Jan and I, together with several other Wingers from Goldwings North Wales made the trip over to the East Coast to visit the Scarborough Light Parade, organised by Yorkshire Wings, a region of GWOCGB.
Two Wings, Nigel’s and mine, left Buckley on the Friday morning bound for Knutsford Honda, where we were meeting Dave and Elaine, who were travelling up from Audlem to meet us there.
Things looked a bit heavy weather-wise and it was soon raining quite heavily, but we continued, and having met up with the ‘Boat People’, we proceeding eastbound via the M6, M62 and M60.
Once on the wrong side of the Pennines we headed for Squires Cafe at Sherburn in Elmet where we had a nice break and some lunch, the place being very quiet and we were served quickly with our meals.
Following lunch we set off for the Caravan site at Filey, but following a route Nigel used to take as a kid, many times from his home near Castleford to Filey where they used to have a caravan. This route avoided the main A64 route but was much more scenic and nearly as straight. We travelled quite some distances without encountering more than a handful of cars on several sections, yet on roads that were straight and capable of a comfortable 60 mph between the villages.
Approaching the Filey end of the back roads, we met another GoldWinger travelling in the opposite direction. It turned out to be Neil Crofts who was riding the route for the ride-out for the Sunday.
On arrival at The Blue Dolphin Holiday Park we were greeted by Kevin and Sandra, who had left North Wales after us but had come by the direct route along the main roads.
Following inscription we soon found our caravan, which was nearly as far from the Entertainment Suite as it could possibly be while still being on the same holiday complex. The caravan was well suited to our needs and was clean and tidy. It was quite plush, having 2 loos and a super shower area.
The static display for the best lit bike was held on the Friday night, outside the Entertainment Suite. I have to say that the quality of the bikes taking part was very high indeed and I would have found it difficult to make a judgement on best lit bike.
Early Saturday morning saw us looking out of the caravan to a sodden caravan park with the heavens emptying down. It looked like the the day might be a tad wet, but it did clear away and by 9.45 am, it was time for us to make our way to Scarborough and park the Wings up on display.
This year the marshals took particular care to guide us in tighter into the parking area on the seafront, at an angle and with the rear not overhanging into the road. This was to ensure that the bus drivers could pass the Wings comfortably. I do recall last year that the buses were awfully close to some of the Wings parked up.
The weather was a bit hit and miss during the day but luckily it didn’t seem to affect the numbers viewing the bikes. It was also a good opportunity to meet up with old friends that we don’t see as much now we are independent of GWOCGB. We were made especially welcome by the Yorkshire Wings members.
Late afternoon we returned to our caravan and made preps for the evening parade, but before we could think of the parade, we need to find somewhere for tea. As part of the preparations for the light parade the organisers had visited local business and had arranged for discount at a few.
We thought we would give one a try and we went into Scarborough to the sea-front just opposite where the Wings had been parked to a Fish and Chip restaurant called the Fish Pan. I can say that it was a very wise decision. The Fish and Chips meals they produced were really superb and well worth the visit. We also noticed that they were producing a good range of desserts but at this time we couldn’t face a dessert after the excellent meal.
We then went off to the parade muster point, which was a new mustering point from previous years. It was closer to the Promenade but was a bit more technically challenging to negotiate and marshal.
The parade itself went off very well, being well marshalled and running at a sensible pace. Comment were passed by some that it was too quick but I found it to be reasonable, especially over the cobbles-stones on the promenade.
It was good to see that the single set of traffic lights on the Promenade were held at green by the marshals, as this could have fractured the parade.
As it was, some impatient car drivers managed to force their way into the parade but fortunately without the serious disruption suffered at Blackpool the previous week, caused by the large number of traffic lights on the route which could not be marshalled.
Following the parade our group returned to The Fish Pan on South Shore where we made a large order for desserts. I have to pass comment on the quality of the service given by the staff who were very helpful and pleasant. The biggest surprise of the evening has to go to the size of the apple pie and custard that Nigel was unable to finish (surely a first in history!).
We returned to the Holiday Park but following the heavy day we missed the entertainment that was laid on at the Entertainment Suite.
Sunday morning saw us all ready and prepared for the ride-out arranged by Neil Crofts. This was a circular route to view some steam trains which were crossing over at Levisham Station. We had to be there by a certain time , and we failed but only just. The delay in our arrival was down to a road traffic accident causing a delay whilst on route. Having said that, we remained at Levisham Station for an hour and saw one of the steamers returning and another old train, a Diesel Multiple Unit.
The next part of the route that Neil chose, shall we say, was a bit technically challenging, and required a bit of courage and skill to negotiate in parts. I actually enjoyed the challenge but since have heard that some thought it too hard.
Later the same day, Neil Crofts led a group of riders to Oliver’s mount, where he took us around the race circuit then gave us a potted history of the circuit. I then came across my first problem with the new bike – the alarm would not deactivate due to the close proximity of the transmitter mast. Eventually I managed to fool the immobiliser to start the engine but with alarm fully sounding, I had to ride a fair way from the mast and down the hill before the alarm could be fully deactivated.
We returned to The Fish Pan for tea again and the quality meals of the previous evening was repeated again, with the same cheerful helpful staff attention. I varied mine with a pie and it was just as good as the Fish meal that they had supplied the previous evening.
Monday morning saw us packing and heading for home in some very damp and windy conditions. We again took the back road cross country back to Squires Cafe and both Jan and I enjoyed the more relaxed pace along this road than along the A64, and were able to take in the scenic route that Nigel had chosen.
Following the break at Squires Cafe, Dave and Elaine followed Jan and I back to the motorway, while Nigel and Jo diverted to visit relatives. The motorway journey was a bit of a nightmare with serious side-winds and lashing rain all across the top of the Pennines, so much so that I had to stop at the motorway services north of Manchester to get cramp out of my shoulders.
The remainder of the journey passed off without incident.
The weekend was a complete success to Jan and I and a credit to Yorkshire Wings. We fully intend to return again next year and try and bring more members with us.
Nigel and others were busy with cameras – the results can be seen here