Turning up at The Bunch Of Grapes I had no idea what to expect from this scatter, the only ‘scatter’ I was use to was Frank Gallagher’s!
Finding Josh already propping up the bar (no surprise there) we discussed tactics, the only problem was we had no idea what a scatter was so our tactics consisted of ‘let’s just wing it”. When Martin turned up the task became obvious, we were given 20 grid references, of which we had to visit 15. These grid references were all telephone boxes and we had to collect the telephone numbers. We would get 5 points for each clue and we were given 1.5 hours to collect them with 30 minutes lateness penalised at 1 point per minute over the 1.5 hours.
This is where we unleashed our secret weapon, my lodger Dave! Now Dave know as much about all things automotive as I do about quantum physics ( bu**er all) but due to Josh and I not been the fittest or most agile of people we decided we needed a runner so I could concentrate on the driving and Josh could work the maps.
At 7.30 we were given our clues, now do we stop and plot them all or clear off at breakneck speed and hope for the best? We took the sensible option of plotting them all before we set off so we had a good idea of where we were heading and could come up with a route. This paid dividends when one of the phone boxes turned out to be outside the pub itself, first clue got before we even turned a wheel. Mileage was noted as in the event of a tie break the crew with the lowest mileage would be declared the winner.
We headed off East with our next clue been in Barnby, from there we headed around the Goldsborough loop, down Lythe bank (where I discovered that some enthusiastic driving had caused us to lose our brakes, made for a bit of a moment!) Through to our next clue at Sandsend, then onto Newholm, Ruswarp, Sleights, through Grosmont to Egton, down the hill to Egton Bridge, down Limber Hill to Glaisdale then Lealholm, up to Stongate, a quick spin around then back through Lealholm to Houlsyke, up to Ainthorpe and to our final clue at Castleton. This one proved to be the trickiest one to find as there was a load of cars parked outside it and we managed to drive straight past it! Having got to the top of Castleton and not finding it we spun around and managed to drive past it again heading down to The Esk, another quick spin around and we managed to find it at the third time of driving past it. When we pulled up to it Ian and Kurt also arrived at the same time so we send our runner Dave out to beat them to it with cries of “run Forrest, run”.
We now had 10 minutes to make it back to The Bunch Of Grapes, travelling at warp factor 9 (well as quick as a 1400 Rover with 3 people in can be made to go) we made it back with 4 minutes to spare to find a couple of crews already back. Whilst a well deserved pint was supped and tales of bravado ensued eventually all the crews turned up.
When the results were announced it turns out that three crews had tied on points and it was down to a tie break. The difference between winning and 2nd place was 1 mile! In a well deserved 2nd was Alan and Rachel Ward but the winners, having covered 41 miles was……US!!!
It was a real enjoyable night and hopefully this will be the first of many scatter that the club will run, A big thanks to Josh for been ace on the maps and basically winning it for us, all I did was go where he told me and thanks to Dave who must have been knackered after all that legwork, also Dave, not been used to been flung about in the back of a car like that, squealed like a pig every time we had a moment or hit a crest!
The final thanks must go to my intrepid Rover 414. The only preparation I made to it was to fasten a couple more cable ties to keep the radiator in place and to empty 2 carrier bags full of rubbish out of it. This car will take any abuse thrown at it, the rev counter never got below 5K all night long,
We lost the brakes within the first 5 mile, had a few ‘moments’ but the car just got on with it, even more amazing considering it’s my daily driver and has done nearly 8k since January!
Not bad for a £400 jalopy.
Thanks to Martin for the organising and let’s hope it’s the first of many.