to check out if we could help with ideas for using his car (next April) as a wedding car. Could we help!!! Arlene took charge of the delicate matter of bridal gowns, removal of front seats and removal of ALL oily points of contact; others helped with advice on ribbons, flowers – no, Michael, not lily wreaths for a wedding, elopement and celibacy. And of course he promised to join us next year on the stand!

The award for stalwart performance on a hot day was finely balanced between Michael’s electrical display (or lack of) and the fate which befell the Arkleys! Driving just north of Thirsk in their two Y’s, one suddenly detached its exhaust with an oblique fracture just below the manifold/front pipe joint. Making an emergency dash to a local farm – where apparently a distant relative lived! – they removed the dangling pipework but were unable to repair; so they cut the pipe in half, stowed in the car and drove on to Ripon in just the one car! Full marks for determination and resourcefulness!

Not to be outdone, Bernard’s gleaming car was also adding to the fun when he and Margaret noticed a blue smoke filling the car as they drove down from Middlesborough. In the next lay-by he discovered the worst – he had driven off without replacing his oil filler cap – despite the presence of a very obvious chain linking cap to rocker cover! The oil spray was of course everywhere, but Bernard spent the next half hour in the lay-by cleaning and polishing the engine as he “Didn’t dare to come to Ripon with a dirty engine!”

And what ( I hear you muse) of the Barker’s in Y 5518? Finished in a modern sun bronze, the car behaved well for their trip over  from the coast, and a short list was rapidly prepared of the bits & pieces he’d like to get to finish everything off: rear blind, pulleys, visors, grab straps, etc. Negotiations will follow this email! A most welcome new addition to the area, they declared the ROC as the best show they’d been to – and that was before the wine and beer flowed!

The Coulson fleet was restricted to just two this year – with the YB pick up still needing its mis-behaving coil/sparking devices sorted out. I naddition to everyone’ “personal picnics” food for twenty (at least!) and drinks for plenty were provided again by Arlene/Andrew as were the show passes and apart from sunburn (Arlene – face, neck & arms) and aching feet (Andrew – previous week setting up the Flower Festival at Ripon’s 12th century Leper Chapel; too long on his hind legs talking!) the day was outstandingly successful.

But fear not fellow Y’s and Yives (how about a “Y”ives Club for all the understanding spouses?) there was a quiz from Andrew. By popular demand –maybe – a simple 10 questions on what happened on 27th July in years gone by; Nixon impeachment started, tobacco introduced to England; death of Woolf Barnato; etc. The winners (who received a permanent trophy as well ) were Roy & Sue Clapham and as part of their award were nominated by all present to prepare next year’s quiz!

A final note on the theme of weddings was the test-sitting in the Coulson YA for a local couple getting married in February 09. A definite yes was agreed – (the YT was the wedding car for Anna’s brother last year) – but unfortunately the only colour reference for the ribbons – see photo – was the gradation of red/orange/yellow on the label of the South African wine. Group consensus was finally  the shade of peachy orange just below the last letter!!

And finally, finally, Jack Cook a retired garage owner from Whitby was among  the visitors to the stand with an enquiry on his former Y. Registered XGnnnn (he could not remember the four digits correctly) he sold the car to a man in Ripon (No, not Andrew!) in the1980’s “for restoration”. Does it ring a bell with anyone out there?

So yes, indeed, a large amount of wedding related as well as fun/sun for all at Ripon. Our thanks to Phil Greetham (of ‘t local Committee!) for listening to our “Argumentative bunch” (his words) and giving us the prime location at the show, we’ve booked it next year – so Book early to avoid disappointment

A car, a lake, some wine, and thou beside me. Perfect.

And still they argued.

L to R Coulson Greenwood Clapham and Arkley. But they're not solicitors.

L to R Meynell Barker and Nicholson Ys.

Malcolm watches as Michael advises Jill and Simon on paraffin.

Pat Margaret and Arlene of the Yives Club.

R to L Roy and Sue realise that Dennis and Joan did not win the quiz

Stand on the lake.

To enlarge the pictures, double click on them.