August 2023 - A Grand Day Out


We gathered at Seaton Burn services for August’s midweek run on Thursday 24th August.  It was dull, but not raining and we had five cars in attendance.  Brian came in his MEV 7, Arthur and Liz in their MG, Alan with his Robin Hood and John and Margaret, left their Robin Hood at home preferring the comfort of their daily driver. The planned appearance of the Davrian was postponed, as Mike has carelessly dropped a nut into the bellhousing while preparing the car for the day’s activities.  Mike and Denise were, therefore, in their Robin Hood instead.

At 10.00 we departed as planned, heading cross country for Tea on the Train at Bellingham, a run taking us just less than an hour.  The single track road past Sweethope Loughs was dotted, as usual by stray sheep.  However, we also had our route blocked at one stage by a herd of cows in the road.  It’s one thing manoeuvring sheep but trying to move cows out of the way is quite another, when you’re sat in an open topped Seven, I can tell you.  On arrival at Bellingham, we found that had worse things than stray cows had befallen us on the way, as Brian had brought his car in without a clutch for the last few miles.  The engine bay being too hot to allow further investigation we settled in for refreshments.

Once we were all fed and watered it became clear that Brian’s day was probably done – the clutch cable had sheared completely with no likelihood of a roadside (car park) fix, despite our best efforts.  The RAC were duly called.  It made me laugh when the automated voice suggested that you should “Report your breakdown on-line” but it was even funnier listening to Brian trying to explain to the call handler that the car’s make was indeed a “WEV” and the model was a “SEVEN”, they were clearly off-script and not at all sure what to do about it.  Anyway, the call-out details were logged, Brian settled in for a long wait and the rest of us set off for our next stop at Border Meringues in Jedburgh.

We headed briefly South, out of Bellingham, and then West and eventually North round the West side of Kielder Water.  At Deadwater we turned Northeast, heading through Bonchester Bridge and then into Jedburgh and the Café. Disaster struck again as we were told that all tables were full or reserved and if we wanted a table for seven people “perhaps we could come back in hour?”.  However, some of us were in need of a toilet break, and miraculously, when we reappeared from the facilities two table had been pushed together and we were sorted for coffee and cakes.

Refreshed again, the Robin Hoods popped across the road to re-fuel (we seem to do that a lot in the Robin Hood) before we all got back into line for a quick thrash down the A68 / A696 to Elsdon.  Or so we thought.  Once out of Jedburgh we quickly caught up with one of those new fangled three-speed Hyundais.  At least I think it must only have three gears (or a broken speedo) as it never ventured above forty five mph (and frequently did much less) all the way south until he eventually followed the A68 to Bellingham, leaving us to push on down the A696, and into Elsdon.  We parked outside the Bird in Bush pub and discussed our options.  Alan decided to head straight home, the women decided they were all coffeed out and, given that we now had bright sunshine, alcoholic beverages were in order.  Those of us who were driving, of course, opted for soft drinks, again!

Photo of the group enjoying drinks at Elsdon


We eventually got back in the three remaining cars and set off, heading past Winter’s Gibbert, Dyke Neuk and into Morpeth where we all separated and headed for home.  As we arrived home, shortly after 17.00 we heard that Brian too had finally been recovered and arrived home.  For him, a frustrating day waiting, but for us a total of 150 Miles or so covered and tons of fun enjoyed.



Photo of the group enjoying drinks at Elsdon