Today was a pretty good day, a bit cooler, but that was pleasant. It was still shirt sleeve driving weather.
We left the hotel about 9.20 and had an easy trip through Dover & on to Folkstone. We expected problems in both places but the only problem we had was a road closed and a diversion which only had one diversion sign. It was quite fun to see everybody trying to turn round in a narrow street. . We stopped briefly at The Battle of Britain Memorial for some photos.
From there we headed for Dungeness which is a wild desolate place but strangely beautiful and we stopped there for lunch.
It was good going after that apart from heavy traffic as we passed through Hastings, Eastbourne, Newhaven, Brighton & Worthing.
The only trouble today was on the way to the Hotel, the front throttle jammed open and the revs rose dramatically. Conscious of the age of the clamp bolts I nipped them up a bit but obviously not enough as it happened again. This time I seem to have won on this job as it didn't happen again.
The first bridge was the Queen Elizabeth bridge at Dartford. This is a beautiful bridge and the picture doesn't really do it justice.
From there we headed through Gravesend, Thamesport and Gillingham before crossing to the Isle of Sheppy on the old bridge. The plan was to circumnavigate the island but Traffic was at a complete standstill on the way in so we turned round and left by the new bridge.
Sittingbourne was a complete nightmare and we wasted a lot of time. The A2 runs into the town and out of it but it isn't joined up in the middle. Unfortunately there are no signs in town showing the A2. The first sign is about half a mile out of the town centre. Great if you know the area but not much good for visitors.
From there it was fairly straightforward throuhg Whitstable, Herne Bay, Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and on to Deal for the night.
141 miles today
After an early start and a 300 mile dash in a rubbish rented Peugeot, we arrived back in Southminster where the new halfshaft was waiting for us. It didn't take long to fit the shaft and load up the car. After a light lunch, thanks Ann, you're a star, we shuffled cars about and Numbum moved again.
We left John & Ann's at 2.30 and did a leisurely 73 miles to our B&B in Biulphan.
I was up early and had the old halfshaft out before breakfast. Luckily it had broken at the hub end so it was just a case of removing the hub and getting the mole grips on the end of the shaft then giving it a good tug.
The fifth consecutive day of shirtsleeve driving. That's almost unheard of in this green & pleasant land.
The car started well but a few miles down the road it started to misfire and lose power at moderate revs. I found a place to stop and found that the front carburetor was out of adjustment. A few minutes tinkering soon had us going again.
Our journey took us through Harwich which I have always assumed was little more than a ferry port. How wrong I was. Old Harwich is delightful and we will add it to the list of places to visit again later for a proper look.
From there it was onwards to Walton on the Naze (a lovely place), Frinton, Clacton and Brightlingsea. Brightlingsea is a place we'll never forget. Just as we were leaving there was a clunk from the rear end and old Numbum wouldn't go any further. We managed to push it into a car park.
I was sure that we had broken a halfshaft so called the RAC and explained the situation and said that we would need recovery. After over an hour a patrol van turned up. He confirmed that it couldn't be fixed and ordered a recovery truck. Yet another wait.
While waiting for the RAC I called NTG Services of Ipswich and spoke to Linda to see what could be done about getting another halfshaft and she was most helpful in agreeing a course of action.
Here's where the story gets a bit interesting. We planned to stay the night with John & Ann
Ward of the MGCC T Register. We didn't know exactly where they lived, only that it was somewhere near Chelmsford. We were going to get directions when we got closer. Ringing them got their address for getting Numbum to them and it turns out that they live in Southminster which we would have passed through as part of our planned route.
Eventually we arrived in Southminster and pushed old Numbum into a massive four car garage with room to work too. It was now 8pm and Ann had dinner prepared so we decided to leave the car till the morning.
Now we've finally got the pictures off the cameras and identified here are some from today.
A quick fix on the carburetor.
Enjoying the view at Shotley Gate.
Beach huts at Brightlingsea.
Hitching a ride.
Today was a fairly reasonable day. We made good progress passing through Caister, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Southwold, Dunwich, Aldburgh, and Felixstowe before heading inland to just outside Ipswich where we spent the night.
Traffic was mostly light with only a couple of sections of slow going and the temperature was a couple of degrees cooler than the previous days which made life a bit more comfortable for us.
For a few miles there had been an ever increasing rattle coming from the gearbox which was quite disconcerting. Something had to be done and with roadside parking impossible to find we stopped in a pay & display car park in Southwold where I removed the gearbox cover to investigate. The cause was soon spotted, some of the nuts holding the gear change remote had worked loose and it was chattering about. A couple of minutes work with a spanner fixed that. I checked the oil level while it was easy to do it, added a drop and put everything back together. Normal service was resumed.
Dunwich was a very rare place these days. A massive car park which was free with a request to put a donation in the box. You don't see that very often in theses days of viewing the motorist as a cash cow. We had a pleasant short break there.
133 miles today
It became apparent that my plan to video the whole journey with the dashcam wasn't going to work when I tried to save today's video to the tablet and found a lack of space on the hard drive.. That, plus the fact that editing it would have been a nightmare and far too time consuming I decided to keep the cam ready and only record what I though may be of interest. This may well be after we get back.
When we arrived last night, Rachel made us a welcome cuppa and provided some home made oatmeal biscuits. We didn't eat the biscuits as we were going for fish & chips.
Going to sleep early meant waking early and at 5.30am we were stood outside the tent drinking lukewarm coffee from our flask and munching on oatmeal biscuits.It was a misty morning and out of the mist drifted a snowy owl, totally silent and carrying it's night catch in its claws. What a lovely sight as it passed just a few feet away from us and headed into a nearby barn.
Breakfast and air display over it was time to break camp and load up the car. Just before we were leaving, Rachel gave us some info on a B&B in Cumbria which will come in handy.
We were on the road by 7.30 and it was great travelling on quiet roads and in the cool of the morning.
We had an easyish trip down through Skegness, round the outskirts of Boston before hitting King's Lynn. We though we had a plan for missing the usual heavy traffic in this area, but we missed a turning and we got stuck for a while. Once clear of King's Lynn it was plain sailing round the Norfolk coast road to Cromer. 160 miles of the drive completed today. From Cromer we headed inland for our B&B.
The day started really well with Nick arriving to lead us round our planned route. This was great as some of the roads might have baffled us as they didn't appear as they looked on the map. I have some video of us chasing Nick round the Humber Estuary and I'll post it when I get chance to edit it.
We stopped for a photo shoot at Spurn Point before heading to Nick's place for a cuppa and bacon butties thoughtfully prepared by Sheila his wife.
A big thank you to Nick and Sheila for their hospitality and their support for Harrison's Fund.
Suitably fed & watered we headed off towards the Humber Bridge and the trip there was uneventful but it was after that that things started to go awry.
Just outside Immingham the road we wanted was closed and the diversions didn't make any sense. While we were trying to work it out, a lovely lady in a blue KIa stopped to help us out .She gave us directions and escorted us part of the way. Thank you blue Kia lady.
It took us over an hour to get through Grimsby and Cleehorpes.It was stop start bumper to bumper in searing heat. The car kept its cool but I was close to losing mine. We planned on going along Cleethorpes sea front, but when we saw the amount of traffic heading that way I chickened out and went round on the inland side.
Traffic still wasn't great and we were getting very thirsty but couldn't find anywhere to stop for miles. We eventually got parked up and made a cuppa which didn't even touch the sides. we took the opportunity of trying to find a place to stay for the night but had no luck, Everybody we rang was fully booked.
We pressed on and hoped to find somewhere. Yeah, I know, slim chance. I spotted a vacancies sign and we drove down the farm track only to find that they were full too, but they had a field and we had a tent so that was our stop for the night as we were too tired to carry on.
We pitched the tent and headed up the road for fish & chip suppers.
Only 104 miles today and that was enough,
We arrived at the iconic Transporter Bridge in Midddlesbrough just before 10am for the start of our journey to find a good number of friends & family there to see us off. We had a great time with bridge staff taking pictures for their website and BBC Tees Radio for a live interview. It was a bit hectic and it was a bit of a relief to get on the road.
Here's a short video of our departure shamelessly nicked from BBC Tees.
It was a hot morning and we got as far as Redcar before stopping for a cuppa. Once refreshed we set off again and apart from a lunch break, a couple of comfort stops and a few unplanned diversions it was plain sailing down to Elm Tree Farm B&B for our fist night stop where our hostess welcomed us with a much needed cuppa.
Shortly after our arrival Nick Thompson with his super ex Dick Jacobs competition TA. Seeing them side by side shows just how different Nick's car is from a standard bodied TA.
After some good chat we set off to find an evening meal. The pub across the road from the B&B had closed a few days before we arrived so we found another pub about five miles away. While we were eating our meal we were approached by Keith Barker and his wife Clare. They had seen Numbum in the car park and were keen to know about our journey. Keith is going to spread the word among his many followers on social media which will increase the exposure for Harrison's Fund. What a great guy. He even paid for our meal. Thanks Keith, you're a star.
Food eaten and socialising over , it was back to the B&B to download some video from the in car camera. This took so long that the stills were left on the other cameras as sleep was calling very loudly.
A fun but tiring day with 130 trouble free miles out of the journey.
These two pictures show just how different Nick's car is from ours.
We took Numbum to Witton Castle to join Durham Auto Club for their car display and autojumble to promote our trip.
A big thank you to all who helped to raise money for Harrison's Fund. It must have taken some serious effort to blow up 150 balloons for the guess the number of balloons in the Mini challenge.
You are all stars.
We met Richard & Margaret Wakes, the previous owners of Numbum and Katy & Steven Tinkler, parents of the super guy Mitchell, who was the inspiration for the fundraising. It was good to meet and spend time with you all.
We had a super day out and it was only spoilt by rain about an hour before the planned finishing time and our unexpected stoppage on the way home. We got home OK but I'm not sure what caused the stoppage so some investigation is in order before our trip.
We can't thank you enough for all your efforts. We don't know exactly how much was raised yet but it should be somewhere around £40
Take an old couple and an even older car, add in over 4000 miles of driving and this is the result. This is the story of Numbum's drive round the UK coastline, driven by Owen and ably navigated by Pam. We hope you enjoy the journey. We will.