HOLIDAY IN NORTH WALES 2003
Note; in spoken Welsh “dd” is pronounced th and “ll” is pronounced as a sort of hissing l. I make an l shape with tongue and lips and blow through it!
Having enjoyed our holiday in Wales in 2002 we decided to go again this year. As before, we went with Alec and Maureen Fairbrother but this time we were exploring Mid-Wales. We planned to stay near Aberystwyth area as we had visited the town briefly in the modern and liked the look of the area. We were in BBM 69, our 1937 Ruby and this year Alec was driving his 1933 Box Saloon AJJ 205, in 2002 he drove the AEW open tourer. I had fitted a rebuilt engine earlier this year and was looking forward to trying it out on some proper hills. We should have a three bearing engine in the ARR Ruby but for peace of mind we are using a two bearing Phoenix crank and a high compression head with the block bored out to plus 80 thou. The engine we used in 2002 was a standard two bearing with low compression head.
We set of on Monday at about 7.20am to meet Alec and Maureen at Walton on the Wolds, a run of 40 miles. After a cup of tea and chat we all set off for our first stop at Uttoxeter, arriving at 11.15am we parked in Tesco’s car park, used their facilities, and had lunch. We left at 12.10pm for Newtown where we intended to stop for the night. We had a good run until Alec pulled over with an overheating engine, well a boiling radiator, we checked all we could and found nothing obviously wrong and carried on with frequent stops to top up his rad. We arrived at Newtown in the middle of an Eisteddfod and with no vacancies in the boarding houses. We contacted our
accommodation in Aberaeron, our rooms were free so on we went, topping Alec up on the way. We arrived at 7.30pm. 240 miles travelled and 12 hour 10 minutes since leaving home.
Tuesday. We slept well last night; I think 200 miles in a day is a sensible run to aim for! We checked Alec’s car and found no oil in the water, no water in the oil and the bores were clear. The car was going well so we decided it was not likely to be terminal. We did have a day off from driving though and explored the town. Aberaeron is a lovely old fishing port with a small harbour surrounded with pastel coloured houses, very picturesque.
Wednesday. A warm and humid day as we set off for Cardigan, on the way we turned right for Llangrannog, a very narrow road down to a jewel of a place with a very pleasant beach among high cliffs, a local jumped into the road to stop us and have a chat about the cars, very nice. Next we set off for Aberporth, my father was here before the war in the RAF. We found a sculpture of a dolphin on the front and then saw the real thing jumping out in the bay. Then we set of for Cardigan, this was a busy town and we only explored the High Street, lots of seaside shops. On the way back to Aberaeron Alec’s car stopped, sounded like petrol so off with the carburettor bowl, sure enough the jets were blocked, a quick blow through and we were of again. The cars had a wash and we had a shower and into town for an evening meal. 55 miles run.
Thursday. The cars had a day off today as we went on a white-knuckle ride on a double decker bus to Aberystwyth. We walked along the front to Constitution Hill then had a ride on the funicular railway to the top. It was a very windy day and we had excellent views of the surf breaking on the beach below us. There is a large camera obscurer on the hill that is well worth a look. Back to town for lunch then of on a steam train to Devil’s Bridge. When we arrived we found a pre-1930s motorbike club had just arrived. Some of the riders looked very period to, unloaded two sticks to walk to the café! We were introduced to Johnny Johnson, an Austin Seven enthusiast from Scotland, Dianne showed him the logo on her Pre-War A7C sweatshirt and he showed her his Scottish Club logo! Devil’s Bridge is actually three bridges built one on top of another, very strange. Back to Aberystwyth and home on the bus, a much safer ride this time.
Friday. We set off for Tregarron with a view to duplicating the run that Carol and Keith Fairs did in February 2002; we would do it in fine weather in June. We had only got as far as a 16% hill (1 in 6 old money) when Alec’s engine boiled and ours was very hot, so decided to give it best and find a flat route for the day. We went to Lampeter for lunch and set out for Llangrannog again while stopped to top Alec up we were approached by a lady who used to be the secretary to the local Austin Seven Club, she said we must go and see “Dewi Jones” in Newcastle Emlyn, as he had an A7. We found him and he had a 1934 Box a Triumph Herald and seven old tractors. Alec was in his element being bit of a Fergy buff. Then we went to Llangrannog to finish off the day, very nice. 88 miles run.
Saturday. A quick run down the coast to a car boot sale, bought some odds and ends, then set off for New Quay for lunch overlooking the busy holiday harbour. Back to Aberaeron for dinner. 41 miles run.
Sunday. I decided to have another go at the run over the Cambrian Mountains, Alec would give it a miss due to his engine problem. Once again we set off this time we made the 1 in 6 ok and set off down the next valley. Half way up the next hill we were flagged down by an Australian who could not believe his luck at finding a Ruby in the Welsh hills, he was on an extended holiday in the UK. I then had a good hill start and carried on.
After the next downhill stretch we were at the spot described by Keith on page 13 of magazine 2002/7, the 1 in 4 hill we had a good look and set off. As described it was steep but with no traffic we had a good run up. We had a drink and were enjoying the view when a string of post war classic cars pulled up, they were also impressed to see us. I think we were at 487m high, that is around1580 feet.
More to come.